Rules for Success
Ideas gathered last week-end at a TIE Advisory Council meeting in Bangalore
Narayana Murthy ( Infosys):
A test of a good idea is whether it can be put in one simple sentence that makes sense to your customer. In the early days of Infosys he tried things like ‘We will provide a better user interface to a mainframe application’, or “We will provide a better connection between a terminal and a mainframe’ but it did not work. When he started using things like ” We will help you reduce cost by…” or “We will help you reduce ccycle time…” it started to work.
A second test is to ask- Is the market ready for this new idea? Unless it is, your idea will fail. The exception to this is when you introduce ideas with market discontinuity like Netscape or Amazon did.
A third test is whether the team put together to execute the idea has members whose skills are mutually exclusive and at the same time is collective exhaustive. In the early days of Infosys, his own skill was in finance and strategy, and each of his partners had a core skill- Nandan in Sales and Marketing, Raghavan in HR, Kris in Technology and the last threewere extraordinary software project managers.
He believes a common theme in successful businesses is the founders readiness to pospone personal financial gratification to the long term- this comes from a readiness for self sacrifice