December 25, 2010

IaaS vs PaaS vs SaaS

Here is a good info-graphic of how Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Product-as-a-Service, Software-as-a-Service.

Source: CIO Research Center. Thanks to @sureshsambandam for tweeting this.

October 31, 2010

The Ubuntu Experience

Disclaimer – This post will use some technical terms related to operating systems.

Having eyed at Ubuntu for quiet sometime, I finally gave it a shot this weekend. I must admit – If I were given an option to choose an operating system other than the Mac, I would pick Ubuntu. That said, I thought it would be worthwhile documenting some of my experiences trying to install Ubuntu in this post.

October 28, 2010

The Common Sense Approach To Process Improvement

This is an outcome of a discussion I was in yesterday; a discussion that I would classify as one of the most interesting discussions in my recent past. It all started with just one statement one of the people made in the room –
I’ve been wanting to do a certification in LEAN and Six Sigma as I feel that will help me bring about a lot of improvements in the way my team and my organization works.
Soon enough the room witnessed some decent knowledge sharing; LEAN, Kaizen, Six Sigma and someone also brought in Agile. Quiet keen on listening to what each one had to say, I kept my views for the end. Then came my chance, when one of them asked if I had used any of these at work or elsewhere. I thought for a moment and said –

October 27, 2010

In Search Of An Animation Specialist?

For folks who are looking for an animation specialist for any of your company or other needs, here is something interesting. The below video is done by one of my friend’s sibling. If you are not on the lookout for an animation specialist, this would atleast serve as a good entertaining animated video!

For my RSS feed subscribers, here is a link to the video. Stay Tuned!

PS: Incidentally, Oct 28th is celebrated worldwide as the International Animation Day. More information here and here.

September 29, 2010

Agile Development Explained

Here is something interesting for the techies out there. I was doing some reading on Agile development practices, and bumped into this nice cartoon.

Till I get back with my next post, have a wonderful time!

September 17, 2010

Inception Architecture

I recently bumped into this very well executed picture by Rick Slusher (@theslush). I personally believe in this concept (of Inception) and found this picture really interesting as it got me thinking. So here it is, to get you thinking on the lines of Inception.

Inception Architecture

Keep Thinking! Keep Discovering!

August 30, 2010

5 Things You Will Like To Try

Finally, I have decided to re-start my blogging! Like I did mention in my New Year Resolutions post in December 2009, this has been one thing I’ve wanted to get going regularly, but has always been limping. To begin with, I thought of telling you what I’ve been up to these days. Hmm…no..I’m not going to tell you about a magic potion concoction I’ve been working on….but on some things that I’ve discovered, seen, done and enjoyed. Here are five of them -
  1. – I’ve enjoyed this website the most. Bought more than about 5 books so far, and I’ve enjoyed the experience of buying a book the most with Flipkart. Here is what I’ve observed about their service – Neat packing, Prompt delivery, Zero Disappointments (they have almost every title!) and of course Nice Discounts! Kudos to the folks behind Flipkart – Keep up the good work!

June 19, 2010

Save the World. Save the Environment

While the Industrial Revolution has transformed the world from the stone age to what we see today, it is important for the industries of the world to keep an eye on their practices and advancements.
Let us not have the Industrial Revolution take us back to the stone age!

Let's save the environment with safer industrial practices and standards. Let's make the world a safer place to live. Click here for a larger picture.

India's path to Literacy

Caricature of Mr.Big Nose

Save the Environment

India - Path to Literacy

The first image that came to my mind when I thought of the above subject.

What does the subject make you think of? Just share the first thought that comes to your mind!

June 18, 2010

Sketching for Relaxation

Here is something I spent time on after a tiring day at a customer place. While I've done plenty of hand sketching and paintings, this is my first attempt to do the same using the computer (with just the mouse). And, I think I'm liking it.

I used a simple, yet powerful, tool called Paint.NET. This is an unfinished painting, as there is still a lot of work that needs to go in. Nevertheless I thought of sharing this as it's still OK to be viewed just on a computer :)

Would you like to take a shot at trying to guess what this sketch tries to convey?

A Cartoon

May 18, 2010

Creativity, Innovation and Organizations

Here is a very interesting video that gets you thinking on some of the fundamental understandings on incentives, organizations, innovation powered by mind boggling animation by RSA....Check out. For readers of my blog, do visit my blog to view the video.

May 12, 2010

Of Marketing Strategy and Indian Streets

This video got me thinking - Looking for a marketing or a sales guy? Don't go to the IIM's, go to the streets. You'll find better and experienced sellers in India's streets! Amazing young kid selling fans...he can speak Russian, Japanese, Chinese, German, Israeli, and the list just goes on.....kudos!

April 20, 2010

The Internet of Things

Here is a video of what Internet of Things really means. A very good one for the common man.

The use of technology to create wisdom from data is going to be changing the way systems work today. Wisdom comes from understanding patterns and interdepenencies in raw data. Keep thinking on these lines and create smarter solutions for a smarter planet!

Stay inspired and keep innovating!

March 16, 2010

A Startup Looking For Smart Techies

A technology startup based out of Chennai is looking for college freshers and interns with a Java/J2EE + SCALA + MySQL skillset. The startup is into semantic web based products and hence would welcome folks who are already exposed to the semantic-web in any way.

If you, or anyone you know is interested, smart and hardworking, do write to me at karthik (at) karthikvijayakumar (dot) com along with the person's resume.
UPDATE: Thanks for the wonderful response. The openings are all filled now! Apologies as I could not reply indivudually on whoever did not get through.

February 23, 2010

Birth & Growth of Innovation in India

Innovation does not happen at an instance in time, it's an ongoing activity. Like how an egg is carefully incubated under the warmth extended by the hen's body, innovation needs that initial hand holding. This essentially comes from the innovators themselves. And like how the chicken sees the daylight outside of the egg shell, innovative ideas also see the daylight. Like how the chicken is carefully nurtured by the hen, the idea needs to be nurtured by the innovator.

End of the day, it's all the same - Innovation is not an elusive something. It is something that is bound to happen. It's the law of nature. The chicken or mankind all are good examples of innovation - we are unique with a set of different and unique qualities. Try to look at innovation this way, and you will get rid of that fear inducing question - "Can I innovate? Can I also be an entrepreneur?" clouding your thoughts.

That said, here is the next big mythical question "Is India only an Outsourcing hub? Why aren't there many Indian companies with great products?" I've read many such articles in the internet, especially in the last one year, where authors have expressed this feeling. Lately I also read Sramana Mitra's (@sramana) article on Forbes and her blog post sometime back.

Firstly I'd like to point out that innovation is not necessarily related to creating great products. India has had a high innovation quotient all along - even creating great service outsourcing companies need innovation. I'd rather prefer to call the bunch of body-shopping IT companies as the ones who've given a bad name to outsourcing in India. Unfortunately, these companies do continue to survive even in these testing times!

On the products side, in my opinion, below are some of the critical factors that have affected the birth of product innovation.

Factors affecting the birth of product innovation -
  1. The Indian education system - At large, these continue to teach courses that nourish bookish thinking rather than out-of-the-box thinking
  2. Indian colleges & universities - These continue to advertise as "100% placement"
  3. The Indian upbringing - We still continue to coax our kids to take the safer route. The risk-taking attitude is seldom seen here. I also agree with Sramana Mitra's thoughts on the effects of "colonization" in India - it's very true.
  4. Lack of quality talent - I've faced this - haven't been able to find high quality talent who would work for a early stage startup. They eventually run away when they get an offer from Cognizants and the TCSes of the world
  5. Intellectual Property (IP) rights - Inability to truly protect IP has been a big challenge for those daring entrepreneurs to hire talent. The young and talented ones sign any non-disclosure agreements without consciously abiding by them
  6. Lack of early stage seed fund - Because of the above challenges, early stage entrepreneurs will have to compete with the Cognizants and the TCSes to pay competitive salaries, which warrant sizable capital. Unfortunately, seed fund is still tough in this part of the world
These are larger level issues that we'll need to collectively answer. First realize that you need to start by cleaning the ship deck before becoming the captain of the ship. Stop drooling over fat salaries and start taking risks right from the beginning. Take a baby step, crawl and then start to walk. You will fall, but don't give up. Remember this is the start of your marathon dream!

February 21, 2010

On Short & Long term Success

Have you ever seen someone who has forever not been successful? I have not! From the most ill-luck-struck and paupers of the world to the top in class businessmen and women, I've seen success in every one of them. The difference is "How long did the success last?"

I was ruminating over something I saw last evening when driving past a well known street-side food vendor (a hangout for people of all ages, creed and social statuses). After a presumably long wait a mendicant got some sizeable moolah from someone who drove down in his Mercedez Benz. I saw both of them get food from the same hangout (can I say they dined together?!?).

The mendicant went back to his business soon after - to seek alms from the passers by, and Mr.Benz whizzed off in his car. This very sight got me thinking - "How are these two different? How are they doing what they are doing? And, why is one seeking alms while the other riding the fast track?"

Success is a subjective term when used independently. When we start associating this term to appropriate people and activities, we realize that success is more objective.

The mendicant who was spending his life seeking alms indeed saw success when he got moolah to satisfy his hunger. To him that was success all about and he wasn't worried about how he would manage his breakfast next morning. This is the short-term success. We all see short-term successes - almost every other day.

However, Mr.Benz saw success from a different pair of glasses - to him, success was somewhere in the horizon and he was (probably) still searching for it. Or just to put it simple, Mr.Benz's glasses weren't myopic.

And, here comes my point - It's not about long-term or short-term success. It's about how much of control you have over your success. If you do not have control over the success factor, you will end up catching the tiger by it's tail. It's not just about gaining success, it's about how well you sustain success in a way that it doesn't trip you. I'll not want to tie this back to the Benz-mendicant story above as I believe open-ended stories can get us thinking!

Keep a check on your success, long or short term, and make success a journey - not a destination. It's all about Kaizen. Keep an eye on the changing factors around you and believe that it can change the success factor.

Stay on the leading edge, and not the bleeding edge! Keep innovating!

[Image Source: Internet]

February 17, 2010

Twitter, Trade and Global Economy?

Having passively observed Twitter grow from a mere status update tool to a buzz, I must admit that the creation of Twitter has been a truly open creation. Twitter has given birth to a whole new set of business models and also tools and platforms.
Having said that, here is something that I'd like to share with you.....something that I've been thinking about for quiet sometime now. With the Twitter-effect being as powerful as an avalanche, how can it really affect world markets? Here is a case - How would it be if a successful stock market trader with thousands of Twitter followers tweeted about him buying a stock?

Could that potentially trigger all his followers to buy loads of the same stock, thereby creating an artificial demand - everything in just a few minutes!?!?!! This can potentially help a lot of people make money while driving the stock market highly volatile. Well, this is just my thought. What say you? Given a chance, would you do something like this? On the other side, do you think something like this can help the world economy grow?