As I see the stupid flyover rebuilt in Andheri, in Mumbai, which is six feet higher than one of the arms leading to Juhu, and hear the ridicule the government has to face over it, I am also reminded of the time a few years ago when air-conditioned local trains were going to be introduced.

The day arrived, the showpiece train was put on the tracks and must have even started on its trial run, when the engine driver must have brought the train to a screeching halt screaming, “The train is too tall, it won’t pass under that bridge!”

Yes the train built was 4.335 metres tall, whereas the bridges were as low as 4.27 metres! Not one bridge, not two, but most of the bridges on the route!

How could they have made such a terrible mistake?

Simple; in the haste of trying to fulfill a dream, they forgot to do their research.

Today, India is all alive with the idea of starting start-ups. But from what I’ve heard more than ninety percent of these start-ups fail. They fail because they have not spent time and a little money to research their idea.

All of us feel any new idea is a brilliant idea. I am sure the team which designed the air-conditioned train in Chennai, thought that having a taller train with more height for the passengers was the best thing they could do. “Mumbai people need more air, more head room!” must have been how they would have whispered to each other as the train was built. “Mumbai commuters will thank us!” they must have said, and today because of the lack of research, because they have to start from the drawing board again, the people of Mumbai are angry.

How simple it would have been for a team of engineers to have checked the train route, measured the height of the old British built bridges and built a prototype of the correct measurements.

Research is often simple, but quite painstaking. Because it is laborious and a bit slow, and because we are impatient trying to fulfill a dream, we tend to bypass it. That’s like attempting suicide!

There may be many of you with fantasies of a new venture, a brilliant idea for a start up, but before doing anything painstakingly find out whether it will work on a big scale, where it will work, and whether people are ready for your idea.

If any of you plan to start a new business, are filled with excitement over a brand new dream. If any of you see yourself as the next Bill Gates, don’t build a train that won’t go under bridges, just do your research first, otherwise like the Andheri flyover that has caused the present government much embarrassment, you may become, like them, the laughing stock of the world..!

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