Business Today

"Fail often, fail fast"

twitter-logo Goutam Das        Print Edition: November 22, 2015
Vinod Dham, Founding MD at IndoUS Venture Partners
Vinod Dham, Founding MD at IndoUS Venture Partners (Photo: Shekhar Ghosh)

Vinod Dham, a Founding MD at IndoUS Venture Partners, has invested in Snapdeal and Myntra - two of India's largest e-commerce companies. In a conversation with Goutam Das, he talks about sound advice for both entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

Q. What is your best advice to an entrepreneur?

A. Focus and execute. The second is having flexibility and choosing the right time to pivot. As we say in Silicon Valley, 'fail often, fail fast'.

Q. Is there a company you led that had to pivot?

A. Silicon Spice. The original idea was to utilise an IP that came out of MIT, called re-configurable computing, which was way ahead of its time. The idea was dead-on-arrival. Cisco was an investor. The person on the board asked if we would build a chip that the company needs desperately - a voice-over IP (VoIP) chip (late 90s). That's exactly what we ended up doing. (Silicon Spice was acquired by Broadcom for $1.2 billion.)

Q. Since you straddle the VC world, what guidance do you have for VCs?

A. Diversify. You should not put all your eggs in one basket. Second, as a VC, have the discipline of investment. Discipline also means you time yourself.

Q. But there is something called the fear of missing out?

A. Yes, but disciplined companies don't fall into that trap of fear. They know from experience that opportunities are always coming. The nature of the opportunities may change, but they will always be there. Click for longer version of the interview.

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