By Akash Nigam, Founder, Blend Systems, Inc
KLD (Kick, Lead and Dream) was a jump start of the entrepreneurship, soccer being one of my passions. It was a little different almost kind of a non-profit, voluntarily run organization. To get a tangible value in a real consumer facing world, I started Blend Systems. As I see at Blend which is more consumer oriented, there a number of trends that we see in this industry right now, there are different kinds of communication out in the market, messaging obviously is having a massive implication. I think we are shaping our industry by having a lot of different companies with innovative messaging. Messaging has definitely influenced how companies change their format and try getting some kind of social interaction whether they are enterprise or consumer based firms. Other trends in forms of communication are of live streaming. I think media has a lot of influence to what people are receptive to but we can see that people are trying to explore path for fast video causing for the action of live streaming. The form of communication has certainly evolved as we look back over the years.
Massage for budding entrepreneurs
Ideas are commodities, and if you have an idea, what's going to make it valuable is going ahead and building it. I would say just learn how to code or be just a technical background. For budding entrepreneurs, the environment is advantageous because they understand the trend better than anybody else.
It is very important to have a supporting cast who understand this industry and then go out with expectation and work just having fun to build something good and if it doesn't work then find and move on to something next. Just because you know you are intelligent and young enough to make something work.
The Rewarding thing
Coming from a pedigree of entrepreneurs, you develop that crux and passion not to get in anywhere outside in the world of entrepreneurship. A cook feels rewarded when he cooks a dish and somebody eats that with love, it is something similar with entrepreneurs. The biggest fuel to them is when they build something and give it to the consumer and he says I love it. I understood the fun of building something, which people like and it's your product. So we started initially in high school with Kick, Lead and Dream just like a weed in the water but we have taken a plunge in Blend and we have massive amount of people from the audience, the essential users loving our applications.
'Mistakes are Okay'
You are never going to get perfect for the first time, so you have to continue learning. Don't be blindly optimistic, you should have a sense for reality as well, learn from others as much as possible. So that means, you can learn from anybody else in the company, extract the strength and work on the weaknesses with people in the office. My role is to recognize every body's potential and make sure that they are heading in their potential, 'mistakes are okay'. We encourage mistakes as much as possible but mistakes should be cheap, they shouldn't be expensive, and of course they should not be repeated.
Successful Entrepreneurial journey
Reaching from idea phase to the fund phase was really a big thing. We believe in the core concept and to go for something that is very basic out there to users, using few test cases and see how people react and learn from there and then start to prepare. To get a great team we had to choose from normal guys to great connections and we wanted a prominent VC with great partners. Once you start getting mass attraction you need to reach out investors in the contacts and leverage your VC as much as possible and get the value. After that you can go to the raising process and you will never want the fund raisers to distract the company. So I think we invested huge time in managing that money and managing people's expectation. All you need to do is to build the culture within the company and you don't need to do something lavish. From a product standpoint, do not go gentle, as they say, you need to play and rage aggressively against a competition that never dies.