We put our eventual course ahead of the immediate cost.
Any random article on magazines/portals like Forbes or Inc., thesis papers by IIM-A, Stanford or Harvard university and advice by consultancy firms like Boston Consultancy Group and McKinsey & Company would guide you to (some form of) these steps for startups prior to product/business launch:
- Have an ‘A’ team (because you need to have many experts to be able to execute an idea)
- Have an ‘A’ business plan (especially including fancy financial projections)
- Identify the product (in terms of the ‘customer pain’ that it solves)
- Know your market (who is going to buy your product – age, gender, class etc)
- Shore up your plan and budget
Frankly, while it would only be natural for us to be doing some, many or all of those – which again are some or many of many more – we did NOT start working on our idea with those guidelines.
Human Care Central is a child of immense pain, which did not stop to think about getting organised first before hitting the road towards helping if only one, just one, person somewhere avoid the pain that we went through. It was a pain of watching and being part of moving around of a critically ill elderly man. It was a pain of not having enough solutions around, despite having, perhaps, enough means. It was a pain of not having realised earlier that many around us and millions across the globe go through it every day – without having the luxury or purpose of speaking out.
No, we couldn’t have waited to ‘validate the idea’ from the perspective of finding out the profitability prospects of the idea. No, we can’t be worried about that enough to abandon the pursuit in the event of unfavourable business advice.
Does that mean that we disregard the need for those steps?
No, it just means that we would give our best to incorporate that wisdom to reach our already defined destination.
It just means that sometimes some things need to be done irrespective of conventional wisdom or order. People who recognise that come up early in the idea lifecycle to support you, while others would wait for the idea to get some business ‘traction’ before coming forward to join hands. Fair enough: Venture funding is not charity.
Though, I do believe that the phrase ‘angel investor’ shouldn’t be applied to hard-nosed, bottom-line-driven bankers. An angel should be someone who has more courage than other investors – and backs an idea even if it is risky. It is not an angel investor’s ‘duty’. It is just that many of the best communities were formed after one single person took a journey, and was soon joined by many, one pair of feet at a time.
You are witnessing the birth of that journey right here on the Facebook page of #everycare, India’s first #humancaremarketplace. We could have had fake visitor posts on the page, but we waited to have one by a genuine supporter of the idea who is not attached with us. And we had it today, many weeks after we first formed this page.
I would be indebted if you support us on those platforms too.
[The series shares with you the ‘behind the scenes’ world of #humancarecentral and shall continue untill the launch day]
[These are personal notes and hence may not always pass through stringent linguistic quality checks that our business adheres to]