General, people, technology, Thoughts, Web, World

Please understand India…

I read a blog post titled The real reason behind India’s lack of startups/innovation.
I wanted to respond little later but it seems the comments are closed. I have crafted my responses

>>>> And now let me clarify that how I qualify to answer this question. I am founder of http://closest.in it’s now a 11 month old web startup. We started working on it right after college, so I am a young startup founder, with very radical ideas, inspired by silicon valley culture and what not. So I have 11 months of experience in this arena to back my answer.

Congratulations on running your start-up all these months.

>>> Now, why there are no web startups from India, because there are no early adopters. That’s not in our blood. Web startups come out of USA because Americans love to try new things and we Indians don’t.

I think the author did not understand India and its people’s mindset. His product is addressing USA and not India. As far as i have known, many great products like Google Finance came out of India. There are many web startups like InterviewStreet.com, Muziboo.com, Tenmiles.com that came from India. They have been developed targeting Indians in mind. Not the USA.

>>> What are early adopters? Early adopters are those people who actually use new services and accept them or reject them. I am not saying that early adopters always accept new products, they actually give their opinion. So if a product is doomed to fail, it fails early. That’s how it works.

when orkut came, people accepted it. when facebook came, people accepted it because facebook was better than orkut in many ways. now its happening for Google+ i guess. If your closet is good enough, it will get adopted. Try to look for the reason why its adoption is not upto the mark. Glad, you have found out how a Product works….

>>>>And I know the root of problem, it’s the faulty education system which is brainwashing innocent children and putting a belief in them that “your ideas are useless”, it’s such a small line and has such a vast impact on the whole nation. Students are literally discouraged to take forward their ideas, especially in the average engineering colleges, I can only talk about them because I was a part of them.

I too agree on this. but if one wants to do and have courage to do, he/she could have done it. if you have felt that education ruined your ideas, why did you take part in it?

>>>>Only solution to fix this problem is to destroy all the engineering colleges right now and convert them into “idea factories” let young people work on what they want. I cry seeing so huge human potential wasting. If anyone wants to fix something in startups ecosystem, fix the education system, that’s the root.

Glad you found the problem and asking anyone wants to fix it. Remember what Gandhi said “If you need a change, be the change!”. Please understand the audience on which your product is targeted. Do what ever it takes to satisfy that particular audience.

One small example. In a auditorium, its the responsible of the speaker to gain the attention of the audience… not the other way round.
That’s all i want to say.

2 thoughts on “Please understand India…

  1. Balachandar, thanks for your response. I am happy that you have so much faith in Indian education system. I don’t have. For my ideas part, I was lucky enough to have been surrounded by people who helped me keep my fire ignited.

    I’ve been living life my ways, I was not forced into startup, it’s my choice and my ultimate goal is to make this world suck less. The pursuit is on.

    Thanks again for a well crafted response.

  2. Hi Bala,

    Came across your post through geekybuddha and here are my takes on your views:

    a. Your assumption that the author hasn’t understood the Indian mind is baseless especially since the referring comparison you have used bashes up your own arguement.

    b. The examples you have cited of Google Fin,Muziboo,Interview Street are truly international in every sense and have not been built keeping the Indian user in mind particularly.

    c. If you had done a little bit of research on the startups mentioned i.e Interview Street and Muziboo, both these ventures started in Early to Mid 2007 and its in now in 2011 that they have gained a little prominence. 5 years to gain prominence for a web product? When FB/twitter and loads of others startups in the west started at approximately the same time and now have become billion dollar valuation companies and given the fact that FB has a huge percent of Indian Users.

    So if you do accept that Muziboo is awesome along with the list you had mentioned, why is their traffic dwindling?

    There is one other fact that Geeky had missed. It would be that we Indians love to ape the west in just about everything. Which is why we prefer Soundcloud to Muziboo. Why Google+ even if it came from India would have never seen the daylights. Why we don’t see real product companies take shape!

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