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Building products is NOT like producing movies. Not remotely. Not at all!

I was taking an interview a couple of days back and had an epiphany mid-way... The candidate's enthusiasm was so vague and misdirected that I floated into my own dream land. My ADD is mostly to blame but he also didn't do enough to catch my attention. Back to topic, I found out the one profession which is completely orthogonal to making technology products - making movies

Movies can be planned backwards, products just cannot be!
In a large number of cases, movie houses set a definitive date for launch and work backwards from there. Rationale being that time is elastic and putting a stake in the ground helps in aligning everyone towards the same goal. A LOT of non-tech people or people from the services industry try to do this when running tech products! It just doesn'twork for primarily three reasons: No one beats a deadline. It takes years of experience to realize that you'll hire some engineers who are truly bionic. They don't give a rat's ass if you estimated…
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What would I do?

A person I haven't known for long asked me a rather tricky question last week... What would you do if you were the CPO of this company? Backstory: this isn't a small company and this wasn't a hypothetical question! I was taken aback a bit because quite honestly, I don't believe I am there yet. I will hopefully be in a few years maybe, but definitely not yet. My biggest achievement in life cannot be to become the CPO of a certain company! My work has to achieve something before me :-)
I went on to politely decline but gave my 2 cents nonetheless. Just replicating that answer in a blog post. I was obviously not this articulate at the time but I do believe the gist is still the same. My instinct was to tell the founder that I do not know much about the firm first-hand and hence, my answer shall only be principles that shall drive my action plan.
Principle 1 I'll burn the shipping calendar!
At any point of time, firms work on three kinds of products, a) step changes that t…

Making up for stupidity!

Five mins back, I wrote the most disgusting thing ever written by mankind! I read it, re-read it and pressed the delete button. To make up for it, just copying a ghazal that Nusrat sings in "ye jo halka halka suroor hai". Don't know who the original author is but the ghazal is one of my favorites!
main azal se banda-e-ishq hoon, mujhe zuhd-o-kufr ka gham nahin
azal - eternity/beginning of time
zuhd - asceticism kufr - blasphemy gham - sorrow (in this case, used more like worry)
mere sar ko dar tera mil gaya, mujhe ab talash-e-haram nahin
talash - search haram - temple
meri bandagi hai woh bandagi, jo baqaid-e-dair-o-haram nahin bandagi - devotion baqaid - bound by dair-o-haram - temple (as above)
mera ik nazar tumhein dekhna, ba khuda namaz se kam nahin

True story!

For people who know me, it is not much of a surprise that I shop nearly entirely online. Everything from groceries to clothes to books. However, the fruits market hasn't been nailed to the quality I've come to expect over the years and hence, I shop for fruits once a week offline. There is a tiny-ish shop at the corner of my apartment's lane which does the job rather well for my interest.
The funny part starts around 3 weeks back; I walked to the shop and noticed a pair of goats tied to a pole. My instinctive reaction: that is bad-ass bro! Two pet goats being fed vegetable waste from your own shop. Pretty neat stuff.
Two weeks back, I wasn't in town so that got skipped.
Last week, I go again and notice something strange. The brown goat has turned into a darker shade, nearly blackish. The white one is as-is. My second instinctive reaction: Huh! Why do goats change color? I come up with an elaborate scientific reasoning (obviously using Google) that indicated in no unce…

Switching to an apple device

As a geek, it is a pretty hard call to make. Switching to an iOS device after years of Android pampering is definitely a tough one. I used to own the first iPhone back in 2008 but haven't had much exposure to the Apple phone world since then. Last week, I decided to take the plunge and see what happens. My early impressions:

Things where iOS kicks Android's ass: 1. Permission system: Absolutely gorgeous stuff to give permissions only when needed and revoke at will. Not like the free for all situation in Android 2. Auto brightness: brilliantly tuned stuff. I haven't touched my phone's brightness even once and it has always been soothing to the eyes. 3. Keyboard switching: switching to the system keyboard whenever a password field comes up is mind blowing attention to detail 4. Pick up a call on a mac: the switch is phenomenonal. I don't think I've missed calls unless I've wanted to; since buying the phone :) 5. Wireless syncing: add a song to iTunes and it …

Senility

What do you generally write about? I don't know... whatever I was last thinking about
But it must have some purpose? To free my mind of the shackles it puts itself in. I express on paper.
What is it that you feel most shackled about? You ask a lot of questions don't you.
That's not an answer... You don't have the keys to the locker of my heart, not yet, maybe not ever!
Fair enough. Tell me a story... One that has no beginning or ending. So be it... this is the story of your life through my lens.


The sky remains the sky
without you
trying to remind me of something more
that hides behind the clouds.

Do not fall in love
with me
for I shall drag you down
into the sewers of my senility.

I am the person
who shall
stretch the limits of your passion
and still not trust you.

Don't take me to all your
favorite places
for you will
find me everywhere once I'm gone.

Tell me the stories of your battles
and I can try
to hug you tight
but not to fight them for you.

Please take awa…

Airtel Zero and Net Neutrality

I care about net neutrality. Very very deeply.
For people who do not know what Airtel Zero is; ‘Airtel Zero’ – an open marketing platform that will allow customers to access mobile applications at zero data charges. Akin to the established concept of toll-free voice calling, ‘Airtel Zero’ will allow everyone from big marketers to small-time application developers to make parts or their entire mobile app free for customers – thus reviving interest of dormant customers, attracting new potential users and increasing retention. Source: http://www.airtel.in/about-bharti/media-centre/bharti-airtel-news/corporate/airtel+launches+-+airtel+zero-+a+win-win+platform+for+customers+and+marketers
Airtel and Flipkart excel in circular logic that violates net neutrality in so many ways it is not funny. I mention Flipkart because of this!

I'll break it down step by step for anyone who doesn't truly appreciate what I'm ranting about. Say I own a small restaurant on the corner of a street. …