June 15, 2013

10 Lessons Startups can learn from Driving

This thought struck me while I was driving back from Wayanad a few months ago. 
Driving a car seemed very similar to running a startup and here are few things we can learn from it.    
1. Journey of 1,000 miles starts with turning on the ignition
You might be the best driver, you might have the fastest car, and you might know all the interesting places in the world. But all that is of no use until you start. 

"Start Now!" 

2. If you just want to go places but don't enjoy driving, take a bus
If your goal is just reaching the destination, then there are many options available for it. Driving is for people who love to drive, they enjoy the journey more than the destination as they reach there eventually. So unless you are sure that you are ready for a ride, don’t hit the road. 

"Start for the right reason." 

3. Driving with a partner makes the journey more beautiful
Driving with a partner not only makes the journey more pleasant but if your partner can drive too it'll significantly reduce the risks and improves your confidence too. 

"Look for a passionate co-founder."  

4. If taking a new route, it's better to have someone who knows it
If you are heading for a long drive and the route is new to you, it is always good to have someone who is familiar with it. Technology helps, but not as much as people. 

"Passion isn’t a replacement for experience." 

5. People with folded side view mirrors are bad drivers
It is a common saying that people with side view mirror folded are generally bad drivers; the worse are the ones who don't have them. Not keeping an eye on what's coming from behind can be a sign of carelessness or overconfidence, and both can be fatal. 

"Be aware of your surroundings."  

6. Highways are not for learner
If you are new to driving don't hit the highways directly. Learn the basics first, and there are training schools, open grounds and empty roads for that. Avoid hitting the highway unless you are ready for it, they are for serious and trained driver. 

"Start small." 

7. Don't confuse local experience with highway driving
You might be the local hero, but that doesn’t ensure you’ll win at highways also. Highways are full of big boys with big trucks. They can crush you with their size and power anytime.  

"Be prepared to fight the big game." 

8. Thank people who give you a pass
We are living in a competitive world in which it is extremely difficult to let people go ahead of us. So when someone helps you in moving ahead make sure you acknowledge it. It not only is a good gesture, but in case breakdown, he’ll be the guy who’ll come from behind and help you. 

"Be grateful." 

9. Speed Breakers are good
If it’s a straight road, the one with highest BHP will win almost always. But every time you hit a traffic jam or a breaker, it makes sure everyone slow downs. Being small you can maneuver the traffic better and by perfecting speed breakers you can make sure that you overcome them by slowing down as less as possible. If it gives you a little jerk, so be it (but a little, don’t overdo and topple).  Personally, I have overtaken most of the big cars at speed breakers and the more breakers I get, the more lead I gain from them. 

"Adversities are disguised opportunities." 

10. Don’t drink and drive
Driving in any kind of intoxication not only puts you life at risk, but also of the ones in your car. And sometimes accidents block the entire traffic taking that road for hours. So don't think you are alone in the game and taking a fun ride will only impact you.   

"Taking risk is different from being stupid.

June 1, 2013

Will successful Wearable Technology be 'Invisible' ?

Wearable technology is one of the latest fad in the consumer electronics world these days and everyone is contemplating how it'll change the way we consume and interact with data. 

From rumors of Apple iWatch  to speculations on Google Glass, anyone even remotely associated with technology is watching this space very closely.

If so called 'wearable technology' is sounding too geeky, I guess Bluetooth headset would ring a bell. No doubt what we are talking here is far more advanced but these headsets would be one of the primitive versions of WT that every one of us has used and could relate to.

And if Google Glass doesn't sound too familiar, am sure you'd remember this.

Even though there is a long way to go before these devices will go mainstream people have already started renouncing them due to various privacy and security reasons. Some plainly find them funny. 

Which isn't new, like Gandhi said, 
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. "
I still remember the how camera phones were considered to be a huge dent in privacy. They were banned in gyms, which included names like Gold’s, and scandalous MMSes took the concerns to a new high. But later on, the benefits outshined nuisances and now smartphones are a dent in balance-sheet of companies that relied solely on cameras.

For that matter even when Bluetooth headsets were launched, people wearing them were ridiculed, but they brought a significant improvement in productivity by freeing up one hand. And that means a lot, when you have just two.

Although am extremely bullish on the future of wearable technology but for it to really go mainstream, it has to be 'invisible'. As we all so fond of buzzwords, I prefer calling it 'Invisible Technology'. 

Take Google Glass for an example. There is not doubt about the paradigm shift it’ll bring in the way we live, but it looks like 'Pager' of 2020, that might die even before it's born.  Apart from being impracticable to wear it all the time even at a cost of looking stupid or wannabe, I might not want to give up my RayBan for it.

Again taking a clue from MI, how about building something like this.

I understand that there might be greater privacy concerns but I think in order to take the next leap, wearable technology has to be invisible. Something that we don’t have to wear additionally, something that won’t be visible to others. It’ll be a part of things that we wear normally. Something wont make us look like a Glasshole.

What say?