Why was a need felt for iSPIRT?
We feel that there is a need to explain to the public at large that a vibrant software product industry is vital to India’s future. Unless we do this, the appropriate policy framework will not emerge. Today, very few public intellectuals understand the difference between IT Services and software products. We seek to change this over time.
Within the industry, we feel that we must deepen our conversations about playbooks and product ideas. Unless we do this, we will not be able to sustain the innovation of the last few years. In every successful product ecosystem, people have built on each other’s ideas and playbooks.
Truly successful product companies build private value on top of public goods. There would be no Google but for Stanford University, no Cisco but for DARPA, and no RedHat but for the Linux open source project. In India, public goods are being created by self-organizing communities that are inspired by the open source movement. We feel that these initiatives have to multiply to create a strong foundation for the Indian software product industry. We seek to foster an environment where this can happen.
What is the organization structure of iSPIRT?
We are a collection of full-time and part-time Fellows. We are supported primarily by grants and contributions from product firms and individuals. We are a non-profit institution.
Will iSPIRT help entrepreneurs get funding?
One of our policy proposals will be to dramatically increase early stage risk capital that is available to the software industry. In addition, we will seek to emulate some of the programs for the Biotech industry that have been created by the Government’s Department of Biotechnology.
Who are the promoters behind iSPIRT?
About 30 product companies and individuals came together as part of the Founder Circle to form this think tank. These represent the most active and successful players in the product industry in India.
How will you make an impact?
We are a new-generation think tank. Our impact will come not just from policy briefs. It will also come from the market catalysts that we build and the playbooks that we evangelize.
I'm not part of the Founder Circle list of Donors. Can I become a donor now?
We would like you to get involved with iSPIRT. Right now we are not seeking donations. Please send us an email to email@example.com and we would add you to the waiting list. Meanwhile do get involved as a Fellow, Maven, Saarthi or Voyager.
Why a think-tank and not a trade body?
As a Think Tank we are able to take a long view and establish a strong intellectual foundation for effective policy making, creation of the right market catalysts and a distinctive industry culture. A trade body tends devolves into a short-term lobby group.
How do you plan to tackle entrepreneurs out of college?
We currently don’t have any special program for entrepreneurs out of college. We will work with all product entrepreneurs.