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Friday, July 29, 2011

Our support team rocks!

Currently our team has 10 premium products in hand. Reportedly few clients are not happy with support process and so I had to look into it closely. It was a great surprise for me, our support team managed by Meganathan handles support tickets at ease, usually closing within 24 hours... remember that we have 10 premium products to support and reportedly we're giving free support for some long days after purchase.

We have finally found that the problem is not with the process, but how some of us had communicated. Mere "fixed", "resolved" words weren't enough for some technical clients who want to know how we have resolved.

Burrow - team spirit stole the show

It is a big day for us. Though I keep saying that our Burrow product is superior to AirBnB, finally AirBnB has listed most of Burrow features in their roadmap (Refer TechCrunch post On Safety: A Word From Airbnb).

It was a great moment for us as we could claim the innovation card now--unlike we couldn't do it other day, make humble noises, all because we had documented it in our Labs site. The documentation effort was possible purely because of Abuthakir and Boopathi; these guys are leading other teams and not related to actual Burrow team of Sivachidambaram and Balaji; but still they helped us to get this glory. This is a great story on team effort. My heart goes back into the history and thank everyone--from Abuthakir, Manonmani,... our alumni,... and the great (current) team. Together we can make at least small/humble things.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

180+ seconds loading site - how to fix [sic]


I came across a site that has a loading time of 180+seconds. When discussing about how to fix such sites, a person who has steep corporate culture/experience, informed these notes. Very interesting...

Politics... Politics...
Create more and more politics. Create politics on URLs, labels, design and any weird things. Also, create mad/unnecessary competition--competition without any excellence.

Hype... Hype...
Create fake hype around the crap site. Make everyone speaks about it.

Team building = poaching!
Look for good performers in other team and poach them. Break other team through sneaky attempts. Get help of cabals.

Factoid... Factoid...
Spread rumors and factoids about other teams.

Appraisals... Appraisals...
Recommend more and more appraisals for sycophants.

Flexibility... Flexibility...
Treat sycophants like scientists and throw them with flexible timings. Still defend them so that you'll also be praised.

Time++ Time++
Develop the project for 13+ months; remember 13 is a lucky number. Still throw more and more time.

Vengeance... Vengeance...
When smart people question about performance of the site, take vengeance and fire them with smile.

Cartoonish rainbow web designs
Keep kids and sycophants around so that they'll always "appreciate" cartoonish designs. Kill readability and visibility with multiple colors. (Read Steve Jobs' take on ESPN phone)

AirBnB saved at Hacker News with title change by YC?

Prelude: I'm following AirBnB closely as our team has developed Burrow, a complete rental booking software that is very much superior to AirBnB.

Original title found at cached copy
Today, AirBnB had a bad day with bad news rocking at Hacker News: a lady host got robbed by a traveler. The original article had a title "AirBnB: Crimes committed against host" that suddenly got more traction (refer the cached title found at Google below). After sometime, the title got changed by "admins" to "Violated: A traveler’s lost faith, a difficult lesson learned", the one at original article--that made the news to frown suddenly from #1 spot. If YC has a game here, it is always good to be a YC backed startup...

What's wrong with AirBnB

From the beginning itself, our team has noted AirBnB is half-baked, lacking many useful and necessary features--especially reviews about hosts and travelers. I have noted that now, they have added review about hosts; but still they haven't seem to add review about travelers. For more details on why and where AirBnB fails, please refer my post Burrow is superior than AirBnB



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Another anti-MBA...

Once a darling of industry, the supply chain-focused Dell has lost its growth and value as a raft of new MBA leaders – mostly recruited from consultancy Bain & Company – have kept applying traditional industrial management with its cost curves and economy-of-scale illogic to a market racked by the introduction of new products such as smartphones and tablets. - Why Steve Jobs Couldn’t Find a Job Today, Forbes Blog

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Don't innovate!


Gopinath had a shocking news for me this morning... the site that we were cloning--cloning with additional features and innovations had just released a new version, but with six features taken from our version. Had we released it some days before, we might have grabbed the innovation pride. But...

The weirdest thing was that we're forced to clone including the landing page as in their previous version (and that is the reason for this delay), but when we're doing, they switched to our homepage version! Damn...

It doesn't stop here. I was pacifying myself and pushing the software to be released by afternoon--at least then to claim the innovation card. Now Kanagavel has another "good news" for me, that we have to "tune" the product to be exactly as in PSD that would take another week to ship...

Friday, July 15, 2011

IT people & poor gifting

I'm noticing a steep decline in gifting (on special occasions like wedding) interest among IT people. IT people are very much interested in celebrations, but not interested to spend money on gifts for their colleagues. I think, it must be due to poor (more specifically fake) relationships among peers or short-lived relationships because of job hopping. Abuthakir told me that it's due the attitude that "Why should I spend money for him?".

For the sake of record... in my father's era, it was common to gift gold items, even though their earnings were not close to what the least earning person in IT draws now. But, these days, IT people's average spend on colleagues' special occasions is Rs.100/- (which is too less and not even close to my father era)

Java is dead?

During my college days, I had a gut feeling that Java would die pretty soon, but it wasn't. My reasons were:

  1. Java was locking me down on unnecessary OOP
  2. Too lengthy programming as in C++
  3. Slow JVM
After long time, my gut feeling is becoming true with reason #2 mentioned above. This space is now getting bitten by:
  1. Scala (pronounced skaa-lah or skey-lah)
  2. Clojure (pronounced closure)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

LGBT supporting is new disease/fever


In the recent times, in India it's a fashion to support LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual Transgender or non-straights). Most of the people (including Gnani, whom I don't agree on this topic) write that it's been recognized as normal scientifically, legally, etc. But, the fact is that Science keep changing--one person proposes one theory and the other disproves.

Whoever has seen the transgender's dress lifting trauma can clearly understand that it's more of mental thing. It also worth to mention that LGBT had successfully been treated with mental therapy. But, the Indian blinded mob is now attacking Ghulam Nabi Azad for his remark on homosexuality. I strongly agree with him though I think, his western remark is unwarranted (Transgenders are been in India for decades).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Why? Kanimozhi in & Barkha Dutt out

In the lobbying scam Kanimozhi is now jailed. But, why Barkha Dutt is still out? What card is saving her?

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Fire MBAs" - Bob Lutz, former GM Vice Chairman


Personally, I don't value MBA degree (even though I have met and had very knowledgeable friends at college). For me, it's a hyped and useless degree. Most of the MBAs I have seen are pure Juggu Boys (sycophants) and irrational cabals, who can't take any decision on their own, but can only create chaos and politics.

That's one of the reasons I like Paul Graham of Y-Combinator. He's a great icon for Hackers (to get back the respect).

I just stumbled upon this link through Hacker News where TIME magazine reports on Bob Lutz's latest book Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business. Some interesting notes:
  • we need to fire the M.B.A.s and let engineers run the show.
  • "if you can measure it, you can manage it"
  • The only time Apple ever lost the plot was when it put the M.B.A.s in charge. 
  • "Shoemakers should be run by shoe guys, and software firms by software guys."

"Brahmin" card will save Dayanidhi Maran?


Everybody thinks that DMK is anti-Brahmin. But, in reality, Dayanidhi Maran's mother and wife are Brahmins--more specifically, all except his father are Brahmins. That's one of the reasons he was admired even by Cho, a famous anti-DMK and pro-Brahmin.

Now, everybody reports that Dayanidhi Maran will be jailed. But, I think, his "Brahmin" roots will save him through pro-Brahmin media which is more corrupt and racist.

Facebook = desperate wives + Peeping Toms + exhibitionist psychos

This is one of my findings on Facebook user base. Will blog more on this later.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Nadar rocks!

If you ask a single question and get 10-different indirect answers, then the person might be a westerner.
If you get 5-different indirect answers, then the person might be from Indian corporate mafia.

If you happen to read any sane corporate interviews, it might be either from Shiv Nadar or Shivkumar (of Nokia). The reason must be that both are Tamilians. (On a personal note, I strongly believe that only Tamilians and Tamil TV channels have "to the point" discussions/communication).

Having said, I keep following Shiv Nadar's interviews and news (Wikipedia says that he's alumnus of The American College!)... and recently found that he started Shiv Nadar University ... Great story.

Burrow is superior than AirBnB

Our team has developed Burrow, an online rental booking software in line with AirBnB (AirBnB clone).

Ever since, we're asked to build a better rental booking software, we've thoroughly studied every websites on the domain including: 9flats.com, myfriendshotel.com, crashpadder.com, istopover.com, roomorama.com, metroflats.com, vrbo.com, couchsurfing.org, globalfreeloaders.com, Stay4Free.com, lodjee.com, evergreenclub.com, sublet.com, homeaway.com, onefinestay.com (and, now Wimdu.com)

Though AirBnB was popular and gaining news, we noted that AirBnB's UI is a great pain and it lacked many necessary features available in other similar sites. Our team has thoroughly analyzed the project and applied all necessary knowledge that we gathered from our FPPlatform product (that powers most of the Fiverr alternative sites).

Recently we keep noticing that AirBnB is chasing Burrow's calendar UI, referral concept, flagging option and review rating. Ironically, I think, it would be wise for AirBnB to buy Burrow and save the chasing cost instead!

Burrow's every piece is well architected and designed to scale high traffic sites (with gzip based file caching mechanism)

Here's the comparison document I have prepared sometime ago Burrow Vs AirBnB; note that some comments may be outdated as many new features have been added in Burrow since then.

Burrow can be customized to fit in to similar domains: renting office spaces, renting vehicles, etc

Sunday, July 03, 2011

In crisis prayer works

I have been agnostic about prayers for some years now. In the beginning of May, our family faced a big financial boomerang that I thought was immutable. My parents and Heleena put their faith in prayers and within few days, we're back to normal. Those who're aware of the situation say it's a miracle!