[YS Lounge] The startup alphabet set – A for angel, B for bootstrap...

5th May 2013
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Editor's note: Startups make an immersive world- once in, it is hard to get out. Kirti Punia recently joined us at YourStory and the change was visible within a month! Her vocabulary shifted by a few octaves and that, for us is a win! Here's what she had to say about her quick mindset-change...


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The alphabets of English language were one of the very first things we learnt in school. Remember screaming A for apple, B for ball, C for cat in the classrooms? These same words are the first ones to come to my mind whenever anyone asks me for a word starting with a particular alphabet. To my surprise, when a friend asked for words starting with V today, vase was not the first one. I spontaneously said – VC! And before the blink of the eye, I was saying A for Angel, B for Bootstrap, C for Crowdfunding in my head.

It may not be surprising for many of you reading this - your alphabet song must have changed years, months or weeks before today – but I amazed myself. I was not oblivious to the speed at which everything is done in the startup space but I did not know it could replace my apple for angel so fast.

Now that I had a new beginning, I thought of taking it further and this is the how 4 weeks in and around the startup space has changed my A-Z alphabet song:

Angel : Angels! Who does not love them? They make wishes come true and they protect us from the evil. The angels in the startup world are really wealthy, not only in spirit but also when it comes to their bank accounts. Just promise to give them a bite of your pie and they will give you the money to bake it.

Accelerator: They are like the Gurus who give Gyan to speed up your growth. They bless you and support you with funding, mentoring, training etc and the Guru-dakshina is equity.

Bootstrapping: It is like backpacking to suffice for a week and leaving for a year long trip. You will entertain some travelers on the way, click pictures and sell them, write for travel sites and earn the money to extend your trip and go to farther and more beautiful destinations.

Crowdfunding: It is like showing the blueprint of an apartment to a crowd and painting their imagination so beautifully that they pay you in advance to build it for them.

Disruption: Everybody knows what Wikipedia has done to Encyclopedia – this is what disruption precisely is. A product or idea that changes existing markets or products.

Elevator Pitch: It is a well thought of and planned set of words describing your startup that you would tell anyone to make them understand your concept clearly in the time as short as it takes an elevator to ride up or down.

Freemium: It is similar to inviting someone to smell 20 exotic coffees for free and then telling them that you will let them have a cup of each if they pay.

Hyperlocal: When applications using mobile and GPS technologies promise to tell you the closest doctor who can help you when you run into a poll because you were looking in your mobile while walking, it means it can give you hyperlocal information.

Incubator: Noun: An apparatus used to hatch eggs or grow micro-organisms under controlled conditions. The literal meaning is quite the same here but the eggs seem to be less in number than the hatchers.

Kickass: No words needed. Kickass product. Kickass team. Kickass process. All startups want to be kickass.

Lean Startup: Imagine a race between an obese and a lean person in narrow crowded streets. Lean person can run through narrow lanes without much effort and win the race. Minimum effort, maximum gain: Lean startup philosophy.

Monetization: The methods used by startups to convert a milking cow into a cash cow.

Networking : The art of amiably and enthusiastically talking to strangers, telling them about what you do and why is it amazing, finally exchanging business cards and hoping they remember you and your startup.

Pitch: The elevator pitch multiplied by 3x in terms of time, keeping all other traits of an elevator pitch safe and sound, gets you to THE PITCH. The only aim is to bowl over VCs, angels or anyone you are targeting for funding!

Pivot: The move entrepreneurs make when they decide to change the course of their company significantly. In simple terms - Instead of selling mouse shaped cat food, lets make dog shaped toys for cats.

Seed funding: If your startup is like a toddler, seed funding is the first support it takes to stand up. The child needs it.

Traction: You can boast that your store is pretty popular if you have a good amount of people visiting it every day and a few who keep coming back too, even if they just window shop. It is enough to make people believe it is going to be a super hit.

UX/UI: “Beauty holds in the eyes of beholder” does not suit the startup world. Your customers have seen, used and are addicted to great interfaces and user experience. It is not a luxury, it is a necessity today.

Venture Capitalists: They are the like the superheroes who have the key to institutional money’s locker and can give a huge chunk to you if you convince them that you are good(Good ROI I mean). They have powers like any other superhero and they love to exercise it.

X for Y: We are Linkedin for Photographers, Facebook for kids, Quora for startups : basically we are X for Y

I still do not have a complete alphabet song, please pitch in with G, J, O, Q, R, W, Y, Z...

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