For a few years now, Mumbai has been talking about air-conditioned local suburban trains! Every day as commuters sweat it out in the stuffy, humid jam packed trains, they have been dreaming of the day when ACs will cool their journey to the city. Four million people must be having the same dream every day. And finally the day arrived when the prototype or sample air-conditioned train made by the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai arrived in the city. The showpiece train was put on the tracks and must have even started on its trial run, when some engineer must have shouted with fright, “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 many of the bridges on the route!
How could they have made such a terrible mistake?
Simple; in the excitement of trying to fulfill a dream, they forgot to do their research.
Today, India is all alive with the idea of starting start-ups. Prime Minister Modi, has fired the imagination of young entrepreneurs about any idea becoming a millionaire’s asset. 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.
If any of you are developing 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..!
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