Known for office humour since 1989, Dilbert, the comic strip written by Scott Adams has been tickling the funny bone of everyone who understands office life. Dilbert, the lead character is an engineer with stereotypical single mindedness and happily trapped in a corporate life. The pointy haired boss always loads imaginary work on Dilbert which he happily procrastinates un-till the next meeting and cracks hilarious one-liners about the quotidian mundane life of office goers. Dilbert always wanted to startup and also runs a parallel startup life in his mind!
Amongst all his jokes about various aspects of office life including Lean Principles, Six Sigma, MS Excel & Powerpoint, procedures and such, Dilbert has had some marquee cracks about Startups and VCs.
1) The thing that gets you to startup
This strip is the perfect representation of the feeling that leads many to startup! The same old, same old feeling that starts to sink in an employee's life after a point in time and imaginary talks about productivity that sets a human off on the 'startup road'.
2) VCs and the buzzwords
Once you've started up, you always need money to rocket your growth. Raising funding is a long process and can have a 2 year course in itself (here's a downloadable file about how to raise a Series A) and as Dilbert points out, you might have to use a lot of the buzz words. You atleast need to know all these words so that you can pepper them in your deck and give yourself a good chance to become the investors' pet.
3) Is the VCs life easy?
India is currently in a position where the US was in the late 90's. Internet entrepreneurship is booming and VC firms, incubators, accelerators are quickly coming up to support these startups. No one is sure as to what will exactly work but they also don't want to miss on making the bet which might earn them a fortune. With no big and frequent exits, the bubble is building and anticipation is rising in search for that next big startup.
4) Let's not just jump on the boat
Everyone is starting up, let me do it as well. No, that's not the way to go. It's better to do some research and validation before taking the huge plunge. Starting up and sustaining is not easy. Not at all!
5) Let's not be stupid
Reinforcing point 4 is very important. Following a trend is the perfect recipe for writing the script for your own suicide. For instance, the deal space in India is passe. They've all done it, don't open a new one. Go work for them. Another area is eCommerce. There are more than 600 eCommerce stores in India according to our records, don't just start another one at your whim. Customer acquisition and service is what will set you apart. Think.
Dilbert has been prudently observing everyday life and has made some very good deductions. Let's be attentive and imbibe some of the knowledge he has to give. Read more Dilbert here and yes, you can also learn more about entrepreneurship from Calvin and Hobbes.