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Ola and Uber - An Experience

I have been using either Ola or Uber for my daily commute to work for the past few months.  I had a conversation with Drivers quite regularly, ranging from Politics to Movies.  I became interested in how their experience with Ola or Uber was like and how they felt about their customers.  They shared some funny and some scary incidents.

Some points that were repeated way often:

1.  Ola's business model does not help drivers, almost to the point of being predatory.
2.  Ola passengers (yep, us) are quite rude and demanding.  Uber's passengers are relatively more accommodating and polite.
3.  Ola's app is unstable, clunky and crash prone.
4.  Uber's initial plans for drivers were awesome, not anymore.  Less payout nowadays, but still better than Ola's (Uber suffered $780 million Losses this FY)
5.  Uber's app is super accurate and robust.
6.  Passengers don't understand the concept of Uber Pool/Ola share.  They just look at the low price, but don't grasp…
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Space as The Final Frontier - The ultimate High

Movies like Interstellar or 2001:A Space Odyssey always make me feel insignificant and hopeless.  It leaves me in despair.  But also accompanying it is a sense of grandiose and greatness, it's a mixed and confusing feeling that feels like an afterglow of a drug binge (metaphorically), quite difficult to put in words or even describe orally.

What I can describe, though, is the sense of adventure and camaraderie I feel towards humanity and the earth after watching those movies.  We don't take Elon Musk seriously enough when he says that humans need to be a space faring civilization.  We cannot leave all our eggs in one basket, aka the Earth.  There are very high chances of a global extinction event over a long period of time.  It could be caused by anything among disease, war, extra-terrestrial objects hitting the Earth, climate change, a gamma ray burst etc.  It's a question of 'when' and not 'if'.  And as the current species roaming around aimlessly on th…

Days of our lives at Work and Workplace

Let's talk about Work and Workplace.

We spend around 40-45 hours a week at work, considering a 5-day work week.  It amounts to 26.7% of our week.  Over a long stretch of time, we must be spending at least 25% of our LIFE at work.  That's a quarter!  And considering we sleep for around 30%, work amounts to 38.1% of our conscious lives!

Those exclamations aren't just out of place.  It struck me like a brick.  It is common knowledge, but there is a difference between knowing something, realizing it and it cutting through your conscious.  It was an unnerving realization.  If I am miserable at work, I am unhappy for a quarter of my total life, and more than a third of my conscious life! That's 5 years in an active carrier of 20 years.

I went meta to understand what caused this sudden surge of spirituality; I concluded it could be mid life crisis, a time when career, personal life and unrequited dreams surface from their graves.  However philosophical it might seem, I gave …

Adding to the noise - Agile is Dead, Long live Agile

The bugles of the death of Agile have been sounded.  Agile style of project execution is approaching its end of life, or so they say.  But what’s the alternative?  Waterfall gave way to iterative/incremental model which gave way to Agile, so then what’s next for Agile?  Pundits say it’s Continuous Delivery.  If you search Hacker News (search link) you’ll see a myriad of links shared.  It ranges from Agile was always wrong to begin with all the way to AI replacing all programmers and thus killing agile.  Like a smart guy once said ‘Generally, all broad generalizations are wrong’.  The irony is quite evident. 
So what’s it going to be?  Let’s see the current landscape of Agile adoption and how enterprises operate.  I checked a few surveys online to see how it’s faring.  The data shows that although a few companies are way ahead and have not only adopted agile but also embraced it in all aspects and have genetically evolved to fuse it in their culture, aka the DNA.  These companies hav…

Down the memory lane - A blog I wrote to introduce a service my friend launched in 2011

I stumbled across my old blog post on introducing a service called Korpool my friend had launched in 2011.  It was a sweet moment for me.

EDIT - The service is no longer available.  It was launched by my friend Siddharth Naik.

"
Korpool is a new service that launched some time ago and was in a stealth mode for some time while we tested it with select people.  Now, we have decided to showcase it to the world.  It's an elegant solution to a problem which many face, but are hesitant to discuss.  

Corporations have internal social networks, which are strictly private to the employees and have a strict code of conduct.  Sometimes freely expressing one's views on such intra-corporation networks costs employees their jobs.  What if the employees of the company wish to freely communicate without worrying about their employers eavesdropping?  One solution is using external social networks, but Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn are too large and too open a networks to be entr…

Thoughts on Employer switching

With the attrition season in full swing, I often hear people having more than one employment offers.  They are many a times very competing, and the decision is difficult.  Various factors come into play beyond the obvious ones (salary, designation, role etc.), like commute distance from home, brand value of the employer, the clientele etc.  In a few cases, even these factors are very closely comparable, making the choice all the more perplexing.

One factor, which I feel trumps a lot of minor ones and one which is often ignored by many, is the history of the employer in terms of the kind of treatment it metes out to its employees, especially during rough times.  This is perhaps, in my opinion, more important than most of the other factors.  Imagine, you join a company that offers good compensation, has good policies on paper and has a good overall brand value, but the core of it is rotten due to bureaucratic crap flowing down from top.  You would steadily burn out and pr…

The ultimate speed limit - Light, and why is it so

The movie Interstellar reinvigorated my childhood curiosity about the natural world.  Questions and wonder overwhelmed me.  My favorite subject during school and college was Physics.  I still love it and regularly read the new findings.  Interstellar got me thinking on many of the phenomena we don't observe; like what makes certain materials transparent and others opaque.  Why is the speed of light limited to ~3,00,000 km/s, what does empty space exactly consist of etc. etc.  A lot of thoughts came rushing.

I picked up a random one, why does light have a speed limit, what is the constraining factor?  I tried reading online and asked questions in science forums (like StackExchange).  Upon reading multiple sources, the response left me in awe.  Something amazing happened when stuff travelled through space.
A short answer to the question is:  The speed limit is not that of light, but the medium in which it is travelling.  This implies that ~3,00,000 km/s is the speed limit of the va…