SEED TO SCALE Podcast Series by Accel

INSIGHTS #14: Srikanth Iyer (HomeLane) on Execution, Importance of Uncommon Service

Episode Summary

We continue the #InsightsPodcastSeries and in this episode, we focus on the importance of Execution and how to get it right in the early stage of a startup. To talk about this important topic, we have Srikanth Iyer a successful serial entrepreneur who has built large companies across multiple industries. Initially in Education with Edurite (sold to Tutorvista/Pearson) and currently founder and CEO of fixed furniture eCommerce startup HomeLane. On the first part of the podcast, we discuss the importance of execution and specifically the following topics: What is execution and why is it important? Early days — how to get things started, how to figure out must-haves vs nice-to-haves and focusing on must-haves Speed vs. getting things right — what is more important? Customer delight — to get to Product-market fit — how to go about it? Role of product/tech — how important in early stage vs once you are focusing on scale Launching with a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) and then continue refining the product/tech Why scaling prematurely can hurt your startup? We also discuss a book that has really inspired Srikanth to deliver outstanding service to his customers. The book is “Uncommon Service” and highly recommended for founders —  particularly startups that involve services. Here are some of the key takeaways from the book and we discuss a couple of them in the podcast in the context of Srikanth’s experience. Uncommon Service — key tenets: Tenet #1: You CANNOT be good at everything — to be great at something its ok to be bad at something else — how do you decide on what to be good at as CEO? Tenet #2: Someone has to pay for it — what does that mean? Tenet #3: It’s not your Employee’s fault — but they are the ones executing? Tenet #4: You must Manage your customers — how do you do that? Tenet #5: Now multiply it all by Culture — talk to us about the importance of this one? In the next few podcasts, we will dive deeper into the importance of execution and how to get that right as a startup founder.

Episode Notes

We continue the #InsightsPodcastSeries and in this episode, we focus on the importance of Execution and how to get it right in the early stage of a startup. To talk about this important topic, we have Srikanth Iyer a successful serial entrepreneur who has built large companies across multiple industries. Initially in Education with Edurite (sold to Tutorvista/Pearson) and currently founder and CEO of fixed furniture eCommerce startup HomeLane.
On the first part of the podcast, we discuss the importance of execution and specifically the following topics:
What is execution and why is it important?
Early days — how to get things started, how to figure out must-haves vs nice-to-haves and focusing on must-haves
Speed vs. getting things right — what is more important?
Customer delight — to get to Product-market fit — how to go about it?
Role of product/tech — how important in early stage vs once you are focusing on scale
Launching with a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) and then continue refining the product/tech
Why scaling prematurely can hurt your startup?
We also discuss a book that has really inspired Srikanth to deliver outstanding service to his customers. The book is “Uncommon Service” and highly recommended for founders —  particularly startups that involve services. Here are some of the key takeaways from the book and we discuss a couple of them in the podcast in the context of Srikanth’s experience.
Uncommon Service — key tenets:
Tenet #1: You CANNOT be good at everything — to be great at something its ok to be bad at something else — how do you decide on what to be good at as CEO?
Tenet #2: Someone has to pay for it — what does that mean?
Tenet #3: It’s not your Employee’s fault — but they are the ones executing?
Tenet #4: You must Manage your customers — how do you do that?
Tenet #5: Now multiply it all by Culture — talk to us about the importance of this one?
In the next few podcasts, we will dive deeper into the importance of execution and how to get that right as a startup founder.