Wanna go Inside OrkutTo start with, I should confess that I am not an avid user of the social networking site Orkut. I was chatting with my friend Alok and he happened to tell me about a blog which is solely dedicated to Orkut.Yup,you read it correct!!!The blog is “Inside Orkut”

From the Blog,I came to know that Orkut has just turned 3 years old.There is some more cool stuff and news related to orkut , to look out from “Inside Orkut”.And yup,I just downloaded the Orkut Toolbar for Firefox[ooops, Microsoft’s IE is not there in their list :-)] and it looks really cool.

The Orkut ToolbarLast but not the least,people who love Orkut or for that matter Google(like me) should definitely have a look at “Inside Orkut”

Happy Orkutting!!!

After listesning to Guy Kawaski,it seems “Everything is possible(or should I say “Nothing is impossible”).

Accidently,I just found a podcast by Guy Kawasaki at “Marketing Voices” section on Podtech

The great Guy Kawasaki speaking on Marketing media,blogs changing life …..

Click on the image to go to the interesting conversation
Ooops,there is no plugin to post it to the Blogger template.

Guess what,after “Art of the start”, Guy Kawasaki is working on his next book “How to change the world” 🙂

Do not miss the interesting conversation on Podtech

It always happens that some companies are ahead of their competitors(who are in the same field) but how many times they think “What would I be doing if my competitor wasn’t there”.This means that competitors give more scope of improvement to the other guys.
Read this interesting article on Business Week
Listed below are the four reasons(some important points from the article), why we should thank COMPETITION & what can we do to overcome them:

Why you should thank competition:
1. Competitors help you define who you are to your customers:
Example: Pepsi and Coke.
Pepsi a much older player from in that market and uses coarser language. So when potential clients ask me(sales guy) for a point of reference when considering me for a speaking gig, I say “I’m the kinder, gentler, female version of Mr. X who doesn’t curse.” That usually produces a smile of understanding—and often, a deal.
2. Rivalry can bring out your best:
Example : Japanese automakers in American market
When the Japanese automakers entered the US market,US manufacturers had to do lots of improvement to the existing products.Thus the end benefit was “When your competitors improve, you had better improve too—or risk getting fired by your customers. Even though it’s painful and expensive, over time you can provide better products and services”.
3. Competition adds energy to your selling efforts:
Example :Nike and Reebok
At one time, Nike’s mission statement was “crush Reebok.” Those were words the sales forces of both shoe manufacturers could rally around but Nike won.Your customers also get to join in on the fun of choosing sides and participating in the duel with their dollars.
4. Competitors educate your customers through their advertising and marketing:
While their(competitor’s) campaigns push customers on their specific new products and services, they’re simultaneously marketing potentials on new features available industrywide. This means “Your competitor is doing some pre-selling for you, legitimizing the latest widget”.
Strategies to strengthen the competitive position:
1. Information is power:
Learn everything there is to know about your primary competitors. Make a scorecard of the key points you want to evaluate, and measure them on a regular basis. If they have a store, go there and shop, and pay attention to everything from the cleanliness of the parking lot to the type of customers to the store’s layout and signage.
2.Track their trends:
If you fill out a scorecard on your major competitors on a monthly basis, after only a couple of months you will begin to see trends and you can try to improve on those lines.
3.Once you understand your competitors, you start to see how they think and act:
Strategize how you can excel where they’re weak and match them where they’re strong. Once you’ve done this work, don’t keep it a secret. Let your customers and potential buyers know how you outshine your competitors.

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”

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

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

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

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
“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.