More than 90% of startups…
die. They fail.
You know that the founders,
they have a great idea.
They start their company with a lot of passion,
with a lot of energy.
They really really work hard,
yet 90% of the companies die.
Why is it so?
There are couple of main reasons,
couple of big reasons.
One of them is execution,
and I’m not going to talk about that today.
I’m going to talk about the other one,
and that’s the primary cause of death of startups
are ideas in the very early stage.
Execution is the one which becomes the reason for death in the next phase.
So, before I tell you that reason
for which most of the startups die in the very early stage,
let me tell you a story, a story… of an idea.
10 years back, I was studying in this campus.
And I decided not to go for a job,
but to pursue my idea of a startup.
And my family had absolutely no idea about business.
So, when I went and told my mom
that I’m going to start a company,
she was little bit worried, but as always she supported.
But then, after a month or so,
she called me up, and she sounded a little bit disturbed.
And she told me, “Bikash, you have to get a job.
她跟我说 “Bikash 你应该找份工作
Just go and sit for the placement, get the job,
but it’s not necessary that you have to join.”
And I thought what’s happening? Why is it so?
And after a while, I realized that
one of my uncles told my mom that
I heard Bikash started a computer shop.
So, my mom was furious.
Is this the reason why I sent you to IIT
to start computer shop?
You’re spoiling my reputation.
So, anyway, I let things get cool down for a while.
My mom got cool down, and I… never went for the campus placement,
我妈妈也冷静了 我 是不会去校园招聘的
and I started off with the idea which I had.
And my co-founder was a great hacker,
also from… the same campus.
He used to know people by their IP address
and not by their names.
So it’s like we meet somebody at the cantine,
and after some time, he realizes oh that was 10.5.
过了一会儿 他意识到 噢 那个人是10.5
So, we once went to an organization to conduct an ethical hacking exercise.
So ethical hacking exercises, something where the organizations invite experts
to come down and test how secure is their system.
Are there any flaws? How could they be broken?
And how they could be fixed.
So, we went to this organization,
and we broke almost every part of the network.
We got the CEO’s password.
We got into the finance system. We got into the HR system.
Back then, hacking was very easy.
And, while we were presenting that report to their management,
we got an idea.
We thought maybe we could have tried a different way to break into.
So at the end of the presentation
we went and told them that can we try once more?
And they said, “Okay, go ahead and try
他们说 “好吧 那就试试吧
any… anyway you guys have broken.”
So, we went and tried. And that thing worked.
于是 我们去试了 那方法成功了
And that was like a moment of truth for us.
And we asked ourselves that when we, as ethical hackers or penetration testers,
when we try to break into a system
and find out the flaws,
once we get success, do we try as hard as we were trying before
to find the second way of breaking into, and the third ,
and the tenth, and the hundredth?
The answer is obviously no, because we will
lose the interest after some time as human beings.
So we realized that
the ethical hacking model doesn’t really solve the purpose.
Because for the guy who has to secure,
he or she has to block all the possibilities of attacks,
but the guy who is going to break, has to find only one.
So we thought what could we do?
And just some time back,
I did my course on artificial intelligence,
so we thought can we do something
to figure out the permutations and combinations of attack parts?
So we started using planning algorithms
and started working on this problem.
And what we figured out a little bit later was
that this was a very very hard problem in computer science.
The space complexity is very high.
With conventional computers,
you cannot solve this in a reasonable timeframe.
But we figured out certain ways to solve that.
And once we did that,
we started getting a lot of awards
from Intel, University of California Berkeley,
Red Herring, etc., etc.
So we were super excited.
But then, after a while,
we… had our second moment of truth.
And what we realized was that we were getting more awards than business.
So we were thinking what’s happening? Are these people crazy?
They’re giving us so many awards, but nobody is buying this.
So we started thinking about what the real problem is,
and what we figured out was that organizations, even though they love this idea,
they did not have people to run these tools.
So we thought then how do we solve this?
And then we thought let’s post this online,
and we can run this tool for them.
Let’s operate as a service.
And then, one of the guys in our company,
he came up and told me, “Bikash, you know what?
他过来跟我说 “Bikash 你知道吗？
There’s something called SaaS, Software as a Service.”
And I went and looked. Okay, that sounds cool.
我过去看了看 好吧 它听起来很酷
Let’s call ourselves SaaS.
And that became something interesting
because we had a very interesting technology
we used to call like AI-based technology to simulate a human hacker.
Then we had a lot of awards, and now, all of a sudden
我们获得了很多奖项 现在 突然
we got a business-friendly tag called SaaS.
And we got lucky.
We raised 4 million dollar venture capital fund.
And that was a great moment. We were all very happy,
and I… a call to my mom
and share this weird news.
So I called up my mom and told my mom we got 4 million dollars.
On the other side, there was a long silence.
And then she said,
“Why will somebody give you so much of money?
There must be something wrong.”
And she told me careful.
So indeed, I have to be very careful after we raised this 4 million dollars
but for a completely different reason.
After a while,
we started getting some moderate success.
We started getting some customers.
But then, what we realized was
that we were solving a problem of network security.
And we realized that eventually,
network penetration testing is going to become less and less important.
What’s becoming more important is the application security,
All this online websites,
e-commerce portal, banking applications,
and it’s a different problem.
So we then decided to shift
from this network security testing to application security testing.
And that was the right move for us.
And that actually helped us in terms of scaling.
We went ahead and got more than 500 enterprise customers.
We, sometime back, around 4 months back,
我们 过去 大约4个月前
we got acquired by a company.
So overall that has just… to kind of arrive at the success
Now if we look at this journey,
is this journey a search for an idea?
Obviously, it looks like, right?
显然 它好像是 对吧？
It’s like a search for an idea.
We started with an idea….
phase 2 of an idea, move to phase 3,
and when we move to phase 3,
that’s when we got some success.
So, initially I thought so.
It took me like 5 or 6 years to realize
that it was actually not a journey of search for an idea.
It was something else.
It was the search for the problem.
And this had been one of the very big realizations which I had in my life.
In our entire education system, or even in our society,
we love people who solves great problems, right?
We don’t like people who comes up and points or finds problem.
We love solving problems.
That’s what we are taught at various institutes.
But what we don’t learn is how to find problems.
And finding problems is a different kind of hard.
It’s a different kind of skills, and one needs to learn that.
Unfortunately, our society, our education system
不幸的是 我们的社会 我们的教育系统
does not promote problem finding that much.
We all know this gentleman, right?
We all want to be a hero.
And we all worship hero.
But in the entire story of a hero what we miss out is the villain.
To make a great hero, you need a great villain.
Without a great villain, you don’t have a hero.
So next time, when you have a great idea, you should think twice.
所以以后 你如果有个很好的想法 你应该再想想
Is this idea solving a great problem?
Are people really worried about that problem?
Or is it you who is excited about the problem?
Are people really excited about that problem?
And if you find out that great problem,
you can say, “Eureka!
I found a great problem.”
So if you want to be a hero
you have to find your villain,
and that’s very very important.
There is no great idea without a great problem.
So we should stop looking for ideas,
and start looking for great problems.
Because it’s not the idea… but the problem that matters.
More than 90% of startups…