Wrote something after a looong time. Guest post on immigration, in TechCrunch.
Archive for the ‘Technology Lifestyle’ Category
The moment I step out of home, I’m cheerful, espousing enthusiasm and all those positive things. However, it wasn’t like that 30 minutes ago.
Usually, the day breaks pretty normal with cosmic energy being diffused from nature to the body. And then, within an hour of catching up on e-mail, skype and reflecting on the past days events around people, product and customers, it starts getting mellow. Inching, as the breakfast comes to the table, the mood has already nose-dived. It happens a good 50% of the days in a year! The dark side of running a startup, we don’t talk publicly–uncelebrated and gory.
Then the play button brings the mojo back!
I fire up one of the 50-60 action movies on the media player while eating breakfast. Bodhi, Bond, Beatrix / Bride, Bruce, Bourne, etc. maiming, killing, chasing, speed-racing and drawing blood in full 5.1 pumps up the testosterone and kicks the day to a cheerful start.
Here are some of the movies in no particular order. Most of them never get watched completely. They are left at a mark and get picked up again in future on some random day.
- Bourne Trilogy
- T1 & T2
- Star Wars (Some scenes are amazing in 5.1)
- Matrix (and Reloaded, Reloaded’s car chase is amazing!)
- Fight Club (I still watch it, comparably less action, though)
- Die Hard (All four of them)
- Lethal Weapon (1, 2 and 3)
- MI (1 & 2)
- Danny Craig as James Bond (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace)
- Arnold (Commando, True Lies)
- Kill Bill (yeah Beatrix baby!)
- John Rambo (They are all good)
- Iron Man
- Under Siege
- Bruce Lee (Dragon, Game of Death)
- Indiana Jones (original Trilogy)
- The Mummy (1 & 2) — Thrillers based on archaeology / ancient era are fab!
- Con Air
- … and more!
Agent Smith in Matrix Reloaded:
FUCK, JUST SHOOT THAT FUCKER AND DRIVE HOT POCKETS DOWN THE ROAD, DAMNIT, IT’S PARTY TIME
Enjoy a clip from the car chase from Matrix Reloaded (I remember the days when it was being shot 30 miles from where I lived).
There is a saying in Marwari, my native tongue which translated, “The kid who shouts a lot gets on daddy’s back and maybe a candy later.” Ditto applied to bad code.
If you have written buggy code or code which has been ad-hoc-ly written, it remains in the news all the time. Resources are allocated, people are applauded, attention propagated.
Compare this to a beautiful piece of software, thoughtfully planned, carefully architected, written with a maximum awareness to the future in mind. This disappears like a perfectly oiled gear-wheel which does not make noise. It’s agility in reducing the friction and keeping up with the torque of larger than it was designed for engine goes un-noticed.
A good code is like a child who does not get daddy’s adequate attention because he is nice, mellow and “works” as expected.
It has been close to 18 months, heads-down building stuff at BitzerMobile. Close to 100,000 miles travelled in that time frame. Starting to come out now from my hibernation. I was away from the startup fraternity for a long time, disappeared but tweeting occasionally. Writing code takes a toll, you can’t think of doing anything else and sometimes you are shit-scared that you won’t be able to do it. You start feeling “grown-up”. I’m close to that fence. This time I’m running with a last set of features and a last set of check-ins in the next few months, before I start doing things around deeper customer related engagements.
That the code would be taken away, the only literary medium I would have left is writing here and exposing ideas.
Call it problem of plenty, but I was never able to manage the volume of RSS Feeds. Life was easy when it was just few feeds but aggregators put the nail in the coffin. It was more of a user behaviour problem than a technology or an aggregator problem. You went to a blog, liked a post and bam you subscribed to the feed with a simple bookmarklet. Until 12-14 months ago, I had close to 1000 feeds in Google Reader, which I pared to 100.
Then around a year ago, I switched to flipboard. I stopped going to the feeds altogether and flipboard became the daily window to the fragmented world of news, views and commentary. I love flipboard.
Then came magazines on iPad. In last 3 months, I subscribed to a few of my favorite magazines viz. Wired, National Geographic, Popular Science and Fortune (in that order). Now that these magazines are part of my newsstand, my flipboard visits have reduced. I spend time reading detailed, researched articles with supporting facts and data rather than single shot commentary from everybody else who is pretty much adding 2-cents on an already existing news.
There are two trends:
1. Desire for curated news. We are swimming in low quality content. Moreover, a lot of content is either a regurgitation of existing source and is a 2-center done by amateurs. A lot of time is wasted finding new-ness and uniqueness in a piece.
2. Magazine-like flipping experience. iPad (and now others) is giving this cool flpping experience which makes it look like a real magazine. This is a non-point and click user experience akin to reading on a print medium.
A bonus trend, which was predicted long time ago in flicks and popular science fiction, is that digital magazines and newspapers only now have started to become e-newspapers and e-magazines. Earlier they were HTML versions of print and sometimes even more horribly as PDF. WSJ still does PDF style of it’s daily delivery. If you haven’t seen this new experience which has emerged and can’t gauge what I’m talking about then go and download Wired Magazine’s iPad app and try a sample monthly issue. It totally blows the mind with embedded videos, interactive advertising and content which is “fluid”. Wired even converted it’s inaugural magazine issue into digital which is equally amazing. This is the future of reading on iPad and other tablets.
These magazines were close to dead, in-fact print was touted dead many times and even recently. However, what may be dead is print but not the producers of print. Magazines and newspapers gonna be reborn as digital and the vision of e-paper may truly be near. If you remember the subway scene from Minority Report where a man overlooking Tom Cruise is seen reading a self-updating USA Today newspaper, that future is already with us, the only difference is the form factor. We do not have a flexible broadsheet but an iPad.
Josh Kopelman points to Kodak’s Winds of Change video which got released onto YouTube. While I was watching this video, I was also watching Apple’s stock price. This got me thinking. What would be Apple’s next gig. An iCam? A Digital Camera from Apple is long due.
Interestingly enough, Apple had a digital camera up its sleeves, which went by the name QuickTake and was discontinued when Steve Jobs took the helm in 1997.
The digital camera vendors shipped 100m units in 2006 and the market is growing at 15% with total sales being pegged at $25 billion. With Apple’s brand name and possible integration with it’s suite of desktop authoring tools like iLife and Aperture, it can be easily speculated to capture 2% – 5% of market share, if and when it comes out. This would give $1 billion – $2 billion in additional sales. It would also boost the sales of Apple’s software products.
Compare this with iPhone; it is aiming at 1% of the total 1 billion unit sales of the $115 billion Mobile phone market, which would add another $2b – $5b in revenues in next few years.
Makes sense? Eh, I can speculate at least. Remember, iPod came out in a crowded MP3 Player market, which was considered “mature” 5 years ago.
Samir Patel, an old buddy and a fellow entrepreneur just IMed me, that he has started a blog to share his ideas on entrepreneurship. His recent post points to Guy Kawasaki’s copy of the book, Founders at Work. Apparently, this book has broken a record of sorts of having the most stickies in it.
Keep Blogging, dude!
About 150 geeks got together this weekend at Microsoft’s San Francisco office for sleeping bagging. Free food, drinks, plenty of booze and schwag. This was a free event (not even a single dime!). I was able to have better offline discussions with peers than I had at ETech. The food, drinks, booze etc. were quietly delivered by the sponsors without a single marketing pitch. Remember those blah-blah sessions from the sponsors of the “paid” events!
Nima Dilmaghani who is a Developer Evangelist at Microsoft was the host of the event. Hats off to him for standing up and getting this place for us! I’m impressed; Microsoft allowing 150 unknown people, with unknown “police” credentials, to use their facilities, conference rooms, showers, etc. etc. for 48 hours.
Left-to-Right: Chris Bauman of Sproutit.com, Indus(me) and Nima at Microsoft during BarCamp
Tag: BarCampSF, BarCamp
Cerf, Apple’s Andy Hertzfeld, Alta Vista founder Louis Monier, Adam Bosworth of BEA/Crossgain, Mac Mozilla Chief Mike Pinkerton, FireFox Lead Engineer Ben Goodger, Java evangelist Joshua Bloch, Microsoft Windows architect Marc Lucovsky, UTF-8 co-creator and original Unix team member Rob Pike, the list goes on and on. Google is hiring the who’s who of the software programming world — people whose text books students read and software evangelists whose products we install.
With DEC Labs gone, XEROX PARC being reborn as Parc, Inc and now the deptt. which invented UNIX at Bell Labs on the chopping block; Google is giving them a breather/opportunity to continue the advancements in software.
Well, Google is not just doing search but also re-search on how to own the content and the content delivery framework.
Next (sometime in a future post): Why Google might buy Akamai?