July 19, 2005

What I wish I knew when I was 20

This goes out to the all the folks who are still in their 20s.  All the points are worth internalizing but this  particular one is my favorite -

The harder I work,  the luckier I get

More useful presentations at STVP website and on this site.

July 19, 2005 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 27, 2005

Cnet on India

Just when I was having my earful of big dollar chatter ( $50bn, $12bn, $1bn for IT firm)  on India, CNet comes out with an exclusive storython on emerging India. Wiki is a new trend in storython to capture all the real-time flames.

Rajesh has plenty of good points in this story. He is a big inspiration for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

June 27, 2005 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 18, 2005

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish

Steve Jobs at Stanford :

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But 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. It 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. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.


Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. 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.

He is a true genius.

June 18, 2005 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 17, 2005

Basic Ingredients

This is a new blog I started following.  Nivi writes in simple terms what it takes to build  a start-up:

  1. Have a Passion for making great products.

  2. Have an Idea for a great product.

  3. Have the Taste to discriminate between a good or bad product.

  4. Know how to Develop the product.

  5. Know how to Sell the product.

Venky had a similar post few days back.  He emphasized balls over brains.

What's your favorite from this list ? I am inclined towards passion and taste !

June 17, 2005 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 02, 2005

Formula for finding opportunities

More VC theories on how to find opportunities.

For me its always about market. Everything is a function of market. Market size, rapid curves of the market, competition, market maturity and all things which Mr Christensen writes about.

May 2, 2005 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 21, 2005

Hiring is obsolete

Good writer connects with his readers in a very comfortable way, without pretending to be an author. That alone is the reason to enjoy Paul Graham's writing. His latest result of uncanny observation leads to the idea that the days of hiring are over.

Welcome to the world where you get bought over by big companies.  His advice for graduates is to start your own startup. Master of contrarian thinking will be speaking on the changing recruitment model in Berkeley.

Most CS undergrads hope to get a good job when they graduate.  But
as the age of startup founders creeps downward, I foresee an alternative path for the most ambitious: instead of going to work  for Microsoft, start a startup and make Microsoft buy it to get you.                                                                            

This change will do more than make some young hackers richer.  It  will fuse recruitment with product development.  Instead of applying  for a job and then being told what to work on, you join the company  as a complete development team, with a beta version.  Results: (a) a shift in power from companies to hackers, and (b) an increase in the rate at which new technology gets developed.

Obviously this new model will be a better deal for the best hackers.  But I think it will also be better for the Microsofts.  The few  tens of millions extra that they'll pay will be a bargain for what  they'll get.

This is a very interesting observation. Getting hired-via-acquisition is something which we will be seeing more and more. This is where candidates will go to companies with a clear value-proposition. I think you should hire me because I can do this which will  help you save this much money [or help make you more money] and I will show you how ! .

 Candidate should be able to connect his data structure mastery or machine intelligence genius to how companies save and make money ! That too in plain English. Clear articulation of skill sets and how that connects to productivity or efficient problem solving in a differentiating way is a sure shot way to get a job.

Cisco has mastered this at the mature end of the talent chain by methodically acquiring companies for their talent pool.  Other companies are also jumping into this by having their M&A execs troll university student hangouts. Starting with Slashdot and Sourceforge off-course.  This builds on  the J-Curve mentality as well:

[What is J-Curve..]  That period of time in advance of mass-confirmation of a new idea

You get this advance notification of idea by listening and following the work of this  next generation. In this age where hunt for talent is at its peak.  Candidate's work  and his beta software becomes the resume. Google hits become more important than the references in  resume.

As open source lowers the barrier to build innovation based software companies and universities put more new ideas into the  open source pool, you will see more and more students with entrepreneurial mind-set. This is something to cheer about.

Paul sums up this nicely in his book:

you need to start doing something people want. You don't need to join a company to do that. All a company is is a group of people working together to do something people want. It's doing something people want that matters, not joining the group

April 21, 2005 in Entrepreneurship, Open source | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 12, 2005

Paul Graham's advice

Lot of interesting insights in this Paul Graham's essay.

My favorite is this footnote :

Learning to hack is a lot cheaper than business school, because you can do it mostly on your own.  For the price of a Linux box, a copy of K&R, and a few hours of advice from your neighbor's fifteen year old son, you'll be well on your way.

Enjoy the essay.

March 12, 2005 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 02, 2005

Advice to college students

Joel comes out with another interesting essay, basically an advice to college grads :-

  1. Learn how to write before graduating.
  2. Learn C before graduating.
  3. Learn microeconomics before graduating.
  4. Don't blow off non-CS classes just because they're boring.
  5. Take programming-intensive courses.
  6. Stop worrying about all the jobs going to India.
  7. No matter what you do, get a good summer internship.

Thanks to blogging now I know what I didn't learn during graduation. Refer to point 1 :)

January 2, 2005 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 29, 2004

Grand-daddy on leadership

Forbes interview of Peter Drucker on leadership.

How To Lead a 21st Century Organization      

Don't travel so much. Organize your travel. It is important that you see people and that you are seen by people maybe once or twice a year. Otherwise, don't travel. Make them come to see you. Use technology--it is cheaper than traveling. I don't know anybody who can work while traveling. Do you? The second thing to say is make sure that your subsidiaries and foreign offices take up the responsibility to keep you informed. So, ask them twice a year, "What activities do you need to report to me?" Also ask them, "What about my activity and my plans do you need to know from me?" The second question is just as important.

November 29, 2004 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 05, 2004

Its frustrating or satisfying !

Thats enterpreunership is all about , according to the guy who has seen it , done it and doing it again and again. Pavan Nigam sharing his thoughts on entrepreneurship -

“When you start a company, things are totally unknown; it is like a game of chess. Things are changing around you and one reacts and tries to control things which are beyond your control. Overall, it is a challenging task. (Things were no different at Cendura. His first 10 employees stood by him. They were paid no salaries for an entire year and got only sweat equity). You need to believe in what you are doing and these guys believed in what Cendura was building.
It's encouraging to read this. All the more since Pavan and I come from the same city - Kanpur. Where apart from the IIT campus there are very few things to cheer about. Though lately I am hearing some buzz around the notion of Tier-2 city based BPO companies.

October 5, 2004 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack