Note: I no longer work with IonLab since Nov 12 of 2009.
Yesterday morning, I dropped in on the
OpenCoffeeClub Bangalore, 2nd
edition. It’s supposed to be
a place where people interested in entrepreneurship show up, have
coffee together and discuss.
The theme of the meet was marketing. There were some interesting
discussions, and the one that interested me was when Pratik (and
friend) from Muziboo explained some of their
experiences followed by the subsequent discussions and free advice and
suggestions thrown in. One good advice was to actively market Muziboo
to the teachers and students of the various music schools, “there are
around 10 of them in just the Koramangala area”, and so on.
I was pleasantly surprised to see people have actually heard about
ion and I was asked to tell the story of how
we chose our poster
people found it amusing and relevant (“market research”) at the same
time. I gave some inputs that offline marketing, but targeted offline
marketing really does help.
Although I didn’t mention it at the meet, we did stand outside the
Aerosmith concert and marketed ion to people. That was such a humbling
experience. Sales is hard.
Coming back to OpenCoffeeClub, the mix of people was not surprising –
mostly “software engineers” who are ashamed of the term. The
interesting people were a lawyer, a chartered accountant, a director
of the entrepreneurship wing of an IT college, a non-IT businessman,
The lawyer made an interesting point that she couldn’t get one of her
contacts to come visit OpenCoffeeClub because 2 hours every 2 weeks
sounded like too much time for him. That’s interesting because if
someone was really passionate about their startup/business/passion,
they would be out there working hard at it, instead of talking about
it. Not to take away anything from the meet, but people need to be out
there “doing their thing”.
I guess where the meet plays a role is it gives a support network to
those people who are about to start off on their venture and need the
confidence and advice in interactions with others, and the feeling
that other people are into it too. Maybe that explains why there were
more wannabes than been-there-done-that kind of people. However, the
intensity of people that they wanted to do something was quite
palpable. It reminded me of the title of Gusteau’s cookbook in
: “Anyone can cook”. If you need to be in such an atmosphere, you
should think of attending the next meet (it happens on alternate
It also reminded me of a chance meeting I had with the founder and CEO
of Pepper Square at the Flex Users’
Group meet last Friday. It was refreshing to meet someone whose
mission was to make people understand the value of “design”. Even
though he’s 42 years old (although he appeared half that age), he
still has the “we’ll change the world” attitude in him. Inspiring