Hey boys and girls.

The Indian startup ecosystem is in a deep shit state – downrounds, shutdowns, layoffs are the new norm. As with most of the things in life, this is a natural cycle and was meant to self-correct.
But then, if you dig deeper you will realize that the ecosystem narrative was largely about funding, people stories (and more funding and more people stories).

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

And the truth is that the ecosystem only discussed people and events (= funding announcements). We at NextBigwhat have been most vocal about it – but our voice was lost out in the loud noise of party music.

But then..

We won’t give up. We will focus on our mission to create product entrepreneurs and make this country produce great products that solve local and international problems.
Today, we are announcing a few things.

We are moving away from news. Totally.

We didn’t start as a news site – somewhere down the line, we ended up covering a lot of news and stuff. We have stopped that (last funding news was published a month ago).
FYI: We haven’t covered funding stories for the last few weeks. We will experiment with different news format – but for now, it’s time for ‘first principles‘.

So what are we doing now?

Well, we are going back to where we started. And importantly, WHY we started (a.k.a. First Principles)

Built product culture in this country. Showcase interesting products. Inspire geeks and entrepreneurs to break through the clutter and build amazing products.
Be the platform that provides an unbiased and candid feedback – not just from us, but from the community.

So what changes starting now?

Couple of things

  1. From now on, you will only see products on NextBigWhat. We say products and NOT startups – because startups need the product first (and bplan will evolve). Atleast that’s what we believe. And the recent meltdown proves that hypothesis 🙂 So expect lotsa new products and hacks.
  2. Everyday we will profile products on which you can vote (we are working on new styles of voting – one that has emotional connect with the product rather than dumb upvote/downvote).
  3. We will go deeper in product management and related content – it’s something we have been doing, it’s something which we (= community) really understand. It’s something we truly enjoy doing!
  4. Beyond startups, there is ‘real world’ where there are ‘real problems’. Entrepreneurs need to solve for those and get out of the current echo-chamber. We will be the port of call for this!
  5. Community: We have done many experiments when it comes to building community*. If there is something we have learnt from all this, it is this :

Communities aren’t about tools. It’s a lot about shared vision and beliefs. It’s about that itch to make a change in the society/world – by helping / giving honest feedback to makers.

And we are gonna do that – I want to see this ecosystem talk product. Talk ideas. Talk crazy ideas ! Question a lot of fluff often passed as ‘funded startup-so must be having some traction’.
Plus, as a community we need to start taking it easy (for example: WhatTheGoat) and have a little bit of fun (please reach out to me : ashish@nextbigwhat.com if you want to collaborate/you have ideas).
There is a lot of gloom and doom emotions out there, but let me tell you this:

Things aren’t as bad as what media is making it.
Things were never as good as what media made it 🙂

We want to know.

We want to ask you everyday:

What are you learning today? What are you reading today?

Starting NOW, we will ONLY focus on community, products and stuff that pushes the boundary (brings more perspective) beyond the current echochamber.

The idea is to drive collaboration, learning and mutual growth – a tough ask, but worth doing !

Yalgaar HO !
Yalgaar HO !

So that’s NextBigWhat for you starting today!
PS : I have taken bold decisions..failed many times..but will continue the focus on what I believe is right. If you have ideas/suggestions on building a better community, my id is ashish@nextbigwhat.com.
*some of you must be wondering what happened to the much announced ‘forum’ format ? Well, we decided to retire that format as we realized that a ‘forum-only‘ format doesn’t appeal to a lot of people. The audience needs a mix of content and discussions and that’s our biggest learning. Plus, not every discussion is forum-format-oriented. More formats need to emerge and that’s what you will see in the new version (need to keep the consumer vs. producer perspective).

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