Lateral Sparks, the weekly quiz from YourStory, tests your domain knowledge, business acumen, and lateral thinking skills (see the previous edition here). In this 56th edition of the quiz, we present issues tackled by real-life entrepreneurs in their startup journeys.
What would you do if you were in their shoes? At the end of the quiz, you will find out what the entrepreneurs and innovators themselves actually did. Would you do things differently?
Q1: The wealthtech opportunity
Transactions are becoming easy to execute for online audiences, with just a few clicks and swipes. But responsible spending and wealth management can be a challenge in this digital age, thanks to impulsive behaviours and immediate actions. How can technology help here?
Q2: The AI/ML market
AI and ML are making it easier for large firms to harvest their vast troves of data on everything from consumer behaviour to supply chain activity. These technologies also open up opportunities for other players in this space – how can they be tapped?
Q3: Effective communication
Storytelling is widely becoming accepted as an effective form of business communication. A compelling story arc, emotional engagement, and memorable punchline help here. But in a world awash with data, how can storytelling be enhanced?
Q4: Content and consumption
Competition or complement – what is the future of books in an increasingly digital media world? Reading habits are changing with technology and user preferences. What is the future of long-form content in an increasingly hectic online world?
Q5: Product-market fit
The startup journey really gets underway when entrepreneurs move from an idea to traction. The product should not just meet customer needs better than existing solutions, but also be something customers would pay for. But there is more to product-market fit than satisfaction – what else is needed?
Congratulations on having come this far! But there’s more to come – answers to these five questions (below), as well as links to articles with more details on the entrepreneurs’ solutions. Happy reading, happy learning – and happy creating!
A1: The wealthtech opportunity
“Wealthtech firms can embed mechanisms that not only incentivise but also enforce financial prudence for their customers,” observes Joginder Rana, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of CASHe.
“Ask any young person today about investing, and chances are that they will express concerns about not knowing where to start investing,” he adds. Read here about how technology can help democratise access to quality investment research and nudge users towards desirable behaviour.
A2: The AI/ML market
“The AI/ML market continues to grow year-on-year and alongside that, the need for solutions to help enterprises adopt and harness this power is growing exponentially,” observes Anandamoy Roychowdhary, Principal, Sequoia Southeast Asia.
They recently invested in Sigmoid, a tech startup focused on data engineering. Citing a study by Gartner, the startup noted that by 2025, around 80% of organisations seeking to scale digital business will fail because they do not take a modern approach to data and analytics governance. Read more of the AI opportunity here.
A3: Effective communication
“Data helps in presenting points more articulately, arguing more coherently, and reaching a higher elevation in our conversations—whether among friends or the larger public,” explains Govindraj Ethiraj, Founder of BOOM FactCheck and IndiaSpend.org.
“The challenge is for the storytellers to communicate more effectively,” he adds. “Think of how we can improve the quality of public discourse,” he advises. Read more here on the importance of data storytelling and digital literacy.
A4: Content and consumption
“Short-form content is a snackable content, there will always be a place for it and will always have demand and many creators to create content. Even long-form content creators also look at short-form content,” observes Suresh Narasimha, Managing Partner, Cocreate Ventures.
“There is something timeless about a printed book which no e-medium can touch. That said, people’s attention span is dwindling, so short-form e-content also has its place,” adds Siddharth Pai, Techproof Me: The Art of Mastering Ever-Changing Technology. Read more media insights from the Bangalore Business LitFest here.
A5: Product-market fit
“Product-market fit is not when customers stop complaining and are fully satisfied. They’ll never stop complaining. They’ll never be fully satisfied,” observes Casey Winters, Chief Product Officer at Eventbrite.
“Product-market fit is when they stop leaving,” he adds. Products can scale effectively when their usage becomes habituated, switching costs are high, moats are insurmountable, and emerging customer needs are addressed. Read more about startup scalability lessons here.
YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).