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Why I Wrote This ‘Startup Blog’?

Over the last 4 years, I have been in lots of startup events as a speaker and have met hundreds of startup entrepreneurs. I have observed that most startup entrepreneurs do not know the formula for creating a successful startup. Before joining Paytm as Vice President in 2018, as a startup entrepreneur myself, I began searching the formula to build a successful startup. In 2015 when I visited San Francisco and also in parallel read the book – ‘The Lean Startup’, I realized that there is a formula behind successful startups. Prior to that even after running multiple startups for years I was sort of lost in this endless maze of buzzwords and media hype around startups.

Since 2015, I have read more than 200 books to research the best procedure for creating a winning startup. As luck would have it, one of India’s most successful startup entrepreneurs, Mr. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm (India’s highest-valued unicorn startup in 2020) also gave me the opportunity to work directly under him and learn from him. I also learned a lot from people in the startup ecosystem with whom I had the good fortune to meet while being a speaker at a large number of startup events in India.

I realized the need to share my knowledge with entrepreneurs around the world. If people who learn startup best practices do not share them then the new entrepreneurs will not be able to learn them fast. They will have to go through the long process of trial and error. Covid has shown that we have to increase the pace of innovation. We need to solve the problems of Earth before becoming an interplanetary species one day.

Thus I am sharing this knowledge because my grandfather used to say that knowledge increases when you share it. I am giving you whatever I learned related to startups. I do not want anything back. Just share this knowledge wherever you can. Let’s build for the world together.

Introduction to Startup Canvas

After distilling all the knowledge I gathered over the last 6 years, I have created a visual tool to mentor budding startup founders. This tool is called ‘Startup Canvas’. It enables a budding startup entrepreneur to learn about the process to follow to create a winning startup.

Startup Canvas

Startups are incredibly complex and they operate in an even more complex environment, yet I have seen that winning entrepreneurs like Vijay Shekhar Sharma don’t do random stuff. They have learned some best practices which they follow. Learning and following those practices is not possible for a new entrepreneur in a short time but my aim is to give a good starting point to a new entrepreneur so that he or she can at least go on the right path and learn the correct things with time.

Most startup entrepreneurs are confused like Abhimanyu (in the legendary Indian epic Mahabharat), who knew how to go in the battle but did not know the correct way of coming out. I was like Abhimanyu in 2015. Reading 200+ books, working with Mr. Vijay Shekhar Sharma in Paytm and meeting lots of successful startup investors and founders gave me access to the winning formula for growing a startup.

Startup Canvas aims to be the mentor to a budding entrepreneur in his or her quest to build a successful startup. Most posts in this blog derive directly or indirectly from Startup Canvas. Startup Canvas is intended to be a tool to understand startup life cycle and appropriate best practices at every stage in the life cycle.

Author: Saurabh Jain (Follow him on Twitter : @skjsaurabh). Saurabh is also the founder of Fun2Do Labs (EdTech startup).


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