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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

My critique on "The most overrated thing in entrepreneurship" by Bill Aulet

I wrote the following critique to the article titled "The most overrated thing in entrepreneurship" by Bill Aulet.

I am in part agreement of the article. I do agree with the fact that idea requires discipline and process with which it is pursued. As the author of the article points out, they started out with an idea and ended up with something different than what they had planned. This leads me to think, even as they started rolling out the idea with precision and commitment to make it happen, they responded to other factors such as market, customer satisfaction that paved way to new ideas that were based on the original idea, but had changed in response to stimuli. I agree it is dangerous to stick to original idea, but its the original idea that paved way to other ideas. This is where innovation comes into play. There is always ways to nurture innovation. Hence the importance given to ideas is much more than what is depicted in the pie chart of the article. Successful collaborations are possible with new ideas.

There is one flaw with the argument that the author is trying to make towards the end of the article. He says that in the end, people and process should be the focus as they are what determine success. I disagree here and argue that the idea of success is colored here. Who define success in the first place? Is the ability to keep people happy that defines success? Is the monetary benefits that you gain out of your idea that makes for success? I would like to point out that in India, some of the richest men emerged from humble beginnings. For them, they did  provide people what they wanted. But that did not deter them from trying out unexplored terrains. They started playing out different products in different fields. Some of them worked for the public and some did not.

There are two ideas that I am trying to get across here. The first one is that, ideas are important. Just as important as process, diligence, and co founders. It is the ability of ideas to evolve over time that is even more important. Second, the next time an entrepreneur is excited about his new idea, wink at him and ask him to be ready for the roller coaster ride of bringing the idea to execution. It may or may not popular and might not work for the other people. For the entrepreneur who created the idea, it is always a grand success. For every mother, her child is the first person and the last person in the world.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Identifying predatory conferences - My own experiences

These are couple of things that I have learnt from my experiences about predatory conferences:

1. No proper website or online presence.
2. I have realized one thing, build a website and pay little money, your website starts featuring in the start of Google results. Even if you have a website, and it gets shown in Google results, its not good to attempt submitting your paper to such conferences.
3. Conferences that have poor website design without proper designated people for responses. Unanswered emails, and overall unresponsiveness is the biggest light that can open the innards of the conference.
4. Conferences that try to fleece money from the users without giving proper justification about the way they are getting papers published.
5. I can close my eyes and trust in established conferences such as IEEE, Python Software Conferences, etc. Conferences that have had a history rather than a new website with the all above mentioned points. There are some negative points about established conferences as well. But given the choice between bad and evil, I would still choose Bad than evil.
6. Educational qualifications of peer reviewers, editorial board, and their experience with reviewing and editing papers.

If there are others, please let me know.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Women in Current Context

    I am a writer from Bangalore, India. I am currently divorced from my husband and I took to writing soon after I divorced. That situation has made me write this article for people like me.

     I am a post graduate in Electrical Engineering. After a lot of no and yes, after being persuaded into marriage, I had agreed to marry someone not from my city. I had a decent paying job which I quit to move to another city. I had spoken to my ex husband on getting a job soon after I moved to his home. He lived with his parents.

    When I moved to his house, I least expected what he and his parents had in store for me. I worked like a maid, un paid one, at their house. I applied to several jobs. I got a few interviews too. For each job, there was a unhealthy response from my ex husband and his parents.

     The environment suffocated me to the extent when I called it quits. I went and told his mother that I did not like their son and wanted out of marriage. As expected, their response was the typical type. I returned to my house in Bangalore, was not welcomed by my parents, found a job and then started writing.

    The court proceedings and the events that occurred following the divorce deserve a whole set of writing up altogether.

     This provoked me to do this article. I am writing about a few Indian women in my life whom I have known who have born the burden of holding the families together.

    Swaroopa, (name changed for sake of anonymity) is an elderly woman married to a man that she never knew before marriage. Their children have stable jobs and are doing well in their career. Her husband, Rahul is a womanizer. Apart from having affairs with women younger than him(one of them is less than half his age), he is married twice. He also bears children from his second wife. Occasionally, I hear stories from common friends on how Swaroopa went and fought with the second wife. There are times when I go to lunch with Swaroopa and Rahul, and I find Rahul’s second wife’s son is there too. I watch helplessly when I see them. I cannot hate Rahul. He has been my family friend for several years. I watch Swaroopa helplessly deal with emotions with her frail body. A part of me wants to advice Swaroopa to quit that marriage and come with me. I could help her. But I cannot go against the Indian society conditioning of Swaroopa’s upbringing that makes her stick herself out for her husband and her family. How do I help her break out of her shell? I broke mine when mine suffocated my desires and ambitions. At this moment, I can support Swaroopa, but I do not have the money or the emotional bandwidth to be the hero of Swaroopa’s life. Rahul is retired as a Central Government employee and is well to do financially. As though that is not enough, he is well involved in the political scenarios at the local neighborhoods. Those things that I can never boast off.

    Swapna is a friend of mine who married to her college sweetheart after years of courting. I attended their wedding and was very happy to see them together. A recent meeting of mine with Swapna threw forward a blow in my face. I am still trying to reconcile the fact that two people so much in love earlier can hate each other now with the intensity.

   Jayamma works as a house maid near my house. Her husband died a few years back. Once in a while, I catch Jayamma around the corner bush near the building holding a man’s hand, a man I already have seen around. He is the vegetable vendor. I dare not say a word and walk as if I have seen nothing.

   Someday when I gather enough courage to ask, and able to support my decisions, I will ask these women what they did not have in their life that stopped them from leading their lives as themselves. And not go behind men to support them. I do see one advantage of being in a relationship, there is the extra cuddling, care, and warmth. But the amount of dirt that accompanies the relationship in terms of jealousness, hatred, possessiveness, and other negative emotions that start filling the spaces around the relationship, is it worth pursuing a relationship at all?

   I want to tell these other women to stop looking for support. They are already earning for themselves. They don’t need anyone else to fill the empty spaces around them. Until and unless it is someone whom they know that will not break that trust. Until then, there is no need to stick ourselves for these cheap men who derive sadistic pleasure of using women like toys. Big toys for big men, toys that are not robots but humans with emotions and feelings.

   Oh, when will I get men to understand these things.