Author: Saurabh Singla, Co-founder & CEO at LazyLad
With the startup ecosystem growing exponentially, it’s common to see more and more people thinking of launching a startup. They have become more adventurous and are no longer afraid to ditch their plush corporate jobs to give their idea a concrete shape and convert it into a viable business.
However, the reasons for starting up may vary from person to person. Here are some common driving forces that make people think of going the startup way:
1. The vision to change/disrupt the way things work – Few people have the ability to change the world. The idea that your product could have an impact on millions of people around the world and can bring change is a key driving force behind many startups.
In fact, the vision to disrupt the way the world works is behind a lot of new and futuristic technologies. For instance, smart gadgets like the Nest Learning Thermostat use smart sensors to monitor the activity in your home as well as real-time weather forecasts to reduce your monthly energy usage by up to 30%. Similarly, automated systems like Bye Bye Standby, which cut the power to appliances when they’re not being used significantly reduces the energy wasted by appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, and TVs when they’re not actually being used. Internet of Things has completely revolutionized our day-to-day life, be it at home, office or even transportation systems.
Even wearable devices like Google Glass or the Apple Watch are a result of such a vision. Wearable technology is an incredible innovation that has changed our lives and made our jobs easier.
2. To offer people an easy solution to their pain points – Some entrepreneurs see an opportunity in offering a convenient solution for common pain points of customers. For example, in a place like Delhi, where there are a lot of working professionals who don’t get time to do their laundry every day, has led to the invention of apps like PickMyLaundry, a home pick up laundry service. Another app like Foodport offers you fresh meals everyday that you can get delivered at your home or office, making life considerably hassle-free for working professionals who have little time and energy left for mundane household tasks after a hectic day at work.
Even Uber saw an opportunity in the unorganized cab market and came up with an affordable solution for people. The company is now valued at a cool $50 billion. In India, competitor Ola cabs has also become the third most valuable VC-backed company.
3. The urge to do something for a social cause - There are many entrepreneurs who are driven by the need to work for a cause and give back to the society. For instance, a company called Wello in India has addressed the problem of water transportation in villages where people do not have easy access to water at home and often have to travel for miles to fetch it. Wello has developed a WaterWheel that enables women to roll the water instead of carrying it on their head, making it much easier to transport water over long distances. Wello has piloted the solution in Rajasthan and is now looking to scale up.
4. The thrill of doing something different and becoming an ‘achiever’ – Many people choose to become entrepreneurs simply because they want to do something different. There are some who feel too restricted by the idea of a 9-to-5 job and others who find regular jobs too boring. This category of entrepreneurs are go-getters who wouldn’t mind chasing an idea and doing all it takes to make it a million or billion dollar company. They are driven by a sense of achievement. They like making their own rules and want to be their “own boss”.
You could say I fit into this category too, though there are many more reasons that became my driving force when starting up. As far as I can remember, I always wanted to do something of my own. I love to be in ‘action’ mode…always. Stagnation suffocates me. I thrive in the madness of things – method or no.
Then again, my maternal grandfather was a political figure in Punjab during the 1980’s and worked for the upliftment of people. He was killed by terrorists. I have been brought up listening to his stories and seen people still speak fondly of him. What an impact he must have made on people’s lives! I was extremely moved and inspired by these stories and was determined to prove that I too can do something different and leave my mark behind. Getting into IIT was the result of this determination and that’s where I got a chance to meet highly driven and personally motivated people with similar mindsets. I wanted to build a product that would help me connect with people and empower them. I wanted to prove myself to all the people in my life. That’s what keeps me going – innovating and working day in and day out. Dramatic as they may sound, these are the factors that drive me as an entrepreneur.
I can’t imagine life without work; without the thrill of doing something challenging. Then of course, there’s the urge to prove myself to the people I truly care about….I feel fortunate to have found my calling and having made the right start.
What was your reason to startup?
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