Title: Everything Started As Nothing
Author: Bhaskar Majumdar
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Genre: Business, Management
First Publication: 2021
Book Summary: Everything Started As Nothing by Bhaskar Majumdar
Early stage investor Bhaskar Majumdar reveals why it is critical for entrepreneurs to have an ‘everything started as nothing’ attitude to innovate and create value.
Bhaskar gives a masterclass on how to plan, build, sustain and grow a start-up, and stay miles ahead of competition with the ‘everything started as nothing’ mantra. This book is an account of what works and what does not in the Indian start-up ecosystem from someone who has had a front row seat as the ecosystem emerged to become the third largest in the world.
Leveraging real anecdotes and stories from entrepreneurial ventures across a vast spectrum including the technology sector, agri and small-scale businesses, manufacturing as well as the social sector in India, Bhaskar highlights the emergence of winning scalable businesses in today’s ruthless marketplace.
The business entrepreneurs featured have succeeded by focussing on solving unique country specific problems rather than aping successes from other markets. Apart from his own experience of the start-up world, Bhaskar also shares stories of Abhinay Choudhari (co-founder of Big Basket), Amod Malviya (co-founder of udaan, fastest Indian unicorn), celebrity chef and entrepreneur Sanjeev Kapoor, Phanindra Sama (co-founder of redBus), Anand Deshpande (Founder and CEO of Persistent Systems), Rajesh Jain (India’s first Internet billionaire) among others.
This book is for those who seek to create ‘everything from nothing’.
Book Review: Everything Started As Nothing by Bhaskar Majumdar
Everything Started As Nothing by Bhaskar Majumdar is a rare glimpse into the mind of a true industry insider with practical data and modern business understanding applicable to any would-be entrepreneur or inventor or business person. It is an excellent handbook for those starting a business or non-profit, stressing function over form and action over planning. The lessons apply to organizations whether they’re bootstrapping or seeking funding from venture capitalists or angel investors. Bhaskar Majumdar includes plenty of historical examples and first-hand experience, making this a practical real-world resource that’s more valuable than a simply conceptual textbook.
Bhaskar Majumdar is a respected serial entrepreneur and well-known early stage investor. The book’s lessons are relevant, concise, and entertaining. Each chapter covers a particular topic and ends with exercises. Author Bhaskar Majumdar stripped everything down to the core basic principles of being lean and agile in response to customer feedback. This is not new but is collated and distilled in a very dynamic, yet clear structured manner.
The biggest theme in the book, as the title aptly suggests, is that ambitious people should strive to create new things in the world that have the potential to move humanity forward by an order of magnitude. The major point, however, is that you shouldn’t pretend or act like you have all answers but embrace the uncertainty and develop an experimental approach to delivering a Minimum Viable Product – build, measure, learn. There is the other perspective that to truly know your value and where you’re going you should start with the presumption that you will dominate the industry and your solution is a game changer. Personally, I feel you need to have both the end game as a vision and have some idea what that would look like. But also, the practical next steps on the day to day basis of how you prove and correctly position your company for initial customer acquisition is crucial.
I found Everything Started As Nothing by Bhaskar Majumdar not only one of the best business books that are great for advice, techniques and the analogous stories to help reinforce the approach, but it is an inspirational book that dares you to challenge everything and rationalise with customer validation that your vision is viable and scalable. When a book affects me it starts a chain reaction in my thought process so that I either gain a better understanding of where I need to go or may enable me to articulate what has been sitting just out of reach in my mind. This is one of those books.