Sunday, January 06, 2013

Introducing Appetite and updates from 2013

Just wanted to update you on my latest experiment. Since my journey at Hover[1], and Taptolearn[2], I have now joined the 3-person team at and prototyping some new ideas. I've always liked detecting patterns - be it patterns in names as a kid, context on a webpage or from bigdata. So detecting apps from the image of a home screen in near real-time seemed challenging. Plus I got to work in C++ apart from just the weekends ( and erlang for Verbs) which is a great start to my new year.

Appetite detects apps on your iPhone's home screen automagically[3], and makes it easy to share by giving you a short url. Here's an example of what we detected from Ashton Kutcher's iPhone

Too bad we couldn't submit it to - apparently they only list startups never publicly mentioned before. Guess we were 24 hours too late. I'm stoked by the initial response of Appetite on Twitter since posting it on HN yesterday

Here's what Matthew @Panzer, the editor of thenextweb had to say, when he stumbled on appetite to our delight
To try it out yourself, visit or mail your homescreen to

Will love your comments.

~Bosky | @bhaskerkode

[1] Soft-Acquired. Online advertising, Erlang stack,
[2] a YC startup where I worked on iOS frameworks + analytics,
[3] via computer vision , machine learning

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Xmas Hols Advice for juniors in college

The following is a edited version of mail conversation I had with a junior from SVCE asking for advice, thought it would make a decent blog post as well.

Dear junior(s),

Guy Kawasaki commented recently that "Statistically there should be four Steve Jobs in India because the US has 300 million people, and India has 1.2 billion.

...."You just have to find them"

If you want to be "somebody" similar some day, you need to start as early as possible.

Lets start off with some number crunching, to back my theory.

There are >200 colleges in State of Tamil Nadu alone, each graduating around ~ 750 students a year.Link
That's 200 * 750 = 1,50,000 coming out of every college.

Some of the most illustrious companies have been founded by people, typically in groups of 2-3 who dropped out of college or even school. So assuming that you restrict yourself to your University syllabus, study very hard and get amazing marks. The truth is that you still are as comparable to a 12th standard student when it comes to being ready. I not going into get into the standards of what industry-employable means nor am I going to talk about how the "student on 31st, s/w associate on 1st" generation compares to even 12 year olds from Eastern-Europe!

Assuming there are twice as many school students coming out every year, thats another 3,00,000 school students coming out for each year of you enjoying your college life. So every year the combined college + school passing out number is therefore
(3,00,000 + 1,50,000) = 4,50,000

But hold on , you still need 4 years to graduate by which time there are 4 more generations of students as well who have completed 12th. So by the time you graduate at the end of four years - you are no different wrt knowledge gained - from students from your batch, and five batches of students younger to you.

that's 5 * 4,50,000 = 22,50,000 students just like you all equally
competent having two choices :
a) wait for something to happen, and following the crowd
b) get inspired and start their journey on the road less traveled.

~ 22 lac students !

225,000 students/year waiting for something to happen - being good boys and girls. How are you going to differentiate and find opportunity from those students. Heck I dont think you can find individuality in your name with that number!

Which is why perhaps if you can work as a team, maybe find students with the same aspirations and vision , and read / talk / discuss things after college . Find some large enough project , that you think be constructive. Perhaps there's a problem you see around you and you want to fix it . Perhaps it's some algorithm or bottleneck that your textbook quotes,or perhaps it's something to do with green/clean tech. Pick something BIG. Big enough that you think that if your team got it right - you could get a Nobel ... or be quoted in journals or in the papers, wikipedia, or contribute to some open source project, or help port some examples from a definitive book on an subject ... or perhaps not to get quoted anywhere but would change the lives of millions of people.

So here are 3 things to get you started [1]
  1. Do you even want to find some purpose in life ?
    If you still want to wait and see what happens in life, then maybe you deserve to ignore your calling, and just exist...

  2. Find an interesting problem
    Every generation has it's own set of distinct scenarios, technologies, resources, mindsets and challenges. Would Larry/Sergie or Paul/Bill or the Steve's of Apple have made an impact if they were born 50 years earlier. Perhaps... Perhaps rather than trying to build the next big operating system, if you interpret the right problems, you might do some justice. Atleast that's the hope, behind which a lot of startups and people venture out. But the key is again in interpreting the problem. If Henry Ford had listened to the communters in his age, he would have tried to make faster horses. I can imagine fancy projections for how many tape drives would be required towards the end of the century. I hope we can one day, look back at the projections of fuel in 2050 made today when let's say in the meantime a new breed of fuel makes it immaterial.

  3. Find the right person or group of people to interact/work with, after college hours
    That's why libraries, clubs, unconferences or classrooms for that matter are'nt just about what one person says behind a board - its also about finding like-minded people in your college, mentors , and deciding to do something perhaps in the library, perhaps online, perhaps in the labs, perhaps over tea/bajji's.

Time's change, but if you look hard enough, there will always be like-minded people. So you need to read and experiment, and if there's some magic formula to achieve a lifetimes worth of work, let me know as well. But until then, acceptance of ignorance is your greatest teacher, along with having the passion to "create something out of nothing". That's what appeals to me atleast both as a technopreneur , as well as an amateur cartoonist! It might be as simple as reverse engineering your life, and taking control - rather than waiting for things to happen. I'm lucky to look out for and find two classmates who shared the same passion during my college days as well. But I can't even begin to imagine what needs to be done. I used to envy the folks down at the silicon valley for being at the first expo where Microsoft demo'ed against the heavy weights or Apple used to hack out workshops. But then again - we do have those events right here, in a different era, but no less strategic a point in time. At Barcamp Chennai 2006, there were a handful of us students attending let alone speaking. Fast forward to the last designCamp Bangalore, and four of the seven speakers were from Svce. But again mostly alumni, and the same faces. Today, we have the Proto 's and Foss events, OCC's , Barcamps & Headstart's happening frequently enough right now and it's sad that the student involvement is'nt there yet. Go for it! Be there. Because before you know it - you'll be looking back from your death bed not wondering about the things you did in life - but about the things you did'nt ... when you were hungry and foolish[2] ; ) .

Happy Hols... 8 )

Keep Clicking,

[1] Incidentally , Swaroop C H's recent post on how graduates can grow, hits along the same lines, and has insightful links to other reads as well
[2] Rashmi Bansal's "Stay Hungry,Stay Foolish" is a nice read giving insights into 25 IIM-A grad founded companies, and documents well the struggles they had to overome, particularly well. The title itself is adopted from Steve Job's talk at Stanford.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Erlang, distribution & bspawner

Sriram Krishnan was enquiring about distributed programming tools and all things distributed. No doubt, the first thing that came into my mind was "erlang", and taking into consideration that he was inviting feedback & his recent work on cacheman and on server /app performace i thought it would be a good time to talk about bspawner - my own pet project among other things erly.

Load Balancing & Introducing bspawner

Erlang nodes can communicate over the network if they find each other. You can send a message to any process (differ from OS process) through its Pid – even if the process is on another node.

Although you don't have to know where processes are, it is still up to the erlang programmer to decide which node initially spawns a task on which node as there is no inherent way to make use of multiple nodes , even though they recognize each other & can message-pass between them.

bspawner is a project i've open sourced - that attempts to load-balance the task of spawning across multiple nodes . The steps involved can be isolated into a couple of distinct problems.

  1. deciding which node needs to spawn a task
  2. communicating across these nodes
  3. maintaining a record of nodes, added /removed nodes ,etc

This project in its essence, deals with the first part and the implementation of the message passing begins with the "messenger.erl" sample program and modifiedto handle the intended message-passing, load-balancing and node-information

Cheers to the feedback, suggestions , comments, and further changes inspired by the growing involvement of the erlang community & encouragement from #erlang in particular.

However, since the project is still in its early stages - and although it was a fantastic learning experience - I learned that Erlang already had inbuilt load-balancing module that I quote:

pool can be used to run a set of Erlang nodes as a pool of computational processors. It is organized as a master and a set of slave nodes and includes the following features:

  • The slave nodes send regular reports to the master about their current load.
  • Queries can be sent to the master to determine which node will have the least load.
How cool can it get! Since it's even build in a master-slave basis - when one worker goes down, restart strategies can be configured courtesy of Erlang's OTP supervisor and behaviours. this basically allows you to horizontally scale and have distribute processing among box's. I'm even wondering to test this setup at on weekends by maybe doing some bizarrely wild clustered processing job like ...
  • finding the largest prime number in Pune maybe ? :D
  • any thing from distributing cron jobs to non-blocking or blocking I/O to ... free your mind!

Testing & Test suites

I'm not much into the whole test suite setup as yet, but there a good test suite that is widely adopted would be

  • EUnit - a Lightweight Unit Testing Framework for Erlang
  • An excellent error report evaluation, testing and debugging paper can also be found here (although a little old '92 , still gives valuable info on general practices)

Distributed Monitoring & Debugging

Regarding utilities for debugging & profiling ,etc apart from user-contributed packages, and there are loads of them on process-one, trapexit , jungerl, google code ,etc - I thought I would list few of the interesting utilties . ( see more on the left side of the documentation at under Tool Applications )

  • appmon — a graphical utility to observe and manipulate supervisiontrees.
  • debugger — an Erlang source code debugger.
  • erl_interface — a set of libraries for communicating with distributed Erlang nodes.
  • et — the event tracer and tools to record and give a graphical presentation of event data.
  • eva — the “event and alarm” handling application.
  • observer — tools for tracing and observing the behaviour of a distributed system.
  • os_mon — a tool to monitor resource usage in the external operating system.
  • pman — a graphic tool to inspect the state of the system, at local or remote Erlang nodes.
  • runtime_tools — miscellaneous small routines needed in the runtime system.
  • toolbar — a graphical toolbar from which applications can be started.
  • webtool — a system for managing web-based tools (such as inets)
  • tools — a package of stand-alone applications for analysing and monitoring Erlang programs. This includes tools for profiling, coverage analysis, cross reference analysis etc.

These go hand in hand with other utilities like the distributed database also written in erlang called Mnesia, or other open-source erlang implementations of everything from bloom filters and decisssion trees , to bayeux protocol-comet servers and cron jobs.

Preserving State in Datastrutctures, Process's or Servers

Behaviours are templates or formalizations of common design patterns. The three inbuilt behaviours are gen_server (client-server paradigms), gen_event (event-driven paradigms) and gen_fsm ( finite state machine paradigms). In addition you can create your own behaviours and have modules implement them. (Emacs in erlang mode, even gives nice skeletons for all behaviours, common design patterns)

You can also have stateless or stateful process's which can run indefintely, or be blocking in nature or exit after a timeout. Which really opens up a whole lot of possibilities, but again - since the key is in message passing - regardless of the process's being on your local node or half way across the globe.

To think about ....

  • load- balancing two or multiple yaws servers each of which are capable of handling 80,000 parallel connections each.

  • Having erlang communicate via a port to say a python or perl for doing abstracting cross-language functionaliry ( Facebook Chat seems to be the largest xmpp-erlang based web application , and communicates with c++ for logging)
So there you have, I'm still a beginner in Erlang - but it's pretty evident to see the kind of flexibility to mix and match with the OS and other languages, the inherent encouragement towards distribute and concurrent programming across multiple nodes, the facets of a functional programming language , as well as an active and growing developer community.

Keep Clicking,
Bhasker V Kode

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Updates on Identities on the web

Some thoughts on identities and their related data , online accounts and related news over the past few weeks.
  1. The Data Portability group amidst trying to get the big-wigs to come together and discuss how to share user data ,gets warned twice about infringement related cases in its own logo. But otherwise they've been pretty busy, with several announcements with the right intention, but left to too many influential market dynamics and vested invterests ( as illustrated in the points below)

  2. OpenID, seems to keep itself out of trouble, and with a bunch of active adopters and hackers working together - there seems to be hope after all . Still don't know how long before the authentication itself can be made a asynchronous call, rather than the multi-step process right now. A ycombinator startup called clickPass seems to have some traction in its favour.

  3. Google 's Orkut makes the news with the indian who was jailed for commenting on a particular politician ( im not touching this with a 10 foot pole! :D ) . Rumours from the local Pune papers, also suggest that girifthar'ed the wrong guy! ( that's right , newspapers in Pune report more rumours and Bollywood gossip that actual news)

  4. And as if offering for your product for FREE was'nt good enough, early adopters are ploughing away in a bid to yank their data out as well . Thoughts on who owns your data within the facebook network, have brought in highly-engrossing discussions as well. Its your id, your profile, your pics, on their servers , powered by their cash and their vc's credibility. If the beacon showed what 3rd party developers could do with your data, the latest trend in 'yanking the data out' could give as unpredictable and "no-one-strategy-suits-anyone" results. ( It might also be interesting to check out the school talk / DHH talk on how to make money online - charging your customers works! )

  5. What do you do when a startup's product becomes so popular that people get inspired enought to want to take their data elsewhere or distribute it as well! Thats been the case with Twitter and several comments on how to de-centralise twitter.

  6. FaceBook and Google not hitting it off with the launch of Google FriendConnect, with Scoble 's insights into how Microsoft wants to keep the web closed, and how FriendFeed is trying to filter signal from the noise. Most users are used to the noise btw( when was the last time you went to cnn or bbc VS a twitter or a valleywag) . Facebook also makes news in the #erlang channels btw, for probably becoming possibly the largest erlang powered chat app. Will be interesting to see what technique they're using in handling unicode - something that is working to integrate as well .

  7. Zoho announcing that you can now login to Zoho with your google or yahoo accounts. Very inspiring to see the pace at which Zoho takes ideas and implements them. Keep 'em coming!

  8. And amidst all this , a friend pointed out to me that someone was posting comments under the alias kode, without their full names , giving several blogs and people the impression that it was infact me who was commenting, etc. What happened to the days when stalkers believed in linkback :D . Either ways, I hope its nothing as serious and on the contrary, it does bring up several unique advantages that a sezwho, a disqus , friendfeed or an openid-enabled commenting system can provide.

    But it helps to remember that denial is'nt just a river in Africa .

    8 )

Keep Clicking,
Bhasker V Kode

PS : Btw, if you're a fresher looking to join a startup in Pune , send in a mail to kode at hover dot in

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Developing developer platforms Part-1

It's no secret that I've always been an ardent admirer of companies that invest in impressive internal tools, developer resources, and internal things that make your developers go mmmh! Perhaps thats the secret to how they manage to release public api's and platforms for developers quickly in their product life cycle than companies with more mature products,but spend more time and effort trying to open up API's even for internal use in a plug-n-play, easy to lookup&hack fashion. Facebook & YUI will always be remembered for the part they've played in this very paradigm.

So, I thought it was time to kickstart my own soul searching, API intimidating, developer friendly environment right here at hover tech.. . What follows is a of the platform for the developers ( thats emp#1 srivatsan, and upcoming recruit thyaga- both theoretical CS & functional programming fanatics ) who one day will i hope influence the lives of several thousands of users, just as my own programming rockstar idols have done in the past.

Firstly, I jotted down a number of things that would seem fairly familiar in an environment where you track api changes, features, test them in real-time ,and discuss/update them. Things that came to mind in the first version of db_api were
  • api Id
  • developer
  • module name
  • path to source
  • path to RESTfull call (so that development is independent of server side language/es)
  • params, and type for the GET/POST
  • return type
  • description
An important element that allows to use this system outside the walls of your startup, is ofcourse the accessibility of the api information to either internal use or public api developers ,etc , which was added into db_api .
  • (.. added to db_api)
  • accessibility

I also thought a created_on, updated_on would help. To add more clarity regarding the params sent into the GET/POST call, i then normalized the prev fields into another table called db_api_params that would be of the form
  • id
  • api Id
  • param name
  • type
  • description (tried to be synonymous to the javaDoc/jsDoc syntax)
Now today i might be in a position to look into each of my developer 's api declared into the system, but felt a more transparent yet "scope for delegation" strategy was best implemented by introducing a reviewing sytem. Hence the db_api_reviewinfo
  • id
  • api Id
  • reviewed by
  • last reviewed on
  • comments
  • isFlagged
Notice the luxury of comments, and a warning signal to quickly be able to search flagged or high priority api calls . Come to think of it, it could even be a rating based priority ,instead of a boolean. Also there may be several comments to the same api, review and moreover i wanted to have a "comment stream" , possibly displayed on one of the 21" monitors i'm planning to have at a centrally accessible area in the office. ;) So synchronous threading model for comments seemed warranted enough to spawn a new table db_api_comments, and re-edit the last two fields into:
  • (...edited db_api_reviewinfo)
  • comment Thread id
  • flaggedRating
  • (db_api_comments)
  • api id
  • title
  • by
  • content
  • date
  • comment type ( so u can comment on a developer | api call | review | module )
Since i was allowing multiple reviewers for an api call, considering that we do want to hire experts to help in multiple api and platform initiatives, i decided to have a similar developer db, for information on possibly mutiple developers working on the same api, as well to see a nice report on which developers are working on what , and hence db_api_devinfo and db_api_developers
  • (db_api_devinfo)
  • id
  • api id
  • developer id
  • created on
  • flagged by developer
  • (db_developers)
  • id
  • name
  • email
  • hashed password
  • permission level ( for admin/developer/ manager / testing positions /etc)
Since a greater part of the developers out there appreciate the usage of modules to wrapper function calls (as against global PHP calls or on the contrary the depreciation of global calls in actionscript 3.0 !) , we are going to make a simple table for module information called db_api_modules so that we could list api calls per module, or even drill down to public/internal api calls within a module)
  • (db_api_modules)
  • id
  • name
  • description
  • created by
  • flagged priority
  • ( todoID perhaps implemented later ?...)
So there you have it, the meat of the monster in place, and once you hack up a login system in the server side language of your choice ( erlang & mnesia with traces of python and loads of javascript, in the case of ) - you should have the following very impressive reports at your disposal:
  1. List of Developers , filter by permission or name
    Maybe you could integrate your bugzilla/ wiki/forum or mashup ur own flavoured list of developers and their information.

  2. List of Reviewers , filter by name or flagged priority or module
    Nice for delegating and promoting a peer-review atmosphere at work where people are ranked not by experience , but by expertise on domain. Could even integrate HR data once u cross the 20-30 mark and gauge who to allocate where, etc

  3. List of Modules, filtered by perhaps date or your own custom fields like "show-stopper " status

    and of course the big momma...

  4. List of API Calls , filtered by
    by developer
    OR by flag priority
    OR by module (hack a drop down like facebook maybe )
    OR by accessibility ( useful to use same system to show for your platform developers as well as for internal developers) OR
    OR ask an intern to hack up a api search with autocomplete input like YUI.

It might not be perfect, but it's a start and a very satisfying night's work 8 ).

If you'd like to get the wicked details of we're going to implement or if you would like to implement it yourself along with the rest of us- Arun ,our CEO and an active blogger, Srivatsan and Thyaga (yup that's about it ) , let me know. Send a mail over to kode at hover dot in . We are just settling into the startup ecosystem in Pune, India and would like to hear from you as well as keep everyone in the loop of how it turns out in subsequent parts. And maybe will do a talk about the progress at the next barcamp pune as well .

Keep Clicking,

Bhasker V Kode
Founder & CTO - Hover Technologies ( prev. nick = Orange cube )

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

it doesnt matter what language you write in, if you can write the future

I often hear about an upcoming platform going to revolutionize the next decade. Now I have no qualms with this , and infact biased towards big-thinkers . But i just think that on the contrary this is an inherent potential that any platform / technology can claim. How big was it designed to be when it was visualized ? Were they thnking big enough when the users were thought of ? I think these are interesting questions. Because for all practical reasons ,it is you who writes the future. Literally in your code , in your packaging, and its scaling before it goes out there for better or for worse. Who would you blame for X's success or failure? seems reasonable enough to claim X to please stand up. But looking deeper I think it's only fair to say that you may have limited yourself to build something just big enough for a million people to notice that it's doing well. Might sound cruel? but thats the way the way consumer web products space works.

Vision of a startup
What would you think of a 3 month old startup for sale on ebay ? TechCrunch would put you in "the deadpool". The founders could call it an exit. But the obvious reason in the difference in reactions is that the founders may have wanted just to hack a product in a couple of months, when they started off and get bought over . On the other hand, i completely understand why the founders over at Yahoo! were still not satisfied with 65$bn dollars. I can see why Zoho had'nt diluted much when they had numerous bids,much to the misery of the biggest players and investors in the world. Because that's not the future they want to write, and it simply is'nt time yet, they are'nt there yet, ... and miles to go before they sleep.

Writing the future
If you think you can "write the future", please let me know . I think i can too and maybe we could start a forum for us ;) . Maybe we could go back and think of all the things we are'nt doing. Maybe we could think of all the things that show you that there are so many things that we still don't know. But at least we know what we don't know , as cliched or odd as it sounds. We know that we suck at some things. And these are the kind of things that are needed to get you doing the things you want to do .

I call it a "reverse engineering process". It's a fantastic feeling when you can identify what you want in life. "What you want" ,not the how or the if's. But the long-term dream. Although that question itself more often has more to do with what you don't want . That's what incidently provoked my entrepreneurial ventures . I wanted to be responsible for my own failure /success by taking things in my own hand. And fortunately or unfortunately - recognition can only come in two scenarios. I can't remember what the second one is , but the first one is - as Paul graham said once -is a startup . You don't need to be a chemist to realise that the implications of your actions is best seen in a isolated environment. So that definitely convinced me that joining a 100,000 services company would be conflicting to my interest (no offense they are amazing wealth & welfare creators ) . Agreed that youngsters and executives from today's indian middle class can afford to take the risk. But they don't. I have nothing against people who don't want to write their future. But ignorance is something that something i love to fix. And I have no problem admitting to it- because i think it's a human right violation to not find out how ignorant you are. And i love finding out how ignorant i am. Just love it! Because then it's upto you to decide what ignorance you want to rectify , before moving onto the next ignorance to rectify,...and so on! And the earlier you start , the better. They should have dropped you in a pool,the day you were born . Hows that for a claim to evolve for survival. ( jk! )

Will every moment in your life bring you in a position where you are an expert. Nope, so like i said, the sooner you start the better, and believe me - everyone in the industry is watched. And people only just want you to keep doing what you have been doing, but only with fancier names. Now depending on your appetite for risk , you could either take the road that puts you in the situation at par of your natural growth-path - in a rat race just without recognition. OR purposely take yourself through the road less traveled ,where the solution is not known, but what is eminent is that you will not know what to do, and you'll have to find out and get through it & bultly put - be a creator of something out of nothing. And my definition of getting through it is simple. I dont care if that dream is getting into being a Google or getting into the payroll of the indian post office's . can it be done ? if it can be - then great . Take solace in the fact and accept that there will situations of embarrassing ignorance, and a cost to innovation which you will learn the hard way. But if nobody has done it - then that's a couple of patents right there ! You might not be able to build a real estate search engine for the moon yet, but you could improvise on the fact that you've come up with it . Depending on how many years the concept is realistically away "crossing the chasm" - you could probably patent, or discuss with your peers. Get recognition,possibly mocked at, but keep doing it until you are recognized by your peers as someone willing to try everything atleast twice, and keep innovating within the community. And if you can't even get to your peers who are looking out the slightest glimpse of innovation & market erach - then how the hell do you plan on reaching your consumers half way across the world!?.

Which bring me to the what you want to do again . Do you want to build years of expertise in a technology before launching your own company in a totally different technology ? ( Remember everyone in the industry is being watched - whether you notice it or not and the people who invest in you or your company - predominantly want you to continue doing what you have been doing). Tricky, tricky,tricky....

Does the language/medium/timer matter ?
On the other hand a hacker or an artist would know that it really does'nt matter what technology/medium you're working on. I'd love to could pick up ice-sculpting as a career if i thought that's the future i wanted to see myself in . What would linus torvalds, be doing if he was a kid today or if windows was 'nt closed source, would he have still hacked linux ? or build a great product that revolutionizes the next 50 years ? would the hexa hackers of yesteryears be working on hacking pixels on 384's or would they be building a holographic 3d second life ? would paul graham have manifested his ideas of "move to the web" in the form of a haptic interface to yahoo stores / amazon / ebay if he was hacking today?

I think that great innovators can innovate independent of their times, and the languages they use ,and were'nt in any more a gifted environment in their days , as the one we are in today, or anytime in future. This btw, i reiterate is my view on all those flame wars and rants on programming languages . I think it could be best explained in this great little xkcd strip that shows how different editors and talk about how old school they are, from the more prominent ones ,to and end up saying how "real hackers" write in assembly language or else straight away magnetic tape or conjure voltage from the sky and binary. hilarious, and it's the first thought that comes to my mind when i see a language /flame war or rant.

Reverse Engineering the future
The fact of the matter is that we dont look to reverse engineer our future, and that my friend is the only way to write the future. How much are you going to keep studying before you think you 're ready to change the world ? I may not know the answer to that, but i'm happy to question the same. To question what the optimal qualifications, or the geography is to do what you want to do in life. In all the articles ive read on startup founders, and innovators - i'm surprised that i've never read of anyone mentioning "reverse engineering" your future. If you wanted to see yourself as the official advisor to the queen of england on quantum computing , or lead the indian ultimate frisbee team, or the ambassador to bermuda in secondlife or trade shoes with peter norvig.

An example of a "reverse engineering your Future" log
eg : Final Destination : ?
ideally , before I ...Final destination, ... i'd like to .... "leanr the intricacies of an IPO ", "learn to do a 'ballmer'"
ideally , before ...
ideally , before I ...0 , i'd like to "build an awesome product" and Y
ideally , before I ...Y , i'd like to "build a rockstar team" ...
ideally , before ...
ideally , before ...
Ideally , before i get/do N, i'd like to do get/do( N -1 )

Start off with a N = 5 goal , or a N = 2 goal . If i were to be scobleized next week , what would i have to liked to do this week, how many twitter message would i have to ping him with , etc ? If you wanted to get an grueling feature X done , what unknown thing would i have to read in the last 10 minutes before sleeping for the next month.

And since the final destination keeps escalating as you progress through the N things, based on your ability to execute what you want to do . The truth is that trying to start off with the Final Destination from day1 may not be quantifiable, but what is quantifiable is documenting if doing something is likely to get you closer to the eventual goal. Be it something trivial or absolutely drop-dead common sense. Thats the reason why It really struck me as to why people havent thought of how their personal identity on the internet would be jeopardized in step X of your reverse engineering lifecycle because of something that sounds silly today. That's also another reason why it's pretty darn easy for one risk taker- to find another hign-risk -high-gain motivated person. Perhaps thats how companies flock in the ecosystem themselves. Ofcourse, it all makes sense. How many people woudl want to let go of opportunities that they dont take today ,when they think about it 10 years down the line - you'd give anything to go back and do it right ? The thought of all the things i could do in that each day, in one week , or even one year keeps me up several nights. Honestly, i'm particularly happy with the way things have gone over the last 6 months with hover tech as well. It only has if anything only strengthened my conviction that you really can write the future if you want to.

The question for you/me really is and was always supposed to be , what kind of future do want to write...

Keep Clicking,
Bhasker V Kode

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Monday, December 17, 2007

First pipesCamp unconference

yahoo! pipes is one the most truly innovative applications that have provided a platform for application developers and end-users alike. And ever since their launch, several reviews later, it has grown well beyond being just a "An interactive feed aggregator and manipulator" . Be it a toolkit on Wall Street , a utility on a box or iphone hacks.

I'm one of the organizers of the first ever pipesCamp, which will be held in Chennai,India on December 23rd, 2007 . It 'll be interesting to bring the community together and just see can be hacked up, track work being done , and generally see how yahoo! pipes could churn out some amazing hacks and brilliant applications for bloggers, developers and end-users - at the same.

unconference for yahoo! pipes hackers and hobbyists. sessions, workshops and a "hackday" for showcasing pipes.

why not ! building a community around the yahoo! pipes enthusiasts, share ways to maximize the power of the utility itself, learn how your favourite pipes are built, show off neat tricks of your own , and spread some "pipes" love to the community.

December 23rd, 2007 ( Sunday)
10 am - 5 pm IST

Chennai , India
( Check wiki for venue details )

what next ?!
Check out pipesCamp right now,or on upcoming! Add a talk of your own , register by adding your name to the participants list, and get hacking ! , the product/company i've co-founded with Arun ( of fame ) , will be one of the sponsors of the event, and we're looking to meet the yahoo! pipes enthusiasts out there, and have loads of fun while at it. For more about the event as well as sponsorship info, buzz me at +91 988 4545 944 , or send a mail over to kode at hover dot in .

site :
upcoming :
y! group :
y! pipe :

Keep Clicking,
Bhasker V Kode

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