The limits of advertising led model

January 27, 2012

When you actually make something rather than simply being an intermediary, your potential for growth is determined by the limits of what you can build. An intermediary like Google or Facebook or Groupon are eventually going to fade away, being replaced by the next shiny new thing.

Apple may also fade away as may Microsoft but their impact on the world will be much more far reaching.

Trip to Gangasagar

January 9, 2012

Ferry from Kakdwip to Gangasagar

Some photos from the trip to Ganagsagar. The point where the river Ganga meets the Bay of Bengal.



Gangasagar - Looking out to the Bay of Bangal


The sadhus having their lunch


The Main Kapil Muni Temple

Do note the Wonderful spelling of 'available'


Ringing in the new year

January 1, 2012

“To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due” – Neil Gaiman

Well 2011 is over and it’s been a year of losses and occasional wins. Here’s to hoping that 2012 is a year of victories with occasional losses.

G+ First Impressions

July 12, 2011

It’s been a while since the last post but thought would be good idea to capture my first impressions of Google+.

TL;DR – I really like it and it will become my primary social network over time.

The primary reason I use social networks is to keep in touch with friends and for purposes of discovery. My facebook settings are pretty restrictive with No posting on the wall, No tagging of photos etc. So facebook is used mainly for keeping in touch with friends, people I know IRL (in real life), while twitter is primarily a discovery mechanism for new stuff. But my primary information y mode is still GReader.

With Google+ the whole process of discovery and keeping  in touch with friends is simplified. I had roughly 400 contacts which took me about 3 hours to segregate into friends, acquaintances, followers, etc. So now I have 15 circles with an average of 30-40 contacts in each. Ex-Colleagues, Business Contacts, friends and spouses of friends are now segregated and can be managed in a more sensible fashion and I do not have to wade through lots of junk, I can pick and choose which streams/feeds I want to look at, depending on the time and my inclination.

It’s a lot more streamlined and organised and I foresee that just as I migrated away from Orkut to Facebook and Twitter, a similar process will take place as more and more people come onto G+, I will spend less and less time on Twitter and Facebook. Especially they build better integration with GReader.

Round up for the decade

December 31, 2009

Well today is the last day of the decade and it has been an eventful one. The 4th decade of my life has been probably the most eventful one yet. I have changed homes, countries, lifestyles, made new and lost, family and friends, started and left companies and have hopefully become a better person. Have been buffeted by obviously the goings on in the world around me but surprisingly a lot of changes are simply because I looked for and experienced new things. So a quick round-up of the things that I have liked or have simply influenced me a lot over the decade.


I have always been an avid reader and this decade has been a great one for me. I discovered genres, authors and books which defied any particular classifications and these are some which I have stayed with me.

Fiction – Roberto Bolano’s Savage Detectives, even though the original was published in 1998, the english version came only in 2008 so for me it counts in this decade. His 2666 is magesterial but for me Savage Detectives is what I will remember as being an introduction into a different world. Honourable mention also goes to Susanna Clark’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel.

Non-Fiction – Fooled by Randomness stands head and shoulders above anything I read this decade. The Black Swan simply expanded on those ideas but to me the sparser and simply argued FBR pretty much is in perfect sych in what I kind of look for in non-fiction. Honourable mention goes to ‘Everything and More‘ a meandering, sometimes frustrating, erudite but ultimately rewarding  take on the subject of infinity, by David Foster Wallace.

Fantasy – The standout for the decade has been George RR Martin’s Fire and Ice series. Looking forward to the Dance with Dragons as well as the HBO mini-series.

Science-Fiction – Have read lots of science fiction in the last decade but for me Richard Morgan’s Altered Carbon was absolutely brilliant.


English Movies – The memorable movies for me were Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Dark Knight.

Hindi – My absolute favourite was Dil Chahta Hai, it was a coming of age story at a time when I was also transitioning from single bachelorhood days to a married life and it struck a chord.

Foreign Movies – The Japanese movie Departures is my pick for the decade.

Animation – There were a lot of brilliant animation movies like Shrek and Incredibles but I was most impressed by Sita Sings the Blues.


This has been Golden Age of Batting in Cricket. We have watched Michael Schumacher, Roger Federer and and Tiger Woods dominate their respective sports. And what great fun it has  been to watch them over the decade


A trip to Egypt and Abu Simbel was really the highlight. I am always surprised how many people do not take the trip down to Abu Simbel considering it is barely 4 hours from Luxor.


I discovered the world of blogging and one of the first few bloggers I read regularly were Megan McMardle and Marginal Revolution but my pick for the decade would be Paul Kedrosky. His mix of economics, investing, tech and everything else is good way to know what is going on in the world.

And it’s appropriate for the decade to end with a partial lunar eclipse across Asia. Shadows across the moon a perfect harbinger of the new decade.

Overview of the what is the Chrome OS

November 25, 2009

Marty Manley has done a great overview of Chrome OS, speculating on what it means for the future and how Google sees it. Favourite line talking about consensus in the 80s

I recall a room full of McKinsey partners nodding their heads soberly at the proposition that there was “no business case for networking desktop computers”


He also explains why the name Chrome, so go read the whole thing well worth the 5 mins of your time

The 1% market size fallacy

November 17, 2009

The Cranky PM has an insightful take on the usual ‘conservative’ take on marketing sizing.

In the beginning of a new market’s life, sure, there are lots and lots of competitors.  Enough that many players might achieve 1% of the market.  That’s what markets look like when they are immature and stupid. But soon enough, the market’s childhood is over and you have an adolescent market on your hands.

And in an adolescent market, a 1% position is completely unsustainable.  Because as that market starts sprouting the accouterments of puberty — the appearance of chest hair, voluptuous hips, or the first contrarian articles in the press (a la “this technology is not quite the shizz that was promised”)  – the number of players shrinks big-time, as the small-time players — the ONE PERCENT players — all die or get acquired.  And voila!  You end up with about 5 players.  And you better believe they all have more than one percent of the market.

And then, our frisky little teenager of a market grows up more and becomes a fuddy-duddy adult, with only 2 or 3 players — the smallest of which will almost certainly have at least a 15% market share.  And that is likely that way it will stay until the market is wheeled off in a casket, or at least put into an assisted living facility.

Without a execution plan which does not get you 15-20% market share, you are better off not being in business. To really dominate you need 50%+ market share. One of the reason this fallacy comes up is that most entrepreneurs are unable to distinguish between population and addressable market. Except in the case of utility markets like electricity or telecoms, there is no way that the addressable market is close to the population or even a significant portion of population. Even if you are making a consumer play it is better to segment via number of households or income or some such parameter which tells you what is the addressable market you are looking at. Then go and dominate that market segment.