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Filed under: Random

Lessons Learned from Randy

“What I got from this moment is that the best part of life are the moments that are unplanned and are true and honest from the heart. This is where we get to live our life to the fullest and where I can create a great bond with people. Being authentic, honest & real with myself will allow me to be just that with others.”

It is not about how to achieve your dreams, but how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the Karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you.

excerpts from Lessons Learned from Randy
If you haven’t seen The Last Lecture, you should

– – – – –

Sara Gold captured some comments from Randy’s Last Lecture here (see comments). Reproduced below:

  1. Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things.
  2. Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.
  3. Never lose the child-like wonder.
  4. If we do something which is pioneering, we will get arrows in the back. But at the end of the day, a whole lot of people will have a whole lot of fun.
  5. Be good at something; it makes you valuable.
  6. If you live your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself, and the dreams will come to you.

Filed under: Philosophy, Quotes, ,

The Art of Marketing Your Startup: Mahesh Murthy


“If your product is not insanely great, don’t even bother”

“If you need to advertise, something is wrong!”

“When you don’t have advertising, use pricing as a positioning weapon. It makes competition worse”

“Work on improving the quality of experience of your product”

“Go to conferences, but never pay. Be a speaker”

“Your competency as a marketer is inversely proportional to your marketing budget”

“Be seen as a thought leader”

“You cannot always be successful following a trend. If you are not the first, second or third, get out”

“If you read a trend in the newspaper, you are already too late”

“Trend is the end”

“Do not be expected to be covered in the first 2-3 years of you life. If you do, consider yourself lucky”

“Ctrl C + Ctrl V is not a strategy”

“Market research is crap. Your job is to change the market, not to study it”

“For whatever its worth, charge at least 1 Rupee more than the competition”

“Earning advertising is great. Spending on it is bad”

Filed under: Web | RIAs | Usability, Work,

At the Helm of a Fast Growing Business: Bhavin Turakhia


“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication – Leonardo Da Vinci”

Business is like a game – 1) Gather the right players, 2) Enable them to make the right decisions most of the time (more often than competition)”

“1) Teach the game – All the players must know how to play the game (Do you wanna play foosball or soccer”

Maverick – Ronaldo [=book recommendation]

The great game of business – Jack [=book recommendation]

“When all employees understand the dynamics of business, everyone can feel and think like each other”

“2) Share the macro vision – All the players are aware of the final objective” [=final destination]

“3) Set near term targets – Each season is broken into multiple games each independent from the other” [=headlight vision]

“4) Keep score – The score is always visible on a public scoreboard” [=visibility/transparency/key-metrics]

“Measure everything”

“Let teams define critical numbers”

“Don’t focus on more than 2-3 critically numbers”

“Keep changing the critical numbers”

“Make a game out of the critical numbers”

“Share your critical numbers every month, week, day, hour, minute with your teams”

Open book management – John Casey [=book recommendation]

“5) Line of sight – Each player can link their actions to the outcome of the game”

“6) Celebrate your Victories – Victory Party!! The simple act is very important”

“7) Align Everyone’s Interests – To the victor[s] belong the spoils”

Filed under: Web | RIAs | Usability, Work,

Building Services for India: Murugavel Janakiram


“I believed in what I was doing”

“I had seen the success of in US”

“Luckily I did not get funded”

“Starting understanding the system and its workings – for example, started to get every profile screened. Started protecting the photo. Other things like horoscopes.”

“Customer insights led to addition of value added services like Verifications”

“We continuously innovated. Innovation is the key” [=understanding the customer and continuously adapting to his needs]

“Pricing is a trial and error. It is determined by market forces to a great extent”

“Eventually after opening office all across India, we were the first company to go to the doorstep to collect the payment. We tied with banks and affiliates and post-offices” [payment innovation]

“We are the first one to try SMS based match making” [=risk taking]

“Diversified into other properties” [=expansion based on core competencies accumulated/built]

“The question you should ask is – am I build to sell or build to last” [=fundamental vision]

“What kind of the business model should I choose”

“This year 10% of the money is coming from advertisements” [=hard to monetize traffic]

“To compete with existing established services, you NEED to be disruptive”

“At the end of the day, only success is celebrated. Only passion matters”

“Base your decision making on facts and truths”

“Think big, but start small” [=be real, but have a vision]

“It all comes from hardwork and dedication. I got married through the site”

“Honesty is something that every entrepreneur should have”

“There are no shortcuts to success”

“Attitude is very important”

“It is important to get a repeat audience. If the service is such that a user tells 10 others, then it is great” [=viral]

Filed under: India, Web | RIAs | Usability,

Geeta Saar (in Hindi)

I was looking for some eternal wisdom, and thought of Geeta Saar (Essense of Geeta). Found it in hindi at here. For some reason, it has to be in hindi for the effect.

Geeta Saar in Hindi

Geeta Saar in Hindi

Filed under: Quotes, Random, ,

Yahoo Resignation Template

So many top execs have left Yahoo in recent months that Matt Honan created a do-it-yourself resignation template. Its hilarious!

Filed under: Random, Work

.NET HTML Parsers

Recently, I was looking for HTML parsers for use in a .NET project, and I came across these:

  1. HTML Tidy – seems very popular with ports in Java platform as well. You can create a .NET wrapper around this C++ library, and a few people have already done this for you! Like here 🙂 Couple of GUI tools are also available, like Tidy UI. The documentation seems a little complex, so I will try Tidy the last!
  2. ACRUX HTML Parser. I installed the trial version, but it is not a fully-functional-time-bound trial.
  3. Html Agility PackThis is an agile HTML parser that builds a read/write DOM and supports plain XPATH or XSLT (you actually don’t HAVE to understand XPATH nor XSLT to use it, don’t worry…). It is a .NET code library that allows you to parse “out of the web” HTML files. The parser is very tolerant with “real world” malformed HTML. The object model is very similar to what
    proposes System.Xml, but for HTML documents (or streams)
    “. This seems easy to use, and coded directly in .NET!
  4. Html DOM – “A class library that implements HTML DOM (Document object Model) for .Net platform.
  5. WebLexicon – “Open-Source Markup Language Parser Library for .NET (XHTML/HTML/SGML/XML/MATHML)

Filed under: Programming

Bubble 2.0

Filed under: Web | RIAs | Usability, Work

Email accounts hacked

One of my colleagues woke up to a this nightmare – her GMail and Yahoo Mail accounts, both got hacked. What next? – she contacted Google to gain access to her accounts again and gets the following email from Google:

Thank you for your report. We've completed our investigation. Because our investigation was inconclusive, we can't provide you with access to this Google Account. At Google we take privacy and security of our users very seriously. For this reason, we're unable to reveal any further information about the account you'd like to access.

To continue using Google Accounts, please visit

and create a new account.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

The Google Team

Note: if you use AdWords, AdSense, or Google Checkout with your account, please contact AdWords, AdSense or Checkout support directly at these URLs:





Please don't reply to this email, as we won't be able to review your response. If your question wasn't answered, please search or browse the Google Accounts Help Center at



  • Change your passwords often and use antivirus software
  • Don’t use GMail as a repository for storing sensitive information/documents
  • Remember, Google has great customer service along with great products (!)

Filed under: Work


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