Barely a month after they hit headlines for their seemingly abrupt exit from e-commerce giant Flipkart, Mukesh Bansal and Ankit Nagori are back in the public eye.
Last week, they announced plans to launch a new venture in the healthcare and fitness space. That was a little surprising, because when he was leaving Flipkart, Bansal had said he would like to take a break and use the next few months to spend time with his children and travel. But as many say, once you’ve tasted entrepreneurship, it’s difficult to stay away from it for long.
The big question now is: Can Bansal play a second successful innings, repeat what he did with Myntra?
In 2010, Ben Horowitz, co-founder and general partner at VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, wrote that when super successful entrepreneurs found their second company, they often suffer from a dangerous condition he called Second Startup Syndrome. He noted that the focus of a startup must be on building a great product and finding product-market fit — a period during which there is no glamour and very little breadth.
“Serial entrepreneurs who suffer from Second Startup Syndrome want to skip through the narrow, early steps and move quickly to more exciting topics such as long-term strategy, sales and marketing, company positioning, company culture and more. Unfortunately, when you build a house, it’s usually a very bad idea to start with the roof,” Horowitz wrote, and noted that the greatest sign of the syndrome is a lack of anxiety (considering perhaps that the entrepreneur has already built substantial personal wealth and a reputation for himself/herself). Bansal will have to avoid these pitfalls — but his will be one startup to watch.