Book Review: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Book Review, When Breath Becomes Air
She leaned her head on my shoulder, and the distance between us vanished.
I need you. I whispered
I will never leave you. She said

This is the conversation almost every couple wants to do from deepest of their heart once in their lifetime. This happened to Paul when he was crying after getting known about his cancer & for the first time. The book “When breath becomes air” is more a poetry of feelings than a book. Writer Paul Kalanithi has written his memoir a wave literally passes through your body multiple times into the book.

There would be few books of which the author died before they could finish.
There would be few books of which author knew that they might not be able to finish the book they are starting
There would be few non-fiction books of which you would not be able to stop yourself seeing the last pages, again and again, to know what happens at last.
There would be few books where you will start feeling empathy with the author.
When Breath Becomes Air is the one. Go for it.

Is sound part of Product Design? Check this case

bird
Is sound part of good product design? Today in the morning I heard some sound into the hotel room I am staying in. The sound was similar to clash of two non-metallic solid objects. It happened twice within few seconds and I ignored both the times. After a minute the same sound buzzed again and this time I got up from the sofa and tried to find where the sound is coming from. Checked each corner but could not get any clue. I sat back and after a minute again the same sound reached to my ears. So I started investigating again. Checked corners, the kitchen, outside the window, behind the curtains and eventually opened the door as well. And there the case was. The room service was standing with an unpleasant expression on his face as of he was standing for quite some time now. So I realized that the sound was of the doorbell. I bet hardly few can recognize that sound as of doorbell.

A product failed to serve the purpose of alerting someone about an incoming guest. It increased the waiting time, wasted a lot of time for both and created unnecessary speculations for me. The cause? The sound used into the product. So yes, the sound is an important element of product design.

Image curtesy: designspiration.net

Reviewing 4 Books I read

All

The-best-Team-WinsThe best Team Wins
You would get misled very easily by the title of the book. It feels like a book on Team and Leadership, Bu Adam Robinson has written this book purely on the Recruitment. You learn a systematic approach to Recruitment along with a list of questions relevant to a particular trait. This book will help you for sure if you do Hiring Mistakes frequently. But if you have already learned a lot from your hiring mistakes, you can skip this for sure. Yes, This book will be very useful for new managers and startup founders.

Vision-from-VedasVision from Vedas
Indian History is a Mistry in itself. During the 1000+ years of attacks of Muslim, Mongol and European rulers and almost equally long slavery destroyed the epilog of the history completely. Ved is one such thing. There is no doubt it is oldest written history on this earth but there is always a huge debate about the originality of the existing text and the time of writing of the Ved. But still, even in the current form, it has the power to show the light to this world. G Narayana is a scroller of Indian literature. His work talks and papers on Ved, Upanishads, Puran, Gita, Ramayan, and Mahabharat are well received amongst academicians. He regularly talks about these topics at Ahmedabad Management Association. I read his two books. Vision from the Vedas and Krishna the Management Expert. The book on Veda is very small but especially. He has milked out some of the brilliant verses from the Vedas and I got stunned by reading some of the ancient wisdom. I will recommend this book.

The-Golden-TapThe Golden Tap
The book is written Kashyap Deorah, a startup founder from the very early bridge of Indian internet start-up industry. He has shared his experiences and observations of almost 20+ years. The book is good for young entrepreneurs and college startup founders to understand the industry and stop doing mistakes which Kashyap did.

Steve-Jobs-BookSteve Jobs
This international best seller from Walter Isaacson talks about the life of a legend, Steve Jobs. The story is written in the most gripping way and he could manage to unfold layers after the layers of the personality, working patterns, and ideology of Steve Jobs. A great read for anyone, everyone.

The Education: What it is and how it should be

Education-coverpic
Results of 10th and 12th standard exams have come in last 3 days. More yet to come. Here are my observations of the results and education system.

1. In 12th Commerce Gujarat board, 74.2% of English medium students passed the exam. While just 55% of Gujarati medium students could pass successfully. There can be multiple reasons of this.
1.1 We perceive that a large number of students (their parents actually) prefer English medium compared to Gujarati medium.
1.2 Students studying in English medium normally come from economically stronger family compared to Gujarati medium student. Or here the case can be a reverse. The more the parents earn, higher the chances of they make their kids study in English medium. Finally, better financial situations can buy better resources and hence better results. This doesn’t mean children from poor families can not do well in exams. But there is always a difference of quantity in exceptional superstars and a belt of asteroid

2. In 10th standard, almost 30000 students got failed which is significantly higher than the last year. Had it been China, Russia, any European, African or Latin American country, it would be the matter of surprise. How come there be an exam of a language you say your mother tongue? And if it is, how come you fail in that? That happens in India. This question is not about Gujarati but any regional language of India. We are not only killing our own language but closing doors of wisdom and knowledge that language has built for several centuries now. Humanity and future generation will suffer the most when a language dies.
grade-image

3. I have seen above chart in one of the new paper. I respect their views and am not here to counter or troll them. But I have a different opinion. Why many lakhs of students need to opt from 5 to 10 disciplines? BA, B.com, BBA, BCA, CA, CS, MBA. That’s it? Businesses need Receptionists for example. Can’t there be a course to prepare superior receptionists? and yes no university teaches what should you do to become a good receptionist. A student has finished his 12th standard and has great skills in painting and graphics. Why should he choose from B.Com or MBA only? There should be ample opportunities and seats to teach her global knowledge and standards of paintings to make him a painter. Our society needs a lot many people like Line Artists, Photographers, Auto & Cab drivers, Interpreters, Sweepers, Animators, Hair stylists, Carpenters, Shopkeepers, Printers, Tourist guides, Researchers, Entrepreneurs, Cooks, Mechanics, Social workers and thousand others. Education should help them achieve the ultimate height of their passion rather considering B.Com as a sure shot for everyone.

4. Here is my idea of restructuring our current education system. My suggestion is to restructure our K-12 education system into slabs of 2 years rather 1. From age 0 to 6 is pre-schooling and will be divided into 3 levels-2 years each. They should have teachings related to the brain development of a toddler. Formal schooling to start at age 6 and first 5 levels (10 years) should be mandatory for all. These 5 levels should focus on preparing a kid for life and not only for the career. Interpersonal relationships, leadership, communication, social discipline, vehicle manners, Religion, Basics of Law & Constitution, History, Writes and Responsibilities, Physical fitness etc are the things to be taught here along with Maths, Science, Languages and other subjects. On completion of level 5, ideally, I would suggest having a break of 1 year. Do some work, internships, travel around and explore the world. Many from here can join the blue color work force. Remaining would be more clear about their passion and strengths. They can go for level 6 which will have options to choose from. After each level from here onwards, a person will have an opportunity to leave the formal study and start working. Level 6,7,8,9…each level is responsible for making the person ready for the career. Let me take an example of my domain that is IT. In India Engineering takes 4 years and having an MCA degree will need 6 years. after spending all these years almost 99% remain jobless or do basic jobs of Data entry and computer operations. Instead, Level 6 should prepare them for Data handling and computer operations and let them join the workforce. If students are interested further they will opt for level 7 where they can become a good programmer or web designer or a network administrator etc…. This will save a lot of time, will increase productivity & employment and will reduce expectations from “education”.

Education is the process of manifestation of the giant within, we have made it a wrongly written automation algorithm that converts a blissful child into a confused puppet.

Where These Bank Services Charges will lead the Financial System of India?

Hidden-bank-charges
Banks have started charging customers for almost everything. I was referring to the schedule of the charges today and found there are charges listed for 194 different services. Surprisingly there is no huge chaos yet, which RBI and government would also have expected, maybe because people don’t know the detailed schedule of charges yet.
A majority of the charges are completely unethical. On one side government is talking about having a cashless society and promoting online transactions. On the other side, Banks are charging for everything. How is this system going to work? Take for example Cheque page costs 5 Rs now and online banking charges increased up to 55 Rs depending on the time of day you do that. Passbook printing costs 75 Rs per 25 transactions + 100 Rs per passbook. There are charges scheduled for the each outstation cheque you deposit for clearing. Charges if you pay for petrol, railway tickets, government services and schools and university fees by card or online payment. Charges if your total debit transactions exceed 50 in 6 months. And as I already mentioned above, 194 ways are being created to collect charges from buyers.

There are two possibilities I can see here:

First is either Banks are imposing the charges on the users to recover the cost of bad loans and NPAs they have created, and the cost of Jan Dhan Accounts they have opened.

Or the second possibility is the Indian banking system is moving towards interest removal and financial reform where….

1) In next 5-10 years, Interest rates in India will see the bottom. You won’t get anything for keeping money in the bank in any type of account. And will pay may be a tiny amount of interest for taking loans from the banks.
2) Banks would turn into business shops rather a service organization and will earn more from charges and not from interest.
3) People will stop earning interest and will have to work for livelihood or will have to invest in markets.
4) Markets and businesses will be full of money because of almost no interest to be paid.
2 and 3 finally will lead the country towards more productivity.

I would welcome suggestions and comments of others here which will help everyone understand the perspective.

Image courtesy: bigdecisions.com

Self-reliance in energy will keep the earth alive…

CCHU9001
I have read an article figuring the growth of retail shopping around the world. Globally in 2013, people have shopped merchandises of worth 1.2 Trillion USD and this might grow up to almost 2.5 trillion UDS by 2020. That is slightly more than the double. Obviously, the world population is not going to get doubled during same (thankfully). This growth will be lead by the increased consumerization and consumption. It will help to boost the economy and the increased financial capacity may make lives better for millions.

But on the other side, this also alarms about the increased manufacturing, exploitation of natural resources and increase in the use & throw culture which will lead the world to environmental disaster. Do we have a plan to handle this?

Along with the environmental challenges, one of the worries this world has is energy consumption rate. Fossil fuel is still the largest, the significantly largest source of energy for us. Though we are known to the damage they have been causing to the environment and the scarcity it has, we are hastily dependent on such sources of energy. Talks on solar power, wind power, hydro energy, bio-diesel and other natural sources of energy are heavy but the execution is missing. Sometimes I wonder if the energy we have spent during the talks, conferences, and advertisements related to sustainable energy sources would be higher than the actual energy we would have generated that way.

Yes, all sustainable energy sources seem promising if executed well. I feel Piezoelectric is an important contributor. Piezoelectric is a way of energy generation with foot and bodily movement of the humans. While jogging, running, dancing and walking humans can generate tons of energy sufficient to reduce carbon footprint significantly. The problem at present is the cost of such flooring would be too high but adequate research can turn up this as an idea of “Mahatma Gandhi’s” self-reliance movement where everyone is generating their own energy themselves.

The self-reliance in energy generation and energy consumption will keep our mother earth alive.. forever.

Against what will you change your current smartphone?

Smartphone Future

If we make a note of the most disrupting events, people and technologies ever happened in the history of mankind, Mobile technology would make a place for sure in top 10. It has changed the way we have been living, interacting, eating, traveling, getting educated and many more. For a matter of fun a joke i have read somewhere said that based on the the principles of evolution and natural selection, the future generation may born with pointed thumbs or fingers. Yeh.. to handle smartphone effectively.

But the question is will smartphone evolution be slower than the natural evolution? With better screens we are already using smartphone very effectively. If you are using a smartphone with 8 megapixel camera, you may change it for a better camera or against a phone with a front camera. Few people may exchange their phones against a powerful processor and memory. But will you pay more money to exchange your phone against a phone with cable less earphones? or just for a marginal difference in screen quality? at least i won’t.

Here is a list i have compiled of the features for which i may change my phone in future. I believe majority of the people will do same.

An ever Lasting battery: Carrying additional power banks is not a smart solution. I expect the phone battery to last for weeks and months without getting charged and also to get charged with some of the eco friendly energy sources like solar cells and body movements.

long-lasting-phone-battery

Dual display and transparent displays: See the photographs which already show how interesting and productive it would be to have displays on both the sides of the phone. Having a transparent display will bring a next design revolution.

Transparent & Dual side display Phone

The all new OS: Before 12 years it was hard to predict that there will be any OS in the market ever which can challenge the dominance of Windows. As mobile revolution picked up the momentum, new operating systems like Android and iOS not only emerged but ruled at least the mobile telephony segments. important fact to note is replacement of PC and laptop market by Phone and tablets is under progress. Apple’s Mac is getting popular and more stable and User friendly versions of Linux are coming out. Under all these pressure, Microsoft has lost a significant ground in OS space of digital devices.

Mobile OS

But…. But for how long Android and iOS will rule the market? IOT and virtual reality bring opportunity of all new OSes to disrupt the market share of Android and iOS. A fresh change is very much required even for the mobile devices market to grow further.

Water proofing: There are two perspectives here. People would safeguard their phones against water rather spending additional amount for a water resistant phone. But yes would replace their existing phone with additional amount against a guaranteed water proofing of phone. After all for decades we have been striving for Rain and underwater photography. There are already few devices available but a lot is required tobe done further.

Waterproof smartphone

Personalized and Customized Designs: Gone are the days where I would put a sticker over the back of a phone or will have a customized phone case. See some of the photos and you will love spending money, if you receive the design different than your group.

Nokia-Smart-Design-PhonesPhilipes Smart Design Phone LG Smart Design Phone

Projector: Few devices got introduced with an inbuilt projector but the market is widely uncovered yet as none of the main stream brands offer that. Indeed it can be a great functionality for professional and personal use.

Projector Phone
3D and Holographic screens: Enough now for screen size and retina displays and HD resolution. Please come out with this 3D screens.

3D Phone
Sensors: There will be several billion connected devices in this world by 2020. More sensors inside my mobile phone will ease the life and connectivity.

I am sure you also want to spend an additional amount only if you get something worth spending for. Whats that? Write in the comments bellow.

P.S.: Images used from google image search. Thanks to all those known and unknown sites.

How Education and Entrepreneurship will help us getting benefits of Automation and Robotics in coming years

Automation3
Advancement of technology and automation puts a threat on jobs of people. And same is now happening with advancement of deep learning and machine learning. In coming years’ noise and protest is going to get intense due to increased automation and robotics into various industries and sectors.

But historically technology has created far more jobs than it ate.

1) Were there any jobs related to programming before 60 years? Today computer software industry employ more than 10 million people around the world.
2) The Mobile communication industry employ almost same number of people and far more in scattered unorganized sectors of repairs, spares and accessories.
3) The clothing industry is being considered giving more than 100 million jobs globally
4) Advancement in construction technology has bought employment for more than 600 million people globally.

And cases go on. But still almost since the beginning of industrial revolution in 19th century, we have been seeing protest against the technology and automation. And there is no sign of it ending anyhow.

Job Creation due to Technology
Advancement of technology reduces prices of goods and eventually will increase the demand, hence production and hence jobs. Technology supports job creation as well. Like technology advancement in lights has brighten this world at much cheaper cost which has helped increasing jobs and productivity.

Job Loss or Skill Shift?
Humans and animals keep getting and losing their jobs quite frequently. Starting from the 19th Century this world has seen many revolts and violence on the matter of job loss due to technology advancement. Bullocks and horses lost their jobs of ploughing the farm since introduction of tractors.

Excuse-me! who made the tractors in factories? As per the data the Technology into agriculture has created far more jobs in machines, food processing and marketing of farm produce compared to the number of farmers who lost their jobs.

So evidently when technology destroys a job it creates new job somewhere else with requirement of different skill set.

Wealth creates even more jobs
As per the data published in Guardian, there were less than 45,000 hairdressers in USA in 1911. After 100 years, there were almost 1,90,000 hairdressers. how come this growth happen? For many people technology, has created more wealth and saved time to be spent behind personal grooming.

And likewise, the additional wealth and time have created millions of jobs in the domains of travel, food, grooming, fashion, retail and entertainment sectors.

So, shouldn’t we afraid of Automation?
Not required to be afraid of but yes, we need to be advanced in our thoughts as well or else we may really loose our jobs.

Two things we can do to live in a better future with technology helping us doing so.

Keep updating our educational institutes to prepare people for future skills to take up the newly coming jobs.

We need a breed of people who keep researching on various opportunities of creating more jobs. We call them entrepreneurs.

Economic Reforms to Make In India – This man deserves his part of Credit

half-lion-book-reivew

I was a kid in 1991 when P V Narsimha Rao became Prime Minister of India. Unaware of what a prime minister is and unaware of political system I was used to laugh at him for his look and oratory. By 1995 I have started understanding the stuff a bit and I precisely remember that 13 day government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. India has seen two prime ministers after that and I would say that was the time I started understanding the technicalities of voting, parties and forming governments. How come a person like Narsimha Rao could remain as PM for full term if not all these people including Vajpayee? A question I had in those days. I was a teen having patriotism at its height like almost every other Indian when in 1998 India tested its nuclear weapons. Seeing Missileman APJ Abdul Kalam as President of India and reading the stories of India’s weapon development program was a charm. When i was seeing the roads getting developed under PM Vajpayee’s government it was like dreams being built. I never could understood how hard it was to start a business before 15 years when I started mine in year 2004.

Human history is actually the accumulated impact of several people’s action and decision. You never can understand how much impact your presence do have from a person or action from past. Could have Vajpayee tested those nuclear weapons? Could have Mulayamsingh as defence minister remained present in many missile tests India did? Could i have started a business as easily as i could? Could Narendra Modi launch a campaign of Make in India? Had there been not PV Narasimha Rao as our prime minister…..

These questions i have raised and self answered only after reading the book “Half Lion” written by Vinay Sitapati. I do question very few of the points in book but it’s a wonderful political account of a man who never got credit of his part. The book touches almost all aspects of this man who has been removed from the chronicles of the Congress Party completely.

If the text of the book tobe believed, Vinay has done a great service to the nation and specially to PV Narasimha Roa by uncovering this Hero out of dust of political games.

In 2015 Modi Government has got constructed and inaugurated the Memorial of this man after 10 years of his death. India has seen 26 years now and has gone through a long way started with “Economic Reforms” to “Make in India” today. And yes PV Narasimha Rao deserves his part of credit.

Quotes and Statements on Customers and Customer Importance

A business survives if customer is there. Customers are being considered as the King for any businesses and a lot of Management experts, thinkers and business leaders have defined importance of customers and customer service in their own way. Here is a compilation of all such top 10 Quotes and statements I personally like.

A customer is the most important visitor on our premises, he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.

Mahatma Gandhi

Make a customer, not a Sale. – Katherine Barchetti
A customer who complains is my best friend. – Stew Leonard
A customer is the only one who can fire us all. – Sam Walton
Never underestimate the power of an irate Customer. – Joel E Ross and Michael J Kami
If we are not customer drive, ours cars won’t be either. – Ford Motor
Good customer service costs less than bad customer service. – Sally Gronow
The Best companies dont create customers, they create fans. – Ken Blanchard
In the world of Internet Customer Service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away. – Doug Warner
There are no traffic jams along the extra mile. – Roger Staubach