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Sunday, 3 July 2016

Why a cockroach strategy for startups?


Recently I had gone to a startup event named “Cockroach Strategy & Startup”.  I was amused for hours with the strange name.  Why are startups associated with “Cockroach”.
After the event,  I did some research on “cockroach startups”. I came across many definitions including, “A cockroach start up is the one which keeps struggling, going forward in spite of changing environments, market conditions and investment scenarios, just like a cockroach” and many similar definitions. But my question remains unanswered, why a “cockroach”. Especially when a billion dollar valuation company is known as the elegant and mythical Unicorn. It didn’t seem fair.
In the spirit of being fair to both the cockroach and the cockroach startup, here are some things I thought I should share:
  • 70% of Cockroaches are not really pests. They don’t trouble too many people.
  • Cockroaches can survive on any kind of food. They are like the un-fussy guest.
  • Cockroaches can survive without food  and water for weeks. Pretty self sustainable.
  • Cockroaches can live even without their head for a week. As grotesque as it sounds, it’s an acid test for any organization to execute with its founder/ CEO gone.  
  • They can run at a speed of up to 3 miles/hour. Remarkable, given their size.  
  • Cockroaches predate the dinosaur. Small is beautiful or at least durable :)


The characteristics of a cockroach is really interesting as it also depicts the current startup scenario. Much has been written about how 2015 was a great year for startup funding and how valuations knew no boundaries. Obviously, 2016 is a completely different year, with significantly less funding and sliding valuations.
While the picture is undoubtedly not very upbeat, there is a brighter side with many state governments and premier institutes setting up incubation centers. The Government of India has also setup a corpus of Rs 10000 crore for startups.  #StartupIndia #StandupIndia.  Cockroach startups will survive. They may ultimately become a Unicorn or a public market success such as Atlassian.
We are Ozonetel. Definitely very cockroach like. Some of our team does get fussy about eating Subway sandwiches 4 days in a row though.
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About Ozonetel: Ozonetel Systems is an India based Cloud Telephony Solution provider. Ozonetel is the only Indian company that developed complete cloud telephony platform and provide complete cloud contact center solution, multichannel ( i.e.IVR, Voice, email, social media, SMS, live chat. Click2CAll) communication solution.

Ozonetel is currently serving 1000+ customers across 20+ verticals. 

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