Part I 

The perfect night sky is a plethora of possibilities – shooting stars, manmade satellites streaming at a steady speed, a Tesla gliding in orbit (courtesy Musk), new constellations and old. And while we barely have time to pause and take in the beauty of that vastness and make sense of it all, our lives rush by in 24 hour cycles around our parent star. We seek North Stars in our startups, but in the spirit of our 7th anniversary, we look to a constellation of 7 guiding stars.

Our startup Saptarishis would spell as:

Patience

Perseverance

Passion

Principles

People

Products

Possibilities

in no particular order, as is with the beauty of any constellation form, each star-gazer to their own construct.

These characteristics define a great startup’s core reasons for existence, much like the promise and birth of a star and its planets in a distant galaxy. What are the odds of life on such planets? The same odds as the dent that these great startups want to leave in the Universe (to paraphrase the Steve Jobs quote). Its tough! To possess and practice any of those qualities at scale.

Towards late 2017, we shared the Havells’ story with our founders. The book was a memoir, a son’s homage to his father, the patriarch and founder. As I wrote a personalized note to each team in the portfolio, the above 7 words were the most recurring themes. Almost all my notes had some of those words interspersed. They were the phantom thread that spoke of each team’s journey to date. They were also what made Havells a great showcase of Indian entrepreneurship. These 7 stars are what guide Blume’s pick of founders. These are what define Blumiers – a new Constellation in the making.

Shoe DogHavells

The unintended virtue of gifting all Blumiers a book is that the return gifts are trickling in. The Blume team now gets the founders’ favourite books for its own office library. The one I managed to breeze through over this weekend was Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog. An amazingly refreshing and brisk read, its worthy of a movie script. More importantly, the stars are similarly aligned. In the 2 decades of the Nike origins that the book captures, every one of these 7 stars shone through the moments of darkness.

 

Footnote: I asked Vijay why he gave me the Young Readers Edition of Shoe Dog :-). Was it to make me feel a bit better about rolling into the mid-40’s? He smiled and said it was because it would be a faster read. My daughter thinks it was meant for her and she’s devoured through half of the book in a couple of days, before I can share it with the Blume team.