Great ideas

By | 2:28 AM Leave a Comment
The other day i was talking to a friend of a friend. I work in an Internet company (Rediff) and was surprised to hear that he did too. They're not too many of us in India right now. He is an MBA and a techie (of sorts) and this is what he does. He goes around scouting for great ideas and then implements them, takes the idea past the feasibility stage and then, like we MBAs like to say, unlocks value (sells it off).

This kind of freelance CEOs are mushrooming thanks to the internet. It has removed the very big investment barrier and now a lot of these guys are able to take their ideas to the Internet. I was talking to another friend today and he had the same idea. Come to think of it, its quite logical acutally. India today is having a very real atmosphere of entrepreneurship. There's a sort of feeling of autonomy and power here. Plus with the internet removing such entry barriers, I think we are going to have another sort of dot com boom, except that it wont be limited to the internet. You see, everyone here know another secret. Mobile is big business. With 270 m mobile users in India and its still growing at 80% (thats right) YoY, its definitely big business.

A lot of innovation till date has been made by the West. Why? Well its because they had the Industrial revolution before us and everything after that has been a natural following. Also the other thing is that America has had the wealth. Anyway without getting into too many details, the point I was making was that innovation came not as a result of the West being smarter but as a consequence of West having a better set of resources and seeing a "need". Today if you see India we are facing a different need. The mobile as a device has completely changed the way we live in Inda. It can be leveraged to solve a lot of real problems innovatively and thats exactly whats happening.

So why are these guys going to the web if there's a revolution happening on the mobile. Well its happening on the web too, except that you can take a successful service on mobile when you want the reach. So great ideas are a way for this entrpreneur community to really take a stab at making some great idea work. I have attended Barcamp in Bangalore and have subscribed to a lot of mailing lists too. Somehow there's an uneasy feeling that a lot of blogs out there about startups and investment and ideation and go-to-market and making business plans, etc, etc are all made for the West, by the West. And they simply dont know the ground realities of starting a company in India, even if its on the web.

I've worked in an Internet company for a year now and I can definitely say that there's a huge difference in the way American "junta" access the web and the way Indians do. If these young startups really want to strike a cord with the Indian audience they must go and check out how our guys are interacting with websites, not some blog or course material you read up on the web. But its not too much to worry, cause I heard this kind of thing being talked about in some of the mails I've subscribed to. I guess people in general are very keen to share such insights and the mood here is of co-operation and collaboration. Thats a nice thing and so if you're planning to start some secret big idea, let others know about it. Chances are that they'll help you rather than try to get something up before you can.