Travis, who recently participated in an event on ‘How to Build a Business like an Engineer’, hosted by Entrepreneur Cell IIT Bombay, in Mumbai said: “Engineers are the best entrepreneurs.
Travis Kalanick, who was in India to attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Startup India campaign spoke at a fireside chat with serial entrepreneur and investor Ronnie Screwvala at IIT Bombay. Some of the tips and tricks that he shared are as follows:
Entrepreneur behaviour: Travis said the journey of a businessman starts with the curiousness of looking around the world and finding problems. "The part of the game (of building a startup) is that the problem needs to be solved. This pushes the entrepreneurs. After that when the entrepreneur identifies the solution the business starts with: “I have a good Idea”. The ‘fierceness’ of that entrepreneur pushes him to take the risk and “go beyond the good idea” and implement it in reality. He further said that “lots of people have good ideas. Uber is a good idea. I don’t know if we were the first people to think about this idea, but we were the first ones to do it. So you gotta just get out there and do it. You have to have enough guts to go out there and try.”
Co-founders: “If you find it challenging that's the time when you need a co-founder,” he said. The work of a founder in the initial stage is huge and very stressful. “It is very lonely so better to have 2-3 co-founders to share the work pressure but if you can handle single-handedly then it is great”. “When I started my venture I had six co-founders and it was difficult to get the single decision and thus company failed,” he said.
Travis also added “If you can’t communicate, then you should probably get a co-founder who can communicate. “We have this thing at Uber which is called hustle. When I came to India and asked my team what do you call this here, they said it is called jugaad. So now we have the Uber India motto which is always be jugaading. Even if you are an introvert, if you don’t have hustle in you, you better find a co-founder who does. If you don’t have enough hustle to find a co-founder who’s got a hustle, then it’s going to be tough. You gotta have some jugaad and make shit happen.”
Survival Plan: Survival of the business depends on different plans, strategic approaches. Travis said: “You have to be curious. If you want to do it, then you’ve got to push till it hurts. If it doesn’t hurt then, someone else is going to do it. Once you find something that is hard but it also makes somebody go ‘wow!’, that’s awesome.” He further gave tips on how to survive in business: “Think your business is a game of chess where you plan six moves further from the move where you are at present”.
Overcome Failure: Travis shared that the thing that fails and boost startup business is the “champion mindset”. He said: “When you are in the field put everything that you have on the field every ounce of energy, every ounce of passion that you have. And when you get knocked down — because inevitably you will — get back up. And if you put everything in and keep getting back up, it’s very hard to fail.” He also said it is crucial to identify your failure “when business is creating physical and mental damage to yourself that's where one should move on”.
Handle Investors: Investors are the one who are putting money in your business. Therefore the investors will show more concern in the business. Every investor usually has the tendency to implant their plans in one’s business. Travis said that “do not wait for your investors to tell you everything about entrepreneurship. You (founders) know your moves well; they have no idea how you are playing the game. Just be a good listener to them (investors).” He further added that “do not reply to investor emails when the going is not easy. “Sit on the mail for a few days till the investor forgets about the question,” said Travis, who has failed in his initial venture and almost got sued.