Yesterday night, I met St. John Goldfinger and Paul Jenkins for dinner. They are technology entrepreneurs based in the UK. They were in Bangalore for the EU-Karnataka Asia IT Enterprise 2006 Conference (quite a mouthful) basically looking out for companies to collaborate with on many of their projects. They wanted to meet few of the local people to understand the IT scene in Bangalore and India, and for some reason they had found me.

Paul and St. John Goldfinger

We had a very varied discussion from normal jobs vs your own company to software piracy to skydiving. St. John started out his career as an IT consultant and realized that “everyday was just like any other day” and decided that a normal job wasn’t for him, so he and a group of friends got together and started their own company and have been working on almost any kind of work from web design work (which earns their bread right now) to many ideas they think that’ll make it big.

One such idea is Kid-Safe. In countries like UK and USA, children have become addicted to the computer and internet and it’s very difficult for parents to control the usage, so Kid-Safe consists of a special software on a dongle which allows you to login to the computer only when the dongle is plugged into the USB port. This way, the kids usage can be controlled. They believe there’s a huge market for such a product. Personally, this idea was a bit strange to me at first because we don’t have such problems in India yet, but I could see why it can be such a problem in UK – after all, on an average, they have a computer for each person in the home and most children have computers in their own rooms.

I was asking him about how they come up with these ideas, and they said that’s what they love to do – ‘keep ideating’, and how do they do that? By constantly visiting new places and interacting with new people and trying to understand if there are technical problems they can solve. St. John has travelled all over the world – Eastern Europe, South Africa, China, US, and now India. It was interesting to hear about his observations of the people in different countries.

One of the things that we discussed was that St. John is looking out for some people here in India to oursource some of their work and he said he was finding it extremely difficult to find good people. They are looking to outsource two kinds of work – web-devel work which involves PHP/HTML/CSS/Apache/etc. and the other which involves C++ Programming, especially with Vista in mind. If you know anybody who would be interested in such kind of work (St. John has a very attractive pay offer in mind), please contact him directly (stjohn -at- softwareassociates -dot- nu).

We also discussed about cycling, trekking and outdoor activities, and I told him that Karnataka is one of the best places for such activities. One of St. John’s passion is skydiving – “Skydiving is one of my favourite hobbies, I have done about 100 jumps from around 12,000ft. You fall for around 40-50 seconds it is really good fun and very relaxing. You can do it anywhere in Europe, mostly I go to a place near Barcelona in Spain.” And they said they liked the food (especially the chicken) better here in Bangalore than at home and we calculated that it is ten times cheaper!

All in all, it was an interesting conversation and I hope St. John finds suitable people to work with here in Bangalore, and wish them all the best :)

Anybody interested in buying my PowerBook?

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The only reason to sell it is because I hardly use it any more, even though it’s in perfect working condition.

For those interested, I might throw in my copy of iWork for free (which costs a separate $79).

To recap on the features:

It is a 12″ Powerbook with Mac OS X 10.4.8 Tiger. It has a 1.5 GHz RISC processor (apparently, equivalent to a 3GHz CISC processor such as Intel/AMD ones) with 512 MB DDR RAM, 60 GB hard disk, Combo drive which can read DVDs and write CDs, a GeForce video card with 64 MB dedicated video RAM, Airport Extreme for wireless networking, Bluetooth built-in, very clear speakers, keyboard with big keys, and much more.

Update : Sold!

Today’s my last day at Yahoo!.

It’s been a great two and a half years. Sadly, it’s time to move on.

I was just recollecting today about how much history I have here and how many things I’m leaving behind. Moving on is not easy, especially when you’re smitten with your first company.

I’m gonna miss a lot of people.
I’m gonna miss the amazing parties we’ve had from TGIFs to the weekends at the MGM Beach Resort and at the Bheemeshwari Jungle Lodges camp.
I’m gonna miss watching cricket being played in the alley between cubicles.
I’m gonna miss cribbing about food on the -blr mailing list.
I’m gonna miss watching an India cricket match in the TV room when practically everyone’s watching and nobody’s working.
I’m gonna miss the pranks.
I’m gonna miss getting to learn about and play with Yahoo! products before the rest of the world does.
I’m gonna miss the -random mailing list where everything is discussed, spiced up with amazingly witty sarcasms.
I’m gonna miss days like the hack day.
I’m gonna miss my team, especially the lunch conversations, the coffee conversations, the cubicle conversations, the meeting conversations, how’d-the-interview-screening-go conversations, algorithm discussion conversations, actual work conversations and oh yeah, conversations in general.
I’m gonna miss the purple sofas and the bean bags.
Most of all, I’m gonna miss being a yahoo.


Listening to : “Leaving Home” by Indian Ocean.

I am getting really addicted to Open Shortcuts in conjunction with the search bar in Firefox. For example, just type !wiki bangalore and it’ll search wikipedia for you without having to do the 3-step process of opening wikipedia.org, then entering the search query and clicking on ‘go’.

You can create your own shortcuts as well. Just login to yahoo search, and run !set dict http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=%s, next time just type !dict anthropomorphize and it’ll take you to the search results page directly. The best part is that this now works from any browser and computer that you use.

To get to know the list of shortcuts you can use, just type !list.

!awesome.


“There are no shortcuts in life, unless you right click and find one.”