Category Archives: Product Ideas

Is your LinkedIn user experience genuine?

LinkedIn, the most prominent online portal for networking and job search could do with a few tweaks to ensure that users have a more authentic experience. Though deciding whether an invite is from a genuine person should be the user’s prerogative,LinkedIn can go a long way to ensure that people are not duped.

Here are some of my suggestions :–

1)If a user– let’s call him John— who has over 500 connections and endorsements across various skills decides to sell his profile(yeah,people do that now); all that the new user—let’s call him Joe — has to do is login using John’s credentials and update the profile photo and name and … Voila! Joe has over 500 connections now and a shining profile thanks to the massive number of endorsements. The key to differentiating such profiles is to look at the “Recommendations” section–> Fake profiles that have been bought would rarely have recommendations as the name of the original person cannot be edited.

2)LinkedIn should also include a security check where the user is required to authenticate his profile by verifying an activation link sent to his company email address.Since LinkedIn has a fairly large number of users across thousand companies,it should not be tough for them to check if a particular email address is related to a particular company.

Let’s say for example,that I work in Tata Consultancy Services and I enter the email address for verification purposes as , LinkedIn should immediately be able to identify that I have listed a domain name that is not a relevant email address for Tata Consultancy Services (New submissions for domain names can be moderated)– This should cause a sharp drop in the number of fake recruiters and people who brainwash others (sometimes using their LinkedIn profile as resume for prospective marriage partners!!)

There are many other areas that LinkedIn can focus on such as monitoring the number of endorsements from 3rd degree connections but since this does not compromise the quality of user experience I feel that LinkedIn would be better served to focus on the first 2 points suggested.

Read my previous post on improving LinkedIn user experience: 3 LinkedIn Changes that could improve User Experience




Can Virtual Reality be used in Indian Matrimonial Space?

I have been watching the evolution of Virtual reality with keen interest since Google and Facebook acquired Magic Leap and Oculus Rift respectively. Since then there have been a lot of articles speculating on the scope of Virtual reality in several domains like education,real estate and travel.The recent release of Cardboard piqued my interest and led me to wonder about whether Virtual Reality can make a difference in the matrimonial space in India.

Consider this: Most Indians who use matrimonial sites look at several factors besides the person they are getting married. Sometimes having an obnoxious sibling can be a deal-breaker :-).Also, the photos used in profiles are unreliable and may not give a complete picture. Traditionally,people call the families of the prospective bride/groom to gather check on additional details. More often than not, a visit to the house is what helps finalize the decision.

When someone declines after looking at a “candidate”, a lot of unwanted friction or heartburn is created.Also sometimes a photo or a video can be downloaded causing privacy concerns. Therefore,a “VR matrimonial experience” would not only be a huge time saver and energy saver (think of all the food cooked,the kilometers traveled, the mental strain…)

Let’s see what the future holds : who knows there might be lawsuits for misrepresentation of facts as always but the upside seems far more promising.

Can Digital Food Ordering reduce Carbon Footprint?

Just read an article about digital food ordering increasing to 300 percent compared to dine-in traffic. This is due to  a large number of people opting to order-in using apps or websites like which most restaurants are increasingly starting to use to attract and retain customers.

The spike in digital food ordering has a direct influence on global warming as well.

Let’s say for example, a family dines at a restaurant 10 KM away and visits using a car. It is common knowledge that  bikes (which most food delivery services use) offer better mileage than cars. Hence,a 2-way trip on a bike consumes lesser fuel.

Also, a person doing a delivery to your doorstep more often than not accommodates multiple deliveries within a single “trip” making digital food ordering a more cost-efficient and fuel-efficient choice.

So,the next time you feel guilty about not carpooling,you can do some Digital Food Ordering to do your bit to reduce global warming.

What a free upgrade to Windows 10 could mean to you

Was reading a random WIRED article(read it here)and came across the news that Microsoft was planning to offer the Windows 10 upgrade for free. Apparently,the decision was taken to increase the number of customers who otherwise did not want to pay for the licensed versions!!

The article says that Microsoft figured out that having non-paying customers was better than zero customers.

Assuming that a huge number of people do decide to take advantage of the free Microsoft 10 upgrade,how does anyone know for sure that it will remain free?

Maybe a lot of people are aware of this and will switch loyalties after a year of free usage as the subsequent Windows 11 version may require a license purchase.

Will Microsoft reap the benefits of this conversion strategy?

Whatever the outcome,this is indeed an interesting development that all Windows OS users should observe keenly.

Are Auto-rickshaw commuters more susceptible to back Problems?

A few days ago as I was travelling in an auto-rickshaw (am in India and the 3-wheeler auto-rickshaw is one of  the  travel options that is available) when I realized something as the auto (short for auto-rickshaw)  went into the umpteenth pothole.

For those of you who have not traveled in India ,potholes and bumps in the road are a pretty common sight here (the situation is thankfully improving with every new year).

Because of riding/driving on these bad roads, frequent commuters get some kind of ache or the other. But Auto-rickshaw commuters are especially susceptible simply because of the way the vehicle is designed– > One Wheel in front,Two wheels at the back.

This makes it extremely difficult for auto-rickshaws to circumvent road bumps and pot-holes compared to a car (where you can just let the potholes or bumps go between the wheels) or bikes (where both the wheels are along the same axis and hence easy for maneuvering/avoiding potholes).

So,autos run into more bumps than cars/bikes which in turn, has an indirect impact on your physique.

If you conduct a general word-of-mouth survey of road users in India,you will come to the conclusion that auto-rickshaw drivers are generally rash drivers because they swerve at the last moment ( I am not considering the behavior of bike riders here simply because in the absence of concrete road rules and the small breadth-wise space occupied by the vehicle,one is bound to take liberties).Well, the design of the vehicle is what makes the auto drivers swerve to avoid bumps/potholes.

So,next time,you silently curse an auto driver,spare a thought : He is driving within the limitations of his vehicle’s design.

Skully AR-1 – The “Thinking Cap” for motorcyclists

I just came across a revolutionary motorcycle helmet called  Skully AR-1 that is set to transform the motorcycling experience of riders worldwide.I am in India and here’s what I foresee:–

  • Important calls can be answered on the go(on the flip side you cannot give excuses about not attending calls since you were bike riding!!)
  • Long rides would be more enjoyable with the integrated music feature included.
  • Motorcycle manufacturers may eventually say good-bye to rear-view mirrors thus reducing overall bike design costs.
  • The 180 degree viewing angle view from the rear view camera may encourage usage among joggers who may want to look out for stalkers!!

See what users have to say about it :–

This product is yet to go into large-scale production but when it is available I am pretty sure that it would save a lot of lives .Looking forward to seeing it in India soon!

Will Big Data become ‘big’ among Writers?

As part of my job,I recently had to attend a demo session on Big Data to understand the scope of the technology. Before attending the session,I did some research and what I learnt convinced me that this was a concept that was misunderstood by a vast section of the population who had labelled Big Data as “irrelevant and hogwash” because they did not understand its scope.The whole idea of sifting through tons of data using advanced algorithms is enough to put off any non-technical user who is bogged down by the idea of coding.

Though Big Data does require an understanding of coding,the possibilities of its application are enormous . Big Data is not just about ‘sifting’ through tons of data;it is about making sense of unstructured data elements like videos and images.

The amount of time it would take to view videos/images on a subject to arrive at a conclusion is drastically reduced with Big Data in the equation. If you have ever read “Freakonomics ” and thought it was an amazing piece of work that required intensive research across multiple references,you are right. With Big Data at their disposal, writers could possible spend a lot less time on research (I am not trying to discount the effort put in by the authors of “Freakonomics”.The vision to select a seemingly unrelated source of data and derive insights is an art by itself). The key is to define what you are looking for.

That is what Big Data is all about–Insights.

Bloggers and writers who want insights could probably use Big Data in a manner that has not been fully explored so far.

Let’s see what the future holds.

Polybrowser — a must for multitasking

A couple of days ago, I came across a panoramic browser—Polybrowser —while spending some time on LinkedIn.Shown below is a short video explaining the functionality of the browser :–

This product was released almost a year ago and is currently available for download and use.

I have started using it and here are the benefits that I envision for possible users.

1. Could replace additional monitors for processes that use multiple monitors which could result in cost benefits.

Case in point: I used to work at Nielsen where there were some projects that had to use 2 monitors to enable ease of reference.Using Polybrowser along with a huge 30” monitor is definitely the way forward for data analysis.

2. The need for launching multiple web links using bookmarks is eliminated with the use of Polymarks. (The use of Polymarks does not seem very user-friendly currently ).

3.The time spent on accessing and referring to information while editing/writing is reduced to a great extent.

There are however a few glitches and I have pointed them out for fixes/tweaking.See my comment below on LinkedIn :–


P.S : I sometimes scroll some websites like for photos for my blog posts.I have to scroll through hundreds of photos and if I am suddenly called away from my desk,I have to scroll another few hundred images to get to the image I want.Wish someone could create a vertical bookmark to help navigate to last browsed section.Just saying!

Video credit:Aaron T.Travis

Flipkart’s “The Billion Day” is more than a Million Dollar Idea

I was following Flipkart’s promotion of the  “The Billion Day” on 6th October (the date of the sale is the number of the flat that the business started out from) and was very impressed by the timing of the sale.Here are 3 top factors that Flipkart has considered to convert this event into a massive success :–

1.A few weeks from now, Diwali (one of the biggest festivals celebrated in India ) would have diluted any attempts to get users’ attention,simply because of the huge volume of various players offering discounts.

2.Other problems such as logistics/delivery issues that could arise during festival times were reduced greatly because of the timing of the event.

3.Most people time their purchases to coincide with the Diwali season because of the huge discounts.

Also,with the introduction of Amazon into the Indian e-commerce space,Flipkart came up with the perfect plan to ensure that it made a killing before other players could fathom what was happening.

This is also an amazing solution for people who compete for eyeballs during festivals/events–>

Create your own event.

Addendum: Flipkart sent out an apology letter the next day (Oct 6th) publicly explaining the reasons for the inadequacies and hassle that a large number of users experienced while shopping(Nothing like an apology to warm the hearts of the Indian Public). Also.though the site had a billion hits only 1.5 million people bought products—makes you wonder the scale of window-shopping that must have taken place!!

Further Reading :

Flipkart apologizes to customers for Big Billion Day sale glitches