Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore – Top Cities in India

According to Brookings Global Monitor:

Economic growth data (real GDP per capita and employment change) for the largest 300 metropolitan economies worldwide for three periods: 2011 to 2012

Delhi did not experience a recession. It is outperforming India on employment change, but is lagging on GDP per capita change. Rank #13

Mumbai did not experience a recession. It is a pocket of growth in India, outperforming the country on recent changes in both employment and GDP per capita while experiencing positive growth on both measures. Rank #31

Kolkata has fully recovered from a minor recession. It is a pocket of growth in India, outperforming the country on recent changes in both employment and GDP per capita while experiencing positive growth on both measures. Rank #24

Chennai has fully recovered from a minor recession. It is outperforming India on GDP per capita change, but is lagging on employment change. Rank #49

Hyderabad did not experience a recession. It is lagging India on both employment and GDP per capita change. Rank #115

Bangalore has fully recovered from a minor recession. It is outperforming India on GDP per capita change, but is lagging on employment change. Rank #139

 

After That, What?

Several years ago I was describing our product, InfoMinder to  a friend. I told him how cool it is, to have something that tracks websites, and alerts you when they change. He patiently listened to my pitch and asked a simple question:

After that, what?

I did not understand it, at first. I asked him to elaborate. He asked “what do your customers do after they get these alerts?”. Frankly, I had not thought of that. I knew what I would do, but I had no idea what our customers did.  Fortunately, it was easy to fix that problem. We just asked a bunch of them.

The moral of the story is that you need to think about what people do after they consume your product. You may be missing some opportunities for follow on products or providing a better solution.

Let me paint a few sample scenarios, for you.

  • You set up Google alerts. What do you do after you receive alert email?
  • You search for a company or topic and get a bunch of results from Google. What do you do, after that?
  • You locate an address using Google maps on your computer. What do you do next?
  • A friend texts you an address for a meeting. Now you have a smart phone with a good online map support. What do you do next?

The answer most of the time  is  – “it depends”.

I think there are some opportunities for some nifty tools to help the ‘after that, what’ problem. As we switch more and more to mobile devices to help us cope with our life, more such tools will be useful.

“After that what?’ is a good question to ask yourself, if you are looking for mobile product ideas. If you don’t want to do that, you can always ask me. I have a bunch of those problems.

Notes from OSCon Key Note

This keynote video by Tim O’Reilly is worth watching. I am a big fan of Tim and strongly believe that we need to “work on stuff that matters”.

My notes from this video. You will get a feel for what he was talking about.

  • Capital does not create jobs. Customers do.
  • We all do better when we all do better (a quote from the book – Gardens of Democracy)
  • Create more value than you capture
  • Create value, not extract it
  • There is an intrinsic value in creating something for the sake of creating
  • Work on stuff that matters (from his earlier talks)

Tim talks about Gift Economy, Creative Economy, Sharing Economy, Gift Culture, Open source and the effect of these movements on people, businesses and economies.

 

Meetup As a Trend Indicator

I never really thought of MeetUps as a trend indicator. It suddenly dawned on me that it can be the leading indicator of activities in different areas. Here is an example.

I got a notification email from meetup.com on a meet up called RIAK. I checked it out and signed up. I got an email confirmation back.

 

Notice that it is about next generation NoSQL and distributed systems. In the same email, there was another, even more interesting set of recommendations:

 

Look at the Big Data and MySQL meetups. But what intrigued me even more was SVNewTech with close to 10000 members.

I mulled over this for a while. 531 members of HPC and GPU is an early signal. What kind of things do these meetups discuss? What do they do? I thought it is worth exploring a bit more.

Have you explored meetups or other similar events? Do you think they are a kind of leading indicator of activity in a specific area?

Posts, Tweets and Stats

It was an article in Financial Express, a business journal. The topic was about “Buzz Entrepreneurs are creating in Chennai”. I was quoted in the article along with Suresh Sambandam and Chandu Nair. One thing common between all of us is that we participate in several entrepreneurial and tech communities like Chennai Open Coffee Club, Nasscom Emerge, TiE Chennai, The Startup Centre and Chennai Geeks. Some of us mentor startups. Some of us advice companies. Most of us spend a lot of time with fellow entrepreneurs. We have a sense that Chennai is rising. We don’t want to hype it too much, but we like what we see in the entrepreneurial scene.

I personally feel that we are somewhere in the beginning of a big wave of young entrepreneurs. Our Chennai OCC meets are more fun. We all are striving to be Lean Startups. We learn from the Silicon Valley gurus like Steve Blank and Eric Ries, put our own spin, and experiment. A recent mentor day at TiE Chennai had over 100+ people attending (and 19 mentors). There is a sense of euphoria, cautious optimism and a feeling that we have the potential of being big players in a Global market. We have, of course, a long way to go. Companies like Zoho, OrangeScape, Fresh Desk are inspiring many Chennai product companies.

It started with a post from Venkatesh Krishnamurthy, a familiar figure in the startup community. He posted the Financial Express Article and tagged me. I read the article and tweeted it. Like I do most of the time, I also shortened the URL using bit.ly. Within minutes, I got  bit.ly alert. The link received about 23 clicks. I was not really surprised. The Chennai community is a very supportive one. You can see the stats here. What really surprised me was that there were clicks from countries other than India.

That is social media for you. It is powerful and the best part of it is, the results (however small) are visible immediately. Within an hour of reading a Facebook post, I am hitting Publish on this blog post.

GMail Meter

I was noodling around with some Google App Scripts and discovered this GMail Meter.  Installed it, and checked it out.  It seemed to struggle for a while with my Gmail and produced this report:

 

 

I knew I was spending a lot of time on gmail, but did not realize how much, till I saw this. And this is not even my official mail account!

You may want to check it out. It is  Gmail App script.

Steve Blank on New Markets

I have been thoroughly enjoying Steve Blank’s How to Build a Startup  – The Lean LaunchPad Course on Udacity. One of the segments I was watching today was a talk on New Markets (one of the Market Types).

Here are a few points from the video.

New markets is a market where customers don’t exist today according to Steve. Here are some characteristics of a New Market:

  1. Customers do not exist today
  2. Even if they do, your challenge is to let them know that you exist
  3. Market Size is zero
  4. The Chasm from visionaries to pragmatists is very big
  5. If a startup executes as if they are in an existing market (premature spending), they are likely to be killed
  6. No individual startup can accelerate technology diffusion
  7. You are likely to be in the valley of death for a long time (may be forever) trying to get out

The rest of the market types – Existing Market, Resegmented Market, Clone Market have a little less risk.

Here is a link to the resources. This course is a must, if you are a startup.