Founders: your T-1 time starts now

3 min readMar 16, 2018

Walmart will soon become the largest shareholder in Flipkart.

Take a moment to let this sink in. Walmart which is fighting Amazon in their hometurf now decides to fight where it matters the most: the Indian market.


The Chinese and Silicon Valley companies are coming for your lunch (and breakfast…and dinner).

Here is what is happening.

By now, everyone now knows that

China is ‘owned’ by Chinese. They won’t allow outsiders. Plus, they are way ahead of Silicon Valley when it comes to focus and building deeper products (for the local market). They ‘understand’ their customers better than anyone else.

India is an open battlefield. The India story is just ripe to barge in and conquer. Open to everyone. Take a look at top 10 apps in the play store and see how many of them are homegrown.

Not just WalMart and WhatsApp, but several mid stage startups / platforms are targeting the Indian market — with a much better understanding of products, distribution and growth. Very few product companies in India have ‘something’ which can’t be broken.

Case in point: Chinese app, Newsdog (with no major funding) has more downloads than Inshorts (which has raised ~$30mn).

Your T-1 time has begun.

Whatever you are building on — there is another company with deeper pockets targeting the same segment and unless you have something very defensive, you may not stand a chance.

Frankly speaking.

For those who had an early start (Flipkart and others), the battle is more about staying relevant and they will end up raising more funding and keep burning to do so. That’s alright. The upside has already been realised by founders (and early investors) in secondary sale and frankly, most of you aren’t there yet.

Enemies are at the gate.

What would you do?

– Call friends and ask for ammunition to be sent?
— Pray and live like an Ostrich?

Or Sharpen your axe?

For the respect of the word ‘entrepreneur’, sharpen your axe.

  1. Get your product right.
  2. Start with first principles.
  3. Build your moat.
  4. And then go for a kill.

And mind it: Unlike Flipkart and others who had (some) liberty of experimentation (remember: app-only avatar?), you may not get a lot of opportunity to iterate (anymore).

A lot of low hanging fruits are already taken (think consumer industry: how many blue-oceanic ideas do we see). The winner now is the one who knows that it’s time to ride or die.

Ride. Not to get dusted, but to win.

And for that, get your product right. It sets a very different tone in the company as opposed to ‘raise more. Discount a lot more’, which has worked for some but will not at all work for (T-1) companies.

The clock is ticking. Enemies are at the gate. Your T-1 time has begun.

Time to up the game !

Leave your hole and get some new perspective on products and growth at ProductGeeks Conference (April 14th / Bangalore) . We are trying to make founders and product teams realize the art and science behind ‘true growth’.

[Reproduced from NextBigWhat]