Dec 10, 2009

Chrome for Mac

Finally here. Thanks Google for keeping your promise of informing me of the launch. The browser works like a charm - swifter than Safari as well as firefox.
More once I have taken a deeper look..

Nov 17, 2009

Go with the flow

Got into a discussion with a colleague who was talking about a book he's reading - Flow. From what he summarized, the book talks about why one should be living in the moment and not worry about anything else.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Author) is honest about the fact that this concept has been much written about.
I agree.
So the challenge is not understanding why one should be in the moment and not worry about anything - it's the how ? which is hard to find an answer for.
I believe that we apply Newton's third law of motion in everything we do - we expect a reaction (a positive one at that).
Now if we stop doing that and this is not new - Lord Krishna said this
in 1000 / 1400 B.C.s
Everything seems simple.
Like Nike has been saying for years .. "Just do it" ! :-)

Nov 7, 2009

Presenting a new idea (ideas)

You get up in the morning , get a brain wave, reckon it's a stupendous idea and spit it out in a quick email to your seniors and peers.

Sometimes people jump and say wow ! but most of the time, I bet people throw back questions which shred every fiber of possibility in the idea.
I propose a slight variation in the approach of bouncing new ideas - huddle everyone you want to share the idea with and present this deck of 7 simple slides :

Nov 5, 2009

Royal Enfield Bullet classic 500 disappoints

I had sadly sold my bullet a few years back but the rides and sounds of it have been haunting me since. So, I wanted to buy one again, but then I got to know aout the possible launch of the classic 500 in November and thought why not wait for it !
I have been waiting for it for months and finally, it was launched yesterday, I called the dealer and asked him to give me a test-ride asap.
Well, I did get lucky but not happy, as I was to find out.

First the good points about the classic reborn :

- awesome design
- good ergonomics
- well done chrome
- beautiful and look-enhancing rear tyre
- unbelievable pick-up - i almost made the front tyre jump 2 feet
- lower height and spring seat makes the seating position better

Now, the bad points that make me still vote for the 350 standard

- the thump is dead (although the dealer said that with the off-roading silencer it is there - will go again when those silencers come)
- the ride does not feel like a bullet - it was more like a sports bike (maybe some people like that)
- it feels lighter
- the push-button start makes it sound like a kinetic honda !
- there is no pressure release lever

All in all, i was quite disappointed by the lack of feel in the bike. The bike looks amazing, truly a classic and full credit to the Royal Enfield team for that.
But they have failed to retain the authentic thump and "feel" of the bullet, despite their efforts. I would still like to give the bike another chance, once the off-road silencer comes in.. if it still does not make the sound of the magical 4 strokes like the way a bullet does (a reverberating rhythm that the rider's heartbeat resonates with). I am going back for the standard 350.

Oct 28, 2009

Nasscom Product Conclave 09

Attended the event first time with very little expectations. Surprised to see the turnout in Bangalore.
I guess the timing also was very apt - with the economic situation sort of committing to bounce back, most companies are upbeat. One clear thing that emerged was that the positioning of India is changing (made to ?) in the minds of the west.India is ceasing to be a hub for getting cheap, quick and good back-end development done and transitioning into a focal point for product development of most multi-nationals.
How quickly and smoothly (read fruitfully) this metamorphosis takes place, nobody knows.

Aug 29, 2009

Are you being served

It does not matter what restaurant I like, but if the service quality of even my favorite one is bad - they loose repeat business from me.
This holds true for any product, not only dine-in places. Unfortunately, client servicing is the most "taken for granted" aspect of several businesses. Now that's more cultural than by design. Taking stock of what customers want, listening to them and acting on their inputs is the most crucial bit.

This is what separates the men from the boys, if you will :

1. Product
2. Sales
3. Service

Weakness on any of these dimensions makes a business vulnerable to loosing share of wallet or even market to competition.

Aug 1, 2009

More jobless = more entrepreneurs ?

Not in any other part of the world, but when it's the valley - that's quite a possibility..

Courtesy :

Jul 30, 2009

Bing ! goes Yahoo! Search

I guess the news of the newly forged live-in relationship between Yahoo and Microsoft would be discussed and beaten to death by the end of this week.I don't blame the people who (including me) would do that - simply because it's the end of an era. It's also because a legendary company like Yahoo is throwing in the towel to call it quits from the race to be the better (best ?) search engine.

It's sad. I first used Yahoo in the late 90's and have loved it since then as a company. But enter Google and Yahoo started to lose it's religion.. they used Google for their own search for a brief period, bought Inktomi , tried for several years to get it right and in the process lost focus on how they wanted to be positioned as.
From a search engine to a multimedia site and to now being a bookmarks commissure - Yahoo seemed to have completely lost the compass.

The company refused to be bought out by MS earlier despite moving like a wrecked ship - made me think that the spirit is still alive but Alas ! Yahoo has finally given up - on search at least. Let's see how MS fares as it's newly found role as a Guardian Angel !

May 26, 2009


( Top-down , bottom-up or all around ? )

Innovation : a new way of doing something. It may refer to incremental, radical, and revolutionary changes in thinking, products, processes, or organizations. A distinction is typically made between invention, an idea made manifest, and innovation, ideas applied successfully. (source :
Well, that definition sort of does sum-up what innovation is, however when it comes to practicing or further still - mastering the art of innovation, most organizations hit plateaus much sooner than later.
Now why is that ?
Based on my experiences and consumption of information around / interaction with people around, I have made some observations :

The 3 most crucial components that make any innovation successful are (and I am considering being the first-mover to be an implicit imperative) :

^ radicalness
^ benefit
^ execution

If you are the first mover, you leave a huge gap behind for competition to catch up.
If you are catching up, you better be fast to not only catchup but outdo the leader at break-neck speed.
To outdo means that the benefits your innovation offers, are better than anybody else around.

Self-explicit. Or is it ? If the mantra is so simple, then why are we mostly talking about the same set of companies always ? Why don't we see a dozen new companies across every year that race to the top 20 on this index ?

Source : BusinessWeek

Is it just because these companies have phenomenal leadership at the helm ? Or is it because that these companies nurture a culture of innovation ?

I mean everybody knows that Steve Jobs has an unbelievable and un-quenchable desire to make products that the competition can only just marvel at ! forget outdoing, they can not even ape Apple products properly.
But is it just Jobs alone in Apple that is responsible for innovating ? Is he the one that comes out with ideas ? Or is he simply a terrific leader who inspires innovation !
Take BMW as another example - those guys build tanks that move like the wind ! And they always make it unbelievably better than the last one ! For a company that goes as far back as 1916 - they don't have a Steve Jobs there, or in P&G. And enough has been talked about Google and it's innovation speed.
What these companies have in common is a culture of innovation , better still, they have processes that help nurture/ facilitate this culture.

Operationally what that means is that people are empowered to ideate and implement those ideas and their organizations are willing to take the risk of spending R&D dollars for driving those ideas to success !

May 21, 2009

Learning to design with TDD

This stems from a post Nitish wrote about TDD (Test Driven Development) and how developers end up making a sales pitch to their managers for using the methodology.
While discussing the same, we travelled on a tangent (not so far away) viz., what is the prime objective of TDD and are all/most
developers who practise (or try to) it, able to achieve it.
We converged that the true objective of TDD is to arrive at a good robust design that the code in question runs on. As a beneficial
side-effect, you get code that the QA team strugles to look down upon and you end up spending lesser time debugging it -
to arrive at a tangible comparison that must lead to this conclusion deserves a separate discussion (post).Well, truth be told, if we look at the context of the internet, where the LAMP stack has made it so convenient to build websites
that programmers (?) exploit the supreme forgiving nature of the PHP platform to the hilt. Good modelling, robust design and
architecture are milestones that are too far in the future.
So as a coder, I know about OOPs and abstraction to implementation as much as a few key books in college could engage me to read.
But that's just about it. In India at least the schools don't really teach you designing models and approaches.
That begs the question : can practising TDD help bridge this gap ?
Playing with some code and tests with the help of Eclipse pointed the needle to Yes ! But that's java - a language whose developers
are pampered with a number of high quality tools that make it so much fun and so smooth.
If you talk about PHP - the poor Rolex (Eclipse/Junit) replicas like SimpleTest and PHPUnit leave a lot to be desired.
But The possibility of these tools aiding developers ignorant to design pracices, learn by doing, is not bleak at all.
Soon, would be experimenting that and see if the hypothesis is correct.