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Are you dumb if you have a non-tech startup?

Jubin Mehta
16th Apr 2013
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Technology product startups are glamorous. They have the cool quotient associated with them and most of us look at the successful ones with envy and awe. This wave has hit India as well and there’s nothing wrong in it but over the years, we’ve seen entrepreneurs becoming apprehensive about their business if it’s non-tech. YourStory, by fundamentals, covers startups and innovations in every field- be it green, creative, or any other sector which doesn’t have anything to do with technology. But as time has gone by, we’ve seen more and more doubts in the minds of non-tech entrepreneurs. This post is to clear out a few rudimentary basics about a business.Every business with an intention of creating value is equal. Here are some points which have blurred this thought and it’s about time we put things into perspective:

Technology is just an enabler (of scale)

You don’t need to be worried that your business doesn’t involve a lot of technology. If your business does what it intends to without any technology use, that’s okay. Technology might help you make it efficient but it’s not something you’d die without. It is just an enabler to help you do better what you’re doing and it should in no way be a reason to develop an inferiority complex. A coder will never be able to make that perfect cup cake. Both- coding and making cup cakes- are skills.

All businesses don’t need to scale!

This point and the following one are inter-related and basically say that a business needs to do what it is meant for. All businesses are not supposed to become a rage the world over. Some businesses should exist only for a limited region and do well what it does. It’s not necessary that you manipulate the business model in such a way that it can be scaled to the globe. It’s an option, not a necessity. If you’re happy doing what you’re doing, don’t scale because everyone tells you it’s the purpose of a business!

Funding is not a necessary milestone

‘Scaling-up potential’ is a pre-requisite for funding and VCs exist to return money to their LPs. VCs don’t put in money to get 2x-3x gains, they need 10x-15x and hence scale is necessary if they’re putting money into a company. If you’re a services company, if your business model is not scalable, you might not get funding and that’s perfectly okay! Funding has been glamorized beyond proportions and you don’t even need to think about it, if all you want to do make a great living from your business and run it well. Funding in a way is rocket fuel for the ambitious.

So, these 3 points basically intend to clear out a few myths that are creeping in. All entrepreneurs with their ethics in place are equal because what they do is something exceptional and there are no two levels here. Technology is an enabler of scale and that is not the ultimate aim always. An entrepreneur is not measured by sector but by the passion, commitment, energy and that undying will which s/he exhibits.

You are an entrepreneur. Be proud to be one!

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