[Podcast] 12 top insights for founders from 2019’s #InsightsPodcast series

In the first episode of 2020's #InsightsPodcast series, we take a look back and round up the learnings that 2019’s series left us with.

We kick-start 2020’s InsightPodcast series with a special episode that offers a quick roundup of our 2019 podcasts and presents the top 12 highly recommended insights for entrepreneurs.

Listen to the podcast here:

Finding the right opportunity

The bare essential task of identifying the right opportunity is something that every founding team must go through. Years later, this very opportunity stands out when the founders share their success stories and talk about why they started something.

1.   Farid Ahsan of Sharechat shares how he and his co-founders went about discovering the idea.

 “We started observing why people were making WhatsApp groups and sharing content on them.”

 2.   Ritesh Arora of Browserstack shares the importance of thinking global from early on, helping expand the opportunity set for the startup.

“We were very clear that we’re solving the problem of a real user. It doesn’t matter where that person sits.”

 3.   Kunal Shah of Cred shares his framework on how startups can validate whether their idea is creating a delta change in consumer behaviour and emphasises the importance of picking a market opportunity with good tail winds.

“Great product-market fits even with mediocre founders create a lot of value while terrible product-market fits with great founders can never create value. Fighting headwinds only burns fuel.”

Building a team and culture to go after that idea

The team forms the building block of any organisation and is an integral contributor to the success of a startup. A good culture keeps the team motivated to keep going after the problem.

4.   Naveen Tewari of Inmobi talks about the importance of having a co-founder in the roller-coaster of a journey that entrepreneurship comprises.

“Most of the moments in the journey are low moments. The co-founder’s role is to bring you out of these low moments that you’re in and vice versa.”

 5.  Binny Bansal of Flipkart shares about the importance of being willing to ‘let go’ and empowering your team.

“We realised that only way to scale the company was to hire people like us, to do the things that we do - there were going to be hundreds of things to do and we would need hundreds of people would need to work like we work, every day.”

 6.   Girish Mathrubootham of Freshworks talks about focusing about culture and building a work environment that motivates and inspires the team.

“Anybody can create a happy work environment, but the real happiness is when people really feel that they’re playing to their strengths, the job is tapping their potential and giving them an opportunity to learn, and that they have managers who they see as role models.”

Raising money and building a sustainable company

With a boundless vision comes the need to find the right support, and finding the right investor can really help a startup.

7.   Harsh Jain of Dream11 talks about the advantage of meeting investors ahead of fundraising.

“Meet VCs six months or a year before raising money and get honest, open feedback. When the journey and progress is shared with VCs, they’re much more vested.”

 8.   Deep Kalra of Makemytrip talks about the importance of unit economics and scaling sustainably.

“Irrespective of the kind of business, you should not be losing money on a variable cost basis.”

Key lessons for founders’ growth

In the greater scheme of the startup journey, the founder’s individual self often gets ignored. Here are some key insights on keeping a founder’s growth on track.

9.   Shradha Sharma of YourStory talks about the founder’s growth journey being more internal and how entrepreneurship is a journey of patience and perseverance.

“You have to internally reflect very deeply on what you want.”

10. Nandan Nilekani of Infosys and the man behind the Aadhaar programme talks about the importance of being execution-focused.

“Being able to visualise the end game, being able to execute that into a sequence of activities, and being able to prioritise that is required for a founder to be successful.”

11. Ritesh Agarwal of Oyo talks about the importance of perseverance.

“Perseverance has no replacement. Remembering that there is always light at the end of the tunnel and continuously investing in the same direction for a long period of time is important.”

 12. Dheeraj Pandey of Nutanix shares his valuable insights on balancing family life along with running a startup.

“You really are doing the entrepreneurship journey with your significant other. They might not be coming to the office, but they’re equally involved in the journey. If not, it is hard to run a robust venture of any kind.”

Anand Daniel is a seed / early-stage venture investor with Accel Partners.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)