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The $100 Startup


wealthymattersBusiness interests me and big business,should I be the founder or promoter, I suspect would interest me more.However I understand the need to start as a solopreneur or to start a micro-business, if for no other reason  than that my risk capital might be small or that I might not be sure enough of my skills to pull the venture off or that I might wish to test a business model or its component systems or that I need to limit the risks of launching an untried product or service.This sort of inclination naturally draws me to bootstrapping.I guess at heart I am a Dhandho Investor (https://wealthymatters.com/2011/03/06/the-dhandho-investor/).I find venture fund driven start-ups wasteful of capital and think they unnecessarily increase the chances of a business failing by  trying to do to much too soon, before systems and products are fully tested.My personal take is that venture funds are the product of a society with not many good investment opportunities and  a lot of excess financial capital hoping to turn some returns any which way.

While I am no fan of venture fund backed startups ,I like the fact that such  startups are scalable.I dislike businesses which are self-employment ventures.These businesses call for more exhausting work hours than many corporate jobs and offer none of the benefits like a predictable income or freedom from worrying about overheads.I’m also not much of a fan of selling good businesses.An IPO to unlock the value of one’s company is one thing, but if f I have been lucky enough to build a business that has taken off,I have done all the hard work ,so why sell now,especially when I can do less work and enjoy the profits?Personally I’d like to build businesses that can be handed down ,carefully tended and enjoyed by generations of my family.

Initially I was planning on passing by’The $100 Startup’.It looked like a book for the unemployed or unhappily employed to find self-employment.However all the decibal promotion got me to take a second look.This id hardly my favourite book but I can safely say that reading it was not a total loss.

The author,Chris Guillebeau’s position is that you don’t need an MBA, a business plan, or even employees to start a business—all you need is a product or service that springs from what you love to do, people willing to pay for it, and a way to get paid. While researching the book, the author studied 1,500 people who had built businesses with a modest investment (in many cases, $100 or less). Fifty of the most intriguing cases are presented in ‘The $100 Startup’, including the exact amounts of each person’s initial investment, what they did in the first weeks and months to generate cash, some of the key mistakes they made along the way, and the crucial insights that made the business stick.

Here are some useful takeaways I got from the book:-

 1. passion + skill + usefulness = success

2. Where to find opportunities?

-marketplace inefficiency

-new technology or opportunity

-changing space

-spin-off or side projects

3.Some businesses are easier to start.You don’t have to be an expert before you start!

-consulting

-information products

instant-consulting

own-publisher

4.Prefer action over planning Don’t wait for perfection. Start and learn along the way

– 1-page business plan

business-plan

5.Make your first sale ASAP. It is a great confidence builder.

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About Keerthika Singaravel
Engineer,Investor,Businessperson

4 Responses to The $100 Startup

  1. Alex Jones says:

    It is fun starting small and building the business up.

    • For me it is always the assurance of being able to survive the worst case scenario.Better a small mistake than a humongous one.My pleasure really comes only when the business is a couple of years old and stable.The early years of hustling and firefighting are better than busting my butt at a job but no less stressful.

  2. Nicole says:

    I may have to check this out. I think the idea is the hardest part of a business plan. I’d actually like to try my hand at being an entrepreneur but this is what stops me is settling on an idea that I’d be passionate about. Great post.

    • One other way to figure out what you really care about is see what you do to relax or when you have free time.We are drawn to our interests and we rarely spend time voluntarily with things we dislike.

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