Startup Q&A from 22nd November

Mohan K, Editor @

Check out the recent responses to questions on Startups:

First things first, your premise – Why must there be competitors in business – is incorrect.

A study of “economics 101″ Competition – Wikipedia will explain “competition is the rivalry among sellers trying to achieve such goals as increasing profits, market share, and sales volume by varying the elements of the marketing mix: price, product, distribution, and promotion.”

Competition is not always a natural behavior. Monopolistic or oligopolistic conditions could also exist in the market, which would prevent or minimize competition. Some business leaders, especially in less regulated markets dream of monopolistic environments. Check out how Russian oligarchs (Wikipedia) thrived!

In the startup world, early movers may experience “monopoly, till competitors enter the market. Sometimes they might try to retain near-monopoly by patenting their unique technology or processes.

Modern markets, and government regulators, don’t encourage monopoly. They try and enact laws to minimize anti-competitive practices.

The question is interesting. So, let us start by looking at a few of aspects of your question.

  • Who is a “medical student” ? It is unclear if we are talking about a student in a Medical School studying to become a Medical Doctor (MD) or a student of nursing, physiotherapy or something else. It is also unclear what qualifications and credentials this “student” will possess.
  • Healthcare App company: Again, the term is too open ended and it is unclear what kind of “healthcare App” the company is providing. Is it a medical service A? Is it a Video-doctor-consultation App or something else?
  • CEO – Chief executive officer – Wikipedia

    : A chief executive officer (CEO) in American English or managing director (MD) in British English describes the position of the most senior corporate officer, executive, leader or administrator in charge of managing an organization. Typically, responsibilities of a CEO include decision maker on strategy and other key policy issues, leader, manager, and executor.

The answer really depends on the role the CEO will play in this “healthcare App company” and the credentials, knowledge and experience the “medical student” will bring to the table.

“Adequate knowledge about business” is a nebulous term. It is unclear what kind of business knowledge the student possesses. Is it experience gained in another business venture? or is it academic knowledge from some courses attended?

In theory, anyone with a drive and will can become a CEO. A small startup funded by family-and-friends may be open to a “student” family member or friend driving the venture. Larger companies or formal ventures funded by investors may be more selective.

Updated the following after clarification by Bhavik Bansal in the comments

The idea, as described – app that lets people book doctor appointments , order drugs or diagnostic tests etc. – sounds intriguing. With just this information, it is hard to evaluate the business case. This said, a few things to ask yourself:

  • You joined MBBS to become a medical doctor: do you still plan to do so?
  • If the startup fails, or after it succeeds, do you plan to go back to Medical School and become a doctor?
  • Is the startup itch so great that you are willing to take a break in your education to focus on this idea?
  • Do you have the resources (funding) that will enable you to forego your valued education and also invest in the startup?
  • “CEO” of a startup is not a glamorous job but entitles you to be on the drivers seat: you drive the success and are responsible for any failures. Is this something you want?

Only you can reflect on and answer these questions So, back to your original question: can you be a “good CEO for a healthcare App company” ?? You do have an idea and passion. This is something most startups need.

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