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The need to focus

In startups by satya

This is turning out to be a habit. After my initial post on the need for startup CEOs to have sounding boards and the one about funding, I find myself writing a third. Recently, I have had the pleasure of interacting with and advising brave souls who have decided to give up their comfortable ‘BigCo’ careers and plunge into entrepreneurship. These conversations have reminded me of the need for startup CEOs to ‘Focus’, yes, with a capital ‘F’! There are three ways in which I see the need for focus being an important part of the daily life of every …

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The color of money

In fundraising by satya

I recently wrote about the need for startup CEOs, especially first-timers, to have a coach or two to help them through the roller-coaster journey. To continue this series, which is aimed at first-time startup CEOs (mostly in early stage companies), here are my retrospective thoughts on fund raising. While first-timers may have done Marketing, Sales, Product Management or Engineering in another company, the fact that they are first-time entrepreneurs means that they probably haven’t raised money before. In many cases, the first touch with potential investors is an ‘Alice in Wonderland‘ experience. I too was a complete innocent(!) when I …

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Sounding board

In advisors by satya

I recently posted about the acquisition of my startup’s product. I have now had a few weeks to decompress and reflect on my journey with NextPrinciples, which was my first foray into entrepreneurship. This reflection has led to many “Aha” moments – one of those has been around how important it was for me, in retrospect, to have had a couple of advisors/coaches at hand who acted as sounding boards. Many wiser people than me have written about the fact that the life of a CEO (especially one leading an early stage startup) is a lonely one – this is …

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On to the next chapter

In experience, startups by satya

After 4 years of an exhilarating ride, the NextPrinciples train came to a halt last month. Our product was acquired by Insightpool and I have decided to move on to the next chapter of my professional life. This was my first entrepreneurial attempt ever and began almost 5 years ago when I decided that, though I was fortunate to have had 15 very interesting years at SAP, I needed to do something different. The only way I could get started was by making a clean exit from my job and figuring out what I wanted to do. So, I left …

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CRM and Marketing Automation: Separated at birth?

In crm, marketing automation, opinion by satya

I have been in the world of CRM since the second half of the 1990s and have seen the evolution from a collection of Sales Force Automation and Call Center related tools to solutions that cover these traditional customer facing channels in an integrated manner. Over the last couple of years, I have dived deeper into the world of Marketing Automation systems. While these systems (such as Marketo, Eloqua, Act-On and a host of others) have done a great job of automating email marketing processes, I am going through my Groundhog Day moment. I see many of the same over-hyped …

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Friday Dessert

In events, personalities, startups by satya

Last night, I had the honor of serving as a panelist discussing Social Media Marketing for Startups and beyond organized by SIPA. I will blog about the discussions we had during the panel in the NextPrinciples blog – this post is to mention my fellow panelists, Adam Helweh and Jason Miller. I had the pleasure of being on a panel during Social Media Week a couple of years ago that was managed by Adam. I had not met Jason before yesterday. Both are extremely creative and experienced professionals and this was reflected in the quality of their inputs during the …

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Interesting days in the world of social media

In crm, general by satya

After an absence of more than 18 months, I make a reappearance on this blog. Just as the last post in June 2012, it’s a post that was published on the NextPrinciples blog today. And no, I am not cross-posting because I am plain lazy. It’s again a topic that is very close to my heart and I feel strongly enough about it to reuse here. So, here goes…. It’s been busy times in the world of social media. Facebook acquired WhatsApp for USD 19B and on the same day Sprinklr acquired Dachis Group, a social consulting firm, to boost …

Is “Audience” a relevant term in the context of Social CRM?

In general by satya

I have not yet cross posted between the NextPrinciples blog and here but I feel strongly enough about this topic to start the cross pollination Over the past few days, I have heard the word “audience” mentioned more than once in the context of Social CRM .. as in “audience marketing”, “audience profiles” etc. This makes me squirm. Maybe it’s just me but this reminds me of the days of “traditional” CRM when it was assumed that the customers are a quiet, compliant lot waiting to hear brand/product messages being hurled at them by the vendors. Isn’t social CRM supposed to …

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Is life the sum of one’s choices ?

In apps, experience, startups by satya

As part of the rollercoaster ride that I am enjoying as an entrepreneur, the latest up and down that I have been going through is trying to decide where to take the Next Principles solution next. We have recently launched our Event Monitoring and Analytics (EMA) software-as-a-service solution which is now available for companies to use. While we are reasonably satisfied with what the first version has to offer (it passed a rigorous test by our first pilot customer with flying colors), we are busy adding a number of tweaks and enhancements to make EMA even better. But the bigger …

“Curiouser and curiouser!”

In experience, investing, startups by satya

Just recently, a good friend told me to not apologize (yet again) for not blogging for so long. So, I won’t. Much as I have been immersed in getting my startup, NextPrinciples, off the ground, there were a couple of articles that caught my eye recently which made me pick up my blogging pen again. Before I point out the articles, I need to provide some context. About a year ago, right after I dived into the deep end of entrepreneurship, I was toying around with the idea of allowing consumers to collect their own purchasing history and use that (in …