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Agile Entrepreneurs Manifesto

The Agile Manifesto defines the 4 core Values that define "Agile":  "Individuals and interactions", "Working software", "Customer collaboration", and "Responding to change" As I applied Agile requirements (user stories), engineering (XP), and process & project management (Scrum & Kanban) to my startups (RideStation, and Agile Entrepreneurs) starting from 2005 to now in 2018, I learned numerous lessons and shared them with my fellow entrepreneurs for the next dozen years.
These lessons I have incorporated by "extending" the Agile Manifesto with two additional values pertaining to Product (5th) and Startup/Business (6th) - that the services consultants who wrote it in 2001 probably didn't have to contend with as most (all?) of them were not founders of product startups: 
"User Validation, Customer Traction, and Business Milestones"
Agile Entrepreneurs Manifesto User & Customer ACTIVITIES over Product Feature…
Recent posts

Splitting User Stories vs. Rally's "split" feature (that has nothing to do with it!)

Agile tool Rally has a "split" feature it recommends to handle "unfinished work" in a Scrum Sprint:

Manage Unfinished Work - Split user stories (new link)

Below are my observations on the "Split" feature in Rally (followed by a few excellent articles on Splitting User Stories):
This "split" feature in Rally has numerous problems: 1. Nothing to do with Splitting User Stories It has nothing to do with "Splitting a User Story" which is an advanced but fairly well-understood field in Agile, and a tool for Product Managers to use in one of the two scenarios: The Product Manager does it before an Iteration commences (i.e. during backlog creation or release planning) to create User Stories by business value that are right-sized, i.e. they can be comfortably implemented inside an iteration; The Product Manager does it in Iteration Planning or in the middle of an Iteration to reduce scope by removing/simplifying acceptance criteria, in response to t…

Agile Project/Engineering/Product/Organization

I just came across a very good article on achieving Agile proficiency.

True Agile proficiency requires a radically different way of managing Projects, Engineering, Products, & Organizations.

Agile methods sometimes get a bad rap ironically because of the huge growth in their popularity and adoption. To meet the demand, a lot of organizations hire "Agile Coaches" and "certified" practitioners who are recycled Consultants & Project Managers from the world of waterfall and PMP and have merely re-branded themselves instead of truly reinventing themselves.

Lean Startup

The following are my initial thoughts on "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries - before I had read the book. I have read the book since then, and will post a detailed review later.

I'm the founder of Agile Entrepreneurs. I started Agile Entrepreneurs in 2006 to share my lessons -failures more than successes, but also successes built upon those failures - with my fellow bootstrapping entrepreneurs. We had a few initial hiccups, we really got going in 2007, and over the next several years, nearly every Friday evening I sat in a room with a variety of entrepreneurs with only one thing in common - they were all bootstrapping founders of hi-tech startups building products. None of them had anything more than a polite interest in each others' companies, but they were all bound by empathy for each other - they were bound by our motto: "Make Your Own Mistakes, Learn From Mine". I had - and have - plenty of lessons to share, the two most fundamental of them bein…

Agile Entrepreneurs do it by Osmosis

Entrepreneurs learn best by Osmosis
We need role models we can emulate.
Entrepreneurs we can relate to - in Scale, Time, and Context.
Scale We need people who have succeeded at what we're attempting, but not to such an extent that there's a daunting chasm between us.It's easier to see how we can emulate the success of a peer than that of Steve Jobs.Time The success has to be recent for it to be relevant. - because everything changes: technology, market, consumers, investors, the economy.Many of my advisors who were successful entrepreneurs over a decade ago are now relearning these lessons themselves, - the hard way, while pursuing their next startups.Context If the success is derived from a context foreign to us, it's hard to see how we can emulate that.Factors contributing to success are often either downplayed or exaggerated, for effect. You need to know the story behind the story. Don't get me wrong- I'm sure some of you will figure out the right lessons to l…

User Stories for Product Managers

I've previously said that User Stories are the most powerful construct in Agile methods, more than TDD, in my view.

The challenge in using User Stories though lies in the fact that they shift the responsibility of getting things right - and quite fairly I might add - from the Engineering team onto the Product Owner/Product Manager. And unless you have strong buy-in from management, it's difficult to make it to the end of the Product Management process and to a point where you're cranking out iterations one by one.

The key lies in efficiency in creating and managing User Stories, and tying them effectively to an evolving User Interface even as the product starts coming alive.

I'm planning to share some of my experiences and thoughts on this soon. Meanwhile, I found this interesting article while searching the net for splitting stories along CRUD capabilities.

Ways to split user stories
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Funding an Entrepreneur's Pedigree

I got sucked into this debate with a friend, who is a great person and definitely not the type of investor I'm arguing against. That's why, it would be nice to hear first hand from the type of entrepreneurs I'm talking about - those who know similar startups that got funded because of better pedigree of founders, while they bootstrapped for years without investor support.
========================================

My friend is trying to explain to someone w/ a Harvard MBA why the 90% net income margin in their financial model is not believable.
-

Me
... and yet, in the end, most VCs still end up investing in people with degrees from Harvard and Stanford; coz it's takes talent to spot talent, and a lot of work to support and nurture it. If they fail, it's not the VC's fault; if they succeed, the VC made smart investment.
-
My Friend
Murali I think that statement might be a bit over the top. I know plenty of unemployed / unfundable ivy league grads. It's not a magi…

The Wise & Persistent (a.k.a. Agile) Entrepreneur

The Wise & Persistent (a.k.a. Agile) Entrepreneur "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand RussellThe Dunning-Kruger effect explains the pervasive and perverse phenomenon where people with less competence rate their ability higher than do people who are relatively more competent.
The successful pursuit of any major goal in life requires many things including the much overrated Luck. In my mind, two qualities stand head and shoulders above everything else as absolutely essential to success:
Your ability to LearnYour Persistence I've previously discussed how to improve your ability to learn.

Today I want to share with my fellow entrepreneurs my thoughts on persistence.

I'm sure you had enough lessons of persistence knocked into your head. And it may even be getting to a point where the word starts to lose its meaning. But the thing is, persistence will lead you to…

User Stories: you're not Agile without them

Failure to effectively transition to Agile development is often based on a fundamental failure to understand what a User Story is.

Allow me to explain.

The most important aspect of a User Story is that it's an independently *schedulable* unit of requirement (feature). The key to achieving the "independently schedulable" characteristic of a user story is that you express it in terms of how a "user" would use it. This leads you to a unit of functionality that's implemented end-to-end (UI to backend) that a user can actually interact with.

Not surprisingly, because of the focus on how a user would think about a feature, a user stories are highly readable - and could very well be written by the users themselves. However, the other important and less obvious aspect of a User Story is the emphasis on communication with the end-user and getting confirmation on the acceptance criteria.

Describing all the requirements as User Stories for a decent sized product is rigoro…

I say XP, you say Product Management; I say Scrum, you say Project Management

Chances are you've heard about Agile before but you don't know what the heck it is - even if you think you do.

Chances are:
if I say "Agile", you think "methodology"if I say "Agile process", you think "Scrum"if I say "Scrum", you think "daily standup meetings"if I say "XP", you think "Pair Programmingif I say "Requirements", you think "PRD" The problem with the above word/phrase associations is that they establish an incorrect image in your mind about the essence of XP, Scrum and Agile. It is this image that determines in the end whether you succeed or fail when you attempt any Agile method; in fact, it is this image that decides if you'll ever seriously attempt to use an Agile method to build software.

No wonder that Agile methods often get such a bad rap from smart, well-intentioned, successful software developers, engineering le…

What does your VC have to do with your spouse?

Last week at Agile Entrepreneurs, an entrepreneur asked the inevitable question of valuation and equity you need to give up in return for VC funding. As the other entrepreneurs in the room chimed in with the expected answer, the analogy hit me.

Getting funding from a VC is like getting married. No matter who you marry, you give up 50%. And while every man dreams of marrying a hot bombshell, who he ends up with has a lot to do with who he is and how good he looks.

That pretty much sums up the terms you're likely to get from VCs:

The amount of equity you need to give up is fairly constant, irrespective of the amount of money you raise. And the amount of money you're able to raise depends on your leverage.


Moral: Focus on making yourself (and your company) more attractive, i.e. building value. There's not much else you control when in comes to negotiating with VCs.

Venture Quotes for a softening economy

Guess who said the following?

"There's a lot of hot air and arrogance in the (VC) business that we all would be better off without""...useless pontificating in front of entrepreneurs working harder than (VCs)...""...VCs who constantly speak of deals and projects, reveal their self-interest and slight the labor and dreams of the entrepreneurs"

If you think it's some disgruntled entrepreneurs who don't "get it", think again. In the past, I've made some pretty strong but heartfelt things, and I could have said the above, but I didn't.

Read on here to learn who uttered these pearls of wisdom.

What's in a User Story?

Being Agile: my occasional ramblings on Agile development & Extreme Programming

I constantly run into people who claim to be Agile but don't understand XP (extreme programming). And a lot of people fail to grasp the essence of XP because they get stuck on an XP principle that they find threatening - 'pair programming' and 'test driven development' are the usual suspects.

I'll focus on Pair Programming and TDD another day. Today I want to discuss the most important and fundamental aspect of XP - User Stories.

User Stories are like better, state-of-the-art Use-Cases - simpler and lending themselves to be scheduled individually.

Think of a User Story as a fine-grained Use-Case, leading to better estimation of effort, tracking of progress, and higher quality of implementation (fewer bugs due to requirements that are fine-grained, thorough and less ambiguous).

A User Story looks just like a bug would in a bug tracking system:
a one-line title summarizing the requir…

In search of common sense

Guy Kawasaki wrote an article a few days ago titled: In Search of Inexperience

He talks about why serial entrepreneurs are not necessarily what they're cracked out to be - implicitly arguing in favor of first-time entrepreneurs.

I wrote a comment there which I'm reproducing below.
____________________________________________

I agree with the premise, but disagree with the analysis. In other words, the theorem is correct but the proof is wrong.

In the 8 years since I first dived head-first into entrepreneurship, I've found that people with common sense - in this Silicon Valley chockfull of analysts, MBAs, VCs, and "angels" - are an endangered species.

It is plain common sense that anyone who is hungry, passionate, persistent and all that good stuff is more likely to succeed than someone who is not as motivated.

But the malaise afflicting the armchair quarterbacks in the Silicon Valley (i.e. anyone who is not an entrepreneur) is the obsession with bottling up the…

The Man Who Thinks He Can

A blog post by Guy Kawasaki inspired me to go digging for this classic poem.
Dedicated to all my fellow bootstrapping 'Agile Entrepreneurs'.

The Man Who Thinks He Can

If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you'd like to win, but think you can't
It's almost a cinch you won't
If you think you'll lose, you're lost,
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow's will;
It's all in the state of mind.
If you think you're outclassed, you are.
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can.

Walter D. Wintle, "The Man Who Thinks He Can." - Poems That Live Forever, comp. Hazel Feldman 1965

Would you hire an entrepreneur?

Would you hire an entrepreneur?

A lot of entrepreneurs, especially the successful ones, proudly proclaim how "unemployable" they are. But given that a lot of entrepreneurs are bootstrapping these days and funding sources have gone upstream, more and more entrepreneurs are looking to moonlight or get back into the job market to make ends meet.

Assuming that a typical entrepreneur is a highly motivated and driven individual and likely to contribute more than any typical employee, the only risk for a hiring manager is the knowledge that the entrepreneur-hire is going to leave the job sooner or later.

Would you consider hiring an entrepreneur for a short-term (3-6 months) contract, assuming that you'll get double the work and a lot of passion, energy and a can-do attitude in the bargain?

Entrepreneur Committee - Advisory Board of SVASE

For whatever it is worth, I would like to announce to my millions of would-be readers that I have been invited to join the Entrepreneur Committee on the Board of Advisors to the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs.

And I have accepted.

If you're a hi-tech entrepreneur, I would love to hear your suggestions on what I can do in my "official" capacity to make SVASE a better organization for startups.

TheFunded.com - Report Card for VCs

Most of you probably know about this site already, but I just learned about it and I had to share it with you!

Report Card for VCs

The Funded

Quoting from the Red Herring story:
Report Card for VCs

TheFunded.com turns tables, letting startups rate funders.
April 29, 2007

By Ken Schachter

Venture capitalists, long accustomed to taking the role of Simon of "American Idol" in judging startups, are seeing the tables turned.

That's because TheFunded.com recently launched, inviting entrepreneurs to post to its web site ratings of venture capital firms. On Thursday, after collecting more than 500 reviews, TheFunded.com released a list of the top five venture firms worldwide.

Venture capitalists said it was inevitable that VCs became subject to the same scrutiny as college professor (RateMyProfessors.com), doctors (RateMDs.com) and contractors (AngiesList.com).

"It was only a matter of time before this came up," said Sarah Tavel, an analyst at Larchmont, New York-based Bessemer V…

Pay by productivity

I have often said that people should be selected and rewarded based on productivity, not mere experience.  In fact, this belief forms the basis of the 'pay by productivity' contract system we use in the services division of Crystal Ball.

But today I'm not going to talk about how we do things at Crystal Ball. Instead, let me just point you to this very cool article on incentivizing, measuring and rewarding productivity.

Quoting:
Software defect measurements are frequently attributed to individual developers, but the development environment often conspires against individual developers and makes it impossible to write defect-free code. Instead of charting errors by developer, a systematic effort to provide developers with immediate testing feedback, along with a root cause analysis of remaining defects, is much more effective at reducing the overall software defect rate.By aggregating defect counts into an informational measurement, and hiding individua…

Bootstrapping in India

I'm posting my response to a question asked on LinkedIn Answers by Sramana Mitra: "Bootstrapping a Product Company from India?"

Here's what I had to say:

One aspect of bootstrapping is money. The other is people- good people.We're solving both problems with our strategy of treating our offshore team in India as a services company that specializes in high-quality, low-cost product development for early-stage startups in the Silicon Valley.But we are really a web-based product startup based in the Silicon Valley with our offshore team based at Hyderabad, India, since June 2005. When I came back from India in September 2005 after putting it all together, I had a team that boasted a University gold-medalist who turned down an offer from Google and deferred PhD at MIT to join us, a national programming competition winner, and a seasoned manager from Wipro. Then one fine day, in March 2006, my whole team just disappeared, and I only had 85 pages of use-cases left to sh…

Finding a co-founder for a "mature" early-stage startup

Often, you hear about how two or three or four friends/colleagues got together and launched a hi-tech startup ... and lived happily ever after.

You might also have heard about how VCs "help" a single founder put together the right team- sometimes without the need for the quotes around "help".

I have come across several founders of hi-tech startups lately. Maybe it's because they're all bootstrapping, and maybe it's because the cost of doing a software startup has gone down so dramatically. But the fact is that more and more startups are being launched and bootstrapped all the way to Angel/VC funding, until they become cash flow positive or until they die.

Many of these solo-founders don't want to go it alone. But once you're bootstrapping, you are on a roll, and it's not easy to find someone at a later stage who comes along, say a year later, and shares your passion and vision.

On the flip-side, I see wanna-be co-founders on the sidelines mu…

Why is it so hard to find a good "User Information Architect"?

As the bootstrapping founder of a web 2.0 startup, the single most important - and difficult to find - skill for me is the web User Information Architect. Not quite UI design, and definitely not graphic design, a UI architect is a human-computer-browser interaction expert and highly experienced and skilled at both layout and transitions.

Many of my fellow entrepreneurs seem to share my predicament. They tell me how they hire 3 different people:
- the first one to do the UI storyboards (in Visio or some graphic tool, or even paper);
- a second person who converts it to HTML, changing where needed to see what's really possible in HTML, finding appropriate tools/controls for combos, etc., but adding hard-coded links to show page transitions; and
- the third, to convert remove the hard-coded links from HTML before implementing JSP.

In the last 8 years, I have personally found only one person really skilled and able to do it all in HTML/JSP, with phenomenal productivity (about 3 times mo…

A plan to blog more often.

I am a prolific writer when I set my mind to it.
From 1977 to 1984, I had exchanged an unbroken chain of written letters (about half a dozen per year) with a childhood friend. I had similar, smaller chains with some of my other school friends. I read a lot too. And don't me talking - I usually have a lot to say.
But trust me, I listen well too (when I shut up).

So, it's like all my life I was waiting for the blog' to get invented, but when that did happen, I seem to have run out of steam to take advantage of it.

I've thought about why that is and the answer is simple.
I'm a whole lot busier- especially since I'm bootstrapping my startup.

But there are those who should be busier than me, successfully blogging all the time.
How do they do it?

I don't know for sure, but I'm going to start doing the following:
1. Write short blogs, with anything that I can think of. Even a single line quote.
2. Start writing the moment I think of something to write about, …

Are you a Predator?

While searching for a metaphor for "Entrepreneur", I came across this very interesting blog by Tom Evslin:
Entrepreneurs Are PredatorsPredators are smarter than prey. Hare-brained is an insult; sharp as a fox is a compliment.

I have an evolutionary theory to explain this (full disclosure: except for reading voraciously on the subject, I am totally unqualified to have evolutionary theories). 

A leopard chasing an impala can make a mistake, lose the quarry, learn from the mistake, and hunt more wisely on another day. If the impala makes a mistake, it becomes the leopard’s lunch. 

Predators fail often; 
Prey fail only once.

So it would be a waste of energy for prey to have a large analytical brain or to divert any resources into learning while running away. Better just to have long legs, good ears, and a healthy paranoia. 

Thinking could be fatal. 
It also doesn’t take a lot of smarts to eat grass.

On the other hand:

Predators learn terrain; 
they can learn the habits of prey they’v…

Optimize your resources- Apply the 80-20 Rule

Formally known as the Pareto principle, the 80-20 rule states that "80% of the consequences stem from 20% of the causes."
Startups - who by definition are starved for resources - would do well to apply the Pareto principle to everything they do. From Wikipedia:
It is a common rule of thumb in business; e.g., "80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients."It also applies to a variety of more mundane matters: we wear our 20% most favoured clothes about 80% of the time, we spend 80% of the time with 20% of our acquaintances etc.In business, dramatic improvements can often be achieved by identifying the 20% of customers, activities, products or processes that account for the 80% of contribution to profit and maximising the attention applied to them.The idea has rule-of-thumb application in many places, but it is commonly misused. For example, it is a misuse to state that a solution to a problem "fits the 80-20 rule" just because it fits 80% of the cases; i…

There's no place to hide in XP!

I have not met a single person who doesn't acknowledge the inherent values in XP when we talk about the values and not "this thing called XP". It is obvious to *anyone* who has enough years of experience behind them.

* The challenge then they often face in accepting XP/Agile is their own conflict-of-interest. *

You see, XP and Agile are brutal if you are lazy or if you are (or have become) mediocre. There's no place to hide in XP- everything is exposed. You can't create the anecdotal "job security hacks" so that you can't be replaced- because there are others in your team who know your code and can replace you if you're not pulling your weight. Or if you're a contractor, you now risk being caught for overbilling if you don't have "velocity" commensurate with the hours you're billing.

I speak, of course, from my experience as a programmer.

But more currently, I speak from my experience as the founder of a startup- as the emplo…

XP is to Development Process what GOF is to Software Design

The problem I see with most objections to Extreme Programing (XP) and Agile development is that they are often speculations on theory, rather than wisdom based on actual practice. It's amazing to see the amount of time and energy people spend in *discussing* process than actually building something and learning from the experience.

The following is my real-world take on this subject, directed at no one in particular, but at everyone in general who is critical or afraid of XP (often the same people who don't have meaningful experience of using it):
XP is a process that has *evolved* through the collective experience of programmers through the mess that the software industry had become- always late, always over-budget, always buggy. And we were told to accept it as a fact of life. In the midst of all the chaos, there were programmers working after hours doing what they weren't allowed to do during the day - writing tests for code (TDD), automating builds and tests…

Test Trimming: A Fable about Testing

While browsing the web randomly, I found this very cool article on the value of testing.
Says the author, Gerald M. Weinberg:
"Throughout my career, I've watched in dismay as one software manager after another falls into the trap of achieving delivery schedules by trimming tests. Some managers shortcut test work by skipping reviewing and unit testing in the middle of their project. Others pressure the testers to "test faster" at the end. And, most frequently, they just drop planned tests altogether, hoping they "get lucky."

I've written several essays about the dangers of test trimming, but nobody seems to understand, so I asked myself, "What am I doing wrong?" Perhaps I wasn't practicing what I was preaching. Perhaps I was trimming tests myself. Perhaps my writing needed more testing!

So, I wrote a story about taking shortcuts and read it to my granddaughter, Camille."

Micro-lending for Agile Entrepreneurs

These are indeed exciting times for the bootstrapping entrepreneur! If you haven't already, please join our self-help networking group, Agile Entrepreneurs where entrepreneurs help each other with a variety of issues in a format borrowed from the Toastmasters club.

And if you're in a tight spot for money, you should join our group on Prosper.com, an excellent people-to-people lending web-site that I wish had found six months ago. In fact, I wish I had founded this group a year ago! I had certainly been talking about the concept- my friend Pravin can attest to that fact.

Regardless, I've dived in and created a closed group in Prosper, called Agile Entrepreneurs. I intend to invite other entrepreneurs to join the group and use it to raise small loans until they are able to generate cash flow or get funding.

And if you're looking to make money while helping out your fellow entrepreneurs, you should support Agile Entrepreneurs on Prosper.

You make money on the interest that i…

Agile Entrepreneurs

Agile Entrepreneurs is an organization created with the entrepreneur in mind, first and foremost.


Perhaps your dream is to own a lifestyle business where you’re the boss of your business and you make more than you would in a job- that’s it. Or perhaps you have a plan to develop a product that you can sell to Yahoo or Google for $10 million in 2 years. Or maybe you dare to dream big- a $100 million company that can compete with the big boys, and may need Venture Capital someday.


You must have heard about entrepreneurs who wrote a business plan on a proverbial napkin, got VC funding, built a product, and made a lot of money selling it (the company, and optionally the product too).


Well, the reality is that far too many first time entrepreneurs end up in the heart-breaking position of seeing their companies get “successfully” bought out, but only the investors make some money and the entrepreneurs lose out completely.


For a startup to have a fair chance of success (hint: why do the vast …

Getting somewhere in America

The problem with the designated driver program, it's not a desirable job, but if you ever get sucked into doing it, have fun with it. At the end of the night, drop them off at the wrong house.
- Jeff Foxworthy

Made me think about how in the 21st century, we're still trying to figure out how to get from Point 'A' to Point 'B'. Seriously, how many of you have a reasonable legal solution to this problem of getting home from the bar or a late night party- when you're buzz drunk?

How about getting to the airport? Do you really pay $90 for a cab ride after 9 pm to the SF airport from Sunnyvale? Perhaps you get a friend or spouse to drive 30 miles to the airport and back. Maybe you belong to the small minority of people who have figured out the $31 door-to-door shuttle- and can put up with it.

Well, think about how you usually drop off and pick up your car for oil-change or repairs?

The list goes on and on - think about all those times your old faithful lets you d…

Listen - How to Learn to Learn

Good listening skills, in particular Active Listening is essential to learning- and success.

Listening- you think you know it- most of us think we're good listeners. It's very hard to know and acknowledge that you are not good at listening. You may never become a good listener because so many personal emotions and prejudices get in the way of listening.

A good listener tries to understand thoroughly what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but before he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is...
- Kenneth A. Wells, American

Active listening is about focusing on the person who is speaking. An active listener needs to focus full attention on the person who is speaking.

Here are a few good links to learn more about listening:

What is listening?
Poor Listening Habits, Poor Listeners, and Good Listeners.Active Listening

You'll find here the four characteristics of empathetic listeners.

Attributes of Good Listening

Have you ever stopped to think th…

To dream or not to dream? How about keeping your mouth shut?

Here's a really nice quote from one of my dear friends in response to one of my dreams.
Between the bigger things you cannot do,and the smaller things you don't want to do,you may end up doing nothing The problem with quotes and analogies is that they are almost always approximately appropriate, but rarely if ever exactly applicable . A quote is by definition a generalization. Also, we are by nature biased with our prejudices, biased by our own very personal and unique experiences, and biased, by nature, against those who are near and dear to us. While we want them to succeed and would eventually be happy if they succeed big, our natural instinct is to "help" them "stay grounded".

I disagree with this helping nature, of course. I can - and will- expound on the virtue of dreaming big and having a big mouth. But that will be another day.

Today I'm going to present a few quotes on the flip-side of my friend's quote. Feel free to add yours to the list…

HotMela? HotMall? HotMahal? HotNagar?

Sabeer Bhatia is at it again. Generating hype, that is.
This time he's building a city, Silicon Valley to be precise, in India.
It's called Nano City and the idea is to create an environment that will foster innovation and create a Silicon Valley in India.

Well-informed readers would shrug and yawn - this has been tried umpteen times before without credible success. Paul Graham discusses the futility of it all in his essays "How to Be Silicon Valley"and Why Startups Condense in America.

But for India it's a win-win, regardless of whether Bhatia succeeds in his vision. At a minimum, India will end up with a modern development housing some universities, some companies, and rich residents with a lot of disposable income- creating a mini-economy of their own.

But Nano City? Am I the only one who is sick and tired of the Cyber-Xs and Nano-Ys? Why not give it a nice Indian name?

To get started, check out some of the more popular suffixes for city names in India. And Sabeer, …

Your Conscience (Part-2) and Test-Driven-Development

... contd. from Part -1: Your Conscience is Your Compiler

Friend: Ok, got it. I used to think these are instincts.

Me: Well, you can hack it, i.e. ignore your conscience, but then you're corrupting your "code" and it affects your "program" behavior. And soon, you can't fix it anymore.

It's gone, unless you do major "refactoring".
Or a complete rewrite- which for humans is death and rebirth... and what does anyone know about death and beyond anyway?

In this life, you can only do refactoring, there's no rewrite.

Friend: Nice analogy. TDD!

Me: Well, TDD- Test-driven development is to ensure you are always following your conscience...But at the same time, allowing yourself the oppportunity to learn and the privilege to change your mind some day as you mature. TDD lets you easily incorporate lessons you learn as you grow and mature. It helps you change more easily than would be otherwise possible for you. It helps you easily figure out what we…