How To Make It Through The Startup Phase

Startups have become mainstream in India. Yet, as an ecosystem, we are still learning how to deal with the common struggles that first-time entrepreneurs face to go from the startup phase to becoming an established company.

Piyush Goyal: Doesn’t smell right when an ecommerce co makes a loss of Rs. 6K crore on Rs 5K turnover

“Promises of a certain number of people benefitting from e-commerce are very attractive, but it cannot be at the cost of a ’10X’ number of people suffering the consequences of practices which are not allowed and certainly a trillion dollar company, competing with small retailers whose total capital may be a lakh of two lakhs of rupees is a very, very unfair competition,” [Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal] He also said that it “certainly does not look and feel and smell right” when a company makes a loss of Rs 6,000 crore on a turnover of Rs 5,000 crore.

Why Google Did Android

Vic Gundara, the then-VP at Google on being asked why is Google doing Android: “The iPhone is really good.  The way things are going,Apple’s going to have a monopoly on Internet-capable mobile devices. That means they’ll be the gatekeepers for everything, includingadvertising, saying who can and can’t, setting prices, taking a cut. That’s an existential threat to Google. Android doesn’t have towin, to win. It just has to get enough market so there’s a diverse and competitive mobile-advertising market.”

Debt is Coming

Ten years from now, what seismic change will we reflect back on and think, “well that was pretty obvious, in retrospect”?   Debt is going to finally come to the tech industry.   Plenty of people these days preach “startups need to rely less on fundraising”; it’s harder to find anyone who’ll challenge the equity mechanics themselves. But continuously selling equity, even at high valuations, is more expensive than the narrative suggests. As a founder, the most valuable optionality you have is the equity you haven’t sold, and the dilution you haven’t taken. But the second most valuable optionality you can have is a valuation that’s not too high. 

How Glossier turned itself into a billion-dollar beauty brand

When Glossier founder and CEO Emily Weiss first had the idea of launching a beauty startup, she began with a simple question: how could you make a beauty brand whose sweatshirt people would want to wear? As founder of beauty blog Into the Gloss, which she started in 2010, Weiss had worked with household name beauty conglomerates on advertising and sponsorship deals, and found that many were struggling to engage with the new generation of millennial consumers. “I went through that exercise of looking across 20 or 10 beauty brands, thinking about whether or not I would buy that sweatshirt, wear that sweatshirt… I just kept coming up with the answer ‘no’,” she says.