Showing posts from 2013

Thoughts on reading an ebook

Let me confess something. While it has been years since has been selling ebooks and it has been years since I have been talking and thinking about ebooks, it is only recently that I read a complete book on a dedicated reading device. The book was Lean Analytics published by O'Reilly Media. But this is not a review of that book. This post is about what it felt like reading a fairly long book on an e-reader. I read part of it on Kindle and part of it on Nook touch. The first thing I noticed was that e-readers these days are very good and you don't miss the paper version all that much. I have said this to many people who express doubts about e-readers - Try one out for 1-2 days and do some serious reading on it. I bet a lot of people would change their mind one they try out a device. The key is to not see it as a replacement of paper books - the only way they are represented in most media coverage. Instead take them up as a device on their own and see if you like th

शहर के फूल

छोड़ कर शाख क्यों सड़कों पे चले आते हैं, फूल मासूम हैं, नाहक ही सज़ा पाते हैं। स्याह पड़ती हुई इस शहर की बेनूर शकल, रंग दो पल को झलकते हैं, गुज़र जाते हैं। भागते दौड़ते इस शहर के कुछ वाशिंदे, साल भर फरवरी की याद में बिताते हैं। फूल इंसान की उम्मीद के सितारे हैं, आँख उठती है दुआ में, तो नज़र आते हैं। शहर के फूल अभागा बड़ी किस्मत वाले, ठोकरों से नहीं, कारों से कुचले जाते हैं।

The problem with building what people want

One of the mantras of entrepreneurship is to build something that people want. The road to success is lined with geeks who dreamt of beautiful solutions existing in perfect worlds for problems that no one seemed to have. Lean startup formalizes this in terms of customer development. The aim is to identify a customer who is willing to pay you money today for what you can deliver tomorrow. Recently there was an article in NYT about how the American fast food industry  has filled people's plates with more salt, sugar and fats in an effort to sell more junk food. Many of the executives, when confronted with questions about these practices, defended themselves on the pretext that they were only giving people what they wanted. If they do not give it to them, someone else will. Why is it that these executives seem to be doing something wrong (or bad if wrong sounds too strong)? They were merely following the oft repeated advice for building a successful business. In fact, making food