Reflections on the Technology Stack for Connected

Sachin Rekhi

Given the recent acquisition of Connected by LinkedIn , I thought it would be a great time to reflect on what worked well with our technology stack as well as what I would like to improve going forward. If you haven’t had a chance to check them out, feel free to review my previous posts where I detail our technology stack and the open source libraries we leverage. In this post I’ll jump right into our learnings. What Worked Well. Python Django facilitated fast iteration.

Celebrate Festivals, Spice up Economy

SidsAvenue

The Facts The articles states that 25 crores worth of Fafda, Jalebi were consumed during Dusshera this year(2011). Festivals are an integral part of our lives. They provide us the much needed escape from the boredom of routine and indulge in celebration. The trigger Typically, the festivals are governed by the traditions and rituals.

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A Look at Open Source Inside Connected

Sachin Rekhi

The cost of building software products has dramatically fallen compared to a decade ago. Products that used to take millions of dollars are now being built for hundreds of thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars. Two of the most important drivers of falling costs have been open source software and cloud computing. Yesterday I had the delightful task of rebuilding one of our production cloud images for Connected.

Understanding the Players in the Social Data Layer

Sachin Rekhi

Social is clearly one of the biggest trends on the web right now, with the majority of new apps and services taking advantage of your friends to provide a more participatory experience. This extends across desktop and mobile applications as well as across most verticals, including media, e-commerce, travel, and more. But what’s most exciting to me is what is happening a layer below these applications - the rise of the social data layer.

Evernote, The 100 Year Company

Sachin Rekhi

Today I had the pleasure of attending the Evernote Trunk Conference , Evernote’s first ever developer-focused event. I was excited to attend not only because Connected is an app in the Evernote Trunk , but also because Evernote has been a break-out success story in the productivity space. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts from the day. The 100 Year Company.

Earning while learning : The Innovative break

SidsAvenue

This post is in continuation to my last post where I listed down 4 unconventional ways of making money online. In this post, I will discuss about a Innovation platform that lets you earn and learn. Got bored from work…take a break…how if you could earn a few bucks and learn during the break…sounds interesting!!! Try Brand and Me. Its an innovative online platform aimed to connect users with the brands, products and services.

The mystery of Crossroads

SidsAvenue

One of the SMS that I received read "Life is a hard teacher, it takes the test first and then teaches the lesson". I am currently going through a phase where I am learning something new everyday. The learning is not necessarily from my personal experience but also from others for the reasons I talked in the post Half Burnt Bread stories. Recently I have learnt a new lesson.

Is your Financial Portfolio Complete?

SidsAvenue

John is a young engineer working with an MNC. He comes from a humble family background. As soon as he started earning, he realized that no matter how much you earn, if you don’t manage your money, you will always be short of money in times of need. He pondered upon the various avenues to manage his finances. He started by covering himself from uncertain situations through Term plan, the cheapest form of life insurance.

The Resurgence of LinkedIn

Sachin Rekhi

And most recently, LinkedIn acquired CardMunch in January 2011. In the wake of LinkedIn’s announcement of reaching 100 million members , I’ve been impressed with the resurgence they have had in the past year. I thought I would showcase some of the recent product innovation from LinkedIn as well as cultural shifts we’ve seen from within the company that have contributed to this growth. Product Innovation.

B2B 60

How to see the hidden part of the ball?

SidsAvenue

Skill Life Cycle I recently happened to attend a training program conducted by Dale Carnegie Training Institute. The trainer talked about a Skill cycle (shown in the pic )that says Practice is what makes knowledge into a skill. Very valid point. I thought for a while and a question popped up in my mind. The Question? Is it possible to practice and experience everything that is needed for a skill? I don’t think so.

Books 40

Unwrapping the opportunity wrapped in crisis

SidsAvenue

Go to any leadership, self-help training and they crisis are opportunities…people should embrace them instead of fearing them. I thought why not put my mind to job and logically check if what the gurus preach is relevant…this post is all about unwrapping the opportunity wrapped in crisis… What is Crisis? To start with, lets see what is a crisis….crisis crisis is something which is not routine…For police, riots is a crisis.

The Last Mile…

SidsAvenue

Today is John's last session with his Leadership coach. His recent failure to deliver the projects forced him to seek the guidance of a professional. John is a project manager in an MNC. Thanks to his technical skills, his leadership skills, he has moved the corporate ladder pretty fast. In short, you name a quality and he has proved that he possesses it. The management didn’t have any option but to promote him as the Project Manager. But since then, the days have not been the same for John.

Use Google Plus to reach customers more accurately

SidsAvenue

Now that Google Plus is in Open to All mode, I decided to analyze it and see how it can be used for Business. I have started using Google Plus sometime back, thanks to my friend for sending me the invite. The one feature that forces me to keep using G+ is the concept of circles. Social networking is more or less a virtual world trying to give the same experience as the real world. And in real world, we have all our own logical circles based on the various parameters.

BJ Fogg’s 5 Secrets of Behavior Change

Sachin Rekhi

Startup2Startup has been on a roll lately with great events and this week was no exception. BJ Fogg , a professor and researcher from Stanford University, stopped by and shared with us his secrets on behavior change. For those of you who are not familiar with BJ Fogg, he has been studying behavior change for over a decade, is the founder of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford, and author of the book Persuasive Technology.

MakeFinSense - A Financial Spa

SidsAvenue

MakeFinSense is the new initiative of mine. Its a Financial Spa.The Spa meant for rejuvenating,provoking and producing the financial senses. To start with, I have added a simple and pretty useful excel based utility called FinHealthMonito r. A simple and elegant utility to track Investments and liabilities for a period of 24 months. The rationale behind developing this utility is that better planning leads to better Finance Management. This utility should help folks during the Planning phase.

Innovation makes Communication Effective…

SidsAvenue

The last post concentrated on emphasizing on how lack of effective communication kills innovation and thus stops a Leader from being a Effective Leader. This post is extension to it. I present another practical example to showcase the impact of Effective communication technique on overall business. The business under consideration is the competitive TV channels paradigm. The technique used is pretty simple and straight but for sure innovative and so effective.

Effective Communication makes Effective Leader

SidsAvenue

In the last 3 posts of the series about leadership. I shared my views on significance of leadership by taking an example of airport operations, then analyzed Anna Hazare to understand what makes him the youth icon of India at 74. The post how leaders achieve goals was used to talk about importance of processes. This post is to talk about the significance of yet another important tool a effective leadership has to use well. And its Communication.

How leaders achieve the goals.

SidsAvenue

In the post Leadership Matters , of this series about Leadership, I blogged about the importance of having an effective leader and then analyzed Anna Hazare, the 74 year old youth icon of India and obviously and effective leader. The gist of this post would be understand how a effective leader puts his vision into practice, gets his vision transformed into reality, aligns the available resources to achieve the set goal.

Design is Product, Product is Design

Sachin Rekhi

Last night I attended another fantastic Startup2Startup event focused on Interaction Design. The lineup was terrific with Jason Putorti , lead designer of Mint.com and now co-founder of Votizen, Kate Aronowitz , Director of Design and User Experience at Facebook, and Garry Tan , co-founder of Posterous and Designer in Residence for YCombinator. They brought together a breadth of experience in design across all stages of the startup lifecycle.

Analyzing Anna : The 74 year old Youth Icon

SidsAvenue

Anna Hazare is the hottest name across India these days…He has been a social activist for long but was little known to people outside his home state Maharashtra. One fine day, he rose, raised voice against corruption and that’s it, Anna hazare is the face of desperate India that wants to get rid of Corruption. He is tagged as the second Gandhi. This movement of India is being termed as India's second struggle of Independence, this time its about freedom from Corruption.

Leadership Matters…You bet.

SidsAvenue

Leadership has always been a topic of debate but these days with turbulence factor of the economy and the corporations increasing each passing day, the emphasis on leadership has increased proportionally. Quite a few organizations have policy of mandatory training and for top management, workshops, seminars, executive courses are must on the menu. So why is that everybody so crazy about leadership? How does it make difference to the organization? Is it worth spending so much money on the courses?

India Retail Story: Analysing Innovation

SidsAvenue

The geographies, the sectors, the services, the business models could vary from business to business, but one thing is common for every business and that is the Customer Loyalty. There are obvious reasons for having Loyal customers. The cost of acquiring new customer is more, the loyal customers does marketing of the business through the most effective way of marketing called "Word of Mouth". There are various means and methods devised by business to gain customer loyalty.

How to Hire Great Engineers for Your Startup

Sachin Rekhi

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the latest Startup2Startup on engineering management with Yishan Wong , an early director of engineering at Facebook. The area we spent the most time discussing, both during the presentation and during the discussion that followed, was how to hire great engineers for your startup. I thought it was a particularly appropriate topic given that I receive weekly requests from colleagues asking me for help on their quest for engineers.

Healthy HR Initiative for a Healthy Workforce

SidsAvenue

Thanks to the fast paced, stressful life, fitness has become a major concern for everybody these days. Right from individuals to organizations. Its really important for organization to ensure its employees are in the best of their fitness to ensure projects do not fall prey to sick leaves. The responsibility is on the Human Resource team to ensure the fitness of the workforce is at its peak.

Indian Retail Story : Loyalty on Sale

SidsAvenue

Shopping malls in India are mushrooming virtually at every corner.The other cities are also not very far in the race. Each shopping mall has one or the other Retail store to the likes of Big bazaar, Reliance retail, More for you, Spencer's, Dmart and others. Everybody is offering discounts on literally everything to get more and more customers drawn to the store. I am also one of the many customers mesmerized by this magic of discounts. But I always had a fear of this business model falling.

The imeem Mafia

Sachin Rekhi

Last night I read Sarah Lacy's excellent post entitled Inside the DNA of the Facebook Mafia. If you haven't read it yet, you should. It not only catalogues many of the excellent startups that have come out of Facebook, but the emerging patterns amongst the bunch. It got me thinking about my own experience at my previous startup, imeem. When I think back on imeem, I always felt that we had an incredible group of fascinating, talented, and ambitious people.

Innovation is the Elephant Story

SidsAvenue

Most of my posts are someway or other linked to Innovation. I keep on emphasizing on this one word time and again. So what is innovation? Is it some rocket science? Has innovative idea to be big and large? I believe No. Innovation is all about giving things your own touch such that it makes it more useful, becomes more apt to the expectations of audience, such that the gap between what is available and what can be made available is bridged.

Connected: Your Personal Relationship Manager

Sachin Rekhi

Today I’m excited to announce the launch of my latest venture, Connected. Connected is a personal relationship manager that brings your contacts and conversations together in one place. It integrates with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Gmail, Google Contacts, Google Calendar, and Google Voice to make it easier than ever before to stay on top of your most important relationships. Relationship Management is Important.

Knowledge Management : Concept Mapping

SidsAvenue

In the first article of this series, I talked about Knowledge management using Online Bookmarks Manager. In this post, will go one step further and talk about managing knowledge acquired from reading the articles, books and any other such stuff. Imagine you have read an interesting book and want to have a kind of notes for reference so that you don’t have to run through the book again and again. Go for Concept Mapping tools like Cmap Tools.

Knowledge Management : Bookmarks Manager

SidsAvenue

Ideas, concepts, techniques have been at the core of Human evolution. New concepts are born, existing ideas are carried forward, Existing techniques are optimized, if needed old ideas are dumped. The transformation and translations of ideas, concepts, techniques is Evolution. This evolution has been in the top gear since the last decade or so. Thanks to the Internet. Everybody has access to everything and we all are living in the Knowledge Era.

Be on cloud to kill Piracy

SidsAvenue

Cloud computing has been hot on the charts of IT organizations for quite some time now. Everybody is talking about the great potential of this technology.

Reduce maintenance Enhance Customer Service - Indian Rail

SidsAvenue

Indian rail is the world's largest Rail network. It carries around 13 millions passengers a day. Check out this article for some more interesting facts about Indian Railways. But this post is not discuss the facts and figures of Great Indian Railway system. I am more interested in finding a solution to reduce the traffic on the Indian Railway’s online ticket booking site.

Books 40

Life Span of Innovation

SidsAvenue

Since its launch in India, the telecom player TataDoCoMo has been a Market changer. The launch was bundled with the 1 Paisa/second tariff which changed the market dynamics by forcing all the Telecom players to match the tariff and thus start a price war. And now it has come up with another bunch of services. An ad of one such service gave the food for thought and the result is this post. The ad talks about talking to customer care directly instead of going through the various menu options. Nope.

Daily Deals : Make the Most of Now

SidsAvenue

It all started a few years back. One of my old friends with whom I had lost contact with managed to get my number. He called me and said "Why aren't you Orkutting ". I was a bit startled as I have never heard of a word called " Orkutting ". Obviously, I asked him to explain the stuff and he said it’s a website where you register and talk to friends. I was not very enthusiastic but slowly and steadily the Social Networking bug has had one more victim in me.

Why Blog? Because I look at rear mirror only if needed

SidsAvenue

Yes of course, I was always inclined towards writing and Blogging was a platform that can support my inclination. But to be honest, it was the option earning a few extra $$$ that gave the boost to the inclination I already had. I have applied for Google Adsense (The Google Product which posts ads on your site and you earn money out of it) but it has been rejected. Obviously, I tried the tricks and tips available out there on the Internet to improve the traffic on my blog.

Blog 40

The World is Squared : Thanks Google

SidsAvenue

Data Analysis methods like Tables, Matrices, Graphs, Charts are like bread and butter for the everybody of us. We use these entities for many purposes. To Report, to compare and based on it, business critical decisions are taken. Imagine a tool which can tabularize, form a matrix of the data available all across the globe, contributed by millions of people, covering most of the major companies on this planet, find the expert comments based on a very simple thing, a single keyword.

The Maths of Myths

SidsAvenue

Myths and Superstitions are an integral part of our lives. We all must have at some or other point of time come across a ritual, a practice, a tradition which you felt was a myth, a superstition. I recently happened to come across one such interesting practice which forced me to think and write this post. Typically in India, people are obsessed with male babies. They do everything and anything to ensure the lady delivers a male baby. Lets not dwell into the reasons for this obsession.

The Bell Curve Haunting : New Season

SidsAvenue

John is very excited. It’s the appraisal time and he is expecting a good rating followed by a healthy salary hike. But the excitement could not last long as he was haunted by the " Bell Curve ". His manager conveyed that if John is given more than average rating, the Bell Curve will get out of shape. John is devastated. He could not understand what the hell this curve is and how could its shape decide what he has done is worth consideration or not?

Does Money Stifle Creativity?

Bryce York

According to Fast Company magazine and a study by MIT, paying people to be creative or productive is often counter productive. The MIT study offered three levels of monetary incentive correlating to the level of success. When the system was tested against menial, mechanical tasks the incentives worked exceptionally well. However, once even even a slight amount of cognition was needed, the larger the reward the worse the participants performed. This has been tested over and over.

Is your startup idea a jumping pony?

Bryce York

Have you ever seen a business pitch that was brilliant? Have you ever seen a business pitch that was incredibly interesting, creative and clever yet lacked something and left you wondering “… but why?” ” All to often early stage entrepreneurs (I’ve definitely been guilty of this) make a crucial mistake. Entrepreneurs of all levels of experience forget once in a while, and forget to ask the market a simple set of questions. Is there a reason to create your product?