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Sramana Mitra
Sramana Mitra is the founder of One Million by One Million (1M/1M), a global virtual incubator that aims to help one million entrepreneurs globally to reach $1 million in revenue and beyond. She is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and strategy consultant, she writes the blog Sramana Mitra On Strategy, and is author of the Entrepreneur Journeys book series and Vision India 2020. From 2008 to 2010, Mitra was a columnist for Forbes. As an entrepreneur CEO, she ran three companies: DAIS, Intarka, and Uuma. She has a master's degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Entries by Sramana Mitra

When to Quit While Bootstrapping With a Paycheck

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 12:13 AM


Bootstrapping with a paycheck is a mode of entrepreneurship that has become a major trend. Entrepreneurs are starting companies in droves while still holding onto their full-time jobs.

Two interviewers, Amina Elahi from the Chicago Tribune and Katherine Harvey...

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Teaching Employees to Be Entrepreneurs Will Become Standard Fare

(1) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 11:27 AM


Teaching employees to be entrepreneurs will become standard fare in corporate America.

Today I would like to discuss some trends we're seeing in our work with various corporate partners who are either already implementing or considering internal programs for teaching employees entrepreneurship.


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Artificial Intelligence, Over Engineering, And A Zombie-Filled Planet

(1) Comments | Posted February 27, 2015 | 3:26 PM

Recent months have been full of pundits predicting the future of technology, especially Artificial Intelligence.

Listen to Stephen Hawking cautioning that AI could spell the end of the human race:

Elon Musk says similar things:

These predictions are perhaps hard for people who do not understand Computer Science and Machine Learning to relate with. But here's one that may be easier to understand for normal people.

Vinod Khosla (on Fareed Zakaria's GPS show) talked about doctors and lawyers becoming obsolete just because technology will do their jobs a lot better. I couldn't agree more with Vinod's prediction. A computer has a more powerful memory and much better processing power to take imaging, lab, and other test data, run them against powerful algorithms, and do a much better job diagnosing patients, prescribing treatments.

I also agree with the timeline that Vinod projects: 50 years. Not 20 years. 50 years.

Where I disagree with him is in what happens to the planet, the species, human beings. Vinod predicts an age of abundance with much greater productivity and much greater opportunity for leisure.

That, I predict, will be true for only 0.01% of the people who play in the eco-system that builds, sells, operates those technologies that replace entire skill-sets. Millions and millions of others who today make a living from those professions will be without a profession.

This has happened before. But currently, with AI, the prognosis for this displacement is super fast, and of a grand scale, unforeseen thus far.

This will not create an age of abundance. It will create a highly unequal society with 90% of the population having nothing to do, no means to earn a livelihood, living like zombies, unable to afford anything.

Supporting this massive population of zombies will become economically impossible for governments.

We're shockingly close to a dysfunctional world order.

Agree or Disagree?


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Web 3.0 and E-Commerce Investment Thesis of 3 VCs

(0) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 9:16 AM


Last fall, we had three VCs discussing their Web 3.0 and e-Commerce investment thesis. If you are looking to build a Unicorn company in the Web 3.0 / e-Commerce domains, I strongly recommend you listen to these three interviews. In each case, listening...

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Billion Dollar Unicorns: How Marketo Is Faring In The Public Market

(0) Comments | Posted February 9, 2015 | 9:57 AM


Last year, we began tracking some Unicorn companies - essentially organizations with billion dollar plus valuations - inspired by a TechCrunch article by Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures. Some of these Unicorn companies went public last year and have reasserted their high...

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Valuation Without Revenue Unicorns

(0) Comments | Posted February 4, 2015 | 4:05 PM


Recently, Unicorns with multi-billion dollar valuations without the revenue to justify them have returned with a vengeance. The frenzy started with Facebook acquiring Instagram for $1 billion, and climaxed with the same company acquiring WhatsApp for $19 billion.

If there were any...

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Future Unicorns

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2015 | 1:20 PM


As I think about where future unicorns are likely to be, what trends present the characteristics of opportunities that can scale to that extent, I have a few observations.

I have had the opportunity to discuss these observations with a number of thoughtful...

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Why Not All Private Unicorns Will Become Public Unicorns

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 11:58 PM


We're in yet another tech bubble led by Silicon Valley's marvelous froth machine. However, this time, the bubble is constrained to two parts of the market, and thankfully, both are private.

One: Late stage, over-valued, over-hyped venture-funded still private startups. The ones among...

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Bootstrapped Unicorns

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 12:58 PM


In the fall of 2007, I met Sridhar Vembu, CEO of Zoho, for the first time. At that time, no one had heard of him. He was flying under the radar of Silicon Valley. Sridhar had a small network management tools business that...

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Do You Agree With Peter Thiel?

(2) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 11:44 AM

I don't. On a number of issues. Most of all: Don't play little ball -- swing for home runs.

Over 99 percent of the businesses that seek financing get rejected. Asking every entrepreneur to swing for the fences is dumb advice, in...

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Seed Investors in India: Why So Few?

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 10:22 AM


The seed capital ecosystem in India is a real bottleneck right now. There are no more than a couple of hundred seed investments that are happening a year. Even if the number doubles this year, it is still a terribly inadequate number to...

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10 Trends in Content Marketing

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2014 | 11:24 AM


We're not too far from a world where Content represents the Brand.

Brands, therefore, are trying to develop good content, and engage audiences by getting them to read/view their branded content.

Here are 10 trends in content marketing that marketers should keep track...

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Indian Venture Capital: Age of Reckoning

(0) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 10:41 AM


Ashish Gupta left Silicon Valley to partake in the bonanza that venture capital in India was supposed to create. He founded Helion Capital, a $605 million fund that has been in business for a while.

The style of venture capital that Ashish and...

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5 Ways Platform Ecosystems Will Shrink

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 9:21 AM


I found the recent Developer Economics survey results astonishing. VentureBeat published an article titled: 10,000-developer survey: 2 percent of coders split staggering 54% of all app revenue. Here are some snippets:

A new 10,000-developer survey by Developer...
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Paycheck Financing: A Great Way to Bootstrap Your Startup

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 9:50 AM


Entrepreneurs looking to launch their startups are often faced with myriad difficult decisions, chief among them being the question of seed financing. If you've ever found yourself asking, "How can I fund this?" or "Can I fund this on my own, while I'm...

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Mompreneurs Love to Sell Baby Products

(0) Comments | Posted November 7, 2014 | 1:00 PM


The e-commerce model of business allows women entrepreneurs to have greater flexibility in their lives. That is probably why we see several mompreneurs launching home-based businesses, and some of them scale to much bigger outfits. Of particular significance are mompreneurs selling baby products...

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Entrepreneur Dysfunctions in Cartoons: Age Bias

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 10:13 AM


Is there an age bias in Silicon Valley? Perhaps.

It is true that all the entrepreneurs who have built major breakthrough technology companies have been very young. Apple, Microsoft, Netscape, Google, Facebook -- all were founded by entrepreneurs in their twenties (or teens).

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Zero-Logistics E-Commerce Businesses Kick Ass

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 11:36 AM


A key factor for the success of an e-commerce business is the management of inventory and logistics. Especially for bootstrapping companies, this could be a major challenge. One way to work around this challenge is be a zero-logistics company. Shoplet, eComfort, and Car...

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The 10 New Trends in Corporate Innovation Management

(0) Comments | Posted October 24, 2014 | 12:58 PM


Last year, we launched a program called the 1M/1M Incubator-in-a-Box. Part of its goal has been to stimulate corporate innovation and intrapreneurship. It has exposed us to a broad range of technology companies and their innovation goals, strategies, and processes. While most of...

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Obsession With Free

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 11:21 AM


The Internet is full of people who expect that everything should be free. In economics, this phenomenon is referred to as the Free Rider Problem: when people consume value without paying their fair share. Obviously, some people DO pay their fair share. This...

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