All you need to do is read the news to be able to grasp the mindset of various founders and what they are thinking.
Startups have much uncertainty to deal with during normal circumstances. There are times that can only be referred to as rabidly uncertain.
Even in these uncertain times, you can see those who are making the most of it and those who are not. In the book ‘Mindset’, Carol Dweck refers to two kinds of mindsets; Growth Mindset and Fixed Mindset.
Let me illustrate.
On the one hand –
Zomato starts grocery deliveries across 80 cities in India to cater to the rising need that users have. Armed with the expanded reach that they have with the UberEats acquisition, they are turning this into an opportunity. Further, they have also been able to use this situation to get into the finance business and fortify their Gold offering.
Urban Company took a page from Zomato’s playbook and also made a foray into the finance side by creating a fund for the workers who serve them. This integrates the workers further with Urban Company and allows for the company to wider its offerings in many ways.
Software startups are seeing the huge rise in demand as work from home is forcing companies to put proper tracking solutions. This would be impossible in the absence of this software. Working remotely and staying on top of all of the issues and challenges that businesses face is difficult and the SaaS solutions fill this gap admirably.
Healthcare startups are also ramping up their ability to deliver at this time. Some are using this phase to actually improve upon their R&D and dish out solutions that would be fit to meet the challenge.
Even Uber which is not allowed to ply at this time has partnered BigBasket to start easing the burden on their logistics and start deploying the same to deliver groceries to the households as demand has sky-rocketed.
On the other hand –
Oyo, which was the darling of Softbank and probably has raised the most amount of money in the past 12 months has started laying off people, not only in India but also in the USA.
Acko, the online insurer has laid off employees, while Bounce, Drivezy and Udaan have followed suit. The list includes Rentomojo, Vogo, Droom and event Ed-tech company Adda247.
Travel is another bucket of pain. With flight, trains, bus and any other kind of bookings completely halted, I do not know any other way that they could cope with this situation.
I am not entirely sure if this is a case where there is a lack of demand or just a lack of ideas and the ability to cope. To me, it just seems like a tale of two mindsets. One where there are those looking ahead and setting themselves up for success in this ever-changing world and those who are seeking to protect themselves fearing what they have lost.
I had once read – Look at opportunities through a telescope and at problems under a microscope. If you do the reverse, you will fail at everything.