July 28, 2007

Barcamp Bangalore 4 - Day 1 & Day2(brief)

Well well well.. this one was definitely better barcamp this time. We had lots of people, good number of sponsors, lots of collectives, tea/coffee in abundance and good food [:D]. Something that was missing was the BCB4 T-Shirts... [;-)] ohh they did talk about that in the introductory session itself; so i'm hopeful they will do pass on one to each one of us in the day 2 session tomorrow.

Coming to the actual topic, the event went pretty good today. There was more enthusiasm than what i saw last time. There were people from non-technical background as well with sessions on music bands to startups to investment basics and stock market tips. I was there at the startup session though i had registered for mobile and internet collectives..(well thats the spirit i like about barcamp; you don't have to be bound to anything, just do what you feel doing). I'm giving below an account on few of the sessions i liked.

Sujai one of the founders of Sloka Telecom shared his experience on his 3 year old startup that he ventured into after returning from Silicon Valley three years ago. He pointed out the wrong perception people have about startups (in his context):
  • People think: He must have had a good bank balance before starting up considering that he returned from US.
    Truth: He had just 3000$ savings that he spent just after his marriage in things that he thought were important to make his newly wed wife happy

  • People think: Ohh than, his wife must be earning when he started his new company.
    Truth: His wife was still a college student and he had to pay for her fees and all.

  • People think: His father must be richie rich then!!!
    Truth: Naah, his father is a professor and you probably know what professors earn like.

  • People think: Must have got good funding then.
    Truth: The company is still self funded and though they did talk to couple of VCs, they never wanted to deviate from what they believed and so they decided not to go the way VCs wanted. They have been sustaining from their product sales and financial support from family and friends.
Quoting Sujai, a start-up doesn't need any VC funding unless it has proved itself and is looking for scaling up current operations and reach. [Something that i've read couple of times before from few other successful entrepreneurs]. According to Sujai, all that matters is the idea and your family to support you in so called "bad" times, path to entrepreneurship is not so rosy anyways. And once you have proved yourself, VC fundings will automatically follow. Yeah there might be few hurdles, not everybody buys everybody's idea anyways so you just have to find the right VC. He sited few examples of well known successful guys, who were not funded at times while for a similar idea a new comer was funded. So in his words, you never know what is the right time and who is the right VC to catch for funding. Nothing is certain and all one can do is give it a full try. However one thing he said matches with people's thinking in india:

"If you are working for an start-up, chances are you won't get a girl to marry in india" (well, this was on a lighter note, because he himself started off after his marriage[:D])

Another session on startup collectives was by PicSquare founders. They talked about the logistics and operations related hurdles they faced. They also talked about the hiring chaos on a question from the audience. "If someone is pushing for a better salary in the interview, you know he is not the guy to survive the start-up pressure and definitely not fit for you". In a different track, another guy talked about his marketing guy running away while on site in US and ruined their entire business. Previously Sujai also talked about the hiring issues; though he seemed quite satisfied about his employees. He shared an "EMI" mantra that he uses to deal with his employees. He asks every new hire what his "EMI" is meaning what all they spend every month; and ensures that the new hire gets to pay all such "EMI"s in time. Apart from this, he can only provide them ESOPs but not higher salaries (to sustain the company and his visions for the company). On a lighter side, he mentioned that sometimes he interviews couple of people who have higher "EMI"s which are too high from the market rates ;-) and definitely risky to hire. They said they rely on references and that has proved to be really stable for them. All in all, these sessions went really good.

There were sessions from Prayank on Adobe Flex and then from some M$ guys on Silverlight. Well unfortunately none of these were that interesting. There were demo sessions by few other guys like routeguru.com etc. But i was surprised when i counted what i liked and what i didn't. It was mostly the non-techie sessions i loved today. What a change, was it me feeling sleepy in these sessions or were the sessions really bad!!!??!!!

I met few fellow KGP'ians there, one of them are founders of hungrybangalore.com. They are really passionate about their startup and even more because of the complements they receive from the guys when they meet face to face.

The day ended with a feedback session in the auditorium and music followed after that. I was tired after a day long session and so decided to be back home. See you tomorrow for the day 2 sessions. There are few demos i'm looking forward to.

Update: Day 2 session was good again and this time even more organized. They distributed T-shirts during lunch time. There were sessions on EC2 and Semantic Web. Again couple of demos from startups, two of them i attended were from fellow KGPians hungrybangalore.com (my immediate seniors [:D]) and maxheap.com (my immediate juniors). Man, pressure is rising on me!!!! [:-P]

July 23, 2007

Barcamp Bangalore 4

It would be my second barcamp at bangalore. I was there at barcamp2 which was held in Thoughtworks office a few months ago. But then for some reason i found few topics matching my interests and gave up the very first day(i know i know, you must be laughing while reading this if you are one of the serious barcampers; but bear with me, i'm just learning how to get hooked up). This time since it is being organized as collectives; i do see more people registering and hope that it will be more organized and i would be able to meet more like minded people. If you don't know what collectives are, please see this. There are topics ranging from technology to social interests. If you think you would like to participate or host a session in any of the collectives, do register yourself at matching collectives here. More importantly I'm looking forward to the session being hosted by Prayank from Adobe

Bad dream

I had a bad dream this early morning, bad enough to scare me out. I didn't want to start my blog with a bad thought but thats what life is, ain't it? Sometimes sweetheart, sometimes bitch!!! There have been multiple instances in past, when i thought a topic was worth blogging but never posted. I have already had couple of past attempts on blogging but was never able to continue my efforts. Here I'm back and this time I've decided to post all my rants and ramblings and expressible emotional thoughts here. Well yeah they might be censored a bit here and there but never mind i will try to flush the state of my mind every now and then.

Coming back to my bad dream, this was very personal to me and to keep reminding me what it was-"It scared me of my fast running life. It reminded me i had things to do that i had thought long back (uhh.. in college?). Things that are part of my life but my new hush-hush lifestyle has eaten all of that aspect. It reminded me there is nothing perfect in this world; not even something what they say a 'perfect timing'. So perhaps i need to slow down a bit and start my efforts towards those aspects of life. Well hell with all, i will; cause who knows what will be the next moment like; if we keep procrastinating, we might never be able to do what we thought was very close to our hearts."

I don't know what dreams are; but i think they are your own thoughts in your subconscious mind which keep reminding you about your weaknesses and strengths. Its just the human nature that we mortals are afraid of our weaknesses and a bad dream is just about that. I'm going to take this last dream as a challenge and do things that i always wanted to do. I hope i will succeed.. amen!!