Showing posts from May, 2010

Great TED video: Lessons from fashion's free culture

This is a really interesting talk from Johanna Blakely, on how the lack of copyrights in fashion has helped the industry prosper.
She does a great job comparing the dynamics of copyrights to those in other industries.

Great doc: Good Product Manger, Bad Product Manager

Found and read this great document from Ben Horowitz and David Weiden, which was apparently written up almost 15 years ago.
There's a lot of goodness in here, so I'm not even going to try to summarize it. The Bad PM parts are as instructive as a the Good PM parts. I just put in a reminder to my calendar to re-read this from time to time. :) Good Product Manager Bad Product Manager KvView more documents from daksh sharma.

Docking into the mothership...

I'm in Mountain View visiting the Mothership, and checking in at Google I/O.

My team has moved to a new building, and I encountered some interesting cube-mates there.

I also ended up with a slightly different 3-screen setup and discovered I've become one of those annoying people that have an infinite number of wires coming out of their PC.

A bright spot was apparently the eminent miracle I should now wait for according to a fortune cookie from my favorite Bay Area Chinese restaurant.

After leaving late one day, I also had this conversation with a member of the cleaning crew that cleans our office at night.

Dude Cleaning Up: "You're staying late here again man."
Me: "Yup."
DCU: "What time are you going to come back in tomorrow?"
Me: "Umm.. 8am or so?" (It was about 11pm when I was leaving)
DCU: "Wow...that's a lot of work."
Me: "I guess"
DCU: "Do you get paid a lot?"
Me: (pausing) "I don't think so...&qu…

Facebook UX feature tweak please: homepage birthdays reminders

As friends know, I use the Facebook birthday reminder feature quite a bit to remind me to wish folks on their birthday.
So it was annoying a couple of weeks ago, when I almost missed a really good friend's birthday (after wishing a few others :)) simply because the default setting on Facebook stops at showing just five friends' birthdays for the day. You need to click on "See more" to see the rest.
I understand the logic and the UX choice: the little birthday widget just shows you the next five birthdays from your list of friends (Nicely-spaced; works for most users; makes sure the ad below stays above the fold) But on days when you have more than 5 friends with a birthday, which happens more often than most people think, its pretty easy to miss a few friends, because as as user you get used to seeing five birthdays with only a few being today and most on the following days.
So a couple of suggested tweaks to fix this for folks like me: By default, always show more than …

Quick Reviews: Ironman 2, and Badmaash Company

Ended up seeing more movies in a week than I had in a while.Ironman 2 was better than I expected, though still not as good as the first movie.
I can't think of anyone who has as much fun playing a character as Robert Downey Jr. has playing Tony Stark. Well maybe Sam Jackson playing Nick Fury. :)
I also needed a Hindi movie fix. That's my excuse for going to cath: Badmaash Company. Wow! Its a standard con movie/good-guys-do-bad-but-then-things-go-sour-dude-repents-and-doed-good, but just done really, really well; and the setting (India in the mid-90s) and the details (at least in the first half) really set the movie apart. The entire cast is pretty great, and its rare that they let all the character develop so much. There's one slightly cheesy bit at the end, but other than that... Since 3 Idiots was released at the very end of last year, I might have to put this in front of my race for my favorite Hindi movie in 2010.:)

Adlines: someone forgot to complete the ad.:)

In a clear sign something is going right in the economy, I get targeted by a lot of job ads that are surprisingly relevant to my experience (and even reasonably interesting.) But that's another post, for now enjoy this.

I can relate to this. I often type up something similar when I'm unable to complete a frustratingly mundane sentence.:)

Quick reviews: Mary Poppins and Housefull

This weekend was in NYC, so the wife and I caught Mary Poppins(which actually was much more fun that I'd expected... and I was expecting it to be a lot of fun) and got a Hindi movie fix by watching Housefull(ditto..)
Mary Poppins: I remember seeing the movie on VHS at least a couple of times when I was young, but it'd been long enough so that most things were hazy and I didn't remember much except for the songs and my excessive, annoying-to-others use of the word "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious', which is really perfect to watch it.
The acting was great (particularly Laura Michelle Kelly as Mary Poppins) and the songs and the choreography was incredible. The wife and I left smiling and were humming the songs and tapping our feet for a few hours after.
Housefull: Eh.. not much to say here. Its an Akshay Kumar/Ritesh Deshmukh comedy which Sajid Khan keeps going at a reasonable pace. There's tons of recycled jokes, slapstick and the kind of humor you're late…

Friendship in the age of competition

I was reminded last week of a story someone who worked at Netscape a while ago told me. This person was at an industry conference wearing a Netscape T-Shirt, when someone who apparently worked at Microsoft walked up to him and said, "We're going to kill you." and completed the picture by glaring manically, gesturing a slit-of-the-throat and laughing as he clicked his tongue and left. Thats the sort of rubbish stays with you, and is the sort of the thing that comes right from the top. That sort of rubbish is also the kind of stuff I never want to deal with if I can help it.
It takes a special kind of corporate brainwashing to get people to behave that way. Such zeal is usually the domain of religion...and sports fans. :) Most companies have a tradition of painting the competition in a negative light. Some do it subtly, others don't.
Google, fortunately, is run by adults and in general our internal attitude and conversations towards competition (respectful, honest, genu…