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FATAL Mistake ! Ignoring business with a Startup ...


By Mr. Zarir. M. Karbhari - Founder & CEO of CopyNotify!

Recently we managed to get angel funding for our security software product. The funding was mainly meant for marketing and sales which meant me getting in touch with various vendors for the same. Have not had this responsibility profile for a couple of years so I was shocked how things have changed. I feel like a dinosaur in the age of start ups.

First as soon as the news leaked that we have some funding suddenly we got more attention (though expected) but what was not expected is a sudden increase in billing rates overnight !!? What gives ? We have worked hard to earn the funding for our product, perhaps we needed to remind our vendors that funding is not to grow the their business instead. !. If we started paying them their 'special rates' , we would be emptying our coffers in no time. Your rates are not supposed to be proportional to our funding. !

Next is the absolute arrogant attitude that we had to face from some of them. We were made to feel that they were doing us ( a start up ) a favor by doling out some services to us. Strange I say!!! We are paying for your services , you damn well better provide us good service as promised. If one does not want to pitch for low volume, low value orders (which are characteristic of start-ups). move out of the way and don't waste our time further. We have places to go and people to meet !

Then of course the time came for me to speak to some 'premium' magazines. Initially they don't respond to you, finally when you finally manage to speak to them , they take their own time to get back to you with the quotation ... as they seem to have a preconceived notion that a start up will not be worth servicing. I suppose only multinational brands are of interest to them to some of them. I was even told by one media house .."oh well, you wont be able to afford sponsoring our conference but let us see how we can work out something else for you ...'. Amazing they don't even know what I can afford or not !..

Then my latest shocker was being told 'the reality of the market is that your order will get lower priority as I have higher value orders that have just come in ... ' . OUCH ! is all I could say ...

Don't these guys realize that perhaps the start up might just succeed to become a multi crore enterprise , have huge orders to give vendors and they will never do business with you because of your arrogance and short shortsightedness ??!!. If you think our work is small, don't come to us , don't waste our time and let us go with our job at hand.

Today I feel start ups will get taken for a ride if they are not street smart. Nobody really cares of whether you are a start up or not. You have to take care of yourself, work for the best deal and dump trying to work with the so called fancy setups/service providers. Your ruin will be due to being creamed by these so called 'premium' service providers and not because of a bad product area.

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