Crucible Moments

I wrote a Tech Talk entitled “Crucible Experiences” a few years ago. A crucible experience is something which transforms us, and shakes and shapes our lives.

Many of the companies in the Emergic Ecosystem (my investments) are going through their own crucible moments. They face challenges of various kinds — revenue generation, business model validation, competition, need for additional capital. In fact, some face multiple of these challenges simultaneously. For some, there is a clock ticking away as cash runs out and there is a race to prevent closure. That is always the risk in being an entrepreneur (or investor) and doing things which are different and haven’t been done before. The probability of success is a magnitude lower than what most entrepreneurs believe. For these fledgling companies, this is a moment of truth — a crucible moment. It is a make-or-break period — and one which is easier to describe than to live through.

Take for example, Netcore. With two quarters of the year done, we face a situation that’s not unfamiliar territory: costs are as per projections, and revenues are lower than the ambitious targets we had set at the start of the year. Which means, cash burn is higher than anticipated. We have two choices: either we can reign in costs to account for the slower revenue growth, or keep on the accelerator and search out new revenue streams to bridge the gap. Of course, we need to do both! But which are the areas which get my attention more than others — that is the key question. We are in a blue ocean, in unchartered waters. We are pioneering many facets of mobile marketing. And I know that the multi-monetisation streams that we have planned out can be done. Which of these should we focus more than others is the thing I need to ponder on. The decisions we make now will make a big difference to our growth. In a way, this is our own crucible moment.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.