Cryptocurrency and Blockchain- The New Kids on the Block

Cryptocurrency is a virtual currency acting as a means to exchange or transact using cryptography so as to make it secure and to control the creation, the use of the creation and the limit up-till which the currency could be made available. A cryptocurrency is difficult to counterfeit because of this security feature. With not being issued by a central authority, cryptocurrency is immune from any government manipulation, or tampering of any kind. And with the use of cryptographic hash functions made sure to keep user data private. Let’s take a deeper look into this world of hashes, mining and see if it’s all chuckles and giggles or whether it has a dark side too!

The idea of an electronic cash system has been since the late nineties and with both centralized and decentralized network acting as the idea for the means of transacting. After seeing all the failed attempts at the creation of a centralized network, Satoshi Nakamoto, an individual or a group, in an attempt to create a peer to peer electronic cash system based on the decentralized network of exchange. Here, in a decentralized network, unlike the centralized, there is no central hub or a central server keeping track of all the transactions, the accounts or all the balances. This makes every single entity connected on the network to do that. Every peer in the network needs to have a list with all transactions to check if future transactions are valid or an attempt to double spend. And with all those entities connected to the network, maintaining a consensus without any central government verifying the legality of that transaction and the order in which the all the previous transactions occurred, stymied the job. Tackling this was what made possible the answers to multiple problems.

To explain the answer, I’ll give an example. Just imagine four men trying to find the cost of excavating a volume of land for the foundation work of a building. Since all the constraints are same for all four if the dimensions of the land and the cost of labor is same. Now one of them happens to own an excavator and to gain a profit on the job, he inflates the price. Now seeing all the estimates, the culprit’s discrepancy would be caught and rectified. Usually, an estimate is of multiple pages made into a file. Let’s call it as a block. With each work following one after other, these multiple estimate blocks could be stacked one after the other, making it a chain of blocks or a blockchain.

Now, a blockchain is a shared ledger, which keeps all the history of transactions, which cannot be altered. In a blockchain, as a transaction occurs it is put into a block, which is connected to a preceding block and the one after it. Transactions are blocked together adding them to a chain of irreversible blocks. See, multiple people can record the same transaction in a different manner, like on a restaurant ordering system, for example, one waiter likes to record the drinks first, then maybe dessert, then the main course, other might do it a different sequence. Well technically each order place is correct but the restaurant can accept only one of them a proper transaction. The same happens in the bitcoin blockchain. See, for transacting in a bitcoin network, you need to declare three things, being the account number, the account number of the person you are sending to and the number of bitcoins being sent. And all of the peers keeping a record of the transactions will add the transaction you made to the current block. Now, to answer the initial question, bitcoins stay safe thanks to keys that are basically chunks of information to a make a mathematical guarantee of any use of the bitcoin. On creating an account on the bitcoin network, it provides you both a unique private key and a unique public key. The private key, as you know, could be used to mark any data, also known as signing it, and can be sent across the network to the receiver. Now the public key is what the peers on the network could use as a proof of the marked private key to verify the transaction and add to the blockchain. And unlike, the signature in a bank transaction the mark or the stamp of the private key and verifying public key cannot be faked by a scam artist.

So with all that I have said, there are few things that still need to be unfolded in front of you. In bitcoin, every transaction that occurs needs to be verified and the act of verifying is done by solving math problems. See, for adding any ledger or block to the chain, each peer who keeps a record of the transaction, he or she must solve a math problem created by a cryptographic hash function, and only after solving this math problem can the transaction be verified and added to the chain. But wait, what kind of a problem is it. Here the cryptographic hash function takes an input, usually a message, and outputs an alphanumeric string.
These hash functions are easy enough so as to create an output but difficult when the output is backtracked to find the value of the input. Now, the hash function used by bitcoin is called SHA 256 which stands for Secure Hash Algorithm 256-bit. See, in a decentralized network, it is necessary that no single party abuses the power of bitcoin, as there was no authoritarian power to keep a check on it as opposed to the centralized one. So, it was incorporated in the system that these ledger keepers, also known as miners to devote some time to find the cryptographic hash, solve and then add to the chain. These SHA 256 hash function on an average needs about 1 minutes to answer the output, with the specially designed computers that could actually solve it. And with every correct output, the bitcoin network adds about 12.5 newly created bitcoins to the miner’s account as a reward along with a part which could be as small as 0.0000001 bitcoin is added along as tips. But wait, that means with the current rate of a bitcoin approximately $3886 or 2,47,570 rupees, a miner could earn $48,575, with each ledger the miner adds up to the blockchain. Well, every bitcoin that exists was intended for these miners, there is a limit or a milestone where the value of the reward gets half, which recently happened from 25 bitcoins to 12.5. And the goal was when the limits would be reached to a point where the reward for a transaction becomes too low to be even considered then the system would be feasible to run on just tips.

So, just like a commodity its price is predicted to further rise but should all of us invest our money in it. No, I mean not entirely. See, bitcoins are volatile money and analysts across the glove see it deemed to fail but having a small unit now, may someday like a stock would rise up.

Well, that was bitcoin, I know I have focused a lot of attention towards and was because most others are derived entirely or to some extent from it. Etherium, for example, is a brainchild of Vitalik Buterin is the second on the list of most frequently used cryptocurrency, with adding processing complex contracts along with the transactions. Then, there was Litecoin, which was like a younger brother to bitcoin, boasting a new mining algorithm and a larger amount of tokens. Even though it failed to find a real-world application, it is vastly hoarded as a backup and shared in case of the failure of bitcoin.

So, with all this, let’s take a look at its future. Cryptocurrency is a step towards the alternative to the banking system where is none’s a bearer to any sum of money. As no one can prohibit you from transacting in it or can change your transaction once it’s done, it has a set path free from any government hindrance, making it free from any inflation or deflation of government currency and they can be traded as real money. With new cryptocurrencies emerging every day opening doors to newer possibilities with early adopters getting wealthy and many losing its value only after a few months, its necessary to keep a check on these.

Reference links-

https://www.shutterstock.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptocurrency

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchain

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/satoshi.asp

https://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?htmlfid=XI912346USEN&

What is Blockchain Technology? A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

Importance of Blogging for a Startup

Blogging may seem the least important and relatively trivial thing for an entrepreneur (or an aspiring entrepreneur) to do. Today, when large number of startups are launched everyday, it is a challenge to stand out but blogging may be one of the best way to connect to your targets, especially during the pre – launch scenario.

Blogging should be treated as a mandatory aspect of your business growth. It not only increases the visibility of the startup but also provides the necessary information to the consumers and keep them on the edge. It might not always show immediate payoffs but the long term investments surely makes all the difference.

 

Still on the same page? Cool. So, lets move on to discussing the importance of blogging for a startup.

ORGANIC TRAFFIC AND SEARCH RANKINGS

 

 

Who does not want more visitors to their site? Blogging can directly be compared to fishing. Hosting your blog on your startup website acts as a bait for the customer.  More is the number of blogs on your website, more likely it is to make the visitor find an excuse to stay on the page for another minute. This will not only drive new traffic to your website but also increase organic search visibility. Posting on a regular basis will link more pages from your domain to the search engines and will also be a major driver in the inbound and outbound links the blog comments will generate. Nothing can be worse for a new company than waiting to focus on search rankings after their launch.

BRAND POSITIONING

A blog is an effective way to showcase yourself and your startup as an expert in your field. Starting to blog early in a startup is an extremely powerful tactic, if done correctly. Consistently creating content that’s helpful for your target customer by giving them some kind of background information of your brand at all times, will play a major role in promotion of your launch. As you build up authority in your niche, this breeds trust and familiarity, keeping you in the top of the mind of the customers, when they are ready to buy.

“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”

– Seth Godin

DEVELOP CUSTOMER RELATIONS

Regular blog traffic opens a new line of communication with your customers, allowing you to learn and test new ideas and features in a seamless and public environment. Comments from the customers give a glance into the feasibility of the idea.

“We’re trying to build an audience through our writings; we’re not just trying to have customers.”
—David Heinemeier Hansson

In recent years you’ve seen many founders who had built up an audience long before they ever had a product. In fact, it was those very audiences that helped develop and distribute those products, turning the ventures into successful businesses. Nowadays brands from all over the globe have made blogging a daily part of their customer interactions and the results have been astronomical.

FINDING IDEAL PARTNERS

Relevant posts will help you position yourself as an industry expert and get your name out there among people in your field. Blogs are a great way for potential business partners to find each other and build a social media relationship before getting into hard negotiation of who gets how much. The more you know about the things you’re writing about, the more likely potential users and partners will trust you to offer them a great product or service. In small companies and startups, people seek out leaders they want to work for, in lieu of a big company with more job security.

ENTREPRENEURIAL KNOWLEDGE

Blogging is much more introspective. It can teach you to focus on small gains, value simplicity, take consistent, deliberate actions–all useful habits for entrepreneurs Acquiring readers, for instance, isn’t all that different from acquiring customers. But require making connections and building relationships over time.

“Writing is more a medium of self-discipline than a way to communicate information.”
—Andy Grove, Intel

 

Blogging on your companies website is one of the best ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Perhaps the best thing about blogging is that it’s accessible to everyone. Regardless of who you are or how much money you have for marketing, blogging should be thought of as the centerpiece of your message to the public. By providing your own unique thoughts and insights, you naturally grow your search traffic, customer trust and ultimately, sales. To some extent, blogging also levels the playing field with big brands, giving small businesses the unprecedented opportunity to compete with big businesses with big budgets.  Starting early and making it a habit to communicate in this manner can be the best investment, a founding team can make.

“Your brand is in the hands of others. You can’t dictate what people think, say or feel about you , but you can make sure you influence it.”

 

If you’re looking to start a business blog or get more investment for one you’ve already started, the reasons above are a great place to start your case.

 

 

Top Ten Women Entrepreneurs of the World

Entrepreneurship is a lot about taking risks and identifying opportunities. Much like in every other aspect of life, women, tend to be good at perceiving new opportunities and making the most out of them. It was not long ago that the idea of a women entrepreneurs was not palatable to general public. But due to a much more progressive way of thinking, times have changed. Women have come out from under the oppression of society’s limits, and have begun to emerge into the public eye.

“The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves.”

To fire you up with motivation, I have created a list of top women entrepreneurs in the world.

 

Top Ten Women Entrepreneurs in the world:

1. Gina Rinehart

Georgina Hope “Gina” Rinehart is an Australian entrepreneur who is chairman of Hancock Prospecting, a privately owned mineral exploration and extraction company. Rinehart took over Hancock Prospecting after the death of her father in 1992. Since then the company has seen a rapid expansion of business and holdings. The iron ore boom in the 2000s made her a billionaire by the end of 2006.

Rinehart prefers to keep a low profile, partly to avoid being “harassed by other charities” and partly for reasons of privacy.

She is one of the richest person in Australia with a current net worth of 15.6 billion USD. (Damn, that’s a lot of money.)

women entrepreneurs money

In 2015, Rinehart was listed as the 37th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. A decline from her 2014 and 2013 rankings as the 27th and the 16th most powerful woman, respectively.

QandA session with Gina Rinehart

2. Oprah Winfrey

Who doesn’t know Oprah? You can’t just not love her.

Oprah is a talk-show host, actress, producer and philanthropist. She is one of the most influential woman in the world. She’s best known for her most successful venture, the The Oprah Winfrey Show. It is probably one of the longest-running talk shows ever. Her talk show aired for 25 seasons, yes you heard it, 25 years!

Oprah had a hard life, being born into a poor family. Furthermore he stated that she was molested during her childhood and early teens and became pregnant at 14; her son died in infancy. But, apart from all adversities she still managed to rank as the richest African-American.

Oprah

Oprah is the best at what she does and her net worth says it all, being 3 billion USD.

“Whatever it is that you think you want to do, and whatever it is that you think stands between you and that, stop making excuses. You can do anything.” 

3. Folorunsho Alakija

Folorunsho Alakija is a Nigerian business tycoon and also one of the richest women entrepreneurs. First of all she started her career as an executive secretary at Sijuade Enterprises, Nigeria.

Her first company, Supreme Stitches became a huge success as a result of which she went on expanding into other sectors. Mostly, oil and printing industry.

Since then her fortunes have always been increasing. Now her estimated net worth is around 2.1 billion USD.

Life of Folorunsho Alakija

4. Denise Coates

Denise is an English businesswoman, founder and joint chief executive of online gambling company Bet365.

Bet women entrepreneurs

Hard work pays off. After building her website for a whole year Denise finally launched it publicly. Bet365 has grown into one of the world’s largest online gambling companies thus leading her fortunes to be of a net worth of nearly 3.7 billion USD.

5. Cher Wang

Wang is a Taiwanese entrepreneur. She is the co-founder and chairperson of HTC Corporation and integrated chipset maker VIA Technologies. HTC manufactures one out of every six smartphones sold in the US.

htc women entrepreneurs

As of 2014, she ranks 54th as one of the most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. Her current net worth is 1.1 billion USD.

Wang makes significant donations to different Universities, on the contrary she is an avid philanthropist who says she prefers to stay out of the limelight despite her many accomplishments.

6. Wang Laichun

Wang is the chairman and one-third owner of the electronics manufacturer Luxshare Precision Industry. The company that supplies Apple with most of its parts. Laichun is indeed one of the richest people in China.

She worked for 10 years for Taiwan billionaire Terry Gou’s Hon Hai Precision Industry (also known as Foxconn). She left in 1999 and in 2004 teamed up with her brother Laisheng to buy Luxshare; he is now vice chairman.

Laichun is often regarded as one of the youngest self-made billionaires of the world with a current net worth of 2.6 billion USD.

7. Sara Blakely

Sara Blankely is an American magnate. She is the founder of Spanx, an American intimate apparel company. Sara witnessed a lot of ups and downs in her initial career. Her idea was rejected numerous times. But today, she lists 93rd as the most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.

Fun fact: Much of the sale’s boost that Blakely witnessed was because of its promotion on Winfrey’s television show.

Spanx

With a net worth of 1.12 billion USD, Sara still has an ambition is to design the world’s most comfortable high-heel shoe prior to her retirement.

8. Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg spends most of her time entertaining and connecting people. She is an American technology executive, author and activist. She is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Facebook. She’s also a board member of The Walt Disney Company and the founder of Leanin.org ( Trust me, there’s nothing more that one can be).

“A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes.”   – Sheryl Sandberg

She is also one the most influential women entrepreneurs with a net worth of 1.65 billion USD.

Here’s a link to a TED Talk by Sheryl on women entrepreneurs. Watch here.

9. Beyoncé

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actress. With a devotion to music that started when she was just five years old, Beyoncé has been never missed a step. She holds the record for having top 40 hits of the decade, record of being the highest paid black actress and the record for the best selling female artist of the decade.

Beyoncé’s net worth is around 350 million USD, and she is barely in her 30s.

Beyonce

 

10. Indra Nooyi

Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi is the Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the world’s second largest food and beverage company, PepsiCo. She is an Indian American business executive who ranks consistently in the World’s 100 most Powerful Women’s list, 13th to be exact.

Pepsico

Nooyi’s strategic redirection of Pepsico has been largely successful. Under her super vision, Pepsico’s products were classified into three categories: “fun for you” (such as potato chips and regular soda), “better for you” (diet or low-fat versions of snacks and sodas), and “good for you” (items such as oatmeal).

Her overall net worth of 144 million USD makes her one of the most famous women entrepreneurs of the world.

So, this was the list of top ten women entrepreneurs of the world. Their success stories are an inspiration to young and budding entrepreneurs. Life-fulfilling work is never about the money — when you feel true passion for something, you instinctively find ways to nurture it.

What makes entrepreneurs think differently?

“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.”

– Scott Belsky, co-founder of Behance.

 

An entrepreneur is commonly seen as a business leader and innovator of new ideas and business processes.

Actually, entrepreneurs are a unique breed of people. While some people sit and fantasize about the glamor of being their own boss and creating their own business, those that are already in the thick of business ownership understand that even considering all its rewards, entrepreneurship is a difficult and complicated path.

 

Entrepreneurial thinking is about recognizing opportunities in the marketplace and understanding how and when to capitalize on them. Becoming an entrepreneur is not necessarily an inherent trait.

The world’s most successful entrepreneurs aren’t the ones who impulsively quit their jobs to chase a get-rich-quick idea. They are the ones with an entrepreneurial mindset — a set of perspectives and values that allow them to achieve greatness.

The following are ways how entrepreneurs think differently.

1. Challenges are opportunities

Setbacks, obstacles and challenges are common elements of entrepreneurship. Most people react to these hurdles with stress and pessimism, with an attitude that obstacles are negative experiences that only hinder progress. As an entrepreneur, you encounter so many challenges you simply can’t afford to react this way.

Instead, successful entrepreneurs view challenges and risks as opportunities. Each challenge or setback reveals a key opportunity to grow — either to improve upon an existing weakness or take measures to avoid experiencing a similar setback in the future.

 

“If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.”

– Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s.

 

 

2. They accept failure as a valuable life experience

Successful entrepreneurs understand that failure teaches invaluable life lessons, and they learn instead of giving up. They view failure as a sign that they’re continuing to grow in their life and business.

If there aren’t any failure experience in the entrepreneurial journey, there isn’t enough action. If the goal set is hit without much resistance; there isn’t setting big goals. Entrepreneurs believe in making their failure story a success story.

Being a successful entrepreneur isn’t about being born with a specific mindset, it’s about being prepared for the challenges that await you.

 

3. Entrepreneurs are passionate

Passion is a drive, ambition and the love of what you do and who you serve. Entrepreneurs possess a quality of accomplishing what they’ve fixed their minds on. According to a research, passion is a key ingredient in growing a successful business, which might also account for why they’re so revered by society for living out their dreams.

4. Money is just a form of energy

Entrepreneurs get into the field of entrepreneurship not because they are hungry for money, instead, they get into it because of their interest, fascination and charm towards entrepreneurship as a profession.

Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.

                                       –Franklin D. Roosevelt

5. Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle

Entrepreneurship is not a part time job and not even a full-time job, it’s a lifestyle.

For entrepreneurs, there is no nine to five job. There is no “work life” and “home life.” They have total control over their business and their professional choices, including what they do for it. Entrepreneurship becomes your work and your life, and you need to be prepared for that if you’re going to survive the lifestyle.

 

6. Entrepreneurs make their own luck

Years of hard work and passion allow for the great successes often seen.  The best ideas require a lot of thought, care and attention, and entrepreneurs know that they can’t expect things to just magically happen or appear. There isn’t any magic bullet. They make tedious efforts for achieving heights and nothing is a cake-walk.

7. Be disciplined

For an entrepreneur, this is a pre-requisite to success.  They have to be prepared to do what is necessary to make it work, in all aspects of life. You become disciplined by keeping your word and that is what entrepreneurs do, that is, they actually do what they say and plan to do.

8. Big things come from smaller parts

Breaking down big projects or goals into bite size pieces. By segregating areas of work and by work division, big things can be accomplished and eminent results can be achieved. Instead of looking as a whole, breaking down things allows for a more concise and successful strategy. Entrepreneurship is mainly about smart and intelligent working.

9. Other’s perspective is invaluable

Entrepreneurs need to be good communicators, and that means actively listening to those with different ideas and opinions. It’s easy for them to get trapped in one mode of thinking.

Many business owners keep their business models and directives too rigid, which ultimately restricts their ability to grow and leading to failure. Successful entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are constantly searching for individuals and experiences that will challenge their way of thinking and lead them to see things from a new perspective.

So, it is advisable to listen to other’s perspectives but do only what you feel is right!

10. Laugh, even in the darkest of days!

Lastly, it is important for an entrepreneur to be cheerful and lively always because happiness and sorrow are two faces of the same coin and this is how life goes! There will be challenging days, but in the end, how those challenges are handled, determines the eventual success.

Count your blessings every day. There is always something to be happy about if you ask yourself the correct questions.

 

So having the right attitude and mindset will help you grow as an entrepreneur, and make the best possible environment for business success.  Good luck!

 

 

Why YOU should take a leaf or two out of Elon Musk’s entrepreneurial journey?

We have all heard of Elon Musk, right? He is the brain behind few of the most outlandish business ideas of our generation – space exploration and colonization of Mars, manufacturing of electric cars, efficient usage of solar power, faster transportation using low-pressure tubes, and integration of artificial intelligence with the human brain – just to name a few. Now, as I was stating these, I’m pretty sure that your brain did not find a lot of those ideas “outlandish” anymore. Why so? That is because Elon Musk’s own work in those fields has made you habituated with these ideas. I have always wondered how can a person be so innovative? That too, at such a plethora of levels! Leaving behind Earth in a far more sustainable and efficient position is what seems to drive him. At his most recent TED Talk, he made the following statement –

“I’m just trying to think about the future – and not be sad.”

When Musk was still a student, he had figured out the three things which would have an effect on humanity: sustainable energy, multi-planetary life, and the internet. He wanted to be a part of each. His ideas have always led him to be groundbreaking in the respective fields.

Ventures

Zip2 was Musk’s first start-up. He had founded it with his brother. It focused mainly on online marketing and benefitted largely from the Internet boom of the 90’s. Later, for USD 307 million, Compaq acquired the company. Musk was left with a hefty share of USD 20 million in his pocket through this sell-out. From there, he went on to become the founder of an online bank and named it X.com. This company later merged with Confinity and together they formed the most widely used online money transfer service system of today – PayPal. eBay acquired the company in October 2002 for USD 1.6 billion.

After the taste of such an immense success, Musk started with his most ambitious project yet – Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or popularly known as SpaceX. The aim of this company is to reduce the cost of spaceflight by a factor of 10. The long-term goal is to effectively establish a civilization on Mars. Tesla, Inc was his next venture. With this, he aims to make electric cars available to the market at an affordable price.  Another company of his, SolarCity makes affordable solar panels which are again, provided for an affordable price.

The recent projects that Musk has started with are HyperloopOpenAI, Neuralink, and The Boring Company. HyperLoop aims to make transportation faster with the usage of pressure-reduced tubes. OpenAI is focused to research in the ever-deepening field of Artificial Intelligence. As a continuation of this, Neuralink aims to combine the power of human brain with AI. The Boring Company aims to make tunnels. Now even though this may seem strange, this will be later integrated with his plans for Mars colonization.

What can you learn from Elon Musk’s entrepreneurial journey?

One of the most important things that can be learned from him is to always dare and challenge reality. It doesn’t matter how irrational or illogical your idea may seem to be to the entire world. If you believe that it can be turned into a reality, then go for it. Whatever business challenge that you’re facing,  write it down. Then, break it into the most basic of components. Try and figure out a way in which you can use these components in a more effective way.

Another equally important thing that you need to understand is that it is okay to consider failure to be an option. You just need to take measured and calculative risks in your ventures. Think each step through before taking an action. And always have a clear limit line drawn in your mind. That line will be the limit to which you can take failures.

“If something’s important enough, you should try. Even if for you – the probable outcome is a failure.”

You also need to go and think beyond the entire concept of money. Musk’s single unified goal across all his ventures has been to make the world a better place for humanity. You need to really want to do something if you want to succeed. His entire drive rests on finding efficient and sustainable solutions to real problems. If you end up doing something that is really beneficial to the society – don’t worry. There will be a day when the money will start flowing in.

 

Elon Musk – in a nutshell

Thus, it can be concluded that Elon Musk is a self-made billionaire and an indigenous innovator of modern times. He heavily implements the art of constantly thinking about how to make things better and keeps on questioning himself. In my opinion, these are the key takeaway points from his life. The quote below describes Elon Musk in the words of Sir Richard Branson of the famed Virgin Groups –

“Whatever skeptics have said can’t be done, Elon has gone out and made real. Remember in the 1990s, when we would call strangers and give them our credit-card numbers? Elon dreamed up a little thing called PayPal. His Tesla Motors and SolarCity companies are making a clean, renewable-energy future a reality…his SpaceX’s reopening space for exploration…it’s a paradox that Elon is working to improve our planet at the same time he’s building spacecraft to help us leave it.”

After all, Elon Musk is the real-life Tony Stark.

Getting rid of the fears and becoming an entrepreneur

“Brave are those who work while others sleep, they make the nation’s pillar
deep and lift them into the sky.”

The definition of entrepreneur is all about a person who organises and operates a
business taking on greater than normal financial risks.

Fear can be helpful, even necessary. Fear is the mind’s way of telling us that
danger-or, at least, a bumpy road lurks ahead. But whether justified or not, fear
can cause destruction on the entrepreneurial life. It can foil imagination and choke
ambition. At its most devious, it can make every obstacle seem insurmountable.

It doesn’t matter how many times entrepreneurs read their affirmations, fears
arise, challenging them at every step of their way. And these fears pull them back, not letting them stand up to their expectations, not letting them work as
required.

This is the difference between those who drive profits and the ones who fumble
and walk back quietly. The successful ones overcome this fright and achieve great
heights.

Most entrepreneurs don’t know where to start, when first setting their ideas in
motion. They should start out by finding someone who achieved the goal
they’ve set for themselves. It’ll help them in gaining self confidence that if a
person with a similar idea achieved success then it’s possible for him/her too. The
need is just to take a step forward and do what makes sense. The path will unfold
as you continue to walk.

Apart from the fears, one needs to believe in their idea, step out on a limb, have
trust in their talents and convince others to believe in them, too. No matter how
crazy or foolish the idea sounds, one should totally have that self confidence that
that particular idea will help in granting success. And if the people find the
concept absurd it simply implies how eccentric it is. Accept the craziness and then
appreciate that it’s the crazy ones who end up making a difference in the world. So, that in turn should boost up the morale of the aspiring tycoon.

Being a business owner would be a breeze if every person with an idea could
casually get into a bank and receive a loan or attract an angel investor. Since this is
not a dream world, entrepreneurs without investors must jump-start their
businesses anyway. Even if the necessary capital isn’t available at first, it will be a
smart realisation to learn that a slow and steady process of building the business
may be the best thing after all.

Arising of complications is one major reasons of entrepreneurs to surrender with
their objective of a company formation. Setting the pins back up is just a part of
the game. When problems arise in business, this just provides the chance to
set the pins up again. As an entrepreneur, it is likely to have what it takes to
complete the game. So there shouldn’t be any perturbation when the pins fall. They can be set upright again.

If there happens to be no immediate return even after investment in the business, to keep working is the key. In case there’s quitting before earning a profit, there
will never be earning of profit. And if the decision is to quit before the business
sees a profit, it is essential to remember that investment capital had been raised
once. It can always be done again.

Some people act as if the universe is comprised of two time periods-the right time
to start a business and the time the would be entrepreneur is currently living in. A
true entrepreneur declares now to be the right time and finds ways to make it
work.

The best advice for all the budding entrepreneurs would be- “Start by doing
what’s necessary. Then do what’s possible. And suddenly you are doing the
impossible.”

GST and Startups – What Will be the Impact?

On the 8th of August, 2016, a constitutional amendment to pass the Good and
Services Tax was passed in the Rajya Sabha. It is being regarded as the single
biggest tax reform that our country has seen since we gained independence in 1947.
The aim is to remove the numerous taxes like Value Added Tax, Service Tax, Central
Excise, and Entry Tax to name a few, and bring forward the One Nation One Tax
regime by making a single marketplace for businessmen and consumers. A tax
system which is going to be implemented on this huge scale is bound to have a
strong effect on the economy.

GST is expected to have a beneficial effect on the startup culture in India. The
reasons are as follows:

1. The entire process of GST starting from the registration and filing of documents
to the payment has been made online. Startups no longer have to run to a
number of offices to get the registrations for various taxes done, in order to
establish their company. This will lead to the foundation of a uniform structure
and companies no longer have to follow different legislation for different states.

2. Under the current tax structure, businesses which have a turnover of Rs 5 lakh
or more have to register under VAT and pay it as well. With GST, the threshold is
being increased to Rs 20 lakh. Thus, it will leave out many companies which are
still in their initial business phase. An optional scheme, called the Composition
Scheme, will also be started. This will be targeted towards small businesses with
a turnover lying in the range of Rs 20 to 50 lakh.

3. The country is expected to be integrated into one consolidated market and the
startup wave will flow to tier-II cities and beyond. Due to the various state taxes,
up until now, manufacturers had to limit the sourcing of their ancillary products to
their local markets. But with GST, companies can start utilizing the micro and
small enterprises in these cities where commodities are modestly priced. This
will also act as a catalyst to take the Make in India initiative to remote cities.

4. The efficiency of the logistics services is expected to improve as CST or inter-
state tax wouldn’t be imposed anymore. This will lead to an increase in the profit
of those startups which are associated with the transportation and delivery of
products.

5. There are many startups that do not receive funding in the initial phase and
liquidity is a major challenge that they have to face. There have been times with
the current tax system when the working capital has gotten stuck with the tax
authorities as a refund claim. With GST, all the refunds will be processed online
and thus, it is expected that the refunds will be timely. This will boost the liquidity
of companies.

But, there are a few startups which believe that the implementation of GST is not
going to benefit them. This new principle of equal treatment of startups and big
corporate houses will lead to the removal of their safety net. Since the tax exemption
limit is also being lowered to Rs 20 lakh, a number of startups will be brought under
this tax scheme and they are not happy about it. Till now, only those manufacturers
who had a turnover of Rs 1.5 crore had to pay excise. With the decrease in the
threshold limit, an additional tax burden will be imposed on the startups which are in
the manufacturing sector.

We have to keep in mind that GST is still at its very initial stage and there are many
rules and procedures which may be changed as the tax system gets practically
tested. But, it is safe to believe that it will definitely support various government
initiatives like Digital  India and Startup India. Startups will thus be allowed more
flexibility in their business model and they will get many opportunities which they can
use to their advantage.