By Sramana Mitra and guest author Siddharth Garg
Marc Ferrentino: Yes, thank you. I have one question for you; I wanted to ask this question. I like your Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing series, but I actually like your insight and your strategic blog posts much better. The reason I like them is that while I love hearing from peers in the industry, the insights in your [other posts can take a broader] purview.
Sramana Mitra: Part of developing and part of providing strategic insight is collecting what is going on, right? Just keeping your eyes and ears open. So, yes, I often synthesize with the insights, but it is also kind of … the conversations help me to develop those insights also. I think the blog we are doing is an unusual blog. Nobody does this kind of work; journalism is very news oriented, and we are really going in depth into what is happening in the industry and really trying to pick up the trends. As a result we are finding trends and finding synthesis points that are interesting.
A lot of what we are doing is in the One Million by One Million premium program where we have created a curriculum to help entrepreneurs learn very quickly the ropes of building a startup. We have a core curriculum, and then we have an elective portion that addresses all the trends in the industry. This is where I synthesize a lot of discussions like the one we are having and provide the entrepreneurs with frameworks based on what strategies to look for. And like the ones you were referring to earlier on, there was the 3.0 framework and so forth. As we go along we collect [information] on the state of the union, so to speak, and then figure out where it is going.
MF: Are there frameworks you use to formalize the information when you synthesize these concepts? Is that what you are saying?
MF: We have a small bunch of guys who do forum work, economic forum guys, and the way we talk about these frameworks for sharing and coming up with ideas, I always find it interesting because I am not really familiar with the strategy. It seems like a very McKinsey way of doing things, framework ideation. Is that kind of what you are talking about?
SM: No, what I have is a framework for early stage technology, technology-enabled services, and Internet entrepreneurship, and that is what we are using in the One Million by One Million program. It is a methodology of capital-efficient, entrepreneurship where there is a sequence to the things you do. A lot of what I call infant entrepreneur mortality happens because people do things out of sequence, and people do things they shouldn’t be doing in the early stages, and they run out of money.
There are two classes of framework and methodology we are using. One is the entire methodology of entrepreneurship, and that includes our core modules like bootstrapping, position, financing, customer validation, customer acquisition, team building, and all those pieces that constitute what all entrepreneurs have to deal with. Then we have elective modules. One of the electives is Web 3.0 in e-commerce, a second elective is cloud computing and business solutions, then we have healthcare IT as an elective, we have social and mobile apps as an elective, and outsourcing as an elective. So, we have a host of elective modules that synthesize a particular space and the trends in it, and we offer pointers on where people should be looking and what are the best practices within those fields and in relation to those trends.
MF: Wow! So, you do a lot of advisory work for a lot of startups? Not just those in your One Million by One Million program?
SM: At this point I am doing only One Million by One Million because it is a very ambitious undertaking.
MF: Yes! Very ambitious!