Jul 15, 2011

Specialization is for insects

Heinlein - Specialization is for Insects

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

-Robert A. Heinlein


Similarly, in my view :

An engineer in an internet company should be able to think of ideas, build prototypes, translate feature specs (or discussions) into workable components, design architecture, write good code, review code, monitor servers, scale applications, analyze logs, plan capacity, design databases, implement and use caching efficiently , tweak web servers, tweak databases, build fast, release faster..

Jul 7, 2011

Will Google+ spoil the Facebok IPO party ?

Google has been highly successful in creating a tremendous amount of buzz (not wave !) around Google+, it's social networking product.At least my view is that the gates were only semi-opened for users to create this hype.
While the Google variant of social networking too would ride on vanity and time-kill capabilities that users can harness like Facebook, in a bunch of ways, it is different - Circles and Hangouts.
Basically, the biggest gaps in FB were unwanted wall flooding and unintentional network expansion - the former being a function of the latter.
With Circles. Google+ brings in the opportunity for people to recreate their networks with the right people and separate them into water-tight rooms for selective information dissemination.
Which is cool because that's how it is in real life.
Hangouts is another capability which lends from real to virtual .. it's a morphed incarnation of groups and only better, because one can create dynamic groups with different set of people, on the fly.

So,will these be strong differentiators for Google+ to eat up a sizable chunk of the FB share and take the sheen out of their IPO plans ?
It's highly likely. Because of the hype that Google has created, complimented by the fatigue that some users have started to feel in FB.
Have a look at this, when FB was launched, it's traffic was a reciprocal of what Orkut went through :
Can Google+ give it back to FB in the same way ?
I just looked at Google trends to see if there's a decent number of searches being done for Google+ and check this out, the trend in the bottom reflects FB and + in reciprocal trends !

It will be an interesting battle to witness..

Apr 19, 2011

Who robbed my day ?

I get up in the morning and decide a bunch of things that I need to accomplish. But when I reach work, there's a different (read absolutely ad hoc) plan waiting to unfold on me.

What are these forces and how do they rob my day and trick me into sacrificing my plan for theirs ?

Feb 18, 2011

UI specs

As a product person, most often than not you end up iterating a lot over the interaction and use cases for an interface or a set of interfaces on the website.
It is not always possible to figure out and visualize the entire interaction without any visuals in sight. However, it's a good idea to have a skeleton sketched in one's mind and translated in a doc. Which could then be beefed up. This definitely reduces iterations because if there is a structured doc that one has to fill, you end up thinking a tad more than usual.
I just made a rough template that could be used :

Sep 15, 2010

Being Geek - Must read

The book's cover grabbed my attention instantly. That's me !
Gotta read this one .. is what I said to myself.

The first page made me connect and smile. Through the course of the book I realized that I might believe that I have successfully transformed myself into an management person, but truth be told, I have still not lost my religion !
The book puns on how the structured mind expects every body else in the professional realm to follow a structure too.And how unmet expectations lead to confusion and

frustration. The book comes to aid as a guide to help navigate through this unknown territory.
Dwelling a little too much on how to go about a presentation was a drag but overall, the writer makes one realize that the unstructured world is not difficult deal with.
There are people who follow patterns and can be dealt with in counter patterns. Simple as this formula sounds, it depends too much on one's will to go that mile and enforce an intersection of these patterns.
Must read.

Jun 22, 2010

The truth about innovation

People care more about what new they can do as opposed to what problem they can solve.
It's true.We are so smitten by the novelty of things that we staunchly believe innovation to be"creating something new".If it's new, it's cool !
But if you really go subcutaneous on every innovation - they are solving some problems or addressing unmet needs.Picking up some examples from day to day life :
# cup holders, power windows, remote locking, windshield sprayer in cars
# laptops, lighter laptops, smaller laptops, even small laptops with better battery
# modular kitchen
# ziploc bags
# hand blenders
# multiple doors, external display in refrigerators
# split a/c units
# the iphone

.. to name a few. Now just as you scan this short list, what is the most interesting but common thing that strikes you ? Each of these features / products shakes the industry, becomes the coolest thing around and then goes on to be the de-facto standard or even a hygiene factor if you will.
And that's the beauty of solving a problem.Innovation and coolness become an easy beneficial side-effect.

I mean Apple did not go on and say, let's make an incomprehensible portable music device or a ground breaking telecommunication device .. they saw a domain that had some pain points and some unmet needs.I mean Nokia has been making phones for years, for crying out loud and they launched hundreds of models..

It's not what new you create, it's the how that is the separating line..

May 21, 2010

Google TV - dwarfing IPTV

The Google guys are at it again. Google TV Promises a rich web and TV experience with quick ability to find what one's looking for.
I'd like to see the remote (or keyboard though ;-)