Book Title: ‘FOUND: Transforming Your Unlimited Ideas into One Sustainable Business’
Authors (Photo): Naveen Lakkur (Corporate Innovation Coach) and Dr Liz Alexander (Consulting Co-author and global thought leadership strategist)
The book was launched yesterday at Bangalore, India. Since it a book that is aimed at entrepreneurs, a group that I work with closely, I wanted to know more. Though I could not be there in person for the event, I caught up with Naveen for a quick e-chat. An edited version is presented below. I hope this will give you an overview of the book and incite interest to read it. My best wishes to the authors for all success of their book.
Here is the interview:
What gave you the idea to write FOUND: Transforming Your Unlimited Ideas into One Sustainable Business?
The enthusiasm for entrepreneurship is on a rise and, of course, such excitement is an important part of this journey since it takes a huge commitment in time, money and effort to bring an idea to its full reality. We also need more entrepreneurs to build meaningful companies which, in turn, helps to support and sustain the economy. But if you look at the number of startups that survive, the figure is very low. What is needed to successfully build a sustainable business is a sound process and methodology for deciding which of your many ideas you will pick and act on. Our book, FOUND, is all about helping aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs – as well as those charged with intrapreneurial initiatives within the corporate world – find that one winning idea.
What is your view on entrepreneurship in India currently?
Traditionally in India, entrepreneurship at the grass roots level has been more about family-owned businesses that operate locally. Thanks to technology, the term has been redefined and taken to a new level. One in which entrepreneurs are able to build more scalable, even global solutions. As such, technology has been a catalyst, increasing the number of people interested in entrepreneurship and who wish to create a bigger impact for a larger base of people. That’s especially true in India where there is considerable interest, not just in creating products and apps, but in providing fresh solutions to some of our most pressing social problems. With the opportunity to help change our country and the world, we’ve seen many more first time entrepreneurs stepping forward. The startup dynamic now looks very different to the way it did just a few years ago.
How might the five-part framework in FOUND contribute to the recently-launched Startup India movement?
Now that Startup India has become a movement, tapping into the aspirations and personal goals of people who want to make a difference in the world, there is the potential for very large number of new entrepreneurs. While something like 4,500 startups were registered last year, we can see that in the coming 5-10 years, that number could be boosted to 100,000 startups—a huge increase compared to what is happening currently. But as we said earlier, the success rates of startups is currently very low. If the number of people attempting to become entrepreneurs grows exponentially, there has to be some support system in order for all those ideas to become sustainable businesses. FOUND is our humble offering that contributes to Startup India by ensuring future entrepreneurs are able to stand up and stand out.
Naveen, you bring considerable experience from corporate life, as well as being a startup founder, startup investor and now a corporate innovation coach. What have you learned most from that blend of experience?
As you say, my experience has come through a variety of different approaches to ideation and startup success and I’ve had a lot of learning along the way. As a result of joining all these dots I was able to develop this proven FOUND methodology and offer it to people who want to come up with a lot of ideas yet find one that can become scalable, even globally impactful. Because I’ve had experience both in the startup space and the corporate world, the intellectual property that came out of that learning has been transformed into the FOUND framework. And the beauty is, it works as an enabler for people aspiring to become entrepreneurs, and for corporates looking to support intrapreneurship in their organisations.
What were some of the challenges you faced in your own entrepreneurial journey?
I’ve always been someone who has found it easy to generate a lot of ideas and can see opportunities in them all. I found that picking one idea and making that a priority was one of my biggest challenges, because it’s very tempting to want to try to take them all to the next level! Which is why I find it easy to empathize with entrepreneurs who face the same hard decisions and why I wanted to write this book!
Also, when I went through my own entrepreneurial journey there was very little in the way of support. There wasn’t the same ecosystem that there is these days. So I had no option other than bootstrapping, which can be a double-edged sword when you are trying to test and validate a lot of ideas to begin with. I certainly made a lot of mistakes and learned the hard way. It’s this learning that we’re sharing with the readers of FOUND so they can build a sustainable, successful business without having to experience too many missteps.
What are your hopes for your book, FOUND?
Both Dr. Liz and I hope that the framework for ideation presented in our book will help launch many sustainable businesses and prove especially helpful for those entrepreneurs who plan to bootstrap and use their resources wisely. What would delight us most is to discover that one day the founders of several unicorn companies – those with billion dollar valuations or more – say that they read this book called FOUND and that its principles and framework helped them create global value-creating brands.
I hope you found the short e-interview interesting. For those who want to find ‘Found’ I am sharing a quick clue: http://www.amazon.in/FOUND-Transforming-Unlimited-Sustainable-Business-ebook/dp/B01AT6XXMQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453566290&sr=1-1&keywords=FOUND%3A+Transforming+Your+Unlimited+Ideas+into+One+Sustainable+Business