Vijay Anand | The Startup Guy.

Posts Tagged ‘media

IT MagazineActually this would be my third or fourth time being quoted extensively in an article in this magazine. Just as the Startup community is growing, there is also a lot of affiliated media that is growing along with them – I.T Magazine, Cybermedia’s Dare, Smarttechie, all are magazine’s looking to cater to the “entrepreneurial” kind that is rising in popularity, just about everyday.

Charu Bahri, the reporter who wrote the article had sent me a long list of questionnaire, which I had to meddle with, and she patiently did put up with all those changes – and I do have this eery feeling that I did throw off her direction as to what she wanted to theme the article as. But with the sign of a good reporter, she manages to tie them all together quite well.

Avoiding Start-up Hiccups
Hiccups often threaten the best innovative ventures—but if you’re forewarned, you can take preventive measures to ensure your start-up doesn’t suffer from too many glitches.

In any case, the article is up on this month’s edition of the magazine, and as much as I never usually tout my own articles, it seems that I was eating or drinking something that I seem to sound quite sane. Do check it out, if possible and let me know what you think.

We are thinking of doing a regular column there asking readers to come up with questions explaining issues they face and then giving them suggestions. I barely get time to keep this blog alive, so thats very much a stretched ambition, but lets see how the roll of dice turns out!

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I am usually in the middle of discussions that more often than not tend to tread on the topic as to why Indian Entrepreneurs seem to be;

a) Wanting to build and flip a company in solid 3 weeks.
b) Why everyone keeps referring to things that happen in the valley
c) Why are we quoting every darn guy in the valley and none from here

In very short words, why are our influencers more of the valley types and very less of Indian entrepreneurs?. I think the answer to that is very simple. Very few of us are very vocal, and do have a blog.

I am starring at my feedreader and there is content from all over the place. I do like to keep an eye on whats happening not just in the valley but also in Europe and South-asia (atleast when its written in a readable language – it might even be worth learning chinese or korean one of these days). But the sad part that I notice is the sincerely lacking number of indians with blogs.

I think we do have enough folks who do talk about entrepreneurship as a whole and go around interviewing people whenever they could, but we need some folks who could posess some depth. This is my wishlist.

1. A very well known VC, who would blog about whats happening inside the industry, how a deal is made, etc etc.

2. A startup founder who’d write about his travails of growing a business. Even if it is a dear diary moment with a picture taken of you everyday, would totally love it.

3. More Product Managers taking on roles of reviewing products, sites and services and providing a neutral perspective.

4. A couple of academicians who can talk about whats happening in the world of technology and whats breaking news – in nanotechnology, biotech, pharma, genetics, etc etc, (in english)

5. A very simple, Startup Marketing blog which people can refer to for tips and tricks on how to increase their productivity, improve stickiness, and learn enough to dabble with an MBA. If the Online Chat we had the other day is any sign of a “need”, thats your proof as to why it would work.

6. A blog where we can catch synopsis and summaries of all the talks that go on in conferences and unconferences alike. Perhaps then people wouldnt be talking about the same stuff over and over again and move on to the next step.

7. Blogs which do study the market and can give me raw statistics. Would be awesome if someone who is a data analyst starts a blog for this.

8. A startup legal blog.

9. A HR blog, for hiring and retention strategies.

10. We need to learn to laugh at ourselves. Anything with a humor base on the Indian startup scenario would be a welcome treat. We are too stuck up an serious for no reason.

11. Stop doing more news aggregation sites. Startups.in is doing a fabulous job aggregating the news, and I don’t know why anymore would want to do more of that. If you are a blogger in India and do write about startups, sign up to that aggregation list. Guy Kawasaki’s Alltop also has a similar list

I think thats a good start. Can you think of anything else? Drop a note on the comments box.

Professional User-Generated Content. You think its Oxymoronic? Think again. Let me cite to you two examples. Rocketboom, and ZeFrank. I dont think Frank is doing the show anymore, but Rocketboom is essentially a low-budget, five minute clip which basically is one of those “tequila shot” videos, giving you a summary of everything thats going on out there. Sports, politics, Gossip, IPL, Entertainment, you name it.

It will make sense because:

1. Our Broadband penetration whatever the 4.2 million users are, are all essentially mostly IT Professionals.

2. These chums, have no interest in anything apart from Cricket, because they dont have time to understand the decades of stories behind political quibbles and other issues going on.

3.Humor has slowly begun to find a way among this crowd and given that these guys are all young, and most of them watch shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Even South Park (Please dont ask me what these shows are), a show done with a live-actual person, but on the same lines of humor, will bring about active engagement in a interesting fashion.

Rocket boom Stats:

+ Over 1 million post-roll complete downloads per week; 200,000 viewers per day
+ Over 500,000 text impressions per week of company name & link; 100,000 per day

The Video infrastructure, the entire thing to make this happen, along with the infrastructure to play ads and monetize this is, is available with two indian Startups – Ventuno Tech and Tekriti Software. If you have the guts (everybody in the media business needs guts), the ability to produce a show, and get a couple of eager, hyper, good-looking people on camera, you are game!

I’ve always been curious about the way different industries work. There is a lot to learn from each other and more often than not you usually find that the learnings from one industry can provide to be of vital importance for the breakthrough of a process in another industry.

Take for example a restaurant. I would like to know what is the standard rule that a chef and the manager follow in terms of managing the inventory in the kitchen against the demand for dishes that they serve in the menu. It can be a little complicated dealing with the variances of different customers, and different dishes being favorites at different times of the year. And if I am a sample customer to go by, I don’t know what I am planning to eat till the moment the food is ordered.

I wonder how a chef manages all that uncertainty. Someday I’ll make a friend who runs a hotel – or perhaps i remember a few people whom I can already talk to about this – and understand the mystery logic behind this process.

One other industry that I have been interested has been the entertainment industry – especially the visual media stream. Thanks to a friend of mine, and I Fix, I did get the chance to peak inside a radio station in chennai and it has been quite interesting to get to know the lingo they use within, the atmosphere people work under and what the stress of that job is like. I did volunteer for a local radio station in canada and did get to learn quite a few things, especially about mixers and how they manage the program. But life from inside the booth and from the RJ’s box has been quite an interesting perspective.

All this said, the television industry has been something that has been evading me for sometime now. Well, I finally got a chance to put an end to that one two days ago.

A popular television channel was shooting a program to showcase the musical talent of office workers, and when i got an invitation to perhaps visit the set, I was quite curious and did accept the invite. I have to say that is quite an eye opener. If the saying “like a kid in the candy store” is not too cliched to use, I shall certainly use that one. Catching a glimpse of the people in the team that bring the show to life, and who holds the responsibilities for delivering what component – the accuracy in which lines have to be said, visual elements corrected and cameramen working in unison – and all this with sparks of creativity flying hither and thither, well if you thought meeting deadlines as a software engineer was tough you can rest easy knowing that show business is not a walk in the park. I am told that an entire episode of a show is sometimes scripted, shot, edited and shipped in a matter of days and people go on with or without sleep for days. Judging from the look of some of the people who were there, I have no reason to not believe that.

I was quite impressed with the quality of musical talent that is hidden away under the security controlled premises of the IT sector and revelling at the chance to witness some of these performances at close proximity.

So what does the tech side of me think? Well, The set was the most elaborate thing I’ve seen in sometime. The last time I saw a stage in such likely detail was when we were involved with an university event with a budget in the lower millions. That said, what was there in reality and what was coming out on the video monitor were gross misrepresentations. The set had layers and layers of prop and a very compelling atmosphere and the entire thing got lost in the world of 2D cameras.

Hmm.. How I wish 3D cameras would come to being a reality soon! We see the world in depth and can perceive it because we have two visual receptors – the two eyes. The camera tends to lose it cause it has only one eye – the lens. There have been plenty of attempts to work on camera with dual lenses which capture the essence and detail of the human vision. But its still a dream away from being reality.

All in due time.. all in due time.


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