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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Five Questions Before Starting a New Venture

When I started Crafitti (www.crafitti.com) I asked myself 5 questions. Recently a friend asked me to give my inputs about his first venture that He is thinking. I dug in my old files and came out with the 5 questions and my answers. Reproducing below verbatim - may be of interest to all

Five Questions

Creating and building a new organization is a statement of what I am to myself as well as may be to the world at large. It however requires a mind shift as I am not used to an unpredictable, unstructured and unknown economic, intellectual and social environment, and work conditions. To really take a decision I need to answer the following 5 question:

Q1 How much willingness do I have to forego the position, pay-package, environment & brand name of a big company with its associated benefits in pursuit of building an organization that I want to build with like-minded people?


Ans1 Building anything requires strong focus and perseverence that comes through passion and a craving for freedom. I think there is heav dose of passion in me to build an organization that creates the difference in the world without the support and safety of big company environment. I think I have very strong belief and willingness to forego big company benefits.

Q2 How much willingness do I have to get down to working out the tasks, jobs, work items that in my existing environment I take it for granted to be done by others? This also ties to how willing I am to work in a non-hierarchical structure where no one reports to anyone i.e., a peer-peer all equals working together leaderless organization. Or at least very close to leaderlessness based on trust, confidence and respect for each other.

Ans 2 I have failed miserably in pyramids. Hierarchical structures doesn’t go well with me at all. I believe in flat organizations and am extreme comfortable in leaderlessness.

Q3 How much patience, trust, confidence and respect do I have for my peers in a leaderless organization where decision happen through collective resonance? However, enough leeway is given for an individual to experiment, explore and encompass variety. Am I willing to experiment despite opposition from my team mates? When an individual is putting in effort am I willing to go-along with him/her path to the extent possible, despite knowing clearly why the idea will fail? Democratic decision making may lead to delays am I willing to suffer delays?

Ans 3 I can onlywork with people whom I trust. This is a weakness which I need to build into a strenght. The new learning I have is to go along with people who I may think are going towards failure till the very end. This way who knows we may get a new path. Earlier I was also too black-hatted. Now I think I have become more and more exploratory collaborator. Yet many times my Ego comes in between. I have to retrain my mind. This was very difficult earlier, nowadays It is much less!

Q4 How much I am willing to put my 100% in a venture where sometimes I may get a feeling others are not putting in 100%?

Ans 4 The feeling that others are not putting 100% comes from a perception that continuous work engagement is the only way to grow. It is possible for some people to do in 2 hours the work I do in 8 hours, however they may need 6 hours to do something else. So the effort is not the right measure to see 100%. Commitment and the results being produced also should be taken into account. Having said that, I think people will put in 100% in any activity that they enjoy. If I am not enjoying some work then anyway there is no point. I hope I will not have time to evaluate who is putting how much etc, may be actually that doesnt matter to me.

Q5 How much willing I am to let go of extremely lucrative opportunities in terms of package, position and profile that are bound to come to me during the pursuit of building the organization

Ans 5 Freedom to do what I am doing along with like minded people is what I seek, that will be available in an organization that I build from scratch I think. I don’t think Lucarativeness of any offer will matter, it will be a dedicated focus on building the organization that I want to build.
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