The Indian startup eco-system / 2 years down the line!

I had blogged about this extensively about 2-years ago (around Sept 2014). I thought it would be a good checkpoint to re-visit this topic to see (and gauge) where we stand today.

Rewind the clock a little backwards and this is what one saw back then: I had not yet joined India’s foremost e/m-commerce company when I blogged about the irrational exuberance prevailing in the Indian startup eco system, my previous startup company was not hugely funded yet by marquee VC firms/PE investors back then and there was indeed a HUGE VC/PE interest in startups of all shapes and sizes, focus on growth (profitability was forgotten!), Flipkart was making all the news with it’s billion $ funding announced in July 2014, as with all rising tides, all boats were lifted and there came a slew of startups – both solving someone’s unmet need and those that weren’t!

Fast forward to today and here is what one sees: Lack luster VC/PE interest in startups (especially new startups). Edgy founders. The food delivery startup mayhem took an untimely hit, e/m-commerce startups have almost ground to a halt on their old discounting model to acquire/buy consumers, VC/PE investors are looking to cash out after years of pouring money into startups of all shapes and sizes, investor enthusiasm shifts from growth/buying customers to focus on profitability/reducing burn and the goal to be the first in its category / vertical to reach GP zero from a high GP negative territory! So, how did this come about and what are the lessons one can derive from this choppy ride? Read more of this post

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Organizational change/restructuring and the associated politics

The problem

Its no secret on the level of politicking one has to encounter as one meanders through the complex maze of organizational politics. Change is forever and while it may impact different individuals at different times, the outcome is key. You are measured not always by what you did but how well you play to the new environment and how adaptable you are. You will be rooted out by the system sooner than later if you do not adjust to the new structure and this happens in organizations of all shapes and sizes. How do you negotiate this as a Product manager instituting product thinking into the new management team?

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Nix features/products that do not add business value – just do it!

In continuation with my previous post on the ‘art of saying No’, one more such high value ability every product manager should possess in their toolbox is this ability to be able to take tough business calls in ‘sunsetting’ non value add features or entire products that don’t add to the overall product.

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Lean startup principles

If you are in this exciting field of Product Management and have not really heard of the Lean Startup movement yet, you must be living in a cave!

http://theleanstartup.com/

http://steveblank.com/

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Look Ma, no customers yet!

Continuing from where I left off on my previous post, I wanted to narrate an experience of a consumerized enterprise product that was addressing an opportunity of a previously untapped space. It’s from my friends anecdotal experience.

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Mom says don’t talk to strangers!

They say a Product Manager should always be closest to…. You know who?

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Types of interviewing questions in Product Management

On the interviews I have attended for Product Management positions, some basic themes emerge.

I have tried to condense the same here.

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