Do you know what Indian Ph. D. model is? Well, this may sound to be overly sarcastic and I should refrain from throwing bad light on my nations image; unfortunately this remains true, and this is one of the reasons that keep us backwards or keep pulling our legs. I admit that the same Ph. D. system would be prevalent in many other countries, but at least people who know the advantage and significance of innovation should stay safe from the clutches of this vicious tendency. I also admit that I am not a Ph. D. myself and should not be right person to comment or pass judgement on the whole system, but I will be quoting somebody who has been through this. It also does not mean that the whole system is wrong or functions in the undesirable way, but the legacy is harmful, indeed.
So, what exactly is the Indian Ph. D. system?
I remember somebody who had done pioneering research work in welding technology saying that he was surprised when his superiors or the guide told him this:
Go, study the literature, and if you find any fault in that, do your research on that and that would be the main subject of your Ph. D.
He went on to say that he was so surprised as what type of research that would be. Are we only concerned about mistakes or leftovers? Will we never do something of our own? Is their no worth of innovation at that level too.
I have seen the same tendency of work culture among lot of Indian professionals. They limit their development to copying or following somebody. They never believe that they could be the first movers.
Don’t let this happen to your startup
Don’t let this thought process plague the innovative environment of your startup. Always encourage bold steps and leadership calls if somebody or someone has it in him/her. Why you should wait for someone else to make the first move. If you feel something is right and worthwhile doing, why not become the leader in that area and let others follow you.
Never mar the innovative spirit within. Once you do that, you limit yourself to only copying and following others and never taking charge of the market.
I noticed this attitude among my peers and also my colleagues. If you give them a new idea, they will ask you whether somebody else has implemented it? Why we need an example! If the idea is good and industry experts have already endorsed it, why we are not the first movers?
Don’t let this happen to your startup!