My CV of Failures

Well, it’s been quite some time since I wrote my last post. I think I should have added that to my CV of Failures as well. Anyways, over the last few weeks, the CV of Princeton psychology Professor Johannes Haushofer has been getting a lot of attention. He’s published something that he calls the CV of Failures which highlights all the things in life you failed at. He’s not the first one to do this though.

Inspired by Professor Johannes Haushofer’s CV of Failures, I decided to work on my own set of failures. The idea to make this failure resume got further triggered by Ankur Warikoo, a friend, and CEO of Nearbuy who shared his failure resume as well.

I have failed a lot of times, but only those really close to me know about these moments. Most of my colleagues, batch mates and friends probably believe that I am always successful. Many believe that their failures are because of their own ability or inability. I agree with Prof. Haushofer and believe that the world is rather stochastic, people have bad days, those on selection committees have bad days!

This is my attempt to recollect my failures and reveal it to the world. I feel this can be a big step towards gaining more knowledge about myself and putting my real self in front of the world.

Click on the link below to read my CV of Failures.

Prateek Panda – CV of Failures

“One of the huge mistakes people make is that they try to force an interest on themselves. You don’t choose your passions; your passions choose you.”

– Jeff Bezos

 

Careers in Social Media – What are the Options?

Social Media

If there’s an avenue to market in today’s fast paced world that cannot be ignored, it definitely is the social media space. The major types of social media platforms that can be leveraged for such a purpose can be broadly classified into the following:

  • Social Networking – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc
  • Photos, Video Sharing Portals – YouTube, Flickr, Instagram etc
  • Content Sharing Sites – Wikipedia etc

It is evident that such media should be appropriately exploited and a strategy team should be in place to take decisions to ensure that this platform is utilized and become competitive in the cluttered market place.

The potential is only larger considering the boom of smart phone purchase and its usage. The time per user on the social media has seen a quantum growth and the future sees a trend that is going nowhere but up. Another significant fact in this juncture is that 87 percent of small businesses use just social media as a marketing tool today. This again reiterates the need for an organisation structure that has clearly defined verticals that deal with social media marketing.

A social media marketing manager requires a combination of analytical skills, communication skills, patience and has to be able to conduct extensive research to understand insights so as to target the customers appropriately. It is also extremely crucial to have an excellent flair with the English language so that the reach of a single message is maximized and is understood by a larger audience.

To know more about social media careers, check out the video : 

The Toughest Startup Challenge – Hiring!

This is a reblog from a post I did on KillerStartups in 2012. It still seems to find relevance hence I thought of posting it here.


 

I am sitting at my desk in Bangalore, India, trying to figure out why so many startups around the globe fail. Many times, startups are backed by great ideas as well as awesome founders, then why can’t things be materialized as intended? From what I understand, and I am sure many will agree with this as well, the biggest challenge for startups today is not securing funding or having a great idea, rather the biggest challenge is hiring.

This challenge is being faced equally by startups around the globe. In India, particularly, the challenge is huge because we are also trying to overcome the social aspects when it comes to working for a startup. Most fresh graduates do not really think about working for startups. They are more willing to sit without jobs than to work at startups. Although this trend is changing slowly, we still have a long way to go before some glamour can be added to a startup job.

Easier Roads

Coming back to global terms, starting a company today has become a lot easier than it was a few years ago. Technology is less expensive. Cloud-based applications and infrastructure, as well as open-source software, are often very cheap or even free. Funding – from angel investors, venture capitalists and crowdfunding sites — is available in abundance, and many startups are finding they need less of it than previous generations required.

So What’s The Problem?

What is it that hinders growth then? Well, hiring and retaining your rockstar employees is the biggest challenge today. Startups have to directly compete with biggies like Google, Facebook, etc even while they are bootstrapped. The bigger challenge comes in finding good talent to work with you. As launching a company becomes easier and more straightforward, a lot of smart people would rather start their own companies than go to work for someone else’s. Result: a lot of open tech positions at startups and not enough qualified, committed people to fill them.

What do we as startups do in order to jump across this hurdle? Let’s try keeping the following things in mind:

1. Highlight The Want, Attract Hungry People

If you are looking to hire an engineer, make sure you have something innovative in hand. Many would join because they are hungry to work on innovative products rather than money involved in it.

2. Check Where You Are Hiring From

It has been seen that many of those who come from smaller cities tend to be better employees at startups than those who belong to tech savvy cities. The latter have more of a jumping tendency where they prefer working on one startup for a few months and then move on to another for a few months and so on.

3. Try Not To Recruit From Big Companies

People who have served big companies come with big price tags which they tend to hold on to. In that case it is better to avoid such people because you know they are in for the money.

4. Show Some Generosity With Equity, Treat Early Employees as Late Founders

Let me remind you again what our challenge here is – Hiring Good Talent, right? So, if we want good talent to work for us, we need to give something extra. There are reasons why many startups today are so successful. You need to make your potential employee realize that you have a product-market and apart from the regular pay and perks, he has the privilege to make loads of cash if the product is a success. This will make them work harder to make the product a success rather than quitting your startup and starting one of their own.

5. Don’t Wait

We need to realize that the chances of the perfect startup employee walking in your is fairly rare. So, startups need to go out and find the people they need by courting them.

6. Be Innovative and Move Quickly

Startups are expected to be innovative. Do not expect your employees to stay with you if they are not enjoying the work and the workplace. Make sure you are always innovative. Also, startups being small have the advantage of doing thing with no red-tape involved. Make sure you don’t get entangled in bureaucracy and keep moving quickly.

I believe there comes a time when we actually have to accept we are a startup and take decisions accordingly. Don’t be too choosy, instead use what you’ve got and try making it better.

If you employ a different strategy to find and retain your first employees, then do let us know in the comments.

CleverPet: A Game Console for your Dog!

CleverPet

I love dogs! If you agree as well then you’re going to love this one. CleverPet is an amazingly smart WiFi connected device that your pet can use. This device will help you entertain and educate your pet even when they’re home alone. 

CleverPet is a device that plans to train your dog to solve simple problems while you are at work. The best part is that it even rewards your pet when they complete the task successfully. When it begins, all the pooch has to do is push a button to get food, with subsequent puzzles growing in difficulty until it’s playing whack-a-mole with the light-up pads.

CleverPet2

The autonomous system is designed in such a way so as to engage and educate dogs throughout the day by challenging the animal with a variety of puzzles, and rewarding it with treats upon success. Three touch-sensitive, light-up pads sit at the front of the console, and a dog can use its paws or nose to interact with them.

CleverPet_HowItWorks

CleverPet is built using algorithms such that the difficulty of the puzzles can be adjusted on the fly. What’s even better is that the owners can track their god’s progress and add new challenges using the web interface or mobile app. One of the games is a take on Dance Dance Revolution that challenges the dog to touch pads as they light up in a particular order. According to CleverPet, the device can hold as much dog food as a standard dog bowl. And the system runs on the Arduino-compatible Spark Core, so users can build custom software for it.

Check out the promo video here:

The project has been listed on crowdfunding site Kickstarter and has raised close to $150,000 against a goal of $100,000. The project has been funded by 962 backers with 6 more days to go.

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