Two great reads if you want to understand the nuts and bolts of equity allocation to employees in your startups.

Probably the best VC blogger – Fred Wilson

http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2010/11/employee-equity-how-much.html

Evan Reas has some solid insights on planning equity allocation to employees

http://startuphoodlum.com/2011/01/03/equity-grant-averages-to-startup-employees/

SLP has one of the many things that has been keeping me busy over the past year. The Startup Leadership Program (SLP) is an initiative to groom the next-generation of startup CEOs. SLP fellows are in their mid-20s to 30s and have demonstrated outstanding potential and achievement in the life sciences, tech, cleantech, and social sectors. Graduates form an international alumni network to support each other’s entrepreneurial endeavors.

SLP initially started out in Boston under TiE Boston and has now grown to six cities including Silicon Valley, New York, Beijing, New Delhi, San Diego.

Me along with a BITS Alumni, Sudip Dutta, CEO of Aporv.in help run the Bangalore chapter of SLP. We are looking for leaders who can lead new chapters as well as take up existing ones. More details follow

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.

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.

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.

Google Chrome and Pranayama

October 14, 2008

Off topic, but couldn’t resist blogging about this.

Baba Ramdev’s (a yogic guru from India)  effort to connect with tech geeks and urge them to take up pranayama (meditation). Awesome marketing and product position I must say!

Google Chrome and Prananyama and Baba Ramdev

Google Chrome and Prananyama and Baba Ramdev

Image Source : Dead President

Security vs. Usability

September 23, 2008

I have been using my ICICI bank credit card for over thryears now. I encountered this weird error this morning while paying my bills on visabillpay. (Click image for a larger view)

ICICI credit card error

Alright let me set context.

This is a page which ICICI bank brought up while doing a credit card transaction on Visabillpay. This page asks me to register my credit card online with ICICI bank using a Internet banking pin number.

So I have seen this page multiple times on this site but always opted out as I don’t have my interent banking pin number. So today I did the same thing and opted out of registration by clicking on the “No, thanks Don’t activate my card now” link, but this is the message I got.

“You have exceeded the number of opt-outs for this card. If you decide to opt-out even now then bank will decline your transaction.”

I was astounded. I had no clue of what was happening. The bank never told me that I had a fixed number of opt-outs from registration. Now I can’t pay my electricity and water bills.

Here’s how this scenario could have been handled using better product design

  • ICICI bank should have told users the number of opt-outs they have. This could have been in the form of a counter which is very prominent on every registration request screen.
  • Educating the user about the advantages of registering their credit card. In fact ICICI bank is mandating this for higher security and to prevent online credit card fraud. Educate your users by telling them the benefits of doing a particular action and then lead them to this action.
  • Forgive your users which they don’t do something that’s needed, after all they are users!
  • Send users warning alerts as their opt-outs are nearing to zero. ICICI bank has my email address and my mobile number.
  • Get customer care to call users.

Forgive, educate and lead to action – simple but powerful.

What do you think ? What you faced this issue ?