The mom test

I wish someone had given a copy of this book: the mom test, when I was starting up. It would have saved 1000 odd hours which as a team we consumed in meetings and shipping features.

As an early-stage company and a first-time founder, I have gone through many cycles. Sometimes misread what customer is saying irrespective of buying or feature requests.

If you or your friend is starting his own, give them a copy of this book. The book is all about asking the right questions from potential customers, understanding pain before writing a line of code.

We get so blinded with a few sets of conversations that we end up assuming a pain worth solving when there is none.

This book is going to be complementary with Jobs To be done book: when coffee kale compete.

feature crap

As an early-stage startup building product from the ground up, please prioritize features early on. It is a feature creep that will kill you before the starvation of funds.

It is very easy to fall for users feedback, compliment as an ego boost. We rally behind every other request we get from our users. We spend months building it and then we realize it has not moved the needle.

Every feature request from a user has to be thought through deeply. It should be vetted, all scenarios should be measured. Do not run after your tech team in building features a user request.

Avoid falling for feature crap and burning, killing your company. Put priority, understand users’ pain and only if it is worth building think of building it.


Reading media gives a sense that we are in an apocalypse. Everything is getting hammered from health to economy to life.

People are not only predicting the death of millions but completely reshape of the economy.

Nobody has seen the future, yet everyone is predicting. This prediction is creating a panic.

We don’t have everything in our control. We can give the best to what we have in control: taking precautions with health and finance.

Corona Effect

Corona Virus is talk of the hour. Be it twitter, phone, WhatsApp, everywhere is surfaces. WHO has declared it a pandemic. It started in China and now traveled across the world. It will take at least 18 months to ship a vaccine. 

It is elderly who are worst affected by this virus. The dogs are safe. Our government is on high alert with the task force, precautions in place. Schools, colleges, malls, theaters are closed. 

We are yet to see the economic side of it. Will it move us into another recession, I have no clue. The market is reeling though it thought, it is in shock.

Experts on Twitter are claiming, worst is still to come. Some are saying it is going to be worst than the 2008 crisis.

I and my co-founder were out for breakfast today. The only thing came to our mind was: How will we survive thought this? 

Being a small team, we came up with 3 take-ups away:

  1. Keep delighting our customers. Iterate and ship improvements.
  2. Tough times are temporary, relationships are for permanent. Keep it in mind.
  3. Do a feature freeze, focus on our strength. 

I am sure many of you would be having your principles to stick by at this time.

UX Learning

When I started building my product, I had no clue about user experience. Sitting with customers, listening to their pain points and watching them use products is learning. I am still far from being perfect, but getting better every day. 

Some Takeaway:

  1. Similarity: We humans avoid cognitive overload. We are lazy and dislike doing things in a new way unless it is mission-critical. In building our product, we should keep this in mind. We use Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram et all every day. We are aware of how a calendar, close, forward other actions happen, we can use the same flow. 
  2. Don’t’ make me think: If the default is not obvious, I am not going to take action. The standard example: push and pull written on doors. Opening a Wine bottle.
  3. Least clicks: On the application, If I have to take many clicks to reach the desired page from where I am, it is painful. 
  4. Add helper texts: Do not assume your user knows it all. They are not using or glued to your product as you are. Add helper text, pointers at places where it will be helpful.
  5. Focus: Giving too many buttons, too many actions to take is frustration. We should restrict it to one or two actions on every page as a focus area.
  6. Incentive: Remind your users on about his achievement for his or her action on your app. They have to feel they are getting something valuable out of their invested time.
  7. Minimalism: Multitasking is a disease, it kills productivity. Giving too many options to do one thing will confuse and make the user run away from our product. It will become a distraction. 

Thanks to Yashvant for making me write this post. 🙂


It’s always about money.

People will lie to you.
People will leave you.
People will fight with you.
People will make you vulnerable.

You cannot blame them, the era of consumerism and hoarding has redefined the meaning of life and happiness. It is not their mistake, marketers are winning and our consciousness is continuously sedated.


One of the key learning from reading philosophy has been: There are only a few things in your control, be it life and work.

We are living in uncertainty, we have no idea about how our peers, customers, loved ones react.

We have to keep working, walking the path of virtue and enjoy the journey. The moment we go for a destination or expectation trap, we are finished.

One of my all-time favorites has been Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius, I have shared a few dozen books of his to my peers.

We are surrounded by negativity and pain, people will pick on you. If you get affected by it, you have lost the beauty of this life.

“It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people but care more about their opinions than our own.

— Marcus Aurelius

“If anyone tells you that a certain person speaks ill of you, do not make excuses about what is said of you but answer, “He was ignorant of my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these alone.”

― Epictetus


For the last 6 months, I have been reading one or the other books of Ruskin Bond. I took justbooks membership to read mostly short stories and fiction.

The more I read Ruskin, the more I find myself in one or the other story of his. It is likability and similarity which drives me to read his books. From stealing guavas from the orchids to playing at water streams I have had all.

Apart from Ruskin, I am also attached to Khuswant Singh, Satyajit Ray, RK Narayan, Mark Twain. The more I think the more I realize it is because there writing has been the story of a common man.

Most of these authors are dead but their legacy will continue enlighting us.


Being a woman in a patriarchal society like ours has never been easy. The duality of ours praying women as mother Kali/Laxmi at the same time ill-treating wife, mother, sister is a daily occurrence.

We forget the reality that its mother who keeps a child in her womb before he comes to life. It is easy to forget the contribution of wife, grandma, mother in shaping who we are now. The belief, positivity and showing the success path, they should get equal credit for everything.

The repressed society where every step, movements of a woman is constantly gauged by society, just living in it is a big thing. Why a mother, sister has to still prove her capability for promotion, jobs more than other sex? Why is dowry still such a thing in our society? Why having a girl child is not equally celebrated as a boy?

Even these days, women have to go through a forceful wedding, killing personal aspirations.

Blessed are those who have got a company of women as mothers, sisters, grandmoms, partners, colleagues: I owe a lot to them in shaping me, as a teacher, guide, mentor, friend.

This world is created for everyone, why still women have to fight for equality?

Me and my mother.


In the busy world of communication, we are always glued. The destination has shortened, the relationship has shrunk. We have gone social with everything, our best possession of being with parents in their older days have gotten impossible.

We can blame it for migration, an opportunity for work and all. If we are not giving everything to them: love, respect, attention once our kids will grow, they will apply the same on us.