(109) Learnings on navigating uncertainty in early stage startups from Shekhar Kirani, Partner at Accel

1. Shekhar’s secret to juggling different startup contexts

Shekhar as part of his job meets 3–4 founders everyday. He looks for the following context when he talks to founders to make a decision whether to back them or not.

  • Context of market
  • Segment of users in that market
  • Their perceived problems
  • The founders thoughts of the problems and what they think is the solution and why it may or may not work.

2. Thinking about and understanding customers first

If founders cannot understand both the telescopic view and microscopic view, they miss out on how to make the products exceptionally well for customers.

3. The traits Shekhar looks for in early-stage companies

There are three core things:

  1. The market
  2. The team
  3. The execution/performance of the team

5. Shekhar’s prediction framework

Both startups and investors are in prediction business. I am predicting where the market would be, where the customers would be and where the competition would be? Directionally they have to be right so that they can course correct.

  1. Understand whether your product is in pull or push market.



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Ravi Kumar.

Ravi Kumar.

Building nextgen real estate platform at PriceHubble & podcaster at productlessons.com. I blog about products, business around products, and growth strategies.