Early Week’s readings: Dec 14, 2015


  • Here’s a 99-page shareholder presentation on why Yahoo needs to fire Marissa Mayer (BusinessInsider)
  • Why 2015 Was a Breakthrough Year in Artificial Intelligence (Bloomberg)
  • All the Product Reviews Money Can Buy (NYT)
    • How the anonymity of internet hurts or benefits online/local retailers?
  • Google Ventures Owns Part of Several Unicorns, but the Biggest (And Trickiest) Is Uber (Recode)
  •  Costco has one secret that makes it ‘Amazon-proof’ (BusinessInsider)
  • What if? Whether to kill baby Hitler might be a political firecracker, but can counterfactuals say anything deeper about the past?(aeon.co)
  • Why Wall Street Loves — And Should Fear — Google’s New Supercomputer (vice.com)

Last Updated on December 17, 2015 by SK

Early-Week Readings: Dec 7, 2015

  • Microsoft’s quantum computer simulator: A glimpse into the future of computers (TechRepublic)
  • How search engines make us feel smarter than we really are (boingboing)
  • TensorFlow: Google open sources the machine learning library that drives products like Inbox and enables pure research(Dzone).
  • The Last 90 VC-Backed Tech IPOs Have Dramatically Underperformed the Market (all in one chart) (ClimateerInvesting)
  • What Happens When There Are Fewer Suckers at the Poker Table? (link)
  • The world’s tallest building will be one kilometer high (verge)
  • Corporate directors – among the highest paid part-time employees in america (bostonglobe)
  • Your next business partner should come with a prenup – Scott Kupor (Fortune)

Last Updated on December 11, 2015 by SK

Should startups write business plan?

“A business exists to create customers” – Peter Drucker.

As a startup founder you need to work on a business plan only if it is absolutely necessary and helpful to get funding. Rather most investors would want to see traction. Unless you are a proven entrepreneur with multiple successful exits, the days of getting funding with just an idea is over long, long time back. Bootstrap your startup, get traction and then think about spending time to write a business plan when you are forced to do so. Until then, spend all your time getting customers to use your product.

Prominent VC Dave McClure has said recently that “Don’t write business plan, rather build a functional product that people are using” (here). If you don’t believe in his words, here is another proof from more than 40 years. Intel’s Moore jotted down first business plan so small you would think it is a tweet. Check out the image below.




Last Updated on December 4, 2015 by SK

Early Week Reading: Nov 30,2015

Coffee and reading.

  • Why Smart People Struggle with Strategy (HBR)
  • Will Quantum Mechanics Swallow Relativity? (Nautilus)
  • Department of Defense Head Ashton Carter Enlists Silicon Valley to Transform the Military (wired)
  • The single biggest way shoppers are manipulated by retailers (BusinessInsider)
  • What’s Worked in Computer Science. 1999 vs 2015 (Danluu)
    • Interesting read if you are computer systems nerd or just want to know what we were thinking in 1999 and how it panned out fifteen years later.
  • Why Your Big Data Needs Good Algorithms (Datamation)
  • When was the modern science invented (newhumanist)
  • The Samoan Pipeline: How does a tiny island, 5,000 miles from the U.S. mainland, produce so many professional football players? (californiasunday)

Last Updated on December 3, 2015 by SK

Mid-Week Reading: Nov 25, 2015 (Thanksgiving Weekend)

  • Will REI’s Closure on Thanksgiving and Black Friday Pay Dividends?  (nbcnews)
    • I don’t usually shop at REI but this year they earned my respect with this decision to close their shop on Black Friday and paying their customers to spend time with family. Applause. Finally a corporation realized retail workers also human beings that deserve to spend time with their families. Way to go REI.
  • Dell-EMC Deal Facing Issues On Multiple Fronts (TechCrunch)
  • Inside the Sony Hack (Slate)
    • What it was like to be a rank-and-file Sony employee as the unprecedented cyberattack tore the company apart.
  • Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google created more than $440B value over 2015 (VisualCapitalist)
  • The Asteroid Huntersb (PopularMechanics)
    • It’s highly unlikely that a gigantic space rock will crash through our atmosphere and destroy civilization as we know it. But it’s not impossible either. Which is why a small but growing community of scientists and astronomers are scrambling to spot and destroy dangerous asteroids long before they hit us
  • Yahoo’s CEO is running out of time to turn things around (MercuryNews)
  • One of the Largest Hacks Yet Exposes Data on Hundreds of Thousands of Kids (MotherBoard)

Last Updated on November 29, 2015 by SK

Early Week Readings: Nov 23, 2015

Morning coffee and readings:

  • How The Golden State Warriors Are Breaking The NBA (Link)
    • Nate Silver: European sports tend to be more capitalist by nature, while their American counterparts tend to be more socialist.
    • Possible exception is Steph Curry!!!
  • Thanksgiving Flight Patterns (NYT-Upshot)
  • The Keys to Scaling Yourself as a Technology Leader (Firstround.com)
  • Curt Monash’s blog about Xplain.io’s (a company I helped jumpstart and also served as VP of Product Management/marketing until we sold it to Cloudera) technology after it was released as “Cloudera Navigator Optimizer” (DBMS2).
  • Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin Succeeds in Landing Spent Rocket Back on Earth (WSJ)
  • A Car Dealers Won’t Sell: It’s Electric (NYT)
  • Most of What You Learned in Econ 101 Is Wrong (Bloomberg)

Last Updated on November 26, 2015 by SK

Scrum methodology is not complicated, we make it so!

Scrum is a rage these days with startups and big companies alike. Everyone wants to do “Scrum” or Agile development. They hire scrum purist and want to follow scrum guidelines to the core. Not a good way to start off, especially if you were following no methodology or traditional methodology such as waterfall. I’m not a scrum master by any stretch, but has seen many methodologies come in to prominence and fade once a newer methodology pops up.

If we understand that any project management methodology is just a guideline to develop, deliver and maintain a project successfully then we will realize the commonality and slight differences between them. We will at peace with any newer methodologies that are bound to arise. So what is so special about scrum. I say, not much. Basic premise behind scrum is “take a big problem, break it into smaller tasks that can be accomplished in two/three weeks, deliver/test and iterate”. Yes, it is that simple.

Checkout my presentation on this very subject:

Last Updated on November 22, 2015 by SK