Archive for the 'Humor' Category

That’s when you know a startup has made it!


Naukri Daat Kaam

Some Humor

A bit of Humor. I am writing coz i have some time, and this site has a humor section … and i don’t own a blog (yet) to backlink.

You are reading, possibly because you also have some time. Nice, but then don’t complain. Even VCs read humor section these days (yes, i have heard).

Because of extensive traveling i  don’t own a house anymore, and currently putting up with a close friend. The maid of the house was asked by my friend’s mother to start cleaning the my room (which was vacant for some time now), and which she always used to “forget”. And if reminded, used to give lousy excuses like … someone died or so_and_so in close relation getting married.

We both were quite annoyed, and suddenly came to my mind. I asked my aunt to casually ask the maid for her entire family tree, and we sat down and added all the details to Geni. Now, whenever someone got married or died, we just used to update the tree.

The fun started couple of days back, when an old chacha(uncle) who had expired peacefully two weeks back, suddenly got excited to get married on sunday. And old aunt of age 60 gave birth to kid today. Crazy.

Moral of the story: I find it quite amazing how tools like twitter/geni are being used.

Power of Being Online

Voice of the CustomerAmong various benefits internet offers to its users, “Voice of the customer” is one of the most powerful tools. The notion “Customer is the King” is absolute reality in the internet age. Let me share a recent real life incident in which I personally experienced the power of being online.

Last year I bought a new Apple MacBook and I was very happy & excited when I started using it. Unfortunately, I faced multiple breakdowns – first battery crash, then data crash followed by hard disk failure. Even worse, I received horrible customer service from Apple’s service center in Delhi. More than the valuable data, I lost precious time fighting with Apple India. But they were reluctant to hear. Being an Online Marketing training provider, I thought of taking a different approach – instead of me going after them (push), let me create a pull towards me.

I authentically shared my experience of Apple MacBook and Apple India’s service at:
Apple Sucks (MouthShut)
Apple Sucks (CNet Reviews)

As expected, I got a call from them. They apologized for my experience and offered me a brand new and the next version of the laptop as the compensation. Although I didn’t want to but I finally accepted their request. Looking at the comments, view/read stats and the popularity of the above mentioned sites, I am sure that Apple paid a heavy price for the mistake of not listening to their customer. Since I’d given my email id in the review, I am receiving mails from people asking for my advice on whether they should buy Apple machine. Virtually, I am driving (or preventing) a part (however small it is) of their sales.

What lessons did I learn (equally applicable for you) from this experience?
1. My voice matters – As a customer, I am much more powerful today than ever before. I can and should demand the respect and service I expect from my vendors.

2. Customer is the king – As a business owner, I can’t ignore the voice of my customer or I will pay a very high price. Given the networked world (socially and professionally) today, it pays to be honest.

I can correlate this strongly to my previous venture in which we used to serve IT professionals who were strongly connected to each other through various discussion forums relevant to our services. Occasionally (especially in the very beginning of our venture), some people would say negative about our product/service. Instead of taking that as a feedback and an opportunity to grow, we used to defend ourselves by giving counter response. Till the moment we acknowledged our mistake, the problem would only grow. The moment my customer got the experience of being listened to, the discussion will end.

The same happened in this experience with Apple. The moment they called me I stopped thrashing them and when they again faltered I went out against them. This idea of writing a blog post about my experience serves two purposes – first, sharing the lessons I learnt with you and second, making Apple India realize the importance of customer service.

3. Pull always works better than Push – Whether you are selling or buying a product/service, pull always beat push. In the online world, pull is not only more effective but also more feasible.

I hope you find this experience valuable. Please do give your inputs and feel free to share any such experience you might have had in the past.

You may also want to check these 2 interesting experiences of Online Reputation Management (ORM):
a.) Ola Cabs Case Study
b.) Toyota Altis Review


Funny Sites

Here is the funny lists of sites and its registrants.

created: 2004
Created on: 2005
Created on: 2005
Domain name:
Registrant:United Parcel Service
Created on: 1997
Domain Name:
Registrant:Google Inc.
Created on: 1999
Registrant:Yahoo! Inc.
Created on: 2004
Registrant:Amazon Technologies, Inc.
Created on: 2002
Domain Name:
Registrant:AOL LLC
Created on -1996
Registrant:Cable News Network
Created on: 1999
Registrant:Burning Door
Created on: 2005
Registrant:Blockbuster Inc.
Created on: 2003
Created on:2002
Created on: 2003

The “Anti-Portfolio”

Bessemer Ventures has a fascinating page on what they call their “anti-portfolio” — basically, companies that they refused to invest in, that went on to become HUGE successes. In Bessemer’s case, these include Apple, eBay, Fedex, google, and Intel.

I think this is a great idea, especially if the various GPs at Bessemer (and other funds) regularly revisit this, or a similar page – both to build some humility, as well as remind themselves to keep their eyes open.

We chose to decline the investments below, each of which we had the opportunity to invest in, and each of which later blossomed into a tremendously successful company.

Our reasons for passing on these investments varied. In some cases, we were making a conscious act of generosity to another, younger venture firm, down on their luck, whom we felt could really use a billion dollars in gains. In other cases, our partners had already run out of spaces on the year’s Schedule D and feared that another entry would require them to attach a separate sheet. Whatever the reason, we would like to honor these companies — our “anti-portfolio” — whose phenomenal success inspires us in our ongoing endeavors to build growing businesses. Or, to put it another way: if we had invested in any of these companies, we might not still be working.

India Tomorrow? Day After?

India Today has a cover story on Wired Generation – dont know whether its humor or satire of India’s most respect editorial team to have claimed “most of India’s 200 million middle class homes now have computers”! And this is a managing editor… not once but twice in the same article!

Now just wait and watch entrepreneurs use this “fact” in their pitches 🙂

Care to join me for a ride!?

I tried 43 new features of the ‘all new Scorpio’. Would you care to join me for a ride!?

Web 2.0 startup sold on ebay

This is via Rishab from silklist.

A web2.0 startup Kiko which was into AJAX based online calendering was sold on ebay for just over $250K. I guess they matched up with Google at least in the style of exit if nothing else!

Here’s the auction link.

Why did the Chicken Cross the Road

It really depends on who you ask…..


To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.


Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the
chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I’ve not been told.


In my day we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody
told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.


We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to
know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is
either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.


Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it!
It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken’s
intentions. I am for it now, and will remain against it.


The problem we have here is that this chicken won’t realize that he
must first deal with the problem on “THIS” side of the road before it
goes after the problem on the “OTHER SIDE” of the road. What we need
to do is help him realize how stupid he’s acting by not taking on his
“CURRENT” problems before adding “NEW” problems.


Did I miss one?

VC1.0, Stagflation and VC2.0 Preambe

Peter Rip of Leapfrog Ventures has a humorous piece on On Everything 2.0 and takes a dig the 2.0 trend with Arithmetic 2.0. Then he gets serious with Venture Capital 2.0 a series on paridgm shift in the (IT) VC space. First in the series, Venture 2.0 – Preamble traces the

The sequential evolution of the IT “food chain” from semiconductor (Intel, National) to systems (Apple, Sun, Dell) to software (Microsoft, Oracle) to services (Yahoo, Google) has been the underlying order.

and goes on to say

And some firms are already responding. The move to Cleantech is a move to exit IT (or diversify) to find alternative industries. The move to build Indian and Chinese outposts are brand extensions.

Some highlights:

Success in IT venture capital investing has been a form of capital and information arbitrage for much of the period up to the late 1990s. The scarcity of risk capital and the scarcity of insight about evolution of technologies and technology markets made it possible for astute venture capital firms to transform access to capital and superior technological insight into superior returns. For example, as Moore’s Law was driving the electronics industry to the mantra of smaller, cheaper, faster, Sequoia Capital built a franchise reputation in semiconductor venture investments, based on the experience of its two founders, Don Valentine and Pierre Lamond, both early veterans of National Semiconductor.

Success begat success in the venture business. Since venture investments have had payoff characteristics like options, i.e. limited downside and infinite upside, the key to the business has been “deal flow.” Deal flow is about seeing as much of the total distribution of deals, to generate a larger set of ‘long tail outcome’ candidates. Success made IT venture capital business a first-order Markov process, where the probability of the getting the next hit was enhanced by having a previous hit, precisely because of the desire of all entrepreneurs to affiliate with “known winners.” The two masters of this phenomenon have been Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield & Byers and Sequoia Capital.

Worth checking out and worth staying tuned for more.