My journey as an entrepreneur

YAssume TeamWell, some of you know this already. Few of you suspected but didn’t ask me.  (But most of you don’t care anyway).

My entrepreneur  journey has ended on July 31st 2013.   We relieved everyone from  Makemydabba.com, shutdown the site and vacated the office.   Some of us have already got jobs and are settling down.  I personally am still on look out for my next adventure (ok, lesser than an adventure this time) (This as of Aug 30, 2013).

The next question would be what happened? MakeMyDabba was supposed to be a success right!   I am hoping to document all my learning from my startups in some form some day, but the following is the quick summary for the enquiring minds.

MakeMyDabba :  This is indeed a success as far as the idea is concerned.  We applied all our learning from our earlier startup YAssume and ensured we will not repeat the mistakes.  Went to market within 3 weeks of deciding to start MakeMyDabba.  Validated both supply and demand of the business.   Partly validated the operations model  but there were still lingering questions about operations at the time of our exit.   But the main reason why we had to shutdown was that we ran out of cash to run the operations.   We failed to secure enough funds to reach the traction needed to attract institutional investors.  We founders have already expensed all our own funds and friend & family during our first startup YAssume.

YAssume :  This is a highly technical product targetting sales people.  We nailed down some complex problems,  devised few  original algorithms we can be proud of.   But our focus was not on business for very long.  We did not engage ourselves with our true users of the system.  We did talk to people but they were not the true audience of our system. We mistook the smart-ass opinions to be the feedback needed for the system.  We made steep turns and big development cycles re-orienting the system multiple times within 2 years.  At the end we had a huge complex system but not many real users vouching by it.  We had  to shut it down and move on in Jan/Feb 2013.

What Next ? No secrete, I am truly disappointed.  We were a great team in comparison to many around.  We manage to solve almost all the problems we encountered during our journey.  But we failed in the business.

I have no regrets though.  If the clock is turned back, I will do exactly the same,  that is leave the safe job and try a startup.

I personally lost quite a bit of money on these startups. But learned a lot.  I probably would have got couple of MBA degrees with the same investment and time.  Would my learning from these startups match to those MBAs?  Have to wait and watch.

Thanks

-Akki

(Sep 2, 2013)

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5 Responses to My journey as an entrepreneur

  1. Pingback: How you fund your startup in Indian Context (Super Idiot Guide) | After 3 Beers

  2. Pingback: How you fund your startup in Indian Context (Super Idiot Guide) | After 3 Beers

  3. Akki,

    Great post! I hope you are wearing the “badge” with pride. You didn’t mention any role of luck in the story. Does it count? Does every failure have to be attributed to some mistake? More when we chat.

    I am sure you guys built creative confidence among many housewives.

    All the best.

    cheers,
    Vinay

  4. Harinath Mallepally says:

    Hi Akki,

    Being with you in the initial days was a wonderful experience. I wish we had better future for yassume. It was really a wonderful initiative and with great people like and rohit with lot of patience through out the fightings on design decisions etc. It was wonderful to be a small part of initial days.

  5. chitrabhanu says:

    Hi Sir,
    I came across the make my dabba concept through some pamphlet. As I found it a very interesting concept, followed it closely. I never wanted to use it, as I am a good cook myself, but shared the details to many of my colleagues who were in want of home food. I saw an article in news paper and then got to know that story writer “Akkiraju Bhattiprolu” is behind it. I read your “Gated Community” by then, and liked the point you made. Overall, I became very concerned about the project and wish that it should be a hit, though I had my own doubts about it. The main apprehension I had about it was this – Food is mainly emotional in our homes. If someone longs for home food, it is the personal touch of the lady who cooks- wife/mother/aunt, etc. each house hold has it’s own formula to give a personal finish. So, if one is fed up of hotel, another house hold may not satisfy him, unless there is some personal reason. Also, every woman feels she is a good cook (like me) as long as her people eat it. It need not necessarily be liked by others.
    Anyway, after one year, when I got to know that it is shut down, I feel very sad. I sincerely hope you will use your expertise in your fiction and in your next ventures.

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