entrepreneurship startups

Investor or business advisor values to look for in a seed raise

A successful pre-seed raise sets a lot of foundation for the eventual success of the organization. I will stay away from feedbacks of startups who conclude and are convinced that money is just money and just take it and quickly raise the round. That’s the worst thing one could do from the investor side or startup side (But when you have to do it, you do it especially at tough times knowing it might be on an ideal situation). Following are the conversation traits which should be happening in seed investors to make sense of the eventual success of the whole exercise:

Brutal facts confrontations

Are your investors talking about the brutal facts with you and how open you are discussing them? You can be a subject expert or have years of experience in your domain, but if your investor is not able to challenge you with brutal facts, you probably are going to have a hard time in your fundraising as well as have a hard time deriving great value from them. Some investors can be nice to you and really want to invest in your startup whatever you are doing, but look for traits that challenge you and force you to think, go back for homework and get back with a plan.
Do you get irritated by such confrontations or tend to ignore such investors, you probably should reconsider your decision of leading an organization and probably take some NLP course or something to help yourself before you dive into your journey.

Right person, right seat discussions

A discussion of the right person at the right seat is a very important fact while you are doing the presentation. You have to walk through ideal leadership seats in your organization, current or potential people for that and your painted pictures of such people. Look for signs of investors’ tendencies to talk about your team as well.

Average Listeners

Are you not able to complete your first 5 minutes of the pitch before they start talking out? Do yourself a favor and walk out.


Always present success metrics, which you will be tracking weekly for your startup growth and health, as well as ask their feedback on the same. If they are aligned, ask their opinion on what would they have set their metrics if they were in your shoes. Also remember, your seed-stage metrics are going to be totally different than your growth stage metrics ( e.g. viral coefficient and retention vs the number of users ).

If you have any additional traits you think are important, please suggest. Overall, if the above four are ticked, I will be very excited and feel fortunate to connect to this investor.

clarity entrepreneurship startups

Startups that survive crashes

Startups that have survived and will survive aren’t the ones that are just created based on a market opportunity. They are created by passionate individuals who have envisioned the world after a few years and know a path to go there carrying their values and articulating mission to create the perfect vision they have created.

Their current app or idea or product is not the business but an accelerator to achieve the mission. We have an interesting time right now with markets hinting a crash and excited to see startups who will do the tests of the time.

entrepreneurship How To's

Socio-psychological factors for viral engagement

Human beings are instinctively social creatures. Social media apps, largely since Facebook, have categorically tapped into some basic elements of social interaction, and brought it into cyberspace; and it is for this reason that they’re some of the largest and most influential companies in the world – and hence also some of the most ubiquitous, publicised, and scrutinised.

Social media, in general, lays its groundwork on some basic socio-psychological phenomena, which we should certainly keep in mind if we wish to create the next big thing in this space;

Acceptance, and sense of belonging

For the most part, people are largely driven by their need to belong. Our need for social acceptance is very high, and it manifests in various ways, eg.

  • We are much more likely to buy items, visit places, or meet people, that existing people around us find generally desirable (like Apple products due to their high brand value, visiting exotic but well-known locations like Paris and Venice, or bragging about meeting influential people).
  • We are always elated when we receive social attention, admiration, or acclaim. In fact, most of the larger strategic goals/ambitions in everyone’s lives are largely based on factors that are considered socially acceptable in the person’s immediate community (eg. Doctors, Engineers.)
  • We tend to gravitate towards communities that we wish to be a part of; we like to be associated with (or assumed to be in) certain groups that reflect aspirations of our own; we want to be seen with wealthy, influential, desirable individuals. Conversely, we often do not want to be associated with communities and groups that do not reflect our own values.

Social media largely capitalised on our need for social acceptance by offering us ways to be a part of, and exposed to, communities that we find desirable. We can easily follow / befriend people from the avenues of life that we aspire to be around (eg. photographers, musicians, fashion bloggers, movie stars etc.) Most social media platforms involve creating and maintaining groups and communities based on common interests, and merely being a part of such groups gives users satisfaction (and bragging rights). Even platforms that aren’t primarily social (eg. Medium, Dribbble, Stack Overflow, some online video-game communities) often end up having strong and closed communities driven by people’s need to contribute and be associated to what these larger communities represent (design, tech, gaming culture etc.)


Human beings all wish to be desired, envied, and generally fawned over. For much of human history however, this came at a very high price. We had to carefully construct our personalities to emphasise aspects that people found desirable, and downplay parts that were considered unappealing; we had to maintain rigid physical health, posture, grace, and pay attention to our looks at all times; we also had to carefully control our mannerisms at all times.

Furthermore, in order to be desired by the community, we frequently had to move out of our comforts and stay exposed to people all the time by ensuring physical presence in all places we wanted to be seen in. Lastly, in spite of all our efforts, no one could be certain about how revered he was in a community.

Over the past decade however, social media has moved in and made vanity far more quantifiable, approachable, and accessible. By reducing “appeal” and “fame” to “likes” and “followers”, social media has handed human beings a metric by which to measure their success in this arena; the higher this number, the higher your desirability. Social media makes it easy to control people’s perceptions of ourselves, as we control the timing, nature, and quality of content they’re exposed to.

It is extremely easy for us to highlight moments of our life where we are happiest, and broadcast them to everyone, while completely ignoring the banal, trivial, or disappointing aspects of our lives, and hiding them completely from the public eye. Social media also grants people an indirect way to communicate with those who envy (possibly hate) them, and demonstrate our apathy to them as well as emphasise on how we’re better off after (or in spite of) them – something that would be too aggressive and targeted if spoken out directly.

Contribution and mentorship

While human beings usually aren’t closed to learning new things, almost every human being is exceptionally enthusiastic about teaching and sharing. We crave for opportunities to demonstrate our own learnings, and share our own experiences, sometimes regardless of whether there is any benefit to any party by doing so. We like the thought of being people who are actively pushing a community forward, and most social media platforms are using this tendency of ours to some extent.

Apps like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp give us mediums with which we can share our opinions and experiences with the world – in fact, these platforms actively encourage us to do so (“What’s on your mind?”, “Share to Facebook this great article that you just read”, or “Here’s a recap/collage of your experiences with x entity”). Apps like Quora, Reddit, and Medium give us platforms with which we can answer people’s questions, publish/share content, and generally gather approval and feedback from people at large. Apps like Dribbble, StackOverflow, 500px etc. are also avenues through which we contribute to, and are a part of, communities that are desirable to us, and are often used as a measure of your status in those respective fields.


Want to be an idea machine?

Want to be an athlete? Run everyday. And be disciplined about it.

Want to be a great musician, play music everyday.

Want to learn things in your life, read an hour everyday

Want to be an idea machine?
Pick ANY topic / problem and write 5-10 ideas on that EVERY DAY. I do that everyday and consider myself a great idea machine. Be that, all you need is just to decide what you want to be and spend time everyday on that. Picking ANY IDEA has another advantage, good ideas are generally produced when different ideas have sex which each other. Thinking on variety of things will broaden your horizon.
PS: I use Google calendar goals to achieve my goals.


Have goals…

Hard work without goals is like players with no score to make. Have goals. And have goals not just for success, have goals to be the person what is needed to achieve those goals. Goals are just inspirations to be that guy/girl.

Have goals to wake up with the excitement for the day, and not with catching up on pending things to do. Hard work is no measure of success. Run, but in the right direction. Have time for strolling, but stroll when you want to stroll and have set aside a time to do that.

entrepreneurship tech

Productive Idea Flow

Productive Idea flow is when ideas keep on building over each other. You arrive at a good idea which is improvement over your current product and spend some time visualising how everything will look and work if that idea is implemented. Then in that state you imagine yourself there and try to find another improvement. This improvement is your next idea built over previous increment. This incremental ideas work over each other to create a new innovative disruptive idea.

e.g. In your thoughts imagine creating a light bulb, then LED, television, computer, mobile etc etc all just by a bulb.

entrepreneurship How To's Productivity

Being successful

A very noble thought has come to a mind today – lets be successful. The only problem is the mind does not know what is being successful. Lets drill down to what is being successful.

Being successful really means doing things which you really want to do and more importantly not doing things which you don’t want to do. It is very much linked to being happy for success overall is achievement of happiness only. Note that much emphasis should be given on not doing things which you don’t want to do. Doing things for most is an infinite ongoing list.

Its very common to associate money with being successful. I am not denying it is not, the only role of money is “money buys you resources which can be bought and which you can not do” as well as “buy resources and time which you want to do“. That explain the role of money.

Now the most important factor apart from role of money is when money does not play a part in success. e.g., you want to be fit, control an addiction,  wake up early etc. In fact surprisingly, most of the time money actually becomes your enemy in becoming successfully.

So now when we know what being successful is, lets try being one.

What is your list of things you want to do and more importantly things you don’t want to do.


On Entrepreneurship and learnings from Swami Vivekananda

Solution to all problems and living in a higher state is very simple though under-rated – it is surrendering. Surrendering to an idea, a cause, a desire to knowledge, or just any work you are doing in day-to-day life. Thats what will make a life complete. Care for the impacted ones. This is true work and way to live. This is Karma Yoga. Religions like Hindu assigns a Karma if a being is unclear on what to do. But an entrepreneur choses his Karma and associates so strongly with reasons behind those Karma that it becomes very easy to surrender. This is the fastest path to Karma Yoga and it becomes easier for him to connect faster.

entrepreneurship family Productivity

Compound interest value of efforts

Making disciplined effort is extremely important. Pick out the projects that matters to you most and keep dedicating small or large time to them everyday. Fix amount of time you will dedicate. These efforts gives back compound interests rates. Working distracted on multiple tasks never give you compounded value. True for relationships and money also.


Being industrious

There is no way to be happy, rich and wealthy without being industrious. We need to let go of every distraction idea and focus on being industrious on one thing at a time. Having the right focus and vision is the foremost requirement. There is no get rich fast technique.