Notes from OpenStack summit, Vancouver

I was very ecstatic  to attend the recently concluded OpenStack Summit in Vancouver. While the summit was the main focal point of my trip, I was elated to bump into my friends and colleagues. After almost five years I was reunited with my very old friend Razique & Heiko.During the initial days of the documentation project I was involved in working with these guys, it was a joy to be reunited again. At the summit I also met Alex & Sam from The New Stack team and we got to discuss about the future of Openstack.

During dinner at Vietnamese food joint, we made a small podcast about the event besides writing down a post on determining the health of the OpenStack project.

Below are some of my notes determined from the overall event itself:

  1. The event venue was simply fabulous where WIFI worked most of the time and saw an attendance of over 6000+ attendees.
  2. The format of the event was modified to include container day as well as OPNFV day, a good initiative to widen the ecosystem.
  3. Seems like everyone is talking about OpenStack , even those who mocked it during inception.
  4. Containers was the buzzword. Everyone was talking about it.
  5. During the initial days, the champions for projects were acquired by traditional vendors.
  6. A lot of developers and early advocates have moved on to newer things which brings about new faces and talent. I guess it is a part of the overall evolution process.
  7. Neutron and OpenStack documentation is still an unsolved mystery and I am not sure if it can be solved.
  8. OpenStack has a total of twelve integrated projects that will explode in a year and the foundation is working on better ways to manage them.
  9. The marketplace where vendors were showcasing product was absolute fun, most of them had no projects specific to OpenStack.
  10. Accepting one click upgrade option inside OpenStack was considered wishful thinking. Now vendors like Red Hat, Mirantis or Canonical will be able to do it for your enterprise.
  11. It was good to see representatives from almost all major system integrators in India attending the summit and wanting to be part of it.

The next summit is to be held  in Tokyo, I personally have no idea if I will be present, but given the opportunity I may just go.Last but not the least thanks to OpenStack Foundation for keeping the project intact for a successful period of five years. Here’s to hoping the momentum continues.

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Sajid, Kavit & Me [Our team of OpenStack India coordinators ]

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Interesting Reads #34 #Startups #Technology #Life

We Don’t Sell Saddles Here
One of the most interesting read for the week, it demonstrates why Slack is so popular.

Trying Something New On Immigration In Colorado
Brad Feld talks about Immigration system especially relating to Colorado, he has been active supporter in changing current immigration system prevailing in US.

The startup CEO who stole $765k from his friends
Another tale from startup world where greed plays an important role.

Ingenious: Robert Sapolsky
Every question you had about your brain, Robert has answered in the series of associated video with the post.

Why I won’t run another startup
Worth reading advice from a failed startup founder.

Monitoring the progress of fermentation of beer
Always wanted to know whole magic behind it, this simple sensors are just magic.

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Interesting Reads #33 #Startups #Technology #Life

Naval Ravikant to VCs: “You can lie to your LPs, but don’t lie to yourselves”
Naval is founder of AngelList and well respected across valley for what he has done for startup ecosystem so far besides just being an angel investor. In this post he has been very open about the overall Venture Capitalist hierarchy and what goes  behind the scene.

Goodbye, SaaS — hello, Containers-as-a-Service
One of the interesting technology “Containers” acting as a big disrupter, i do not agree to everything presented in the post but do agree some part of it.

The great unraveling of globalization
Another interesting post from Washington Post citing how technology has bought us all closer along with the markets.

How Click Farms Have Inflated Social Media Currency
Ever wondered how per X has million followers on Twitter even though he/she is just ordinary like us. Do read this post to get story behind social media click farms.

Why VCs Need Unicorns Just to Survive
Unicorns are companies with over Billion $$ in valuation. The video interview with Zenefits CEO is good place to understand what is happening in VC world.

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THE IMPORTANCE OF CLOSE KNIT FRIENDSHIPS

I am not sure what inspired me to post this but I’m writing about valuable friendships that I am happy to be affiliated with.

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Achet & me.

Last year was a tough one for me. I was not in great shape with too many things stressing me out. The only thing that kept me going were my dearest friends. Yep they have believed in me more than anybody ever did. I travelled to Delhi a few weeks back and we laughed about same.

Its good to have that cluster of close knit companions, the ones who are there for you in every situation be it good or bad. I consider myself very blessed to have such good friends in my life.

Here is my suggestion to everyone out there, make friends but keep those few chosen ones closer to you rather than inviting everybody into your life. Remember it is not your Facebook friends or Twitter followers who will stand by you in and out through thick or thin but those selective bunch of people whom you can count on. These are the friendships that will be cherished and appreciated. They are the group of people you hope to have around when you are old, meet up for drinks,and if lucky, spend retirement with.

Ashish & Me.

Ashish & Me.

Sadly,in my lifetime I have lost many friends along the way. Maybe because I blurted out a few things that did not go down well or at times they did not appreciate my honesty or they also might have said things which were not okay with. As selfish as I may sound, it’s good that they are no more part of my life. I feel blessed with the fact that by having only a selective few bunch of friends who are there for me, I value and cherish them equally.

So wrapping up the post highlighting my closeness and gratefulness towards my selected few friends that I am proud to call my close knit associates. Share with me on how many such friends do u have?

 

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Interesting Reads #32 #Startups #Technology #Life

Transparent Funding Announcements
Brad in his traditional style writes about the good/bad/ugly side of being transparent and letting all the secret out about funding round.

Solo Co-founder
Manu Kumar from K9 Ventures writes about why it is difficult to find Co-Founders who thinks similar to you. In case you end up running solo, interesting advice he has for everyone.

Board Members
Sam talks about why not having an outsider as board member in a company are hurting startups.

HOW TO BE THE BEST AT ANY GAME IN THE UNIVERSE
James shares his experience in achieving success, as usual recommended read.

The Psychology of UX
Post everyone building a web app should read. It is all about building a clean UX. If me as a user not able to understand what button to click where, what is the point of using App at all.

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20 Lessons Life Has Taught Me in 2015.

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Kickstarting Tuesday with a perspective over my life, trying to analyze life’s lessons that I’ve learnt in 2015. Clearly, I’ve learnt atleast 20 valuable lessons that have moulded me to be where I am so far. The year is quarterly complete, I wonder what the number will be at the end of December. For now, here are 20 valuable lessons life has taught me in 2015 so far.

1.Be empathetic towards others: They say being empathetic requires you to stand in someone else  shoes. While it comes more like an intuition,I strongly think it is a skill that one can develop and developing empathy  has made me  a totally different person.

2.Become Independent: I’ve come to understand that being independent makes you happy. After all you came into this world by yourself so you will have to learn to live survive alone. This is a fortunate lesson that I’ve comprehended to benefit from my independence. It keeps me motivated to do things by myself.

3. Family is my support system: Surely, one of the best gifts you receive is family. They will always be there for you no matter what and staying connected is vital especially when I am home away from home.

4.My friends are diamonds in the ruff: I value my close knit friends who are always omnipresent for me whenever I am in need of them.

5. Make exercising a habit: I suddenly feel like I am getting old and I have to join a gym or atleast start exercising regularly to lift up my age a bit!

6. Eat well, eat good food: Consumption of food rich in proteins and vitamins is essential for anybody.My diet now includes a whole lot of fresh veggies and fruits and off course chicken/mutton/eggs for that extra protein.

7. Traveling: I’ve come to discover my true love for traveling. It is influential in making me more independent with a better view on life.

8. Quit worrying about others: I’ve learnt to also stop sweating over what others think of me. You really cannot keep everyone around you happy all the time.

9.Conversing with my subconscious mind: It may sound stupid but the power of the subconscious mind is amazing. It will help you in shaping to be a better human being.

10. Limit Drinking: I am beer fanatic and I after dousing a lot of beer over the past, I’ve not learnt to reduce my intake. Drinking less beer increases my time to do other things.

11. Reading is my new skill: I love this new skill. I’ve just started reading a lot of worth read material. I find it gives me better insight into the world and life in general.

12. Avoid TV/Media/News: I consciously avoid media and news. I find it to stress me out. So I prefer staying away from the idiot box. I mean anything from commercials to soap operas to even news debates triggers a sense of negativity.

13. Writing: From writing in this blog , I’ve developed the skill to write posts regularly. I am not sure how many views I get ,but the satisfaction that I get from sharing my point of view with the world motivates me to write more.

14. Don’t underestimate anyone: Everyone you encounter  will have amazing talents which we may not be aware off. Judging someone by his looks or his nature of job is pure stupidity.

15. Don’t burn bridges: over the year I was involved in a few exchange of opinions with many people, it cost me my relationships with them. I have realized that I should have made amends.

16. I love myself: I’ve finally stopped scrutinizing myself and finding faults. I am now living in a world where my happiness matters the most to me. The only motive for my survival is this one mantra :I have to be happy everyday. I know its not easy but am going to try.

17. Smile more: A smile is free, and smiling costs nothing, it makes my environment around much more pleasant also it’s a good exercise.

18. Learnt to lesson more and talk less : It came quite natural to me to speak more and listen less. After I realized that this was a folly and needed to be turned around, I have worked hard to change it to listening more and speaking less.

19. Help unconditionality: You quickly learn that once you start helping others without a return favor, you will find immense happiness with yourself. I am sure it is one thing that  karma will bring to you.

20. Move on and live in the present: Accepting everyday is going to be different is my last lesson. Now I really don’t dwell in the past.

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Interesting Reads #32 #Startups #Technology #Life

To Invent the Future, You Must Understand the Past
One of the most interesting post i have read so far on the history of silicon valley, recommended read for everyone.

Software Engineering vs. Product Manager Salaries
If this data is correct then Project Managers are making more salary than a software developer. In the post Author has compared salary of Facebook and Google.

TWITTER AND WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN
A small post on how twitter killed its ecosystem and 3ed party apps by making use of its API difficult time to time.

Tesla Energy
Tesla introduces Tesla Energy, a suite of batteries for homes, businesses, and utilities fostering a clean energy ecosystem and helping wean the world off fossil fuels.

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be an angel investor? 
Thoughtful post on what it takes to be an angel investor.

10 Lessons Learned From Being a Startup CEO
You want to startup, go read the post.

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Pray4Nepal

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Rescue efforts are in full swing as the depredation caused by the earthquake in Nepal and surrounding nations has brought life to a sad still. Images flashing across social media and news networks are only an infinitesimal proportion of the havoc nature has caused over the weekend.

The quake registered at a magnitude of 7.8 on the richter scale that also triggered deadly avalanches on Mount Everest.Then there were the aftershocks that hit the valley and caused more devastation.The death toll from Nepal’s earthquake is rapidly climbing with several injured and many more displaced without food and water.

Nepal is devastated and with news coming in over the profound loss of life and damages, one can only hope and pray for Nepal.

Last year I visited Nepal for about twenty days and stayed in Kathmandu for the start-up ecosystem coverage. I fell in love with the country and its people, liked everything about its culture and heritage. I made some really good friends as well. Luckily, most of them have informed me that they are safe. In the wake of such a natural calamity, we who are seated far from the epicenter of this tragic event can in some small way make an impact to save a life.

Here is what we should do:

Spread the word of organizations that are performing ground work to rescue and let the world know on ways to contribute. With access to internet and social media, we can connect to people across the world requesting for aid, help and relief for those affected.

Help connect  locals with their relatives who are stuck or reported missing via social media [It is already happening via Sushma Swaraj who is reverting back directly)

Donations big and small are welcome. You can contribute financially to NGO’s or even make small attempts of donating blankets, clothes, food items to serve those displaced from their homes.

Reduced call tariffs to Nepal. Viber, Airtel and BSNL telecom companies have reduced call tariffs to Nepal so that people can connect with their loved ones.

With the Facebook Safety Check feature you can tag your loved ones and check for their safety.

Google has opened its Person Finder tool to aid earthquake relief efforts in Nepal.Person Finder 2015 Nepal Earthquake by google.

If you are in Nepal, use Kathmandu Living Labs  to report situation in your area.

You can follow the following people on Twitter if you think you can help or in need of some help @nirajanme  @lok123  @DeepakAdk @bimalmaharjan  handling the crisis.

Also note the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu Helplines numbers : +977 9851107021, 9851135141

If you still cannot make any significant contribution from your end, a simple prayer for hope and relief is a great way to contribute as well. A pray for all those who are involved in rescue efforts, those suffering with loss of loved ones and for those missing and trapped. Let us join together and #Pray4Nepal.

Related stories:

Nepal earthquake: Death toll rises above 3,000

Viber Offers Earthquake Victims Free International Calls From Nepal

Nepal earthquake: BSNL, MTNL, Airtel allow cheaper calls for three days

How to help victims of Nepal quake

PS: On a personal front this tragedy has affected my hometown that is situated in the northern part of the state of Bihar. Fortunately, the impact and devastation is not as bad as Nepal. The sad news is that almost 50 people have been reported dead in Bihar.

 

 

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Interesting Reads #31 #Startups #Technology #Life

Money is a Rotten Motivator for Startup Founders
Interesting post with great example showing why MONEY should not be the motivator for entrepreneurship.

The Rise of the Twitter Mafia 
Another interesting post from CBinsights how startups scene is spreading with lot of new startups coming out from Ex-Twitter folks like Medium/Stripe to name a few.

Lessons I Learned from Co-Founding a Tech Startup
Interesting read for every technology g33k who wants to get into startup journey, the post covers excellent piece of advice.

Why India’s e-commerce boom will look nothing like China’s
Interesting post covering all the challenges Indian e-commerce giants might face as they look for growth.

We Are All Venture Capitalists Now
Interesting post with great analogy of overall VC ecosystem.

The Paradox of VC Value-Add
Another interesting post Brad Feld, go read it & see how much value VC really adds apart from writing cheques.

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On Substandard Marketing

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Lately, I’ve been receiving a lot of mails related to PMP training & other skill development for freshers. So I found a reason to write a post considering my inbox is spamming with this content. I wonder, if I am the only one getting these kind of mails/promotional campaigns via the email medium or targeted ads on social media? If so, why and how effective are these kind of campaigns for someone like me?

Here is my take on how this can be done but in a much better way:

Age Group : First of all know your audience. These campaigns/mails should be targeted on the basis of age groups and background checks if you will. For ex, I am unmarried and have no blasted  interest of buying baby diapers with a 30% discount!!! What a waste of my time and theirs!

Demography: If your product suits a particular demographic or area then plainly focus on that rather than mass advertising, Pushing irrelevant ads/campaigns of a product available/to be purchased in the United States is not going to capture my interest, leave alone market it.

Punchline: Why can’t emails have smarter subject lines? If I open an email or click on my timeline to navigate to the product page, I am expecting instant answers to advertising. I mean, it should clearly tell me what the offer is in less than 5 seconds of navigation..

Wrong Channels: Not that I’m complaining knowing fully well how much money circulates in advertising, but the logic is simple. Placing ad campaigns on wrong mediums is a waste of money. For instance, not everyone in India is on twitter so who cares what is available there?

Overdoing: I am least interested in receiving or viewing the same ad’s on every site I visit in a day either as a popup or as a banner, ridiculous! It will only make me dislike the product ever more. Its like being on twitter and 5 times a day promoting the same book every time, I simply cannot take it and chose to mute you.

I know some marketing agency or brands are taking care of their marketing and advertising on social media but the road ahead is a long one and the efforts are not good enough. We go to do better.

 

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