5 lessons for Startups, from today’s AAP Delhi Victory

5 lessons for Startups, from today’s AAP Delhi Victory

 A few lessons from AAP’s massacre of national parties, which I have jotted down as much for public consumption as for keeping myself reminded and focused –


1. When you make a mistake, own it up and take immediate corrective action.
“I screwed up” is a sign of fearlessness, right intentions and faith in your own self. Don’t dilute an apology with an excuse. AAP’s victory came about due to a sincere apology, which made people realize that AAP’s intentions are right despite its earlier fiasco.

2. It’s the struggle that makes you strong, not the success.
The victory in December 2013 and the 49 days of power (to serve) didn’t make AAP strong. The failure afterwards, the refocus, the innumerable rallies and tireless hard work did.

3. Success is not an event, it’s a process.
From IIT to Corporate to Government to Anti-corruption activism to Politics; it takes patience, faith and a lot of reinventing yourself. If the goal is good work, success follows as a natural consequence. Yeah, it’s too premature and far-fetched to say that good work is the only goal of AAP, but let’s give them this benefit of the doubt at least in today’s historic win euphoria.

4. Delegation is good, but micromanagement is not always that bad.
BJP did the former (yeah they did get their stalwarts to campaign in the end, but that was failure control, not a strategy) while AAP did the latter. You cannot delegate the customer relationship management of your top clients to the ranks and files.

5. Be Fearless.
I, truly, have not seen a more fearless person in my life than Arvind Kejriwal. He is my Superman! Taking on the might of Congress and BJP without getting hurt badly is in itself an achievement. He did get slapped a few times in the process, but man, what a man!

They say when you lose; don’t lose the lesson. So here are two from BJP –

1.Top management must take responsibility for failures.
It’s Modi, not Bedi. Period. The BJP PR machine that’s trying to prove otherwise is just adding insult to its injury especially when Modi himself ditched Delivery for Sales (another blunder which a startup cannot afford) and came out openly to the campaign.

2. You can pray for miracles, but can’t bank on them.
The masterstroke or the Ummeed ki Kiran (Kiran is just an assumed name for poetic justice, pun inadvertent), couldn’t salvage BJP. In critical situations, you can’t hire a CEO from the market, who doesn’t have the backing or liking or your team, and expect her to deliver.

Finally, one takeaway from AAP and BJP –

1. Your Sales Pitch should talk about your strengths and not about your competitors’ weaknesses.
In 2014, AAP pointed the finger at BJP and lost. This time, it was BJP who tried to defame AAP and met its fate. So, the message goes out loud and clear.

Disclaimer: This write-up is only for leisure reading, and in no way denotes the political leanings of the author or the platform it’s published on.

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