Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Andhra Pradesh : 7 Hours (in 2 shifts) Electricity For Agriculture

Just 7 hours of Electricity for Agriculture that too in 2 separate shifts ?? How much land can you water in those dire circumstances? That too at this time of summer!!

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Source: Eenadu.net

Friday, April 24, 2009

You Voted. Now YOU Set The Agenda for NEXT Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh

People of Andhra Pradesh have exercised their fundamental right of democracy to elect their next Government with a whopping 72.5% turnover. While every political party has feverishly pitched their plans, they gave little chance for individual voters to raise their local issues and ask questions.

Ask a question or Vote for a question today. Click on the following link:

Set Agenda For The Next Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh 


In about 20 days, the next Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh will be decided. Its time for the People of Andhra Pradesh to set the Agenda for the new Government. Whoever the next CM, we will take the top voted 50 questions and get answers with an action plan to each of the questions right from the NEW Chief Minister.


And we also would like to take questions relevant to each Constituency to their elected representative for their answers and action plan.


So exercise your right to ask a question and demand an action plan. This process is entirely democratic. Ask a question and vote for other questions. Invite your friends from the community to raise their concerns and vote for questions. The top 50 voted questions will be presented to the new Chief Minister.


Powered by Google Moderator and brought to you by YesToPolitics Community ( http://andhra.yestopolitics.com).

For more information please visit http://andhra.yestopolitics.com/group/the_road_not_yet_taken

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Yahoo shutting down GeoCities, The First Personal Web Page for many

Yahoo bought GeoCities for more than $2.9 billion in dot-com-priced stock in 1999, when GeoCities had more than 1.1 million users. However, while the idea of having a personal presence on the Internet has caught on, GeoCities turned out to be a backwater, not the mainstream.

"We will be closing GeoCities later this year," Yahoo said in anote on the site. "We'll provide more details about closing GeoCities and how to save your site data this summer."

Source: CNETNews

Basics of Marketing A Startup : Mahesh Murthy @ Proto.in

One of the most intriguing presentations I have ever watched on how to market a startup. 

Key take-a-ways (in my own words):

  • Don’t even bother, if you don’t have an insanely great product.
  • Trend means end. Never follow the trend, but try to create your own trend.
  • Charge early. Charge a lot. Your price could be your best marketing strategy.
  • Spend as little money on advertising. Instead spend on developing an insanely great product. The product will speak for itself and your customers will advertise for you. You can never have enough budget to promote a crappy product.
  • If you ever have to give out your product free, build a beautiful and amazing UI to give a much better experience to customer.

I must admit and warn you, if you ever watch this video or read about the presentation either on this blog or elsewhere, take the advice with a pinch of salt. While appear sound (and anecdotal and may have worked for him and his team), the advice is quite narrow and may not work for you.

For instance about advertisements. In his own words, if you are advertising means you have a crappy product. He presented Google and Yahoo on one side with great products and no advertisements while Coke and Pepsi on the other hand that spend a lot on advertisements to promote crappy beverages.  This is a twisted comparison to start with as you can clearly see he is comparing apples and oranges.

The Apple Test

Let us put Apple to test on this theory. Apple is known as one of the most innovative companies with truly insanely great products even before the pervasive iPod and iPhone. And Apple’s ads for iPod, iPhone and Macs are some of the best and most elegant advertisements I have ever seen. And fact of the matter is Apple advertises quite significantly about its products. Does this mean Apple has crappy products? No way!

Your money spent on marketing is as important as building a great product. In many cases, marketing is lot more important than the product itself. In simple words, Marketing takes you to the customer. If your product is better than a competitive product known to that customer, this is very important, known to that customer, you win the customer. Or you loose. So, first step to get to a customer is much more important than proving to the customer that your product is the best product. What is the point of proving you have the best product, if nobody know about product.

And its quite unrealistic to rely on your existing customers to virally spread the greatness of your product. It takes lot of time and if your product is particularly a niche product, time is quite an essence. So you must reach to as many customers as possible in the shortest amount of time through advertisements. And leverage all social media to facilitate spreading the message. 

I agree with another key message, charge early and charge a lot. Based on my little experience and learning, I would also add, charge as often as possible.

There are lots of sound bytes in his presentation that may help some  startups to tone their messages. But most important lesson to take away from this presentation is to break free from trends. Even if that trend is his own anecdotal experience about advertising.

Don’t forget to watch it. A strong opinion is always a lot better, as it would consolidate your own understanding of the topic. And this presentation has lots of them. One of the finest.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Survey of Surveys : Congress to retain Power in Andhra Pradesh Elections

You may just beat it as featured in Sakshi TV, the congress party’s ’official’ media channel, but its a good summary of all Surveys conducted so far and all of them give a clear victory to Congress while TDP alliance comes second.

Now the big question of whether surveys are accurate enough, no body can guarantee that. But if all surveys predict the same or almost similar result, and based on past results of how surveys predicted, well, Congress may win again. Good or bad!!

Andhra Election Politics : Where does Money go?

Every political party alleges that everybody is seriously corrupt. And yet, each Politician, irrespective of the party he/she represents, spends as much as he/she can to BUY votes by offering primarily liquor and money. Some political parties are creative and offer sarees, cricket kits of youngsters and kind.

No Political party, Absolutely NO political party has any hint of honesty or guts to put out their account books to the public.

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Source: The Hindu

I wrote a while back about the three questions each Political party must answer. So far, barring all the pep talk about ending corruption, no political party has demonstrated any transparency in the party to prove they are NOT corrupt. It appears, I am asking too much from the politicians!!!

The Real Questions ( YesToPolitics )

If there is any party that is promising to end corruption, we ask the following questions to prove that a) they are not corrupt, b) they will not resort to corruption during elections and c) they will not become corrupt once they are elected.

1. Show us the Money.

If people have to trust a party and entrust the responsibility of maintaining money of the entire state, the party must have solid strategies and books of managing party's money first. If they can't manage their own party money, how can we expect the party to manage the entire state.

So, be transparent and share with people your party accounting booksthat clearly show

  • who contributed money to the party
  • how and where are they spending each paisa of it

2. Show us the plan, not just promise !

It is quite easy for political parties to shower promises of free acres of land, money directly transferred to a family account or a hugh irrigation project that could save 1000s of agricultural families. But how can we trust the party whether it can keep its promises. To earn our trust, show the people that your party really understood the issue and fully aware of its costs in implementing it.

Show us for each Election promise

  • expected number of beneficiaries 
  • cost of the total project
  • how long will it take to realize the project
  • how do you allocate budget 
  • what do you sacrifice to keep this promise

No political party can create money out of thin air. If party decide to spend on something, it is their responsibility to show where the money comes from. What other projects will be shutdown to fund this new project.

3. Share the facts

When party make any allegations against another party or person, show us the facts that made you believe so. Release all the evidence you have to the people so that people can understand your allegations and see for themselves the real picture of corruption. Telugu Desam Party's web page sharing a few details of the Congress Party alleged scams is a good beginning. But totally inadequate to prove anything.

Answers to these three in absolute fairness and honesty would help people understand and decide which party will be the best for them.

Otherwise, there is no meaning in talking about corruption of others, when you are also just one of them.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Epic Battle : Andhra Elections and a creative collage

Quite an interesting collage set up as an Ad for a program in local TV. (Rajahmundry)

(Source: Kalyan’s Flickr Photo )

H1B 2010 : No update on H1B Cap Exhaustion yet !(19th Apr, 2009)

There has been no update since the 9th April 2009 news release by USCIS indicating whether H1B cap limits have been reached for FY 2010 yet or not.

As per 9th April notification, about 42000 applications have been received. So it appears, the cap limits haven’t been reached yet, even after almost 19 days in April.

Last two years (in 2007(H1B2008) and 2008(H1B 2009)) quota has been reached on day 1 itself. This is quite expected. As I said earlier, I would be surprised even if the cap limits are reached. If any firm is planning to apply, they would have applied on day 1 itself knowing what happened in the last two years. If they hadn’t applied yet, most probably they won’t.

May be once Economy picks up or knowing the news that this year it won’t be a lottery, some firms may still look at H1B option. But otherwise, I guess, this is it.

Chiranjeevi : Potuluri Brahmam Predicted Praja Rajyam Party?? What ??

With little bit of twisting of words, Chiranjeevi appear to be saying Praja Rajyam Party has been predicted by Potuluri Veera Brahmendra Swamy, the renowned saint.

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Source: Eenadu, 19th April, 2009

Well, you can see how nicely words have been twisted. What was said is about the Government by People themselves of course, which meant Democracy.  People have been electing their own government for more than 60 years now.

Did Chiranjeevi forgot the history that we fought more than 100 years to get Independence and we started electing our own government since then? Or just leveraging the knowledge of his dialogue writers to twist the words to give a new meaning to Kaala Gnanam that will help his party?

VOTE 2009 : RIA for Andhra Elections

Snapshots of a cool RIA application that provide Andhra Elections at a glance. List of constituencies, various details about each constituency that include current voter strength, list of contestants and results in previous elections in a particular constituency.

My biggest objective in designing this application is to impress with a clutter free, stylish grayish design. And, Best of all, NO advertisements, what so ever.

 

The application is available at http://andhra.yestopolitics.com

Dashboard of Current Predictions

The app displays current trend and prediction of Andhra Assembly elections on the top the application. It has two different estimates.

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The first one is based on research of Media reports, selective user interviews and trend estimates. The second one is based on survey of users visiting Yes To Politics website.

As of now, TDP alliance is leading in both while PRP is running closely behind.

Main Screen

Once loaded, the app displays list of Districts on the left side bar and also provide list of Assembly Constituencies in that district ( as per new Delimitation rules for 2009 Elections). It also loads the first Constituency in that list on the right hand content section.

The first cool thing you will notice is it positions the Constituency on the map and smoothly panes to that location. It immediately displays the Polling date for the constituency and a link to go to headquarters.

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2009 Election Details

On the details section, the app displays Voter statistics of this constituency, its corresponding Parliamentary constituency and the district. It also displays the status of this constituency as per new Delimitation rules. ACTIVE means, no changes. And ADDED for newly added constituencies.

This section also provide list of contestants from various parties in this constituency.

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Previous Election Results

The next section display the results from previous elections beginning from 1978. Lists out name of the Winner, the party represented and a % of votes obtained to win. Users can go Constituency headquarters to get more details about each election in the constituency.

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The application also displays list of Parliamentary Constituencies in similar fashion, though previous Election information is not displayed for Parliamentary constituencies.

Access the application right away here:

 http://andhra.yestopolitics.com

What do you think? Please let me know your comments, suggestions and any other questions you may have.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Chiranjeevi Contesting in Two Constituencies : Social Justice??

KONIDALA CHIRANJEEVI   (Praja Rajyam Party) is contesting from Two constituencies in this election.

For what? Social Justice? or plain arrogance.

I always hate any leader contesting in two locations. It is just plain arrogance and waste of public money.  And total lack of respect for both constituencies.

Knowing that If he wins in both,  he must leave one constituency for the other and Government had to conduct election one more time, what is the point contesting in more than one location.

There are few more such irresponsible leaders contesting in more than one location:

B.V.SUBBA REDDY    Independent
DONEPUDI DILEEP RAJA    Independent
KONDAMURI SATYANARAYANA    Independent
M.A. GAFFAR    Independent
S.ABDUL GAFOOR    Independent
SUNDARA RATNAKAR ROKKAM    Independent
VAVILALA POTHULA SUNITHA    Independent
BANOTHU JANBABU    Pyramid Party of India

Monday, April 13, 2009

Building a Business rather than a Product

Building a business rather than a product. That was my recent status update in my LinkedIn profile and surprisingly it has evoked lots interest and  responses from my friends and colleagues. Some just wanted to know what I am trying to build while others question my ‘lack of understanding of the meaning of entrepreneurship’ in saying so. For one, they assume, I am an entrepreneur, by their own definition.  Another close friend admonished saying that I need to open up a little.

May be I don’t understand the usual meaning of entrepreneurship, but as I understand one must be a business man first before even thinking about starting a venture. To me, the word, entrepreneur is too fuzzy and often doesn’t mean too different from a business man. After all, there is no entrepreneur without a business. Of course barring academic differences aside.

As my friends explain to me that entrepreneurs must create new products or solutions. I think the kid next door that opens up a lemon stand or pan shop is an entrepreneur. For me, business comes first before the product or the solution you are offering. It could be the same pan that is sold everywhere in India or the same lemonade that is available throughout the world, setting up a stand and selling to a target market is essentially everything about business and entrepreneurship to me.

Just searching for those key words end up in so many search results and articles explaining the differences, but as I understand the essence is that they are same. One is just a fancier manifestation of the other. And my understanding is that your business is not just one product that you spend your entire life building it. Its lot more beyond a single product. So I said, it is critical to build a business rather than a product and i am trying to.

That comes in quite a contrast to so many that are building a product first and leaving how to make a business case to the moment they need funding or figuring out an exit strategy. I don’t think that is how we must learn about entrepreneurship. We better start with a pan dabba or a lemonade stand rather than creating new web2.0 application without a business case.

So, wanna build a business? or a product?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

USCIS received only 42000 h1b applicatipns for fy 2010

As per USCIS notification issued on 9th April it has received just 42000 applications for h1b 2010 under general cap. However it received just about 20000 for advanced degree quota.

For both categories, applications will still be accepted.

Parakala, chief secretary of Praja Rajyam party resigns

Chief Secretary of Praja Rajyam party, and the first three members in the party has resigned from the party, citing serious poisonous interests in the party and declaring that party is beyond repair.

Party Vice President resigned. Party chief secretary resigned. Will this affect anything in Elections?  I guess, it will have a serious effect.  Before this disastrous array of resignations from the top of the party line, TheWeek Survey projected that PRP could gather only 57 Assembly seats behind Congress and TDP. Now with this disaster so close to elections, it may cost quite dear to the party.

imageHe is one of the top three members that were quite effective in projecting a thoughtful and disciplined image to Praja Rajyam party so far. Now, he resigned from the party in quite a dramatic fashion that could seriously cost the upcoming elections for the party.

Farewell Speech Right From the Party Office

Quite shockingly, so far one of the most respected leaders in the party, has come to party office to submit his resignation and setup a news conference right from the party office. He publicly expressed dismay and frustration and has made quite disastrous comments about the party.

The party is poisonous and every body had their own Business plans to setup the party and Chiranjeevi has no control over the party that the party is now officially beyond repair. He even went on to advise people that they should not get cheated by Praja Rajyam and should stop dreaming that PRP will do any good to people other than fulfilling their own business plans.

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Is there any truth in his words? Is is just a retaliation for not allocating seats to him or his supporters? or is it much bigger than we all think?

In some aspects, even then, PRP is still better than others. But if anything in Parakala’s words are true, People of Andhra Pradesh will be cheated, one more time.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Social Justice or Caste Based Party Representation

The social justice blue print or the The ‘Caste’ based exploitation of Political parties for the upcoming Elections in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

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Source: eenadu.net

Praja Rajyam Party Vice President Resigns

Praja Rajyam Party vice president Anjaneya Reddy resigned from the party citing unable to find the change  he love to bring in the political party and asserting that Praja Rajyam party is no different than Congress and Telugu Desam party and others.

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(Source: eenadu.net )

Recently I have expressed similar sentiment that I was not able to see the ‘Change’ the party has been talking about. The party is talking like others, acting like others and spending money desperately to come to power like others and selling tickets like others. I even noted the way they have copied the manifesto and key messages from NTR and LokSatta. Their website is a copy cat of Barack Obama’s website.

Now this is a confirmation from none other than the party’s vice President that he did not find the party any different from other political parties.

The only different I have seen so far is that the party is championing a clever exploitation of caste in the state in the name of Social justice.

What a shameless politics !

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Telugu Desam Vs Congress Party on Election Promises

For the first time in the history of Congress party, the party is fighting this election on the flank of Development and people friendly policies. Telugu Desam party took a u-turn on key policies and trying to position itself as little better than Congress when it comes to populist policies.

Eenadu published a comparison of sops by Congress and TDP. Click on the image to see a larger images to read it clearly.

cong_vs_Tdp

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Money and Gifts All Over in Andhra Elections

It is no surprise to any body that know about Elections in India, that Money play a very important and often deciding factor in Elections. No wonder, there is such a free flow of money all around the state.

News reports from all News papers indicate that political parties are seriously throwing as much as they can. That is not restricted to money alone, but alos include lakhs of Cricket kits for youngsters and in much bigger number, Sarees for women.

Parties are literally trying to BUY the vote. And as far as I know from friends all over, this frenzy includes all political parties alike, especially including Praja Rajyam party that spoke against corruption all the while.

Andhra may end up in Hung : PRP and TDP to Join?

In many constituencies it will be quite a triangular contest in this elections, for the first time in many years. Hung assembly is most probable outcome. Both PRP and TDP refuse to accept each other as any competition but say Congress is the only enemy. And in folk parlance, if your enemy is my enemy, we are friends. So …

If anybody is reading between the lines, there is always a possibility of PRP and TDP alliance to join after polls to form the government. That could be one possible reason, why both parties are quite reluctant to admit that they are fighting against each other.

If PRP and TDP gather momentum, no party will be alone have sufficient strength to form the government. Left parties and TRS could be split from alliance, but that won’t suffice as well. So the only option is another marriage of convenience between the Grand alliance and PRP.

Quite a prediction?

Has Telugu Desam Party lost the election already?

If the way the whole drama of seat adjustment between the Grand Alliance partners is any indication of what we can expect if the alliance comes in to power, one can infer that it will be a total disaster. The Grand alliance did not appear anything but just a marriage of convenience. In the minds of many people, TDP has already lost the election even before a single vote is cast. If at all anything gets reversed it would be due to filmy drama of Jr. N.T.R just like Chiranjeevi.

  • No Common agenda/manifesto yet.
  • Not clear if left parties and TRS would join the government if the alliance wins. If they don’t join, it would be so predictable that TDP won’t stand a chance to run even for a few months (if wins, of course).
  • Just 14 more days to go, except the Movie stars Bala Krishna and junior NTR, TDP hasn’t done any serious campaigning yet.
  • Lost already many leaders to Congress and PRP, some are quite a key in many constituencies.
  • YSR’s serious criticism on political back stabbing and reversal of people friendly policies by Chandra Babu Naidu are 100% true and quite difficult to argue against.
  • Even though, Telugu Desam party over all has done lots of great things to state of Andhra Pradesh, there are so many policies that TDP under Chandra Babu naidu is now taking a complete u-turn in this election:
  • TDP always believed in Samaikhya Andhra (United Andhra). Now TDP is in favor of separate Telangana state.
  • Free electricity. Chandra Babu had been always against such populist promises and had been believed to be more pragmatic. But now, is on the reverse.
  • TDP promised abolition of liquor in the state to come to power and Babu brought liquor back to the state pretty quickly.
  • TDP started many special export zones to develop the state and has successfully instated many business friendly policies. Now opposing almost every SEZ in the name of injustice to local communities.
  • And more, free color TVs !

I will be quite surprised if TDP could garner any majority in this election. So far, Congress and unfortunately PRP are set to lead in most constituencies.

NDTV.com : Fact or Allegation ? Just another twisted title for sensationalism

This is yet another example of NDTV.com’s sensationalism twisted titles. The title says, as if this was a fact, woman made to urinate in pub...