31 July 2007

Yeah yeah!! I dont want to join a startup

It was interesting at Bar Camp Bangalore to see so many people being interested in startups. Infact there were many who had already started up. Right from the age of 24 to 42. But are they going to do it all alone. Thats the big question. Yeah you have a couple of friends but is that all thats needed. We had people from Picsquare. These guys were brilliant in ideas. But as told by one of the far more experienced gentleman from Digital Strait, its not just the idea thats pulls you through, its the vision. Lets not get into Mission and Vision statements. I think what is really meant by this is, what are you going to do when the big guys enter your arena. Are you going to sustain yourself or are you going to sell out to those guys. Interesting things. Entrepreneurs are lead into believing that people would just join their startups. Its the in thing. Come on its not the school kids who says he has a blue candy I too need blue candy. Thats outright stupid. You need to tell that I am paying you more that what anyone can give you around. That payment can have various modes, cash, stock or or may even something intangible like experience to move on to some other high paying company. But as I believe all startups need good people. And that definitely does not come cheap. Why the hell would someone join you when he can do a better job while getting a better pay. I know many people do not like to think about it. Some of the online startups are again on the 2001 way. They dont have clarity on how to sustain in an ecosystem where big players have bigger resources. Some just want to start and sell off their company. But then why will someone really brilliant join you. I dont know of a person who would not join a company X but a company A inspite of the fact that in future that company X will buy out this company A. The thing is, also told by Scott Adam , "Work Sucks". If it did not why do you need rules and times to do it. I would do it all day long for free. I will do open-source projects. I need money because thats the only incentive that I have to work for someone else. I think that any startup in India should make up its mind about what it wants to do. How its going to make sure its going get hold of the right people. I really think that all startups must put some thought into this.

Then we had a person from Sloka Telecom. Readers please update me on the name of the speaker, if you can. This gentleman had a startup which according to me is the most scariest of all. He says he had spent all that had earned in US in traveling. Now he has his brother, uncle and mother giving up their money to fund his startup. He pays his employees something which is a third of market rate(as per his own admission). I wonder whether his employees know of the situation those guys were in. They were almost at the doors of being jobless with the startup going bust. No planing what so ever. Startups are not supposed to be adhoc adventures. If they are I wonder how will randomness of the world will reward them. Right now I would say times are good. Everyone is having a job. But then what if a retake of 2001 happens. What will I do say I get into one of these startups.

I knew of a lot of people who were there, wanting to join a startup. But now with the world of Indian startups in this perspective I ask you. Would you join a startup like the ones above?

Update: The speaker from Sloka Telecom was Mr. Sujay Karampuri, he is also the founder of the company. Thanks Piyush

Bar Camp Bangalore --- Come bar bar

Bar Camp!! Sadly as the name suggests its nothing to do with the liquor bar...but rather it gives you an high of a different kind. You actually get to rub the shoulders with the next big things of the tech world. For a techocrastic person like me thats enough. It was an awesome place to be in for a perfect weekend. And believe me guys I actually lived my college time. It the same atmosphere..similar people..and people who have taken the big step forward. Well this being a collectives edition had people with interest in similar topics sitting together wherever they found place...audi, classroom, corridor, hallway, lawn or the amphitheater. It was like, You want it you have it. This time had a lot of insights into a lot of topics that I attended. A full post on each thought of mine is on the way. So watch out.

I being in a transition from one job to another went there with an open mind. I was interested in startups and some new stuff that others are into. And I was not disappointed. I wanted to know more about the blogging world and meet more Bloggers. Again I was not disapointed. Bonus for me were Biking(Cycling) and photography collectives. I met a lot of people and got new insights into "How the Boys do it". More on that and others in forthcoming posts. Thats it for now

Some others who blogged

Some Live Bloggers
  1. Dhempe on LJ
  2. Kiruba
  3. Thejesh GN
  4. Swaminathan
  5. Jerry
  6. Vinu - moi flickr
  7. Alagu
Live Broadcasts
  1. ustream
  2. blogtv
Anyways a critical analysis of the talk that went in BCB4 would right here soon....so keep watching this space.

23 July 2007

What if service shuts up

Om Malik had asked a very valid question. What happens to people when a service shut. He could see telephone numbers being lost. He could see people loosing their business.

I say what happened when people forget to login to their accounts for a 30 days period.
What would happen to those 2.8GB of data in gmail accounts.
What would happen if google while trying to bail out gives off all the private data it has collected till date.
What about AOL releasing user data, by mistake.
What can be done about them

My take nothing. Yes nothing. You cannot really expect to have a cake and eat it too. Once you are using a free service, that pretty much it. You are not paying them anything so they are not really obliged to provide you any guarantees. Its upto them what they want to do. Yes if you have paid them, then you have right to ask for anything. Better still I say back up all your important data on you hard disk and never trust some naive startups. Hopefully google will be there for a long long time.

Blog - a - lorean

Blog - a - loreans or the Bangalore Bloggers for short. Well thanks to Thejesh that I came to know about it. I thought lets go and give it a try. Lets meet the co-bloggers in Bangalore. Well it was a pleasant surprise to me that so many people. I was expecting some typical geeks to turn up. May be 10 or 15 to the max. But a pleasant surprise to see so many not techies also up there. Just to sum up things there were a couple of things that I was really enthusiastic about after the meet.

First the "Web NGO" concept given by Hari. It sounds like a impressive name, but then what do we do. Well best thing is that we can spread the word. More than anything else whats required is information. Blogging in definitely a way to do it. Waiting for more inputs at BCB4

Second was the fact that we decided some of the topics for BCB4. Well more important of the things being "With great power come greater responsibilities" - Thats what is responsible blogging and Tim O'Reillys Blogging code of conduct with the current Indian IT Laws. Next big one is the fight of the century, the Current Media Vs the Emerging Media(read Blogs) and finally tools for the unleashing the blogging phenomenon on the net.

Third was the cool idea of starting a domain with bangalorebloggers.com . Well with 5 admins to be there I know I have already lost the race for that :-(

The best part of this meet was it showed the diversity and cosmopolitan culture of Bangalore. It had people from almost all parts of India and not to forget our co-bloggers from Germany. Hope to see all those faces again in BCB4.

More Blogs here on it are here
Jayant - Bangalore Blogger’s Meet - BrewHaHa
Prashanth - Bangalore Bloggers Meet: We Met up!
AJ - Bangalore Blogger’s Meet
Neha - Bangalore Blogger’s Meet
Mutiny - Blog’a’loreans’ (Bangalore Bloggers’) Meet - 21st Jul 07
Adheeth - Bangalore Bloggers Meet - Blog’a’loreans
Himanshu - Blog’a'loreans
Thejes - Meet Bangalore Blogger at BCB4

12 July 2007

Wanna learn from the Indian Education System

As this news story suggests, the American dudes are here to study the Indian Education System. That too in Kolkatta, West Bengal. God save them. Some comments about the Education System in West Bengal is given at The Telegraph.

Clearly the students in West Bengal are overburdened by the outdated system. The text books that I studied in school were the same that were studied by my uncle 20 years ago. As far as Calcutta University is concerned, the books and syllabus has not changed since I dont know when. The text books are being passes on from father to son, provided the father was unlike me and took good care of his books. The last 25years of Communist rule has lead the state, once a shining example of educators heaven, turned into a nightmare. With all unions being dominated by the ruling Communists, it just lost its direction. It failed to see anything that the southern states of India were doing. They transformed education in India. It was the ICSE which started experimenting. Never WBHSE.

Even if they wanted to study it they should have come out to a place like Bangalore not Calcutta. How the hell can anyone really come to Calcutta to study a system which is just hopeless. Wait a minute, I see that they are learning a lot here. The only problem is that they are learning "What not to do". US is saved again.