Tuesday, October 30, 2012

JustBid.in - good one

Somehow I didn't follow the reverse auction sites so far. May be there is no big site so far in this domain but still, there are a few.
Recently I landed on JustBid.in and searched for other similar sites. These are the 3 sites that I found out -

1. MyBid.in
2. Bid2Win.in
3. JustBid.in

Out of the 3 sites, I tried out JustBid.in as at present they have least resistant to get a user started.
They give some 'JPoints' (something like a bid-currency of the site) on joining the site which you can use to bid.

I have experienced the site and the interface looks decent. On winning a bid, I interacted with the JustBid team and it was a good discussion extending beyond the bid, into their current model and future plans. All in all, a good experience and the team seems to be focused on quality of experience. And I feel, a good business model coupled with focus on quality is the must have factors for a start-up (for any biz, for that matter). So hopefully we are going to see more of this site and this domain as a whole in coming days. Probably this is next leg of the deals sites!

You can register with the site through this link -http://www.justbid.in/register.php?inviter_id=Mjc0
Disclosure: This referral link gives me their JPoints :) [If you don't prefer this link, try registering straight to the site. You can strike some good deals without any cost while the promotional period lasts :)]

Monday, February 20, 2012

HushBabies - review

Continuing my review of HushBabies from my previous blogpost -

This is the most recent experience. In fact I have not received the delivery yet even-though I ordered on 3rd Feb... almost 13 days back - 9 working days back!


  • Found a product which I normally don't find in regular stores. Though I am sure I would find it in stores for kids!
  • Apparently they were quick to dispatch(again... 'dispatch' vs 'deliver' as in previous case)
  • Their online customer chat service is slow. I would say if you cant make it prompt, take it out! Why open up an avenue that gives negative feeling to customer!
  • Even After 13 days, my product is not delivered! I feel as the courier company's performance has direct impact on their customer service, they should have very very strict SLAs with the courier companies! A customer should not be expected to chase courier companies for the product's delivery!
  • Prices are not exactly competitive. Maybe it is the nature of the products - the kind of discounts we see in electronic items, may not be possible in this product category.
I have dropped them an email for my order. I shall update the blog with their response and the date when/if[:)] I get delivery of the product!
 I had to send them 3-4 emails (no response!) and had to call them 3 times to hear lame promises. Finally, cancelled the order! This is where FlipKart makes a BIG difference!
The last thing I want to do as customer of an e-comm player is to keep checking with them about my order. There can be genuine reasons of delay and I would accept it but once that negative cycle of "repeated inquiries by customer and false promises by vendor" starts, it's time to write off that vendor!
I shall post the link of this blog-post on their fb page - I am sure it will be deleted! :)


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

E-commerce player reviews

Last time I reviewed Flipkart on my blog under the post 'Amazon of India' and The amazon has entered India already this time around - through Junglee route!
However, I am not going to write about Junglee or Amazon here - I am purely going to talk about my experiences with some of the E-Commerce players here. This will be crisp blog with positives and negatives of my experiences!

I ordered an ExternalHDD from LetsBuy a few months back.
  • Nice clean interface.
  • Competitive deals [they may be making loss though :)]
  • Apparently they were quick to dispatch (Mind it, I said 'dispatch' not 'deliver' - There is a difference and a BIG one!]
  • Interface can be improved to add more filters.
  • They were way too late to deliver! - Now here is the difference between dispatch and deliver... After ordering, in a day or two, their site shows that the product was dispatched but it reached me more than 15 days later. So either their site showed incorrect information or they didn't push courier company enough to ensure customer experience. [Never faced this problem with Flipkart!]
  • BIGGEST problem - pathetic customer service. Sent then at least 2 to 3 emails but no response either through mail let alone phone call. Finally had to call them to get the status which was also a lame response like ' we will deliver it soon'.
Now that FlipKart has acquired it, I feel customer service will improve for sure. I would be willing to pay a few bucks more for better customer service!

Medplus Beauty
This is  the online-arm of MedPlus pharma chain. I order Gillette Mach3 blades [That's the only 'beautification' I use :)]

  • Excellent price - got almost 7-8% discount on something like Mach3 blades where normally u dont get discounts unlike electronic items!
  • Excellent customer service - Well, here too my experience was similar to FlipKart one - the courier guy charged me for octroi but when I contacted the customer service, they were prompt enough to call me to apologize for the goof up and revert the charge back to my account in cash!
Negatives: Nothing in my experience.

This is the most recent experience. In fact I have not received the delivery yet even-though I ordered on 3rd Feb... almost 13 days back - 9 working days back!

  • Found a product which I normally don't find in regular stores. Though I am sure I would find it in stores for kids!
  • Apparently they were quick to dispatch(again... 'dispatch' vs 'deliver' as in previous case)
  • Their online customer chat service is slow. I would say if you cant make it prompt, take it out! Why open up an avenue that gives negative feeling to customer!
  • Even After 13 days, my product is not delivered! I feel as the courier company's performance has direct impact on their customer service, they should have very very strict SLAs with the courier companies! A customer should not be expected to chase courier companies for the product's delivery!
  • Prices are not exactly competitive. Maybe it is the nature of the products - the kind of discounts we see in electronic items, may not be possible in this product category.
I have dropped them an email for my order. I shall update the blog with their response and the date when/if[:)] I get delivery of the product!

That's all about my experiences. Regarding TimTara, I read following in a start-up group that I am member of - "I have ordered laptop with them like almost 20 days back. I am not able to reach them either via email or their customer support number. I even spoke to Raja who is the CEO of his company even he is giving some irresponsible response. If you write in their face book wall its being deleted. When I did some research looks like lots of people are facing this issues this issues."

Reason enough for me to not shop with TimTara!


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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Amazon of India

E-commerce scene is improving in India at a rapid pace and it is certainly a promising space set to explode.
As the internet connection is becoming cheaper and ubiquitous in India and as internet is becoming an obvious communication medium for upcoming generation of India, this space is to grow even quicker.
Having said that, online shopping has been available in India for years now through the big daddies of the online space like indiatimes, rediff, sify, homeshop18 etc. India found it's ebay in the form of Bazee (which is now ebay india) but India is yet to find its Amazon. If I ask myself the question - Do any of the 'bid daddies' have it in them to become the Amazon of India?, the answer would be 'NO'. (Did you notice caps?)
While I was in UK, I loved to shop through amazon for these reasons:
- Unbeatable prices
- Ease of use
- Customer Service Quality.... the trust factor and transparency.

I feel 'the big daddies' are way behind on the 3rd parameter here and that is good enough a reason for me to believe that they are certainly not going to be amazon of India.
After a couple of not so good experiences, I personally have decided to not purchase through them. I would rather shop from traditional offline market.

But then, online shopping is certainly a huge opportunity in India and there certainly are a few players who may be at the nascent stage at present but are growing by leaps and bounds.

If I have to choose possible Amazons of India, I would go for 'FlipKart'. From the look and feel of the site, I feel even Infibeam might be almost there but I don't have personal experience of shopping @ Infibeam.

As for FlipKart, my first order on Flipkart was on 6th march 2008 which might make me one of the first few customers of FlipKart. Since then I have order many books through them.
I get the same feeling while shopping with FlipKart that I used to get with amazon in UK.... the very important - transparency and trust factor! On almost all occasions, I received my books in less than 24 hours of time with neat and clean packaging!

Flipkart has recently ventured into selling items other than books as well... like movies, music, games and mobiles. And my latest purchase on FlipKart is a mobile phone [Samsung Monte S5620, to be specific :)] Probably this was my first purchase of an electronic item from an online store in India (for the very same reasons - transparency and ....).

I had a very good experience with flipkart and hence I ordered the mobile from them even-though at a couple of places it was available a little cheaper (by some Rs 100/150).
Now let me describe shopping experience -
- As I said price was not the lowest. For example, Infibeam was selling it at Rs 8875 but with a tagline that "Applicable Local Taxes,Octroi charges shall be born by the customer". The tagline suggested an unknown price factor and hence I choose not to go with them. Also, If I have to try an online shopping site, I would first try it for an item like books where quality of the item is not a big concern.
- I ordered the mobile for Rs 8999 on 31st July, 2010 (Saturday).
- I received delivery yesterday on 3rd August, 2010 (Tuesday). while they mentioned that possible delivery time will be 5 to 7 days, I received it on 2nd working day itself! Same - great experience as was with books!
- The courier guy asked for Rs 380 for octroi charges (and got receipt for the same)!!! I did pay the charges to the courier guy at that time as I's busy but I did post a mail to flipkart saying I would have appreciated being informed upfront about octroi charges.
My mail content -
I received this order (referring to mobile order) but I had to pay Rs 380 as octroi charges.

While I understand that this may be fare and valid charges that FlipKart has no control over, I would have appreciated if this was mentioned (the way InfiBeam does) upfront while placing order.

I have had good experiences of shopping books with FlipKart especially for the transperancy in the transactions.

I always used to brag about FlipKart infront of my wife and you have given her a strong reason to taunt me :)

(It's not about Rs 380 - it's about transperancy and trust factor.)

I wrote the mail yesterday afternoon at about 3:30pm and received a call from them today at 11am. (I love their turnaround time - be it order delivery or customer service)
The flipkart-guy informed me that courier-guy is not supposed to collect octroi charges and it must have been some misunderstanding on the courier company's part. Also that if I would have called them immediately, the confusion would've been sorted out.
However, they have promised to refund the money in terms of discount coupon in 24-48 hrs and I accepted as I will invariably purchase a book in future and it would certainly be through flipkart. (I didn't ask for cash back- not sure if they would've agreed to give cash back but I feel they would have)

I feel that such operational issues are bound to happen once in a while but what I loved is that the company is willing to rectify those and that too pretty quickly (Did you notice bold font?).

[I would certainly love to apply for IPO of this company if it lists today :)]

P.S. I used PhoneCurry to choose the mobile phone. They have decent interface to search mobiles... making it easier to find best value for money!


Sunday, July 06, 2008

BookEazy.com - MovieTicket Booking in Pune

It has been almost 3 months I have been in Pune.
I stayed in Pune for about 4 months, about 4 yrs back and certainly it's a different city now.
It has overly carried the heat of Indian Real Estate upsurge.
During last 4 years, I have stayed in Chennai, Bangalore and UK.
Pune is definitely in line with Bangalore now.
But somehow Pune seems to have been affected by inflation a bit more than rest of India has. Certainly more than Bangalore. :)

Ok... coming back to the topic -
One thing what I miss in Pune [compared to Bangalore] is the dynamic 'Online-life' of bangalore.
But then, It's not that Pune doens't have online life at all!
May be not as much as in Bangalore, but certainly it exists.
One good site I found here is www.BookEazy.com
Especially, I loved the design of the site. It looks very neat-n-clean and very much a 'web2.0ish' design.
One thing, I didn't like about it is, it's business model.
Rather, I should say I didn't understand it. They must be having some logic behind it and if so, I would like to understand it.
Biz model:
One has to pay a certain amount of money in advance. (refundable deposit)
Maximum 2 tickets (Refundable deposit Rs. 295)
Maximum 4 tickets (Refundable deposit Rs. 595)
Maximum 6 tickets (Refundable deposit Rs. 895)

Huh!!! I feel suffocated!
I find it really hard to use a service that ties me up with it. It is the same case with BookEazy.

=> I 'normally' require only 2 tickets as I watch movie with my wife.
But note the highlighted word in above sentence..... that's the problem!
I don't want to commit that I will never go for movie with a cpl of my frnds or my wife's frnds joining us!
At the same time, those might be rare occasions - I would not like to block my money in form of refundable deposits for such once-in-a-while occasions.

=> Ok... let's think about bachelors now. [I was one - about 7 months back! :)] Pune has been over-flooded with IT folks and students and it's still counting! Generally the scenario with these bachelors is, groups are formed instantly for watching movies and number of persons in a group is always uncertain. [a real-time system! :)]
BookEazy won't be too handy in such cases!

The Biz Model I would have liked:
Well.... Because of my interest in entrepreneurial activity, I have been following many many startups during last 5 yrs (formally that is - informally, I have been doing it ever since I guess).

One thing I noticed during my so-called case studies of the startups is, it does not have to be complex always.
In fact, most of the startups come out of the simplest of the ideas and procedures!
BookEazy can also keep it simple... book tickets online, charge money and give e-tickets or give sms code... that's it!
Why you want refundable deposit and make ppl pay at the ticket counters and all such (relatively) lengthy procedure!

Oops! It clicked me now -
I just wrote, in the beginning of this blog-post that I could not understand BookEazy's Biz Model.

While writing his post itself one possible reason clicked in my mind - "Customer loyalty"!
Definitely, this is one 'plus'(???) of BookEazy's Biz model. Customers who sign up with them will buy tickets with them only.... almost always.
But then, if this is the reason, there can be better ways to get customer loyalty, than to ask for it.

And again... it will be simple - Give customers rewards after booking certain number of tickets.
Or may be even better, keep the same rates - 200 Rs for 36 tickets or may be even 100 Rs for 15 tickets.... but just give e-tickets or give some ticket code through sms.

I remember booking 'Taare Zamin Par' in Bangalore fame-cinema like this. They gave me a code through sms and when I go to the ticket window, they ask for my credit card for verification.

Though I liked BookEazy site and all, just because of this 'loss-of-freedom' I haven't registered with BookEazy yet.
Anyways, I have TicketPoint nearby my house - I am ready to pay 10 Rs ticket for that 'freedom' (or may be just a misconception of freedom.... whatever it is!)

Of course, these are my views as of now and it can change in future!

On the flip side, it is very much possible that -
> the BookEazy team would have though about all the points I have mentioned above.
> They would have faced certain issues in going by the 'simple' way I mentioned above and this is rather an intelligent work around they came up with instead of bowing down to the issues with the 'simple' way.
> If that's the case... kudos to the team; If not, I would really want to understand the reason for such a Biz model!

Tekh Olweiz,

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

16 Sites for Web Design Inspiration

Where do you go for design inspiration?

read more | digg story

Thursday, March 27, 2008

YahooMaps vs GoogleMaps

When I was in uk, we extensively used google maps for driving-directions whenvever we went around by car. Certainly that kind of service was missing in India around one/two years back but with likes of MapsOfIndia, MapMyIndia, MapUnity, GoogleMaps and YahooMaps coming up; we can see the online maps (especially driving-directions) service becoming a competitive space.
Though these services are in their nascent stage at present but then for a country as big as India it may take good enough time before we see a full fledge service that covers whole of india.
It is very much possible that most of these companies will focus on major cities only at present.

Most of these services have focused bangalore as their starting point. GoogleMaps is pretty good in UK in terms of providing driving directions but here in India, MapsUnity looks to be much better than GoogleMaps in Bangalore.
I was searching for driving directions in Pune (From Aundh to Viman nagar). First I tried using googleMaps but same for bangalore, googlemaps was unable to provide driving-directions.

Then I searched on google for "Pune maps" and found "in.maps.yahoo.com" as a sponsored link.
It was a pleasant surprise to the quality of service of YahooMaps. Along with efficient driving-directions, it provides an interface to send the directions to your mobile, something I didn't see in UK.
This is one more example of dominance of mobile phones in India. As it has been said many a times about India's Internet Space; India centric Internet firms always look for a 'mobile-phone' option for their service.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Yet Again - India's Online Travel

Although I haven't been too aggressive at writing my blog, I have been regularly reading the Tech-blogs; especially India centric ones.

Two of the new sites in Indian's online travel space I can mention here are iXiGo and 90DI. iXiGo, if I remember correctly, was launched in beta long time back. I remember using this site a few months back, although it was launched officially in Jan end.
During Oct/Nov time, I did extensive search through all the travel sites for a package to Mauritius [My honeymoon trip after my marriage on 3rd Dec :)] and finally I decided to go with MakeMytrip.

During that time only I learnt how many travel portals are available in india. The ones I searched through were -
MakeMyTrip, Yatra, TravelGuru, Arzoo (Sabeer Bhatia!), Cox&King, Raj travels, SOTC, TravelMasti, JourneyMart etc.

After checking out packages on their site, I mailed all of these OTAs. What tempted me to go with MakeMyTrip was their promptness in replies and their proactive approach of providing much more information then I asked every time. I will say Yatra and TravelGuru were close second, though.
Of course, these are not the major parameters for judging the service quality of the OTAs but then, I didn't have any other parameter to take into consideration! Rest of the things were almost same!

Anyways, back to iXigo and 90DI; My personal favorite for local flight ticket booking has been ClearTrip because of their neat-and-clean UI. (Unlike UIs of MakeMyTrip, Yatra, TravelGuru...
The UI of iXiGo is almost as cool as that of ClearTrip but the advantage I find at iXiGo is that they direct me to the airline's site for booking [Yes... I will say that's advantage! :)]
OTAs like ClearTrip and others charge cancellation/rescheduling service charge in addition to what the airline charges.
For this sole reason, I generally prefer to book through the airline's website directly whenever there's a chance of me canceling/rescheduling the ticket!
It is surprising to learn that ClearTrip's result cannot be found on iXiGo as ClearTrip chose to deny access of their data to iXiGo. (http://devanand.wordpress.com/2007/07/07/ixigo-vs-cleartrip/)

About 90DI, they have used AJAX (e.g. in city search feature) but somehow the design doesn't look attractive. The frontpage looks to be too big or may be,the logo at the top of thepage eats up too much of screen-space!

Albeit, they have come up with some new idea. Providing Flight+Train solution.
Useful for people like me.... A always have to book Flight+ Train to go to Surat From Bangalore (Bangalore-Mumbai-Surat)
The feedback I sent them was -
There should be a feature to choose desired time difference between flight and train timings.
Generally the train timings you display are hardly 45 to 90 minutes time-distance from flight landing time ( I searched for Bangalore-Surat route), but practically speaking, one MUST expect the flight landing (or the time to come out of airport) to get delayed by more than 1 to 1.5 hrs.
I always prefer to keep at least 2 hours difference between my flight landig time and train departure time.

Anyways, good service to provide flight+train timings.
You can introduce Flight+Bus service as well. Bus is always a possible alternative to train.

Monday, August 06, 2007


Well.... ppl who know me, are fairly aware of my inclination towards web2.0
Here's another reason why I luv Web2.0

Two weeks back (26th Jul) , was my mom's birthday.
The gift I sent this time was a collage poster which included 8 of the photos of whole family... My mom, dad, Harsh (my bro), Dimple(my fiancee) and myself. The order I gave was from PicSquare.com. I am not marketing PicSquare here [:)], similar kind of service is provided by iTasveer as well but there were two reasons why I chose PicSquare: One - It was cost effective. Collage at iTasveer is almost double the price of the same at PicSquare!!! Two - I would have had to spend too much of time making the collage on their tool doodlepad (on the +ve side, 'doodlepad' would have provided me great flexibility to customize my collage.) and i was in hurry coz I was placing this order at 2am!!! [:)]

Anyways, I was giving this order from my MacBook and not being very familiar with Mac yet, didn't figure out a tool on Mac which is similar to MS Paint.
And that made me feel the need of an online image editor.
I had come across one chinese site some months back - IEPhotoshop but this one is not that handy. You get too many "Server Too Busy..." errors on this.
Another one I came across yesterday and found it really cool - Graphita

Check it out.... you will like it!



Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Aah.... I think I almost forgot my erstwhile hobby!!! Just checked and my last post on this 'Teknoloji Upfront' was in Feb... almost 6 months back!!!

Was going though a couple of sites/startups on Indian web horizon and somehow reached this site http://www.etsy.com

Two of the indian startups - DilSeBol & Myntra - have started on same business model as Etsy. Definitely one can feel that the quality of work and "Krietiviti" is much better on Etsy but I must say it's good idea for a startup - especially as it has a very clear revenue model. As the sites will grow old, the quality and creativity in the designs will improve for sure.

The level of creativity on all these sites depend on how creative are the artists who post their creations here. I checked couple of artists on each site and I feel the designs are better on Etsy with respect to other two sites. Myntra seems to be better than DilSeBol though.

Well, but what stirred me up to write this post is not only the creations by the artists on this site. One of the page of Etsy itself looks cool.

Check out this page.....


Scroll your mouse wheel and see the effect… It shows recently posted images on the site in order…

It’s flash work only…. May be not too much challenging technically but good idea.

Tekh Olweiz,

Saturday, February 17, 2007

MakeMyTrip.com - $100 million

In my last post on this blog only, I talked about Travel portals popping up in Indian web space.
This news on ContentSutra drew my attention and I was a bit surprised, positively of course, to read that makeMyTrip.com has crossed $100 million sales mark in early February, earlier than their target - to achieve this sales mark by year end. Now they are aiming at $120 million by year end.
Well.... This is what surprises, and at the same time, encourages me. My inability(!) to gauge market size.... may be, I am too conservative, too cautious. Everytime market comes out to be much larger than my estimation!
I didn't imagine than online travel portals can have such a mammoth (relatively) market size. Be it $100 million or $120 million, it's larger than my imagination!
MakeMyTrip holds about 55% market share which makes the total market size of about $200-$225 million per year. And still, I think Indian online travel portal market (rather, whole Indian Online market) is in it's infancy at present.
I would like to find out what will be market size of Travel portals 5 years down the line!
Also, what is the size of whole Online market in India at present and 5 years down the line!

Tekh Olweiz,

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Indian Travel Portals on Fire!!!

For last few months I was a bit passive towards tech blogs/tech news.... May be that's the reason I am a bit surprised by reading this news on ContentSutra.
Cleartrip Gets $8 Million In Series B From DAG Ventures.

I heard/read about ClearTrip some months back. During those days I was reading back to back news about different travel portals starting up on Indian horizon. Apart from ClearTrip, there were a few like MakeMyTrip & TravelGuru.
The blog on contentsutra talks about funds secured by all these travel portals.

Having stayed here in UK for last 8 months, I am not surprised why so many travel portals are mashrooming and why all these travel portals are also managing to secure VC funds.
Most of the travelling in & around uk I did in last 8 months was done via online bookings.
Not only flight/train/car-rental booking but also hotel booking. This is one thing - online hotel booking - still not very popular in india.
Rather I should say that the most popular online travel booking in india is booking of Flight Tickets. I myself haven't used online booking even for Train, let alone car-rental(is it available?) or hotel booking.
Still Indian mindset do not think of Internet while thinking about travel planning.
It might take some time for Indian people to get accustomed to Online route for planning their travel. At the same time, these sites look to be in their infancy at present.
So may be a couple of years down the line both - Mindset of Indian people & quality of these sites - will evolve and that will spur the growth of these sites, which, by then, would have been 'elders' in Indian Travel Portal space.

Tekh Olweiz,

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Vivah - The movie

"Just an hour back I came back from watching movie 'Vivah' " - After reading this statement, I won't be suprised if you think that I am writing this blog to appraise/criticize the movie.
But if you have noticed one thing; I am writing this blog in my TechBlog and not in my personal blog which clearly means I am gon'na talk about some tech stuff related to the movie.

Yesterday I was reading one of the blogs that I refer regularly - www.Emergic.org. The writer of this blog, Rajesh Jain, is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of Indian Web space.
In Emergic, he talked about the companies he has invested in currently. One of those companies is Rajjat Barjatya's Rajshri Media. This triggered my curiosity about Rajshri media. I logged on to the Rajshri.com which reads as 'India's #1 Broadband Entertainment Destination'.
The objective of Rajshri media is to provide Indian Entretainment content worldwide through digital medium.
Their site talks more about the vision and goals of Rajshri media.

Vivah is premiered online by Rajshri media and that makes it the first indian movie to be premiered online.
You can download vivah, with 72 hr rentle license, for USD 9.99. I think this is first effort by a production/distribution house to distribute their movie via digital medium.
Well.... I think, the biggest obstacle for companies like Rajshri media will be piracy. Especially, I personally feel that Indian mindset is more inclined towards using pirated copies which might make it challenging for such companies to succeed phenomenally in Indian market. But Rajshri media, at present, looks to be targeting NRI consumers and that will definitely give them scope to breath. Also, it will have an advantage of being an early entrant in this India's 'Digital Entertainment content' space and of having no potential competition right now (at least as per my knowledge!)

I will really be interested in knowing revenue generated by Rajshri through this mode of Distribution, though not sure if I will be able to get this information from somewhere.

Anyways, talking about the movie - in some scenes it looks to be a bit over-sentimental but overall I think it's a good, decent movie - a typical Sooraj Barjatya movie. Whereas 'Main prem ki deewani hu' was a complete disaster with respect to his previous movies (personal opinion, of course!); this one looks to be in-line with Maine pyar kiya, Hum aapke hai kaun and Hum saath saath hai. If you liked those movies, I am sure you will like this one.

As Broadband penetration is increasing with fairly good speed in India, I think this kind of new foray's will keep opening in Indian Internet market. The indian Web space is relatively still in its infancy which is sort of a -ve point, but at the same time it means a giant opportunity.
Afterall, something not being 'in-shape' means an opportunity to contribute towards bringing it 'in-shape'.

Tekh Olweiz,

First Web2.0 acquisition in India

After a long time I am coming back to my tech-blog.... And it had to be an exciting news like this to pump me up to write a post here -
Read this blog on www.WebYantra.com, one of the Indian Blogs I refer regularly.
Bixee, Pixrat - two indian web2.0 companies - were acquired by MIH, the Indian arm of the South African media company, Naspers.
These two companies were two of the early entrants in Indian Web2.0 space. Bixee is a job aggregator and Pixrat - a social picture bookmarking site.
I have been using del.icio.us, a social bookmarking site, quite regularly for about a year now.
Have briefly tried Pixrat but am not a regular user of this site as yet.
Anyways, read original blog on www.WebYantra.com.

-Luv Olweiz,

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Found out this excellent site today on Ajaxian

What it does???......

"TAPEFAILURE is a “history recording tool.�? What this means is that anyone can record a browsing session using TAPEFAILURE’s recorder, then save it, and share it with others. Each recorded session can be played back virtually perfectly through our playback tool; as long as you know the tape ID or have a link, you can view your recorded session over and over again."

Checkout one sample recording session I created....


I am just thrilled thinking how useful this can be for training purpose.....


Blogged with Flock

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

First Post from 'Flock'

Found this browser just now.

This is new browser supporting many web2.0 services.

This post I am making through the browser.

Download & Check out this browser from www.Flock.com

This is actualy my second post from Flock, first being on my personal blog.

As such, I haven't explored the browser much, but it's been so far so good.

Check it out yourself.....

technorati tags:

Blogged with Flock

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Google Trends - India tops in search for 'Venture Capital'

Today while I was routinely checking different blogs/articles through feeds, I found ths interesting article in the feed of Venture Intelligence which said Indians search the most for "venture capital"

It was about a google trends result which displayed India on top in search of the term 'Venture Capital'.
I checked on google trends for the cities in India for this trend. The result of this search was surprising enough for me to make me write a blog on this.
Check the result here...

Alternatively, click on the snap here to see the screenshot of the result!!!

First in the list was Ahmedabad. It sure was a surprise but Surat being on the 4th place was gud enuf a surprise to overshadow the earlier one. Surat is ahead of Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai!!!

- Sarang.

Friday, May 12, 2006

miPod (Read "My iPod")

I purchased an iPod about one and a half months back.

To start with, I am not a hardcore music fan. I was gon'na come down to uk and hence needed a few GBs of portable storage.

I won't say either that I bought iPod for memory but for sure if iPod would have been providing just a couple of GBs of memory, I would have certainly gone for an external hard disk rather than iPod. It's just that the iPod with 30GBs was serving two purposes - music and memory - for me and neither of these alone would have sufficed to make me go for it.

Now, some +ves and -ves of iPod that I have felt so far.....
- One good thing is as I said above - music and memory in one handy gadget. Bonus is video.
- I said video is bonus coz frankly speaking, I personally think that the battery limits the use of iPod as a video device, by large extents.
The battery of iPod lasts for just about a couple of hours while watching a video. According to me, this takes away the whole(well... almost!!!) pupose of portability of the iPod.
- iTunes: Excellent software but why the hell such a tight coupling with iPod??? - iPod is virtually useless without it.
Somehow it gives me feeling of the arrogance of Apple. Apple is considered to be an arrogant company (on the lines of it's CEO - Steve Jobs!!!).
- But of course - no compromise on the quality of the product. Excellent Quality of sound! (again - on the lines of Steve Jobs.... vying for perfection!)

AND The bottom line is - IT IS A BIG SUCCESS!!! Just around the time I purchased it, iPod surpassed the number of Macs Apple has sold so far.

I have written this many a times in this blog - I am a big fan of this guy, Steve Jobs. Here is yet another reason why I am!

Let's see....
If I would have conceived whole idea of iPod in my mind, if I would have been having all the resources handy to start manufacturing of the product and launch it in market AND if I would have not seen something like iPod succeeding phenomenally in the market; I would have not started a company making and selling iPods.

I don't know whether my statement above is making any sense to you - but what I mean to say here is that according to me iPod is just a simple package of 'mp3 player software + a chip + a hard disk'!!!
Any company could have launched it before Steve Jobs did it.

It's not some great idea that someone else would have not thought of. It's just that no one realized this simple idea's potential of becoming such a memoth success!

I read one quote by Steve Jobs, something that he said when he joined Apple again in 1997/98. "The war of Personal computer market is already over and is won by Microsoft long ago. We need to focus on something else now."

I think it's the same case here - Now other companies are coming up with iPod's counterparts(including iRiver by Microsoft) but I think the war of mp3 players is almost over and is already won by Apple/Jobs.

It was just a matter of being at the right place at the right time, as it is with all the successful entreprenuerial ventures.
Anyways, iPod has definitely made me learn something that - Somewhat arrogance is acceptable provided how you put it in the air. Apple could have kept the iPod loosely coupled with iTunes and that wud have given a bit more freedom to the customers....but whatever may be the case, the product is a success - a BIG success!

Well.... if you are an iPod fan, I wud luv to be criticised - if you don't agree on some of the points I mentioned here.

- Sarang.

Sony MouseTalk (SNE) = Mouse + Skype

It's been long I wrote a tech-blog here.
Well... no specific reason for that. Before flying for UK, last week was busy enuf to not allow me any time for blogging or tech reading. And after coming here.... well, didn't feel like writing one.

Now, let me start actual blog!
Yesterday found this good site http://seekingalpha.com/ and added it's feed on my google homepage.
Today saw this feed on my google home page from this site with title 'Mouse + Skype = Sony MouseTalk (SNE)'.
What prompted me to click on the link was Sony + Mouse + Skype together.
Sony has not been too much into internet technologies, at least not in my knowledge.
So it's association with a hard core internet venture Skype made me curious to read this.

Nice product, may be not for a country like India, as of now, coz this product is mainly for users with portable computers - which is not a BIG thing in India, as yet.

SeekingAlpha writes:

Sony Corp (SNE) has introduced an interesting “concept” mouse that doubles as a Skype-certified phone. Sony MouseTalk seems to be designed primarily for notebook users and I have feeling it will catch on more in Japan than anywhere else given its price and size. (read more on the link...)

To cut the story short - It's a mouse for notebooks which can be used as Phone also - the communication channel will be Skype.
The article on the site lists down some of the key features of the product along with a snap.

- Sarang.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Yahoo's new Messenger

Originally uploaded by gigaom.
After Google launched Gmail(which is undoubtedly more efficient than yahoo mail - at least I find it so), there are few reasons why I am still hanging on to my yahoo id.
One of the strong reasons is that I have many friends who use yahoo msgr and my yahoo id is relatively very old.

Yahoo is coming up with it's new version of Messenger.

Om Malik writes;
Yahoo has made a strong bid to integrate most of its communications properties into the IM client. I like the fact that you can send emails, make calls, or even send text messages from the same client.
Read more....


Friday, March 10, 2006

Google buys Writely.com

Just a few days back when I was writing one such blog; I felt lack of easiness in editing my text with respect to that in MS Word and I thought wouldn't it be gr8 to have a blog site which is coupled with online word-processor? Something like "Blogger + Writely"???

I wrote about Writely long back in my 2nd blog here - "From 'Desktop' to 'Web'". One of the earliest companies in online word-processing. I was completely surprised to see this RSS feed in my google homepage saying "Google buys Writely". I had no indication that google will go for Writely.

Well, I am not claiming that I'll always have indications about this kind'a acquisitions [:-)] but I have been waiting for a news saying "Google buys Riya". Riya - I wrote about this Indian founded image-search engine which performs searches based on face-recognition technology. One more reason why I got surprised was Writely is still just in Beta.

Anyways, I still think sooner or later I'll hear news about Riya's acquisition by google; but for now the news is about formal announcement by google that they've acquired Silicon Valley startup "Upstartle", gaining Writely - Internet word-processing software.

Writely, is an online word processing service; in layman terms - you can say it's Microsoft-Word as a website.

In my 2nd post on this blog ("From 'Desktop' to 'Web'"), I wrote about a rumor - Google's plan to launch a WebOS (and a web based PC - without harddrive).

Looks like the buyout of Writely is a step towards WebOS for Google.

Read more about this deal and an interesting comparision picture (I am sure u'd like it!) between Microsoft and Google on Om Malik's Blog here.

And yeah, about my uneasyness in editing my text on Blogger - I should hope that soon It'll become easier to do so; as Blogger is a Google product and now, Writely too is a Google product!

- Sarang.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

WestBridge Capital Partners invests $8mn in Shaadi.com

ContentSutra Writes:

This is breaking news. Just a few days after WestBridge Capital Partners (and Intel and Sequoia Capital) invested $10 million in Mauj Telecom, the Bangalore-based venture fund has announced an investment of $8 million in Shaadi.com. Both Mauj and Shaadi belong to the People Group, owned by Anupam Mittal.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Found this site Pixoh.com

It allows you to edit ur pics online. Though the features are very limited - resize, crop, rotate and of course - undo, save.

But still looks a good site and moreover to that a good idea.
More features should be added.

What I liked in the site is the way it smoothly resizes the image; as if you are resizing it using a desktop application!!!
Looks like an AJAX implementation, what do you say?


Monday, March 06, 2006

Sabeer Bhatia - Back in Action!

The poster boy of e-mail, Sabeer Bhatia - founder of HotMail, is back in action. Last week only read about two of his ventures. One is into Web2.0 space - BlogEverywhere.com- and another one is a VoIP Service.


ContentSutra Writes:

This is a Web 2.0 product and was launched in Delhi today. It claims to enhance the speed and functionality of e-mail browsing and allows users to post their comments on any website in the world.

To make hotmail faster, the the tool developed by Blogeverywhere.com downloads messages to the user's personal computer when the internet connection is idle. This ensures that to access the message the browser does not have to go to the server hosted in US, as it is available on the user's PC. It also allows users to delete the e-mail messages from their desktop when they sign out of the hotmail. In future, the company is planning to offer similar functonalities for other websites like Rediffmail.com.

In one more of his venture, along with co-founder Yogesh Patel, he has started VoiFi Technology Corporation that will provide a freely downloadable VoIP solution VoiFi.

"You will be able to make a call from anywhere in the world to a cell or fixed line in India for as low as Re 1 per minute," said Sabeer Bhatia. VoiFi is currently in talks with telephony providers here in India to enable this.


Sunday, March 05, 2006

Virtual earth

Were you surprised by seeing Google Earth???
If yes, then I must say u'll get fainted by seeing this - Microsoft virtual earth.

MS is known for being excellent at catching up. Seeing Google earth I did surely feel that Google has overtaken MS by long distance.
But here's Microsoft's answer to Google Earth ..... Just amazing!!!!

BTW, do not forget to vote the poll [@ right column of the page]


Friday, March 03, 2006


Found this site Box.net which gives you 1GB of online storage space. Unlike other upload-sites; this site lets you create folders in ur user space. So the look you'll have will be similar to ur desktop folder.

Have a look at the snap....

Sunday, February 26, 2006

What's Up

Came across this unique news site "what's up"... the news is displayed on the world-map.

The site is built by Jeroen Wijering, a graduate from the Design Academy in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Check it out.... really cool one.


Friday, February 24, 2006

Social Networking

It looks likes Social networking has become one major idea for dotcom startups.

Day-by-day I am finding more and more social networking sites and surprisingly most of them are doing quite well..... It seems, even though there are many sites to compete, all of them are being able to find their fair-share in the big market.
Here are few of the sites I am member of:

Orkut.com - A google venture.
mySpace.com - It's said that this site has more traffic than Google search engine.
tagWorld.com - today only became member of this site... looks good. It has managed to get 700k members in just 3 months.
Hi5.com: I m member of this but not using it much. The other options look better to me.

Let me know, if you have came across more of such sites.


Firefox - VoIP Extensions

Om Malik writes 'Firefox Goes VoIP, With Extensions'

Voice-computing mash up continues. Today, France-based OpenWengo released a Firefox extension that allows users to make free phone calls to each other. Open Wengo’s parent company, Neuf Telecom offers the optional Wengo call-out service so that you can dial out to PSTN/Mobile numbers. Till recently, they have been pushing a classic softphone, but I am betting that the Firefox extension is going to be quite popular. If you are signing up for this, let me know … we can chat!

Open Wengo, in many ways is like OpenZoep, an open source effort by Dutch start-up, Zoep . They also have a a Firefox extension that allows users to make phone calls from within their browser. Like Open Wengo, it is SIP based and allows you to call old-school PSTN (and Mobile) numbers. Zoep acts like a back end engine for this service.

OpenWengo and OpenZoep are two examples of “mashed-up” apps that have a potential of mimicking the viral growth of Skype.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Someday, I would like to post a list of the technologies; I think, will be dominating in the next few years.

Certainly, if I go for a quick thought; two of my favourite technologies are Web2.0 and IPTV. I have posted quite a few posts on this blog about Web2.0 but none on IPTV. When I read this article about IPTV on my "my.yahoo.com" page through the RSS Feeds (well... this is one more technology to watch out for) of BusinessWeek, I suddenly realised that IPTV is missing on my blog.

This article talks about Cisco's aggressive plans for IPTV market. In nov,2005; Cisco acquired Scientific-Atlanta Inc., a global provider of set-top boxes, end-to-end video distribution networks and video system integration. Cisco sold certain kinds of IPTV equipment in the past but through this acquisition it's targeting end-to-end IPTV market.

Verizon is one more player which is quite aggessive for IPTV market in US (watch out FiOS TV).


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Yet Again - Steve Jobs on my blog.

Well... once more I am scribbing 'Steve Jobs' in this blog. Can't help... I am a big fan of this guy and he's certainly in news these days.
This time it's about Disney's acquisition of Pixar.
On Jan. 24, Walt Disney Co. agreed to acquire Pixar Animation Studio - founded and headed by Steve Jobs - for $7.4 billion in stock.
Jobs is chairman, CEO, and 50.6% owner of Pixar. As part of the deal, Jobs will become the largest shareholder at Disney and will become a board member of Disney.

"We've been talking about a lot of things," says Jobs. "It's going to be a pretty exciting world looking ahead over the next five years."

Well, if Steve Jobs is about to bring yet another revolution - following Apple, Pixar and iPod; then it might be in terms of iPhone or iTV where one can download/view content - a TV show, a movie or even a video blog - provided/hosted by Disney!!!!


Monday, January 23, 2006

$100 Laptop!!!

The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) announced that Quanta Computer Inc. of Taiwan was chosen as the original design manufacturer (ODM) for the $100 laptop project.


One Laptop per Child (OLPC) is a Delaware-based, non-profit organization created by Nicholas Negroponte and other faculty members from the MIT Media Lab to design, manufacture, and distribute laptops that are sufficiently inexpensive to provide every child in the world access to knowledge and modern forms of education.

Barry Lam's Quanta Computer lnc, the world's largest computer maker, manufactures all or most of the notebook computers for top companies like Dell, IBM, Apple, Hewlett-Packard etc.

"Quanta plans to start shipment in the fourth quarter of 2006, and turn out five to 15 million US$100 laptop computers each year, a business worth $20 million for the next five years," Quanta spokesperson Lee Tu-ching was quoted by the United Evening News as saying.


"The UN is backing the project because it can help promote education in the Third World," Lee said.


Mobile TV Alliance - Nokia, Intel, Motorola, Texas Instruments comes together

Mobile TV has been a buzzword for quite some time now.....

Read this news today about alliance, called Mobile DTV Alliance, formed by Nokia, Intel, motorola, TI and Modeo.

The alliance aims to promote the DVB-H(Digital Video Broadcasting - Handheld) technology standard for mobile TV.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Father of www starts a blog

Was surfing through blogs as usual and found this one - "Web’s founding Father starts a blog"

I have been surfing through blogs of a number of biggies... CEOs and other big-shots of the tech world. Had no idea that Tim Berner's Lee - the inventor of wolrd wide web - had no blog as yet.

Anyways, His first blog itself caught up gud enuf attention. 455 comments were posted to his first post and eventually they had to turn the user-comments off on the first blog.

Read the blog of Tim Burners Lee here.

Web2.0 softwares

Dion Hinchcliffe writes on his blog about great Web2.0 softwares.
Few of these I mentioned in some of my previous blogs[1, 2, 3]) and I am subscribed to(I am using it); but the list goes on.

Nice list to go through. There are two pages by Dion 1, 2.


Apple vs. Burst

Last year, Microsoft paid a lump sum of $60 million to Burst.com to settle the suit filed by Burst.com against the giant accusing it of infringing on some of Burst.com patents for video streaming.

For quite some time the negotiations were going on between Apple and Burst for Burst accusing Apple of infringing some of it's patents in the products like iPod, iTunes etc.
What was expected out of this; was that either Apple will pay Burst for the license (the way MicroSoft did) or Burst will sue Apple (the same way they sued Microsoft). But the out come is quite unexpected - Apple has filed a lawsuit against Burst.com as a proactive strike over the patent dispute claiming that the patents are invalid.. If Burst wins this suit it'll be it's second major win over the Biggies!!!

Anyways, right after the settlement with Microsoft (for $60m), Burst announced that it'll use this money to find out other companies infringing their patents!!!

- Sarang.

Friday, January 13, 2006


Alexa turned into web service - Amazon back to its innovative best by ZDNet's Richard MacManus -- John Battelle just posted that Amazon is opening up its Alexa search data and tools to the world! Will this make Amazon a major search player? According to John, Alexa has about 5 billion documents in its index, which is about 100 terabytes of data. With this move anyone will be able to [...]

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Apple..... All set to re-gain the sweetness?

Steve jobs.... I am a big fan of this person. Read a line about him when he appeared on the TIME's cover page..... "The man who always seems to be knowing - WHAT'S NEXT"

Starting with PC-Revolution with 'Apple & Macintosh' followed by 'Pixar Animation studio' followed by yet another revolution - 'iPod'.

For last couple of days Apple is again in news for CEO Steve job's announcement (at Apple's annual Macworld show in San Francisco), about launch of the MacBook Pro, which will replace the PowerBook line of its high-end notebook PCs, and a new iMac all-in-one computer.

The main part of this announcement which drew media attention is that these two machines are the first to use Intel's Core Duo microprocessors. Apple is moving to Intel chips from the PowerPC chips it had used for years, made by IBM and Freescale Semiconductor Inc.

Well, that's not all about Apple. Apple has filed to trademark the phrase "Mobile Me", furthering speculation it could introduce an iPod phone..... Planning to take a pie of the very Hot - mobile market!!!

- Sarang.

AOL acquires Truveo

Well... It seems I can't get enough of blogging today! This is my 3rd post of the day. ;-)

Is it really a fast paced competition in Search Engine space or I've started reading too much lately???
Don't know the answer exactly but in last few weeks I've come across news about many search engines. Most of them coming up with some kind'a unique feature.

One such feature is People search: example- wink.com, Activeweave, Jookster, Kaboodle, and Rollyo.

One more feature is Photo search: example- Riya.com, based on face recognition technology, started by an Indian. This is not exactly same as image search on google, yahoo or other search engines coz they searche images based on the metadata available about the image and not by face recognition.

And another feature is Video search: There are many players in this space of video search including google, yahoo, altavista, lycos and many more. Now AOL has entered this space by acquiring Truveo
Of course all these video-searches are based on the metadata available about the video. Read more about how exactly Truveo performs search.

Talk Digger

Found out this new site called http://talkdigger.com/ which tells you on what all webpages your homepage's link is provided.
Well..... useless for you if you don't own a homepage/blog link. ;-)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

From 'Desktop' to 'Web'

The rumors of google planning to launch a cheap, Internet-linked PC without any hard drive and based on an open-source operating system has made me think, 'Is this going to be the most needed catalytic breakthrough for web2.0?'

Web2.0 had not certainly been a buzzword in 2005 but the term definitely drew some attention during last year. The term is rapidly gaining attention in tech community.

Today there are several players into this Web2.0 space and the count is increasing day by day. Few of these, I have read about, in last few months are - salesforce.com, writely.com, ThinkFree.com, 37signals.com, Flickr.com(acquired by Yahoo).

The growth of Web2.0 indicates transformation from 'Desktop' to 'Web'(rather from 'Microsoft' to 'Google'!!!)

Even Microsoft can't keep itself out of this space. It has recently announced launch of a beta version of 'Microsoft Office Live' (to be launched in early 2006).

First Post

I have been reading technical blogs for quite a few months now. Infact most of the reading I did in last few months over the net has been tech-blogs only. And hence, thought of starting a technical blog of my own. So here it is, www.teKNOWlogy.blogspot.com (teKNOWlogy: read 'Know Technology')

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