Category Archives: Innovation

Rocket Execution

“It is not the idea, but the execution that matters”

For a long long time, the above principle has been the key to huge success, but for innovative entrepreneurs the above principle is seeing a generational shift.

I am reading a book called ‘The Dhandho Investor‘, written by Mohnish Pabrai – an iconic figure in the investment world, and the Chapter 14 in his book is titled, “Invest in Copycats rather than the innovators“. Simply because copycats are likely to show multiple degrees stronger financial returns to the investors than the innovators.

Despite active participation of people globally in consuming technology innovation at a higher rate than the previous year, stock markets continue to behave absolutely opposite. Such a contrast it is!

Having seen two pioneering software product startup cycles, and having witnessed both web and mobile evolutions very closely over last decade, I have come to believe that it is not the execution that wins the innovators anymore.

It is the “Rocket Execution” that keeps the innovator alive in today’s times.

Rocket Execution

Rocket Execution

I often state the term “Rocket Execution” in my conversations, however, people end up misunderstanding/ misinterpreting the term every single time. In a quick succession since yesterday, I read news about two young companies, which I truly admire.

Yesterday, I read about the next round of funding news of InMobi. InMobi team started early 2007 and pivoted towards current idea after a failed attempt. Let’s look at their statistics

165 countries (presence),
1000+ employees
$400 million revenue
750 million monthly active users
2.6 billion app downloads
126 billion monthly ad impressions (which is roughly 170 million impressions per second).

The company was valued at $1b in 2011 (within 4 years of existence). It is aiming to double the valuation in 2014 (within 3 years). Hopefully the next billion would be added in 2016 (within next 2 years). This is a classic example of ‘Rocket Execution’ because if you do not grow at that rate, technology innovation elsewhere will outpace you.

Today, I read about the $19 million funding news of A company that started around June 2012. Let’s look at their statistics

25 cities covered in India
12 co-founders (Whoa!)
900+ Employees
2000 houses listed per day
50,000 houses mapped in Bangalore
80,000 houses mapped in Mumbai

If you notice the quality of listings on their website, you will understand the value of listing 2000 houses per day. At this rate, the company will list 700K houses annually, which is not at all a bad number. But just 2 years in operation, the company is aiming to list 10,000 houses per day, 5 times the rate at which it lists today i.e. 3.5 million listings annually. This is another fantastic example of rocket execution. Scale before another technology innovation trumps your innovation.

If that was not enough, an interesting tweet from Navalkant validates the emergence of Rocket Execution little scientifically. It states

1999 – $5M to launch a product, 30M serious computer users.
2014 – $5K to launch a product, 3B serious phone users.
Leverage per $ is up 100,000x

So don’t get excited if you got a million users within a year, until the next million happened in 6 months and the next million in 3 months and so on. Rocket execution is the only way to leverage the never-existed-before power of the connected world.

Disclaimer – The published data is gathered through public sources and it does not reflect actual number that may be relevant now.


Two Indian innovations among Nokia’s global 11 list

Forum Nokia had invited applications for the “Calling All Innovators Contest” sometime back, even we (RouteGuru) had applied for the contest.

A list of 11 finalists is now public, RouteGuru doesn’t figure in the list but then those who figure, I feel proud to mention that two Indian innovations like Nano Ganesh and Green Phone have found a place in this global competition under two distinct categories i.e. Emerging Markets and Eco-Friendly respectively.

Calling All Innovators

Calling All Innovators

Both the applications demonstrate pretty remarkable innovations, the Nano Ganesh though seems to be highly fascinating to me as a consumer service addressing the pains of rural population directly.

Shri Ganesh to Nano Ganesh

While chanting “Shri Ganesh” in Hindu mythology symbolizes for a safe and happy beginning, Nano Ganesh will symbolize for the safe and happy maintenance. Hmmm, perhaps one step ahead.

As the name doesn’t suggest, it is actually a modem (hardware device) that controls the starter of the pumpset and it just costs between 500 to 1700 INR. Just by making a simple mobile/ land line voice call, farmers can trigger their pumpset to switch it on/off, check the sufficient power supply etc. hence handling their pumpsets remotely.

I see three important aspects as the key to success in this innovation:

  • Voice control – More reliable than SMS and every person can do that.
  • Deployment of Ultra Low Cost Handset like Nokia 1100.
  • Pricing for Indian consumers i.e. starting from 560 to 1700 INR.

[Video coverage at IBN Live]   |   [Coverage at Nokia Conversations]

Green Effect to GreenPhone

It’s an application for Symbian series 60 devices which allows you to save on your batter and charger’s life by providing you the alerts to several power consumption modules and enables you to shut down the unwanted applications to preserve power. Some of the main features are:

  • Backlight power saving
  • Charger Saving
  • Bluetooth time out
  • WLAN time out

The cool part here is that the notifications come as an SMS, which come from the application in the handset itself and hence doesn’t cost at all to the consumer. The pricing too is pretty competitive at $15.

It is indeed fascinating to see what potential simple voice calls and SMS hold for future. It would be interesting to know if someone reading this article has any interesting idea around Voice calls or SMS as well.