My 10 Startup Ideas

(and a startling realization about mom)

You know which is the most maturing moment in life? When you realize you are A LOT like your mom or dad.

For me, the moment came when I was telling my daughter about the different business ideas her grandma (my mom) had during my childhood. From a daycare for kids (that had flyers accidentally printed as “kid scare instead of kid’s care”…..that we USED anyway??!) to a beauty salon (yes, I was the guinea pig and yes I still hate salons!) to a stuffed toy business (adorable ones. I still have a couple from those times) to a language translation business, it was all part of my childhood. And very much ‘just something my mom did’.

Until my kid said “So many ideas. Grandma is like you!”

Probably true (well, in a reverse kinda way). I always assumed I was a straight arrow — job, next step, next step, next step. But the ideas were still there…such as:

(note: these are all ideas that have, in some part, been actually moved to reality by really smart people. Ideas are probably popping up in a 100 heads as Itype this).

Dizzy Dosa

(A Dosa Truck idea conjured up with my awesome team in biz school. Dosas in paper cones, how could you not love it?)

Cosmetics Search

(covering search marketing as a full-time job had its effect on me, clearly. Plus I have always been someone who could learn a thing or two about cosmetics)

Book clubs..but online!

(inspired by GoodRead. My twist? The online groups met at a common time and were moderated. Coz..thats exactly what every book reader wants right?)

Toy Exchange

(because the clutter was insane. So was wasting money. But we.still.keep.buying!)

Parent & child dinner-making kit

(Great idea until we realized it involved cooking)

Gardening on demand

(on an app..coz, like, who wants to manage their own gardens anyway?)

Gifting experiences for kids

(Enough! That’s the 10th time I got the same Lego set. See a pattern here about my hate for toys?)

Non profit search

(Based on ratings coz..how do you know the non profit actually is a legit outfit? Yeah, if things were that easy)


And a few more such as local news podcasting (loved it’s name, Sodapop!) and my personal favorite: a platform for nostalgia-sharing amongst the 80s kids from India (aptly named Maggification- a 2 minute story series)

None of the ideas materialized (yet) because they remained in Google Docs or on Post-Its or in half-finished coffee sessions (in one case, it moved simply ahead to a logo. Success, right?)

Which brings me to my point — ideas are just that. Ideas. It takes guts, tears and sweat to keep nudging it ahead.

As a mom in the 80s and 90s in India, moving every two years for my dad’s job, my mom made it happen. It is hard to realize that as a kid, but now as a grownup hustling myself, it makes me proud if I am even one little bit like my mom.

So…if your mom ever managed, struggled, or tried to make her little idea grow into even the tiniest of reality, salute her. Coz she might not have realized it then, but she was a solid entrepreneur. Without the hype.

Oh..and Happy Mother’s Day, ma.

Sapna

Co-founder xyza: news for kids (the one I moved to reality with my awesome co-founder @joanns415 and amazing community of subscribers)


If you are anyone but my mom and liked this post, please share it with any entrepreneurial moms you know!

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