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Sprint based decision making

I really liked this article. One mistake though, this meeting is minimum of 1.5 hour long, so had to run it in 3 meetings, but insanely helpful I must say.

Basically the steps are like this

1. Start with Problems — 7 MINS

2. Present Problems — 4 MIN PER PERSON

3. Select Problems to Solve— 6 MIN

4. Reframe Problems as Standardised Challenges — 6 MIN

5. Produce Solutions — 7 MIN

6. Vote on Solutions — 10 MINS

7. Prioritise Solutions -30 Seconds

8. Decide what to execute on — 10 MINS

9. Turn Solutions into Actionable Tasks — 5 MINS



Product VS Service: Strategy for software companies

Many think that product is the only solution for software business. “We need to make another Joomshaper or another WeDevs, otherwise we can never make money. We need to make a pathao, so many million users etc” But, I think that’s not right.

How many companies are allowed to make another google? If Microsoft makes a better search engine, will people use it? Can you compete with it? How many PhD do your company has? What’s your strength to fight against those generics? Pathao got a head start of Uber in Motorcycle for 1 year. But, now see how much tooth and nail they are fighting. I know many of my friends who used to only use Pathao now uses Uber. In India, Flipkart is having serious trouble to fight amazon.

And even then, how many e-commerce failed there. I have lot of respect for people who fights those fight, Elius bhai of Pathao, Nizam of WeDevs, Kawser bhai of Zoomshaper, respect who has been able to do that. But, that’s not the only solution.

Coming back to my point, solution, how many companies would make windows, how many companies would make active directory, or photoshop or Zend studio?

Now, let me ask, how many companies would use those software? Installing windows, installing active directory, using Photoshop to make beautiful design, Zend studio to code beautiful websites?

There would be large need of solution providers, always. There is a very very big profitable market out there.

Which path to choose? Product – long time of suffering, you get very low salary as entrepreneur, then have to pitch a lot of people to ask for money, then after long tedious journey of not making any profit, one fine day after long time, you earn a lot of money. You have to put in lot of time, sacrifice your family and kids time, it’s a tedious journey.

Service – you start making decent money within 1-2 months, sometimes may be 6 months, you are never a billionaire, you are never a Mark Zuckerberg, but you have decent profit, you earn the livelihood of many people in your company, you generally most cases don’t need to close your company, company profitability and moderate success possibility is lot higher than products.

The truth about service is, it’s possible to make it profitable and very decent business, if you focus on making it profitable, learning what needs to be done, believing that it’s possible to scale and still make it profitable. People think it’s not scalable.

BCG is a service company, they made $5.6 Billion in 2016, Ogilvy had $10.6 billion sales in 2010, I can go on. In India, infosys $10.2 Billion. India has at least 100 times more service company than their startups – my hunch. Statistics might differ, but every time I go a conference, there is another or 10 other Indian companies competing with me in service.

Productivity: Filling calendar

“I learned this trick from Graham Jenkin, the COO at AngelList.

In 2007 and 2008, Graham was my boss at Google. He managed something like twenty people, and he gave each of us personal attention and true support. I learned a lot from Graham in those years.

But Graham wasn’t just a great manager. He also led the redesign of AdWords, Google’s flagship advertising product. While managing us, he was designing user interfaces, testing with customers, reviewing specifications, and negotiating with engineering. I often wondered where he found the time, but assumed he was just really busy.”

The author John Jeratsky, writer of sprint (I really liked this book), shares an idea about productivity which I liked – that add most important projects in your calendar ahead of time and respect that.

Link: Start with full calendar

What is more valuable than monetary wealth?

Answer by James Altucher:

I lost $15mm in one summer. It was about a million a week and then it picked up speed.

I bought a house. I invested in bad companies. I started worse companies. I bought art. I took A LOT of helicopters.

I thought about money all the time. I wanted to make $100 million. Then…I thought…I can finally feel like I achieved something.

That's how stupid I was. I then lost my house, lost my marriage, lost my friends, lost my family, lost a lot of opportunities.

Enough about that. It's like reading the same newspaper twice. Boring. I write about that all the time.

Ten things more valuable than money.

A) One 5 minute call with my daughter instead of a 5 minute call about business with someone I don't like

PLEASE GOD, give me the strength to not take the five minute call with the person I don't like.

I can lose all the money in the world but I can make it back. I will NEVER get back the 5 minutes I could've spent with my daughters. She's trying to navigate through this world that's so difficult to plunge through. I make her laugh. 5 minutes of making her laugh she will remember forever. She will say at my deathbed, "He always made me laugh", but only if I devote those 5 minutes to her. That's more valuable than money.

B) Writing down ideas

I like to write down ten ideas a day. That's 3,650 ideas a year. I do it on a waiter's pad. I have over 100 waiter's pads in my closet.

Ideas are more valuable than money. Income has gone down versus inflation for 40 years.

And people say ideas are a "dime a dozen". I can tell you this is not true. Pick any concept. Like say, "10 ideas of novels I can write". Maybe the first 3 might be easy ("a dime for three ideas"). But ten starts to get difficult.

Then people say "execution is everything". This is so wrong. First, you can't execute without a decent idea to begin with. Second, execution ideas are a subset of ideas. Let's say I have a good idea for a novel. Now my next execution step is to have ideas for all the chapters. An outline. Then my next execution step is to have ideas for when I will write. And so on.

Money lasts for a few seconds in my hands. But ideas can grow and build and spread and touch everyone I know and then everyone they know.

C) Ideas for other people

I had $0 in the bank in 2008 when I was getting my divorce. Then I started to make money.

How did I start making money? I started sending "10 Ideas to Make X Better". Where X might be a person or a business. Then I would send to X.

One out of 50 would respond. But that's ok. That's all it takes to make millions.

D) Persistence is more valuable than money

In the above case I had to (and still do) send out 100s of emails. I had to do hours of research to come up with ideas. I had to go to meetings without any clue what the outcome would be.

But persistence let me touch people. Persistence let me share my ideas. Persistence got people excited about those ideas. Persistence got me paid for those ideas.

E) Physical health

I can get in the car, drive two miles to the gym, and then walk on the treadmill for two miles while watching about Ebola on CNN in front of me.

Or I can sleep well, eat well, and take a few healthy walks during the week.

Sometimes Claudia, my wife, makes me do yoga with her. Ok, I can do that also. Sometimes I think I'm very good at it when I finally touch my toes.

I don't care how long I live. If I die tomorrow I feel like I've lived a life worth living. But I do want quality of life until I die. My father spent the last two years of his life staring at a ceiling because he was paralyzed from a stroke.

I keep healthy because if you spend two years of your life staring at a ceiling, money is worth zero.

F) Laughing

Guess what? Kids laugh on average 300 times a day. Adults laugh on average….5 times a day.

What the hell happened?

I can't pay people to laugh. Money doesn't make me laugh. Except when I'm bathing in it and pretending to be Dr. Evil.

Laughter is linked to all sorts of things that make you healthier. Like it releases oxytocin throughout the body which gives feelings of happiness and calmness.

I have to give a TEDx talk later. I need to laugh before then.

Here's my go-to laugh items of the day:

  •   the book "Food" by Jim Gaffigan
  •   Andy Samberg's Harvard commencement speech
  •   any standup by Louis CK
  •   the book "Ant Farm" by Simon Rich
  •   the TV show "Family Guy"

I'm sure I will find others. I will get up to those 300 laughs today and it will have nothing to do with money but it will have everything to do with my future happiness and success.

G) Giving

This sounds like a cliché. People always say "give and you shall receive", which I believe in but since people always say it, it's a cliché.

When I was dead broke (again, or prior) in 2001 I would volunteer in a charity.

So instead of feeling bad for myself or getting anxious about killing myself because I had no money, I felt good about the charity work and I also got a crush on the woman doing the work with me. Nothing happened in the crush but sometimes the hint that love is all around is enough to stop the anxiety and cure the worries about money.

Giving is a soft boomerang. You throw it as hard as you can. It touches everyone around. And then it flies back into your hand. And you know what? When you catch it, that feels like fun. Fun is a game. Fun is better than money.

H) Your DNA

The universe has been around for 13.2 billion years (according to a professor I spoke to yesterday. Maybe he's right or maybe it was created one second ago by aliens who are doing a scientific experiment and we can't even tell).

The universe will be around for another ten trillion at least. You will be around for another 40-60 years, give or take 100.

Your body will be dead. So will your mind. Hardware fails, but your software (your DNA) will live on. The best thing you can do for your DNA is to leave a legacy. We know that money doesn't work as a legacy. It disappears after a few generations. But other legacies can live for thousands of years. Your ancestors, your ideas, the light you have shared with others.

I) Experiences

One Christmas I bought my kids big beautiful presents. Now we all try to remember what they were but we forget.

Other Christmases I find a great location, rent a beautiful place, get a ping pong table shipped in, and my kids and I fly out there and have fun for ten days. Then Claudia makes a poster about the experience.

Now we all know what we did. My kids will never forget it. I converted my money into an experience rather than just another material good.

I'm preparing them for all the great things they will have to talk about on my death bed.

J) Me

I am more valuable than money. I'm such an amazing thing. With DNA, and neurochemicals, and I try to make people laugh. And I try to help people. And I'm amazingly humble. NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY, is more humble than me.

Nobody is more deserving of love than me.

Except you.

What is more valuable than monetary wealth?

Using left right keys to control video in chrome/chromecast

We use chromecast to see video from my laptop to TV. While pressing space would pause or play the video, there is no control for moving forward or moving backward. So I wrote a little javascript code

document.onkeydown = function(ev){if(ev.keyCode==37){document.body.firstChild.currentTime = document.body.firstChild.currentTime – 15} else if(ev.keyCode==39){document.body.firstChild.currentTime = document.body.firstChild.currentTime + 15}}

I run this code in console (pressing F12 and then selecting console and pressing enter after pasting) and then I can have keyboard control. Now if I press right arrow it goes 15 seconds ahead and pressing left goes back 15 seconds. If you don’t like 15, feel free to change the code to 10 and hit enter, it will be applicable instantly.

I haven’t been programming for very long time and have no idea how to make chrome extension. Should checkout, but don’t get enough time, too many things to read. So, wish to get it done by doing smallest possible 🙂

How does work?

Answer on @Quora by @yushunwang of How does work?

Answer by Eason Wang:

I directly worked on this project. The backend code is built by my team in Bing in collaboration with Microsoft Research. To be honest, it's a big surprise to me that this tiny web app went viral. I did some post analysis on why it went viral and wrote a blog post on Medium.

Back to the main topic, I want to answer this question in two parts. First part I will talk about how to quickly implement the exact same capabilities in any app. In the second part, I will go a bit deeper to describe the technology itself.

In Bing Image Search we have built the best in industry image understanding capabilities in the past few years. It was used in Bing and quickly expanding to other Microsoft products. Now it is open to all developers: Microsoft Project Oxford Home. In order to implement the same capability in an app, you can simply call the web API and get all the necessary information back in JSON format. You can give it a try by uploading an image here: Page on It gives the data back in seconds. The face coordinates, gender, age information are all included. Face API is just one of the many features that we have made open in Project Oxford. There are many other core capabilities in the API to empower innovative scenarios. I am very excited to see this Microsoft internal API open to all developers and I know this will have profound impact to the developer world because the previous impossible scenarios are now just one simple web API call. #HowOldRobot was just one tiny demo to show off these capabilities. It was put together by one developer from Azure ML team just in one day.

    "faceId": "5af35e84-ec20-4897-9795-8b3d4512a1f9",
    "faceRectangle": {
      "width": 60,
      "height": 60,
      "left": 276,
      "top": 43
    "faceLandmarks": {
      "pupilLeft": {
        "x": "295.1",
        "y": "56.8"
      "pupilRight": {
        "x": "317.9",
        "y": "59.6"
      "noseTip": {
        "x": "311.6",
        "y": "74.7"
      "mouthLeft": {
        "x": "291.0",
        "y": "86.3"
      "mouthRight": {
        "x": "311.6",
        "y": "88.6"
      "eyebrowLeftOuter": {
        "x": "281.6",
        "y": "50.1"
      "eyebrowLeftInner": {
        "x": "304.2",
        "y": "51.6"
      "eyeLeftOuter": {
        "x": "289.1",
        "y": "57.1"
      "eyeLeftTop": {
        "x": "294.0",
        "y": "54.5"
      "eyeLeftBottom": {
        "x": "293.0",
        "y": "61.0"
      "eyeLeftInner": {
        "x": "297.8",
        "y": "58.7"
      "eyebrowRightInner": {
        "x": "316.0",
        "y": "54.2"
      "eyebrowRightOuter": {
        "x": "324.7",
        "y": "54.2"
      "eyeRightInner": {
        "x": "312.9",
        "y": "60.9"
      "eyeRightTop": {
        "x": "317.8",
        "y": "57.7"
      "eyeRightBottom": {
        "x": "317.9",
        "y": "63.7"
      "eyeRightOuter": {
        "x": "322.8",
        "y": "60.8"
      "noseRootLeft": {
        "x": "304.0",
        "y": "60.2"
      "noseRootRight": {
        "x": "312.2",
        "y": "61.2"
      "noseLeftAlarTop": {
        "x": "302.6",
        "y": "70.2"
      "noseRightAlarTop": {
        "x": "313.0",
        "y": "70.0"
      "noseLeftAlarOutTip": {
        "x": "298.8",
        "y": "76.2"
      "noseRightAlarOutTip": {
        "x": "315.2",
        "y": "76.6"
      "upperLipTop": {
        "x": "307.3",
        "y": "84.0"
      "upperLipBottom": {
        "x": "306.6",
        "y": "86.4"
      "underLipTop": {
        "x": "305.5",
        "y": "89.6"
      "underLipBottom": {
        "x": "304.1",
        "y": "94.0"
    "attributes": {
      "age": 24,
      "gender": "female",
      "headPose": {
        "roll": "4.0",
        "yaw": "31.3",
        "pitch": "0.0"

How Old Do I Look? mainly relies on 3 key technologies  (i.e. face detection, gender classification and age detection). Face detection is the foundation for the other two. For age detection and gender detection, they are just classic regression and classification problems in machine learning. It involves facial feature representation, collecting training data, building regression/classification models and model optimization. There are plenty of publications in this area. Let me know if you have enough interest to go deeper.

On the other hand, deep learning and large scale data understanding have led to a new breakthrough of image understanding. This opens a door to more intelligent systems and APIs. You can check out my latest blog to understand how the Image Graph works to power advanced scenarios.…

Please leave your comments for me to improve the answer. Thanks!

How does work?

Does Bill Gates get too much credit for his donation to charity?

Answer by Jonathan Brill:

You have understated (severely) what Bill Gates is doing. It would be one thing if he was sitting in his ubermansion outside of Seattle and just writing checks for every attractive greenpeace undergrad that smiled at him. Bill Gates is flying to countries on the do not fly to list and meeting with dictators that are on the shoot on sight list and using his fat ass bank account as leverage to get their cooperation in distributing food and medicine to their people.

Bill Gates probably sat down with his wife at the beginning of it all and she was like, "Hey Bill, we should like, save all these people." And he was like, "Cool, write a check." And she was like, "Yeah so its not that simple." And then he was like, "You want me to do what? You do know I'm the richest dude within missile range, right? We could just waste away in pampered luxury wherever we want?" And she was like, "Pleeeeeeeeeease." And he was like, "Shit, alright, it can't be harder than killing all those tech companies in the nineties." And then all he did was start a worldwide consortium to strong arm billionaires into donating half their money to a fund, and then use that fund as leverage to strong arm the shitty politicians of the world not into helping him, but into at least letting him help their people. Even when it's not in their best interests.

He gave an interview recently where someone asked him, why are you able to do all these things ambassadors and activists and Bono and other people weren't able to do. And he looked at the guy and was like, "I've got billions of #$%&*# dollars and I'm making people do shit," or something to that effect. Imagine evil Bill Gates of the RealPlayer/Netscape assassination era but focused on doing good. He's like Batman right now. I'm not even sure everything he's doing is legal. But sometimes you need someone who can walk into the Congo with a jacked up haircut and enough money and gumption to threaten a coup to make a change in the world.

Bill Gates should be everybody's hero.

Does Bill Gates get too much credit for his donation to charity?