Showing posts from 2009

My Top 10 things of 2009

The world is currently full of 2009 is the list from my world !
If you are curious - here is the link to my top 10 things of 2008 -
10. Running 10KM/hr for 8 minutes
This might be easy for many - but this is a huge achievement for me. I could run for 2 minutes at the most at this pace before I had to slow down to 8KM/hr and then 6KM/hr. I have been trying to increase this duration slowly and nowadays I can run for a flat 8 minutes at this pace on the treadmill without my heart jumping out onto the floor.
9. Blogging
Started writing regularly in all of my blogs :
this one you are reading - kind of a satire nonsense blog - my entrepreneurial journey - , and a new one I started this year - on books for startups -
The last couple of months things have been crazy and my blogging has been sporadic or I might have got a blogg…

Dont block facebook!

A couple of days back a friend of mine working in the ad industry called me.
"Venkat, how do I block facebook chats, gmail chats? Should I block the domains?".
Answer is No. If you block Facebook, Gtalk - your team will find workarounds. All it takes is a google search nowadays. It will annoy the team and you will get bracketed with the "manager" managers.
So - here are some tips on how to engage your team effectively and reduce the hours spent on SN sites.
1. Daily Stand Ups
This is the most simplest and effective tool. It is a core practice in agile projects - however it will work for any project / environment. There are tons of resources on effective standups. I will give a brief primer : Every one stands up - no slouching, no sitting. Keeps everyone alert and they talk lessStand in a circle like rugby teams. Give brief updates on what you did yesterday, what is your plan today, and any impediments in doing your workAny long discussions do it after the standup. The s…

Conspiracy Theories - Part II

Here is my second edition of Conspiracy Theories. The 1st part is here -
4. Cure for the common cold.
It has been discovered and the pharmaceutical companies, the presidents and prime ministers around the world, the Shah Rukh Khans, the TV News Anchors - are all having access to it.
But the common man like you and me do not have this cure for the common cold. So we will end up spending on chicken soup, vicks, steam inhalers, doctor visits, orange juice etc..

5. Money does not buy happiness.
Oh hell it does. You can buy an iPhone, an iPod nano that shoots video, a Nike shoe that plays well with that nano, an European vacation and lot more. If this is not happiness then what is?
It is a conspiracy by the uber rich, so the unwashed masses will not work too hard - and the rich will not have much competition and can continue enjoying their European vacations and the cool cars. The rich authors write books and movie directors …

Who is lifting the world on their shoulders?

Who is lifting the world on their shoulders?


None of the above. The right answer is - entrepreneurs / business folks - they are the ones lifting the world. They create new markets, promote new ideas, blaze new paths by fighting the system, fighting stereotypes, taking risks against all odds.

In this post I will introduce you to "Atlas Shrugged" - a magnum opus by Ayn Rand.  This book glorifies the entrepreneurial spirit.

The key players :


These are the scum of the society - apparently holding top positions. The top brass in the Government, the industry lobbying heads - they do not produce anything but they loot - from the business and from the public. They know only to take and not give anything. They outnumber and control the producers.


The producers are the entrepreneurs, the inventors, the innovators. They are the ones fighting the system to introduce new ideas and keep the world ticking and moving forward.

Evolution of UI of ApartmentAdda - 2

I had written about the Evolution of UI of ApartmentAdda in March 2009 how the design evolved over the last 2 years.

We launched ApartmentAdda with the following UI designed by Cicada Media on Nov 12, 2008. It was a simple yet highly functional UI. Also it has got burnt into my retina - seeing it so many times a day :)

Somewhere down the line we realised it was time to give the site an upgrade. We kicked off the site redesign process with Leafgrafica in August. After a lot of designs and meetings ( and corner house's death by chocolate which was close by) - the following design won our hearts and mind.

I would like to thank both Cicada Media and Leafgrafica teams for having designed these beautiful sites ( and having put up with creativity stifling requirements from us :) )

How Windows 7 will "really" save money

I read an article on infoworld where Steve Balmer cited an article by Gartner research how Windows 7 will save money. Now as you all know Gartner is a very trusted and honest research firm. They have earlier published how Linux is actually a wolf in sheep's clothing - Linux claims it is open source and free and all that - but you need expensive system engineers, expensive training, expensive hardware etc. So many ignorant CTOs were saved from making a wrong decision and continued to recommend Windows - because of Gartner..may God be with them ( and Microsoft's funding ).

Anyway, here is what Gartner missed in the report and I am filling in the gap to prove why Windows 7 will save lot of money for a company :

1. Save on Coffee, Milk, Sugar & Snacks

The Vista folks when they come to work and start their day, they switch on their laptop like every one else. But as you all know that it takes some where between 20-30 minutes before the machine is actually responsive, these folks …

Review - The Hakawati by Rabih Alameddnine

They say never judge a book by its cover but that is what I did when i picked this book from the library. I was in a rush to catch the afternoon train to Hyderabad from Yeshwantpur, and I still had to press my clothes, do some biscuit/bread shopping ( YSR had died the day before in the chopper crash and I was preparing for a bandh - thankfully things were peaceful there ).
In the train someone sitting opposite me was reading a Sidney Sheldon - don't remember what book it was. He broke the ice by saying fat book and we chatted about other things.
And the book was very interesting. In ancient times when Baghdad, Persia were thriving - there was a profession called "Hakawati" - the story teller. He used to entertain the Kings and nobility - since they did not have Tata Sky and 24 hour news channels.
The book has 3 stories running in parallel. The one is about the author himself starting from how his Grandfather became a Hakawati, about the pigeon fights, the music instrument…

Make your idea stick

In the book Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell ( my review ) says "stickiness" of an idea is an important criteria for the idea to tip.

"Made to stick" by Chip Heath & Dan Heath, is an offshoot of the stickiness chapter of Tipping Point where the authors  analyze how and why ideas stick. They have even formed a mnemonic for it - SUCCES. Each one by itself will not guarantee your idea to stick - but if rightly applied together, the probability of your idea sticking is higher.

Simple : For an idea to stick, it has to be simple.For that you need to tear apart the unnecessary layers and go to the core of it.

Nike - Just do it.
FedEx - The World on Time
Audi - Vorsprung durch Technik ( ok this is an exception, and being Audi they can make anything stick :) )   Jokes apart it explains very well what Audi does - when tranlated it means - Advancement through technology.

Unexpected : The idea should rattle the listeners up. It should break pre conceived notions. Anything unusua…

Conspiracy Theories - Part I

I do not have the bandwidth to research - so listing out the news articles I keep coming across which are suspicious in a reporter can pick it up and run with it and hopefully win a Pulitzer or something !
1. Force India finishing 2nd, 4th
I love Formula 1, and I love India and I am quite pleasantly surprised seeing Force India finish in the podium. Well actually I did not "see" because I do not have sports channels at home - so read the news. But I am tempted to subscribe again and see the race and the Ads and be an "eye-ball" once again.
The conspiracy here is - with Ferrari once again in the dumps ( how it was prior to Schumi days ), Indian fans have lost interest in F1 - majority being Ferrari fans. And with a 200 million tv viewing population - which is almost the size of European continent, F1 cannot afford to lose India. So suddenly Force India who never finished a race is on the podium..hmmm !!
2. Ms.Nigeria/Ms.Venezuala/Ms.Phillipines winning Mis…

My dear netas - you deserve business class

Our poor netas, who have already sacrificed some good professions like farming, medicine, engineering, business, law, stock trading, IT etc - for the greater good of the country, and for serving the downtrodden of this nation - are being punished by forcing them to travel in economy class. What sacrilege.
No one is there to speak in support of our netas - and they will not protest but will accept this quietly - because their humility does not allow them to protest. So I am taking up their cause in this post. No they did not pay me - our netas will never do such a thing.
Why our netas deserve business class and private jets:
1. Stress
They take so much stress. From the build up to getting a party ticket, fighting for votes, then the horse trading and finally they become ministers. And still it is not over, they have to ward off allegations of corruption, nosy reporters, RTIs, PILs - and somehow manage to find time to serve the masses.
And you expect them to be herded like cattle in econo…

Getting into the zone!

Have you ever experienced being in "the zone"? You might have experienced for sure - but never noticed it. Once you are able to notice how it is to be in the zone - you can plan to get into the zone more often - for better productivity and happiness.

What is the zone?

The zone is a state of mind when time stops, creativity flows, your breathing is relaxed and steady, new ideas spring up and it leaves you energized wanting for more. In spite of working for hours at a stretch, if you are in the zone - you never feel tired.

Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance, Anna Karenina - are two books that I have read where they talk about this state of mind. Zen book says about getting into the zone on any activity that you do - could be washing dishes, could be fixing a motorcycle, could be writing a blog post. In Anna Karenina, one of the characters - Levin goes to cut corn along with his laborers - this chapter in the book is a masterpiece. Leo Tolstoy beautifully describes how it …

5 simple tips to fight Flu

The media is doing what it does best - spreading fear and panic. So here is my little post which is an anti-dote in these scary times. Some tips for increasing your immunity - so when flu gives you a visit, it knows it is not welcome.
1. Orange Juice & Fruits.
Fruits have become really expensive - nowadays Doctors are cheaper than Apple ( the fruit ;) ). However packaged juices are cheaper than fruits if you do the Cost benefit analysis.
Try and get juices that claim they have no sugar and no preservatives. I do however remember reading that Vitamin C by itself does not help fight flu - but there are other good things - anti oxidants, Vitamin C, fiber - so over all it is good for a healthy you - and it is tasty too.
2. Japanese Shower
Take a hot bath and once you are done - in the end - take shower in the cold water. While taking a hot bath the pores open up and blood flow circulation increases in the skin. When suddenly cold water hits your body, the pores start contracting, and bl…

JK Wedding video & more

I know I should not be writing about this video - according to Wired's How to Behave : New Rules for Highly Evolved Humans.
But I have to - this post is for my not-so-wired friends about a phenomenon that took the net world by storm. It is a video of a wedding party that makes its entrance dancing to a song ( thanks to this video the song- Forever by Chris Brown - went to the top in iTunes ).
Here is the real video :

And here is the spoof from college humour -Unexpected Divorce Intro - which takes things a little too far..:)

Enjoy !

How to make a decision?

The last decade of my life has been very interesting - I had to take decisions at various points in my personal life as well as in my career - a few times the choice was very clear, at times both the choices looked equally attractive and at times both looked equally hard and difficult.
So how do we decide which one to take?
The thumbrule I have is - take the harder path. By harder I mean - I might have to work harder, educate myself on something new, might have to let go off my comfort zone, let go off things I love. But this might not be the case always - at times the easier option was also the best option.
So how do we know if the choice we had made is the right one?
The answer is - we will never know. If there was something called time travel then perhaps we will know. So I tell myself - the decision I took was the right one - always. I never regret on any decision I had taken because I know just around the corner I have one more decision to make which will be harder than the previo…

Fuses blowing off is a good thing

Can anyone spot what is wrong with this picture? Look closely - there are no fuse carriers and the lines have been shorted by a thick piece of wire.
Wondering what it means? - When an electric surge happens - there is no fuse that will blow and break the circuit. The surge will go right into the homes and kill all the devices which are On at that time - TVs, bulbs, mobile chargers...
I am not trying to educate BESCOM electricians - they are lazy & crazy and they don't read my blog - but this post is about unit tests.
Last week I answered a questionnaire for a friend of mine who is doing a course work about Agile - one of the questions was - Is it not absurd to write unit tests?
The above picture is the answer to the question. Unit tests are like fuses - they blow up in your build and prevent a blow up in production in future. Commenting out an unit test is like shorting the circuit with a thick piece of wire - like in the above picture.
For eg., when a developer forgets to do a…

Microsoft's battles

Microsoft is fighting lot of battles - that is one problem of being big.
OS : Windows vs OS X, Linux, Solaris, and now Google Chrome OS
Email : Hotmail/Live vs GMail, YMail
Search : Bing vs Google,Yahoo..
Database : MS Sql Server vs Oracle,MySQL,PostgreSql..
IM : MSN Messenger vs GTalk, Yahoo Messenger,IRC,Pidgin
Programming platform : .NET vs Java..
Languages : C#,VB.NET,ASP.NET vs Java, Ruby,Python,PHP,Perl..
Mobile OS : Windows Mobile vs Android, OS X, Symbian..
Media player : Zune vs iPod, Creative, Sony..
Office Suite : Microsoft Office vs OpenOffice, Google Apps
Browser : Internet Explorer vs Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera
Gaming Platform : XBox vs Nintendo, Sony and now iPhone
Vector graphics for web : Silverlight vs Flash, Flex
My head is spinning. If you notice the ones on the right of VS - for instance Opera - that is their entire life - the reason for their existence. They are focusing all their energies and souls into their products -yet Microsoft is able to match them and give a goo…

Get inspired by the Spartans : "300" Movie Review

Have you seen the movie - 300? It is the story of 300 Spartans who defy all logic and fight against wave after wave of attacks by a much bigger Persian army. Technically it is a well made movie and is a good entertainer - but as an entrepreneur you can draw lot of inspiration from this movie.

The Spartans were severely outnumbered - but they believed in their abilities, their training, the trust they had with one another - sounds familiar? :)

As an entreprenur you will have to fight lot of battles - thought not as gory as Spartans.

Fight against a well established player :

Like the Spartans, when Apple started they had to fight IBM. When Pepsi started it had to fight Coke. You can find so many stories where a small company challenged the giant in the industry. If you are one of those entrepreneurs fighting a bigger player - keep going. If you believe in your abilties, in your team - even if it is small - you can win the battle eventually.

Fight against established norms :

Spartans did not …

Staples Print Center's gift to me - Khatra.exe

Last weekend I went to Staples Print Center in Marathahalli - Printo has closed shop and moved out. And when I got home I plugged the USB drive into Vista and AVG Anti Virus did not complain - but I saw a program called Khatra.exe asking for Admin privileges to run.
Then I rebooted into Ubuntu and was horrified to see the files that were there. There were folders and lots of exes. Now I am upset with 2 entities here.
1. Staples Print Center
Printo always scans the flash drives ( even if it used to take time ) and not once they loaded viruses on to my USB drive. Wish Staples learns from their competitor and educates their employees to follow proper process ( I am sure Staples will have it in their employee handbook ).
2. Vista
I did not give administrative privileges to Khatra.exe, still it managed to copy itself in the registry in some 10 places, got itself added to startup , and had the guts to ask again for administrative privileges when I rebooted.
I am shocked that inspite of all the…

Some random photos

Photos shot on my Nokia 6630

with his Avva in Reliance Footprint while his Ma shops !

this is equivalent of commenting out the failing test because the entire build was failing ! forgot where I took this one.

in Lal Bagh or Cubbon park - one of them.
after Prithvi's birthday party.

Achu, this is for you !

on the terrace - should be the world for this little ant !

He is a Royal Challengers fan, but was just being nice.

Next in human evolution - use mouth for carrying stuff, so hands are free to tweet and blog.

ApartmentAdda Interview & an update interviewed us recently - you can read about the interview in their blog.
Now for the update, my startup is no more a sole-proprietorship. It is now a Private Limited firm - 3Five8 Technologies Pvt. Ltd. When I started - sole proprietorship made sense - because it did not cost anything, nothing to register and I can concentrate on building the portal.
However, after the launch and after winning Adda's first premium customer and the subsequent customers I dealt with all had this uneasiness doing business with a sole proprietor. I understood that sole proprietorship was not sufficient any more. Finally kicked off the process in April sometime - took close to 2 months in my case because of various reasons.
Having a Pvt. Ltd. company gives confidence to my customers.
And it did cost quite a bit :
1. It costs quite a lot to register.... around 27k.
2. Every year the company has to submit its audited finances - even if it makes a loss. This is again around 25k every …

Book reviews on my new blog

I have started writing here in The theme mainly is books that are inspiring and valuable for an entrepreneur.
Here are the three posts I have written :
Follow your heart like Santiago - review of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Blaze a new path like Howard Roark - review of The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Find the tipping point of your venture - review of The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
I will continue writing in this blog about technical things and a developer's perspective of running a startup and of course my frustrations with that browser and that operating system :)

Find the tipping point of your venture

"The Tipping Point" is another interesting book from Malcolm Gladwell. "Tipping points" are the levels at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable. He analyses how social epidemics start and classifies 3 kinds of people you will need - who will help your product/portal/message reach the tipping point.
Connectors : Connectors are passive information passers. "Hi I heard about this cool website..." - is what they will say - and they will say this to quite a few.
Mavens : Mavens are more factual. "Do you know you can get this and this done in this website..." - is what they will say. They analyze threadbare the features/shortcomings and will help the listener make a fair judgement of the product.
Salesmen : Salesmen are more persuasive.  "You should be using this website because it will save you time and effort...." is what they will say.  They not only do the job of mavens - by giving you facts but they also will list out the advan…

Blaze a new path like Howard Roark

"The FountainHead" by Ayn Rand is an eye opener in many ways. Howard Roark is an architecture school student who has a different philosophy on how buildings should be built. He wanted to build structures that will be aesthetically pleasing, economically meaningful, in tune with the environment and the building should make a statement. Whereas the industry was aping what the Gothic and romantic architectures of the past had built - with meaningless arches, facades and wasted space.

He is thrown out of his college because he refuses to design the traditional architecture and struggles for work - but he never once compromises on his ideals. He waits and his time comes and the world accepts his style of architecture. It is one man against a well established industry who tries hard to keep him down. But the harder you push a ball into water - the faster it rises out and with more force - Howard Roark wins in the end.

As an entrepreneur - you might have battles yourself - as you are…


I was in school - 7th or 8th Standard is when I heard about Michael Jackson. I did not know how he looked, how he danced, how he sung - but I was already a fan. My friends who had listened to his music and seen video brought by their Amru uncle - told in such vivid details that MJ was already dancing in my imagination.

Then I caught MJ on World this Week - hosted by Prannoy Roy - the only window to the world I had at that time. And what I saw was better than what I had constructed in my memory.

Over the years I watched him fall from one disaster to another and prayed silently for him. And in 2000 he was awarded the greatest entertainer of the century by Mtv. And in his acceptance speech he said "You ain't seen nothing yet". Gave me hope - perhaps he has turned a new leaf and will produce another amazing album. Sadly the clock stopped for him.

I saw a tweet from someone yesterday - "even my office peon knows about MJ" - that sums it up how great a person he was.

Tweets that does not make sense..

I love twitter. If you don't like twitter - still you can read this article - because you will get some fresh twitter bashing stuff
1. Boarded plane !
Oh you have a GPRS enabled mobile is it - oh it's an iPhone - so you are able to tweet till the flight attendant comes and asks you to switch off your phone and then give a dirty look to the guy next to you who has a Nokia 1001.
2. Good morning!
Dood - I live in India - and its evening for me. Try to understand - the world is not flat how much ever Thomas Friedmann has made millions out of that statement.
3. RT this RT that !
Well even I RT that at times but not all the time.There are tweeters who live only to RT. At times Tweet something other than 1) and 2) and I will follow you.
4. #fail !
I fail you. I see so many fails that it depresses me. I wish the tweeters use some other hash #boo, #yuck etc. Be creative. Fail brings back school day nightmares.
5. I bought an iPhone 3GS
Good for you. You can now tweet till the flight …

Follow your heart like Santiago

The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
This book written by the Brazilian author, Paulo Coelho - is a very very bad book - in a good way  - because it has the potential to change your life upside down !! You can finish it on a weekend  - 160 pages is all it is. It traces the journey of Santiago, the shepherd boy who goes in hunt of a treasure.
This book will have a huge impact on your life. While reading and after reading it will leave you disturbed, questioning yourself, and if you had suppressed a dream - a dream of starting your own business, or learning something like guitar which you keep postponing, or going on a crazy bike ride to another city - anything - these dreams will come alive and will dance before you.
The book teaches  you to follow your heart. It is as simple as that. In fact all of Paulo Coelho's books have this recurring theme - do not suppress your dream, you have one life and you have to allow it to go where it is destined to go. Do not restrict yourself saying this is al…

3 Reasons why India should stick just to IPL

I wasted sleep yesterday night to watch Indians play test cricket and lose. And here is my advise to India - stick to IPL and do not bother about playing world cups. 3. Better Prime timeIn this world cup India matches start(ed) at night 10.00PM. Given that only Indians watch cricket how can they schedule all India games at 10.00PM? You are wondering about the non-Indians sitting in the stadium? -  they were brought to the stadium with beer - like how they do in Indian elections. With IPL the game bends for you. Games start at 3.00PM to kill afternoon boredom at office and they give a break so commuters can fight the way through traffic and reach on time to watch the next match at 7.00PM. And go to sleep at night 10.00PM. Early to bed and early to rise - IPL is good for your health.2.  Guaranteed RunsIn IPL, any team will have 2 good bowlers and the rest will be like henchmen in movies who are there to be beaten up. So just save your wickets till the henchmen come on the scene. And to …

PINIP, MINO and VINOSX - Upcoming products from Redmond

Following the phenomenal success of BING ( aka - Bing is not Google) which is actually Microsoft's Live search renamed and a 100 Million dollar marketing budget , Microsoft is preparing more product launches along similar lines.

PINIP - Pinip is Not iPod. Bloggers will go crazy with this name - Zune never had the hipness to it. Along with a 1000 Million dollar budget, they can use the money to buy it off the shelves and prove Zune has more market share than iPod.

MINO - Mino is not Oracle. With Oracle now owning MySQL the rich and poor use Oracle's databases. By renaming MS Sql server with a jazzy name like MINO - Oracle will have to forego hogging the database market and instead concentrate on reviving the companies it killed by buying them - like PeopleSoft, Sun etc.

VINOSX - Of course you guessed it right - V is not OS X and is actually Vista repackaged. Difficult to pronounce but with a 100000 Million dollar marketing budget with lots of youtube ads, banner ads, television ad…

How to watch Tamil TV Serials !

The last couple of days I am watching Tamil TV Serials - during lunch and dinner. I have to socialize with the guests who are visiting us. It will not be manners to read a book when guests are around you see.

So here is how I entertain myself.

1. Watch the side actors. Usually the main heroine ( no heroes ) will be talking a few pages of scripts in one go. And time to time the side actors will keep looking at each other. It is so funny. At times one actor will try to look at the other - and she/he will be listening intently and will not look.

2. Watch for mistakes. There are so many. Usually when there is a large crowd there will be 5 or 6 people who will never get a dialogue. Keep looking at them - and they will keep seeing into the camera now and then.

3. Guess the cliche statement that will emerge out of the actor's mouth. You will win all the time.

"Enn uyiruai kuduthaavathu unnai kaapaathuvaen"
"Vaanga. Coffee saapidureengala"
"Nalla mugurtham paarthu solln…

Finally Switched from Vista to Ubuntu 9

Finally I have made the jump from Windows to Linux - the 3rd time. First 2 times I did it when I was on a J2EE project ( weblogic environment ) and a SOA project ( Tomcat ). Once I rolled off the projects again I had to go back to Windows.Now this is the 3rd time I am switching and along with it the development environment of Apartment Adda to Ubuntu and I will be here for quite some time - perhaps till I get a powerbook ;) The build and production are already on linux - so it was easy to make the switch - the scripts were all working. A few things were holding me back - like Nokia PC Suite, ITunes, Chrome - but I am feeling better already for having made the choice.1. Ubuntu 9 is slick, good on eyes and blazingly fastMy thumbrule for judging the performance of an OS is - everything should launch like how a notepad launches in Windows XP ( vista notepad takes longer than XP notepad). In Ubuntu most of the apps meet the critieria. Ubuntu boots really fast and is immediately responsive …

Who will lose in this election?

It is easy to accurately predict who all will lose in this election. A fractured mandate is bad for the country.  Here is my list of losers because of this election 09.
1. Environment
With the makeshift horse traded government trying to hold on to power on a day to day basis - the environment will never show up any where on the radar. Instead we will see environmentally unfriendly projects getting sanctioned at a furious pace - because even before the PIL can be submitted - the minister in charge might be replaced and a new government would have come. Make hay while the sun shines will be order of the day. Sorry Earth.
2. Economy
I feel sorry for the poor sods (including yours truly ) who have sunk their money in Stock Market . I am predicting market to fall to 8000 in the next few months. The parliment will be run by everything other than pragmatism. With the netas whims and fancies changing on a day to day basis - and along with it the fluctuating majority - and along with it the market…

Specialization is for insects

There is this age old debate - should you specialize on a skill, or generalize and become a jack of all trades?
Heres a quote that answers the question :
“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, and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” – Robert A. Heinlein — from The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
There are exceptions - but as a generalization - the above quote is spot on. In any career you will have your main stream ( BA, Developer, QA, Architect etc. ) - but to become really kickass in your stream - you have to develop other surrounding skills.
Where I am coming at is - as an entrepreneur you will be forced to don many hats. I have met a few entrepreneurs who will dig throug…

Chennai Vs Bangalore

Some people will live and die for a city. I am not one of them - and I will objectively analyze which city is a best fit for me - a 30+ year old dad, techie, non-pub hopper, digs Chettinad food and Saravana Bhavan, and who enjoys the beach. By now you know where my allegiance is :)
Beach Vs Mall
The beach might not be how it used to be 10 years back - but still the salty air and cool breeze are the same. No one can prevent the breeze from hitting me - and every time I go to Beasant Nagar beach it reminds me one of the fun times I had there - late night cricket, intellectual and mushy exchanges...numerous.
When I go to a mall I get blinded, suffocated and when I come out I feel drained of my energy and am happy to get out of the mall.
Chennai : 1  Bangalore : 0
Traffic has shot up everywhere - even in tier 3 cities. Chennai traffic is still smooth like butter. You wait only once in any signal - lots of flyovers and smart traffic management ensures you keep moving. Bangalore - uggh.  D…

Fight the Good Fight !

Book Review - The Pilgrimage
The book is all about fighting the good fight!
When we were young we had dreams but did not have the skills to achieve the dream. Then we educate ourselves, and through apprenticeship learn the skills to achieve the dream. However while doing so we lose sight of our dream and when we have the skills - we do not fight for the dream. "Fight the good fight" - Paulo's guide tells him - inorder to achieve your dream. 

The second interesting thing is - we all fight for a reward. We achieve a dream so we can get a reward. But we never think what we will do with the reward. Once you answer it - the process of achieving your dream, getting your reward becomes easy and more meaningful. 
Finally, during the course of the book you will realize how a devil is as important as an angel. Confused - let me explain from what I understood. Angel is the one that protects you. Devil always looks out for its own good and is selfish. Wondering how a devil can help you?…

IPL 09 or Election 09 - which is the best entertainment?

I feel Election 09 is more wholesome entertainment than IPL 09 - here is my top 5 reasons.
5. Cricket is a boring sport and IPL is trying to make it interesting and is quite successful in it. Politics has been the world's most oldest profession/game/sport and Elections make it really interesting. So no contest in this front.
4. IPL has got too many statistics - Net run rate, Batsman's average, Bowlers average - it all confuses me and is too much for my mind. I like what Election 09 is going to throw up - all within 545 seats distributed among 1025 parties - and you can play the permutation and combination to see who can make the magic 272 - except make sure you dont club the 2 big parties ( now why don't they partner for a change...that will be fun!)
3. IPL needs gimmicks like cheer leaders, bollywood actress and actors to keep people glued to the screen. Netas need no help from any quarters. They goof up enough, say outrageous things, call names of their opponents - its like…