We put the baby to sleep after her morning feed and my brain went back to thinking about all things web. My wife and me had a brief discussion on how soon before we see a wave of killer web startups from India. Some of the things that came to our mind were…
1. It’s just the beginning
The U.S. has always been 3–5 years ahead of us when it comes to the Internet. We are just beginning to see the rise of Internet startups here.
This is evident when there is no decent payment gateway that offers subscription billing — crucial component in providing on-demand services via the cloud automatically!
2. Broadband Penetration
If the chip in your computer did not evolve then we would be still stuck with Windows 98! Similarly, if people (your consumers) don’t have a basic broadband connection then they are not going to be wanting to use better, faster and newer apps. Innovation sparks a certain kind of demand for newer and better solutions/ideas. Today, broadband connections are easier to get and are far more reliable than 5 years back (when we moved back from the U.S. to India).
We need to concentrate on attention to detail and good-looking front-facing websites. Design is as important as development. Developing code is a commodity here and hence every developer feels he can start a web business. I see startups think about how the end-user will use their site and what he/she will feel at every click. Developers have started to care about aesthetics.
We have always been a service-oriented economy. Our programmers have produced code for other people — evident from the fact that you don’t see many ads from Indian tech companies (besides hiring). Tech startups are slowly realizing the potential of telling a story, invoking a feeling and spreading their message.
5. Risk Averse
We have been a very risk-averse society. Indian parents (and even grand-parents) want their kids to get a good education and a job from a MNC. Working in a startup was not cool and taking a risk meant that you might not get married if you don’t show your to-be in-laws that you are not ‘settled’ yet. This is changing with the new generation being independent and explorers.
Watch this space as a lot is going to change in the next 3–5 years — thanks to the Cloud!