#StartupsClub #DemoDay2014

Last year around July: Startups Club was about 4 months into its journey and had reached two cities.

We thought that we needed to do a big event. Well what would be the purpose of such an event? Most startups fumble around to get proper validation, whether from prospective clients, from people with sufficient industry experience or investors. We thought we would address that through this event. Most other events look at companies that are already getting some traction we wished to be open to companies that we at early stages or even idea stages.

The event unfolded and at the end of the event; one of the well-known Angel whom we had invited to be a part of the guest panel said – “This event is like a breath of fresh air in the Startup Eco-system.”

One incubators or the other present at the event invited most of the companies that made a presentation at the Demo Day. In order to make this happen, we spent several hours mentoring each of the company that was going to be presenting at the Demo Day. We connected them to potential clients. We rehearsed presentations with them. And to date, we are in touch with all of the companies to track their progress and to help them in any way possible. From the perspective of the participant companies, it was like a mini-acceleration camp.

This year we wanted it to be still different. So, we will continue to do the things that have made us stand out; the things that encourage startups to want to be a part of our event. We have also decided to do something that will help them get some seed capital. As a part of this, we started a campaign called ‘Fund A Startup’ We are looking to raise money from our members, acquaintances, as well as people from the startup eco-system; the funds raised will be given to the one Startup the guest panel thinks really deserves the funds.

As has been the case from the beginning, Startups Club itself was a huge experiment and this is another in a long list of experiments that we are performing in order to see how we can contribute better to the startup eco-system.

The successes of the past are now a memory and with renewed vigour we set out to conquer new peaks and reach new milestones in our journey as Startups Club.


An Important lesson on managing Teams

I was wondering why it is, that we tend to have better meetings at Startups Club when the group tends to be smaller than when we have larger groups. I found the answer in a book called ‘The art of thinking clearly’.

In 1913 Maximilian Ringelmann, a French engineer, conducted an experiment on horses! After his experiment he concluded that the power of two animals pulling a coach did not equal twice the power of a single horse.

Obviously, he was mind-blown and he decided to test if the same applied in the case of humans. He had several men pull a rope and measured the force applied by each individual. He found that on average, if two men pulled together, each invested just 93% of their individual strength, when three pulled together, it was 85%, and with eight men, it was down to 49%.

This is explained using a phenomenon called Social loafing. When the effort of an individual is not as clearly evident, individuals do not tend to give a 100%.

Social loafing occurs in mental activities also! For example, in meetings, the larger the team the weaker their individual participation. Have you seen meetings where the speaker is goading people on, to be interactive, but barring a few, all the rest of them seem to be dead!

Once a certain number of participants are involved, their performance plateaus. Whether the group consists of 20 or 100 people is not important – maximum inertia has been achieved.

From the perspective of a startup this is a fact that just cannot be ignored, because it is imperative to achieve peak performance from all of the individuals who are a part of the team. This phenomenon makes it abundantly clear what an entrepreneur should be doing with his team; make them individually accountable!

Now do you understand why extremely large companies find it really hard to come up with path-breaking innovation?