New year, new series!

Yes, yes I do know that we are almost 4 months into 2014, but inspiration for a blog series really cannot be scheduled. Anyway, to make a long story short – every time I go to a Hindustani classical music concert, most raga renditions remind me of a Hindi film song that I know. And of course I just have to verify that I am right.

Thanks to smartphones, I am able to find many, many websites that list film songs based on ragas! However, not one of them actually embeds the video of the song (if available on Youtube). Which is where my idea for a new blog series comes in – I want to take a raga in each post and embed all the videos I can find of Hindi film songs based on that raga. Just to make things simple, I plan to go in alphabetical order (by raga name).

I don’t want to embed any songs that I don’t know or songs that I don’t like. I will probably also skip ragas that I don’t much care for (YMMV). Let’s see how this goes!

Let’s start with raga Ahir Bhairav, very appropriate as it is an early morning raga.

And from the evergreen movie Basant Bahar – “Poocho na kaise maine” –

And from the 1980’s hit love story Ek Duje ke Liye – “Sola baras ki”

And a bit more recent hit from Hum Dil De Chuke SanamAlbela Sajan aayo ri”

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Back to school … and back to Google Docs errrr Drive!

Back to school for Fall 2012 which means back to working on homework (in teams) which of course means back to Google Docs! How did MBA students work on group assignments before Google Docs!?!

I hear quite a few complaints and not too many compliments and I think the kind of things that you want to be able to do with Docs boils down to this question – why do you use Google docs?

Do you use it as personal cloud storage (the Dropbox-like Google Drive)?

Do you use it as a collaboration tool (to do team homework as an MBA student)?

Do you use it as a substitute for Office?

Some suggestions to make Docs more useful for collaboration (and a few general ones as well) –

  • The same interface as search. Don’t show me any docs at all (too cluttered right now, ugh!), just a big, empty, clean search box where I can search for any doc I want to work on. (Maybe show me the 3 most recent docs in the sidebar?)
  • Where did the archive function disappear? Please bring it back and think of adding an auto-archive after n days (n to be user-configurable).
  •  When someone updates a doc, send out an email update to the team saying what the person did. (It can really galvanize other procrastinating members of the team, like me, when they see more conscientious members working on stuff). Allow the update to be edited before it is sent out.
  • Let each collaborator assign action items to other people working on the same doc. Send out email alerts to collaborators.
  • Show all action items for all the docs you are working on as soon as you log in (welcome, here’s you to-do list, chop chop!).
  • When a collaborator with an action item opens the doc in question, take her straight to the section she is supposed to review or work on.
  • Allow Gmail to add attachments from Google Docs/Google Drive (right now attach-browse just takes you to your local machine).
  • All collaborative actions should be done without having to open the doc itself. For example, you should be able to share a doc, email as an attachment, etc without having to open the doc.
  • Often, when working on something, a team needs to share related links (bookmarks). There is no good way to do this right now.
  • When group editing a doc, allow one person to be the “Controller” – LiveMeeting, without LiveMeeting. Trust me, it is irritating to have to do a LiveMeeting every single time you want to group-edit a shared doc!

Okay end of rant, back to homework ;o)

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It takes a village ….. to teach Entrepreneurship!

How often do you sit in a class and think to yourself – now THIS is what I came to business school for!!?? Well, last night it happened to me folks! And that too on a Monday!

I have posted often (and perhaps ad nauseam) about how excited I was to take an Entrepreneurship class this fall. Pity my poor husband who has to put up with all my chatter in real life (thank goodness he never reads my blog!).

I am talking, of course, about the Fall 2011 Monday night Entrepreneurship course! Usually professors sort of ease students into the course by first talking a little about the syllabus, the work load, the grading, etc, etc. Especially if it is the first day of classes after a long and sleepy summer break! Not so for Professors Zafar, Fuchs and Star!

Right at the start of class, we were told that all of us were in a conference room of a VC firm and an entrepreneur was just about to pitch us – talk about vertical takeoff!  In walked the entrepreneur and off he went with his pitch. Students and professors interrupted with questions and clarifications which he was able to answer with ease and confidence.

Done with the pitch and the good professors moved us to a back room at the same VC firm and asked us to figure out whether we would consider funding the company, what due diligence we would need, what questions we did not ask, whether we liked the “team”, etc, etc. It was absolutely riveting and it took us a little time to realize that at the end of the next 15 weeks, it would be us on the other side of the table, doing the pitch, fielding questions and getting a thumbs up or down! Whew!

And once the roller coaster started, there was no stopping it. The professors even managed to make the syllabus and the schedule of assignments and other logistical details seem exciting!

If the first class was so cool … I can only imagine what the next few weeks are going to be like… the good news is that I am now 17th on the wait list, the bad news is that only single digit wait listers get in generally. But this course with these professors is worth waiting a semester or even two semesters for.

Finally, to explain the title of this post – this awesome, awesome course is to be taught by 3 Haas Professors along with 6 mentors from various industries who are a mix of entrepreneurs and angel investors! What fabulous resources to have!

P.S. The number of exclamation points in this post are high and very rightly so!

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Posted in Berkeley-Haas, courses, electives, entrepreneurship, EWMBA-year-2, The-EWMBA-Chronicles, The-MBA-Experience | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dear Amazon, please help me declutter!

Some rapid-fire idea storming before I head out to Berkeley for the evening Entrepreneurship class (that I am still wait listed for!) As my Saturday morning Entrepreneurship professor said in class – hey, if you can take my ideas and out-execute me, just go for it!

  1. Sell used ebooks (auction style) – So what happens to all those ebooks that you finish reading (or start and know you will never finish)? For paper-and-ink books, you can donate them to a public library, take them to a used bookstore or even have a garage sale. Why can’t we sell ebooks after we are done reading them and simply don’t want them cluttering up our Kindles? And make them auctionable!
  2. Perhaps we also need the same for selling “used” digital music. Basically, need to figure out a way to make sure absolutely that the digital copy owned by the seller evaporate into thin air as it were (like how you would lose possession after selling a physical book or CD).
  3. iTunes for archived magazine or other paid content (99c only) – You know how you search for something and a particularly relevant article from Time magazine pops up so you click on the link? Which gives you a brief, tantalizing preview and then asks you to cough up $4.99 for the archived article? Well, what if someone took over all the archiving efforts for these mainstream media publications? And offered every single article for a flat (and low) fee just like iTunes does?
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Posted in Amazon, Berkeley-Haas, ebooks, electives, entrepreneurship, EWMBA-year-2, Feature Wishlists, Internet, technology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment