Archive for the ‘Enterpreneurship’ Category

Why Education Startups Do Not Succeed

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Very well written article on education startups

Avichal Garg

 I co-founded PrepMe in 2001. We were one of the first education companies online and the first purely online, personalized platform. We were acquired in 2011 by Providence Equity-backed Ascend Learning. In the last month, I’ve had 3 VC firms bring me in to chat with their partnership about education and 6 independent entrepreneurs reach out to me about their new education startup. This is a summary of what I tell them in person. 

Note: I am going to make some generalizations below. Clearly there are nuances around education policy, economic policy, technology, and more. But this is a blog post, not a book, so take it for what it’s worth. These views are my own, not PrepMe’s (or Spool’s).


  • Most entrepreneurs in education build the wrong type of business, because entrepreneurs think of education as a quality problem. The average person thinks of it as a cost problem.
  • Building…

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Written by rationalspace

November 29, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Posted in Enterpreneurship

Important Start-up Skill – Be all in one.

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Have been thinking about this for quite some time. For an early stage start-ups do we need people who are specialized in one kind of technology or do we need people who can work on a task end to end. I have often argued that we need the latter kind more than the former. Start-ups need engineers who can conceptualize, architect, code and test too!

I think there are a number of reasons why such a skill-set is important:

  •  Resources are scarce:  Hiring is a big challenge for any start-up. They have limited funds, no perks of a big company and they can’t really hire a big team. They can’t hire a lot of managers too. What they really need are people who are good enough to understand systems end to end and can take up the challenge. Though it is a rare skill to find, but it is the one that is required most.
  • Time is the key: In a start-up there is hardly any time to delegate based on tech skills. Often there is a huge list of features/fixes that need to be developed and rolled out. If for a task an engineer restricts himself to do only back-end and then depend on someone else to do front-end and then some-one else to do testing- it will take forever to release one feature. And in no time you may run out of money without even testing whether your product works in the market or not.
  • Sense of ownership: I have often observed that if  you give people the task as a whole , it increases their sense of ownership. They can tell with pride what they have done. It also gives them the freedom to make suggestions and be creative. There is no pointing fingers too. Also, if something goes wrong or is not working, you have one person to catch.:)

Written by rationalspace

April 30, 2013 at 10:29 pm

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