Who is the Hangover Survivor ?

This is a reproduction of the post published in LinkedIN Pulse by Ashwin Srivastava, original post can be seen here. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/who-survive-hangover-ashwin-srivastava

All of us know a wise man who once said- “Work Hard, Party Harder”. The startup ecosystem exists within the framework of the same mantra. There is a time when every startup seems to be working very hard with no clear success in line of sight; and then comes a time when things look rosy with investments pouring in for some startups giving a sense of party time for all. And after every party, there is a hangover. Those who survive the Hangover and get back to working hard again, to prepare for another party, are the ones who succeed.

An entrepreneur recently asked me in a mentors’ event, regarding the kind of startup we love to invest in, with regards to the current ecosystem in India. Having just closed few deals with some brilliant companies, while being in the process of closing some more interesting rounds in potential unicorn startups, I thought for a moment and answered; we invest in the ones who can survive the hangover and get back to work in no time, because these are the ones who have built a strong base and have the strength to face any weather and any intoxication.

Let me elaborate by giving point wise description of the hangover survivor.

1. Creates value, every single time. 

You are never worried about failure if you know that you have created value in everything what you have done. The value can be in form of consumer trust or a unique product or even an irreplaceable service. But if you know that your startup has taken steps towards creating real value with every single penny spent on it, and not just on creating the ‘perception of value’, you know you have a cushion to fall back on.

Remember that intelligent friend of yours who filled his water bottles with lemon juice before going to sleep after a party night. He always survived hangover. 

2. Values money, understands its importance.

Banks and Bars- both are the worst places to spend your money on. The startup which is too miser to keep all its funding money in a bank, will not grow fast enough and fail; while the startup which is too pompous to spend money in unnecessary expansion, will stumble while running and fail. So, the startup which has maintained a culture of giving appropriate value to money, will never feel the hangover for a long time.

Remember that calculative friend of yours who always had the right amount of alcohol while partying in a Dutch treat, and even maintained a calculator while paying, but was never a party spoiler. He always survived hangover. 

3. Lives in reality, always

Startups need to understand what the market is trying to say to them. Market talks and that’s the only reality which exists in the startup world; not the made up reality about your unsubstantiated dreams of how the market will be in future. If a startup has the culture of understanding reality and enjoying it, it will be strong enough for any times.

Remember that smart friend of yours who never lost control of his actions during a party. He enjoyed but always knew where he was and who were around him. He even faked being too drunk, but never called his ex and cried. He always survived hangover. 

 And, that smart, calculative and intelligent friend, will always survive!