My Day 1 at Nasscom Product Conclave 2011 – Part 1

Although I started the series on the Nasscom Launchpad and wrote a couple of posts, there is much more to cover there.  Lest  my recollection of the details of the Product  Conclave fade away, I intend to cover my experiences, takeaways and insights of the Nasscom Product Conclave here and in some more posts.

I had planned to do a Spot Registration for the event and when i reached the counter for that, I was told that the credit card reader wasn’t working and that I will have to pay cash or wait till it became operational.  I chose to wait (because I wasn’t carrying enough cash) and in the process met Narayn of Cognizant Chennai and Rakesh Agarwal of http://www.Likemyworld.com.  We waited for what appeared to be an eternity and then decided to get the cash from the ATM nearby.  That didn’t work out because the ATM itself had run out of cash and we were back at square one.  I spoke to Purushotaman and Avinash of Nasscom about our predicament and suggested that we be given the entry pending payment later during the day once the machine was functional.  That was thankfully, accepted and we all got into the hall.  I also want to thank Bharathi was moving everything possible to get the reader working and keeping us in good humour despite the heat of the situation.  (That I paid only on day 2 and also did not collect my receipt is another story altogether.  I got the receipt today. Thank you Avinash and Kailash)

Both Sharad & MR set the stage for the event by a very eloquent and forceful introduction that was followed by a brief speech by Rajendra Pawar, Chairman Nasscom.

The keynote session had 3 speeches, all from people who had come from the USA.  The first was by Vinod Khosla, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems turned Midas Investor (he prefers to call himself as Venture Assistant rather than a VC).

I guess there will be a slide show of his on Nasscom website as well as the video of his speech and so I am not going to cover all that he said.  I am going to share only those thoughts of his that resonated with me.

a.  Reject conventional wisdom and the opinions of experts and pundits.  This seemed to be a recurrent theme across the event when the likes of Wadhwa and Maheshmurthy said something similar.  But then this is a double-edged sword because we relate to the Khosla, Wadhwa and Murthy to be experts which means that what they say should also be examined carefully without an immediate consumption.

b. My willingness to fail gives me the lift to success.  I found this really profound because most entrepreneurs tend to follow an incrementalist approach than a quantum leap because they are scared to fail.  To add to this is the stigma in the society that is associated with failure.  Given that entrepreneurship is all about taking risks, this playing-safe is paradoxical and hence breaking that can make a huge difference to the quality of life and the performance of the enterprise.

c.  If you want large accomplishments, you must be prepared to be unreasonable.  I saw this resonated in the story Vivek Paul narrated during his address on the second day about an entrepreneur in Chennai.  This person, none other than the illustrious Nagi Reddy of Chandamama and Vijaya Hospital fame, followed the Chairman of the Chennai Port Trust during his walks, every day for four months because he wanted a shed to protect his vegetables.  And at that time in pre-independent India, this facility of sheds was available only to the British.

d.  Don’t extrapolate the past.  Invent the future you want.  Only when we take this approach can we product exceptional and exponential results.  If the past were to be believed, then all that we see today and take for granted wouldn’t have been possible.  A similar thought was expressed by me in my post on “Must Have Products

There  were more such significant thoughts that Vinod Khosla had shared during his keynote and I will cover them and the other sessions in my subsequent posts.

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2 Comments

  1. Ramkumar said,

    November 15, 2011 at 5:21 am

    Excellent one, thanks Badri

  2. November 16, 2011 at 12:25 am

    […] part 1, I had talked about a few of Vinod Khosla‘s session.  Now I will cover the rest and the […]


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