Quick decision making and task management

Quick decision making and Project Management

This is my first venture. I was  a techie, transitioned to tech manager, tech architect, technologist throughout my career. And when I first thought of the idea of a startup, the very first thing that came to my mind was to develop a technology driven product to simplify some of the complex tasks. As part of the job, we use various tools from productivity to project management. Same with sales and marketing, they use different tools for collaboration, tracking, task management etc. The main problem is that there are no common integration point to synchronize information or activities among these tools. Platforms like slack took the advantage of it by providing a simple chat interface for collaboration, with plugins supporting various tools. However, still it did not solve the problem of ontime decision making when multiple stakeholders are part of a task. Imagine you are part of a task that needs to connect with customer, chat and take a decision. And all the message exchange with your customer will be archived part of the task for any audit in future. There will be a summary extractor to show summary of the discussion on the fly. This can be done not only in chat but also for voice based or video based collaboration. And what you get for such type of collaboration

– Firstly peace of mind, as the decision you have taken is already archived and you dont need to explain again and again for any adverse situations.

– Then, you saved resources of chain of calls to take a decision

– Thirdly you saved time

– Lastly, your customer loved it, as s/he does not need to respond multiple times

The main purpose of any task automation tools are to aid in quick decision making by automating some complex processes. Then dynamic/real time report and audit of archived data.

Are there any tools in the market that provides such features?

To summup

If you want to make a profit in the business of sales marketing, you need to get organized to manage tasks from end to end. And there is no better way to that than using software, the choice of right software will make it or break it.

Recruitment for early stage startups

Its almost couple of months since I had published my last blog. Its not like that I dont want to write but from last couple of months, its quite hectic in all parts of life and then managing resources in my startup is also another big factor. Still struggling to build web team especially AngularJS developers. I have almost scrutinized 30+ profiles or so and could not able to get a single profile that matches our expectations. In that process, our app development is also getting delayed. Is there any solution to this?

Recruitment in startups
Recruitment in startups

I too tried to recruit interns and train them and recruit them.  But could not able to find a resource for the same. Though I finally selected one resource based on information provided in her resume. But when I called her for f2f, then she said “will come after three days” and I am still waiting when that time will come.  The problem with early startups is that other than challenging tech work, there are no incentives in terms of money. First, we are not funded yet and so will not afford a fat pay check. We cannot go to market or any recruitment agencies. Till now I have posted our requirements in internshala.com, which is a good platform offering free services for recruiting interns. I too contacted local training institutes. It worked very well for me to get android developers. I too connected to different resources through my contacts. Though it works for technologies like android, web developments etc. But for technologies like AI python developer, AngularJS developers, it did not work. Or at least not working till now.

I am sure this is the problem not only I am facing but also most of the early stage startups would be facing too.

Year 2007: That changed the digital world

I remember I was at NY when iPhone first released. It was Steve Jobs took the stage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco on January 9, 2007, to announce that Apple had reinvented the mobile phone.

I in fact got my unlocked iPhone-1 from a chinese store at Queens and its still with me now.

The moment that Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone turns out to have been a pivotal junction in the history of technology—and the world.”

There are vintage years in wine and vintage years in history, and 2007 was definitely one of the latter.
Because not just the iPhone emerged in 2007—a whole group of companies emerged in and around that year. Together, these new companies and innovations  have reshaped how people and machines communicate, create, collaborate, and think.”

In 2007, storage capacity for computing exploded thanks to the emergence that year of a company called Hadoop, making “big data” possible for all.”

In 2007, development began on an open-source platform for writing and collaborating on software, called GitHub, that would vastly expand the ability of software to start, as Netscape founder Marc Andreessen once put it, “eating the world.”

On September 26, 2006, Facebook, a social networking site that had been confined to users on college campuses and at high schools, was opened to everyone at least thirteen years old with a valid e-mail address, and started to scale globally.”

In 2007, a micro-blogging company called Twitter, which had been part of a broader start-up, was spun off as its own separate platform and also started to scale globally. ”

Change.org, the most popular social mobilization website, emerged in 2007.”

In late 2006, Google bought YouTube, and in 2007 it launched Android, an open-standards platform for devices that would help smartphones scale globally with an alternative operating system to Apple’s iOS. ”

In 2007, AT&T, the iPhone’s exclusive connectivity provider, invested in something called “software-enabled networks”—thus rapidly expanding its capacity to handle all the cellular traffic created by this smartphone revolution. According to AT&T, mobile data traffic on its national wireless network increased by more than 100,000 percent from January 2007 through December 2014.”

Also in 2007, Amazon released something called the Kindle, onto which, thanks to Qualcomm’s 3G technology, you could download thousands of books anywhere in the blink of an eye, launching the e-book revolution.”

In 2007, Airbnb was conceived in an apartment in San Francisco. In late 2006, the Internet crossed one billion users worldwide, which seems to have been a tipping point.

In 2007, Palantir Technologies, the leading company using big data analytics and augmented intelligence to, among other things, help the intelligence community find needles in haystacks, launched its first platform.”

In 2005, Michael Dell decided to relinquish his job as CEO of Dell and step back from the hectic pace and just be its chairman. Two years later he realized that was bad timing. “I could see that the pace of change had really accelerated. I realized we could do all this different stuff. So I came back to run the company in … 2007.”

It was also in 2007 that David Ferrucci, who led the Semantic Analysis and Integration Department at IBM’s Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, and his team began building a cognitive computer called Watson—“a special-purpose computer system designed to push the envelope on deep question and answering, deep analytics, and the computer’s understanding of natural language,” noted the website HistoryofInformation.com. “‘Watson’ became the first cognitive computer, combining machine learning and artificial intelligence.”

In 2007, Intel introduced non-silicon materials—known as high-k/metal gates (the term refers to the transistor gate electrode and transistor gate dielectric)—into microchips for the first time. ”

Last but certainly not least, in 2007 the cost of DNA sequencing began to fall dramatically as the biotech industry shifted to new sequencing techniques and platforms, leveraging all the computing and storage power that was just exploding.”

Excerpt From: Thomas L. Friedman. “Thank You for Being Late.”

Upgrade to python3 on CentOS

While working on machine learning, I faced issues to use NLTK 3. Event some libraries need python3 to run. I use alibaba cloud with centos6. Here are the steps to follow to install python 3.x and pip3

First, install minimum necessary tools:

$ sudo yum install yum-utils

Then using yum-builddep, set up a necessary build environment for python3 and install missing dependencies. The following command will automatically take care of that.

$ sudo yum-builddep python

Now download the latest python3 (e.g., python 3.5) from https://www.python.org/ftp/python/

$ curl -O https://www.python.org/ftp/python/3.5.0/Python-3.5.0.tgz

Finally, build and install python3 as follows. The default installation directory is /usr/local. If you want to change this to some other directory, pass “–prefix=/alternative/path” parameter to configure before running make.

$ tar xf Python-3.5.0.tgz
$ cd Python-3.5.0
$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install

This will install python3, pip3, setuptools as well as python3 libraries on your CentOS system.

$ python3 –version

alias python=’/usr/local/bin/python3.5′

Method Two: Install Python3 from EPEL Repository

The latest EPEL 7 repository offers python3 (python 3.4 to be exact). Thus if you are using CentOS 7 or later, you can easily install python3 by enabling EPEL repository as follows.

$ sudo yum install epel-release

Then install python 3.4 and its libraries using yum:

$ sudo yum install python34

Note that this will not install matching pip. To install pip and setuptools, you need to install them separately as follows.

$ curl -O https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py
$ sudo /usr/bin/python3.4 get-pip.py

Method Three: Install Python3 from Software Collections (SCL)

Another way to install python3 is via enabling Software Collections (SCL) repository. The SCL repository is available for CentOS 6.5 or later, and the latest SCL offers python 3.3. Once you enable the SCL repository, go ahead and install python3 as follows.

$ sudo yum install python33

To use python3 from the SCL, you need to enable python3 on a per-command basis as follows.

$ scl enable python33 <command>

You can also invoke a bash shell with python3 enabled as the default Python interpreter:

$ scl enable python33 bash
Source: http://ask.xmodulo.com/install-python3-centos.html
How to use pip to use virtualenv for packages

python3 -m virtualenv pyeztask/

Enable .htaccess directive in httpd CentOS

Make sure AccessFileName set to .htaccess

Search httpd.conf for AccessFileName directive. It defines name of the distributed configuration file:

grep -i AccessFileName httpd.conf

Make sure users are allowed to use .htaccess file

What you can put in these files is determined by the AllowOverride directive. This directive specifies, in categories, what directives will be honored if they are found in a .htaccess file. If this directive is set to None, then .htaccess files are completely ignored. In this case, the server will not even attempt to read .htaccess files in the filesystem.

grep -i AllowOverride httpd.conf

When this directive is set to All, then any directive which has the .htaccess Context is allowed in .htaccess files: AllowOverride All

Save and close the file. Restart httpd:

service httpd restart

Are you scared of starting your own, then this post is for you?

Start your own business

Happy new year 2018 and its time to live your dream. Are you planning to start something new in 2018 and have already thought pros and cons about it. And finally family life, EMIs etc. Finally concluded lets wait for some more time and then will think of my own. Then this is the post for you. Here are collection of 37 quotes from famous people and will definitely give you adrenaline to get started.

  1. “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” – Pablo Picasso

  2. “Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.” – Jack Canfield

  3. “You can’t plan for everything or you never get started in the first place.” – Jim Butcher

  4. “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

  5. “Start before you’re ready.” – Steven Pressfield

  6. “A year from now you may wish you had started today.” – Karen Lamb

  7. “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

  8. “Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.” – Ray Bradbury

  9. “You don’t have to be good to start … you just have to start to be good!” – Joe Sabah

  10. “If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney

  11. “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  12. “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” – Beverly Sills

  13. “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” – Henry Ford

  14. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

  15. “The hardest thing about getting started, is getting started.” – Guy Kawasaki

  16. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain

  17. “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London

  18. “The greatest amount of wasted time is the time not getting started.” – Dawson Trotman

  19. “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” – Farrah Gray

  20. “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

  21. “If you have a dream, you can spend a lifetime studying, planning, and getting ready for it. What you should be doing is getting started.” – Drew Houston

  22. “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  23. “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Les Brown

  24. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain

  25. “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tsu

  26. “It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined.” – Henry James

  27. “The beginning is always NOW.” – Roy Bennett

  28. “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot

  29. “All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

  30. “The only thing that stands between you and grand success in living are these two things: getting started and never quitting!” – Robert H. Schuller

  31. “What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  32. “The greatest time wasted, is the time getting started.” – Dawson Trotman

  33. “The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps – we must step up the stairs.” – Vance Havner

  34. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Sally Berger

  35. “He has half the deed done who has made a beginning.” – Horace

  36. “The distance is nothing; it’s only the first step that is difficult.” – Marquise du Deffand

  37. “We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.” – Calvin Coolidge

Influence others and make your friend

Smile, love
Smile, love

Networking and influencing others are the basic necessities for any business. Without too many contacts and networking it would be almost impossible to grow your business. So are these qualities to increase network of influence learned? Here I have listed some of the best techniques used by world’s renowned leaders.

The very first thing that comes to my mind for winning somebody is Dog. You meet him everyday in your street, the moment you are within 10 feet, he starts waging his tail. If you stop and pat him, he will almost jump out of his skin to show you how much he likes you. And you know very well that behind show of affection on his part, there are no ulterior motives: he does not want to sell you any insurance nor any real estate deal. Have you ever thought that a dog the only animal that does not have to work for living? A hen has to lay eggs, a cow has to give milk. But a dog makes his living by giving you nothing but love. This is the first thing we have to learn is loving others without any strings attached.

The second most important thing is listening others and curiosity to know. When a patient visits to a psychiatrist, the most important job of psychiatrist is to listen. They are paid because of their ability to listen. Everybody wants to say. The cheapest thing you can find is the advice. However, nobody wants to listen. The american telephone company once did a survey to find out which word is used frequently and your guess is correct: its “I”, “I”, “I”. It was used 3900 times in 500 telephone conversation.

If we merely try to impress people and get people interested in us, we will never have many true, sincere friends.

The third important thing to succeed in any business is smile. An insincere grin? No that does not fool anybody. We know it is mechanical and we resent it. Here we are talking about real smile, coming from heart, a kind of smile that that will bring a good price in a market place. There is a far more information in a smile than frown.

The person who knows how to use these three characteristics i.e. love, curiosity to know others and love, are always successful in professional life and personal life.

Some of the mistakes by entrepreneurs

An entrepreneur is also a human being and prone to error. Here are couple of mistakes I have compiled from internet and are very well applicable to everybody.

Top 10 mistakes Start Up Founder do at the Funding Stage of his/her business; 1. Quickly jumps into every opportunity by not understanding that many are traps.

2. Believing all the discussion will lead to success.

3. Gets disappointed quickly at the time of early rejection.

4. Instantly abusing / blaming the investor if the discussion fails.

5. Communication gap, understanding the requirement needs to be improved.

6. Approaching irrelevant opportunity and push them to listen to their solutions.

7. Glorifying own solutions – Particularly when it is a IT based solution. Underestimating other domain or non tech space.

8. Always looking to connect instantly with the opportunity without understanding that the person on the other side also engaged with other commitments.

9. The mindset of others not understanding the importance of their solutions. Mis-interpretation, Mis-quoting of others words.

10. Needs to know the difference between the investor and middle men.

Ads and impact on consumer

Ads And Public

Companies spent huge amount of resources to showcase products in audio visual ads, and the more creative the ads are, the more audience it will have. All the audiences might not be the consumer but it definitely impacts publicity of the product. However, some time too much ads also irritate public and in return public switch of the device or move to other channels to get rid of such ads. Recently I have observed how ads are perceived by public, here is my experience

During rush hour, most of the FM radio channels in Bangalore put more ads and less songs. But there is a new FM mirchi 95, which has very less ads and I generally don’t change the channel while listening. I am sure the value of such ads would be more compare to the other FM channels. Radio mirchi would selectively put ads with higher value to get more revenue and it makes sense to public too. This is called win-win for both, fm and public. However, in some other channels, its like playing music in ads and some time I switch off my car audio system because its so irritating. In this case, the relative value of the ads would be much lesser irrespective of how much creative these ads are. But with competition and publicity, the two topmost priority, companies tend to pay for ads.

And then some times, ads are so factual that I wish to have a central authority to monitor the ads. E.g. there was a fairness cream ad and your skin color with be fairer within 2 weeks. This also reminded me a movie(Traffic Signal), a dark skinned kid saved all his money and bought a fairness cream based on the ad. After 15 days, no change in skin color and the kid got so much angry, that he tried to throw stones to a nearby hoarding with this cream. Quite funny though.

But some time, ads are quite realistic too and shows the important features of the product. Irrespective of how the ads are perceived by public, the companies will keep on spending more and more on this.