Starting it wrong – On a charity mission with an empty wallet.

Starting it wrong

The secret to startup success lies in the clarity of objectives. When founders are clear about the problem they’re addressing, the anticipated solution, and, most importantly, their personal goals in tackling that problem, they set the right foundation. Personal objectives drive the mode of delivery, differentiating one startup from another. It all boils down to your mindset – are you clear about what you want to achieve for yourself?

Still not clear? Let me share my story. I owned properties in India and was struggling to manage them remotely. After talking with a few friends, I realized many were in a similar boat. Finding reliable service providers was challenging, and if lucky to find someone through reference, the costs were exorbitant. Once, I needed to clear a choked gutter line at my Bangalore house and hired a local vendor for 1500 rupees. To my surprise, he arrived with one worker and no tools. After borrowing some tools nearby, he instructed his worker and vanished till evening. The worker spent the next 4-5 hours clearing the gutter and was paid a mere 300 rupees, the worker kept begging for another 100 with no luck. The vendor pocketed 1200 rupees just for connecting us through his network. If the worker had a way to directly connect with people like me and offer his services at a 50% discount, it would be a win-win for both.

This experience sparked the idea to create a platform to help people like me find reliable services at fair costs and enable skilled individuals to offer their services without intermediaries.

So far, so good. It was a viable business idea, but I failed. Why?

We often hear of billionaires donating millions to charities, making a significant impact. Wanting to make a social impact, I thought this was my opportunity. I started building (yes, you are reading it right, literally started writing code…after all, I am a techie which is a downside if not use it the right way. Let’s save this for another post) a Socio-Economic Platform, not to make money but to help people. I made the biggest mistake by starting a startup with a vision of charity and no clear plan to make money means no viable business plan. There are no funds for charity projects in the startup world, and starting with an empty wallet was a recipe for failure. We tried to change, pivot, and create a business plan, but the core remained built on the charity vision, appreciated by people but not paid for.

What I missed from those frequent charity news headlines; millions are being donated after making billions.

Every startup should have one clear objective – making money while delivering a solution to a problem. Founders deserve to make money while addressing the real pain of the customer. If the customer is unwilling to pay, then it’s not the real pain, and you need to reevaluate. Starting with a money-making vision ensures a clear business plan from day one.

I still believe in social impact and leaving a footprint, but now through the philosophy of “millions from billions.” It’s a hard-learned lesson. So, founders, “no charity with empty wallets”. First, load up your wallet and bank account to achieve your dream of social impact.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *