Note: this is a very, very basic introduction to REST and should only be considered as an appetizer to get you interested in REST. There are major important aspects to REST that anyone who’s really interested in REST must understand, like server statelessness, hypermedia as the engine of state, which are not covered in this video.
As a part of the new, experimental PuneTech video series, we interviewed Anand Soman, CEO of Pune-based startup Infinishare, and serial entrepreneur. Infinishare provides software for a host of internet enabled devices, including digital photoframe devices, digital displays, home internet devices. They provide a full software stack for such devices, but their core IP is in device-to-cloud, and device-to-device communications.
Before Infinishare, Anand has had two successful exits as an entrepreneur – one for a bootstrapped startup, and one for a VC funded startup. See the PuneTech report of last year’s POCC meeting “How (and Why) to bootstrap your own startup,” for some of Anand’s thoughts on this topics.
In today’s video we asked him about his company, and more importantly about what advice he has for young entrepreneurs. (We are still experimenting with our video creation process, so the sound is still bad. We will had a fix for this soon, but in the meantime, please max the volume when you view this video):
Some interesting excerpts from this interview:
Don’t develop any software until you have a customer (so you’re sure there’s a market)
Focus on paying customers from the beginning
It is very difficult to get the freemium model to work
If you have users for your product who are not paying, don’t call them customers! Get real paying customers
See the video for these and other insights.
About Anand Soman
Anand is co-founder of Infinishare technologies.
Before Infinishare, Anand founded Intigma Inc, where they wrote AI-based engines for automated classification and extraction of content. Intigma was acquired by Emptoris Inc., after which Anand headed their India centre. Before Intigma, Anand founded Testchip Technologies, developing tools and cell libraries for Testchip design. Testchip was acquired by HPL Technologies Inc.
Anand received his B.Tech from IIT Bombay, and was the recipient of the Institute Medal for Electrical Engg. He received his M.S.E.E. and Ph.D degrees from California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA, specializing in DSP & Communications. He worked at AT&T, Murray Hill, before founding Testchip. He has published numerous research papers in International Journals & Conferences and has several years of project execution & management experience.
We are now experimenting with an additional format for PuneTech updates – short video clips hosted on YouTube.
Almost since the time PuneTech started, people have been suggesting to us that we should use video. Finally, something clicked last week, and we decided to take the plunge and start it on an experimental basis.
Our first few video posts are up here (proto.in reactions) and here (Druvaa update). Admittedly the video quality is not great. The sound quality is also quite variable. The main issue is that we are basically trying to balance the quality of the video against the amount of effort required to produce each video. Right now, we are in favor of going with a minimally acceptable quality of video that we can produce with as little effort as possible. This ensures that we continue to produce videos regularly (as opposed to starting with a bang and then discontinuing it because it is too much work.)
So the question for you is this:
Is the current quality good enough? (Sound quality will probably improve a little bit over time as we get more experience. Picture quality is unlikely to improve.)
Are you able to stream/download it conveniently and watch it, or is it too painful?
More generally: Is this useful? (Please note: doing the video takes about 5 minutes, while writing an article with the same information will probably take us 1/2 hour. Which means that either you get all this info in video format, or you get 20% of this info as articles, and the remaining 80% is lost. So please answer yes for this question if you think you will watch at least 30% to 40% of the videos, and answer no, if you think you’ll probably not watch the videos at all.)
Any other suggestions are welcome
Please leave your responses as comments. Your responses will help us decide whether we should continue this, or use that time to work on some other aspect of PuneTech.
Pune based backup software startup Druvaa has gone from being a 3-person startup that presented at proto.in 18 months back, to a 16-person company that is profitable, and sponsored proto.in this weekend. We caught up with Jaspreet Singh of Druvaa during proto and had a conversation with him about how they are doing.
Note: Please turn up the volume. The sound quality is not-so-great. (Hopefully future videos will be better.)
Please also check out the older PuneTech articles about Druvaa:
Interesting note: You’ll notice that over the years, Druvaa has shifted gears from selling continuous protection (which they started off with) to remote backups (which is their primary product now). This is a feature of any startup – adapting to the needs of the market.
Proto.in is in Pune today, and one of the ideas they are pushing this year, is live online coverage of the event. The idea is that while only 400 people can attend the event in person, many more should be able to follow the details online. With this in mind, this proto promises to the the most connected proto so far.
Here are the different ways in which you can follow proto online:
http://proto.in/live: is proto’s live portal where you can follow all the proto activity. It aggregates all the live tweets about #protodotin. Bloggers can also submit their live-blogs and selected ones will be put up on this page. You can download information about the companies that are presenting, and you can leave feedback for the companies.
@PuneTechLive will be live-tweeting the event. Unfortunately, twitter search does not pick up punetechlive’s tweets, so the proto.in/live page and the twitter search pages will not show you these tweets. So you have to follow punetechlive in twitter (or go to http://twitter.com/punetechlive and refresh periodically).
On an experimental basis, PuneTech will be trying to videoblog. We will have short (1 or 2 minute) interviews with various interesting people throughout the data. Check PuneTech’s youtube page and refresh periodically.
Keep checking this page also, we’ll try to keep it updated with …umm… updates throughout the day.
PuneTech is also trying out live-video updates of proto.in. Check out this video:
Highlights of Proto.in Presentations
Here is what we feel were the best parts of proto so far:
Vardenchi motorcycles on stage. Awesome audience impact!
HyCa presenting a product based on very complicated chemical process in words that we understood.
EnglishSeekho demo – The product speaks for itself. No explanation needed
EnglishSeekho founder asking: we could be providing pesticide info to farmers, we could be providing information about contraception to rural girls, in a convenient and confidential setting, we could be providing life-changing, life-saving information at the right time, at the right price (maybe Rs. 5). Isn’t that better than spending time building websites that sell movie or airline tickets or books online?
TouchMagix demo of Magix 3D Sense. Someone on twitter pointed out – proto.in felt like TED for a moment!
Demo Tips for Startups
Based on what we saw at proto.in presentations, here are some tips for those who presenting their startup:
Dress conservatively! You don’t want to draw attention to your dress. Definitely do NOT dress in a white suite and white-and-brown shoes.
If you have 30 minutes, then spending time on the educational and professional background of the team makes sense. If you have just 6 minutes, skip it. Go straight to your product.
You shouldn’t need to spend half your time motivating your product. Just show your product, and the audience should be able to see the motivation. Otherwise your product is not compelling enough (or you are pitching to the wrong audience)
These are reactions of Pune tech community regulars to the proto.in presentations:
We claimed that Pune is expecting growth in revenues in spite of the recession, whereas the other cities, including Bangalore, would see a decline. If you missed all the excitement yesterday, check out our report yesterday. Unfortunately, the entire report was a hoax. There is no company by the name of INHR Associates, the links to the “extended abstract” and the “full (paid) report” are both non-existent, and the the news clip by a “certain TV channel (that will remain unnamed)” was actually created for PuneTech by some of our over-enthusiastic friends.
We have shown above a different, more over-the-top version of the same “news video“. It some out-takes and has credits of the cast and crew who made the film. As with the original video, the “reactions” of the average techie-in-the-street are the most hilarious – definitely worth checking out.
The hints you should have seen
As with any good April Fools’ Prank, we tried to liberally sprinkle it with giveaways – hints that people should have caught on to:
The original source report did not exist. Only two brave souls complained to us that the links were broken. Everybody else seems to have taken our report at face value
INHR Associates, the company which is supposed to have done the survey, had a website called http://inhumanresources.com – very few people picked up on that
Needless to say, the video is completely ridiculous. The fact that many people actually believed it to be real, is a very sad commentary on the state of the real news being put out by our TV channels. We have come to expect trash like this from our TV.
Check out the ticker at the bottom of the news video. It has ridiculous items like “Mallika Sherawat enters politics” and a bunch of other such things.
This was just the first in the long line of people believers. We had a few accomplices (@aparanjape, @d7y, and @amitsomani, and @meetumeetu) who re-tweeted it, after which I believe about 15 to 20 believers retweeted.
@logic loved the “marathi manoos” reaction in the video and wrote:
http://is.gd/pVGh 3:10 I knew recession wont affect pune coz marati dictionary doesnt have it.. ROFLMAO #EKSI. no this tweet is not #april1
Junta in Pune maha excited about thier recession being not so bad as bangalore. Chest deep or neck deep – You still have sh*t sticking on u
I think the best exchange happened on facebook. Chief evangelist of PuneTech, Amit Paranjape, who was in on the joke, posted this to facebook:
Amit Paranjape: Why Pune is handling recession better than Bangalore. http://tinyurl.com/czl3w8
This resulted in the following conversation thread over there:
Rohit Joshi at 3:06pm April 1
It’s a bit like comparing France with the US. The French don’t have boom-bust cycles like anglo-saxon economies because the French don’t innovate and take risks as much. France is still a lovely place.
Navin Kabra at 3:09pm April 1
@Rohit, I doubt that the software/IT/ITES economics of Bangalore and Pune are very different from each other in terms of innovation, risk taking, and boom-bust cycles. I’m sure the explanation for this phenomenon lies elsewhere.
Abhijit Athavale at 4:22pm April 1
Maybe, the Puneites have not realized how serious this thing is going to be. Seriously, the reason might be that Pune has a ton of local industry that the IT/ITES companies are catering to. Bangalore has none.
Amit Paranjape at 5:30pm April 1
I agree Pune does have other local industry. Also, many other non-IT ‘tech’ companies.
After seeing all these reactions, I almost wished that the news item was true.
A few months back when we first got the idea, I casually asked meetu of wogma whether her film-industry friends would be willing to help us out by making a short film for PuneTech as an April Fools’ Prank. She and her friends went nuts with the idea and produced this clip. At that time, I had absolutely no idea of the huge amount of effort that goes into making even a short film like that. But, meetu and her friends, really took to the idea, and worked nights and weekends for almost 20 days to make this clip. I would probably not even have suggested the idea if I knew this beforehand, but anyway, they seem to have enjoyed the process, and we at PuneTech are absolutely thrilled with the final product. We would like to thank them all for the efforts, and for the superb result.
The director (Nitin Gaikwad, nitindgaikwad[at]gmail[dot]com, +91 98193 74727), the editor (Shreyas Beltangdy, shreyasbeltangdy[at]gmail[dot]com, +91 98922 12953) and the main news anchor (Raj Kumar Yadav, raj.deniro[at]gmail[dot]com, +91 99677 82869) are actual professionals in their field, and friends of meetu, who did this for us, free. The rest of the cast and crew are friends, relatives and neighbors. Here are the full credits:
Cast News reader: Raj Kumar Yadav (raj.deniro[at]gmail[dot]com, +91 99677 82869) Statistical analyst: Subramanyam Pisupati Pune expert: Navin Kabra Field Reporter: Shweta Karwa IT employee #1: Mudit Singhal IT employee #2: Nitin Gaikwad IT employee #3: Subur Khan IT employee #4: Amit Rajput
A billion thanks to: Pushpa and Badri Baldawa
Special thanks to: Mudit Singhal, Ravi Iyer, Agasti, Amit Rajput Lighting: Agasti, Chandu dada Production Assistants: Siddhu, Shiva, Sriram, Hemant, Saraswati Make-up: Suman Baldawa Camera and sound equipment: Rudra Communications Editing Studio: Rudra Vision Concept: Navin Kabra Editor: Shreyas Beltangdy (shreyasbeltangdy[at]gmail[dot]com, +91 98922 12953) Dialogue: meetu, Shreyas Beltangdy, Navin Kabra
Director of Photography: Shreyas Beltangdy (shreyasbeltangdy[at]gmail[dot]com, +91 98922 12953) Director: Nitin Gaikwad (nitindgaikwad [at] gmail [dot] com, +91 98193 74737)
Gautam Morey, a PuneTech reader, said yesterday: “You are spending too much time setting up an April Fool’s Joke!”
And our answer was: “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy :-). We spend so much time being serious that spending some time on frivolous things is OK once in a while.”
At the very least, I think we should be able to say that Pune handled April Fools’ day much better than Bangalore!
Update: This was a PuneTech April Fools’ Day prank. See this post for the full story.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that we are in the midst of a major recession, and it is having a significant effect on the Indian software industry. Now there are hard numbers giving an exact idea of how much the recession is expected to affect the software industry in different cities in India, and the results are interesting, to say the least.
This video is a sensationalized/misquoted version of this news item. Please read this whole article before viewing the video. Click here if the video is not visible.
INHR Associates, a Noida-based human resources consulting company, conducted a survey of over 400 CEOs, CFOs, heads of business units and other executives with P&L responsibilities from 250 software companies across 10 cities in India to get their estimates of the impact of the recession on their business in 2009.
A Pune-based company has been running a SMS newsletter service for mobile phone owners in rural Maharashtra dedicated to local news for the last two years. This service reaches out to nearly 300 communities spread across 25 districts in the state.
And most importantly it has become a source of income for the rural youth, who call themselves ‘mobile’ journalists. They are paid Rs Rs 3,000 to Rs 6,000 per month.
“I had no job before I started this SMS newsletter in Parbhani. This venture has given me name, fame and a steady income,” said Ahmed Siddique, editorial coordinator for Parbhani district, who joined SMSONE Media Services Pvt Ltd last year.
“The concept was awarded the social innovation award by the The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) on February 11,” said said Ravi Ghate of SMSONE, who began the newsletter by training 300 unemployed youth in mobile journalism.
See the full article. The video embedded above has the founder Ravi Ghate giving a good overview of how the whole thing works.