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Thanks Anand for this really enlighting post. I think there is a common belief amongst aspiring entrepreneurs that great companies are formed out of some miracles and luck plays the most important role. However, I believe persuasiveness is the most important quality which the entrepreneur must have to make his company a success. A startup reboot requires one to think deeply about what out of the four factors you mentioned is not working and make appropriate changes, instead of giving-up by saying that most startups anyway fail!

Randy Korba

and the corollary to #1, sir -- witness what a great founding team (say, the Junglee guys) go forward and do... much like odeo and Twitter are related only by humans.


Great post Anand. In reading through your distillation of the reboot process I saw my own experience at my fist start up more clearly. Your categories helped me to put structure on what was before just series of changes that we made to stay alive and retain the growth curve that we sought when founding. Using your classification, we did a business model change (end user to institutional subs) on our core product, then put it into a maintenance mode while we did a product change to go after a new opportunity in the same market. The question we asked ourselves for the product change was "what do we have that others don't but want"? With the deeper understanding of our market (actually the vendors serving the market we were in) we took what was a small piece of our old offering and made it into a full blown product that served the vendors. We also changed the business model to data licensing. We sold the company (at a "strategic" multiple) on the back of that reinvented vendor-centric product. Thanks again for helping me to understand more fully what we did!


"The hardest part of a startup is understanding the requirements of the market, not building the product." -very wisely said. Finding the shortest path to understanding the requirements of the market and defining a problem worth solving seems the key to success to me. I feel experimentation or iteration is critical to figuring this out quickly. I have been reading this book "Experimentation Matters" by Stephan H. Thomke, which describes the importance of experiments and how to design and conduct them. If start-ups execute quickly with experiments designed to test their assumptions, they might stand a better chance to get to their desired product, business model, and market.

Brad West

I think I may have overload on this one. I am thinking about teck launches that were great but no longer are of any real use with the new technology. They served their purpose well and are just put to bed. But on the other hand I am thinking some of the simplest things are overlooked, I think it may be wise to review some archives, am going to hunting. Thanks your post really got the ole juices going.

Thanks for the read
Brad West ~ onomoney


You point your views straight and clear. The process of start up is really not that easy if we are to consider the ups and downs, pros and cons. It takes a lot of courage to set it up and eventually reach the top in just a short span of time.

Prakash Gurumoorthy

Well written article- Based on my experience, I firmly believe that a critical evaluation of the start-up and the founding team needs to be done. Typically that is never done and the whole team feels great after getting the initial stream of continual revenue. This "feeling great" syndrome does not allow the team to do a critical review of where they stand, what they need to do and how they need to do. The starting point is the critical review and also admitting that the situation is not that great! That is the key ingredient for a reboot- Most of the times, start-ups dont do a reboot as this process does not set in at all and even if some of the founding members try to introspect, its often viewed as a skeptical/negative attitude rather than a constructive one.

These are my 2 cents but this is a prevalent condition for sure. Let me take an example- the CEO of the start-up usually takes some responsibilities and who is evaluating his R&R continually and tracking that? If its a non-venture funded start-up, then this tracking is non-existent. If its a venture funded start-up this tracking usually is done by the board and the VC team- Is this done without any prejudice? These are some of the tough questions that are relevant for a reboot as well.

Thanks for this thought provoking article.


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