January 31, 2007

Three lessons from Apple CEO "Steve Jobs"

It was a routine day in the office,when I got an email from my friend Hiral which made me realize that I am missing something if I have not read "iCon-Steve Jobs".In the email,Steve Jobs has mentioned three interesting facts about his life and what he learnt from those incidents.
May be,it is because of these incidents,that has made Steve Jobs a "Change Machine"

The complete story can be found on Google Docs-"Steve Jobs Story"

Some facts which I found interesting are as below:
(Note: I in the article refers to Steve Jobs)

Story about connecting the dots:
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. .......................... Ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. Mac was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do.

Story about love and loss:
The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

Story about death:
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

The complete story can be found on Google Docs-"Steve Jobs Story"

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January 30, 2007

Why India does not have more PRODUCT startups?

My previous post was the result of "India Shining" and this post is related to a field(where all of us would agree) ,in which we lag behind.We see lots of work getting outsourced to India :-) Thats good news,isnt it but,on the same note,there are few(should I say very few) product companies originating out of India.The question is very complicated but,Dharmesh Shah,Software Entrepreneur from the US has a good analysis of this problem on his blog.

Q:Why There Aren’t More Software Startups In India?

Some important excertps from a very interesting article:

1. Service Companies Have Lower Risk:
There is a lot of R&D that is required in a product based company hence,it takes time for the company to be profitable whereas the services based companies can become profitable very quickly.Business model of services companies is very simple.Hire labor from the large pool of local talent at a price that is market competitive for India. “Rent” these resources out to clients at a higher price.Hence,win-win situation for everyone.

2.Lack Of Significant Precedence:
US has produced many entrepreneurs of product companies like Microsoft,Apple,Oracle etc.As per Dharmesh's analysis,India does not have such dynamic people whom entrepreneurs can look upto and this would take some time.

3.Early-Stage Capital Is Even Harder Than In The U.S.:
Historically, it has been difficult for startup founders of product companies to get their ideas funded in India. The reason is that investors, even private equity investors, have been reluctant to put high-risk capital to work and fund radically new ideas for software companies.This is partly because there’s been a large supply of other opportunities that seem to present a much better risk/reward (like IT services). However, this seems to be changing.

4.Recruiting Great Employees Is Challenging:
This is one of the best analysis made by Dharmesh.Along with the initial difficulties you face in starting your company,you would also face difficulties in hiring great(not good) people.Plus,startups have to compete with the high salaries of biggies in the country.Plus,If you are in a big organization,you can always tell your friend I'm working in XYZ MNC.And yes,this would help you if you are searching a girl for your marriage,working in a big company helps..Impressive Uh!!!

5.Too Much Bureaucracy:
It takes hardly few minutes for an idea to click and you have your company in the US but in India,as pointed out by Dharmesh,it takes some weeks.Plus,as per his analysis,India is not suitable for people(like him) who are not very agressive(and introverd) and thinking of starting a company and that was the main reason he reloacted to the US.

6.Product Companies Are Hard:
Dharmesh's comments:-I’ve found Indians to be almost overly practical (in the short-term sense) and not passionate about some of the softer things (like user experience, marketing, branding and other things) which in today’s world are large contributors to future outcomes of software startups. Indians would rather work on the “harder” stuff that they can better control and predict.

Read the complete article here

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Investing in India?Wow Great Idea...

It has been quite a long time since , we have been Hearing,reading & writing about the booming economy in India.This in turn has given a big boost to Entrepreneurship in India and hence,there are many Venture Capitalists(VC's) who are keen on investing in India.

Just came across an interesting article on SmartTechie where they have mentioned "India is the best place for mobile content media".Thats quite interesting.Some time back,I met Harinath(a budding Social Entrepreneur) in one of the unconferences in Bangalore where he had mentioned about Dr CK Prahlad's book "Fortune at the bottom of the pyramid" which is focussing on Social Entrepreneurship.SmartTechie feels that companies are taking lessons from such books and implementing those policies in the Indian market....Keep on reading

SmartTechie was very smart in mentioning the reasons for such India out ventures:
  1. Dr CK Prahlad's idea is catching fire in India - eg. The low cost designed phone Nokia 1100 specifically targeting the Indian audience
  2. Lot of Venture Capital is now available in India.There is a new breed of Entrepreneurs turned VCs who are very happy with the growth rate.
  3. There is a product ecosystem focussing on Product development,Product architecture that has developed in India.
Read the Complete and very interesting article here

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January 28, 2007

TechTribe: Connect and Innovate

Ever since I have heard Rohit Agarwal(the innovator) of TechTribe speak at the BarCamp,Bangalore I was very much impressed with him.I just thought "Whether TechTribe can be India's answer to LinkedIn?"

He had a point about Indians in particular-"Indians are innovative at each point of time".He had a very good example of Innovation(which according to him is not thought about everywhere) -"Even, when we(Indians) want to cross the road and (damn),there is lot of traffic,we try an alternate way to reach the other side of the road".This is just a small example of innovation in each and every Indian mind[Am I being too patriotic :-)].Now,why connect on TechTribe when you have LinkedIn,keep on reading.

"A 30 year old IIT grad Avinash Agarwal not only got around Rs 10 Lakh funding for his startup RouteGuru through TechTribe(after he posted the idea on TechTribe) but he also gets guidance from some of the well established professionals from the industry."


Visit my
Techtribe profile to connect with me and join the innovative era!!!

Check this one,this is just the start of innovation on TechTribe

Read the complete article here

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Google to Fund Indian Startups

Read this one from Red Herring and the news is definitely the result of the booming Indian economy.
As per the report, Google,The Mountain View, California-based search engine giant is contributing an undisclosed amount to Seedfund, a $10-million to $15-million fund that had its first closing in November 2006, according to sources.
An excerpt from the story:
The Google decision may be unusual for the company, but it’s a smart option at this point in India. Google has its own R&D team in India to offer local systems for the emerging market, but their success depends upon how rapidly and effectively they are adopted.

The reality is that India’s Internet market is not yet mature, with only 40 million users going online by the end of 2006, according to the Internet and Mobile Association of India.
Seedfund managing partners Mr. Gandhi and Bharati Jacob have run Infinity Ventures, a profitable early-stage fund when the term was not fashionable in India. Another partner, Mahesh Murthy, is a successful entrepreneur and venture
capitalist.

“At the seed stage, teams with big ideas need less money and more mentoring from people who have an entrepreneurial background,” Mr. Murthy said when the fund launched just two months ago. Given the names who have invested in his fund, he seems to be on the right track.

Mobile phone subscribers now number 150 million, but average revenue per user is still low at about $5 per month. Startups targeting either market are still not quite as mature as the companies in which Google typically invests.

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January 27, 2007

"Art of the Start" by "The Golden Guy" on Startups.in

Excellent launchpad for Indian StartupsBefore I start,I would say "Three cheers to me!!!!"....Keep on reading to know the reason :-) In my previous post, I had mentioned about the contest on Startups.in where the prize is not money but something more than that since, it is a prize that is a boon to all the young entrepreneurs.Let me unfold the secret, the prize is "Art of the Start" by Guy Kawasaki and whats more is that the winners of the contest would get a personally signed copy by Guy himself.

I was worried that I would miss the 26th January,2007(11:59PM IST) deadline but I was bang on time or should I say ,I was just on time to submit my article.

For me , participation was more important and if I am amongst one of the winners, I would be very happy to get such a memorable prize.

Look forward for your valuable feedback on my article submitted for the contest.
(Negative feedback is also appreciated)

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Proto.in unplugged

It is almost a week now and still Proto is fresh in my mind.Learnt lots of things from there, met lots of interesting people like Syed, Shiv and many other young entrepreneurs and innovators who are very frequent at such kind of unconferences.But I could not meet my good friend Sunil Gupta from Blog Camp.

After going to Proto,I have got a habit to check Vijay Anand's blog since, it was a fantastic effort by him(and his other team members) to bring innovation under one roof.The end note by Atul Chitnis-"This is the start of an Innovative India" was absolutely amazing.But still, I missed somethings in Proto eg.I could not blog the event live just as I did in BarCamp and due to tight schedule could not click any photographs :-)

But,I just got this information from Shiv's blog that Gokul has blogged the event live and believe me, Gokul has done a fabulous job!!Now for those who have missed the fabulous event, Amit Ranjan has made life easy for them by uploading an excellent presentation of the coverage of the companies on SlideShare. SlideShare is making life easy for eveyone :-)



Apart from this, the profiles of all the companies showcased in Proto is available here.

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January 26, 2007

New era of Entrepreneurial India

Being an Entrepreneur is not an easy job and to identify whether you are an entrepreneur is more tougher job.The topic is covered in three sections listed below:

Important steps towards entrepreneurship:
================================

Are you an Entrepreneur?:
This is the most important question that is to be asked.Being an Entrepreneur is not a fashion label and hence,every person is not an entrepreneur.Hence,you should know whether you are an entrepreneur or not.Entrepreneurs not only make money but they are responsible to create jobs for others as well which would lead to economy boom in the country.

When an Entrepreneur thinks he/she is ready?:
One of the main challenges for any entrepreneur is to know when is the right time for him/her to start.As far as this is concerned, it is the gut feeling that would tell that person about that time.And yes, not to forget there should always be a sense of risk taking ability to start up so, be prepared for the same.

Uniqueness of your idea:
Everyone has ideas but it is important to know whether your idea is unique.So being in the entrepreneurial stage, you should always discuss this with some of your close associates to know whether your idea will work or not.This will give an unbiased opinion for your idea.The main point is "If you cannot convince a single person with your idea, how would you convince the masses about your idea".Also,"Do not start a company for money.In the entrepreneurial stage,it should only focus on innovation and money would automatically follow inovation at a latter point of time".

Try to be with the right set of people:
An entrepreneur should be in the right company.What I mean is, for the execution of any idea along with the technical team, you also require good experienced people from HR/management etc.This would complete the full circle for you and your team can focus on different aspects of your company.eg. "Mindtree Consulting" was founded by Ashok Soota and co-founded by Subroto Bagchi , similar is the case with Infosys(Narayana Murthy, Nandan Nilekani & others).

Have a proper business plan:
So once you have a UNIQUE idea and you are with the right set of people, you are ready to fire.Than comes the most important aspect of any startup is having a crystal clear "BUSINESS PLAN".Have a very precise business plan.Your business plan should cover the following aspects:
  1. Who is you customer?
  2. Who are your competitors(if any)?
  3. Your short term and long term growth plans?
  4. Ways of cost cutting(for eg.in the entrepreneurial stage,it is important to reduce the cost on unwanted things).
  5. Market capitalization.
Brand building:
This is another important step in you product development phase.A successful management team needs support from the technical team and vice-versa.Hence, you should follow stringent steps to make your product a "Brand" since, in todays competitive market only brands can survive and not products.eg. Google is a brand in "Search Engine" market.
One of the simplest and cheapest ways to market your product is through various camps(or should I say unconferences) which happen eg BarCamp,BlogCamp and other shows like Proto.in(which I attended in Chennai recently).

When to approach a Venture Capitalist(VC):
This is also very important stage in the life of a startup company.It is very important to know at what stage of the startup,you want to approach a VC since, the main point is "Once your product has a good market cap, there would be VCs who would be surrouding you".Also, once you approach a VC,you should know about how much fund you want from the VC,since VCs cannot give you ample amount of fund,without you providing a valid reason.

A general word on marketing:
========================

As I have specified in my "Brand Building" point, different strategies can be followed(in marketing some of which are given below:
  1. Through Ads in newspapers,pamplets etc.
  2. Free distribution of your product(evaluation version),if it is cost effective.
  3. A good way to reach a wide range of audience is through BarCamps,BlogCamps,events like Proro.in(which showcases startup companies).

Motivation towards Entrepreneurship:
===============================
Being an Entrepreneur is not a simple job.It is not like working for 8 hours a day.Hence as I had mentioned previously, "Every Techie is not an Entrepreneur".

Passion towards your goals:
An Entrepreneur is a person who is passionate about what he/she does and goes an extra mile to achieve his/her goal.Hence,"An Entrepreneur is a self-motivated person".

Continuous learning:
Enterpreneur is a continous learner.He/she learns from his own mistakes and also tries to learn from the lives of other entrepreneurs.Hence,"Continuous learning is the key to entrepreneurship".

Right kind of support:
It is very important that you receive the right kind of support from your family,friends and fellow entrepreneurs.Hence, being an entrepreneur is a clear test of risk taking and facing new challenges.Hence, your family should be supportive to help you achieve your goals.

Booming economy in India:
After the dot com burst,many companies suffered a heavy loss and saw the shutters go down for many companies.But now,the time has changed and especially for India,we can say "Every cloud has a silver lining".There is a huge economy boom in India and there are more and more people leaving their heavy pay-packet jobs to fulfil their dreams.During my visit to Proto.in there was a statement made(by a Tech Evangalist)-"No would have thought that such a show(showcasing 30 startups and 25 VCs) would have happened in India and this is a clear indication of more and more entrepreneurs being born out of India".
Events like BarCamps, BlogCamps and Proto.in are examples of emerging globalization and entrepreneurship in India.

More information for starting your venture in India : Startup in India

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Campus E-recruitment demystified

Welcome to CampusChai
During my good old college days,I remember we had Placementpapers where everyone could find the placement papers of many IT companies.But now with the advent of Web 2.0,things have become different and the face of e-recruitment has also changed.Recently,I came across CampusChai blog when I was searching for "recruitment blogs" on Google.

Just like startups.in, CampusChai has a tag line "100% Indian".Now you may ask me "What is so different in CampusChai?".These guys have the basics right and this is what matters for the end user of the website.To see the difference,I also created my profile in CampusChai and found many interesting things ,some of which are mentioned below:

Good marketing strategy:
I liked the marketing strategy followed by CampusChai.There is a contest currently running on this site and the winner of the site would get a brand new PS2.So,to win this you need market CampusChai through your Blog, Orkut(Social Networking), Ryze(Business Networking).I dont know how they forgot to mention LinkedIn and TechTribe.Anways, so you earn points when someone clicks on your profile [Believe me I am not in the run for this PS2 :-)] and this could turn out to be one of the most attractive things about CampusChai.

Click to see the contest details on CampusChai

Excellent User interface(thank God..no Ads are there on the site):
CampusChai has a very simple interface and easy to find important things on the site.Also currently,the site does not have any Ads which makes things simple.They dont even have Google Ads on the site.This makes me wonder what could be the revenue model of CampusChai?Any thoughts?

List of upcoming events:
They have a calendar system where anyone can see the recruitment events happening in the city.Again easy and simple to navigate.It is a similar facility like upcoming.org

Excellent resume management:
Last but by no means the least,the resume management is excellent in CampusChai.There is a section called as "Tags" where all the popular tags are listed eg. C,C++,VB 6.0 etc.Hence, if I want to search for candidates who are interested in working on C Language, it just involves a single click which fetches you excellent results.

Excellent Resume Management in CampusChaiCampusChai at Proto.in:

CampusChai was one of the companies which was unfortunately not among the first list of 25 startups to be showcased at Proto.in.But I am sure that with such excellent facilities and enhanced user experience,they would go a long way!!!

This what CampusChai had to say about itself at Proto.in

Campus Chai's services in a Nutshell,Courtesy:Proto.in

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January 25, 2007

New Voice Enabled search

Search for "Voice Enabled Search" on Google and you would come across 5,690,000 searches.Just happened to see this one on Silicon.com which has the news of Google registering a new patent for "Voice Enabled Search"[I know it is a pretty old news but since Google is concerned so had to put on my blog :-) ].

After Google, TellMe has also launched a mobile voice search engine.

The service is free and it is currently only in the US,under the testing mode.

So how does it work?
On a Java-enabled phone, you hit the “talk” button, and say the name of city and state you are searching in. Then you say the name of the business (or ‘restaurants’ or ‘pizza’), and Tellme will return results on your phone, along with address, map and directions. It is free (though data charges apply according to your wireless plan).

You can read the Complete Article on Venture Beat

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ExtraBed.in:Change in the Indian Blogosphere

Imagine going for some event/conference in a different city where you have very few friends.The first question which comes to your mind is "Where would I stay?".An initiative has been taken by Kiruba to answer this question and also help the Indian Blogosphere.

The idea born is called ExtraBed.in ,where you can give a helping hand to the other visiting bloggers in your city by giving an extra bed to them.This is not an original idea but an idea born from a Wiki canicrash.org (A blogger community for travellers).

So next time who knows,when I come to your city for an Unconference, I could be staying at your place!!!

Do visit the Wiki ExtraBed.in and help grow the Indian Blogosphere!!!

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Blogger services down

Blogger was down for around 15 minutes and I could not blog for this much time.

I really missed BLOGGING!!!!

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January 24, 2007

What's in the name:Tags or Labels?

Ever since,I migrated from the old blogger to the new one , there has been lots of problems.First it was static HTML code that was generated and than some crazy alignment problems.And yes,I did find some problems in Blogger and I have reported them to "Blogger Support Group".

But one thing which I was missing(in Blogger from the beginning) is the "Tags" section which is available in Wordpress.What is the advantage of having Tags? Having "Tags" makes your post grouped under a particular group which helps targetting a particular genre of readers.

But,when I migrated to new blogger,there were "Tags" available but they were called as "Labels" in Blogger.This has raised some confusions in the Blogosphere.

An example of TAGS in Blogger

On googling for "Tags in Blogger", I came across a blog where this debate is going on-"Labels or Tags" ie "Has Google done the right thing in calling Tags as Labels in Blogger"

A small excerpt from the blog

Tags are one of the defining elements of Web 2.0. When Google started gmail,it used the term label instead of the term tag. When Google developed the new version of Blogger, it also again used the term labels instead of tags.

Do not miss out this Interesting Topic on the Eygpt Software Blog

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January 23, 2007

What can companies learn from tennis star Roger Federer

It was just a normal day when I was returning back from the office and I happened to think about the close connection between sports and business.Since, my favourite tennis tournament Australian Open is on, I could not think about anyone other than my favourite tennis player Roger Federer.

Everytime when I watch Federer play , there is always something to learn from him from a business point of view.Some of the learnings are given below:

1.
Just as Federer considers each and every match important,be it an unseeded player,it is important for companies(even startups) not to under-estimate the competition.Who knows Guruji.com may become the next Google.

2.
Federer has been unbeatable except for some defeats against Nadal on clay court.Inspite of these defeats,there is some improvement in his game.Here is the message,improvement is the key...Keep on improving and innovating since, you never know that your competitor may see your weakness and counteract on it.


[Click on the video to watch FEDERER's excellence]

3.
I have rarely seen Federer losing his calm during the course of any match.He does not show any reactions on the court ,which helps him win so many matches.Similarly,it is very important to take the right kind of decisions when you own a company.You may be very talented but decisions based on emotions like anger may kill your motive and also your talent since,important decisions like these cannot be taken on basis of emotions.

4.
This is the final point and by every means the most important point.Federer has won 9 grand slam titles and 45 single titles and he is just 25 years old.It is very easy to get carried away by such achievements at this early age but I always see some improvement in each and every match that he plays,be it grass court or clay court.Thus, it is very important to have centered focus on your market where you are targetting your product.Age has no relation with the achievements you have under your belt.Also, never be satisfied with your achievements since there is always something more to achieve!!!

PS:If there are some other interesting points (which I might have missed) about Federer,please include them in the comments section or shoot a mail at himanshu.sheth@gmail.com

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January 22, 2007

Blogging means value

One of my colleague Kishore Bangalore asked me "Why do I blog?".He had an impression that blogging means a way of passing time. He is just an ocassional blogger whereas I am a very seasoned blogger.I definitely agree to what he has said but the important aspect is "What is blog meant for?" and I came up with my Previous article about blogging for a meaning.

When I created my LinkedIn account, I was finding it hard to get some contacts and one fine day I received a mail from an unknown person(who is a Program Manager in Denmark) asking me for a connection.
This really excited me and I understood that MEANINGFUL blogging does create a lot of value.

Now, coming back to business, imagine people getting paid for blogging.I was chatting with my friend Alok when he gave me the information about Ibibo. Ibibo is just an example to show how blogging makes a difference.

To summarize, I am very optimistic about the waves that blogs have created and this is just the start to a new blogging era!!!

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Top 10 reasons you are not getting a job

Many times, it is seen that a person is very talented but it becomes very difficult for him/her to get a job.It is seen that the entire selection process is not only a test of your technical skills/managerial skills , but also your attitude,temperament which is well tested through a series of interviews.

It starts right from your first round of interviews where they take an initial test till the last round of HR interview where they try to see your convincing skills and also your loyalty for the previous company(the worst reason to tell the HR guy about the job change would be "My previous company/team has X/Y/Z problems which leads to bad-mouthing your previous employer").

Just happened to overlook CareerBuilder, where they have listed out "Top ten reasons why you're not finding a job" as given below:
  1. You're not making finding a job a job itself!!
  2. You haven't developed a system of finding a job.
  3. You have an unrealistic idea about the market for your skills.
  4. You aren't acknowledging the psychological and emotional stress that changing jobs entails.
  5. You ignore small businesses.
  6. You don't recognize that face-to-face interviews are the only things that matter.
  7. You don't prepare well for interviews.
  8. You're not selling yourself.
  9. You have the attitude, "What can you do for me?
  10. You give poor reasons for leaving your job.

Do not miss out the Complete Article on CareerBuilder

Happy job searching!!!

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January 20, 2007

Off for Proto.in

Finally,I am off to Chennai for Proto.in
Looking forward to all the interesting ideas created by the 30 startups and how does it feel to listen to 25 VCs from around the country.

Events like Proto.in would definitely change the face of Indian entrepreneurship.

Some of the VCs that would be present are:
I hope that along with taking photographs and listening to the VCs speak,I would try to blog the event live just I did in BarCamp Bangalore 2.0

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January 19, 2007

Wanna start.....Pitch a VC

Read this one on Economic Times and found it very interesting.An article on how to pitch VCs and how much an entrepreneur should be aware his product and the market he would target with that product.

A small excerpt from this article is below:
What is common between a good venture capitalist (VC) pitch and stand-up comedy? In both the cases, a perfectly timed and delivered spiel can make or break your career. A comedian begins with a killer opening and keeps rolling to peak a couple of minutes later. He makes a graceful exit with a customary greeting, leaving the audience yelling, whistling and clapping.

The urban legend regarding start-ups is that you get a two-minute shot to reveal your plan and what it is good for. All this is done in such a way that the venture capitalist, with whom you’ve jumped into a cab or elevator, will write you a cheque one day. You want to win over your audience so that it supports your idea with its heart, soul, mind - and money.

Winning these, in a start-up business, means you have to construct a short and snappy sales pitch of your idea. In Mumbai, like in the Silicon Valley, face-time with a VC is limited. So, be prepared to make your only shot your best shot. The time window is small, hence the idea has to be crisp and clear.

Read the Complete Article

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January 18, 2007

The tale of four Managers

The toughest question on earth is "Can you tell me,whether your manager is good or bad?".Yes, I know , this has made you think and this is the question which I have always found very difficult to answer.
After scratching my head for a long time, I came up with two articles listed below:

My current read is "Winning-The Answers" by Jack Welch, an interesting book about Management.I just came across a very good Chapter(#13) - "When to Cut the Cord" where he has mentioned about Four kinds of managers.

This classification is done on how well they perform ie. deliver results and how well they demonstrate good values such as candor and customer responsiveness.
TYPE#1(BEST):
Managers who deliver great results and adhere to good values are easy to cope up with.They should be rewarded at each and every opportunity.
TYPE#2:
Managers with poor results but good values deserve another chance, maybe in another position in the organization.
TYPE#3:
The third kind of manager,with great results and lousy is the kind that usually destroys the organizations.They deliver the numbers,but usually on the backs of their people.Companies very often keep these jerks around for way too long, destroying morale and trust as they do.
TYPE#4(JERKS):
This is poorest kind of manager.He's got poor performance as well as poor values.Here,even if the manager has good technical expertise but, he may be a threat to major projects since his management skills are poor.These kind of managers should not be kept in the organization and should not be given any second chance.

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New Search engine "Kakle" on the move

"Search for "Search Engine" on Google and you would be amazed to see 86,700,000 searches and I think with Web 2.0 on the move, this number would be on the rise.

There are search engines like Google, Ask, AltaVista, WebCrawler,DogPile (to name a few) yield different results.I had also mentioned in my earlier article about the new interactive search engine ChaCha.There is a new search engine on the block - Kakle.com

Search for "Himanshu Sheth" on Kakle and you get the following results(in the image):

There are many reasons to watch out for Kakle:
a. A free 5 GB email account
b. Comparison of different search engines eg. The relative rank of the sam search in search engines like Google, Yahoo, AltaVista
c. Kakle messenger
d. Mobile downloads
e. Uploading of videos free of cost

So, now you can say "Happy Kalking" instead of "Happy Googling"!!!

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Google launches Patent Search

Searching for a patent was never so simple!!!After Google Book Search, Google now brings Google Patent Search and it is based on a similar technology as Google book search.

Google Patent Search(currently in the Beta stage), can currently search through more than 7 million US patents dating from 1790. The site, which will add additional patents over time, uses the same underlying technology as Google's existing book search.

So, now it not only easy to see the creativity of others but also get creative.This would definitely help lots of young creative minds in filing patents.

Read the Complete Article

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January 17, 2007

PROTO.IN covered in Business World

After BlogCamp(2006),this is another effort by the KTF(The Knowledge Foundation) to bring Entrepreneurs,Tech-enthusiasts under one roof and this time they have 30 startups and 25 VCs with them.I am sure Proto.in would be a great event and I would be there on January 21st,2007.

Business World covered Proto.in and below is a small excerpt from the article(Got it from the Proto Blog):

So,from this you can feel it would be a great event and registrations are still open on proto.in/register

Read the Complete Article

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January 16, 2007

Blogging for a MEANING

Many a times, when I try to market my blog, people ask me "What is the worth of your blog?" or "What are the various ways in which we can earn money by blogging?". May be a better question to start with could be "What do you blog about?" and than they could have asked the previous question. And damn,"Who cares how much money I earn as long as I get visitors and comments".

The thing which pains here is that there are so many like these who are interested only in making money and not for making meaning. I do agree, money is important for everyone but idea is more important. Most of the entrepreneurs think that the primary motive of starting a company is just making money but that should not be the case. If you have a good idea definitely you will make money. But this post is not about starting a company but blogging for a reason.

Below are some of the points that would make Blogging meaningful, effective and advantageous:

a. Never blog against your employer:
It is very important not to blog against the organization with whom you are associated with. During my BlogCamp visit in September-2006, this was the first question "Are there any people who have lost jobs due to blogging". Also, check out my post previous post "Be careful while you blog".So check if your manager is around before you start blogging!!!

b. Meaning makes a difference:
Choose a particular theme for your blog. If you blog on meditation, stick to that else people won't be interested in what you write. Also, if you find some good stuff on the Internet, which comes under the same category do not hesitate to put it on my blog (provided you supply a link to the original post else it would lead to copyright issues).This would increase the no of readers who come back to your blog.

c. Make better contacts:
I recollect the early days when I started blogging and it was just a hobby. But now, I love to blog and read other's blogs. One reason to this is "I get noticed because of my blog which makes me feel more positive. It helps me make more friends and I feel I am somewhat ahead than the normal crowd (who are not taking the full advantage of the internet)". I got many contacts on Linked In (the business networking site) and the sole reason is my blog.
This suggests that there are some secret readers of your blog and you are able to send your message to the world.

d. Blogrolling good blogs:
Never hesitate to blog roll good blogs. This has four advantages:
a. People would find a centralized database where they would find good piece of information.
b. It would tempt people to come back to your blog and believe me they would yearn to read your blog.
c. This would help more bloggers linking to your blog and your rank will go higher in Technorati blog search.
d. This is the most important. It would demonstrate your business and marketing sense since, business is nothing but building new relations.

e. Market your blog:
Any succesful product without proper marketing is a waste!! The best tool to market your blog is the good old word of mouth marketing. Also, It would be better to include your blog in your email signatures, business cards etc. I have found a different way of marketing my blog ie. Very soon, I would be rolling out T-Shirts with my blog and the theme of my blog written on it and believe me, this idea is not coming from the marketer's book :-)

PS: There are some points which I would have missed, please include those in the comments or mail me on himanshu.sheth@gmail.com

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January 15, 2007

GIST(Great Ideas Of Starting Things) by Guy Kawasaki

Ever since I have read about Guy Kawasaki , MD of VC firm-Garage technology ventures on the internet , I have been very much impressed only with his attitude but also the books which he has written on Startups, entrepreneurship post is a small piece of information from Guy's new book "Art of the Start" which focuses on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship.

Below are the 10 reasons (listed by Guy Kawasaki) for starting a company and things which entrepreneurs should keep in mind during the entrepreneurial stage.

1. Make a Meaning:
The best reason to start a company is to make a meaning and to make the world a better place to live in.

2. Make a Mantra:
Mission statements are very long and very difficult to remember.So make mantra's for your company and it would take your company to a higher stage.

3. Get going:
Start creating and delievering your product and service.

4. Business model:
Innovate on technologies but do not innovate on your business model.

5. Weave a MAT(Milestones,Assumptions and Tasks):
Compile three lists: a. Milestones which you need to meet b. Assumptions which you need to build in your business model c. Tasks you need to create to start an organization.

6. Follow the 10/20/30 rule:
You should 10 slides in your PPT(your business plan). You should be able to present it in 20 minutes. You should have a 30 point font.

7. Hire infected people:
Hire pople who are infected(ie they are in love) with your product.Hire people better than yourself-A person hires B,B hires C.Apply to the shopping center test.

8. Lower the barriers to adoption:
Flatten the learning curve.Also, dont ask someone to do something which you also cannot do.Embrace your evangelist.

9. Seed the clouds:
Let a 100 flowers blossom. Enable test drives-let people take your product home and test your product.Find the true infuencers.

10. Dont let the bozos grind you down:
There would be people(so called BOZOS) who are losers in themselves(some of them are losrs)who would try to pull you down.So
beware from such kind of BOZOS.

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January 14, 2007

The after "GURU" Effect

Yesterday(13/01/2007) , me and my good friend Alok had been to Mani Ratnam directed movie "Guru". The movie is related to one of the early stage entrepreneurs and very successful industrialist late Mr. Dhirubhai Ambani(of Reliance Industries) .
In the movie, there were many key learnings(from a business point of view) , some of which are given below:


  1. If a person has the will power , fire in his belly and capability, he can succed and will succeed in any way.For eg. Abhishek Bachchan(who played the lead role) was not a literate and it was only due to his will power and his risk taking abilities that he was able to create a big business empire.
  2. Always take feedback from your colleagues. This would help you improve in your day to day life.
  3. Always retain and reward the good performers and trusted employees in the company.
  4. Make a proper study of your business plan and also your competitors in the market(who are into a similar business)
  5. Build good relationships and always keep your customers happy.Business is nothing ,but relation building.
  6. Always know the value of time.Do not leave anything for tomorrow.Think as if there is no tomorrow , since 'A stitch in time saves nine'.
  7. Very important to have a good supportive life partner[if at all you are married :-)].For eg. Abhishek Bachchan had Aishwarya Rai (as his wife) , who gave full support to him(even in the time of crisis).
  8. Last but not the least,"Do not under-estimate your capabilities".There would be lots of people(so called BOZOS in Guy Kawasaki's style) , who would try to pull you down , but you need to keep on moving and moving.....Remember, Success is a journey,not a destination.

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'Excess VC money is dangerous' - Shaadi.com CEO

Read the interview of Shaadi.com CEO Anupam Mittal on PaagalGuy and found he has pointed out many key points like:
  1. Importance of a proper revenue model
  2. Knowing about your consumer base
  3. Future of Social networking sites and
  4. VC funding
Some of the excerpts from the interview is given below:

You come from a background in textiles (his family business), how and when did the idea of an online matchmaking portal come to you?
Incidentally at that point(when the internet was not so popular) I met a pundit and got really intrigued by what he did, but soon realized that he could visit only a few people and carry a limited number of biodatas in his bag. Thus the choice for a life partner depended solely on the number of Biodatas he could carry and the number of individuals he would meet. This is when the idea of taking all this and putting it on the Internet came around and we launched Shaadi.com.

Initially what was your revenue model and how have you improvised on it? What was your conviction with respect to Indians paying online? How do you sensitize your consumers in order to build trust and make online payments?
I am aware that there are several Indians living abroad who are disconnected from home and they needed a way to meet like-minded individuals. Hence there is lot of information, experiences and analysis that led us to realize that there is a potential business model.
I agree it is harder to get Indians to pay online but we need to realise that Indians are very value conscious consumers. For example when they go even to a supermarket they deliberate a lot before they make their final purchase. Online one cannot have a sales person thus it is harder to convince them. Hence the way we sensitise them is by providing them a lot of services free, the reason being only when you provide them with a lot of value will they be willing to pay.

How did you spread the word about your brand? What advice would you give to a budding entrepreneur in order to build a brand for his products and services?
Distribution of th brand is very important.
Once the distribution was taken care, the second thing we did was that we went mainstream very quickly. We launched television campaigns in USA and India.According to me what really helps creating and building a brand is consumer experience, which then leads to word of mouth and buzz.

The first time when you received venture capitalist funding how did you plan your spending? And when an entrepreneur gets funding what all should he keep in mind?
According to me VC funding makes you more accountable and it forces you to think about planning, organizing, allocating resources, which are truly very important aspects of managing a business.One needs to think a lot before deciding how much money is required, as a VC will always want to give you more than you need, as that will give them a bigger part of the pie.

Whats your take on the whole debate between web 1.0 and web 2.0?
In my mind there is no debate. According to me all good and successful companies will incorporate new technologies as and when they will feel the need.

If risk taking ability is a given, what according to you are the top prerequisites one should have to be an entrepreneur?
One needs to be persistent as bad things may happen but still one has to continue to strive, work hard and come back into action. An entrepreneur should be prepared to accept failure, get up and take another punch of failure.

What is your take on the Indian entrepreneurial scene? What is it that in your opinion, entrepreneurs from India lack/have? How are they different from the hotbed of entrepreneurship- the bay area!
There are two scenarios in case of the Indian entrepreneurial scene. Firstly there are individuals who have the capital to fund their business plan and secondly there are those who build and work upon their business models with the help of institutions. According to me both are fine because earlier there was hardly any capital available so only individuals who had the fire in the belly, perseverance, determination to go against all odds were the ones who managed to accomplish their goal. Whereas the others are concerned they required money and certain resources without which they could not really do anything much.

Read the Complete Article

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January 13, 2007

The Mahatma Gandhi-YouTube Controversy

Gandhi-The father of the nationEver since Google acquired YouTube , it has always been in the news , but for the wrong reasons. This time , an NRI named Gautham Prasad who by profession is a clown , Standup comedian and a Yoga teacher posted a video of Mahatma Gandhi(the Father of the Nation) doing pole dancing , stripping , dining with two beautiful women and also fighting.

This video was available on YouTube and also on his own website SkinnyIndian but by the time , I could see the video on YouTube , it had already been offloaded from the site.But I managed to get a look at the comments given for the video and believe me , by the comments I feel that the quality of the video would have been disgusting.

Apparently,it is not only this video,but many other videos like this one which states "GANDHI...A THREAT TO OUR FREEDOM".

Comments on Youtube video featuring Mahatma Gandhi

As per the reactions , some people including Tushar Gandhi,the great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi has told to Mid-Day that he is tired of all such things and that action should be taken against Gautham Prasad.But being an NRI , Gautham Prasad cannot be given penalty under the Indian law and hence,it is upto the US government to take some action against him.

There are many other videos on YouTube , which are against Mahatma Gandhi and may be all of them would be offloaded after this controversy.
Also,imagine the amount of (UN)popularity he will gain from this particular controversy.The no of hits in his website and also his YouTube account would increase which would be in Gautham Prasad's favour!!He would also come on the front page of all the newspapers and also like me many bloggers would have covered this issue.

Now the question remains not only about videos but as I have posted in my earlier article , YouTube should try to monitor the user comments as well to stay away from such controversies!!!

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January 12, 2007

Does the killer gene matter?

It was just a normal conversation between me and my room partner Ajay Modi.We happened to talk about 'How over a period of time people change and their dreams die down.'

This made me think not only for some hours , but for a few days after which I decided to write on my blog.It is not only myself or Ajay but everyone might have seen people who are very good in studies but over a period of time their fire power goes down and than finally a stage comes when they are content with their lives.

Ajay mentioned about one of his friend's who is very much intelligent and can do much more in life than he is doing currently but he hasn't tried to do something more....He had lots of dreams in college while they were studying together in IIT,Roorkee but now things have changed for his friend. It is not only his friend but in every company,we would find such people for whom technology is just a way of living whereas they could contribute much more by thinking out of the box and doing something innovative.

But the question is "Why do things change?". The most critical reason for this change is the attitude which we have towards our life . Every individual is like a bird(who can fly freely in the sky) , but when birds fly in a group , than it becomes important with whom they are flying . Similar to birds , in real life , the company(ie colleagues and friends) that we have also matters.So, we should take advice from the right set of people and learn from them(as well as our mistakes) and ignore the LOSER category of people.

As Guy Kawasaki says in his book "Art of the Start" --- "It is very easy to ignore people who have not achieved anything in life and they are considered as losers".

Hence, it is important to be in the right company(ie set of friends and colleagues) so that our thoughts get enhanced and this would lead us live a better life and achieve a higher scale of success.

PS:I am just an ordinary guy(or should I say "I am no Guru", as told by Robin Sharma) but my thoughts encourage me to do something more(and go an extra mile) than what I can do , which extracts the best out of me and gives me immense sense of accomplishment.

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PayPal to open first global development center in India

PayPal, the online global payment company, announced it will open a new development center in Chennai, India, and plans to hire hundreds of technical positions in 2007.

"The setting up of PayPal's India Development Center is validation of India's frontrunner status in the global IT scenario" said Shri Dayanidhi Maran, Hon’ble Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology. "The vast knowledge and expertise of Indian technical professionals will help PayPal expand its business, while continuing to provide secure online payment services for millions of Internet customers."


Read the Complete Article

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January 10, 2007

Indian man sends 182,689 SMS messages in one month

Read this one on Engadget (Technorati's 2nd ranked blog) and was surprised to see this one on the Guinness Book of World Records.Sometimes, I feel people have ample time to do such crazy things but there is no other way to get into the Guiness Records

A small preview of the story:

The person has sent 6,100 messages/day,253 an hour, 4.2 a minute, or a new one every 14 seconds which amounts to 182,689 SMS messages per month.
Now I really feel that mobiles have become very cheap in India and such a record can be created only when SMS'es are free....The question is who was the service provider for this guy?

Read the Complete Article

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January 6, 2007

Future of the Indian semiconductor industry

With so many IT services based companies making a mark in India (like Wipro,Infosys,TCS and many more) , there is always a question about the product based companies. But slowly and steadily there are product based companies like Motorola,Oracle,NXP Semiconductors and now should I say that the list goes on and on...

Being associated with the Semiconductors industry , it is very important to see the future and the growth expected in this industry.I came across a very good article which on "Indian Semiconductors Association" and believe me I really felt that the future is good for India in the semiconductors field as well :-) See the report below:

http://www.isaonline.org/documents/epresentation_dec_19_06.pdf

With the government also investing in companies like SemIndia , the growth prospects for India in Semiconductors field is definitely good.

But as more and more work is coming to India (and China) , there is worry for other developed(and developing) nations.But Jack Welch was right in his book "Winning - the answers" which stated:

''Rather than getting worried about the outsourcing , whole program could be replaced by a permanent green card system(in the US) that would draw skilled workers into a more positive , long term relationship with the American culture - and build a better economic future for all of us.Hence AMERICA'S CHALLENGE TODAY IS TALENT INSOURCING."

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India chips in to make the world richer

Source : The Economic Times Network
Dated : 06/01/2007

India may emerge as the global chip design capital, but it is the world that will make the capital. This is because chip fabrication and manufacturing facilities are yet to take off here. Indians are designing chips for MNCs for myriad applications - cars, cell phones, medical devices, set-top boxes (STBs), MP3 players, and so on. Yet, India gets peanuts as the chips and products are manufactured elsewhere.

Sample this: In the past year, 85% of STBs have been designed in India by Broadcomm Corporation, Conexant, ST Microelectronics (STM) and others. The global market for STBs is over $7 billion a year. But India captures less than $40 million of this as it is only involved in design and not manufacturing the chips or STBs. The STB that you installed recently is probably designed in India and made in South Korea, China or Taiwan.

PortalPlayer designed the iPod chip, which has a complex hardware layout and software coding, at Hyderabad and the US, but doesn’t make them in India. “Hence, in an over $4-billion iPod market, India got less than $25 million (this comprises salaries and design services). If the chip and the iPod were made in India (most iPods are made in China), India could have captured at least $2 billion,” says Sandalwood Partners managing partner Bob Kondoomori. Sandalwood is a key investor for SemIndia.

Citing another example, Mr Kondoomori says, “Motorola sells over 2 million Razr phones a month - an over $2.4-billion product line. Part of these are designed in India, for which India got just about $20 million. We lose out because we don’t have fabs. For every design that India gives, China is benefiting more. They are making a killing. When design is happening here in a big way, why do we let manufacturing happen elsewhere.”

STM, the $8.88-billion European chip maker, recently announced a made-in-India chip. The 60-people India team took 160 man-months to do the complete hardware and software design of the chip, but it won’t be manufactured in India. The chip is for a digital set-top box and has several features like enhanced security, usability for pay TV applications and interactivity. Says STM vice-president (emerging market region) and India Design Centre director Vivek Sharma: “India is a growing market, but we have enough manufacturing capacity worldwide for another 4-5 years. However, today anything designed in India does find a market worldwide.”

The India Semiconductor Association (ISA) says India will face a $70-billion worth deficit of computer hardware by 2010. Majority of imports will be from China, thus conceding them a major advantage in the worldwide hardware market. The present demand of $24 billion is met by importing two-thirds from China, South Korea, Taiwan, EU and the US.

Chip inputs are becoming increasingly significant in all devices. For instance, the chip usage in the $90-billion medical equipment industry is worth about $2 billion, growing at 17-20% a year. Says Texas Instruments global manager (medical electronics solutions) Shekar Rao, “Everything from patient monitoring devices to pacemakers and scanning machines are going digital. Design is happening in India and I do see some co-location of design and manufacturing taking place, albeit slowly, in India.”

It’s about time India got a bigger push and more end-product manufacturing. Apart from checking the revenue flight for all the hard work done by Indian engineers in designing chips, manufacturing will create over 9 millions jobs directly in India in the next 10 years, according to the ISA.

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January 5, 2007

Can YouTube stop spam comments?

Just few days after videos/trailers of some unreleased Hindi movies were found on YouTube , some of the videos were offloaded from YouTube and an error message was displayed saying that "There are some legal issues with the Video"

But,while reading some comments for few videos on YouTube,I certainly feel that YouTube should keep a track on the comments as well.It may happen that just like Orkut,questions might be raised on YouTube as well!!

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China: Falling Hard for Web 2.0

It was the sort of break most Net startups would die for. Chinese tv actress Zhang Yu said notable directors had made her audition on the "casting couch" before giving her roles. To back up her claims, Zhang in November posted videos of two encounters on a Web site called Yoqoo, one of dozens of Chinese YouTube (GOOG) and MySpace wannabes. Thanks to the racy footage--heavily edited to keep things from getting X-rated--traffic on Yoqoo tripled to about 7.5 million video streams a day.

But in China, Yoqoo had little chance to capitalize on the publicity. Shortly after the videos went live, Yoqoo--which is pronounced "yo ku" and means "good" and "cool" in Chinese--got a quiet but firm warning from the government's Net cops. "Relevant authorities indicated that this has gotten so much public media attention that it would be helpful for us to remove the videos," says Yoqoo founder Victor Koo. While he insists "there was nothing pornographic" about the content, Koo quickly complied.

The episode shows the promise and the peril of user-generated content and social networking in China: You can get monster traffic with the right video, but you could get in big trouble for showing it. Still, the mainland remains fertile ground for so-called Web 2.0 startups. The country has more than 130 million Internet users, up 30% in 2006. To serve them, China has sprouted scores of homegrown companies hoping to become the next MySpace, YouTube, or Digg. Soon they'll be joined by the real thing. News Corp.'s (NWS) MySpace is in negotiations to set up a Chinese-language version of the social-networking phenomenon. And Google is taking a stake in video-sharing site Xunlei.

Read the Complete article

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January 4, 2007

Blog Marketing book

Was on a Christmas vacation from 22nd December,2006-2nd January,2007.Thoroughly enjoyed staying in Mumbai with my parents :-)

One thing which I could not do was to meet Mr Siddharth Basu and to see the new Kaun Banega Crorepati.However,I can let go this much.

Also,purchased quite a few interesting books and the one of the books which I purchased is "Blog Marketing by Jeremy Wright" and believe me it is very interesting.It focusses on How people have become serious about blogging , How corporates are affected by this blog wave and last but not the least, "How a corporate can expand its business by marketing through Blogs"

Will upload all the important learnings from the book on my blog but you will have to wait for some time.

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January 2, 2007

The Big Question: CAS or DTH?

D day has arrived for CAS (conditional access system) to be implemented in notified areas of Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkata.

So where does that leave the consumer who still doesn't have a clue whether to opt for CAS (Conditional Access System) over cable, or DTH (Direct-to-Home), or just free-to-air channels.

For those not in the know, CAS allows a viewer to watch TV channels of his/her choice through a set-top box, and pay only for those. Free-to-air channels do not require a set-top box. By contrast, DTH is satellite-based, wherein the DTH operator claims to deal with consumers directly.
Having said that, it becomes necessary to look at the various schemes on offer, so as to be able to make an informed decision. The price structure being offered by cable operators has been fixed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
With two schemes, one carries a monthly rental of Rs 30 per digital set top box along with a refundable deposit of Rs 999 per box, while the other has a montly rental of Rs 45 per digital set top box with a refundable deposit of Rs 250 per box.

Read the Complete story

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January 1, 2007

Lateral Marketing strategy..

Thought of celebrating my the start of the year 2007 with some interesting findings from the social networking site Orkut

With the advent of Web2.0, we see so many global social networking sites like Orkut, Hi5 , MySpace , Fropper (to name a few). And along with this , we have many Business Networking sites like LinkedIn , Ryze.But the new trend is that "These sites target both the global as well as the Indian audience", so why not have a networking site specifically targeted at the Indian audience.This idea gave birth to many Indian social networking sites like MingleBox ,Yaari , Humsubka.

But analysis reveal that Orkut still remains the favourite social networking site among the Indian audience.But in order to drive more traffic and to get more users conncted to these,out of the box thinking is not only required on the technical side but extensive research is required to be done on the marketing side as well.

Now,being an avid(or should I say not so avid) orkut user,I happened to go into one of my friend's scrapbook and was very impressed with the way "Marketing is done nowadays".Just wanted to share a very good way to directly compete with your competitors,that too by entering their own territory.

Below is a small preview of a MingleBox invite which I found in one of the scrapbooks.This scrap was sent by a MingleBox senior executive and believe me , this was really impressive.

(The identity of the person who sent this scrap is not revealed for business purpose)

Below is the reply to this particular scrap on Orkut(to join MingleBox)





Just as what I have said in Successful marketing stunts,it always pays to be different and to take head-on with the competitors.Now,there are some people who are hunting on Orkut for an invitation to join other networking sites.For example,I got a scrap from a guy who wanted an invitation from my side to join Yaari



In a nutshell , time has come when Indian competitors try to be different and to do something different in order to take on the might David's(like Orkut , Hi5 etc) in this space.

Wonder if Yaari, Humsubka and other players are listening to this :-)

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