Sunday, October 15, 2017
A place without the Social Media noise.
A place to go to read what the great minds are thinking.
A place without Advertisements or Clickbaits.
That place was Medium. It is no more.
But isn't Medium a business?
It is a business at the end of the day. There is no free lunch. Medium has to pay its staff. The investors need an exit.
But shouldn't knowledge and thoughts be free?
Human Kind has progressed with the free flow of knowledge. Whenever knowledge was dammed, chaos reigned. Human progress slows down. When knowledge is shared, we grow by leaps and bounds.
Tesla made all its patents open source. So other electric car manufacturers can develop on it. Volvo invented the seat belt and opened up its patent. They saved millions of lives.
In contrast.. Apple and Google and Samsung - the Mobile Phone giants are patenting the smallest of idea - and stiffling innovation in Mobile phones - so no new ideas can come to life - except the giants.
Or like India not having access to Cryogenic rocket technology - which the Superpowers hold it within themselves and so we still haven't been able to launch a human to space.
Venkat, you got fooled so dont blame Medium
Agreed I misled myself. I believed Medium to be this utopian watering hole I go to read about Productivity Hacks, Entrepreneurs, Cancer Survivors. I love(d) Medium.
But it all has come to an end. Medium is now forcing me to pay to access this content.
Can't you just pay the 5$ a month?
Yes, I can. Mostly I will. Medium is where I turn for inspiration or book ideas or stimulate my mind and curiosity.
So what is Venkat's problem?
If writers start writing for money - will it not again get into the clickbait territory. The writers get paid based on the claps they get. So they will start writing for more claps. What gets claps? - Sensational stuff. Things that appeal to the darkest part of the human mind. Things that make you say eew and aaw.. and yet you will read. Things like the accident on the road when a crowd surrounds it - you want to peek in.
I just described above - the Tabloid Newspapers, The News Channels, The Articles on Social Media
Medium was free of all that. Because writers wrote freely with no monetary carrot dangling in front of them.
The whole concept of Medium is shattered.
So what is the solution?
Medium was started by the co-founder of Twitter - Evan Williams. I can bet it does not take billions of dollars to develop and run Medium. Evan Williams could have just sustained single handedly from a fraction of his annual income.
Heck. If Medium had just asked for donation like Wikipedia - people would have paid.
There are so many sites still running - Ad free - Wikipedia, Craigstlist, Angelist..
You Devil called Money. We hate you but we cannot live without you.
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Monday, May 22, 2017
Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl is a difficult book to read - if you are the types who get sucked into it. I typically read before sleep, and I could not go to sleep while reading this book.
Victor Frankl is a Psychatrist by profession and he and is wife are picked by the Germans and sent to the camps.
The first half is all about Victor's experience in the Nazi camps. How the prisoners are shepherded from one Camp to another in train - with no knowledge if they are being sent to the Gas Chambers or to another camp.
I strongly recommend this book - will give a new outlook to your life.
"He who has a why to live forcan bear almost any how"
"Mental health is based on a certain degree of tension - between what one has already achieved and what one still has to accomplish"
"What man needs is not a tensionless state but rather striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal"
"Live as if you are living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now."
"No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. "
"Man is ready to suffer on one condition - to be sure - that his suffering has a meaning. "
"He is not only unhappy but also ashamed of being unhappy. "
"Lying on your death bed ask your self - was your life meaning full "
Monday, May 01, 2017
Monday, April 17, 2017
1. Apple Music - Rs.190 per month - for an infinite supply of songs.
1. YouTrack.Jetbrains.com - Kickass Tool to track sprints. 20$ per month.
Sunday, March 05, 2017
Monday, February 06, 2017
Of the various hats I have worn all these years - founder, Sales guy, Deployment Specialist, Level 1 and Level 2 Support, DevOps, Cheque depositor - I have come to realize I was a Product Manager all along - right from the get go.
Putting a label on what you do is extremely important. It helps you define the job you do, appreciate it, read more on it and helps you improve on that particular skill.
If you are the guy/girl in charge of making the Product among the Founding Team - you are the Product Manager. Say it out aloud - "I am the Product Manager". The fate of your entire Startup lies in your decisions.
All other designations - CEO, CTO, Director, Co-Founder all are important - for the outside world and your team-mates - but nothing is as critical as the “Product Manager” hat you are wearing now.
Strap the Product Manager Hat tight.
When I gave Sales demo - I was not trying to get a Cheque out of the customer. I was listening to their pain points, and my mind was frantically scanning to see how my Startup could alleviate those paint points. I was trying to find patterns among Customers - so my solution can solve them all. I was trying to see how much value we can give them, and price our product as a fraction of the value ( and not just features ).
When I was paying the monthly bill for AWS account - and saw it was increasing gradually, asked myself - Are such resource hogging servers really necessary - and promptly turned them off - and found better cost effective alternatives. Also when I plan a feature, I keep the cost in mind - I am not going to get sold on the hype of a technology [ NoSql I am looking right at you]
When I got a customer to go live - I realised how a few small features created some of the biggest headaches and heartburns. Promptly booted them off or tweaked them.
When I had to do Marketing - do SEO, or write content for Brochrures, or create Competitor analysis - I had to analyse inwardly as well as the competition and could identify the areas we were strong and weak. I knew what areas we could pull ahead of the competition - become more stronger, and what areas we had to improve - so we cannot be beaten down with.
If you are the Product Manager of a Startup - and working 9 to 5, doing a few customer interviews, talking to the CEO/CTO/Founder, browsing competitors website/Apps, STOP - you have to do more. [ ps : Startup founders, if you have hired Product Managers - here is what they have to start doing ]
1. Accompany the Sales guys in a few demos. In fact you should constantly do this - product keeps changing, market keeps changing, competiton keeps changing.
2. Get your hands dirty and deploy a few accounts - from start to finish.
3. Write the next set of marketing material, do the next Competitor Analysis document yourself - instead of just giving inputs.
4. Do SEO, plan the adwords campaign yourself.
5. Be the DevOps and/or pay the AWS bill from your pocket and get it reimbursed - and see for yourself that one cool feature which hardly anyone uses is costing a bomb.
And for my startup founders - Say it aloud. Stick it in big fonts right in front of you.
“I am the Product Manager"