One author, 3 efforts…

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(Image displayed is that of a representation of Brahma, the Hindu God of Creation. He has four faces, one facing each direction. However, only three are visible since the fourth one is facing the other side, hence it is here:)) As … Continue reading


Happy Birthday OpenStack!

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OpenStack turned 3 today – a big milestone indeed! Lot of excitement, celebrations worldwide, enthusiasts and believers more gung-ho than ever, some pundits/ analysts/ non-believers claiming its doom – lot of activity for a 3 year old! Personally these 3 … Continue reading


GiftGiv and Microsoft Accelerator – week 1

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As you probably are aware, I am currently the CTO at GiftGiv. Things are moving fast, and we are now part of the Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure powered by Techstars Spring 2013 batch! Obviously, things are insanely crazy here. … Continue reading



This November is not just Movember, but Appvember!

Often times one has ideas – cool, innovative, iterative, or just plain simple. Not often they get baked. Barrier to enter has been lower than ever; tools, services, support has been more than ever. Heard of GenerationApp: Your Idea. Your App. 30 days? With all the buzz around Surface/ Windows 8, ample help is available for a Windows App developer to make that idea happen. I am going to make use of that, challenge myself to materialize one of my ideas in to a Windows 8 app  in the next 30 days.

Ground Rules

1) Be consistent

I want this to be a learning experience, rather than a week end hack. Appears that GenerationApp program is designed to assist that. Daily tips are being sent; 1 hr in depth consultation is available; I may have to check on the community, but would expect so. Also, it is designed to help one ship a complete app, not a sample code/ prototype. I want to go through the entire stretch of polishing the app and submitting it.

2) Be open

While I haven’t decided yet to open source the code or not, I want this effort to be a open experiment. Log highs/ lows. Share the lessons. Seek help. And I don’t believe in keeping the idea itself a secret. I will be updating my progress regularly- feedback/ comments welcome.

3) Be serious (in a fun way)

I want this to be a real, shippable app.  While all the learning is fun, shipping a product is not just fun. I want to treat this to be so.  I am no way close to full time on this, but I want to be consistently putting hours in this. At least couple of hours a day, for the next 30 days.

It’s going to be fun…


Going Live and 1st year anniversary @ ComputeNext – some reflections

I completed one year at ComputNext on 05/31/2012 – yeah I survived the startup duel! Since we were heads down on V1, didn’t have much time to reflect or blog about it. Most of this week I was down with back ache, and had a lot of time to reflect upon. Following the pattern of an earlier post, here are my top 3 I love(d) and top 3 I rue(d). Again, this is all about my feelings and what I gained/ lost in the past year. Reflections on what we did correct/ wrong together as a team is out of scope here.

Things I love(d)

1) Startup Craziness

Yeah, we are crazy! We aim for the impossible, and over-achieve it. We squeeze 29 hours in a day. We are Dev/ Test/ PM/ Ops all in one. Call us whatever, we are crazy. I don’t know how to define it, or point to what exactly make some of us love startups – may be it’s the kick of getting a product out, or may be solving hard problems, or being creative or resourceful. May be all, may be none of the above. All I know is we are driven by a single vision, try to make something happen, and we make it happen. We might iterate, pivot, change or redo, but we DO something – something meaningful, something that someone wants, something that solves someone’s problem (hmm, lot of somethings here, something’s going on in my head :))

2) Learning Opportunities

Being resource crunched also opens up a whole lot of avenues to learn, take different roles and be creative. Combine this with the hot problem you are solving – you get an exponential learning curve. In my case, I have picked up Javascript/ Ajax, Node.js (programming), MongoDB (database) and most importantly a slew of cloud technologies/ platforms (openstack, vmware, aws, azure) and scalable architectures, business expertise – what customer wants, strategy, running  startup (granted not an expert!) in the past year. I am pretty sure I am missing something, but you get the idea. I won’t call myself an expert in all of those, but in some. I also am confident enough to implement a working solution for a given problem in all of these.

3) Cool factor

I haven’t met  a single person in the last year who didn’t say ‘wow’ when I introduce myself as a ‘Lead Developer @ ComputeNext, a cloud startup’. Granted cloud is ‘cool’ these days, but startups are always cooler. May be everybody thinks all the startups will end up as Instagram, but 90% startups fail. May be that risk factor makes it cooler. I don’t want to dig up why they are cool, but just want to enjoy being cool!

Things I rue(d)

1) Stress

As much as I enjoyed the craziness, my body kept reacting to the increased stress levels – I lost a lot of hair, greying accelerated, and I am almost addicted to caffeine. I had to do ‘body work’  every week to keep my back in shape, but it collapsed past week end. I had to stay away from work/ laptop for 3 days to be able to walk normally, but I am still at pain. My physician cannot attribute to any other reason than stress. Not injury, not physical labor. Hmmm.

2) Work/ Life Imbalance

OK, this is obvious. This is not specific to startups, but more so in startups. 6+ hours of sleep had become luxury; being around the family w/o responding to emails/ issues felt so new that kids got surprised I am even doing that. I chose this, we expected this. But visualizing something is not the same as going through it. One has to accept the reality that W/L balance sucks at startups. You are in or out. No grey area.

3) Personal Hobbies/ Projects

In a startup, one lives, breathes by it. Distractions cannot be afforded. I had at least one project I wanted to contribute to, but couldn’t do more. I was little disappointed with myself for that, but in retrospect, it is not that bad. I am already working 120%, so there is no time for an extra 20% project.

Now time to stretch my back! In the mean time, read this on why/ why not to join a startup!