November 19, 2011
Pissed off at unpluggd
So recently been to this event startup event on startups called unpluggd. There was an element of anxiety since my startup made in the final 10 startups who would be presenting in front of Angles and VC firms.
When short-listed as a finalist I don’t expect the organisers holding a bouquet for me at the entrance, but at least I expect them to turn up before hand at the venue and provide some briefing as to how they have planned the sessions, dos and donts, etc. Well the organiser were themselves late. My queries might be stupid or obvious, but someone from the organisers need to address those.
Well things get delayed in India, that’s the way we Indians are. That’s the way our bureaucracy is, our politicians are and so is the traffic ! It is so easy to blame the whole system for that and we won’t change the way we are. Still no issues. What really pissed me off was so called Mr Ashish, one of the organisers/volunteers of the event turning cold shoulders when I introduce myself. OK I am not expecting organisers to give me red carpet treatment, but ‘Hi Chaitannya Nice to see you.. XYZ would brief you about presentation.’ would have been sufficient. Instead you just turn around ! WOW ! I had been to Nasscom Conclave and there some of these volunteers who owned more than million $$ businesses were so courteous. There was a warmth in their behavior. I was there just attending the event, not even as a speaker and in terms of revenue nobody. That didn’t matter to them, they valued all their attendees as they much as they valued their speakers.
Next shockers was folks presenting their product had to pay as well. “We had emailed you” Stop lying ! I didn’t get any such email. I don’t mind paying, but prior notification is very essential. Just a week back I paid 1500 bucks for Nasscom conclave and there were a 1000+ startups who happily did that. Even after paying 700 bucks, you had to write your own name in their database, on your Name tag, collect your notepad , pen , etc. Good enough, but at least look into the eyes of the person and with a smile say ‘Hi, welcome … something.. something’. Very similar to movies where you see a prisoner who has to collect his stuff and move on. Reception guys at Nasscom welcomed warmly 1000+ people to the venue. Can’t you say ‘Hi’ to 100 odd people here.
As usual the session got delayed. Next shockers was no diversity in the presentations.
Facebook + linkedin + deals + geo locations + hiring + education + SaaS → you make a bhel and VOILA ! That’s your next billion $$$ startup. I have nothing personal with these startups, you folks chase your dreams, build great organisations. The organisers should have taken care to have startups from diverse background. I know companies in Pune, doing excellent products in Medical electronics field, DSP, embedded systems, critical electromechanical domains. Aren’t these startups ? Don’t they deserve platform to pitch their products and companies ? They are not on facebook and linkedin, you have to reach out to them through phone. If you are interested only in Social Media, why not make your agenda very clear. Why not shortlist only those startups for the event. What was a guy like me from Embedded Systems doing there ? When I presented , all I saw was blank faces. My presentation made no sense to people from non-embedded systems background. I didn’t get any traction from the event. When we organise ‘Startup Saturday’ here at Pune, Sandeep Saxena from Acton Biotech would spend hours and hours making sure we have speakers from diverse segments of the industry and motivate us to do the same. At Nasscom, the volunteers spent around a month with speakers of the likes of Vinod Khosla, Naveen Jain, Vivek Paul reviewing their presentations, making sure that there is no conflict in terms of content., timing their presentation, pushing for creativity,etc. They put in every bit of effort to make sure, they had speakers from diverse segments and their talk delivered 100% value to the audience .
Before my presentation I had a few queries, but some Mr. Pratyaush was busy discussing best places to booze around and made me wait for ten mins.
The intention here is not to compare this event Nasscom Conclave or Startup Saturday (Far better than your event), all I would request you is to be courteous and attentive to people who turn up for the event. It helps a lot even if you smile and say Hello when they greet you.