Monday, December 31, 2012

Product making

In the past few months I have been admiring the importance of product making, yes I don't like to refer to it as product management because it makes little sense to manage a product even when adding new features to an existing product.

It's one thing to have an idea for a product and to have the capability to implement it but it's a totally different ballgame to "make" a product. I have found that it's more so in the case of a business to consumer idea compared to a business to business idea. Even though I have mostly worked on b2c projects all these years I could only understand it better when a few of us tried to put together an implementation for a b2c idea recently. I used to think that being able to implement what we want is the key and as long as we can do that quickly we should be good. I think it's still true however there's something more challenging in addition to that - having a complete vision of the exact usage sequence of the product. Knowing what needs to happen from step 0 to step n precisely, can drive one crazy.

For developers it's easy to know this from the architecture/development perspective - things like what should happen on the device, what should happen on the cloud etc. But it's not easy from the business/consumer perspective. It's amazing how many times we can go back on a flow and come up with some other option - this essentially means we don't know exactly what we want to build!

Hence I have a new found respect for product making. I am thinking that it must feel like heaven to know what precisely needs to be done in order to make a product that the users would die to use :)

Growing inequality

is one of the first few things that comes to my mind whenever I visit Bangalore and someone asks how I find it. I thought it wasn't so bad in places like Udupi and Mangalore I visited recently. With Bangalore I feel the gap between the rich and the poor is widening with every visit. While there are people who can afford to spend crazy amounts of money and live a very luxurious life, there are people who is finding is harder and harder to keep up with the ever growing costs. Sure it's a competitive world and all that however it's not hard to see how the income/wage disparity is leading to unequal distribution of wealth. This inequality is ever growing as only the rich gets more and more opportunities to grow while the poor struggle to make ends meet. I am not sure where this will lead us. Sigh.

Riding in Bangalore

It's amazing how forgiving people (drivers, riders, pedestrians) are and how accommodating they are, at least most of them. I have a better understanding of why it works - everyone gives you that space to make some reasonable move (it can as well be an unreasonable move sometimes) in order to be on the road and continue moving. I started off thinking that I should do more defensive riding to stay safe. I soon realized that it was not so hard to trust people, rather it was more challenging to be as forgiving as them and to be able to provide the same space to them. I am getting used to stopping frequently and riding very slowly even when I have a fairly long stretch of almost empty road :)