Category Archives: Uncategorized

Composure amidst Chaos in Chennai

Recently I was part of a disaster situation in Chennai– the place I have stayed for almost all my life.Torrential rains lashed continuously for a few days that resulted in many families being marooned or losing their belongings.Fortunately,I was able to come out unscathed as the roads around my place had been laid just a few months ago and the storm water drains around my house were pretty robust.

While watching various news clips,various reports revealed possible reasons that could have possibly worsened the situation:

1.Overcrowding (many unapproved real estate projects)

2.Poor Storm Water Drains Continue reading

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9 Reasons Kapil Dev is wrong about Sachin Tendulkar

Today I was shocked when I read the sports section of the newspaper to find that Kapil Dev had stated that Sachin did not realize his full potential and that he did not have the ability to score 200,300 and even 400 (lol). My conclusion is that Kapil Dev has become senile or that there was a  case of mistaken identity.

Let’s look at what the stats have to say:

  1. Sachin hold the Indian record for the highest number of Test double centuries (6)along with Dravid and Sehwag .Sachin even has a couple of scores in the 190s.
  2. Viv Richards,whom Kapil says Sachin should have emulated, has a Test best score of 291 which means that even he did not score a 300.
  3. Sachin was the first person in ODI history to hit a double hunded.
  4. Only one person,Lara has scored a 400 in Tests and that match resulted in a draw. Lara is anyway a genius and racking up huge scores was his specialty (he scored 501 in first-class cricket!).Overall,Sachin has a better Test average than Lara.
  5. One of Sachin’s contemporaries ,Ricky Ponting never scored a 300 in his career too. No one would every say Ponting did not realize his potential.
  6. Scoring a 300 requires a lot of opportunity and more often than not ,Sachin was doing the repair work. Even his highest score of 248* was scored in the company of the number 11 batsman which resulted in a record 10th wicket partnership.
  7. Sachin was a multi-faceted cricketer. He could take apart the Pakistani bowlers in 2003 World Cup and also show restraint (by not playing the cover drive at all) during a patient 241* versus Australia. This shows situational awareness and not inability to “enjoy the game”.
  8. Sachin played close to 100 matches more than Sehwag and almost 80 matches more than Viv Richards but has a better Test average (53.78) compared to Viv (50.23) or Sehwag (49.34).
  9. Kapil Dev did not realize his full potential himself. After reaching 350 wickets in his 83rd Test match,he took 48 more Tests to take another 84 wickets to achieve the then world record of highest number of Test wickets. That is less than 2 wickets per match,certainly not expected from a frontline bowler and from someone as celebrated as Kapil Dev.

What do you think about Kapil Dev’s observations? Do you think he made any sense? Do let me know.

EDIT: Kapil Dev has since released another statement explaining his point of view.Read the article here

Science does not equal Logic always

Very often,I come across conversations in platforms like Quora and Facebook where someone immediately dismissed the point of view of the other person just because it did not sound “logical” or is supported by science. Science was regarded as the sole benchmark for their microscopic analysis. Let’s take a look at how unreliable this point of view is..

Though mankind has benefited immensely from the advances in science, holding science as a benchmark for any logical argument is well… not logical 🙂

Consider this: Light was established as a phenomenon that moved in a straight line. You could see that light moved in a straight line and so it was logical. Next, Light was proved to able to propagate in waves as well and that was accepted too after sufficient proofs.Very recently,neutrinos (that were previously thought of as zero mass particles) were proved to have mass.

Almost on a yearly basis, a new scientific study comes up that disproves or provides provides reasonable amount of doubt to question the status quo.Which brings us to this question:

Why believe completely in something that keeps evolving and revealing a new facet with the passage of time?

Having an open mind and believing in something because a control group supported that evidence is normal,enjoying the benefits of something that simplifies your life and promoting its efficacy is agreeable but passionately arguing your case based on “published studies” is a mile away from being logical as you never know what the future holds or what is going to be disproved in the future.

500 Wi-fi Hotspots : Is Google really being generous?

Over the last 2 weeks newspapers in India had a lot of stories about the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Silicon Valley in the United States. As Modi wrapped up his visit,there were a lot of achievements highlighted,no doubt,to accentuate the success of his visit.

One of the initiatives that was lauded was Google’s future plans of introducing free Wi-Fi at 500 Indian railway stations;this move was appreciated by everyone as  it would connect India and would provide a whole lot of benefits to people. Say,you are one of those people who use apps to book taxis and make payments while travelling between places,having Wi-Fi would turn out to be a huge blessing.

But does India need Google to provide free Wi-Fi? How is this a big initiative from a company of Google’s stature?

Let’s hope that for logging into the “Google Wi-Fi” users are not required to enter their Google account credentials as an additional authentication step which would enable Google to collate and compile the users’ online behavior (A perfect win-win situation).

Delhi’s (one of the Indian states)  Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal promised to introduce free Wi-Fi to entire state of Delhi if elected and Google’s gesture pales in comparison! Is the Indian Government right in hyping up Google’s gesture? There seems to be more to the move than meets the eye.

Product Companies vs Service Based Companies : What should you choose?

A few months ago I had a discussion with one of my friends about working in product based companies. My friend had a pretty interesting career curve — Engineer to Business Development Associate to Social Media Manager to Marketing Analyst to Product Manager. I was looking at career options and wanted inputs about working in product based companies. Along the way I found out that people who work in product based companies have some misconceptions of service based companies as well. For example, my friend thought that manager designations were handed out easily in service based companies and wondered about what they actually do.

Here are the facts (based on my research):

Product based companies generally involve a lot of creative work and do not have a “set of rules” to adhere to while doing their work. A huge premium is placed on ability to innovate and contribute to original work. If you are someone who likes their duties clearly delineated, product based companies are not for you. Scrum (an agile methodology framework) is used to measure incremental progress. Product based teams are smaller compared to those in service based companies.

Service based companies typically provide support for the maintenance of a product/project and the people engaged in supporting the product/process typically execute their roles by providing proven solutions (as per SOP) for the issues they handle. Creativity is usually limited to teams that are involved with automation or process re-engineering .Techniques like Six Sigma and Lean are used to identify and implement process improvements. For Technical Support projects, much importance is attached to the certifications completed. The type of troubleshooting is usually confined by the framework of the product supported.

The challenges faced varies depending on the business,company and the domain.So, whether one works in a product based company or service based company, both make contributions to the bottom line of a business.

Though, I have never worked in a product based company it appears to me that people generally would be happier while ideating,creating and executing rather than just executing (which happens more often than not in service based companies).

At the end of the day, you should pick what excites you and what you CAN do and continuously evolve towards becoming a better version of yourself.

So,wherever you get to work,remember that your current job does not limit the future path of your career; it’s your thinking that matters. There are no better options just options.

4 Reasons I Still Love SMS

As public attention shifts from one messaging app to another,the usage of SMS has become sporadic. SMS costs money whereas WhatsApp.

Viber and Snapchat just require an active internet connection (which you have to pay for anyway!!). I always wonder why people refer to WhatsApp and the like as ” free messaging services”; Haven’t they heard of the expression ” There‘s no such thing as a free lunch” ?

WhatsApp is used as a data collection source for Facebook marketing. If you are someone who doesn’t give a damn about what your friends like then you are safe from Facebook marketing 🙂

Anyway,here are my top 4 reasons fro still using SMS:-

1. Puts a cap on number of messages sent per day as each message costs money.

2.Sending a lot of SMS does not drain my phone battery unlike messaging apps which require internet connectivity.

3. No one know when I am typing out a message :WhatsApp and Viber (some of the apps that I’ve used) have a feature that shows you when the other person is typing out a reply. I guess this feature enables one to wait when someone is replying but I certainly don’t know how to answer ” I was waiting for you to reply…I saw you typing”.(Wondering if Whatsapp could include a feature to hide “typing” status…hmm).

4. You can’t see my online status : WhatsApp does have features to hide your online status but when you have a ton of contacts calibrating the settings for each one of them is tiresome. Also, the “last seen status” complicates a lot of interactions as you can never successfully multitask responding to people.

 

So there it is…my 4 reasons still loving SMS. Wondering if SMS will be around in 2020. Just saying…

Is the “Sheet Anchor” role still relevant in ODI cricket?

During the initial stages of the recently concluded World Cup,  Virat Kohli stated in an interview that he had agreed to play the anchor rule keeping the best interests of the team in mind:–

My role in the team is to bat through, and the power-hitters can play around knowing that one end is secure.

Kohli holds the record for the fastest ODI hundred by an Indian. His career strike Rate is just a fraction short of 90. In the post match conference he mentioned that there was a team discussion and his role was to ensure that the others played around him. The very idea of a sheet anchor role is outdated and unnecessarily glorified.It is more suited to the Test format.

Batsmen should be keen on rotating the strike to upset the bowlers’ equilibrium instead of consuming a lot of balls that could in name of protecting the batsman at the other end. Generally, batsmen who have played a considerable number of balls and have scored at a less than a run-a-ball would talk about how their innings enabled the other batsmen to go berserk.In the match against Pakistan,the usually belligerent Kohli scored 107 off 126 balls and Rahane did score a breezy 80 but the outcome would not have been any less favorable has Kohli batted in his usual manner.

Also,with the change in rules in ODI cricket where both the balls are 25 overs old at the end of the match,it makes sense to make judicious use of the number of balls.

Consider these points:—

Wouldn’t it prove unsettling for the opposition  if 2 batsmen went hammer and tongs at their bowling?

Would bowlers be able to settle into a rhythm is the strike was constantly rotated.

Unless a batsman possesses the six-hitting capabilities of Rohit Sharma to even out the strike rate at the end,it is an unwise ploy to play sheet anchor if the final score is going to be less than 300.

Let’s hope that teams retire the “sheet anchor”concept to make cricket more interesting.

 

Are we headed towards a “pre-Babel'” Time?

I live in India and it is a common occurrence to see Indians speak 2 or 3 languages. There are around 18 officially recognized Indian languages but the language that will help you navigate through the length and breadth of India is English.

This post is not about how English as the lingua-franca facilitates communicate among diverse masses. A story from the Bible I’ve read flashed through my mind in a different context a couple of days ago.

The Biblical story of “The Tower of Babel” which provides an introduction to the origin of languages explains how God separated the people by languages to discourage them from their vain attempts to reach Heaven.

A lot of countries are still very proud of their culture and would not speak in English unless they obviously have to.Even in India,there are various sects which condemn the spread of Westernization lamenting the demise of tradition and culture.

At the end of the day,we are all human beings separated by complex ideologies but what would happen if we all spoke the same language?

Maybe this was the Plan all this time? God made us speak in different languages so that we would “go forth and multiply”.

When the time is right,maybe we would all speak and understand the same language to eventually reach the Original Destination–> Heaven.

Image Credit : http://www.jaymantri.com

Could Flipkart’s “Big Billion Day” fiasco been avoided?

Indian online shoppers who remember the aftermath of the “Big Billion Day” would recall how Flipkart apologized for the glitches by blaming their improper planning on sufficient number of servers. I really wonder if Flipkart missed a trick.

Was Flipkart unaware of the on-demand provisioning of servers feature available in Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure? If Flipkart was not aware of these services,they need a serious re-think on the technological front.

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

One “rude” feature that E-commerce sites need

Was brainstorming with the new graphic designer at work about ‘fun’ features that e-commerce websites should have to transform user experience. Here are a few:–

When a customer does a lot of aimless browsing and stuffs his “wishlist”,an animated character could appear on the page and say one of these sentences :—

“Hey,you’re gonna buy or what?”

“Are you confusing us with Pinterest” ?

” You just spent 120 minutes window-shopping”.

Most e-commerce sites focus on being nice and polite and having a dash of humor is not going to alienate customers.Hope someone out there reads this and includes this in their company’s e-commerce website.

P.S– The ideas are completely mine 🙂