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Punit Soni has been at 1 events

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Motorola Mobility1,328,885Chat live with @111499908439497508351 from our software team.  Have any questions you would like to see answered?  Ask them in the comment section of our event page or on Twitter using hashtag #AskMoto  Celebrating 50 Software Launches with Punit Soni2014-04-23 22:00:00810  

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Activity

Average numbers for the latest posts (max. 50 posts, posted within the last 4 weeks)

23
comments per post
3
reshares per post
80
+1's per post

938
characters per posting

Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 82

posted image

2015-06-11 10:10:19 (82 comments, 2 reshares, 96 +1s)Open 

Bold is beautiful. Great job Myntra!

https://youtu.be/Ef27m5ocK6Q

Most reshares: 36

posted image

2015-05-02 01:14:11 (41 comments, 36 reshares, 464 +1s)Open 

Elon Musk is amazing. Space, Electric Cars and now Energy. This guy is fixing our world.

Most plusones: 464

posted image

2015-05-02 01:14:11 (41 comments, 36 reshares, 464 +1s)Open 

Elon Musk is amazing. Space, Electric Cars and now Energy. This guy is fixing our world.

Latest 50 posts

posted image

2015-06-30 17:35:52 (0 comments, 4 reshares, 38 +1s)Open 

So touching!

So touching!___

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2015-06-26 18:37:01 (40 comments, 6 reshares, 131 +1s)Open 

So proud of my country today.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/26/us-usa-court-gaymarriage-idUSKBN0P61SW20150626

So proud of my country today.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/26/us-usa-court-gaymarriage-idUSKBN0P61SW20150626___

posted image

2015-06-24 11:17:49 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

We had our first big TGIF event and it quickly morphed into a large scale Karaoke night! Love this place!

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/tgif-f11458c5906f

We had our first big TGIF event and it quickly morphed into a large scale Karaoke night! Love this place!

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/tgif-f11458c5906f___

posted image

2015-06-21 16:00:27 (7 comments, 4 reshares, 61 +1s)Open 

Its Sunday night and we are back after a long day driving around Bangalore. It has been overcast all day, and I am sitting in my study, a steady drizzle in the background overlaying the OST of Interstellar on my computer.

We are nearing the one month mark in Bangalore and feel like we are settling in very comfortably. Work is awesome, people are friendly, food is incredible, weather is glorious. There is nothing really to complain about. Bangalore has a lot of things going for it, but its beauty has been fading for a long time now. Sometimes if you look hard enough, the years fall apart and old Bangalore reveals itself. You can see past the wrinkles to see the beauty of past. But you have to know where to go, and what to look for. One such place is Taj West End in Central Bangalore.


This has quickly become my favorite spot in the city (perhaps driven by the fact that I have not... more »

Its Sunday night and we are back after a long day driving around Bangalore. It has been overcast all day, and I am sitting in my study, a steady drizzle in the background overlaying the OST of Interstellar on my computer.

We are nearing the one month mark in Bangalore and feel like we are settling in very comfortably. Work is awesome, people are friendly, food is incredible, weather is glorious. There is nothing really to complain about. Bangalore has a lot of things going for it, but its beauty has been fading for a long time now. Sometimes if you look hard enough, the years fall apart and old Bangalore reveals itself. You can see past the wrinkles to see the beauty of past. But you have to know where to go, and what to look for. One such place is Taj West End in Central Bangalore.


This has quickly become my favorite spot in the city (perhaps driven by the fact that I have not really seen much of the city yet). This is a huge swathe of land in the middle of city full of lush tropical foliage and birds. Feels like someone parted a veil and we are in colonial Bangalore. The air feels cooler, there are wisps of cloud around snaking creepers hanging from large century old trees. Its peaceful; the silence hangs from the trees and permeates everything. But then I realize that just walking around here is a privilege. That so many will never get to see this part of Bangalore.

Living in India is an exercise in contradiction. On one hand, I am keen to land safely, ensure my family lives a very comfortable, relaxed life and can transition to a new country (and yes, it is a new country after two decades out of it). On the other hand, I know I want to experience India like it is. This is not really India. The Truman show like gate communities, the 5 star hotels, the swanky clubs. They may look like the new India, but its not it.

There is an acute sense of living in a bubble. And I never felt that back in US. Maybe it was the same there, but it was never so obvious. Don’t get me wrong. Its a very comfortable and interesting bubble. But I know a bubble when I see one.

While I write all this, a streak of ants are carrying a dead spider across the room towards the balcony in some weird parody of the opening shot of an over-intellectualized art film. I guess try what we may, the tropics will outlast us and our antiseptic existence.

It will be ok after all. We will get there.

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/bubble-f7f8159b698c___

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2015-06-13 14:13:58 (10 comments, 1 reshares, 123 +1s)Open 

Driving around Bangalore in the rain. Love the monsoon!

Happy weekend everyone :)

Driving around Bangalore in the rain. Love the monsoon!

Happy weekend everyone :)___

posted image

2015-06-11 10:10:19 (82 comments, 2 reshares, 96 +1s)Open 

Bold is beautiful. Great job Myntra!

https://youtu.be/Ef27m5ocK6Q

Bold is beautiful. Great job Myntra!

https://youtu.be/Ef27m5ocK6Q___

posted image

2015-06-09 18:50:43 (17 comments, 3 reshares, 86 +1s)Open 

Its week 4 and it feels like an year. Weekdays are a blur of meetings, intense product conversations, trade-offs, negotiations, design workshops and what not. Here is what my day looked like today:

8am: Conversation with a recruiter about the interviews of the day

9am — 10am: Two phone screens with potential candidates. Both incredible, both passionate and both considering jumps across continents to be here at Flipkart.

10–10:30: Conversation about a potential partnership with an external company. The company is in the middle of a super hot sector in the middle of a super hot India bubble. Too frothy..its all too frothy..

10:30–11: HR Sync. Some drama, some warm and fuzzy issues, all good.

11–11:30: Another Candidate conversation. This one is a slam dunk. Need to fly her out.

11:30 — Noon: Discussion on the new campus andhow to configure ... more »

Its week 4 and it feels like an year. Weekdays are a blur of meetings, intense product conversations, trade-offs, negotiations, design workshops and what not. Here is what my day looked like today:

8am: Conversation with a recruiter about the interviews of the day

9am — 10am: Two phone screens with potential candidates. Both incredible, both passionate and both considering jumps across continents to be here at Flipkart.

10–10:30: Conversation about a potential partnership with an external company. The company is in the middle of a super hot sector in the middle of a super hot India bubble. Too frothy..its all too frothy..

10:30–11: HR Sync. Some drama, some warm and fuzzy issues, all good.

11–11:30: Another Candidate conversation. This one is a slam dunk. Need to fly her out.

11:30 — Noon: Discussion on the new campus and how to configure things. We are moving to a new campus which is already small for our needs. So while we plan for a new campus, we are planning for the campus after that. Well, wow.

Noon — 1pm: Product conversation on a new feature we want to launch. Launch dude, don’t waste a min. Launch and iterate!

1–1:15pm: Discussion on an new process we want to institute to make things more agile. Need-to-get-faster. Even faster. This place is about N times faster than Google. Sometimes it feels way too fast. Sometimes way too slow.

(15 min lunch somewhere in the middle between conversations. Food is delicious. Its 8 steel boxes each with a different item in it. Looks something like below!)


1:30–2pm: Work on a marketing effort which will allow us to acquire tons of new users. What’s the priority here? Should we do this? Or not? I don’t quite know. I am going to let the direct lead make the call. And step in only if asked.

2–2:30pm: Sync with PR team. Not going to say much more :P

2:30–3pm: Working time to catch up on things. I have 30mins to think through the next meeting which is a big one. This will be real product work.

3pm — 5pm: Work with the Product team to unblock a huge cross-functional project

5pm — 6pm: Listen to a cool new pitch on a new consumer idea

6pm — 7pm: Meeting a group of Infrastructure folks to discuss how to open up new capabilities in the system. Deep technical work. Real engineering stuff. Makes me feel alive again.

No two days are alike. No day is typical. Tomorrow is not going to be the same. The fun part of this job is that every day brings with its own challenges and excitement. The sad part is that I have not worked out in a month and need to figure that out!

Feels like the days when I had just started at Wharton. Those initial days felt like we were drinking fine wine through a firehose.

The firehose is full blast. The wine is fine.

Welcome to Flipkart — the craziest Internet company in the middle of a crazy, chaotic, loveable country that is India.

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/fine-wine-firehose-243ba95fce18___

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2015-06-02 02:21:47 (29 comments, 8 reshares, 282 +1s)Open 

So we have finally moved lock, stock and barrel to Bangalore (well..the barrel is still on a ship somewhere). Its literally 5 days since we landed in the country and we are now bang in the middle of a full-on honeymoon period. Here are the top 5 highlights currently:

Weather — Its almost always between 70–85F. No sweat, no heat, no discomfort. Makes you feel like you are wasting your time going to work and should be out in a park somewhere!

*Rains *— I was born in India and one thing I miss when living in California were the torrential rains. Monsoons here are a sheet of wall that hit the streets. You can spend hours in the patio, listening to the pitter-patter of rain over warm cups of chai (or some good wine)

Mangoes — I am ODing on Mangoes currently. I eat them at Breakfast, eat them at Dinner, eat them for snacks. Banganpalli, Alphonso,Badami, Malboa, so ... more »

So we have finally moved lock, stock and barrel to Bangalore (well..the barrel is still on a ship somewhere). Its literally 5 days since we landed in the country and we are now bang in the middle of a full-on honeymoon period. Here are the top 5 highlights currently:

Weather — Its almost always between 70–85F. No sweat, no heat, no discomfort. Makes you feel like you are wasting your time going to work and should be out in a park somewhere!

*Rains *— I was born in India and one thing I miss when living in California were the torrential rains. Monsoons here are a sheet of wall that hit the streets. You can spend hours in the patio, listening to the pitter-patter of rain over warm cups of chai (or some good wine)

Mangoes — I am ODing on Mangoes currently. I eat them at Breakfast, eat them at Dinner, eat them for snacks. Banganpalli, Alphonso, Badami, Malboa, so many varieties, so many flavors!

Fresh Bananas from the neighbour’s garden — We literally landed and the next day, our new neighbours passed a bag of fresh bananas plucked from their backyard over the fence. Its not about the bananas, its about the incredible feeling of community. A friend (Canadian transplanted into Bangalore of all places) dropped by with a box of food knowing we are still struggling to cook at home. Folks keep calling to check on us. We feel incredibly loved here.

Convenience — I feel things get done in a different way in India, but they get done pretty efficiently if you know the system. Need refreshed ATM card, no worries, the bank guy will drop by your home. Need to get clothes laundered, text someone and they show up in 5 mins to pick it up. Need food, hundreds of deliver Apps abound.

Now I know we are observing India for a bit of a position of privilege and its probably not as convenient or seamless for everyone (that’s a topic for another day). But right now, we are happy to have chosen this adventure. We love the people and love the experience. Its great to move countries and reinvent yourselves.

Somewhere along the way, I went to US and over time, it became home (and is the place I will end up after I am done with my adventures). But today, it feels beautiful to be back here in India, rediscovering the country where I was born. India sometimes get a bit of flak and some of it is perhaps rightfully so, for there are abundant socio-economic issues here. But what we tend to overlook is that there is an earthiness to its people, that if you look beyond the creaking infrastructure and the mindless red tape, there is a society that is aspiring to succeed while it holds on to its sense of community and tradition.

More soon. Mangoes are waiting…
https://medium.com/@punitsoni/in-india-139b93d39a0f___

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2015-05-30 02:03:14 (10 comments, 7 reshares, 84 +1s)Open 

We just launched the Seller Analytics Dashboard to our entire live seller base. Now, sellers can slice and dice their metrics using multiple filters and time periods, understand trends or download the most granular level data.
We will keep working to make you guys successful!

https://seller.flipkart.com/

We just launched the Seller Analytics Dashboard to our entire live seller base. Now, sellers can slice and dice their metrics using multiple filters and time periods, understand trends or download the most granular level data.
We will keep working to make you guys successful!

https://seller.flipkart.com/___

posted image

2015-05-22 08:24:25 (27 comments, 2 reshares, 52 +1s)Open 

We recently launched a new site at http://seller.flipkart.com for folks interested in selling on the Flipkart Marketplace. Learn more about what it takes to open a store on Flipkart.
Join in guys!


We recently launched a new site at http://seller.flipkart.com for folks interested in selling on the Flipkart Marketplace. Learn more about what it takes to open a store on Flipkart.
Join in guys!
___

2015-05-22 06:21:34 (4 comments, 3 reshares, 187 +1s)Open 

"Daddy, why do we have to sleep?"
"So you can meet little fairies."
"You are better than any fairies I can meet"

This is why we have kids.

"Daddy, why do we have to sleep?"
"So you can meet little fairies."
"You are better than any fairies I can meet"

This is why we have kids.___

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2015-05-18 07:35:50 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 56 +1s)Open 

The headline is courtesy my friend Anshu Sharma (@anshublog) who crisply explained in a short phrase what I spent minutes espousing. The venue was TiEcon where I was invited to do a fireside chat with Anshu about Flipkart, India, Internet, and the power of ecommerce.


The world is full of conflict zones. Young people picking up guns to fight for various causes (whether real or percieved). I wonder how different things would be if we could hand every one of them a smartphone with a connection to the Internet, and show them how they could make money of it. I wonder if the belief that they could all make a better life for themselves would be a start towards tempering the fires burning across the world.

By most metrics, India is a poor country still building its infrastructure up. But if you walk around in the country, all you see is young people studying, reading, buying, selling,... more »

The headline is courtesy my friend Anshu Sharma (@anshublog) who crisply explained in a short phrase what I spent minutes espousing. The venue was TiEcon where I was invited to do a fireside chat with Anshu about Flipkart, India, Internet, and the power of ecommerce.


The world is full of conflict zones. Young people picking up guns to fight for various causes (whether real or percieved). I wonder how different things would be if we could hand every one of them a smartphone with a connection to the Internet, and show them how they could make money of it. I wonder if the belief that they could all make a better life for themselves would be a start towards tempering the fires burning across the world.

By most metrics, India is a poor country still building its infrastructure up. But if you walk around in the country, all you see is young people studying, reading, buying, selling, figuring out all sorts of schemes to get ahead in life. India is in reality a very rich country. Because its youth have belief that they can get ahead in life, and build a better, more prosperous future. A key part of that belief stems from the access to a smartphone and to the Internet.

If everyone in the world had a shot at a better life for themselves, if all of them could be handed a cheap android device with a connection to the rest of the world, perhaps we would have way less wars. Perhaps the war mongers would be way less powerful.

Or as Anshu put it so eloquently on stage at TiEcon, it would be the Internet versus ISIS.

And we all know who would prevail.

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/internet-versus-isis-5bfca4bcbe3a___

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2015-05-15 06:31:13 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

Speaking at TiEcon tomorrow. Swing by if you guys are round.

http://tiecon.org/content/e-commerce-marketing-reinvented-big-data

Speaking at TiEcon tomorrow. Swing by if you guys are round.

http://tiecon.org/content/e-commerce-marketing-reinvented-big-data___

2015-05-14 07:20:08 (6 comments, 10 reshares, 102 +1s)Open 

Love this one, and try to live by it:
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

Love this one, and try to live by it:
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.___

posted image

2015-05-11 20:53:55 (12 comments, 2 reshares, 48 +1s)Open 

So I am back home in sunny California and here is the view from my study (never mind the crazy mountaineering caricature that Google’s Waterloo office mates made for me)

It is so beautiful. I spent the entire morning outside in the backyard. Its as if California is teasing me about my decision to leave!

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/social-media-anger-7efdd209fd36

So I am back home in sunny California and here is the view from my study (never mind the crazy mountaineering caricature that Google’s Waterloo office mates made for me)

It is so beautiful. I spent the entire morning outside in the backyard. Its as if California is teasing me about my decision to leave!

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/social-media-anger-7efdd209fd36___

posted image

2015-05-10 21:14:52 (19 comments, 0 reshares, 85 +1s)Open 

Back home. The weather is to die for...

Back home. The weather is to die for...___

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2015-05-08 09:49:39 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 31 +1s)Open 

Every wish fulfilled. Because ultimately, its all about our users.

Every wish fulfilled. Because ultimately, its all about our users.___

posted image

2015-05-07 19:45:58 (9 comments, 3 reshares, 71 +1s)Open 

This one is a short one and about nothing in particular at all.

Its three weeks into India/Flipkart, and I am heading back home to California for a few days to prepare for the final move. Though right now, I am a bit confused about where home is. Is this home now that I live here, or is home my beautiful place in California that I miss so much?

I guess home is where the heart is. In this case, my family is back in US and so that is home. When they move here, India will become home.

So far, I have had an amazing time here. This industry is hyper-competitive and I feel like I have been completely sucked into a completely different world. The smarts of the folks at Flipkart are on par with anything you can see anywhere else. And now, the ambitions are on par too. All in all, it has been an eye opening, intense experience. I have a suspicion that the intensity will continue.... more »

This one is a short one and about nothing in particular at all.

Its three weeks into India/Flipkart, and I am heading back home to California for a few days to prepare for the final move. Though right now, I am a bit confused about where home is. Is this home now that I live here, or is home my beautiful place in California that I miss so much?

I guess home is where the heart is. In this case, my family is back in US and so that is home. When they move here, India will become home.

So far, I have had an amazing time here. This industry is hyper-competitive and I feel like I have been completely sucked into a completely different world. The smarts of the folks at Flipkart are on par with anything you can see anywhere else. And now, the ambitions are on par too. All in all, it has been an eye opening, intense experience. I have a suspicion that the intensity will continue.

I was telling someone the other day, that there could have been two different reactions after three weeks in India. One of intense dismay — what did I do? Why did I come? And another one, a half-smirky, half-relieved sense of validation — phew, thank God I showed up. This looks like it will work out.

I am happy to report that it is firmly the latter. I have always believed that India has a tendency to elicit extreme reactions. You either love it, or you hate it. Rarely do people show up here and are apathetic to country. I have a feeling that there will be ups and downs. But when I decide, at some point in the far far future to head back home, it will be the amazing ups that I will remember the most. In just a few days, I can see the beginnings of an amazing life experience here, amongst an incredibly interesting set of people, all trying to rebuild, reinvent the infrastructure of an entire company, brick by brick. What’s not to love?

I guess this post was not short after all. But then no post about India can be. Its tiring, exhausting roller coaster for sure, but I am learning a ton, and its just so much fun.

So finally, for those of you who are on the verge of making life changing decisions of any kind, changing jobs, countries, committing to new things, starting companies, whatever. If your heart is in it, just do it. Reinventing yourself at regular intervals especially when you do not quite need to do so, always works out.

Adios India. See you in a few days!

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/home-e22e8473f8ab___

posted image

2015-05-03 17:52:41 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

Help out if you can guys!

https://www.flipkart.com/relief-fund/donate?ocmpid=socialorg_quakerelief_page

Help out if you can guys!

https://www.flipkart.com/relief-fund/donate?ocmpid=socialorg_quakerelief_page___

posted image

2015-05-02 12:04:31 (15 comments, 4 reshares, 104 +1s)Open 

I sit in my window looking out at a patch of green that is the Intel campus amidst a landscape of concrete. This is my third week in Bangalore and depending on when I am working or not, I miss the Bay Area. The people are super nice here, and there is tons of interesting work to do. But it is a country in the middle of constructing itself and there is little organic space for introspection here. Most folks with means compensate for this by living in small bubbles - gated communities that make you feel like you stepped into a different country.

Lest you think this is about US versus India, developed versus developing, happened versus happening, and all the other memes we like to quickly lean upon, let me disavow those notions. It has merely to do with that home versus this home. About newness and the rough edges it brings with it. Over time, the edges smooth and the newness wears off, to be... more »

I sit in my window looking out at a patch of green that is the Intel campus amidst a landscape of concrete. This is my third week in Bangalore and depending on when I am working or not, I miss the Bay Area. The people are super nice here, and there is tons of interesting work to do. But it is a country in the middle of constructing itself and there is little organic space for introspection here. Most folks with means compensate for this by living in small bubbles - gated communities that make you feel like you stepped into a different country.

Lest you think this is about US versus India, developed versus developing, happened versus happening, and all the other memes we like to quickly lean upon, let me disavow those notions. It has merely to do with that home versus this home. About newness and the rough edges it brings with it. Over time, the edges smooth and the newness wears off, to be replaced by a warm comfort of being home again.

One thing that does hit you a lot while living in Bangalore (and perhaps many mega-cities) is the lack of space for thoughtfulness. I think its key for people to have the ability to walk outside and just look at trees, or sit on a bench and watch the world go by, to be able to listen to the birds in small parks. Perhaps I have not lived in a real city for a long time and the suburban lifestyle has spoilt me, but I want to be able to step outside of my bubbles — the five star hotels, the car and the office, and just sit outside and listen to the sounds. I suspect some of those places exist in the older part of the town on the other side of the city, but here in Outer Ring Road area, its all very glass and concrete with no space for green.

So I sit at my window in my hotel room listening to a piano piece called Goldberg Variations. It is a seminal keyboard music set published by Bach and though I suspect I know very little about music, it does give me a sense of peace every time I listen to it. Its my way of going home whenever I wish to, regardless of where I am. To be able to really listen to it, you need to find a quiet place somewhere where you can watch the world go by and just listen. For me, it is an exercise in thoughtfulness. And thoughtfulness has the potential to influence what we build, how we treat others, and how we live our lives.

I wish there was a place in every city, around every home regardless of how much you make and how much influence you have, to listen to Goldberg Variations.

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/goldberg-variations-aebc0635bc94___

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2015-05-02 01:14:11 (41 comments, 36 reshares, 464 +1s)Open 

Elon Musk is amazing. Space, Electric Cars and now Energy. This guy is fixing our world.

Elon Musk is amazing. Space, Electric Cars and now Energy. This guy is fixing our world.___

posted image

2015-04-29 17:12:55 (17 comments, 2 reshares, 378 +1s)Open 

Ran into an old friend today!
+Hugo Barra​ :)

Ran into an old friend today!
+Hugo Barra​ :)___

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2015-04-24 06:31:48 (18 comments, 3 reshares, 138 +1s)Open 

Yesterday was interesting.

I had told someone I would meet them for a drink post work, and so we (Niket and I) headed out of work around 7pm. Got to the lobby and saw that it was raining cats and dogs outside. Typically tropical torrential rains. Called the driver, no signal. Waited for a few minutes and then decided to head to the main gate and see if he was parked there. The main gate was about a hundred meters away and in that time we were fully drenched. Got to the gate, looked for the driver, no dice. Now we were faced with an interesting choice. Should we stand here and keep getting soaked or walk to the hotel which was slightly less than a kilometer away? Men of action that we are, we decided on the latter option!

Now the fun began. The road to the hotel was completely blocked with cars end to end. Almost nothing was moving. The sidewalk disappeared in a block and so now we were... more »

Yesterday was interesting.

I had told someone I would meet them for a drink post work, and so we (Niket and I) headed out of work around 7pm. Got to the lobby and saw that it was raining cats and dogs outside. Typically tropical torrential rains. Called the driver, no signal. Waited for a few minutes and then decided to head to the main gate and see if he was parked there. The main gate was about a hundred meters away and in that time we were fully drenched. Got to the gate, looked for the driver, no dice. Now we were faced with an interesting choice. Should we stand here and keep getting soaked or walk to the hotel which was slightly less than a kilometer away? Men of action that we are, we decided on the latter option!

Now the fun began. The road to the hotel was completely blocked with cars end to end. Almost nothing was moving. The sidewalk disappeared in a block and so now we were weaving through the cars. The road sort of disappeared in a bit too, water started seeping through our shoes. We were soaked by now. And my laptop bag was more like a water bottle. Jump, weave, side shuffle, wipe water off glasses, repeat. Swerve, avoid that car, hold on to the lamppost, jump, we shuffled along like ballet dancers on a hot tin roof. And then instinct took over.

I remembered growing up in Bombay when the monsoon would hit. It would be like a wall of water hit the city and the rain would keep going on for days. My mother would pack our school bag in a large plastic bag and we would forge bravely into what felt like an unending lake to walk to school. The first hour of school would involve drying various things — Boots, clothes, books, bag, you name it. There used to be a slightly musty air around things. Everything was slightly wet all the time. Lights would be on all day since the cloud cover would make it so dark. We would skip rocks in puddles on the way back home, play with earthworms, jump from rock to rock trying to cross an inundated road. Sometimes, the area around my house would be so waterlogged, we would wade through it with bags on our heads. I remember sitting at the window in the evenings, praying, hoping that the rain would abate so I could go play soccer in the water sloshed fields. More often than not, I would be denied.

I guess carrying a laptop bag on my head and weaving through traffic in a muddy Bangalore road is nothing. I have done this for years when I was growing up. Perhaps this is what they mean by going back to where you come from…

Week in. And it all feels different.

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/wet-d5bce77812bc___

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2015-04-23 08:49:12 (10 comments, 2 reshares, 161 +1s)Open 

Hanging out with Mukesh (Our CEO) at the coolest office space in India - Myntra Headquarters

Hanging out with Mukesh (Our CEO) at the coolest office space in India - Myntra Headquarters___

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2015-04-21 04:25:17 (17 comments, 2 reshares, 91 +1s)Open 

So I am going to quickly type this out while I wait for a meeting to start. This past Sunday evening, I decided to go out for a drive to an area called the “Beverly Hills of Bangalore”. I looked up Google maps and found a route that was totally unconventional (from my point of view), went over some bumpy broken roads and then a beautiful road next to Bellandur Lake through some slums to the upscale community.

By the time we got there, my driver was in ecstacy at having found an alternate, shorter route to this community. It is a different matter that because we had no reason to get in, there was no way the security was going to open the doors for us. So we sort of peered in from outside and then turned back. We decided to take the same route back which ran right behind this place. Looking into the community, it was obvious it was acres of beautiful gardens and wonderful houses. So off wewen... more »

So I am going to quickly type this out while I wait for a meeting to start. This past Sunday evening, I decided to go out for a drive to an area called the “Beverly Hills of Bangalore”. I looked up Google maps and found a route that was totally unconventional (from my point of view), went over some bumpy broken roads and then a beautiful road next to Bellandur Lake through some slums to the upscale community.

By the time we got there, my driver was in ecstacy at having found an alternate, shorter route to this community. It is a different matter that because we had no reason to get in, there was no way the security was going to open the doors for us. So we sort of peered in from outside and then turned back. We decided to take the same route back which ran right behind this place. Looking into the community, it was obvious it was acres of beautiful gardens and wonderful houses. So off we went, after having spent some poking around this place.

On the way back on the road next to the beautiful lake, there were a couple of mosquitoes who had sneaked into the car, and so we decided to roll down the windows. What happened next was almost unreal.

The area had an almost mind numbing stench. It was so intolerable that I do not remember anything like it in my life (and I was born in Bombay). Even my driver looked like he was going to throw up! It seems that the entire sewage of that part of the city just goes into this lake as-is. Beyond the fact, that Bangalore is doing such a good job of destroying its lakes, it got me thinking about the people in the slum who live next to this lake. They live amidst this stench 24/7.

So for all the nice communities, beautiful gardens, slick cars, 5 star hotels that we were cruising around in, this was the reality of life. Beyond the community is where the hoi polloi stays, in a slum in incredibly unhygienic conditions.

I have always believed that the solution of many problems in this world is knowledge and access to Internet through all platforms like Mobile and Ecommerce. This has to be a part of the larger mission of Flipkart. Its not about just enabling commerce, its about enabling a large swathe of the disenfranchised and raising them into the middle class and beyond. Flipkart and companies like this in India have a much bigger mission than just winning the market. We will do well to not lose sight of that as we build a great company.

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/dichotomy-fb5d4bb11d46___

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2015-04-19 07:36:52 (13 comments, 1 reshares, 66 +1s)Open 

So it is mid-day Sunday of my first weekend in Bangalore. Given the chaos that will erupt tomorrow morning at work, I suspect this is the best time to write a post on how things have been going.

Saturday was a Bandh (Strike) in Bangalore. For most folks this was probably very inconvenient, but from my perspective, all I saw were empty streets and zero traffic. Getting anywhere was super easy. Bangalore is a small city that feels big because of the crazy traffic situation. Traffic btw is the biggest topic of conversation in Bangalore. Discussions on traffic pervade everything. Schedules are arranged around traffic patterns and life here can be heaven or hell depending on how well you can deal with the traffic. Some part of this situation is a travesty because Bangalore started off as an urban heaven, a small, quaint, green city full of beautiful lakes and parks.

Read more... more »

So it is mid-day Sunday of my first weekend in Bangalore. Given the chaos that will erupt tomorrow morning at work, I suspect this is the best time to write a post on how things have been going.

Saturday was a Bandh (Strike) in Bangalore. For most folks this was probably very inconvenient, but from my perspective, all I saw were empty streets and zero traffic. Getting anywhere was super easy. Bangalore is a small city that feels big because of the crazy traffic situation. Traffic btw is the biggest topic of conversation in Bangalore. Discussions on traffic pervade everything. Schedules are arranged around traffic patterns and life here can be heaven or hell depending on how well you can deal with the traffic. Some part of this situation is a travesty because Bangalore started off as an urban heaven, a small, quaint, green city full of beautiful lakes and parks.

Read more at https://medium.com/@punitsoni/a-weekend-in-bangalore-5837a980dad3___

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2015-04-18 01:54:25 (8 comments, 2 reshares, 51 +1s)Open 

So excited +Niket Desai​​​ is joining Flipkart as Product Manager and as my Chief of staff. With his verve, product skills and amazing emotional intelligence, I expect a very big impact!

So excited +Niket Desai​​​ is joining Flipkart as Product Manager and as my Chief of staff. With his verve, product skills and amazing emotional intelligence, I expect a very big impact!___

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2015-04-17 19:14:02 (6 comments, 0 reshares, 49 +1s)Open 

Today we had our first leadership at the Taj West End in the city center of Bangalore. I was out there around 7:45am in the morning. I have quickly come to realize that the trick to traveling around Bangalore is to leave very early in the mornings. The weather here is absolutely gorgeous. There are tropical showers throughout the day and the temperature is basically Bay Area weather (except with rain!).

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/colonial-offsite-93c2a7502f96

Today we had our first leadership at the Taj West End in the city center of Bangalore. I was out there around 7:45am in the morning. I have quickly come to realize that the trick to traveling around Bangalore is to leave very early in the mornings. The weather here is absolutely gorgeous. There are tropical showers throughout the day and the temperature is basically Bay Area weather (except with rain!).

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/colonial-offsite-93c2a7502f96___

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2015-04-15 18:41:52 (17 comments, 2 reshares, 128 +1s)Open 

First Day in India
Just a handful of random observations before I crash because of jet lag:

- Bangalore Airport was surprisingly smooth. Faster than getting out of most airports in US

- There is construction everywhere and it is seriously built up.

- The weather is just glorious. Cool Breeze, wonderful drizzle and mild sun

- The energy at Flipkart is infectious. Spent the day in a zillion intro meetings and answering a ton of questions

- The company is running at breakneck speed. Coming from Google, this feels a whole new world in terms of speed

- The cafes have free food and the food is quite yummy. The Chai is pretty nice too!

-The traffic is miserable. I am put up in a hotel ~650metres from my office, and we were halfway there in about 10 mins. Finally gave up and walked

-The 5 star hotels in India are such a... more »

First Day in India
Just a handful of random observations before I crash because of jet lag:

- Bangalore Airport was surprisingly smooth. Faster than getting out of most airports in US

- There is construction everywhere and it is seriously built up.

- The weather is just glorious. Cool Breeze, wonderful drizzle and mild sun

- The energy at Flipkart is infectious. Spent the day in a zillion intro meetings and answering a ton of questions

- The company is running at breakneck speed. Coming from Google, this feels a whole new world in terms of speed

- The cafes have free food and the food is quite yummy. The Chai is pretty nice too!

-The traffic is miserable. I am put up in a hotel ~650metres from my office, and we were halfway there in about 10 mins. Finally gave up and walked

-The 5 star hotels in India are such a contradiction to everything around them. But boy, are they comfortable.

- Found out you need a beer license to stock alcohol in the office. There goes my dream of an office bar..

End of Day 1. It validated my idea of what to expect out here. Onwards we go… the new adventure has kicked off. Still cannot believe I am working in a new job out here in India now.

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/first-day-in-india-e5596f03307e___

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2015-04-13 18:00:57 (27 comments, 1 reshares, 170 +1s)Open 

Hanging out in the backyard before flying out to India to kick off my new adventure! Last couple of hours..

Hanging out in the backyard before flying out to India to kick off my new adventure! Last couple of hours..___

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2015-04-11 21:17:41 (19 comments, 3 reshares, 42 +1s)Open 

I know there is a lot more nuance to this debate than what the video below shows. I am not in India yet, and so will soon learn a lot more about what is really happening on the ground.

In my opinion, Net Neutrality is critical. We worked hard to push this in US, and I recommend Indians do too. If nothing else, we need to be super aware of the issue. Read up, learn more, log on to: http://www.savetheinternet.in/

Read more at https://medium.com/@punitsoni/net-neutrality-9e5859a7028

I know there is a lot more nuance to this debate than what the video below shows. I am not in India yet, and so will soon learn a lot more about what is really happening on the ground.

In my opinion, Net Neutrality is critical. We worked hard to push this in US, and I recommend Indians do too. If nothing else, we need to be super aware of the issue. Read up, learn more, log on to: http://www.savetheinternet.in/

Read more at https://medium.com/@punitsoni/net-neutrality-9e5859a7028___

2015-04-10 07:33:22 (4 comments, 2 reshares, 37 +1s)Open 

Troika

This one is a short post. Recently, someone set up a deep dive with me on a product with just the Product Manager in the room. The idea was to give me an overview of the product and then go deep so I can understand (and provide feedback) on the future direction of the product. The product had a lot of infrastructural backend and many consumer facing aspects.

Big mistake.

No deep dive is useful unless the troika of leadership is present. A product is the combination of at least three main functions — Engineering, Product and Design. There are other functions like partnerships, ConOps, Legal, Support etc that matter but they can for most part be adequately represented by the Product Manager. However, a deep review of a product without the presence of the engineering lead and design lead is not going to result in very fruitful insights.

Asimpor... more »

Troika

This one is a short post. Recently, someone set up a deep dive with me on a product with just the Product Manager in the room. The idea was to give me an overview of the product and then go deep so I can understand (and provide feedback) on the future direction of the product. The product had a lot of infrastructural backend and many consumer facing aspects.

Big mistake.

No deep dive is useful unless the troika of leadership is present. A product is the combination of at least three main functions — Engineering, Product and Design. There are other functions like partnerships, ConOps, Legal, Support etc that matter but they can for most part be adequately represented by the Product Manager. However, a deep review of a product without the presence of the engineering lead and design lead is not going to result in very fruitful insights.

As important the Product Manager is, the product hinges on top of significant engineering architectural decisions and equally important design frameworks. So whenever you look at a product next, remember its the output of many people and foremost of them is the troika of Engineering, Design and Product (whose job is put it together AND represent everyone else who is not in the room). Try to make sure those leads are present when making key decisions or providing feedback.

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/troika-9630385fccc6___

2015-04-06 22:48:44 (13 comments, 5 reshares, 64 +1s)Open 

The Virtuous Cycle of Hiring well

So its obvious that I am trying to create a strong and interesting pipeline to hire into Flipkart. These posts are one way that I am trying to get the word out. Frankly, the response has been overwhelming. My team has been super busy trying to sift through so many amazing profiles, and its so much fun talking to so many interesting people (both inside and outside). Its also leading to all sorts of interesting situations that not only test our philosophy but help hone the kind of team we want to build.

One key sticking point has been believe it or not, Titles.

In the world that I come from, titles need to be earned and are not typically given away to attract talent. Even though I am now at Flipkart, I have no qualms in saying that Google (perhaps even now) has one of the best teams in the tech industry. And it mostly came because of... more »

The Virtuous Cycle of Hiring well

So its obvious that I am trying to create a strong and interesting pipeline to hire into Flipkart. These posts are one way that I am trying to get the word out. Frankly, the response has been overwhelming. My team has been super busy trying to sift through so many amazing profiles, and its so much fun talking to so many interesting people (both inside and outside). Its also leading to all sorts of interesting situations that not only test our philosophy but help hone the kind of team we want to build.

One key sticking point has been believe it or not, Titles.

In the world that I come from, titles need to be earned and are not typically given away to attract talent. Even though I am now at Flipkart, I have no qualms in saying that Google (perhaps even now) has one of the best teams in the tech industry. And it mostly came because of the obsession with hiring only the best, and the discipline of attracting them through scope, potential, impact (the money follows of course) rather than Titles. It created a virtuous cycle. The best typically are folks who value impact and scope more than labels, and those folks would be attracted to Google. Especially when they see other amazing people working in the team. And then, if they succeeded, they would see the kind of meteoric rise that was unusual in the industry.

So here is the virtuous cycle of hiring:

Only considered the absolute best
From them, hire those primarily motivated by scope and impact
Give them an even bigger scope and impact
If they succeed, promote and reward the hell out of them
They become examples for the absolute best who now want to join your team… rinse and repeat.
All in all, this required a lot of discipline. You need to give up on a lot of candidates who are great to find the one who is amazing.

Initially it will be super hard. But over time, you will create a brand for your team as the benchmark of what a great team means in the industry. And then the virtuous cycle kicks in…

One week to go before I start my new job. Nervous, excited, ready to go!

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/the-virtuous-cycle-of-hiring-well-62426b6cca62___

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2015-04-01 23:46:38 (20 comments, 7 reshares, 139 +1s)Open 

I still remember the first day I walked into Motorola offices after it had been acquired by Google. Cubes higher than my height, couldn’t see a single soul because of the layout, bare walls full of drab whiteboards. One of the big transformations we were a part of when we started working at Motorola was changing the physical look and feel of the office. It went from something like this... 
Read more at: 
https://medium.com/@punitsoni/a-room-with-a-view-6840c869c560

I still remember the first day I walked into Motorola offices after it had been acquired by Google. Cubes higher than my height, couldn’t see a single soul because of the layout, bare walls full of drab whiteboards. One of the big transformations we were a part of when we started working at Motorola was changing the physical look and feel of the office. It went from something like this... 
Read more at: 
https://medium.com/@punitsoni/a-room-with-a-view-6840c869c560___

2015-03-31 16:19:40 (8 comments, 2 reshares, 31 +1s)Open 

Good for profit

I have always thought the phrase Good for profit was a very smart pun. Is it a for-profit that is good? Is it an initiative that is good for profit? You get the gist. Today I get to weave it into a post that I suspect is very topical right now.

A lot of rage is spreading in tech companies about the Indiana Law on protection of religious freedom that is (ironically) deemed to be discriminatory towards LGBT and other groups. Quite a few companies seem to be announcing plans to decrease engagement with the state of Indiana based on their opposition to this law. Some are curtailing their investments, others are pulling out from their regular events. These actions are obviously based on their principles and sense of what is right and wrong. But if you take the definition of a corporation that we are taught in business schools, then its all about maximizing shareholder... more »

Good for profit

I have always thought the phrase Good for profit was a very smart pun. Is it a for-profit that is good? Is it an initiative that is good for profit? You get the gist. Today I get to weave it into a post that I suspect is very topical right now.

A lot of rage is spreading in tech companies about the Indiana Law on protection of religious freedom that is (ironically) deemed to be discriminatory towards LGBT and other groups. Quite a few companies seem to be announcing plans to decrease engagement with the state of Indiana based on their opposition to this law. Some are curtailing their investments, others are pulling out from their regular events. These actions are obviously based on their principles and sense of what is right and wrong. But if you take the definition of a corporation that we are taught in business schools, then its all about maximizing shareholder value.

Is opposing the Indiana law really helping Salesforce, Apple, Yelp etc’s bottomline? In general, regardless of your position on this specific law, should we incorporate our sense of right or wrong into product strategy and decision making?

I think these are very interesting questions. Back in Google, we would grapple with the moral implications of our product decisions at regular intervals. It is one of the few companies that codified this behavior into a motto — Don’t be evil (Well, one could argue that not being evil isn’t the same thing as proactive supporting the good. But I think the intent was to codify some sense of social wellness into product development). I remember countless arguments that were won on the basis of this motto. And for many of us, product development truly felt like a thoughtful, user centric endeavor because of this rule.

Being thoughtful about the implications of our actions, whether as individuals or as a society, is an important aspect of what makes us human. Corporations are a part of society and though maximizing shareholder value is their prime goal, I suspect doing so while ensuring they do no evil (or even better, taking a stance against bad laws) is equally key. And finally, it actually does make business sense. I suspect companies that do so, end up doing very well and having a significant impact on their bottomline. This topic is ripe for some real research that backs this theory (or disproves it) with real data.

In the meantime, let’s please do no evil.

(inspired from a piece written by Ben Thomson in his latest Stratechery post)

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/good-for-profit-3136d1dfa9fe___

2015-03-27 20:51:35 (2 comments, 7 reshares, 65 +1s)Open 

For all the wonderful warm fuzzy recruiting articles I have been writing lately, the best strategy for building a stellar team is not external recruiting at all. Companies can spend a lot of time assuming the panacea of their problems lies in some exciting new resume in a different company across the street, and then ignore the most important solution to the issue — its own people.

In the early days of my career, a street smart, pragmatic mentor had explained to me the concept of a rotating ladder. His point was it is harder to climb up the corporate ladder than to just leave the company, join a competitor, get promoted, and then come back a few rungs up. Ugh. If this happens to my organization, I would be so depressed for being such an awful leader.

But for all the disregard I have accrued over the years to such methods, they actually do work in most companies. Peoplewant ... more »

For all the wonderful warm fuzzy recruiting articles I have been writing lately, the best strategy for building a stellar team is not external recruiting at all. Companies can spend a lot of time assuming the panacea of their problems lies in some exciting new resume in a different company across the street, and then ignore the most important solution to the issue — its own people.

In the early days of my career, a street smart, pragmatic mentor had explained to me the concept of a rotating ladder. His point was it is harder to climb up the corporate ladder than to just leave the company, join a competitor, get promoted, and then come back a few rungs up. Ugh. If this happens to my organization, I would be so depressed for being such an awful leader.

But for all the disregard I have accrued over the years to such methods, they actually do work in most companies. People want to grow and they will find any way possible for them to achieve their goals. So the issue isn’t with them, its with the company’s ability to grow the talent at its disposal.

I fervently believe that this game needs to be fixed from both ends. The onus should be on you to focus on scope, mandate, potential more than titles, labels etc. But an even bigger onus should be on the company to focus on its people and grow them. Fast. And in an atmosphere of meritocracy.

So please spend a lot of time deep diving into your organization, identify key leaders, and then work hard to mentor and grow them. Give them a huge scope and see if they can stretch and flourish. If they do, give them big jumps in their careers.

And the next time you decide you need to hire that flashy new leader, instead of paying that recruiter, go look inside your org. Deep inside. More often that not, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/look-inside-deep-inside-f45699791eb3___

2015-03-26 18:56:14 (19 comments, 13 reshares, 75 +1s)Open 

How to choose your next gig

I must meet atleast 3–4 people in a week who want to talk to me about how to figure out their next gig. For some reason, they think I know something they don’t (unlikely given how long it takes me to make calls on what I should do next). But one trend seems to stand out. A lot of people have a tendency to optimize for measurable metrics (Comp, Title) over more subtle ones (Potential, Scope, People).

Now I understand that in an asymmetrical information setup, using measurable metrics is easier than those that are more subtle. But this is your next big career move. You have to put in the effort to do the diligence to collect deeper insights on the job. Meet people who have worked in the company, talk to your network about your potential manager and his/her abilities, read up on the company’s financials/growth patterns, understand the sectordeepl... more »

How to choose your next gig

I must meet atleast 3–4 people in a week who want to talk to me about how to figure out their next gig. For some reason, they think I know something they don’t (unlikely given how long it takes me to make calls on what I should do next). But one trend seems to stand out. A lot of people have a tendency to optimize for measurable metrics (Comp, Title) over more subtle ones (Potential, Scope, People).

Now I understand that in an asymmetrical information setup, using measurable metrics is easier than those that are more subtle. But this is your next big career move. You have to put in the effort to do the diligence to collect deeper insights on the job. Meet people who have worked in the company, talk to your network about your potential manager and his/her abilities, read up on the company’s financials/growth patterns, understand the sector deeply.

So here is my personal list of what I think matters when picking your next gig. It is by no means comprehensive. Nor am I implying that compensation and Title do not matter. Just that you should focus on optimizing measurable metrics only after you are convinced the subtle ones are on the money. And you should almost never make a call based purely on Comp and Title. So here is how I evaluate a new opportunity:

Potential — Of the company, the sector, the TAM, anything that gives you a sense of how relevant this gig is, and how relevant the problem they are trying to solve is

Scope — Of your role. What part do you play in the scheme of things? Will you be a key part of the team that enables the company’s mission? And no, this has nothing to do with title. I just hired an APM who will be one of the key leaders in the company in terms of transforming its culture

People — Jury is out if this should be the most important metric or one of the more important ones. Rest assured, one of the biggest decision making criteria should be who your manager is. And also what your peers are like. A bad manager will successfully destroy your career regardless of all other factors being awesome. And a strong team is a good indicator of your chances of growing and learning in your new role

Comp — Not for a second am I saying that is compensation is not important. Just that in the long run, it almost always works itself out if you find stellar Potential, great scope and amazing manager/team. So if the first three are amazing, usually compensation is going to work. If not immediately, then over time.

Title — Again, its important in terms of your sense of your place in the scheme of things and potentially as a signal to the larger market. But beyond that, it is the one thing you optimize last after you are absolutely clear the other factors work very well.

If your choice is between becoming a VP at a chaotic company with potentially bad manager/unclear scope versus a senior manager at a high growth company with a great manager you can learn from, choose the latter. Everytime. Bet long, and bet wisely.

I did that when I stayed on at Google to work under leaders like +Vic Gundotra , +Bradley Horowitz , +Rick Osterloh  and it repaid me in my career over and over again.

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/how-to-choose-your-next-gig-2715d052eb3e___

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2015-03-25 19:31:41 (6 comments, 0 reshares, 37 +1s)Open 

Someone solve Pakistan

Before you jump on me, let me clarify this is no political commentary. Its more about the little bubble we all live in. For years, Sandhill VCs and Silicon Valley types rarely ventured beyond problems that mattered to them. I remember countless product reviews where I would blow up on what I called “Mission district problems” named after the grungy, young, super hip Mission district in San Francisco. Month after month, I would see super smart folks come in and present variants of solutions to problems that were focused on a narrow segment of the society. Nothing wrong with it. After all, we do identify most with issues that afflict us directly. Also those are the early adopters who can provide the most early traction.

But I believe there is a lot of opportunity in solving problems outside of the Valley (On a side note, there is a lot of opportunity insol... more »

Someone solve Pakistan

Before you jump on me, let me clarify this is no political commentary. Its more about the little bubble we all live in. For years, Sandhill VCs and Silicon Valley types rarely ventured beyond problems that mattered to them. I remember countless product reviews where I would blow up on what I called “Mission district problems” named after the grungy, young, super hip Mission district in San Francisco. Month after month, I would see super smart folks come in and present variants of solutions to problems that were focused on a narrow segment of the society. Nothing wrong with it. After all, we do identify most with issues that afflict us directly. Also those are the early adopters who can provide the most early traction.

But I believe there is a lot of opportunity in solving problems outside of the Valley (On a side note, there is a lot of opportunity in solving problems for the super rich in the Valley, read my friend Anshu’s post on that). And its not even the exotic locations I am going to talk about in this post, there are 10 startups that can be build just on the problems that middle America faces or just about any place in the US outside of New York and SF.

For years, we have cribbed about countries like India not getting attention. And now by the sheer size of the opportunity, and the grit of some early entrepreneurs, India has captured the imagination of investors, startup folks, technologists across the world. But there is more to the rest of the world than just India, and that brings me to Pakistan.

Imagine a market of 180 million people pretty similar to their fellow south asians down south, similar talent, similar education (more or less), same appetite for services and same needs. And no really significant players solving their problems (or if there are some, I don’t know of their existence). And its not just about Pakistan. Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, other parts of the world, the list goes on. In the world of increasingly local winners, there are some significant companies to be built around solving the problems of the next wave of emerging economies. So much value to be created, but outside the bubble we all live in.

Not to mention that most of the problems of this world would go away if we could put the youth across all the hotspots to work. Give them a phone, show them what the Internet can do for them, and voila… world peace!

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/someone-solve-pakistan-7241419b55d3___

2015-03-24 17:40:00 (10 comments, 8 reshares, 98 +1s)Open 

The real opportunity of the 1%

The meme of the 1% has been floating around for a while now. Basically it is the lucky few in this world who have all the opportunities in life and are doing quite well.

However, if we really think about it, the 1% base is actually quite larger than we assume. Its not just the Hamptons crowd or Hollywood superstars or Mark Zuckerberg. 1% of the world’s population is 70M people! So odds are that you are a part of it too. Yes, you, the medium blog reading, latte sipping, working on your laptop, browsing on your iPad types. Most of us reading this post do not have to worry about the next meal, have good jobs, and live secure, well cloistered lives in good neighborhoods.

The real opportunity for us is that we have the luxury to stretch, to take a risk and do something unconventional or push the limits of our abilities. Chances are we cand... more »

The real opportunity of the 1%

The meme of the 1% has been floating around for a while now. Basically it is the lucky few in this world who have all the opportunities in life and are doing quite well.

However, if we really think about it, the 1% base is actually quite larger than we assume. Its not just the Hamptons crowd or Hollywood superstars or Mark Zuckerberg. 1% of the world’s population is 70M people! So odds are that you are a part of it too. Yes, you, the medium blog reading, latte sipping, working on your laptop, browsing on your iPad types. Most of us reading this post do not have to worry about the next meal, have good jobs, and live secure, well cloistered lives in good neighborhoods.

The real opportunity for us is that we have the luxury to stretch, to take a risk and do something unconventional or push the limits of our abilities. Chances are we can do this without really impacting our careers or ability to live safe, secure lives. And I am not talking about going to Kandahar to volunteer (though kudos to you if you are doing that!). I am talking about getting out there and kicking off a new startup, or taking a class in that topic you wanted to always learn about, writing a book, traveling to that one country you always wanted to, or heck, even joining an ecommerce company in India <wink>!

The 1% has the luxury to do things that satisfy needs beyond the basic foundational blocks of Maslow’s hierarchy. We are less worried about hunger, safety, health. Hence, we can can do a lot more with our lives and we could push to stretch ourselves to do things outside our comfort zone. Whether its for ourselves or for others, doesn’t matter. Just do it. Its a luxury the vast majority of this world does not have.

And that, my friends, is the real opportunity of the 1%.

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/the-real-opportunity-of-the-1-51b25df2ebaa___

2015-03-23 05:38:15 (11 comments, 6 reshares, 81 +1s)Open 

Seva

The word Seva translates to service. We spent a large part of the day today doing seva by serving food at a community kitchen (langar) at a local Gurudwara. Initially it was a little bit of a frenzy while we were trying to figure out the dos and donts, the setup etc. A little bit into the day and the warmth of being useful to others started to kick in. It had been a long time since we took time out to do something like this, and it was incredibly self-fulfilling.

It set me thinking if this concept could be utilized in the work environment too. Especially as a leader, a key part of our job should be to ensure we can make those who work with us better and more successful. If that happens, I suspect we will win too. Sounds idealist? It sure is since it involves a significant mastery of ego, and understanding of one’s self worth and place in the scheme of things. One day Iw... more »

Seva

The word Seva translates to service. We spent a large part of the day today doing seva by serving food at a community kitchen (langar) at a local Gurudwara. Initially it was a little bit of a frenzy while we were trying to figure out the dos and donts, the setup etc. A little bit into the day and the warmth of being useful to others started to kick in. It had been a long time since we took time out to do something like this, and it was incredibly self-fulfilling.

It set me thinking if this concept could be utilized in the work environment too. Especially as a leader, a key part of our job should be to ensure we can make those who work with us better and more successful. If that happens, I suspect we will win too. Sounds idealist? It sure is since it involves a significant mastery of ego, and understanding of one’s self worth and place in the scheme of things. One day I will get there.

Back to the langar. All in all, it was a wonderful day. Friends pitched in, we all ate together, there were hymns playing in the background, kids were running around making a mess of it all, it all summed up to be a perfect Sunday. We came back feeling very relaxed, happy and content.

And so it turns out that seva is actually an incredibly selfish act. Because ultimately, the one person who gets the most out of it is you.

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/seva-1ea31e7958f9___

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2015-03-22 18:23:29 (7 comments, 5 reshares, 87 +1s)Open 

This is real courage. These women are heroes.

This is real courage. These women are heroes.___

2015-03-19 23:14:05 (18 comments, 3 reshares, 103 +1s)Open 

I can spend a lot of time telling everyone who cares to listen about all the things I am excited about and looking forward to in my impending new gig (I think I already have been doing that!). But the real story is probably hidden away in all the things I am nervous about, the issues I hope I will be able to handle well.

Its probably not fashionable to talk about the butterflies in one’s stomach, but in the interest of transparency, here are three key ones.

India — I am expecting to feel a bit frazzled for at least six months. I suspect the dissonance in ways I am used to and how some things operate in India will be new for me (no, I have never worked in India before), and I suspect that my naivety will show. And no, this is not a typical I am too good for a still-developing-turning-out-to-be-amazing country. Its mostly that I have not really operated in India before.Hence, ... more »

I can spend a lot of time telling everyone who cares to listen about all the things I am excited about and looking forward to in my impending new gig (I think I already have been doing that!). But the real story is probably hidden away in all the things I am nervous about, the issues I hope I will be able to handle well.

Its probably not fashionable to talk about the butterflies in one’s stomach, but in the interest of transparency, here are three key ones.

India — I am expecting to feel a bit frazzled for at least six months. I suspect the dissonance in ways I am used to and how some things operate in India will be new for me (no, I have never worked in India before), and I suspect that my naivety will show. And no, this is not a typical I am too good for a still-developing-turning-out-to-be-amazing country. Its mostly that I have not really operated in India before. Hence, the learning curve on top of the learning curve of a new role/team/location etc.

Culture — One mistake that a lot of folks make when moving from one system (read Bay Area, Google, US etc) to another (read Motorola, India, Mid west, Flipkart) is that they try to recreate their home systems in the new place. I think that is really stupid. The idea is not to build a Google in India, or a Bay Area in Bangalore. The idea is to build a Flipkart in India, a global world class product and tech company that retains the nuances and charm of its origin. I hope I can balance that in my new endeavor. And have the humility to learn from the locals as much as teach some of the principles that I hold dear to myself.

Team — This is sort of universal but true. You always have a crew of new people around you in any new gig. Can you collectively move to a higher level? Can you integrate? Can you bring in even more talent and create a storied, thoughtful, world class organization? I think we are off to a good start, but I will not know till I am on the ground and working with the folks directly.

Notice how I never mentioned core product strategy in this list. Well, you better have a core you are good at and I suspect that one is mine! These other things… they are the butterflies in my stomach, a sprinkle of nervousness. I have never gotten on to the stage without feeling a tad nervous, and for most part, it has only made me operate at a higher plane. So bring on the butterflies! They usually hover around good things.

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/butterflies-f0f199464c93___

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2015-03-19 02:19:55 (8 comments, 3 reshares, 50 +1s)Open 

What to do when you hear No. Adventures in recruiting.

Today I lost the first guy in my pipeline of recruits. Someone I had been courting for a while finally decided they were not in the right personal space to make the leap across continents. After a bunch of success, I guess the streak had to end at some point, and so I am taking it in my stride (though I hate to lose good people!).

Read more ....

What to do when you hear No. Adventures in recruiting.

Today I lost the first guy in my pipeline of recruits. Someone I had been courting for a while finally decided they were not in the right personal space to make the leap across continents. After a bunch of success, I guess the streak had to end at some point, and so I am taking it in my stride (though I hate to lose good people!).

Read more ....___

2015-03-17 23:39:49 (17 comments, 3 reshares, 64 +1s)Open 

Its a known problem that there is an acute paucity of women in technology. I suspect that the situation is getting better over time but we have a lot of ground to cover. Its an issue that I have been sensitive to over the years and I daresay I have a very selfish motive underlying my concern.

Lack of women in my team or in the larger org effectively disenfranchises the needs of 50% of our population. How are we to build products that resonate with women and cater to their needs when there are no women in the team? How do we build truly mainstream products if we are not thoughtful about half of our target market?

A male dominated team will invariably build products that are male-centric (even if we do not know what that means). And to that end, the current crop of leaders need to spend a lot of time seeking out, mentoring, and empowering the next generation of women tech leaders. And it... more »

Its a known problem that there is an acute paucity of women in technology. I suspect that the situation is getting better over time but we have a lot of ground to cover. Its an issue that I have been sensitive to over the years and I daresay I have a very selfish motive underlying my concern.

Lack of women in my team or in the larger org effectively disenfranchises the needs of 50% of our population. How are we to build products that resonate with women and cater to their needs when there are no women in the team? How do we build truly mainstream products if we are not thoughtful about half of our target market?

A male dominated team will invariably build products that are male-centric (even if we do not know what that means). And to that end, the current crop of leaders need to spend a lot of time seeking out, mentoring, and empowering the next generation of women tech leaders. And it needs to start at the source. The pipeline of women in technology is so sparse that in the best case scenario we are left with 10–15% representation in the organization (especially on Product and Engineering end).

The few women leaders I have worked with in technology industry are all amazingly versatile, incredibly sophisticated leaders who bring a high quality and diverse point of view to the table. We need many more of those viewpoints around us.

There are few mainstream products in the market today that are truly thoughtful about what women want. I suspect I do not even know what those nuances are (that is a larger problem in my life I guess ;) ). But on a serious note, where are the women in technology? Please show up. We need help building better products.

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/where-are-the-women-2fb7dadd9779___

2015-03-17 02:59:03 (12 comments, 1 reshares, 89 +1s)Open 

I spent about 8 hours today meeting a variety of different PMs, Engineers, BD/Sales, and all sorts of tech folks interested in Flipkart. One rather enthusiastic person kicked off the conversation by asking me, “So…what’s the pitch?”

Well…there is no pitch. I should not be spending time trying to convince folks that Flipkart is the best gig out there. And you should not come all the way expecting to be sold an opportunity. In any case, I have already voted with my feet by joining and planning to move countries to be there! 

Expecting to be sold defeats the purpose of these conversations. The best pitch is when someone can detail out their personal and professional motivations for a new role, when they can talk thoughtfully about what they liked and why they were blown away. And when they detail out all the challenges (read opportunities) in front of them to get to the nextlevel. ... more »

I spent about 8 hours today meeting a variety of different PMs, Engineers, BD/Sales, and all sorts of tech folks interested in Flipkart. One rather enthusiastic person kicked off the conversation by asking me, “So…what’s the pitch?”

Well…there is no pitch. I should not be spending time trying to convince folks that Flipkart is the best gig out there. And you should not come all the way expecting to be sold an opportunity. In any case, I have already voted with my feet by joining and planning to move countries to be there! 

Expecting to be sold defeats the purpose of these conversations. The best pitch is when someone can detail out their personal and professional motivations for a new role, when they can talk thoughtfully about what they liked and why they were blown away. And when they detail out all the challenges (read opportunities) in front of them to get to the next level. 

Lay out the good, the bad and the ugly in all its gory detail. And if after all that, you are excited, then there is a serious chance we are going to work together. The best pitch is when you leave the conversation having made a warm acquaintance, and with a sense of understanding of what it takes for us to collaborate in the future.

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/what-s-the-pitch-91303ba1b932___

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2015-03-16 00:46:44 (20 comments, 1 reshares, 139 +1s)Open 

Nothing like a mellow spring afternoon on the top of Mt. Tamalpais. 

Nothing like a mellow spring afternoon on the top of Mt. Tamalpais. ___

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2015-03-11 18:45:07 (8 comments, 1 reshares, 80 +1s)Open 

Mukesh and I spoke to CNBC today. Excellent conversation. Its a brief overview of our thoughts on Flipkart.

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000360853&play=1

Mukesh and I spoke to CNBC today. Excellent conversation. Its a brief overview of our thoughts on Flipkart.

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000360853&play=1___

2015-03-11 03:09:56 (17 comments, 5 reshares, 88 +1s)Open 

As I start talking to a lot of folks about the opportunities in Flipkart, its pretty clear that there is no narrow list of capabilities I can come up with. The ambition of this company is the world, and there is a ton to do across a variety of different areas. But there are certain traits which will get our attention faster than the others.

We obviously need PMs, Designers, Product marketers, Growth hackers, and engineers of all stripes and shapes. But here is a list of stuff that is absolutely key for me:

- Mobile. Need to be from Mobile background one way or think mobile first. Mobile is everything and everything is mobile

- User focused. Have a consumer centric attitude (its ok if you have not built consumer stuff, but you need to think like someone whose work impacts the direct user)

- Hands-on. If you can code, have coded, know how to... more »

As I start talking to a lot of folks about the opportunities in Flipkart, its pretty clear that there is no narrow list of capabilities I can come up with. The ambition of this company is the world, and there is a ton to do across a variety of different areas. But there are certain traits which will get our attention faster than the others.

We obviously need PMs, Designers, Product marketers, Growth hackers, and engineers of all stripes and shapes. But here is a list of stuff that is absolutely key for me:

- Mobile. Need to be from Mobile background one way or think mobile first. Mobile is everything and everything is mobile

- User focused. Have a consumer centric attitude (its ok if you have not built consumer stuff, but you need to think like someone whose work impacts the direct user)

- Hands-on. If you can code, have coded, know how to scrape together prototypes, wireframes of some kind, sketches, clean floors, or bring drinks when engineers are coding (that’s how I got a lot of stuff built), then come on over

- Entrepreneurial. If you have done a startup or intend to do one in the future, we love you

- India. Ready to spend some time in India, see Asia from close, or are in India. At least till we figure out our Bay Area plans…

Notice I never even mentioned the word ‘ecommerce’. That brings me to the last point:

- Generalist. Be the kind of person who can move from one area to another with very little ramp up time.

After all, Experience is incidental, attitude is everything. Trust me. I have never worked in the same space twice in my career.

https://medium.com/@punitsoni/want-to-build-something-cool-1067f817ca0d___

2015-03-09 21:17:49 (9 comments, 6 reshares, 52 +1s)Open 

I hear this question a lot — Who owns business decisions, Product Managers or Business Managers?

The answer is — The smartest person in the room.

I expect the Product Managers to be very good at building products, and very strategic about the business implications of those products. In the ideal world, people who build products should know the impact of their decisions on the bottom line. Else they are just project managers (nothing wrong with that, but that’s not what you were hired for!).

And people who feel responsible for the bottom line should understand what it takes to build and execute. Else they are just disconnected from reality and become powerpoint strategists.

I aspire to build a team which can mesh together product management and business strategy to build great experiences that delight users. In the meantime, the business end of thecompany and t... more »

I hear this question a lot — Who owns business decisions, Product Managers or Business Managers?

The answer is — The smartest person in the room.

I expect the Product Managers to be very good at building products, and very strategic about the business implications of those products. In the ideal world, people who build products should know the impact of their decisions on the bottom line. Else they are just project managers (nothing wrong with that, but that’s not what you were hired for!).

And people who feel responsible for the bottom line should understand what it takes to build and execute. Else they are just disconnected from reality and become powerpoint strategists.

I aspire to build a team which can mesh together product management and business strategy to build great experiences that delight users. In the meantime, the business end of the company and the product end should work hand in hand and complement each other’s strengths.

After all, good product that focuses on the user is always good for business.___

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2015-03-09 00:53:19 (25 comments, 14 reshares, 118 +1s)Open 

This documentary has been banned because it defames the country. A mature society would worry less about how the country is 'defamed' through this documentary and more about the defamation inherent in how a particular section of the society is treated.

The remarks of the convict and the defence lawyer in this film sicken, but are not surprising at all. Growing up in India, I have seen a lot of this mentality first hand. 

https://vid.me/gM6j

This documentary has been banned because it defames the country. A mature society would worry less about how the country is 'defamed' through this documentary and more about the defamation inherent in how a particular section of the society is treated.

The remarks of the convict and the defence lawyer in this film sicken, but are not surprising at all. Growing up in India, I have seen a lot of this mentality first hand. 

https://vid.me/gM6j___

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