I definitely cant do this!

August 10, 09 by Bharani

Plays a Guitar Video Game at expert mode on one hand, not looking straight but through a mirror… and solves two rubik cubes using the other hand…Amazing stuff! Even….Even if it’s staged, it’s not easy ๐Ÿ˜‰ Great stuff really.

Why are we so critical?

July 08, 09 by Bharani

I have been following the internet space very closely for the past few years and it’s been my observation that people are so critical on the blogosphere about internet start-ups. If anyone else have similar observation, would love to hear your thoughts. If anyone has counter thoughts, even then I would love to hear your opinion ๐Ÿ™‚

There are handful of blogs in India which cover the digital space in india, especially internet. The prominent ones I can think of are medianama.com, pluggd.in, watblog.com, alootechie.com, trak.in. All these sites cover product launches, company announcements, new features, corporate activities and internet trends. Amazingly, a very large proportion of posts attracts only critical comments. The product/feature would have been launched after months (in some cases years) of hardwork, pressure and toil. But as soon as an user reads about the product news, his fingers involuntarily types “Whats new?”, “Oh! not again..yet another…”, “No innovation”, “Bad product” and so on! The benefit of doubt is never given to the product/startup! Even if the criticism is constructive, there’s some merit in it….Invariably, most of the comments are thoughtless ramblings…Non-constructive feedback. It’s very rare to see a thoughtful, constructive and open-minded feedback.

Why are we so destructively critical? Running a startup or launching a product is not a joke! You need to have balls to run the show! If we have to nurture the spirit of entrepreneurship and develop an environment for research and innovation, then we have to learn to be constructive in our feedback.

Feedback is essential for evolution and improvement. But if the feedback is just ‘NOISE’, it’s not going to benefit anyone, except may be to the commenter whose ego might get an illusionary boost!

Thoughts?

Studytimes.com – A Comprehensive Education Portal

July 06, 09 by Bharani

Studytimes.com – A Comprehensive Education Portal



Last week, we soft-launched a comprehensive Educational Portal Studytimes.com. Studytimes contains information regarding 25000+ colleges and more than 400,000 courses. We have spent the last 10 months to research, gather and curate this content. To facilitate user to find colleges and courses easily, we have also provided a good search facility where we have classified colleges into various ranks.

We have also incorporated a thorough discussion forum where users can discuss anything about colleges, courses, career options, entrance exams, admission procedures, travel related queries etc.,

There are exclusive sections for Test Prepartion, Educational Events (like admission deadlines, college events, conferences, educational fairs etc.,), Career Counselling where a counseller from studytimes will get in touch with you to solve your queries.

Since “Study Abroad” is a huge section in itself, we have created a sub-site for the Study-abroad section.

To keep up with the openness of the web world, we have all the user-favoured elements like reviews, ratings, suggestions, feedback, forums in place. The whole idea is that the users – predominantly students and parents – should have CONTROL.

There are already few players in online education space like studyplaces.com, shiksha.com, pagalguy.com and various online test preparation sites. But no one is offering a comprehensive solution. Studyplaces is focussed on study abroad, while Shiksha doesn’t have complete coverage of institutes and courses, Pagalguy is focussed too much on MBA crowd!

It’s our humble attempt to provide that ‘missing’ 360 degree, comprehensive, high-quality educational website for Indians. I guess, we Indians deserve that…After all, education has been our strength ๐Ÿ™‚

Being an online education portal, there is only so much you can differentiate on the user interface element. We do not want to fiddle around with things that have been well-established and proven. We cant differentiate on every single User Interface elements and classification system, just because we have to be unique. So, we have chosen the Classification systems and User-interface elements that would make the life easier for the users. However, we have focussed our efforts on putting together a high-quality content and making studytimes a user-powered site, which in the long-run would make us unique and useful.

Play around with site, let me know your feedback. We would be glad to take every single feedback, however minor it may be.

PS: Studytimes is still in beta.

Off to Manali for my 2nd Anniversary!

May 04, 09 by Bharani

Spending 5 days away from work, away from PC, away from business and away from internet was much easier than I thought/expected ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah, I went to Kullu-Manali along with my wife to celebrate our second successful wedding anniversary! Really enjoyed the trip and did quite a few things including white-water rafting, skiing, trekking, para-gliding, lots of sight-seeing and trying out local food. Should seriously do 2 outings/vacations per year…Now, heart wants to explore the beautiful north…;)

To all my friends…

May 04, 09 by Bharani

Off-late, I have been so engrossed in my pursuit of goals that I have lost touch with my good old pals. It’s not that I dont remember them…Everyday I think about my friends and ruminate over the good-old memories…It’s just that I am making the mistake of not keeping in touch…! The guys who manage to keep in touch with everyone, I seriously need some lessons from you….

Very long hibernation!

April 21, 09 by Bharani

Have been away from blogging for almost 6 months now! Learning curve in running your own business is indeed quite high. Naturally, I have to cut down on relatively low-priority things when I am short of time.

Nevertheless, Accentium Web is growing steadily with every passing day. The team size has grown from 6 to 28 within 9 months! After Gaadi and Secondshaadi , We are working on 3 more products and will be live in couple of months.

Will be back with more updates!

Google Blunder!

September 27, 08 by Bharani

Yeah, blunder by Google! According to the adsense reports of individual publishers, google has sent out cheques with conversion rates of 1:1. In case you have earned 100$ you are supposed to be paid 4500 rupees (assuming a conversion rate of 45), but they have sent a cheque of Rs.100 (assuming a conversion rate of 1:1! Same problem across the globe in all countries!

The major pain point that every publisher faces with Google adsense is the 45 days to 60 days delay between the amount credit and amount realization. If Google takes another cycle to fix the recent conversion problem, then there will be major loss of goodwill against Google! Entire thread can be seen here

http://groups.google.com/group/adsense-help-earnings/browse_thread/thread/8691ce9f9deb34d1/cfbbceecc22e04c3

BTW, if at all Google can be beaten down in publisher network game, one of the ways is ought to be credit cycle. If some network can settle payments faster with publishers, there is a good chance to convert the existing customers!

Gold Medal winner’s Blog!

August 12, 08 by Bharani

Abhinav Bindra has made the entire nation proud with his fantastic feat in Olympics. What struck me the most is his demeanour and spirit. Such a normal guy! You have to read his blog entry he posted just the day after he won his medal to understand what I mean! Never seen such calmness and normalcy in people who have achieved extra-ordinary feat…The guy doesn’t even realize how much he means to the entire nation now ๐Ÿ™‚ Brilliant…

While we are happy with the lone gold medal for the past 28 years and the lone individual gold medal for the past 88 years, there are guys like Micheal phelps, who strike gold after gold after gold…..incredible stuff…

Abhinav Bindra’s Blog

P2W2 – Online Marketplace for Services

August 03, 08 by Bharani

P2W2 is an online marketplace for accountants, writers, graphic designers, software vendors, tutors, researchers and other major professional services. P2W2 stands for “People To Work with”!

Who is the target audience?
Small businesses and Individuals can use p2w2 to post project requirements or to bid for the projects.

How it works?
As a services vendor
1. You can create your detailed profile by describing your service offerings, your capabilities, your portfolio, your testimonials etc., Creating a good profile is very important to successfully win the project bids. As a service provider, you need to pay 13 USD or 500 Rupees to create profile.

2. Once you have created a profile, you can search for projects posted on p2w2 and bid for the projects.

3. Once the client is convinced about your profile and your bidding price, client will give a green signal to start the project. P2W2 provides you great tools to manage the project and client communications. Some of the features are sharing files, project tracking and feedback module.

4. Once the project is complete, P2W2 will ensure that the payment is settled between client and the vendor. P2W2 takes a commission of 4.5% of the project value.

As a Buyer of services:
1.You can create your detailed profile by describing your Company information, your capabilities, your portfolio, your testimonials, your credibility etc., There is no cost to create a profile. FREE!

2. You can search for professionals or vendors. Go through detailed profile and initiate contact with shortlisted vendors. P2W2 maintains a track record of vendor performances. Through this history, P2W2 helps buyers to decide on the software vendors.

3. Once the project is started, buyers can track the progress of the project, review the work and assign requirements through P2W2’s tools.

4. Once the project is complete, P2W2 ensures the payment settlement.

Major Features:

* Reputation management:
* Selection Tools:
* Online Project Tracking:
* Payment facility:

Innovations:

* They have launched a voice-enabled service wherein a client can express his requirements through his own voice by audio recording the requirements/feedback. The Vendor then can go through the audio and gather a very good understanding of the client requirements.

P2W2 is founded by ISB alumni. Chaitanya Sagar from Class of 2005 and Amit Mullerpattan from Class of 2006.

Existing Players [Few examples]
elance [www.elance.com]
ebay [www.ebay.com] yes, ebay has a facility to connect buyers and sellers of services.
Guru [www.guru.com]
rentacoder.com [For software services]
and quite a few freelance exchange sites

My Verdict:
The success of an online marketplace is dependant upon the the familiar network-effect. Unless there are more vendors of high quality, there is no real benefit for buyers of services to use this service and vice versa. This whole cycle of building the userbase takes time and good community building strategies. I am not sure about the current status. But cracking this is of utmost importance.

Moreover, weeding through fake profiles, fraudulent buyers and protecting the interests of both parties (buyers and services) is not an easy task. There are lot of security and trust issues to be taken care of.

Services like elance.com is generally considered good for buyers and bad for seller of services. Because sellers compete fiercely on prices and sometimes the prices are close to nothing. This makes it a place to find cheap sellers or service vendors rather than a quality and reliability-based hunting ground. So, P2W2 should focus on quality, reliability, trust and security if they need to create a niche and success. Will have to wait to see how it all pans out…But they have all the right elements in place…Wishing them lot of success

What is your take on P2W2?

Domain Checker!

July 11, 08 by Bharani

A useful little tool to quickly check if a domain that you have in your mind is available or not! What I like about this is the option to check out multiple domains in a single try!

Check it out…might be useful for domain hunters ๐Ÿ™‚

Domain Availability checker