Snakes & Ladders

With friendly support from Nipun Mehra, vice president, Sequoia Capital, Delhi

LADDERS: 9 SUCCESS FACTORS

 3–15  You found a scalable solution to a problem that exists not only in India but also worldwide. Ideate your way to 15.
 6–12  You know where your business will be in the next ten years and can explain your idea with so much passion and clarity that people want to join you! Move to 12.
 10–27  Early hiring mistakes cost the most. But you’ve put together a solid core team. Walk with your team to 27.
 16–31  Your parents wanted you to become a doctor, but after googling how much Flipkart’s founders made, they back you up. Cruise to 31 with your family’s full support!
 18–29  Good on you! You’ve got the right investor who, apart from the seed capital, has great mentoring skills and a strong network. Walk through the newly opened doors to 29.
 25–40  You’ve bootstrapped your way and have enough money to finally move your office out of your home! Pack a new suit and travel in style to 40.
 30–35  You’ve managed to raise venture capital and are now playing with the big boys! Take your hockey stick and sprint to 35.
 34–46  You’ve recruited the best experts in the field. Your team is looking stronger and more professional. Climb up to 46.
 36–45  Your team has done well. Take them out for a holiday! Celebrate and move together to 45.

SNAKES: 9 RISK FACTORS

 13–5  Reality check! You’re not entrepreneur material. You prefer stability, fixed working hours and financial security. Face facts and move to 5.
 19–4  Time is money—and you have neither. Your dream to be an entrepreneur keeps you going, but don’t quit your job until you’ve saved enough. Cool your heels at 4.
 20–8  After a big fight, your co-founders quit. They market the same idea under a new brand name. Get back to the drawing board. Slide down to 8.
 22–9  Instead of reinvesting your money, you blew it up on a new car and an expensive ink pen to sign the next deal. Go to 9 and save money.
 28–11  Even though your idea is great, customers don’t feel the need to buy your product/service. You’re way ahead of your time! Travel back to 11.
 37–21  You chose an investor who’s not interested in sharing insights, expertise or market know-how; he only wants to see the numbers. Go back to 21 and get a better deal.
 38–26  Your profit and loss statement looks sad. So does your bank account. Take a deep breath and walk back to 26.
 44–39  You’re exhausted and about to burn out. Slow down and stay away from your email inbox! Take a nap at 39.
 47–32  The government has amended regulations. Your only chance of survival is to adapt faster than others! Tumble down to 32 and reinvent yourself.