Warren buffett- The oracle!

It is the birthday of Mr. Warren Edward Buffet, the American philanthropist who is counted in the list of wealthiest people of the world and is widely considered as the most successful investor of the 20th century. Because of his amazing value investing philosophy and simplicity in everyday life, he has earned the nickname ‘the Oracle of Omaha’ or ‘the Sage of Omaha.’ He once said-“ Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” It is this kind of foresight that has lead him to the pinnacle of success.

As a child, young Warren displayed a keen knack for financial matters. He was somewhat of a mathematical prodigy, and was able to add large columns of numbers in his head- an ability he still likes to show off to his friends and associates. Warren’s father was a stockbroker and served as U.S. Congressman. Warren made his first investment when he was all of 11 years old! He bought three shares of Cities Service Preferred at $38 per share. The stock quickly dropped to only $27, but Buffett held on tenaciously until they reached $40. When later asked about this, he commented- “I made my first investment at age 11. I was wasting my life up until then.”

Warren Buffet undertook his first entrepreneurial venture at age 13, an age when most of us can’t count money properly. He was running his own businesses as a paperboy and selling his own horse racing tip sheet. During that year, he also filed his first tax return, claiming his bike as a $35 tax deduction. It was easy to see that young Warren was destined for big things.

During his high school tenure, Buffet dabbled in different ways to try and make money. One of his successful ventures was when he bought a pinball machine with a friend for $25. They installed it in a Washington barbershop and used the profits to buy more machines. He finally sold his business to a war veteran for $1200, 48 times his initial investment! When asked about smart investment, he famously said-“Rule number one: Never lose money. Rule number two: Never forget rule number one.””

Buffet went to Wharton School of business at 16 and moved to University of Nebraska, 2 years later, to finish up his degree. He attended Columbia University for his advanced degree and shortly after graduation, he formed the Buffet Partnership firm in Omaha. He became rich and famous for buying undervalued companies whose stocks shortly began to rise. This long-sightedness also earned him the aforementioned sobriquet-“The Oracle of Omaha.” He helped rescue Salomon Brothers from corporate raiders (1987) and took charge of the New York City house(1992) when it was hit by an insider trading scandal.

After a career spanning roughly 50 years, which saw him amass a net worth of over 50 billion dollars, Warren Buffet shocked the world when he pledged his entire fortune away to charity, committing 85% of it to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. This donation became the largest act of charity in the history of the United states. His words explaining the rationale behind this move are both profound and enlightening-

I don’t have a problem with guilt about money. The way I see it is that my money represents an enormous number of claim checks on society. It’s like I have these little pieces of paper that I can turn into consumption. If I wanted to, I could hire 10,000 people to do nothing but paint my picture every day for the rest of my life. And the GDP would go up. But the utility of the product would be zilch, and I would be keeping those 10,000 people from doing AIDS research, or teaching, or nursing. I don’t do that though. I don’t use very many of those claim checks. There’s nothing material I want very much. And I’m going to give virtually all of those claim checks to charity when my wife and I die.”

As of today, having battled prostate cancer, Warren Buffet continues to power on.

Social Media: Facebook vs WhatsApp ?

Everything is on mobile these days. Be it our glasses (Google Glass) or payments, it’s becoming increasingly on the move, one device world. Social Media is starting to feel the pressure. A study by Nielsen and McKinsey shows that for social media, consumption time spent on mobile apps and mobile websites accounted for a 63% increase (compared to 2011) in total time spent. Further 61% smartphone users access social media on mobile. So much so that, even the big guns like Google and Facebook also are showing apt interest in mobile. Let’s take a closer look at their efforts.
Google’s Hangout Re-Branding
Google re-branded “Hangouts” in May 2013 as a new unified, cross-platform messaging system, replacing GTalk to catch on to the increasing OTT (Over the Top) messaging landscape, a clear indication of the company’s belief in the power of mobile. The app supposedly has 50 million downloads till date.
Facebook’s Mobile Botch-up
Facebook tried to get its feet in the space but it has not run into any luck yet. One of the company’s ventures into mobile is FB poke, a mobile app launched in Dec 2012. It was a blatant copy of Snapchat (a popular app for sending pics) but failed to get traction. The other being, Facebook Home, it’s an all-encompassing app for mobile which has failed miserably – The app has a measly one-star rating on Google Play store and AT&T dropped the price from $99 to 99 cents of HTC First (FB Home based phone) due to less demand. Mobile Social Networks
To make more sense of mobile social world let’s look at the ways users engage on mobile. There are two ways – Pure Social Networks (One to followers/friends like Instagram) and OTTs (One to one like WhatsApp or WeChat). The OTT world is surging as of now. The volume of OTT messaging traffic is set to be twice of SMS by end of this year. Another opportunity is the gap of social engagement in OTTs that a new breed of startups, built ground up for mobile is solving by combining the two ways of engagement on mobile. They aim to serve the purpose of a unified platform for rich media messaging and media sharing. They have shown great traction also. Let’s look at a few below.

Pheed Launched in late 2012, it allows users to text, photo, audio, video and broadcast. Has one million users as of February 2013
Just.me – Launched in April 2013 by TechCrunch co-founder and backed by Khosla Ventures, the app combines the best of rich media messaging and media sharing. Has 100k installs as of May 2013
What’s Next?As you can make out it’s Web based social behemoths (read Facebook and Google) versus these startups built from ground up for mobile. While pure OTTs like WhatsApp and WeChat currently have a lead in terms of number of users but they need to keep adding features and pivot towards a more social angle to survive, or one of the new startups or Facebook/Google will surge ahead. Mobile Social Media is a very lucrative market as smartphones are increasingly becoming an extension of oneself, serving purpose as basic as calls to being our wallets. The next frontier is social and jury is still out on who will fulfill that need.

Reports Used in this Article:
1) http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/social/2012/
2) https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.talk&hl=en
3) http://www.businessinsider.com/everyone-is-talking-about-how-facebook-tried–and-failed–to-copy-yet-another-popular-startup-2012-12
4) http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/13/rumor-att-to-discontinue-the-htc-first-facebook-phone/
5) http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/18/the-future-of-mobile-social-could-spell-the-end-for-social-networks/
6) https://commerce.informatm.com/reports/main/voip-ip-messaging-revised.html
7) http://www.minyanville.com/sectors/technology/articles/Did-The-IPhone-Have-A-Role/5/15/2013/id/49845

Welcome to our blog!

“Welcome to our blog! The Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Bombay was founded in 1998 with the motto of promoting entrepreneurship inside as well as beyond the walls of the IIT campus. One of the founders of E-Cell was Anshuman Bapna, an alumnus of IITB and Stanford School of Business. Anshuman also started Eureka and was the Co-Founder of the first ever startup in IIT Bombay. Here is what he said about why he started E-Cell.

”I had finished my 2nd year at that time and one day when I was talking to a senior and it so happened that my senior asked me if I would do an MBA or a job or masters after graduation. So suddenly I asked ‘what if I start my own company’? The senior laughed it off and that rattled me. So I spent an entire year going all over the country, meeting people and going wherever there were entrepreneurship institutes like there was one in Ahmedabad, and there were hardly any incubators at that time but I met the first few VCs of those days. In my 4th year, I finally started my 1st company, our investor was an alum from IITB called Rakesh Mathur who had started a company called junglee.com which was later sold to Amazon for $100million. Once in the USA we stopped over at Stanford and we went to check out the computer science department and we passed by a room when one of my friends suddenly told me that have you heard of this company called ‘google’ which just came out which is a search engine and by the way the guys who built it are those 2 guys sitting in that room over there. So the fact that students in the USA can build companies was very evident even at my time and I wanted the same spirit in India”.

Currently, we are a team of 20 managers who are third-year students, 2 Overall coordinators who are fourth-year students and many enthusiastic sophomores, pursuing our undergraduate studies at IITB.

All of us are not entrepreneurs, although some of us are trying our luck at it. But all of us share the common belief that for India to emerge as a world power, the youth has to break the shackles of prejudices and inertia that keeps them from starting up.  Every alternate day we meet in a 18X18X14 room, popularly known as the E-Cell room which is inside the Students’ Activity Centre, to brainstorm about how we can make the entrepreneurial ecosystem better.

We learn with every passing day. We get inspired by interacting with entrepreneurs at a very personal level and learning about their struggle stories. When we go to conferences, we get awed by the professionalism that the corporate world has to offer. We are elated when a wonderful idea for an event strikes us. We feel proud of ourselves when we negotiate with the CMOs of big shot firms. We are overwhelmed when our posters and designs are liked by hundreds of our followers. So that’s our story!

We want to communicate the same inspiration and awareness to the ecosystem around us. We want to share our reading and well as personal experiences. This blog is created to keep people connected with the entrepreneurial world.

Don’t forget to leave a comment when you see our posts. We love hearing from our readers and followers.

Any suggestions or recommendations for posts would be more than welcome. You can write to us at enspace@ecell.in or contact our team.