Friday, December 19, 2008

Communication - message first, medium second

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Ode to the NFL 2008 season

This is the work of a reader of the Sports Guy's columns (if you don't know who the sport's guy is.... tch tch)

I thought reader Ian in Portage, Mich., summed up the season nicely: "Hey, check out what I did for the last six hours trying to make this work all the way through. OK, Kansas City beat Oakland, which beat Denver, which beat Cleveland, which beat Cincinnati, which beat Jacksonville, which beat Green Bay, which beat Seattle, which beat San Francisco, which beat Buffalo, which beat San Diego, which beat New England, which beat the N.Y. Jets, who beat Arizona, which beat Miami, which beat St. Louis, which beat Dallas, which beat Washington, which beat New Orleans, which beat Tampa Bay, which beat Minnesota, which beat Carolina, which beat Atlanta, which beat Chicago, which beat Indianapolis, which beat Baltimore, which beat Philadelphia, which beat the N.Y. Giants, who beat Pittsburgh, which beat Houston, which beat Tennessee, which beat Detroit, which beat NOBODY."

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gall's law in action -> start with a working simple system

The good folks at Evernote released a new product functionality today. The ability to take a picture and have it show up on your Evernote account with you doing nothing more than take the picture. The magic is not in taking the picture or the integration, to me the magic is in the words "you doing nothing more than take the picture". This is exactly what product management should be about, seamless, frictionless ways to enlist a person to use your product.

I am jealous, I want to use Evernote but I ended up paying money and buying OneNote and I feel guilty :-/ even though I stopped using OneNote a while back. *sigh*.. :) Maybe evernote should start a program where I can turn in my OneNote software and get a 15% discount or something so I don't feel guilty.

Any way this is very cool and imho a potential game changer -> (Evernote blog post)

Congratulations! fine people of Evernote.


Galls Law -> (Gall's Law).

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Yay for tomorrow

I am hoping tomorrow will be a day of synthesizing, processing, assimilating and coherently communicating. I am hiding from work tomorrow with the hope that i can get lots of work done.

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Posting for Jeff!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jeff Chambers <>
Date: Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 7:47 PM
Subject: Site Launch
To: undisclosed-recipients


I'm happy to announce the beta launch of another Austin Startup Lab company called BabysList is a niche site that will serve the Austin and surrounding communities by assisting parents that want to sell, swap and search for all things baby, locally. It's my hope that this site will develop into a marketplace for parents to help others in their community that don't have the means to buy "new" baby products as well as provide a platform for letting stay at home moms and dads make additional income without the cost of shipping charges and risk of fraud.

BabysList was "born" (sorry I had to :) ) when Jen and I were shopping for Elise before she arrived. I was amazed at how much stuff we needed and what it all cost. Given the life cycle for most baby items is measured in months, I saw them as barely used, or in some cases not even used at all before the child grew out of that product. I set out to create a place where parents could market their used baby items to a very specific, local audience as well as find great bargains on all sorts of things for their baby.

This holiday season is shaping up to be a hard time for many people, so if you have any items that you were waiting for your next garage sale or were going to donate, I would ask you to consider posting them on BabysList so that local parents needing a little help with finances this holiday season have an alternative to buying "new". It's good for everyone when we all lend a helping hand.

Check it out:

Thanks for your support,

The Chambers Family – (Jeff, Jen and Elise)

p.s. Tell a friend or blog about babyslist!

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What if Gall’s Law were true?

Thanks to Bokardo.


An interesting bit came across my twitterstream the other day:

Gall’s Law

“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The inverse proposition also appears to be true: A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be made to work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system.”

Yup, seems to hold for the complex systems we know and love: organic life, government, law, medicine…and of course Twitter.

Let’s imagine for a moment that it does hold. This would change lots of things, including much of the software world, which is laden with complex behemoths who frustrate us daily.

  1. Building simpler software from the start
    Obviously, if Gall’s Law is true then more teams would start out building really simple software instead of overly complex stuff. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to think that way. Instead, the thinking seems to be, if we’re going to be as successful as (X), then our system needs to do more than (X). But in complex, social software, that may actually be impossible, since (X) didn’t spring fully-formed into life, either. Most of the software people try to emulate quickly took years and years to evolve to where it currently is. (as an aside, my recent argument is to focus on designing to support a specific activity and nevermind emulating success for its own sake)
  2. Meeting solid metrics before adding features
    This is an interesting idea: make sure that your software works at some basic thing before you add features to it. I’ve seen on a couple projects in which there was a tension between the current under-performing software and the ambitious engineering plan that adds a lot more features. Which do you do? Stop and get people using the simple software first or push on and hope that people will come flocking after you’ve added a few more features? Well, according to Gall’s Law you get the simple software working first. My question is…are there teams who actually do this? Are there any that have actually said: “we have not reached our initial goals, let’s stop adding features and work on the ones we already have”?
  3. Changes by design
    The overall effect of Gall’s Law is that most software would start off simple and evolve over time. So we wouldn’t end up with the software we imagined, but the software that managed to live through the early use and subsequent selection process. Accepting this as a rule, could we somehow plan for this evolution even though we don’t know what it will bring? Can we plan for this change? I think so, by building in feedback and reporting mechanisms and merely acknowledging to change the design based on such feedback.

Of course, the reason why we add feature after feature is because we don’t realize we’re doing it: we don’t see the accumulation of complexity…we only see adding “one more thing”. In the same way that a camel wouldn’t feel the slight addition of weight but ends up with a broken back, we don’t really feel each additional feature until its too late.

Gall’s Law might not be an actual law, but it sure seems like a good thing to keep in mind when you get into those inevitable project debates about improving what you have vs. adding new features.

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Apologies for the recent snafus

I recently started using posterous and really like it. Posterous cross posts all of my posts to twitter and blogger. Unfortunately it seems to have some problems with the cross posting. So my posts on blogger show up with typos and structural problems. I am hoping posterous will clean that up for me. 

In the meanwhile my posterous blog is at

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Random thoughts on recent events

The ongoing attacks in Bombay got me unsettled. Below is a top 10 listcountries by population categorized for the four major world religions.As you go through the list, ask yourself two questions -
  1. Do you see that country as an aggressor or a victim?
  2. Do you consider that country as having bright future or goingdownhill?
Why is that?

Hindu Christian
United Kingdom
Trinidad and Tobago
United Kingdom
Sri Lanka

I was trying to look for patterns across these countries. I did not trytoo hard and gave up after a while but during the process I ended up atthe "human development index". According to Wikipedia,apart from Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh all the other countries listedin the top 10 Hindu list below, have a higher HDI score than India. Iwas born and raised smack dab in the heart of Indian middle class andnever would have guessed that the UN thinks Guyana is a better placefor me to be born than India. Then again no one person can representthe country of a billion people. Just something for me to keep in mindbefore I try to pretend like I understand what motivates people to doseemingly barbarous acts.


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Why cannot I give a business presentation like this?

I don't think it is gimmicky, I actually believe it is powerful!



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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008




thanks to Kim for the link ->

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Can you tell the difference between failure and learning?

I came up with the following.
Failure is when a defibrillator stops working, failure is when your car engine breaks down in the middle of your long road trip, failure is when your insurance company declares chapter 11 right after you file for flood damage claims on your house.

Learning when a entrepreneur starts a company that does not make it, learning is when a young woman goes from competing for her college at the NCAA level to qualifying for the Olympics and ends up 4th in the race, learning is when you scrape your way through graduate school, work hard on a degree that you are passionate about and realize that the job market has tanked on your just as your graduate.

They might look very similar on first glance but they are worlds apart. Don't listen to others when they call your lessons failures, they just might be envying your courage to learn :-)

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Think Long, Act Short

I cameacross this snippet in a report. This is taking a page right out of thesuccessful Obama grass roots campaign machine. How different the message soundswhen you go from

“Pleaseprepare yourself to give 2300$ for candidate X in 2012” to “Pleaseset aside 2.85$/day so you can fully support the candidate you want in 2012”. Looks like the 2008 elections are already starting to change how the game isplayed.


Supporters behind have even committed tosetting aside $2.85 a day so that if Huckabee decides to run, they'll havesaved up enough by the time of his announcement to contribute the maximum$2,300 to his campaign. And if not, they'll "just use the

savings to splurge on something nice to lessen ourdisappointment," according to the group's Web site.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

College Stops Giving Students New Email Accounts: Start Of New Trend?

Small decisions lead to big changes


via ReadWriteWeb by Sarah Perez on 11/20/08

Officials at Boston College have made what may be a momentous decision: they've stopped doling out new email accounts to incoming students. The officials realized that the students already had established digital identities by the time they entered college, so the new email addresses were just not being utilized. The college will offer forwarding services instead.


Starting next year, freshman enrolled at Boston College won't be given an actual email account complete with login and inbox, just an email address. This address, in the format of will simply forward mail to the student's already established inbox, be it Gmail, Windows Live Mail, Yahoo Mail, AOL, or whatever else they may be using.

The college reached this decision after first looking into outsourcing their email to the cloud. They considered offering from both Google and Microsoft, but eventually decided against both in lieu of the new forwarding option.

A Smart Decision

While the Boston College decision may have been made for cost-saving reasons more than anything, we can easily imagine this as being the start of a new trend.

Can you even imagine a U.S. college student who didn't have an email address of their own by the time they were a freshman? It's practically unheard of. Today's students are digital natives who have been immersed in technology from the day they were born. It simply doesn't make sense to give them yet another account to manage when they enter college.

Some Challenges

By going this route, there are still some challenges to overcome, though. For example, a student who changes their email carrier will probably forget to alert the institution to the change and could then miss out on important messages from the university pertaining to their courses, scholarship, and disciplinary and/or safety information.

However, it can easily be argued that a change of (email) address is a student's responsibility to handle, not the institution's. If a student changed their address or phone number, would they not alert the affected parties? The same should hold true for email. And if the end result is more efficient and effective communication with the student body as a whole, the outliers who didn't follow through on managing their email transition are ultimately the ones at fault for any missed messages.

The only danger in drawing a hard line like that would be if the college or university was in the habit of sending out critical safety information utilizing the students' email addresses. If that was the institution's main way of communicating this urgent info, they may want to devise another solution. Urgent messages should ideally be sent out using multiple pathways: email, IM, text messages, and, these days, Twitter alerts would also be a valuable tool to use, too. In fact, Omnilert's e2Campus emergency notification system  already integrates with Twitter and Facebook as well as email, SMS, and RSS.

In the end, we think the decision Boston College made could easily be the start of a new trend, especially for smaller institutions looking to reduce I.T. infrastructure and support costs. We're sure the students like it, too.


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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hear Hear - By a VC on VC's

TheFunded - Canarie
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: lp investing)

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Seriously it is that easy?


Has the US Treasury not seen any de-motivationalposters? The treasury department has a 6 page application on their website ( to help YOU claim a piece ofthe 700 Billion dollars in loan waiting to be doled out. I am excited about howsimple the application is but seriously is this the right problem for this?

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Not to gloat or anything

Below is an excerpt from a post by Greg Mankiw ->


Here (via Mark Perry, posted two days ago) areGRE scores by field. Economists rank number 4. Political scientists are number17, and sociologists are number 23.

In last place is public administration.

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My encounter with an author

On a recent flight to the east coast, I sat across theaisle from a mom with two adorable girls. The girls used fluent French, Englishand I found out later Chinese during the course of the 3hr flight. When the momwas replaced by the dad (he wanted to give the mom a breakJ) I leanedover and discovered that their daughters spoke 4 languages.


I had tremendous fun getting to know this family, thehusband is American, the wife is French and they have Chinese girls who speak 4languages. I think that is such a vivid picture of how the world is differentin 2008 than it was in 1958.


It turns out that the gentleman is a very good authorwho has written NYTimes bestsellers. His recent book can be found here ->  I am going to check it out J

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I will say these things just this once

(because I typically keep this blog focussed on small-ideas, customerservice observations, entrepreneurship, communication techniques andstuff that make mego hrmm..)

  • I am a brown skinned Indian born in India and raised a Hindu(Brahmin).
  • I am now a passionate Christian (call me a jesus freak) marriedto a red haired Texas beauty. She is gorgeous for sure (hi babe) but Imarried her because she groks being a "jesus freak".
  • We are a mixed race couple embracing the fact that we arechallenging stereotypes in our own small ways. We don't set out tochallenge stereotypes but we love hurling a rock at them when weencounter them as part of life *fun*.
  • Theocracy is not democracy!!
  • Jesus looked more like me and to be precise very much like AbdulHussein Ahmed living in Palestine rather than John Adam Smith in Ohio(GASP! you blaspheme) No I do not. Seriously read your bible and goresearch how people born in Nazareth looked 2000 years ago.
  • Jesus loves Barack Obama as much as he loves George W Bush  orBush Sr or even Ronald Reagan. Yup I did come right out and say it.
  • Jesus never was, never is and never will be for one party overanother.
  • If you are fighting based on convictions arising from the bible,I will pray with you and do keep up the good fight. But if you thinkbeing a Christian means embracing everything Republican and blindlyopposing everything Democrat. Seriously wake up and smell the coffeeand oh read your bible while you are at it.

This should go without saying but unfortunately it has to be said. Thisdoes not mean I am pro-abortion, pro gay marriage or a prosperitygospel merchant. If you want to know my views on these things, ping meand buy me coffee and we can talk.

I am done. I feel clean now.

1. I do not know any Abdul Hussein Ahmed's, I am just making a point.If that annoys you :) good bye.
2. I do not know a John Adam Smith in Ohio either.

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Customer Service FAIL!!!

US Airways. I am currently in transit fromProvidence to Austin. I boarded a US Airways flight in Providence.Apparently they don't offer even water anymore on the flight. It costs2$ for a bottle of water. Sure I think it is outrageous but myobjection is not that it costs 2$. I am appalled by the fact that theyDO NOT ADVERTISE this. I did not have any change in my wallet and I hadto stay thirsty for the entire flight.
How ridiculous is that!
It is not that hard, get on your PA system and advise people to bringtheir own bottle of water if they don't want to buy one on the plane. Ipromise to make sure everybody I know stay away from US Airways asmuch as possible. Yes, I am that annoyed!

The Charlotte airport. Roomy, spacious, lots ofgarden furniture scattered around to help you stay productive betweenflights.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

powerhouse families

Cool! This family inspired two of my all time favorite TV characters J

Emanuel was not the only brother with a drive to succeed. Ezekiel, the eldest, became an oncologist, joined the faculty at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard University, and is now a prominent medical ethicist at the National Institutes of Health . Ari went to Hollywood and has become an enormously wealthy agent, not to mention the inspiration for the bombastic Ari Gold character on HBO's "Entourage." (Emanuel, too, partly inspired a TV character: Josh Lyman on "The West Wing.")

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Where are you on the social networking ladder?


I spend time along the Creators/Critics/Collectors tiersJ


Complete R/W web article here ->

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Revenue is over rated

My wife sent me a link to this awesome story. It is the story of anentrepreneur who decided to stop servicing an account that generated48% of his annual revenue. Now why would he do that? Because 2 yearslater he saw a 11% increase in profits. Profits mind you not revenue."I can do half the business, make twice the money, and have a tenth ofthe headaches," he says.
This is not for everyone but for the one who can define an end goalaround profits this is a very good place to be. Congratulations JimChristy!

Link -

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Many hands make valuable work

At least that is what this article claims.  ->

It values the linux kernel at 1.4 billion dollars. Thecalculation is based on a 200$/loc valuation and it calculates that the latest Linuxkernel has 7million lines of code.

Fedora 9 (a linux distribution) is valued at 10billion dollars J based on a 50$/loc cost for 200million lines ofcode.


Note: they wave their hand at the details of how theyarrived at these $$ figures.

Not sure why the $/loc is 4x more for the kernel thanfor Fedora (OS code is 4x more expensive than application code)?


Hrmm… impressive, is this accurate? Let us see

Yahoo – Market Cap – 17B which would implythat Yahoo has 170 million lines of code based on 100$/loc (in between Fedora9and Linux?)

Goog – Market Cap – 112B which would implythat Google has 745 million lines of code based on 150$/loc.

( this is 310,667 lines of code per day, every day for10 years  [745mill/10 = 74560000 /48 = 1553334/5=316666])

MSFT – Market Cap – 197B which would implythat Microsoft has 985million lines of code based on 200$/loc

(this is 181,159 lines of code per day, every day for23 years  [1B/23/48/5]) which would mean that google has been producingcode at 2x the rate of Microsoft. I am just saying J


Heh.. okay so I am done having fun with numbers. Mypoint is that while it sounds impressive to claim market valuation for Linuxand Fedora, I am not sold yet J.  I think if open sourcewants to be truly disruptive (as much as it claims to be) – it has tolearn how to also value itself differently than status quo.



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Thursday, October 16, 2008

will the real number please stand up

Slate article that gives a powerful insight into market behavior.
Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin issued a call on Tuesdayfor regulation of the "over the counter" derivatives market, which hasan estimated size of about $596 trillion. By contrast, the value of theworld's financial assets—including all stock, bonds, and bankdeposits—was pegged at $167 trillion last year by McKinsey. How can thederivatives market be larger than the entire world's financial wealth?

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Advice from Sequoia to companies in its porfolio

Worth your time. If you are in a early stage or growth company, pay particular attention to slides 46 and 47.

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Doh! what was I thinking - i should have realized that quadrillion is the answer

In a sign of the times, the National Debt Clock in New York City has runout of digits to record the growing figure. As a short-term fix, thedigital dollar sign on the billboard-style clock near Times Squarehas been switched to a figure — the "1" in $10 trillion. It's markingthe federal government's current debt at about $10.2 trillion. The Durst Organizationsays it plans to update the sign next year by adding two digits. Thatwill make it capable of tracking debt up to a quadrillion dollars. Yep,that should solve all of the problems.

Yahoonews link

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The essence of capitalism is a company that serves seven citiesaround the Austin area :). Their business model is simple, they scooppoop. I am not quite sure why they started this or if this has alwaysbeen a life long dream of someone. But I do know this if this companyis surviving, it is because there is a demand from people who believethat it makes sense for them to pay another person to pick their dogspoop. The market is a strange beast indeed.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

inspiration is all around you

Nancy Duarte and her team found an example of everyletter in the alphabet in real world items. Really cool!!


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Monday, October 06, 2008

why does my template look so bad

Well the story began when I discovered posterous. I fell in love withit. Started using it -> was good -- happy days.
Then i realized that I could have posterous automatically forward myposts to my old blogger account. Even happier days. I like creating myposts through email.

Then trouble struck :-/, it turns out that the html forwarded byposterous does not play well with half decent blogger templates. So Ihad to make a choice and I choose an ugly template and kept my postingconvenience. Just thought you deserved an explanation.

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Want to do something fun and different with your family

Get them together, yes your wife and all your kids. Watch a coupleepisodes of The Cosby Show on dvd. Just cause...

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The future of humanity

Small populations which are isolated can evolve atrandom as genes are accidentally lost. World-wide, all populations are becomingconnected and the opportunity for random change is dwindling. History is madein bed, but nowadays the beds are getting closer together. We are mixing into a glo-bal mass, and the future isbrown.


Source: TimesOnline article on evolution.

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Hilarious! (thanks to Grek Mankiw for the original post)


Found here.

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Friday, October 03, 2008

A snippet from an excellent Warren Buffet interview

BECKY QUICK: If you imagine where things will go withFannie and Freddie, and you
think about the regulators, where were the regulators for what was happening,
and can something like this be prevented from happening again?

Mr. BUFFETT: Well, it's really an incredible case study in regulation
because something called OFHEO was set up in 1992 by Congress, and the sole
job of OFHEO was to watch over Fannie and Freddie, someone to watch over them.
And they were there to evaluate the soundness and the accounting and all of
that. Two companies were all they had to regulate. OFHEO has over 200
employees now. They have a budget now that's $65 million a year, and all they
have to do is look at two companies. I mean, you know, I look at more than
two companies.


Mr. BUFFETT: And they sat there, made reports to the Congress, you canget
themon the Internet, every year. And, in fact, they reported to Sarbanes and
Oxleyevery year. And they went--wrote 100 page reports, and they said,
`We'velooked at these people and their standards are fine and their directors
arefine and everything was fine.' And then all of a sudden you had two of the
greatestaccounting misstatements in history. You had all kinds of management
malfeasance,and it all came out. And, of course, the classic thing was that
afterit all came out, OFHEO wrote a 350--340 page report examining what went
wrong,and they blamed the management, they blamed the directors, they blamed
theaudit committee. They didn't have a word in there about themselves, and
they'rethe ones that 200 people were going to work every day with just two
companiesto think about. It just shows the problems of regulation.


The full interview can be found here.


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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

here are some numbers that will wake you up

John Paulson, Paulson & Co., $3.7billion. Paulsonmade $3.7 billion last year, mostly by shorting, or betting against,subprime mortgage securities and collateralized debt obligations. Oneof Paulson’s credit funds earned a 590% return last year, according toAlpha; another racked up a 353% return.
Philip Falcone, Harbinger Capital Parters, $1.7billion. There is no word yet on how much money Falcone has made fromchallenging the New York Times board, but shorting subprime mortgagesclearly was a profitable decision.

Deal Journal took a look at Alpha’s list and how the 10 highest-paidmanagers made their money. We ranked them below by name, firm and theamount of their yearly compensation in 2007. Full article here.

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gawker explains the financial crisis in simple terms (thanks to kim for the link)

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Telegraph captures the moment captured yesterday's stock market crash as follows:

Corporate America has just lost a chunk of its value the size ofthe Indian economy.

Poetic, eh :-)

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Monday, September 29, 2008

When does this get completely ridiculous?

There have been 3 bomb blasts in India in the past 10 days. Two of them in Delhi (the national capital) and one in Bombay (the financial capital). I am hoping at some point some is going to step up and go; "Guys this is not business as usual. We need to figure out what the #$% is going on!!!" But so far all I am hearing is "In other news today, 6 dead from a bomb blast in Maharashtra. Government says it is looking into this matter"... Come again... you are doing what!?!

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

A September call To action

I am excited to be piggy backing on the efforts of Scott Harrison. Here is your call to action.

From right where you are sitting or standing right now, you can take a country from


What am I talking about?
  • Average American spends 960$/year on presents.
  • 960$ will provide 48 people in Ethiopia clean water for20 years!
  • 1 out of 4 people in Ethiopia have NO access to clean water.
  • Women walk three hours a day with 40pounds on their back to get not_so_clean water. Girls have to choose between school or fetching water.
  • I am joining Scott in his goal to raise 1.5 million this month to give clean water to 150,000 people through 333 wells.
Think about it, when was the last time you even had to think about clean drinking water. These people are dying because of that. You ABSOLUTELY CAN make a difference.

My birthday is tomorrow... :-) I am not saying you were thinking of getting my a gift. All i am asking is that you consider donating1,2,5,10,32, or whatever amount you can to help with this cause. Also,i realize that you might be already supporting a lot of worthy causes in which case please accept my humble thanks!

If you are ready -> don't hesitate... go here. Oh, if you see me walk around with a black shirt which says"September" on the front. Now you know why ;-) Spread the word around.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The flip for mobile email devices

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I wish I made this up - from the annals of "Gee maybe my priorities are misplaced"

  sent a letter to  and 


"PETA'srequest comes in the wake of news reports that a Swiss restaurant owner willbegin purchasing breast milk from nursing mothers and substituting breast milkfor 75 percent of the cow's milk in the food he serves," the statementsays.


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Friday, September 19, 2008

you don't have to live in california to attend Stanford

Welcome toStanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE)

For the first time in its history, Stanford isoffering some of its most popular engineering classes free of charge tostudents and educators around the world. Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE)expands the Stanford experience to students and educators online. A computer andan Internet connection is all you need. View lecture videos, access readinglists and other course handouts, take quizzes and tests, and communicate withother SEE students, all at your convenience.

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Delighting on an incremental basis!

I love the fact that I can quickly create a calendarevent when I reply to an email in gmail. How long has outlook been around? Whycan’t I do this in outlook?



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Thursday, September 18, 2008

onion delivers it in spades :-)

The Onion does it again J.  Link

(btw this is just me enjoying the parody. As soon asOnion publishes their version of Palin’s inbox –not the allegedlyreal one Gawker published, I will most certainly post that as well).

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are we missing big movements in the midst of the urgent?

China'sstate-controlled fund may buy as much as49 percent of the New York-based investment bank, said the person, who declinedto be identified because the talks aren't public and may end in no agreement.Morgan Stanley resumed its decline on the New York Stock Exchange, falling asmuch as 22 percent.



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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The financial bleeding in pictures

A great graphical tool on the NYTimes site today –link.


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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lehman files for bankruptcy

To the tune of 639 billion dollars. Said another way;Lehman just told the world that they own the equivalent of two thousand and one hundred (2140 to be exact) Boeing747-8’s (the most expensive plane in Boeing’s productlist) that we cannot pay a penny on. Nice job!


Boeingprice chart

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Practical password management

Joel knocked it out of the park with this article, imho.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

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Hurricane ike keeps marching along

We continue to wait out Ike’s wrath withfriends. Please be praying for friends and family in the south texas area.


Story lines

AP : Hurricane Ike slams Texas coast with majorfloods

Statesman: Galvestonunder water

bbc: BBC NEWS | Americas | Hurricane Ike barrels over Cuba

Hurricane Ike also swept right over Beaumont,Port Arthur, and Galvestonin Texas. Texas refineries processes 1 out of every 4 barrels of oilin the USand this is one of the big concerns for now along with loss to property andlives.





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Friday, September 12, 2008

Saudi Arabia scores one for the crazies

Wow really guys, off with their heads eh....

Saudi: OK to kill owners of 'immoral' TV networks
Friday September 12, 9:57 am ET

Top Saudi cleric says it's OK to kill owners of TV networks that broadcast 'immoral content'

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

More on my birthday gift

The September Campaign Trailer from charity: water on Vimeo.

Would you like to help? Click on this link.

from the annals of the obvious

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Want to organize your outlook (the email client not your life)?


(photo credit -> flickr -> userBB)



Try this -> blogpost

I am using the above and excited about it J


Or if you are looking for something professional; this-> taglocity.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

My gift to myself this birthday

This is just a teaser. Stay tuned for more. If you are very impatient, you can click on the link and get the details.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Playing with Posterous

I am playing with posterous. Depending on how much I like it, I might end up making it my primary post platform. The good news is that posterous will auto post my entries to other blogging platforms including blogger. So this blog will stay updated.

You can check out my first posterous entry here (

Sunday, August 31, 2008

24 Months is just the beginning

Kim and I visited Mammoth lakes, CA to celebrate 24 months of non-stop fun and growth :-). I got exactly what I signed up for and in greater abundance that i thought was possible, I am delighted :) thanks for saying yes to me babe.

We (read Kim) took a lot of pics (she has the eye not me) and below are few of my favs.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What a presentation should be like

Don't think of excuses - just watch and ask yourself can you do something like this instead of the usual bullets and text blobs.

Sky McCloud Presentation from Duarte Design on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

Not sending any signals but seriously

how cool is this....

Making small progress in the footsteps of Giants

India won its first Olympic Gold since they started competing in the Olympics in 1928.
Abhinav Bindra won India's first individual Olympic gold medal on Monday with a thrilling come-from-behind victory in the men's 10m air rifle.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

How much #$%# are we willing to put up with

Umair Haque as usual has a thoughtful and provocative post on the need for fundamental change
Yes, business really does change. 400 years ago, corporations were formed by royal decree. 300 years ago, many countries were powered by slave labour, or its closest moral equivalent. 200 years ago, debtors didn't go bankrupt, they went to prison. 100 years ago - well, business is largely the same as it was a century ago. And that's exactly the problem. Business hasn't changed, but today's array of tectonic global shocks demands a different, radically better kind of business. Yesterday's corporations visibly cannot meet today's economic challenges.

Complete post here.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Let us learn from others mistakes but with caution

My context here is a blog post on Alfresco's blog roll that discusses Vignette's slow but sure decline - full post here.
I don't have domain expertise in the CMS/ECM market and in general i agree with a lot of what Uzi says in his post. He points out the Vignette is "losing the people that they should keep. And they’re keeping the people that they should lose" - which leads me to assume that has inside knowledge about what is going on at Vignette.

My bone of contention is with that following phrase (please read the full post for context before jumping here)

And that’s where the old businesses are falling over. Customers cannot trust in how their money is being spent. It isn’t simply that Vignette’s brand has lost its trust - it’s that the products actually do not work.

Why? Because managers don’t know how to develop good code.

Give them credit, though, for knowing how to keep their jobs.

Umm... really, that is the problem --- "managers don't know how to develop good code". Wow! that scares me.
So let us trace this a little.

a. the brand lost its trust ---> (why?)
b. the products do not actually work ----> (i can see how this can lead to 'a') (why?)
c. managers don't know how to develop good code ----> (let me ask you again -- FOR REAL?)

Products don't work for a lot of reasons - chief amongst them being being poor software, poor understanding of the market problems, poor quality of requirements being given to engineering, ignorance of how the market has changed since v1.0 of the product came out, etc. But rarely does "managers not developing good code" show up on that list.
I would agree that if the product direction is driven by a manager with no technical background or software development experience, that is not a recipe for success. But that is a far cry from "managers don't know how to develop good code".

I understand the point Uzi is trying to make and the distinction being drawn between open source philosophies and "big elephants" but i caution against blaming everything associated with "big elephants" by association.

Imho, one of the reasons I think Alfresco executed so well out of the gate and continues to build on that momentum is Kevin Cochrane - who did not necessarily code (he might have a coding background, i don't know) but did a stellar job of understanding market needs and helped R&D build against it. Kevin's title was product MANAGER :-) if I remember correctly.

Disclosure - I have no stake, interest or strong affiliation with Vignette or the CMS industry. This is more from my perspective as a product manager.

My jaw continues to stay open...

CNN Money headlines
UPDATE: GM Loses $15.5 Billion As Sales Plunge, Charges Mount
is just Q2 loss - i.e. in a 3 month period. Is this funny money, is this real money. Can we make sense of WT$ this means to a lay man.

How does a company send this information out, lose "investor confidence" but talk about "putting this behind us". How many layers of funny talk and magic financial numbers are we hiding behind.

Forget GM shareholders --- what does this mean to the auto industry in the country?

This is not just GM though, we saw almost all the big financial institutions do this and continue to do this. What needs to happen before there is a outcry for clarity and simplicity in messaging?