He was leaving the next day and I hadn’t visited him yet. The night before his flight back to San Franscisco, I joined him at his aunt’s house for dinner. My family and his family were there. Sitting around the dinner table. His mother wanted him married, he joked about the wrong age. You know how extended family dinners go. I asked him what he was doing back in the land of Silicon Valley. The answer hardly was surprising.
“I am working in this startup,” he said, “making apps for mobile.”
“Oh, I see,” I said, “so what is your role there?”
A slight pause. I noticed it because I was looking for it. Then he said, “I am in Marketing”.
“Ahaan,” I said, “and what do you market there?”
He pulled out his iPhone, showed me the game his startup has developed.
“We are right now working with This&That publisher, and we are publishing their books as apps,” he said and handed me the phone to check it out.
“So this is a good channel for you to keep the revenue streams solid, right?” I asked.
“Yes, yes. This keeps us afloat while we work out our new product.”
“You mean your MVP?”
He raised an eyebrow, “yes, our MVP is ready.”
“Where exactly are you in the startup phase?” I asked between mouthfuls.
“Near the end,” he said, “the business model is ready for scale.”
“Are you guys funded yet?”
“Yes. First round. Angel basically.”
“Nice. So tell me,” I lowered my voice so prying ears won’t hear this, “you really aren’t in Marketing, what do you do in the startup?”
He smiled, “customer interviews mostly”.
Do you want to start a new business?
There is a new language out there. The startup language. There was a time when starting a business and running an existing business were considered the same thing. Essentially, a one-man briefcase company was considered a smaller version of a big corporate. Continue reading