March 30, 2023

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Lateral Sparks, the weekly quiz from YourStory, tests your domain knowledge, business acumen, and lateral thinking skills (see the previous edition here). In this 55th edition of the quiz, we present issues tackled by real-life entrepreneurs in their startup journeys.
What would you do if you were in their shoes? At the end of the quiz, you will find out what the entrepreneurs and innovators themselves did. Would you do things differently?
Check out YourStory’s Book Review section as well, with takeaways from over 340 titles on creativity and entrepreneurship, and our weekend PhotoSparks section on creativity in the arts.
Q1: The need for data
Launching effective AI and ML applications depends heavily on the quantity and quality of available data. But getting real-world data can be expensive and time-consuming, with other challenges of privacy and security. What’s a good way of getting such data to start training algorithms?
Q2: From education to jobs
Getting a degree from a top tech, design or business school is a great way to land the perfect job. But that may not be enough to guarantee near-term or long-term success. What’s another approach to landing that job and staying relevant in the long journey of a profession?
Q3: Uncertainty and mistakes
Avoiding uncertainties and ensuring that mistakes are avoided is one way to be risk-averse. However, uncertainties, mistakes and failures are part of the creative journey. What’s a better way to frame such challenges and deal with them?
Q4: Content and services
The rise of the web and social media content has spawned a whole series of sectors in digital advertising, social media influencer marketing, and reputation monitoring. What’s an offline category for services that has also witnessed a boom thanks to digital media?
Q5: Channels and brands
There are multiple approaches to launching new brands, and one of the first decisions to make is whether to focus on an online or offline approach. Which one might you choose first, and which one would you weave in later?
Congratulations on having come this far! But there’s more to come – answers to these five questions (below), as well as links to articles with more details on the entrepreneurs’ solutions. Happy reading, happy learning – and happy creating!
A1: The need for data
“Synthetic data retains all the insights of real-world data but not the identities. It helps overcome data privacy and regulatory issues concerning data sharing,” explains Hardik Dave, Founder of Indika AI.
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A well-designed model for generating data can yield quality data. Read more here on how synthetic data can approximate the properties of original real-world data, including text, images, videos, and speech.
A2: From education to jobs
“Modern jobs have become more skill-focused than degree-focused,” observes Ashish Munjal, Co-founder, Sunstone. It is hard for many companies and recruiters to find suitable candidates that meet their skill requirements.
Skilling is also not a one-time investment in education. “Reskilling has become a common notion. People are more cognisant of the fact that one’s skills have an expiry date,” adds Saher Mahmood, Principal Analyst, Gartner.
A3: Uncertainty and mistakes
“Let uncertainty fuel your creativity. Your time and attention, and where you place it, matters,” explains Lauren Celenza, a design consultant and writer, speaking at the DesignUp 2022 conference.
Discussing failure and slip-ups should also be made acceptable and even encouraged in organisations. “Making mistakes is a crucial part of learning and making mistakes is okay,” affirms Oren Kaniel, Co-founder, AppsFlyer. It’s important to build such a business culture early on.
A4: Content and services
“As social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Tumbler, and Pinterest gain popularity, the photography market is likely to witness rapid growth in the coming years,” observes Parminder Sahni, Co-founder, VsnapU.
The startup has raised over Rs 2 crore in a seed round led by Inflection Point Ventures, for procuring more contracts and team expansion. Read more here about how they aggregate locally available photographers to provide photography solutions for B2B and B2C clients.
A5: Channels and brands
“When one is starting a new brand, digital is the best bet. You can create demand and presence for your product. But after a point, offline is the way forward,” explains Abhishek Shah, Co-founder, Almo.
The loungewear brand delivers 15-20,000 products every month and is increasing its presence across online marketplaces. Read more here about why it plans to soon enter the offline space, and the tradeoffs involved as digital marketing gets more competitive and expensive.
YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).


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