Momo Delhi – 5th meet

Spent last Saturday in 5th MOMO Delhi Meet held at Perot Systems Noida. MOMO is an acronym for Mobile Monday started as a casual meet of mobile enthusiasts. Read more about Delhi Chapter of the same here. This post talks about my first experience with MOMO meet. Read on …..

The venue was awesome with free snacks through out the day (courtesy Perot Systems). Despite the chilly weather, around 50 people turned up. The group consisted mostly of mobile enthusiasts, though a few entrepreneurs also managed to take out time from their schedule to attend as well – overall a good mix of audience. Unlike the Bar Camp last month, the talks were not Developer oriented but I personally got introduced to some interesting facts & products.

Some of the sessions that I liked were

Lokesh – CEO of mobisoc presented his product; Mitr which is a product suit that allows adding interesting services on a mobile phone. The demo of the product involved searching and adding services like those of PVR Cinemas, ICICI Bank, Yatra.com etc. The UI looked good and was pretty fast on the N95 that Lokesh was carrying.

Chirag Jain, VP of webaroo gave a presentation on his product smsgupshup – A Free Group SMS solution. The slides besides introducing the product itself went a step ahead and explained the strategy/focus of his organization “To get the customer” first – Money in his opinion would follow. Personally I agree with Chirag and hope that his product would prove him right. I checked out smsgupshup and found it to be a pretty useful service. Hope to spend more time on it and become a publisher there.

The other talk that I found interesting was that from Shekhar C (Tensor Technologies) on Meghdoot – which is a tool that allows sending SMS in Indian Languages. I found the demo very interesting – Shekhar demonstrated that even complex words when typed using English alphabets got converted perfectly into Hindi. I wish tools like those would start coming with default configuration on mobile phones.

Besides the above Tarun Matta presented his company’s flagship product – RockeTalk; A social networking tool for a mobile phone. Kunal (http://www.bdaconnect.com) provided some interesting statistics & his opinion of the near future for the mobile market.

Overall a good experience & thumbs up to the organizers for the meet.

One month of freelancing

Its almost a month since I quit my job and the journey so far hasn’t been bad. Some highlights

  • Managed to find a work area for myself in Udyog Vihar Gurgaon. It’s a single seat in a BPO kind office but is peaceful. The office provides decent intenet connectivity, is not too far from home & is not very expensive. Find my office Address at “Contact Me” section on my website here.
  • Got a brand new DELL laptop to work on (the fact that prices of the model fell a week after I bought was the only disappointing thing about the deal).
  • Raised my first Invoice to a company that I spent 2 weeks working with. These guys are again a startup working in travel industry. Interesting bunch of people who liked my work. I enjoyed working for them too. Talks are in progress for longer duration project with them.
  • Worked on a mini project in C# (my first exposure to .NET world) – The client appreciated my work and I expect to do business in near future with him.
  • Managed to clear my mind of all apprehensions regarding starting up. Two months ago, my mind used to come up with all sorts of questions like a) How am I going to pay my EMI if I quit my job b) How will I find work for myself etc etc. Now that I have actually quit and have to fend for myself, these questions don’t reallybother me any more. Perhaps my mind has stopped treating them as threatand is now treating them as problems which can be solved & at the moment I’m sure I’ll figure out the answers.

This IMO has been the biggest achievement
of this month not sure how I managed it though 🙂

  • Interfacing with a lot of interesting people (entrepreneurs & techies) who are able to connect & relate with what I’m doing.

Now Some negatives

  • Didn’t meet my target – Despite the fact that I got paid for some work items, I didn’t meet the target that I had set for myself at the start of the month but What the heck – this is my first month !!!!!!!!!
  • I’m yet to figure out a long term strategy for myself. I know for sure that quiting a regular job and starting up independently was the right decision for me (the fact that I’m enjoying my work more now is a proof of that) but where do I want to go from here is something that I hope to figure out soon in the coming months.

BarCampDelhi3 was great

Had my first experience of Bar Camp at Noida last Saturday (8th of December). Around 100+ people turned up for the show. It was a great mix of Entrepreneurs, Bloggers & Techies. There were a couple of people from the media as well. Read on for more details about the event …..

The venue (Impetus Tech) was great with very comfortable atmosphere for discussions & presentations. The venue was split into three separate rooms, where sessions & demonstrations were held in parallel. The cafeteria was dedicated to content/blog related sessions, the main hall was where all the techie sessions were held & the lounge was used for demonstrations. The organizers were very actively monitoring the time slots for a session & ensured that sessions were progressing as planned earlier that day.

From the sessions I attended, I found the following ones useful

a) Planning Poker by Vineet Tyagi (Impetus) – Vineet Introduced us with a nice way to estimate software completion dates. It was based on Agile Methodology and involves around giving a rating to a task and then re-adjusting the dates (if required) after the first task is completed. The technique demonstrated looked very easy & logical. I am hoping to practice it in the next assignment that I work on.

b) Amazon Cloud computing (Jinesh Varia) – This session was liked by all who attended it. It introduced Amazon’s Ec2 & S3 services which provide storage & computing resources on the web. After the session, I have added a TODO item for my self to check them out in more detail.

c) Ruby Insights (Sur at Vinsol) – This was an introduction to Ruby. I was and am planning to experiment with Ruby and Sur provided a good introduction to the same. I’m sure that many others in the crowd would have also enjoyed this session.

Besides the tech sessions there was also a good discussion with Avinash (routeguru) where in he shared his thoughts & vision for routeguru & other similar applications in India. GIS Applications were discussed in detail in this session.

Overall it was great fun to be there & I congratulate the organizers for making this a success.

End of Employment

Today was my last day at Gisil; After ~9 years finally I have quit my job to set up my own business.

I’m really excited about the new world that I’m walking into. This new world that brings with it a lot of challenges & uncertainties. For example, when I wake up on monday, I don’t even know where to sit and work – to find a work environment is the first challenge. The next one being setting up a legal entity to allow me to do business in my country; Finding enough work for myself is also not going to be easy. There are many more challenges that are hiding there waiting to get discovered.

The fact that I have no idea on how to solve some of these issues is definitely a cause of concern, but at the same time, I know the amount of pleasure that I’m going to derive out of scaling each one of these issues in the coming days. This pleasure of winning the game after being labeled as an under-dog (I don’t have any partner in my venture, which is why a lot of people think that what I’m doing is insane) is what is going to drive me to perform.

BarCampDelhi3

BarCamp Delhi 3 is happening on 8th of December 2007. You can find more details about the event here. This is going to be my first bar camp & I’m very excited about it.

Have also volunteered to man the registration desk & get contacts to put it on their wiki. Fellow campers so see you there !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!