[Editorial notes: Here is presenting a conversation between Vick and Ragu. Vick is a partner at a well-known VC firm and Ragu is just a curious friend.]
Ragu:You must be receiving so many business plans every day? How do you evaluate them?
Vick: Well, it’s actually very simple. I explain the business idea to my 10-year old son. If he understands it, I invest. If he doesn’t, I just pass the opportunity.
Ragu: Wait a minute! Your 10-year old kid decides your investment decisions? How does that work?
Vick: Well, I ask him, ‘do you know diapers’? He says, ‘yes’. Then I ask him, ‘would you like to buy diapers on the computer instead of walking up to the shop’, he says ‘yes’. That’s when we invested in diapers online. Recently, one rival VC firm invested in orange juice online. So, I asked my son about it. He said he preferred nimbu ka ras. So, we now invested in nimbu ka ras online.
Ragu: Oh so, what about companies like Starent? How would you explain the business model to a 10-year-old?
Vick: Star and what?
Ragu: Ok, how about Tandberg?
Vick: Tann burger? I know hamburger! My 10-year old kid loves them. Hey, that’s a good idea. I could invest in a burger online company.
Ragu: Cisco acquired Starent and Tandberg for few billions dollars each. These are technology companies, and it may not be possible for your kid to understand the business model.
Vick: Technology? What the f*** do I know about technology? If my son doesn’t know it, I don’t need to know it. I invest in business models which can be understood in one minute without having to read about it.
Ragu: You had invested earlier in social networking sites. How did you go about investing in them? Did your kid help you there?
Vick: It was very simple. Most rival VCs were investing in social networking, so we just followed the trend. There was lot of competition back then, you see.
Ragu: You mean the competition between various social networking sites?
Vick: No, between VC firms, to invest in a particular area that is trendy. When one rival VC firm invested in three social networking sites and another VC firm invested in two social networking sites, we also wanted to invest in some. There was none that came to my attention, so I asked my wife if she was interested in starting one. She said, ‘what the f*** do I know about social networking?’ I said, ‘look, you don’t need to know anything. You just have to say yes’. She said yes, and we invested in that company.
Ragu: So how are those investments in social networking doing now? Did they make you money?
Vick: What the f*** do I know about making money? What I know is how to follow the current trend. Back then it was social networking, then for a while it was online tutorials, nowadays it is online shopping.
Ragu: Do you have enough support structure for scalable online shopping in India? In US, there was a prevalent culture of buying on phone before advent of internet, supported by reliable postal systems. Also, US invested nearly 50 Billion worth telecom equipment in late 1990s to connect millions through internet. India has not done anything like that. India is adding only 2 million broadband subscribers per year. So, how will this affect your online shopping strategy?
Vick: Ah, you think we are dumb idiots? We want to invest in a company which knows how to power the Rajnikant websites without connecting to internet. My 10-year old son found it online. We can skip that telecom equipment investment in India like we skipped Industrial Revolution. We will go to web without using internet.
[The parody is contributed by an entrepreneur in hardware space. Of course, he knows his shit and is a bit amused with the frenzy ecommerce investments in India.]