Alykhan Jetha, CEO, MarketCircle Inc.
- Alykhan Jetha is an entrepreneur, bootstrapper, underdog, President & CEO, of Marketcircle.
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Alykhan Jetha is an entrepreneur, bootstrapper, underdog, President & CEO, of Marketcircle. He studied computer hardware in college & found a love for programming. He founded Marketcircle, a software company developing award-winning business apps for the Mac, iPhone & iPad. He bootstrapped his company from nothing to a team of 40+ passionate individuals with thousands of customers globally.
00:31-Tell us about your journey from Congo to Canada.
- It happened in 1974. I was five years old at the time. And we got expelled from the Congo.
- We landed in Brussels, then from Brussels a few months or so later, we landed in Toronto, Canada.
- Then a couple of months later, my father passed away. So then, it was my mom who had never really worked other than helping my father in the shops. And my two sisters.
03:24- Tell us about Marketcircle.
- So market circle, the way you see today, is not how we started; we started it as a .com.
- What we built is a site where you could put a product, you can have an asking price, and then you can negotiate a price between buyer and seller. And you could also request the service as well for a certain price.
- We went to some VCs in the US to raise some capital but failed and so decided to pivot our company to a consulting firm.
- To keep track of sales opportunities, we made Daylite on MAC. Apple liked this product and bought it from us. We also won the Apple design award for our product.
08:58- What does Daylite do?
- We heard about a lot of CRMs failing and wanted to know the reason. We found out that management wanted the data, but the users that were actually doing the sales or the work didn’t want to use that system and never put the data in.
- We started with the productivity part first, like providing a proper calendar, and proper task management.
- So now what was happening is these small business people were actually using the application and getting something out of it.
11:09- What are some important qualities that a startup founder should have?
- You have to have the belief that you’ll somehow figure it out, which means that you know, you’ll see a problem and tackle it.
- The second is a thirst for solving problems. Solve problems for a customer, which they’re willing to pay you for.
- Having a few people that you can trust and that have some kind of knowledge in your domain. And you are willing to share the fact that you have this embarrassing problem, and then get some advice.
13:28- What are some of the basic mistakes startup entrepreneurs make?
- Having the wrong people in the wrong seats is often a big mistake. You have to have the courage to let people go who are not so good or don’t match your core values or they’re just toxic to the environment.
- The other one is having people whose core values are different from yours. There’s always going to be a conflict between how you feel you should solve a problem and how they feel that the problem should be solved.
- The other one is not managing cash flow carefully. I’ve seen many startups pouring all their money into marketing and advertising when the product is not ready.
- Another one is losing belief in yourself. As an entrepreneur, you will be working hard. And if you don’t manage that side of it, you will fall on your face, and you won’t get up.
16:36- Should one bootstrap as long as possible? Or Should one raise money?
- If you are inexperienced, then you need to buy yourself time. If you are experienced, then maybe you can go ahead and raise money.
- The reason is that people who will invest will say here’s X number of dollars in, I want X number of dollars out in these many years. So there is a parameter.
- You don’t want to do that until you know about financial statements and what kind of people you want to hire.
18:55- A lesson you would want people to take away from your learnings
- Firstly, other entrepreneurs that have made it are just like you. They’re humans, just like you, and have made the same mistakes we make.
- It’s okay to make mistakes, you’ve made mistakes, and you’ll make mistakes in the future. Learn from the mistake, don’t dwell on it, and move on.
- It’s more about protecting your energy, in the sense of the ability for you to continue executing. Apart from the physical side, top up your emotional tank through either books or worship or whatever works for you.
You can connect with Alykhan Jetha- LinkedIn
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Thanks for listening!
- Alykhan Jetha is an entrepreneur, bootstrapper, underdog, President & CEO, of Marketcircle
- He studied computer hardware in college & found a love for programming.
- He founded Marketcircle, a software company developing award-winning business apps for the Mac, iPhone & iPad.