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Startup advice from Baking lessons!

25 terrible cake disasters and few good ones taught me more about startups than baking cakes! 

16th Oct 2016
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After 25 terrible cake disasters and few good ones, while I was baking my last cake, I realized that there is a striking analogy between cakes and startups.

Without much ado, here it goes!

You need a driving force

I bake cakes when I’m bored, have nothing to do and also when there’s a special occasion or for someone special. I’ve found that the cakes I bake with a purpose turn out better than the aimless careless baking.

This is very similar to having a goal/reason for starting up.

If you plan on starting up for the sake of it and not because you genuinely want to solve a problem, you can expect a burnt cake! Oh, I mean a failed startup!

Always be the girl with the plan

Almost always amidst my experiments, I go clueless thinking “What after whisking the eggs?”, “Flour mixture first or the fluid mixture?”.

When you do not have a clear idea of what it is that you want to do next, you just might miss the perfect timing. So always be on your toes, ready for the next move.

Ignorance can make a lot of mess

People say ignorance is bliss. But it can also make a lot of mess!

It so happened that the glass bowl I was baking in, cracked inside the microwave oven and it was all fumes. I was so lost in the excitement of baking the cake that I just assumed that a glass bowl would suffice.

Likewise, being excited about your startup is great. But make sure you do your research and validate the idea before taking the plunge.

Good things take time

One of my last cakes was a chocolate cake very rich in chocolate, coffee, and butter. As the cake was getting baked, it seemed like it was going to turn out yum!

So the moment I took it out, I rushed into cutting and tasting it. This only mashed the cake and ruined it!

If I had given it that 5 minutes it needed to rest, If I had the patience, it would have been the best cake I had ever baked.

Do not rush into reaping success. Let it take it’s own sweet time :)

The right batter is half the cake

Each ingredient that goes into a cake is unique in itself. It has its own flavour, texture, and beauty. But when these are whisked together, if they don’t blend in well, or if they don’t complement each other, you have a ruined cake.

A good team is like the right batter — they blend in well, they complement each other.

All you need is already inside

You can always make magic with what you have. When I started baking, I had no fancy whisk or blender. I started with the bowl, spoon and microwave oven I had at home.

We cannot wait until everything is perfect - until we have all the ingredients and equipment.

Sometimes, you just need to get started and the rest will fall into place :)

Originally published in aryamurali.com.

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