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To The Third And Beyond

By on Oct 11, 2013 in Projects | 8 comments

I think it was a Sunday, year 2005 – when I was in the third grade. My dad woke up my brother and me to share the news that a driver from India, for the first time, would be participating in a Formula 1 race and that the race was just about to start. Never having heard of F1 in particular before, the passion I grew for it just by my dad’s words and the race was surprisingly amazing. For weeks to come, we used to stick to our screens and watch the complete races, albeit not seeing the Indian driver winning, but the spectacle that was put up was just mesmerising. As the time passed and I progressed into higher classes, the time commitment reduced and I gradually stopped watching the races but the love didn’t die. Fast forwarding to the 11th grade, when my first term exams had just ended, one day our Physics teacher came in and asked us if anyone was interested in...

Discover I in Review

By on Dec 12, 2012 in Projects | 0 comments

Discover I in Review

The Design Thinking Process

By on Oct 26, 2012 in Thoughts | 0 comments

Today’s workshop was an unusual one – of course, it involved design! How should startups face the design challenge? How can the startups better identify and better engage with their customers? We had Ketna Hirji from The Innovation Tool Box to mentor our startups on how to go about the design process. Rather than just being lectured upon, the startups brainstormed on ideas and finally made a visual prototype and showcased them via elevator pitches. “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” - Steve Jobs Startups should question a customer to understand what he or she feels. Keep asking why, why, why to properly understand the customer and build an empathy map of the customer as to how he or she was feeling while answering the questions and arrive at a final statement like – Kate is a big coffee drinker who needs to make her own coffee quickly and...

Acquiring Customers and Marketing Your Startup

By on Oct 25, 2012 in Thoughts | 0 comments

What is the foremost reason for a startup failure? No, it’s not being unable to understand the market right. It is having high costs of customer acquisition. So how to acquire customers in a cost-effective way and what digital marketing strategies to use? This is the question that is asked by all the startups all over the world. We had Nikhil Rungta from Google, Bhawna Agarwal from Seventymm and Anurag Gupta from DGM to answer this question for us. There are various channels of customer acquisition – they’re different for every kind of business like B2C non-ecommerce, B2C e-commerce, B2B and so on. Pick a method to acquire customers wisely – on the basis of what you’re trying to achieve. And it should give a steady graph in customer acquisition, not ups and downs. Don’t try all the techniques at one go. Internet channels Search – SEO (free). If your product is solving a problem and is...

Monetizing Your Product & Pricing Strategies

By on Oct 22, 2012 in Thoughts | 0 comments

How can you monetize your product? What pricing options should you offer? Today’s talk addressed this aspect of an entrepreneur’s problems. We had Suresh V., EVP and Head of Sales of Naukri and Siddharth Puri, co-founder and business head of Tyroo to mentor the startups. If your product is first in the niche, either start with a freemium model – you’ll get a lot of feedback. Or price it very low and develop a connection with the customer to build trust. Always remember that your customer is the end customer whom you’re primarily serving, even if he doesn’t help you get money. For instance, on a jobs listing site, the job seeker doesn’t get you any money – the recruiter does. We do not know our indirect customers – and even if we know them, we don’t know the value that they derive. Think yourself as a customer. Would you ever buy what you’re selling? An interesting question that...

How to Pitch your Product?

By on Oct 19, 2012 in Thoughts | 0 comments

How to pitch your product to the investors – this was the question answered by the leading personalities in the field – Alok Mittal from Canaan Partners and Mayank Khanduja from SAIF Partners in today’s session in Delhi. Before preparing a pitch, you need to ask yourself – what’s the traction that your product has got – how accepted is it? Even if you’ve 500 initial customers, what’s the response of the customers? Are they coming back? How are you getting customers – staff picks on app markets? PR? Offline model? You should also know about the investor. What is his or her background. What kind of startups they’ve invested in, and then appropriately pitch to the investors who you think would be interested in your product. You need to build a spirit of the pitch. Your pitch is to sell - sell a story - not people or data. Give out some customer testimonials that you’ve got. Have...

Selecting the Right Technology and Building Scalable Apps

By on Oct 17, 2012 in Thoughts | 1 comment

How can you select the technological frameworks you should use for something that you’re building? How can you scale something that you’re building? Today’s GSF Accelerator mentorship session focused on this issue. The contributing speakers were Ram Singla (Zomato), Gajinder Singh (PayU India) and Amit Sharma (Khojguru) and discussed on how a development cycle should look like. Research First Find the core value propositions first – for example, whether the mobile payment app or the hardware POS device is the core or whether local content aggregation or sentiment analysis is the core. And it isn’t constant. It changes, it evolves. You need to find all the options that are available to you for the technologies that you would be using, and rate them on factors like time to market, enterprise, availability and cost, roadmap, legacy code, prior experience and the learning...

Trip to Googleplex No. 2!

By on Jun 26, 2012 in Travel | 3 comments

Hey there! As you might have read on my blog, I got another chance to visit the Googleplex as a part of my Google Code-in achievement. But this time, I went with both my parents and to the east coast as well! Google was kind enough to give us an option to make our trips flexible since it’s once in a lifetime opportunity (though has struck me two times :P). And as you might have imagined, Google gave us a lot of swag too – including a brand new Galaxy Nexus! Some of the grand prize winners including me also made plans to visit other companies to meet Silicon Valley’s finest developers and get a sense of how it is to work there. I also got to meet my friend @kunalbhalla, who works at Facebook. Pictures...

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