Decoding the Startup Gene

Satish Gidugu
COO-Medi Assist
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Satish Gidugu
Headquartered in Bengaluru, Medi Assist focuses on making health insurance benefits accessible and affordable to every Indian citizen in a hassle-free way.

What defines a startup? Age, scale, profitability, or the type of funding the company is seeking? In my mind, any organization, irrespective of age, size or scale, having the 'startup gene' in its DNA is a startup. The startup gene is the one that makes an organization quick, nimble and single-mindedly focused on the one problem the team is trying to solve.

Be Quick

You need to be quick to get your minimal viable product out into the market at the earliest. Defining your minimal viable product, however, is no easy task. It is all about making a series of trade-offs. Should you build a lot of features into your product before taking it to market or should you build and ship one feature at a time? Should you be a player in one niche area or go all out?

Flipkart started with just one primary offering - books, and then went on to become this large behemoth where you can find practically any product you need online. During my days at redBus, we had to work quickly to launch multiple features in parallel. These ranged from a complete user experience revamp to launch of a mobile app, development of an internal financial system to support the growing business, and so many more - each feature came with its own complexity, value, and implementation effort. The engineering team rose to the challenge and delivered results that went a long way in making redBus a truly valuable startup.

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