Thursday, February 03, 2005

On having missed by more than a whisker..

My friend, Pritha may well have been the first to conceive of a concierge service in India for NRIs but her time to market left her well behind the competition. As a technical architect she is almost visionary and truly understands usability. Yet the combination does not make up what she lacks - the ability to create and sell a viable business plan. She enlisted my help on this venture which did not bring to the table what it took to turn pipedreams to reality.

We were excited about the potential of the idea. As we talked about it, we got all caught up in the architectural /technical fine print to the point that we lost sight of how to market it. Truth be told we didn't have a clue. This was early 2002, a time when pullulating dot com ventures cloned off each other were going bust at an alarming rate. Being a nerd was becoming an uncool and potentially dangerous thing.

We dared not take our idea to a buyer. We smothered it quiet under design patterns, application frameworks and reusable components. Of course we had the wire frames of the product which were to die for. Every last detail was thought through. Both of us have the eye for detail and can think and feel like the much maligned "end user". We still have the presentation we created for that imaginary angel investor VC type. Maybe if we had summoned up the nerve we may have even got some attention.

The dot-com boom was fuelled by irrational exuberance where nerds like Pritha took their show on the road without an iota of business smarts. When the party was over, bright people like her lost the courage and resolve to act on their dreams. They turned painfully aware of the skills they lacked and did not give themselves enough credit for what they possessed in such amazing abundance.

Pritha moved on with her life as I did with mine. We had this fired up rookie programmer who wanted a piece of the action and voluntereed to help us. He was the kind that lives and breathes application servers, middleware and the like. At the time of parting ways he gave me his collection of 3000 mp3 songs. No specific genre - simple to profound noise. There were a few gems to be quarried thereof. In hindsight, there are no regrets at not having made a couple of million under thirty but weltscherz ..yes.

1 comment:

vikasgupta said...

"weltscherz"!

I am learning so many new words here! I love words (and idioms)!

You are so well read!