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. ”, 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 “‘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.”

Startup shutdowns in India

Startup Shutdowns In India: 8 Startups That Called It Quits In 2017

Today, there was a news that 8 startups closed their office in 2017. This is not a good news for startup industry and it must have impacted everybody associated with these startups. I wish they will again rise with a new beginning.

Last year, between January and August 2016, reportedly 29 startup shutdowns in India took place. Hyperlocal startups were the hardest hit. As compared to 2015, reported 15 startup shutdowns that were reported in media.

If you further analyze these startups and their business model, then you can find that most of these startups are some kind of copy or replica of an existing successful startup or solution. Copying another business idea is permissible as long as there is some kind of innovation added into it and market is yet to get saturation in terms of competitions. But blindly copying an existing business model will be a disastrous. In the travel space, there were some unsuccessful startups like travelgenie, travelchacha, etc. Its not that their product is bad but they simply failed to attract customer. Most of the impacted startups are in hotel bookings and aggregation, hyperlocal, niche ecommerce and foodtech.

In reality, making small changes to things that already exist and successful might lead to a local maximum but it wont help in getting into global success. FlipKart is still a Indian retail giant, with almost no global presence. You could build a best version of iPhone app to order toilet papers but iteration without a bold plan wont take it to 0 to 1. A company is the strangest place for all for an indefinite optimism i.e. why should you expect your business to succeed without a plan to make it happen? Darwinism idea of evolution maybe fine for other context but in startup, intelligent design works best.

JCI Chanakya 2016

I just attended JCI Chanakya Bizz 2016, this is the first time I attended such program to pitch my startup. I have mix of experience from my participation. The whole volunteers of this event are very supportive, especially Mr. Karan. I was bit scared of facing in stage with host of high profile investors. I did not attend to get funding but to get experience. There are couple of feedbacks that I received will be remembered for long and will be my guiding force

  • Focus on one item and pitch for that idea. Dont mix too many ideas
  • This is very early stage to look for funding and its better to “GO-TO-MARKETING” and experience the real world
  • Entrepreneurship is always a path of difficulties and high chance of getting injured but dont lose the track and keep your head up.
  • There is always uncertainty and your passion will make it success

It was really a nice learning and will remember it.

Four qualities of a leader

I came across a post by Marillyn Hewson, about four basic qualities of a leader and that truly reflects a leader.  A leader is somebody who comes first for any failure and last for any success.

In my experience, people thrive when they have leaders who are:

  • Decisive: The moments when leadership matters most are in times of uncertainty and change — times when people crave clarity. Leaders don’t need to have all of the answers and no one expects them to. What is needed, however, is the ability to seek the best counsel, make firm decisions on the path forward, and ensure everyone on the team understands their role in a shared vision.

    Leaders must also keep their eyes on the big picture so that when the environment changes, they can adapt and help their teams change course. They have to be ready to make tough decisions and communicate them clearly to the entire team.

  • Trustworthy: Leaders build a credible reputation and earn the trust of their teams through their everyday actions — by setting high standards, showing energy and enthusiasm, and committing to the development of their people.
    Building trust involves more than just talking about core values — you have to livethose values by demonstrating them in every action you take. As leaders, the example we set for our employees shapes the culture of our teams. When you demonstrate honesty and integrity in your actions, your team members will be compelled to do the right thing, even when you aren’t in the room.
  • Compassionate: Being a compassionate leader involves more than just treating people as you would like to be treated. It’s about treating people as they like to be treated. And compassion isn’t just for tough times — it’s for all times. It can be as simple as having a face-to-face meeting with your team, rather than sending an email. It’s about personally thanking employees for their hard work, recognizing them by name, and explaining why you’re so grateful for their contributions.

    It’s also about being responsive. I make it a priority to read and respond to all correspondence from employees. It ensures I understand what’s on their minds, shows that I genuinely care, and it helps to identify emerging issues in my organization.

  • Innovative: Innovative leaders have the ability to think beyond the status quo and inspire their team members to do the same. Leading a culture of innovation requires courage. You need to be able to step out of your comfort zone and take measured risk. Innovative leaders learn from their mistakes and take every opportunity to get better. They reward creativity and effort as much as success, and build an environment where everyone feels comfortable bringing their best ideas forward.

Source: LinkedIn

Should you share your ideas?

  1. Ideas get better with feedback, and the only way to get loads of feedback is to tell the idea to others, over and over and over.
  2. You do not have a finite number of ideas, the number is infinite, your subsequent ideas get better and better, so a stolen idea will never be your “best idea ever”.
  3. Don’t be such a narcissist; most ideas were thought of by someone else before, there are very few ideas that are “your” ideas. You may have arrived at them independently, but it infrequently means that you were the first person on the planet to think of them.
  4. People are very emotionally attached to their own ideas, most folks cannot see the brilliance of an idea from someone else, and will prefer to work on their own than steal that of another.
  5. You may be surprised, but most people are decent and do not steal ideas.
  6. Most ideas are crap, but are the crap bricks on a road to a really good idea; so do not assume that “this version” of the idea is so good that it must not be stolen. If someone steals your crappy idea, chances are they will make it better, and you can then build on their version after stealing it back.
  7. Ideas need support, and if you do not share them folks cannot feel “partial ownership” and hence start to support them. Don’t confuse someone who wants partial ownership with someone who is going to steal the entire thing outright. Partial owners are supporters, and you need them.
  8. Execution matters, very few folks execute, stealing an idea and executing on it to make billions is rare, stealing an idea to temporarily feel good about yourself is what happens most of the time.
  9. People who steal ideas, will eventually owe you because the guilt inside will erode at them. And just like that, you will have eventual leverage over and around them.
  10. Have a digital trail of your idea a blog post, a slide share, or something to start with. When you “have something to show” it significantly reduces the likelihood that someone will permanently steal your idea. If you are just “talking” about it and have nothing to show, it more likely to be stolen.

So stop being such an idea hog, the world needs you and your ideas, share them.

Source: inc42