Back from a blog vacation

December 7, 2009

It’s been long, real long – a blog vacation for close to an year is not good, but there wasn’t much I could do. I was however pretty active over on Twitter – my handle is @vinodhn and reasonably active on Facebook.

So what was I upto this year ? Well I was on a learning overdrive, I helped a great team bootstrap a product, complete web based product built from scratch, and took it all the way from the PRD to SEO , Marketing and PR.

So yes, the past year has been interesting, did some awesome work and met many a smart people. Learnt insights into the Indian product startup space and learnt and tackled challenges that startups face to get a product market ready.

I hope to share more detailed insights on this journey over the past year with all of you on this blog.

All about Proto.in

January 15, 2009

As we get closer to the Bangalore edition of Proto and the excitement builds up for India’s premier startup event,  here’s an awesome conceptualization about Proto.in by the folks from Pictualize.

Date : Jan 23-24, 2009

Venue: Nimhans Convention Center

Btw, if you haven’t already registered, now’s a good time to do so, go ahead and register now.

Makes me wonder as I look at Yahoo! Buzz – year in review 2008.  These are the top 10 search terms in Yahoo search.

yahoo-top10-searches

  1. Britney spears (Music /Entertainment)
  2. WWE (Sports Entertainment)
  3. Barack Obama (Politics)
  4. Miley Cyrus ( Entertainment)
  5. RuneScape (Online gaming entertainment)
  6. Jessica Alba (Movie star / entertainment)
  7. Naruto (Entertainment)
  8. Lindsay Lohan (Movie star / entertainment)
  9. Angelina Jolie (Movie star / entertainment)
  10. American Idol (TV / entertainment)

Note that 9 out of the 10 terms are entertainment oriented, a trend which is similar to 2007.

Wonder if this is a reflection of Yahoo users or whether the entertainment industry is recession proof ? What do you think ? (Note: Britney spears is worth $110 million)

There are two beasts in entertainment which I feel when legalized in India, could change the face of entertainment and prove to be a great opportunity for startups.

  1. Gambling on TV / in casinos.
  2. Pornography on TV.

What do you think ? Any ideas for killer startups in this space 🙂 ? (or should we say hot startups 🙂 )

It gives me great pleasure to announce that I will now be guest blogging for the Product Management View – a blog focussed on product management and strategy , run by world class product managers from various backgrounds and vast experience in this field.I am pleased to be associated with them and look forward to some great discussions over there. Thanks to Stewart Rogers from PM view for making this happen.

My first post for the Product management view is about maximizing product value through effective feature prioritization. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic and having some great conversations.

The PM view also tracks major webinars on product management, you can sign up for a webinar remider service and here’s the handle to the RSS feed.

Where your apple taxes go

November 5, 2008

One for the apple fanboys! Love this one.

apple

Understanding spatial search

November 4, 2008

So what is spatial search ?

In today’s context, where the Internet is the starting point for finding any information you need about anything in the world, and of course most of us use Google. The problem with traditional search is that it does not support or have information about the geographical dimension.

Why is spatial search important ?

This becomes extremely important when searching for something like “Guest houses in Bangalore”. Although the geographical location, in this case ‘Bangalore’ can be used as a part of search query term, the search engine does not interpret it as a geographical location.

So results for the search query – “Guest houses in Bangalore” will turn up documents with “Guest houses” and “Bangalore” and might not show up results with guest houses koramangala or indiranagar which are localities in Bangalore and also hence very apt results. This is because, the search engine does not have a relationship between these terms.

The other issue with traditional search in entities like homes is that the geographical information of these locations are not known, and hence they cannot be visualized on a map – which would be the most intuitive way to visualize these results.

While planning and architecting my100floors, we understood the need for Spatial search and helping users visualize home searches on maps. Moreover we felt that that searching for properties on maps was the intuitive way to find properties. In fact, we are the first to provide a map based search in India, cracking the problem of non-availability of geo-coded data.

The next post will talk about our implementation of Spatial search in, challenges we faced and a walk through of the user experience.

property_mapsearchmy100floors.com is currently in closed beta, leave your email address on the site and drop me a line here or on twitter and I will make sure that you get the invite.

FailCamp‘s idea is simple – get a bunch of inspired people together and enable them to learn from each other and from other entrepreneurs who have battled (or give in to) failure in their startups.

This is a wonderful initiative and I am keenly looking forward to this event in Chennai.

Here are the event details

Date and Time – November 16,2008
VenueTenth Planet, Chennai. (Looking at pics, venue seems to be super cool! and an interesting company – they do outsourced projects on open source technologies)
Registration FailCamp Wiki

If you are going to be at the event, leave me a comment here or over on my twitter stream.