NPC 12 – learnings

I was at Nasscom Product Conclave fourth time this year. I have seen a few matured Indian start-ups in innovation space, but it is nice to meet a crowd with focus and passion. I was expecting Ram Shriram to address(a disappointment, could have gone little late). I had planned to attend sessions of Rajesh Setty and Bob Wright and Dorai Thodia’s un-conference sessions. Other interested session was Survey about technology adoption trends among SMEs.

In my early career,I have read Rajesh book Beyond Code and also has opportunity to meet him across lunch. His message was “Try to stand out of the crowd. Being different is premium and gives visibility”. He took some example of overcrowded and saturated market of cars to drive his point that start-ups need to find ways to differentiate and thrive and survive and more important with profits. For me it was like if one can differentiate in the crowded and matured car market, I cannot complain that technology market is crowded and saturated and need to take challenge to differentiate. He ended his session with the quote “Be ready to eat dirty frog first”.
Bookmarking link to his presentation 25 ways to Distinguish Yourself

In the previous NPC sessions, I had the opportunity to listen to Bob Wright and wanted to make sure that I attend his session. He stressed on the point that you should position customer centric and around his problem and what you are trying to solve and not product centric. I liked his idea to identify the actual customer, Mary and position to Mary, rather than Enterprises or SMBs. He asked us to spend time to identify that right person,Mary to whom you like to sell and write down his characteristics. Do not start explaining about your product to Mary, but communicate why your company, how are you different and how will be life be better with your product. Warned not to perform geek-speak and address what problem you are solving for him. i have trying the exercise he gave to identify whether i have laser focus – “try stating the problem you own in less than 140 characters”.

Bookmarking link to his presentation Differentiate or Die, Secrets of Silicon Valley. The presentation also contains his recommended 7 slides to create a powerful story presentation and there was no slide on technology.

Kishore Mandyam presented a preview of Nasscom SMB Survey. I have gone to this session with a lot of expectation and was able to connect the presentation with my own observations as part of MobiSir. Some learning were

  • SME need in-person training sessions on how to use software would help in software adoption
  • spend 3-4 % of their average revenue on business software
  • 60% of SMEs are willing to adopt cloud solutions
  • SME believe that business software usage would make the company more efficient
  • SME come to know a product through the newspaper editorials and communicate in the local language plus English
  • Friends.Family influence the decisions to adopt software

It was interesting to hear at the end from Sharad of the Software Product ecosystem to pull India out of poverty soon. I did not see one session that successfully dealt with working and selling to rest of the pyramid(bottom of the pyramid). Inmobi Founder talked about advertising and building his ad revenues from different countries and I was left with a question of what he was solving for India. He consoled how he supports founders with failures and was happy that he was helping to build a culture to accept failures.

I attended the session “should you sell to school/college or directly to student?”. Being parent,I hate force selection of education program to school students by education companies, giving them no option. I consider this similar to my era where parents used to push children to choose doctor or engineer stream( i am neither). I liked Harpreet focus on the student as end customer.

Thinking of volunteering next year for NPC 13. Be in the court, rather than sit on the stands