Saturday, August 22, 2015

One fine evening ....

Looked at my blog after a long time. Forgot that I had a blog I used to write to portray thoughts in mind. Decided to resume and write more frequently.

Yesterday was a usual day, a friend in tech team asked to go out for dinner in evening after office.  

The guy I 'admire' working on a project since 3-4 months in office. We shared past experiences and had casual talks over lunches we had.  Now there was something especial about this friend of mine that made me invest time to write here. 

During a lunch discussion, I mentioned how a vendor pitched us a software that might touch a nerve of industry and is a big pain killer in image processing domain. He asked a little more, being from same organization and team i shared in brief what the software does actually. He listened and was in deep thinking. We discussed about how the vendor may have built it the logics inside. 

Next day in office the guy comes and showed me the snippet in java and asked me to give few images to test. I was surprised. The code that he wrote in 2 hours last night was more or less a basic MVP of the solution (i.e. of the vendor's solution). Looking at the raw version on black console and results in numbers, it was clear that the solution need a more fine tuning. We tested it 3-4 times quickly  on different set of images. The logic he used to moderate images was just one night work (the logic in code was simple). And, it was efficiently working. 

We went for the beer again next day.

Me : What propelled you to write that code in night ? 

He : was bored up since last couple of days to work on same thing, so thought to do something different. Is it working ?

Me : Yes. Results are fucking good. But why "bored" in project  in office?

He : Because it is too simple. 

Me : Why don't you fine tune what you have created ?

He : Don't have much time, so leaving it here.  Doing the rest 10% isn't that easy but doable. Weekend mein family, bacche and wife se time nahi milta, office mein kaam, ispe dhyan dena mushkil hoga, fir kabhi dekhenge but interesting hai, time mil jaye to faad doonga, NASA waale bula lenge mujhe, fir tu bolege ki tera project chor ke chala gaya :)".


He was passive, logical, and spock-like. We smiled and we were silent. We finished another pint. 

Me : Why did you leave previous firm ? I asked

He : Vahan bhi bore ho gaya tha. Chote chote faltu ke kaam karati hain badi badi companies, apne ko kaam complex chahiye, jisko fodne mein maza aaye. Technology koi si bhi ho. 5 bando ka kaam akele kar dunga.  

Me : Money ?

He : Roz offers or calls aate hain, mood nahi hai, ye dekh (he showed me emails from consultants in his mobile). 

We smiled again. 

He : chal beer khatam, last metro hai, chalta hun. Ghar jana hai. Two hour lagenge abhi nikloonga to

I could see and feel a sense of little dissatisfaction in his eyes. This super confident guy wanted to do things that matter, the things that will make a difference, (Ohh! not a photo sharing app or another e-commerce firm that sells one thing to another or a chat app) – but hauntingly brief time was killing that perhaps. 

The guy wasn't interested in tweeting, blogging, or startups much. He cares about building and shipping code. I was experiencing the guy who was a part of a nomadic band of software tradesmen, who quietly, steadily have the capability to build the infrastructure behind the world’s most successful companies.  When this breed leaves – in search for a constant change for the better, they leave firms behind wither and die (and the gradual death goes unnoticed).

If some one wants to build a tech company, he’ll need to hire this breed, but will rarely find through a recruiter or websites.  They are being cold-called, cold-emailed, and cold-LinkedIn-messaged on a daily basis by recruiters, but their response are similarly cold. Outwardly successful companies that fail to draw engineers like him will struggle with the performance and stability of their technology and will constantly struggle to exist and won't be at top of their domain for long. (YAHOO! is one as i finished a book recently about it) 

I explained him what new feature in existing office project will benefit and bring value to users and how our efforts will not be in vain. He listened and was curious to know more as we walked to the metro station. The most powerfully attractive force for him I felt that time in my short conversation was the promise of building a product that will get into the happy hands of hundreds, thousands, or millions as I envisioned. 

I was talking to a type of guy whom i experienced is obsessed with constant change for the better and something complex that can change the world through his software skills. Many of him are largely invisible, but their affiliations have determined the rise and fall of technology giants in long run.  The start-ups who recognize the unsung talents today will be tomorrow’s success stories.



Wednesday, December 31, 2014

They think they are Gods

In an era of government slothful dysfunction, the Uber example shows how  US based Uber has pioneered not just a new sort of taxi service but also a new way to change long-standing local ordinances.

What I personally like about Uber before and after this rape incident is : Uber’s approach is brash and, so far, highly effective: It launches in local markets in different countries regardless of existing laws or regulations, even though city/state law prohibits such services. It aims to build a large customer base as quickly as possible. Their services are good, App design is brilliant, provide above average earning and livelihood to thousands of drivers, they don't find it difficult to gain mass customers. 

When challenged, Uber rallies its users to pressure government officials, while unleashing its well-connected lobbyists to influence lawmakers.

Apparently, they believe they’re gods. 

They, actually, are. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Impulsive, Irrational Pricing!

Do you see what I see??

No?? Got an eye problem?? 
Go back to the image again. Stare at it, PLEASE!!!
Do you see it now??
Well, this is what I see:













What I see is a brilliant, amazing implementation of irrational pricing

Look at the top of the menu where a 7" Margherita costs Rs. 75.

If you go for the 10" Margherita, it costs Rs. 170!!

Huh??

Technically, a 10 inch pizza in size is 43 % more than the 7 inch pizza.

But cost-wise, Rs. 170 is 126% more than Rs. 75 !!!!

In fact, if I buy 2 Domino's pizzas of 7 inches each, I get 14 inches of pizza and pay Rs. 150; but I need to pay Rs. 170 to get only 10 inches!!

Look further - If I buy 3 pizzas of 7 inches each, I get 21 inches to enjoy and pay Rs. 225; whereas 13 inches as a single pizza costs me Rs. 315!!!

WOW!!

This proves that:

- Consumers are completely irrational when it comes to making pricing decisions when they see choices.

- They choose the size they want, not the price.

- Then, they just 'accept' the price presented to them!

Lessons:

- Create a 'need based' pricing matrix - not a volume or input based pricing structure. Notice how the Inches (") printed, is the smallest font on the menu!

- By presenting lots of variations and choices, the human mind migrates to what it wants. It does not look at alternative options when one choice seems logical:

To elaborate - if the 2 of us are eating a pizza, we may call for a medium pizza and share it.

Instead, we should call for 2 separate pizzas and also give away a few extra inches to some friends!

We would've saved money and made someone happy too!

- Don't get too scientific about pricing. Get fuzzy, irrational and emotional. It works!!!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

To mock or not to mock



Last to last week I went to meet my cousin studying in local engineering college, I had great time to be back into kind of college-hostel environment, I stayed there for weekend. Talked to many of his classmates, listen to what their thoughts and expectation and dreams about job / after job, life.  

These are my observations/ views :

1. Other than for 1 or 2 exceptions, all of them did BCA as their grad and joined for MCA - "just to do a PG"!  When ask why - they just don't know why, no one ever asked them!

2. Someone felt that going for MCA will help then learn C++ better, because they learn on C for BCA. Lucky we don't have a C+++, otherwise these colleges will start DCA also

3. Most of the girls think that they will have a better positioning in marriage market.

4. Most of the boys think that they will have a better positioning in marriage market.

5. Most of them seems to have read in a leading local daily that doing MCA will fetch them a better job.

6. All of them don't have any idea of the job they are going to do when they join a company - even after spending 4.5 years of their peak youth.

7. They don't know anything about the industry they are entering into - companies, jobs, market, future, education options, academics etc...

8. They just don't consider companies other than Wipro, TCS, Infosys etc as their prospective employers - the reason here is also primarily the marriage market, not their career growth or not even money!.

9. Majority of them don't know how to communicate. I'm not commenting on their English - they don't know how to communicate in any of the languages.

10. All of them have C/C++ in their CVs as their only language and just don't know who is K&R and don't know how to write a program, compile and make it unless then have Turbo C in front.  They don't know whats #include is all about. Most of them have never seen an executable made by their C/C++ programs.

11. They don't have any programming skills (and all relevant skills), basic knowledge about data structure, algorithms etc.

12. Most of their decision are influenced by ignorant teachers, parents, friends and media - event if they think otherwise. They don't have an opinion of their own - even after becoming adults!

My Advice was mostly around (though I didn't preach and was more like a listener there):

1. You wasted the most precious 4.5 years of your life

2. You have 3 more semesters to correct what all you are missing

3. Its your life, you are in charge - you make decisions - not your parents, uncle/aunts, teachers, friends, relatives etc...

4. Work on your skills. Skills are different from knowledge - you need to develop it - whereas you can acquire knowledge in various ways.

5. Read/Listen/Speak/Watch Movies etc., so that you gain exposure and attain the right mind-set/attitude

6. Support your peers - collectively you can work on your shortcoming in the coming 3 semesters.

I really felt pity seeing most of them (happens during taking interviews as well) - victims of 'excel to get a degree - not knowledge' mentality, most of them are going to become slaves with some IT companies. Some of them will endup in teaching - circle of life!

But found few originals among them with a sense of direction, entrepreneurship and purpose for life!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Want "Cake" for the budget of "Egg" ?

Communication works in sync with our "relationship" and "Interest" of the client into the project apart from various factors.

There are client who spends money, a big organization, has budget and is willing to spend money, every web designer's dream. Then, there is another breed of client, a primer of sorts. Its worth it and interesting to go an extra mile and standard formal communication of superlative degree even when I am not sure if he has budget, but will do best efforts of sales and professionalism.

How ever, nothing like this works with the client who has very tight budget, i repeat ..NOTHING. and I refer to them as the "Shoe String Budget" client. This breed of client wants a super high speed, with all fixings, changes they ask but is not willing to pay the price. The shit gets whipped with cream when they also want wire frame in HTML and jquery at very initial stage with in this "egg budget"

In other words , they want to low -ball you. They want CAKE for their shoe string budget, but only have a budget for EGG. You do any thing like standard communication, 24 hours instant reply, chat/phone feedback, FSD/Site Map, Standard proposal or anything...nothing guarantees.

Shoe string budget clients ( aka cheapskates), will constantly try to talk you down from your price. They make feel like walking into shopping mall and tell what they are willing to pay, expecting us to accept their offer.

Yes, the project still needs to be done in a professional way since it ultimately has my name/brand on it but then, universally, there is a tendency of disinterest, so perfectly legitimate communications gets tedious when :

....they will either :

    * Constantly try to talk you down from your rate
    * Offer you less than you charge
    * Offer you cute anecdotes or sob stories in hopes of you lowering your rates

PS: Keep yourself away from these clients.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Should every business have a blog?

How about rephrasing the question: Should every business have a blog?

No, not every business should blog. Should every business have a strategy behind how they produce, curate, aggregate and distribute content?

Yes.

Because pretty much every business already generates some form of content. Most have brochures or reports of some kind. But increasingly content is becoming the doorway to being found through what's commonly known as "organic search" which is a leading way people find information on the web. The content your business touches can also influence your online reputation. Content can be a blog post—and it can also be a response on a third party website.

Move the conversation beyond blogging and into all forms of content and how it affects metrics such as page rank, views, shares, and money made/saved and the answer is that every business should re-evaluate the thinking behind the content associated with them.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Steal the Deal


Its old enough and common now to relate to clients, clients must be satisfied with conversation to be able to do business with us and to build a relationship with mutual trust.

Still, there is always a considerable challenge in the game (i.e. deal) with some the most dangerous moments in deals, especially when everything is moving according to client’s wishes. It scares me, as on client side interaction, I can’t refuse, I can’t contradict, have to disagree without being disagreeable. The deal often contains some razzle-dazzle and hocus-pocus. It’s either losing a great deal or to make a great deal.

Some deals take months of negotiations (with silence), some I have sealed in one phone call (that’s the best feeling). I can’t directly refuse and can’t contradict otherwise it breaks down ….completely …. most of the time.

Its interesting :)