Chinese dairy industry issued apology to millions of mobile subscribers for tainted milk products, according to this BBC story. Question is - is apolozing by text message less sincere than being apologetic in person or in front of cameras?
This is another amazing story of how a doctor in Congo used Mobile Phone to save the life of a teenage boy. While in this case the doctor had to text a colleague in Britain and get instructions, one can imagine a scenario where these instructions can be stored in a repository and can be retrieved by texting to it when needed. Remember Expert Systems!
Since Mobile phone is the only way for large number of people in developing countries, it is the best tool for delivering health services, not just for trained doctors, but for semi trained medical professionals like nurses in rural areas.
India can definitely use Mobile Phones for such services.
With the advantages of online social networks being well established, thanks to technology, Cop Connection now looks to connect Cops across the globe. While the network is essentially restricted, it certainly provides interesting platform for Cops to collaborate, and learn from each other. Similar networks could prove useful in other areas where learning from peers is very important.
Indian hard line Muslim organization (Deoband sect), have now given their approval for online Nikah (Muslim marriage). The chairman of Islamic Council of India is quoted as "In such a marriage, Internet is assigned the role of a
who is authorised to formally
Ijaab aur Qubool
acceptance) made by both parties."
And vakil is a lawyer, in lay man's terms, which to me was always a real person!
This is the same sect that was most eloquently in favor of Taliban of Afghanistan, perhaps the most hard line Muslim sect of India. Taliban saw that sect as their spiritual guide.
1. Why are they in this business? To Make money? To change the world? Once you hear that, ask yourself why do you want to be in that business? 2. Who are their competitors? Are the competitors funded? Have any competitors been acquired? Who acquired them? 3. What is their current funding level? How much cash do they have in the bank? How soon do they expect to run out of it? 4. Is the product already designed? If yes, ask for architecture slides, under NDA. 5. Is the product already developed / in development? Ask for the standards they follow? Did their competitors build products based on standards? If the product will integrate within a larger ecosystem, how easy would it be? 6. Who else is already working in the company? Are their any contractors? Are any key people working at other company during the day, that might have similar line of business? Are their any IP infringment issues? 7. Are there any patents / pending patents? Who holds the patents? Is it the company or the founder only? 8. What are their plans of raising money? Will you be given options? If more money is raised, how would your options get affected? 9. What is their market? Is there a sales force? If not, how would the product be sold? 10. What would happen to your health insurance? 11. What is the track record of founders? Call some of their enemies / friends, or place where they worked as engineers. 12. If the product is developed and they have a non-paying alpha customer, who is it? Is that using the product to do what the product is advertised to do? Or are they using it to do something completely different? 13. Do any of your friends work in the same company? Follow them, spy on them. There's nothing wrong with it. 14. Are the founders doing this for the first time? Have they been involved in any other startup? 15. What about the office space? Is it more of show off and less of functional space? 16. Have any analysts covered them? Any reports about them? Any trade journals have covered them? 17. Is the company CEO centric or are other people heard? One way to determine this during interview process, is to hear carefully how many times CEO refers to himself and how many times he refers to team. 18. What was their hiring process? If you were not aware of your strengths and weaknesses, did you become aware of it during this process? 19, Do you think they will hire other people with weaknesses worse than yours? 20. What are you aspiring to learn from this job?
1. You start feeling too comfortable. When you reach that mode, your mind starts to ignore many signals that otherwise tell you about the bad health of company. 2. You are a hired as executive member of a startup and the few weeks later you hear CEO grossly overstating the financial state of the company. 3. You hear a startup lying to VCs about financial state of the company, in a desperate bid to raise money. 4. You are not paid your salary the first time for a month. Remember, the longer you stick without salary, the harder it will be to quit. 5. You hear founders criticizing each other. 6. You hear founders criticizing other executive in the team. 7. You see 10 customer presentations done, and not even a single one comes back for more information. 8. You are part of the executive team, but who is hired or fired is solely decided by the CEO. 9. Your CEO is using a $40K car, while the company does not have money to pay salaries. 10. Your promised stock options remain verbal promises and the founders are always giving excuses about it. 11. You are head of product development, but you see your CEO writing code for the product without you knowing about it.
Sprint recently launched location based rental apartment search with apartments.com. This is a subscription service for $2.99 per month. Sprint also offers Recently Sold Homes by Smarter Agent for $4.99 per month. When I was looking for apartment few years back, I would first go through Internet listings, Washington Post and other print media to locate the apartment listings in my desired area, get the phone number, setup and appointment and go see the apartment. The act of me calling the apartment company taught me that not always all the advertised apartments are available and not always all the rates are accurate. Sometimes they even had deals better than advertised in the print. However, when I did go to see the apartments, I was nearly ready.
This new location based service for rental search will allow the future renter to pull up listings of apartments, say while driving from work to home or in the neighborhood of choice. Of course, the user can still do old method of searching by typing in zip code.
Now, the real time nature of pulling up listings raises several questions - 1. If the listings I pull up are not really available, then I will get frustrated. That means apartments.com will have to get apartment managements to feed inventory in real time. 2. It is not every month that I am searching for rental unit (unless I am a real estate agent). In that case, why would I pay subscription for the months when I am not searching.
Perhaps charging per use basis will be better? Is it even feasible?
Carolyn Wei, a dcotoral student at University of Washington, conducted a study (Link to the post about it is here) about how mobile phone facilitates relationship maintenance in India. An interesting finding is the use of mobile phone for maintaining contact between to be bride and groom before marriage and after engagement. India, where most marriages are still arranged, and tradition does not permit contact between bride and girl, cell phone is being used as a tool to maintain virtual contact. Few interesting findings-
In arranged marriages: A young man was given some time alone with a prospective bride-to-be and he had one question for her: "What is your mobile number?"
Between working couples: One research participant often called or sent text messages to his wife, also living in Bangalore. If he lost his mobile phone he would be scared, he said, not because he had lost a phone but because he had lost this connection with his wife.
Traditional etiquette: Indian mobile phone companies typically bill the person making the call. Men will occasionally ignore or hang up on a girlfriend and then call her right back, a modern instance of picking up the tab.
Domestic spats: One partner might deliberately ignore calls to punish the other, or one might become angry when the other wasn't answering. In one instance a participant threatened his partner that he would not answer her calls for a month.
Wow! the last finding is really interesting! Threatening not to pick up calls! I wonder what kind of incentives would carriers provide for calming down such a person, so he/she starts answering the calls!
And perhaps #3 still has some male chauvinism factor in it.
However, the point I have is that the social norms for arranged marriages are also loosening up, and the effects of this will be felt in coming years, including greater understanding between couples after marriage.
This is an interesting analysis of how transferring large amounts of data is still cheaper to send by FedEx versus sending it over Internet. Does that mean NetFlix's business model of movies by mail will still be a good business model?