My Startup Idea – ‘This is for any Entrepreneur to take forward and build’
14 Oct 2016
While I run a boutique PR firm catering to a host of SME’s, my personal experience in working with several startups in various stages of growth has gotten me thinking of my very own startup idea. The startup revolution which we all are familiar with today, started as a mere trickle around 2012 and has today grown to tsunamic proportions the world over. This is resulting in IT and Management professionals getting bitten by the entrepreneur bug early in life and in spurring them to hunt for a market problem that could be solved, much like a Pokemon Go hunt.
Well in my case, it was not so much a hunt as much as it was a process of self-discovery in identifying my very own startup idea. Before I get into the specifics of my idea, let me delve into what the startup ecosystem is experiencing. Pretty much every startup aspirant these days spends days on end trying to identify a market problem that he or she can solve. Then naturally the idea goes into a phase to evaluate whether it is scalable, can it be monetized, is it attractive enough for VC’s and so forth. However the fact remains that any startup Founder that you meet will have an interesting story to tell as to how they stumbled upon their business idea in the course of their lives.
The process of chancing upon a problem to solve is so important in story telling these days which replaces the typical fairy tale story beginnings such as ‘Once upon a time….’ or ‘Once there was a King….’ and such. Among startups this has been replaced with ‘Two friends were once huddled in their garage when……’ or ‘A few of us after college met in a bar when….’ etc. The truth is that it does take a lot of effort and painstaking research to actual solve industry problems and therefore this must be represented properly in a startups journey.
Interestingly in PR, we often counsel our clients before they interact with the media to help them identify a suitable ‘Eureka Moment’ kind of episode that led them to creating their own startup. This is crucial when it comes to storytelling and therein works for better reading and in providing an element of a struggle. Hence the hunt for a business idea and the process of identifying are both important in a startups journey.
Now having established the importance of the process of identifying a startup idea, let me walk you through my own experience. About a year back I was at cross roads in my career when I was contemplating what to do next. Having spent close to half my life on the agency side of the business with agencies like Ogilvy and Lintas, I was left wondering whether I should continue or if I should be moving to the client side or should I try my hand at building my own business.
The Entrepreneur spirit in me kept knocking but I was always discouraged when I began to mull over the cons. And I must add that my immediate family and close friends circle do not have inspiring examples of successful entrepreneurs or business individuals. Ironically all hold office jobs like what I had been doing till then. My dad started and finished his entire career in a single job with the PSU HMT. Set against all these influences, I was increasingly wary about taking the plunge.
One night while I was restless and rolling in bed thinking about what I should be doing. I began wondering, what if I had the option to spend a day as an entrepreneur in some way to understand and experience the trials and the tribulations experienced in the process. I woke up in the morning with a dull headache due to my restlessness, but realized I had been dreaming all night about various scenarios that I was familiar with in agency life.
This led me to build on the idea further when I realized that there were several industry professionals out there, mainly techies (that I was aware of first hand) who wished to experience varying job profiles from an adventure perspective, without the tangles of permanency or commitment.
Develop a factory model to allow individuals to enlist for varying job profiles that are nontechnical by nature ranging from Fishing on a Trawler, Floriculture, a Security Guard, a Florist, a Bus Driver or Conductor, a Reporter, a Teacher, etc. In the case of professionals like Lawyers, Police Officers, Doctors, CA’s, etc, one could look at an opportunity to spend an entire day with a professional reliving their experiences first hand. The fee for enlisting for this programme could be positioned as a CSR program wherein the proceeds could be channeled into a cause.
Furthermore the platform could also feature a host of voluntary programmes benefiting the poor such a teaching underprivileged children and adults, preparing and delivering food for the needy, providing shelter for the needy, travelling to remote parts of the country and assisting the poor, etc. The entire platform can be positioned as a world of short term opportunities by taking away the challenges of identifying them, getting necessary approvals, travel, stay, etc.
Every individual has an adventurer’s streak in them where they wish to experience many things in the world. This is pretty much like wanting to travel the world. In addition you throw in a social angle to the whole process and it leaves you feeling good all over with the entire experience.
An opportunity for individuals to experience varying career roles and opportunities. This is very much in line with the entrepreneurial momentum and the spirit of startups.
This is an opportunity for professional companies to throw open their doors to transparency and to also possibly market themselves from a HR perspective on the platform.
This can also provide a platform for people to share their learnings and experiences by way of articles in terms of their experiences and their learnings. This could lead to another social exchange platform based on ‘New Expereinces’.
This could also propel your desire to travel and learn different cultures and in the process also help people in the process.
This is my own contribution to the startup ecosystem and is open for anyone to use, to build on or to get inspired by it for related ideas. It is evident that with the success of brands like Uber and AirBnB; what originally started off as a simple idea has grown to colossal proportions today, impacting world markets. What this goes to show is that an idea can come from anywhere but building it, scaling and making it marketable is the challenge. This here is my contribution to the Startup world hoping that someone can make use of it and benefit.