Category Archives: Uncategorized

Startup Jobs

I’ve got tons of friends/acquaintances who are running startup and the only thing common to each one of them is that they are looking to hire smart talent. Despite 100 job sites, a lot of match making takes forever. Here’s a little effort from my side to fill this gap.

Running a startup? Looking to hire people? Share Job details (140 character), company name and contact email id at (dhingra dot mayank at gmail dot com)

Technology 

Marketing

Sales

Account Management

HR

Others

Books I read in 2015

Here’s a list of all the books I read in 2015. If you’ve read any of them or would like to recommend some books to me drop a comment below

Jan 2015

    1. The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do and how to change (Rating: 4/5)

 

A very interesting read on how to recognise habits, how they are formed and how to amend them. Great way to understand personal as well as institutional/organisational habits. It has suggests some experiments to cut down addictions like Smoking

2. How football explains the world (Rating: 3.5/5)

A good primer for anyone interested in knowing about Football and Globalisation across different countries and continents. Football fans would find it interesting how various clubs across the world came into being and how violence b/w fans accompanied many of them. Non football or globalisation fans might not find it that great.

April 2015

3. Heart of Darkness (Rating: 3.5/5)

May 2015

4. Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution (Rating: 2.5/5)

 

 

The Rise of Mobile SDKs

The last 2 engineers I spoke to who had quit their jobs to do a startup are working on building 3rd party solutions for app developers. There is clearly a trend of more folks trying to build services for various apps. From Analytics to payments, ad networks to notifications, there our services for everything, even Emotion Tracking and Augmented Reality.

How these 3rd party services tend to be used across various apps is by integrating their SDKs (essentially including code libraries from other providers into your apps).
Let’s consider an example of an e-commerce mobile app. Here are some of the features/attributes
which might be needed

SDK

SDK

  1. Accepting Payments
  2. Analyzing usage (clicks, pageviews, conversion funnels etc)
  3. Sending notifications (push notifications about offers/promotions etc)
  4. Campaign Management (to track installs and their behaviour from various paid install campaigns)
  5. A/B testing
  6. User Engagement/Rewards
  7. Messenger/Chat and so on

This list would vary from app to app and the developers have two options, Build each one of these functionalities or integrate existing solutions (Mobile SDKs that provide one or more of these services).  While the benefit of integrating an SDK to do say user behaviour analysis is immense (and in most cases the only option and you can’t possible build this functionality on your own) it is where the problem starts and one wonders, “how will this scale?”

SDK overload

SDK overload (via @WahWhoWah)

 

How many SDKs can you possibly embed in your app? The performance and maintenance issues are plenty. While from app developers perspective the challenges are obvious (which ones to choose, how to migrate data from one to another in case of switching, how to attribute any problem to one SDK in case of multiple SDKs etc), what worries me is how upcoming start-ups with their business model built around offering SDKs to developers will come about.

Distribution, is possibly the most important thing for a startup and I foresee getting various app developers to use your SDK (and not building a cool service) as the biggest barrier to entry/success.

I’m sure you might have built a great user analytics/customer lifecycle management/campaign management etc SDK but how many SDKs can a developer possibly try and integrate?

Concluding Thoughts
1) Building an SDK that offers to replace an existing/prevalent one like Flurry or Mixpanel though comparatively easier to build will be extremely tricky to distribute/sell
2) Building an SDK that offers to replace multiple existing/prevalent ones (Flurry, Testflight, Admob etc) though extremely difficult to build will be comparatively easier to distribute/sell
3) Mobile platforms (Apple/Google etc) might improve their offerings around various fundamental needs and start including them into the platform APIs like iOS did with Facebook and Twitter. A native Analytics/campaign management service will be difficult to compete with
4) Some app developers might be privy to share their data (for say Customer Lifecycle Management SDK)

This space is quite exciting and I’m really interested to see how it shapes up. What do you think?

 

 

 

Newsletter – Best of the Web

I read a lot on the internet, and by a lot i really mean a good lot. The issue which I like most others face is, what to read and where to constantly get that good content to read from.

In a tiny effort to help others from this struggle I’ve started a weekly newsletter in which I share some 10 links, mostly interesting articles across various subjects (tech to literature, economics to biology) and any interesting website/app/video/book etc that I come across while surfing the internet.

I started the newsletter a couple months back and have sent some 9 newsletters so far. Here’s what one of the readers had to say

newsletter
If you too read a lot and need a source for good curated content, subscribe for the newsletter here

Best of the Web

 

 

The Feedback Loop

One of the things that I feel that makes certain people and organizations tick while others don’t is ‘The Feedback Loop‘. I believe most(all?) successful  people/companies have a good feedback loop which helps them gather external information, couple it with internal hunches/insights and improve their course of action/style of working.

“The Feedback Loop” is a great tool when you are learning something. It could be internal/self imposed practice->finding gaps->closing them or taking feedback/help from someone else/internet and improving your skill. This is purely an execution skill. Figure out how can you best assess your current level(the more sources the better), and then use your sense to improve yourself

For instance: If one were to learn a foreign language remotely. They can
Watch videos, join an online course, study tutorials, read a book or use an interactive app.
An evolved brain would be able to choose the best options from the above mentioned which in turn would help them by leveraging the benefits of feedback loop. Let’s say an app which let’s them not only learn the language but also practice it and rate their skill set and provide suggestions

The Feedback Loop

Similarly people/organizations which have evolved, have a tight feedback loop (Identify gaps/scope of improvement ->Have yourself/team figure out how to fix them->repeat) which serves as a continuous self improvement process. Like the perennial structured software testing which never stops and is actively followed up with not only bug fixes but also some learning in the system which ensures that such mistakes are not repeated again. To make the process water tight, there’s a metric/check in place which makes sure that learnings are executed and not lost

Most people are not good at taking direct feedback and thus end up seeking only the indirect feedback if at all. Which needless to say is less efficient. They are anti-feedback types, every time honest feedback about their abilities is pointed out, they start looking in opposite direction. If only they could set their egos aside and taken in as much as they can without bothering the form and source.I’d blindly side a guy who has figured out a way to improve themselves/their work on their own.
Implement –> Test/Seek Feedback –> Learn –> Fix –> Repeat

At a organizational level, there are various sources of feedback, namely employees, customers, partners, investors(if any). If you don’t have a process of continuously seeking their feedback, logging data in a structured format, analyzing it and using the insights to improve the ways things are done, you are missing out a lot.

Got any thoughts on ‘Feedback Loop’ for individuals and organizations?

Delhi Assemble Elections Exit Polls Data

Delhi went to polls on 4th Dec and saw the highest turnout ever (about 67%). Here is a snapshot of what various exit polls say

Delhi Exit Polls 2013

The difference among these four exit polls is amazing. While Times Now says Congress will get 24 seats, Chanakya expects them to get just 10 seats and though it predicts 31 seats for AAP, India Today expects them to bag just 6 seats. 

The results are out tomorrow and I am curious to see which exist poll gets closest to them

 

Growth Hackers Conference 2013 in Tweets

Last week, some of the renown stalwarts of ‘Growth Hacking’ descended to computer history museum, Mt view to share their lessons and experiences at the 3rd “Growth Hackers Conference” organized by Gagan Biyani and Erin Turner. I was tuned in to twitter to follow the action while some of the best minds mesmerized the audience

List of Speakers
  1. James Currier
  2. Jared Fliesler
  3. Elliott Shmukler
  4. Dan Martell
  5. Mike Greenfield
  6. Gustaf Alstromer
  7. Sean Ellis
  8. Laura Klein
  9. Ivan Kirgin
  10. Stan Chudovsky
  11. Simon Tisminezky
  12. Gagan Biyani
  13. Andy Johns.
Here’s a compilation of all the gyan for you for a quick chew

 

The Bucket List

It’s one of those cheesy things that I try to stay away from but for some reason I felt like listing down things I would love to do. So here it is a collection of things I thought myself and a few I read elsewhere and liked

 

  1. Attend (and Dance) in Rio Carnival (Year 2014)
  2. Skinny Dip at midnight
  3. Fly a plane/helicopter
  4. Skydive/Basejump/Bungeejump
  5. Learn to read, speak and write urdu
  6. Learn a new/foreign language
  7. Write a book
  8. Make a documentary/movie
  9. Learn a form of fighting (Muay thai, Martial arts etc)
  10. Learn to play a musical instrument
  11. Invent something (that sells) *That’s a classic*
  12. Change someone’s life forever(for good)
  13. Swim with the dolphins
  14. Climb a mountain
  15. Scuba Dive
  16. Learn to cook
  17. Learn street magic
  18. Teach a course at a college or school
  19. Do something sexually taboo (to say the least)
  20. Repeat point 19 with a twist
  21. Get in crazy nasty shape. (Strong, Lean and Fast)
  22. Fall in bottomless pit of love
  23. Record a song
  24. Live minimally (For 2-3 months)
  25. Stay alone (For 2-3 months)
  26. Sell your startup
  27. Acquire a company
  28. Grow some plants/fruits/vegetables
  29. Date someone 10+ years younger or older than myself
  30. Learn to Meditate and Do it Regularly
  31. Attend Maha Kumbh or Kumbh mela
  32. Own a house with a water slide, tunnel, garden and bunch of other stuff
  33. ……..
  34. ……..

 

Books to read: http://guyspeed.com/10-books-every-man-should-read/

Songs to listen: https://opendata.socrata.com/Fun/Top-1-000-Songs-To-Hear-Before-You-Die/ed74-c6ni