I love kids. I have 4 of them. They are so sweet and fun when guests come home that most folks claim I have it easy.
They dont know the half of it.
If you have ever been with toddlers (or even been a baby-sitter once, you’ll relate to this), you know they can be “Oh so cute for 15 min in front of strangers and give you hours of tantrums later.
Startups are the same.
Great on the outside, messy in the inside.
Well behaved when people are visiting, painful to deal with when the guests leave.
Quite as a mouse when grandparents are baby-sitting, but tear the house apart otherwise.
Then when everyone else realizes they are being kids, they express shock. That’s the story with Flipkart’s Forbes piece.
Flipkart is a 5-year-old company.
Do they have culture issues? Possibly.
Do they have growing pains? Definitely.
Are they trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up? Sure.
Will they go through more pain before they grow up into “role model” that everyone expects them to be? Absolutely.
I have only heard the podcast and am still to read the entire piece.
Here’s what I believe the story will have <Begin conjecture>
1. Flipkart has management challenges in scaling up and has alienated a few folks who were not part of the original team.
– Happens. Is that a call for the company to “go under” – not sure.
2. Flipkart is obsessed with great customer service, so their prices are higher. Competition provides better pricing.
– Lame. If you have a business model that’s predicated on better service and hence you command a premium price, there are customers who will come. May not justify their valuation, because growth might stall, but there’s a market for great customer service – FOREVER.
3. Flipkart has nose-bleed valuation and some VC’s are shying away from paying those valuations.
– Lame. I dont know a single VC who likes large valuations. This is an absolutely useless point.
Do I think the journalist did a poor job?
Nope, he’s just chasing PageHitsVille.
Post my facebook discussion with Rashmi:
4. Flipkart’s acquisition of Letsbuy was driven by the VC’s and was a total waste.
– Sure. Total waste is your point of view, but I called the synergies a few months ago. It was smart for Flipkart to get the customers and more importantly the relationships and the purchasing power from larger numbers.