The intellectual curiosity and learnability from direct interaction boost the performance of team members as well as our organisation. So, to focus on building learning-oriented team culture we have been running our AMA (Ask Me Anything) series, where our team members interact with academic and industry leaders to gain new perspectives on various matters.
Bringing in our next guest – Amit Ranjan who interacted with our team members and talked about his past experiences, career choices, and lessons that lead him to paths of success.
About Amit Ranjan
Amit co-founded Slideshare, which got acquired by LinkedIn in 2012. He is currently the Architect for Digital Locker & OpenForge Projects of National eGov Division, Ministry of IT. From unleashing his potential skills to discovering new opportunities for enhancing user experience, Amit is quite passionate about all things related to startups. He speaks at tech conferences, volunteers to mentor startups at industry bodies, and is involved as an angel investor & advisor.
Key Takeaways from AMA Session with Amit
In-The-Moment Decision Making
Looking back 30 years down the line, the thing that surprises me the most is – how I weared away so much from the path of learning. Besides this, the fact that when I did things which were kind of lesser on the planning curve but in the spur of the moment decision resulted in better impact rather than things that I planned for long term. Being flexible and agile always surprises me with the best outcomes.
Amit believes, “Being in the moment and taking decisions at that moment is so important and not just planning in the long term”.
Inspiration Is Around You!
The formation of Slideshare was generally inspired by Youtube videos. Slideshare focused on delivering presentations in multiple formats and content document types (mashups – audio, podcast, short professional videos) for several years. By late 2009, various companies started using the platform due to its multi-format feature.
You usually don’t know from where the inspiration for your startup or the next big thing in your startup can come from or who can become your customer. So, the key is – being aware all the time. The idea is to be aware, learn from the surroundings, and be adaptable.
Infuse Virality Into Product
Building a product in a way that incentivizes its own distribution in the market is one of the most essential strategies. This can be achieved by building viral features in a product so that the content spreads from one user to another without any extra effort. The basic thing to emphasize is – product design. Rather than huge separate marketing, infuse virality into the product, have targeted objectives, and make plans for the distribution of the product.
Behavioural Change Is the Key
Getting rid of physical documents and bringing change on a country scale is a time taking process. Additionally, change in users’ behaviour towards technology adoption is also a lengthy procedure. However, for a successful digital transformation, you should always keep adopting the latest technology and tools. The end result is might take time but is worth the time.
Experiential vs Transactional Startups
Well, the question is what is the difference between the two?
I believe in Experiential Startups, a lot of things don’t have a parallel existence in the offline world. While a Transactional Startup is offline to the online avatar. India has more momentum on the transactional side but what we need is more core products/technology-focused startups. This will sustainably address the user requirements in long term.
Avoid an Excessive Focus On Funding
One thing I believe companies should always keep in mind is – not to focus too much on funding. Funding is an essential part of the organizations’ growth and product development. However, you shouldn’t be too much focused on it. The reason is – a founder’s focus gets automatically reflected in the team’s focus, the kind of company one will end up building. And you will never want a capital-focused company.
Focus on the products, features, and services you deliver.
Keep Planning Horizon Short
Having a rigid plan for your company’s future is not an ideal way of looking at things. We don’t know what is around the corner and how will things turn out in the coming time. So, make short-time plans that are flexible and resilient and can be changed as per the advancing scenarios or user requirements.
The AMA session with Amit Ranjan displayed an accurate and deep understanding of looking at things like building a company, team culture, having a startup, and future goals. The discussion was full of lessons and insights. Thank You, Amit for a wonderful conversation, we look forward to having you again!
Keep watching this space for more AMA episodes of CollPoll!