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तो?

जब इस बार मिलें हम तुम, कुछ अलग सा मुझको पाओ तो,
हाथ पकड़ लूं मैं बढ कर, तुम मुझसे शर्मा जाओ तो?

नींद नही आये पर सपनो से बोझिल होकर पलकें,
मुंद जाएँ और तुम काँधे पर सर रख कर सो जाओ तो?

गर साथ हो बस दो पल का और फिर जीवन भर का इंतज़ार,
दो पल न बीतें कभी, समय बस वहीं कहीं रुक जाए तो?

जो कहना चाहें दोनो कुछ पर बात जुबां पर ना आये,
और देख हमारी दुविधा चन्दा बादल में छुप जाए तो?

कभी आँख तेरी गर भर आये और मेघदूत बन कर बादल,
तेरी आँखों के मोती मेरे आँगन बिखरा जाए तो?

Trademark Skill Set

Over at HSI, Vijay Anand of Startup Centre and Proto.in fame, posted some excellent thoughts about the wannabe entrepreneurs who are looking for technical co-founders:
A Trademark Skillset (and I am reiterating) is that one thing you are absolutely known for - it might be people skills; to be able to bring people together around a problem, form a solution and build an enterprise around it, it might be more specific around technology, or design, or fundraising (sic), or sales / business development - but it has to be one quality that you have, that the entire organization (sic) can bet on. 
You should read the full post on HSI.

The Discounted Insanity

There has been a lot of talk in the Indian media recently about the lack of profitability of major Indian e-commerce players. Many of them are also trying out different strategies to manage finances while maintaining growth. While Flipkart has been tweaking discounts and raising limits for free shipping (a move that was quickly followed by almost everyone), IndiaPlaza has excused itself out of the discount race by saying that they want to be the "only money making e-commerce company" out of the top 3-4 players and not the biggest.

However HomeShop18 seems have sensed an opportunity here and has put almost the entire books category on unprecedented discounts! I was hard pressed to find any title that has less then 29-30% discount. Most of the titles are as highly discounted as 35-40%. This includes even the titles which they might be importing from outside. In all my searching, I came across one title which was at 10%. This is insane! And if this was not enough, they have fr…

Great customer service is about consistency

Couple of years ago at Pothi.com, we were working on a Hindi poetry book. It was a collection of poetry of the father that the son was publishing.  It was a very big deal for the son. He had organized a family gathering and book launch in his home town. We were working on a tight schedule but the books were shipped with time remaining on the clock. The book launch was on Tuesday and the consignment reached the client on Saturday afternoon. Shortly afterwards, I received a call from them.

Getting a call or an email from the clients after they have received the books is not uncommon. There is something about holding your own printed book in your hands that moves people. It is usually a time to celebrate after the long time spent working on the book. However sometimes, things go wrong.

When our clients opened the consignment, shiny new books came out. However on leafing through the pages, they realized that while the cover was of their book, the interior was something entirely different…

For every risk, there exists some reward! Not!

Some people seem to misunderstand the "high risk, high gain" maxim. They argue that if I am taking some risk, I should get the reward. I recently heard a candidate expecting 100% raise when considering an opening at a startup.

When you hear "high risk, high gain", pay attention to the order. Risk comes before gain. Often much before. And the fact that the (monetary) gain is not guaranteed is part of the risk (in the startup environment).

While you are at it, find out about the concept of expected value. Your aim should be to maximize the expected value of your reward over next N years of your career. Now depending on your definition of reward, that might mean that you are better off in a job with a bigger company which is perfectly rad. But at least, you won't have ridiculous expectations!

PS: Just as I was posting the article, the right idiom occurred to me: You cannot have your cake and eat it too. So there.