Tuesday, 28 July, 2009

Proto Conference – What A Wonderful Experience!

Last Saturday I went for Proto.in’s 6th edition conference. In case you don’t happen to know what it is, it is a platform for entrepreneurs and start-ups to showcase their ideas and products. The conference is filled with entrepreneurs, start-ups, angel investors, VCs, sales and marketing guys. This was the first time I attended something as fantastic as this.

Start-up Presentations

There were 15 companies who presented their products. One way or the other, each one is trying to fill an empty gap in the market. Some ideas were really innovative, some were good business models rather than exceptional products. Here is a summary:

Internet and Mobile category

Under this category, I personally liked the solution from Vigyaapan Technologies which was to do mobile marketing based on user’s talking trends. I guess it should be already present, but to what level that I am not sure. But yes, that should be lot of data mining and BI stuff! They guy at their stall wasn’t ready to give me a single detail about it, so I left it there itself. Interestingly, they brought their client during the presentation. Quite innovative, I must say!

Education category

This category is now under the scanner of many businesses. 4 of them presented. While there are lots of untapped areas in this domain, guys were still using the same old formula! Sad! Online test, publish your coaching content…I mean we seriously need to come up with better ideas in this domain! A product called English Seekho was a real innovation! You can learn English via mobile! The online audio tutor will help you do just that. They were preparing to engage RJs for it and this could turn out to be real business in future if they handle it well. My wishes to you guys! Last was a college management solution from Vrixx. I had a discussion with those guys on their stall and they are charging quite an amount for the same! They have also been selected for angel investment by Mumbai Angels for screening. Same old formula, but loads of money!

Software category

It was extremely unfortunate to see only 2 entries in this category! Both entries were pathetic and I could not see anything great in that! Come on guys, creating an outlook connector to show RSS feed isn’t innovation! Indian IT companies, or for that matter start-ups, are really lacking innovation in this!

Automotive category

This was probably one of the best looking category, only because it was related to bikes and cars. Vardenchi Motorcycles introduced the concept of custom bikes and boy, two bikes they showcased on stage was rocking! Honestly, I am not eligible to comment on its details.

Outliers category

The best of all was TouchMagix Media product. It was quite like Microsoft Surface, which has already created lot of excitement in the market. They gave a live demo of using a surface for an interactive experience. Their solution (which also has custom hardware) recognize patterns and based on that displays graphics on the screen. You can play football virtually on a floor! Amazing stuff! That’s called real product. Because of that, they attracted attention of Mumbai Angels as well who have now called them for screening! I was also quite impressed by HyCa Technologies and Intsolvers Technologies products. Quite a mechanical stuff but I guess they are doing a good job in their fields!

Panel Discussions

It happened throughout the day. I particularly liked one by Mr. Mahesh Murthy! Have a look at it..its really worth…

I also had a small personal discussion with him! Yes, I had that :) He gave me a simple advice… “If you want to really market your product, give your technical seat to someone else! A programmer can’t be a businessman!” And considering my current situation, I think that was the most valuable advice for me in some immediate times to come!

He also emphasized the importance of Disruptive Price marketing and how you can use the price of your product as a weapon! Price should be something that should really drag the concentration of your customer towards you. “Greatest products or businesses in the world don’t need to be cheap always!”

I also liked the talk by Zensar CEO, Mr. Ganesh Natarajan. He explained how government of India can help a start-up. So he mentioned, “If you are doing anything that is helpful in the growth of the country, you can be funded easily.” Though I know what our reactions are when we think of government getting involved in this, but looking at current allocated fund for start-ups, it is giving quite a positive sign.

Then there were Mumbai Angels who explained how you could get an Angel investor. Surprisingly, angel investment in India is still at an infantry stage! So, getting it funded is no child’s play. But yes, you can contact them directly if you think you have a good business model or product. Make sure you are ready with your business plan!

And at last, it was none other than Microsoft! The experienced sales guy went on and I didn’t expected it to be so informative as it was! Bizspark program by Microsoft rocks! If you are a start-up looking to build using Microsoft tools and technologies, do visit Bizspark! Its free!


It was an extremely wonderful experience! The energy, enthusiasm, the will to do something…was awesome! People are so pumped up to do something in their lives and don’t have that going-with-the-tide attitude! The energy has really touched me! Congrats to all the organizers!

Monday, 30 June, 2008

Man Who Made It Possible...Bill Gates !!!

This is the end of an era that transformed people's lives like never before. Era which saw PCs reaching homes and everywhere. And everybody knows the biggest force behind this, not any Bill Gates, but THE BILL GATES. Now as he steps down, it remains to be seen what the new era has in store for us. This era was dominated by Bill Gates and no one can come closer to matching the great work he did. Also, the greatness of a person not just depends on how and how much he earns..but how he spends it! And the amount he is putting in for philanthropy work is commendable. Hats off to you, Sir.

There is an interesting thing you will see in the video. There is a photograph of young Bill in an advertisement saying "A computer at every desk and at every home running Microsoft software." Man, this is called vision and dedication.

Here are the videos prepared by Microsoft presenting the journey of the greatest man in the software industry...

Saturday, 26 April, 2008

Cool Windows Live Products !!!

Its been a long time that I wanted to use Windows Live Writer, but sign-on was making a mess of everything, including messenger. Now, as I formatted my machine and installed everything fresh, everything seems to be working fine now :).

Here are some of the products from Windows Live that I liked and found them to be useful:

Windows Live Writer

I extremely loved Live Writer...an amazing product from Microsoft. It's simple, yet it's extremely helpful. You can draft your posts offline and still view how it will look like. A whole array of tools for helping make your blogging experience better. While posting online, I always avoided posting photographs as it was a pain. But Writer makes it extremely easy and I was able to do loads of things with it. This post is my first one from Writer :). Other thing I liked was multiple weblog support under same roof. Publishing to different weblogs, including Sharepoint is pretty easy and I am able to manage my technical and personal blog using it. It's just like Microsoft Word!

Writer's architecture looks cool as well. It's a plug-and-play system. SDK is available at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa738906.aspx, which allows you to add new blog host support, add more plug-ins to Writer as well as create your own-custom UI for posting. Nice stuff!

Windows Live Spaces

I left my Spaces blog because of its inconsistent behavior. Visitors complained that they are not able to post comments properly. Its highly improved now and I may switch back to it with a new blog for my new group. It contains module to support HTML insertion just like Blogger, which can be used to add advertisements and news. Pretty cool!

Most interesting thing is its integration with SkyDrive. Few days back, I was discussing with my group that how could we distribute files and I found my answer. Put it on SkyDrive and share it! Features like alerts and sending messages through blogs is what we were looking for. Guestbook is another interesting thing. And there are more cool features available!!

Also, I investigated quite a lot on Web gadgets available as plug-ins. Being a .NET guy, I will certainly code a couple of them as per my requirement :)

But I still find it a bit slow in loading. I would love to see it loading faster. Other aspect that's missing is Comments Moderation feature, which makes Blogger pretty cool. But anyway, Live Spaces is good and with new features that will be integrated with it, will certainly make it more useful.

Windows Live SkyDrive

Online storage and management of files. It's nice but best part is its integration with Live Spaces. Files and folders can be shared and people can access it through shared folders. Pretty useful when used with Spaces.

- Mohit

Thursday, 20 March, 2008

Sony Vaio Rocks !!!

Yesterday, my laptop got infected with a virus in front of my client. I took her pen drive and plugged it in and went further without scanning. I clicked on a file which was actually a virus. You can say, it was carelessness or unfortunate that I had switched off Vista's Defender and have already removed Norton Anti-Virus (because it's a bigger headache than a virus as it makes the performace of the machine pathetic). At first, my task manager got disabled. And as I restarted my machine, the screen went blank after log in and Ctrl+Shift+Del was not even giving me Task Manager. Bad enough, I could not perform a single action. I restarted the machine thrice just to avoid the embarrasment of an empty screen. Even, safe mode was of no help!

Then I brought in My Vaio's Recovery Tools to picture. From the boot menu, I selected to recover my machine. In a single minute, I was back to the original state of the machine. It cleaned up the virus. And I didn't lost any data !!!

Right now, I am in no mood to put in technical stuff. But must say, I took a lot of time to decide on a machine and I am glad that I choose a Sony Vaio CR series model - CR24G. Sony Vaio Rocks Man !!!

Tuesday, 11 March, 2008

Software - Can Aid In Spreading Awareness!

Recently, while browsing through new ways of software development, a thought crossed my mind. I am not sure if it's already happening or not but why can't software help in spreading awareness among people? Why can't they offer constructive suggestions to people without actually being linked to subject of software? I believe, they definitely can!

Software industry is already huge, and is growing! Today, it touches millions of lives. All that is required is a little space from the software. That space can be utilized to spread awareness among people about anything - Environment, efficient use of resources, diseases, their rights - almost everything! Software could be for an insurance company but messages could be like "Keep your city clean and green." These kinds of messages may sound irrelevant at one point of time, but constant use of it will help in spreading the message.

Today, developing a software is no big deal! Following this, we can actually take software industry to a new role completely. Because spreading awareness is not just the job of government and NGOs. Let us contribute to this as well...

Friday, 14 December, 2007

XMI and OIM - Standardize your UML models

For last so many days, I was playing with a format without knowing what it is actually. Now then my urgent work is over, I got a chance to look into it.

XMI – The XML Metadata Interchange format. I am not sure if you have come across such extension before. But its there and is surely would help in development of future tools. XMI is a specification that contains details about metadata. This is very closely linked to UML and thus, is capable of storing UML diagrams within it in an XML format. It integrates 3 industry standards: XML (for storing metadata), UML (stores UML details) and MOF (Meta Object Facility, which is an OMG language for specifying meta models – even I need to read on this further :)).

This specification can allow sharing of diagrams between various designing tools and thus help in standardizing system designs. This can be used by tools working across platforms, as it a simple XML file at the base level. The only issue that pundits in this field feel is its extensibility. But its specifications are evolving and this would soon become an important part of designing tools.

In the same field is OIM – Microsoft’s Open Information Model. This model also provides XML based UML metadata storage. Not much detail is available, but it was released much earlier and is much more extensible than XMI. More details on this later.

In a nutshell, there are specifications available like OIM and XMI to standardize UML models to ensure cross-platform and cross-tool access.

Friday, 7 September, 2007

.NET Security's Level Of Trust

Recently, I ran into an interesting problem. Its not too big but figuring it out is very frustrating and you hardly find straight forward answers. So, here it is...


When I ran my own created installer, which is well tested and works everywhere, I received an exception:

"Unable to create an instance of the type —> Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation —> That assembly does not allow partially trusted callers."


As a Developer:

If you are a developer and don't want your customers to run into this problem, you need to mark your assemblies with the attribute AllowPartiallyTrustedCallersAttribute, the attribute should be declared at the assembly level (usually declared at Assemblyinfo.cs or Assemblyinfo.vb).


Visual Basic:

This allows partially trusted callers to use your assembly.

As a User:

If you have received an assembly or installer and you are receiving this error, then you need to change .NET security settings of your machine either for this application only or for the complete machine (depends on your requirement :-)).

To provide full trust to the applications running on your machine using .NET, following are the steps (to change security settings of complete machine):

1. Go to Control Panel --> Administrative Tools --> Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Configuration.
2. Go to .NET Framework 2.0 Configuration --> My Computer --> Runtime Security Policy.
3. Right click on Runtime Security Policy and click Adjust Security. Security Adjustment Wizard opens.
4. Select “Make changes to this computer”, and click Next.
5. Select My Computer and choose Full Trust, and click Next.
6. Click Finish.

After providing full trust to My Computer, you can then use the application.

Hope that would save some precious time of yours :)

- Mohit

Monday, 3 September, 2007

Six Sigma Backed By Business Intelligence

Six Sigma is one of the fastest and best management techniques available today. It is well tried and tested, and has been highly effective and productive for organizations such as General Electric.

Business Intelligence, on the other hand, is making decision making highly effective by providing detailed information in various customized formats available anywhere and anytime. In simple words, it’s making businesses highly intelligent.

Six Sigma’s effectiveness is directly proportional to how much data it interprets, find out flaws and enhancement options by visualizing data in various formats and how it makes it decisions. This is where Business Intelligence can help make it much more effective, result oriented and ensure long-term success of its projects.

Business Intelligence can help Six Sigma in two ways: Before initiating an effort and after it has been initiated.

Phase 1: Before an effort is initiated

Based on current available data of company, customers that it has served and areas to be targeted, Business Intelligence can figure out patterns and practices that have helped organization serve better along with flaws in the processes that were followed. It can also help to figure out customers, distribution areas and requirement levels that can be targeted. Business Intelligence can also analyze Market data so as to present best possible results of analysis.

Six Sigma thrives on this information. Lack of it can highly degrade the performance levels of any business. Six Sigma does not focus on removing errors in individual products, rather than it concentrates on improving root processes so as those errors never occur again. Because of this, gaining an insight on this information is essential. Six Sigma projects do not move ahead without this information and Business Intelligence can significantly help arranging this data in a better and faster manner.

Phase 2: After an effort is initiated

Once the effort begins, Six Sigma starts looking at project specific details. Following is the process that Six Sigma follows to execute a project:

Phase 2.1: Define

Six Sigma now needs to define the best processes for the project that can produce maximum returns and is feasible in terms of budget, resources and time. In doing so, it’s essential to know the customers, processes of the company, capabilities, competitors, current market etc. Business Intelligence can significantly help in gathering and quantifying this information from various data sources. It can also predict the way things would shape up based on the analysis of data of past few years. Business Intelligence can set a level of standard for delivering the products based on customers’ acceptance of previous relative products in markets and customers’ expectations.

Phase 2.2: Measure

Once the requirements are defined, Six Sigma’s next step is to have a measure of all the processes. As Six Sigma thrives on numbers for its survival, measuring turns out to be one of the most crucial steps for it to make the project successful. It aims at performance standards that ultimately help to define customer satisfaction, all in terms of numbers. Business Intelligence can point out what processes carry more importance by taking a deep dive into business performance. It can provide consolidated and accurate data corresponding to metrics and can help figure out noise in the system. Information can also be obtained at several levels of detail, based on the requirement, thus allowing effective decision making.

Phase 2.3: Analyze

In an ongoing effort, it’s pretty much essential to keep analyzing data so as to remove the root causes of defects and move towards improving sigma value. Business Intelligence can help identify defects and its origin by providing variations in data. Variations can be identified at various depths based on data available in similar conditions or looking into historical data over a period. Business Intelligence can also allow prioritization of few things that contributes more towards sigma value, and then keep close track on its number.

Phase 2.4: Improve and Control

After the initial work, Business Intelligence system is already in place to keep measuring and analyzing activities, control them and continuously improve the sigma factor. At this stage, several new techniques and methodologies are introduced to cope up with problems and improve the processes. While it becomes difficult for Six Sigma’s black belts to dynamically handle such processes, because they need to go through a full cycle of defining, measuring, analyzing and implementing them. Business Intelligence systems can gracefully and in a faster way allow such activities to be carried out, by having quick and better access to not just information available prior to start of this initiative but also of current activities that allows better blending of procedures. Better monitoring and communication is an interim part of successful Business Intelligence systems.


While Six Sigma is a proven management methodology, it requires highly dedicated team who needs to put in a lot of effort to make it successful. Business Intelligence can help put this methodology into practice very quickly, efficiently and allow better use of information. Six Sigma manages an initiative well, and Business Intelligence can manage Six Sigma nicely.



I felt disappointed when I came to know that this has already been implemented, but this is a great effort and would serve well for businesses in the future.