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Parag Arora's Blog

CTO and CoFounder @Glowing.io, Co-Founder @Plustxt now acquired by @One97, IITD Grad, Engineer, Entrepreneur, Multiplatform hacker, Product Guy

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Creating your own blockchain based currency for solving problems in pure decentralised way

Why do you need cryptocurrency?

We have been often asked with the one big question on how to create your own Bitcoin like blockchain for solving a niche problem. My answer to such visionary entrepreneurs is to focus on building the community because that’s what matter the most when you intend to create a new crypto currency and leave everything else to us. Another important requirement when you plan to launch such a cryptocurrency is to provide an easy to adopt wallet which consumers can download and start using immediately. Mobile apps are the best solutions to achieve this along with the ability to transact over web. It should be very easy for community to adopt to create a disruptive solution.

Other than building a strong community, its very important to build strong community of crypt enthusiasts, because by working together a community of dedicated crypto enthusiasts are much better able to find and address vulnerabilities and security threats, like the 51% attack. Building such protection and showing legitimacy by open availability of code to review builds trust among the community and adopters, something that is hard to do if those involved in the currency are passive spectators looking out for their own interests. Read the rest of this entry »

Living the dream

People watch their own photos so much over Facebook. They like seeing them from 3rd person perspective and truly enjoy the person behind the happy moments and empathise with the sad moments. There is another term for it, living the memories.

It will be truly amazing if they can start visualizing before living the moments. See them doing things from a 3rd person perspective and do and achieve living every moment to its best from 1st person perspective. This is a great way to live. This enables living in the moment. This is called living the dream.

Visualise

Stop, step back, relax and answer one question – what is one thing which you are focused for the whole day? Why is it important to you? Is that your goal?

If that’s your goal, have you craved enough for that goal? If the goal has success path, do you know what do you want to achieve? Imagine the situation where you are what you want to achieve. Like a child, start dreaming everything around that. Notice how you look, what everyone says about you, how proud you are and how proud others are. How much you have helped the world. Everything related to that. Does that make you happy? If that makes you happy, do it every day. If that does not, you need some more work to do.

You will be the person what you click

You are being categorised every time you read any news or watch any video. Spent 1 minute extra in one of those faking articles website, you are being categorised as a person who likes articles from that more and will see those ads only on facebook or in your Google News suggestions against other productive ones you could have seen. Spent watching 2 episodes of a Crime coverage, youtube will categorise you as one who likes crime serials and will start experimenting by showing you more of such content in finding how much you are interested.

It’s very easy to be part of what I call “machine fed habits” where machines will feed you to an infinite loop of suggesting articles around an article you read. The worst thing is the average majority of people read articles that are most likely not going to be productive, helpful in your field or learning based but more around entertainment or gossips. You will be fed to a majority liked articles loop. It might already be happening to you and you might not have noticed.

 

Be very conscious of next article you are going to open or next video you are going to watch since there is a high probability you are going to consume similar content a lot in your coming days or years since software categorises you as a person who likes that content and starts experimenting with you showing similar content.

You know the outcome.. it will make you that person.

Want to be an idea machine?

Want to be an athlete? Run everyday. And be disciplined about it.

Want to be a great musician, play music everyday.

Want to learn things in your life, read an hour everyday

Want to be an idea machine?
Pick ANY topic / problem and write 5-10 ideas on that EVERY DAY. I do that everyday and consider myself a great idea machine. Be that, all you need is just to decide what you want to be and spend time everyday on that. Picking ANY IDEA has another advantage, good ideas are generally produced when different ideas have sex which each other. Thinking on variety of things will broaden your horizon.
PS: I use Google calendar goals to achieve my goals.

Have goals…

Hard work without goals is like players with no score to make. Have goals. And have goals not just for success, have goals to be the person what is needed to achieve those goals. Goals are just inspirations to be that guy/girl.

Have goals to wake up with the excitement for the day, and not with catching up on pending things to do. Hard work is no measure of success. Run, but in the right direction. Have time for strolling, but stroll when you want to stroll and have set aside a time to do that.

Productive Idea Flow

Productive Idea flow is when ideas keep on building over each other. You arrive at a good idea which is improvement over your current product and spend some time visualising how everything will look and work if that idea is implemented. Then in that state you imagine yourself there and try to find another improvement. This improvement is your next idea built over previous increment. This incremental ideas work over each other to create a new innovative disruptive idea.

e.g. In your thoughts imagine creating a light bulb, then LED, television, computer, mobile etc etc all just by a bulb.

On code commit history

Ever want to check quality of code, always start with quality of code commits. Code commits are generally last priority given by developers in the overall quality maintenance of code. A good code commit history quality is generally a good indicator of a good code quality as well.

As a general rule, don’t go with commit history quality of master branch, as those will be mainly ‘dev’ branch merges, ‘dev’ branch will be feature branch merge history. Feature branch generally are created with ticket id or shortcode of feature. Every feature will having rich commit history generally with ticket id.

Good commit message practices:
1: Written with imperative mood. Generally starts with ticket id followed with keywords as ‘fix’, ‘add’, ‘remove’ and not status update from developers with keywords as ‘fixed’, ‘added’ and ‘removed’. Good example is ‘DEV-21 fix infinite loop in login api’. A bad example is ‘fixed infinite loop in login api’ and a real bad example is ‘login loop in infinite loop will not happen now’
2: Not very short to provide no context, neither very long to create unreadable git commit history.
3: Commits are not ‘end of day’ commits with junk messages like ‘going to bed now’
4: Combining two tickets in the same fix e.g. ‘DEV-21 fix infinite loop in login api and DEV-32 fix logout api’ unless fix of both commits are same code. In which case should have a better format like ‘DEV-32 DEV-21 fix authentication retries check causing infinite loop in login and logout API’

Being successful

A very noble thought has come to a mind today – lets be successful. The only problem is the mind does not know what is being successful. Lets drill down to what is being successful.

Being successful really means doing things which you really want to do and more importantly not doing things which you don’t want to do. It is very much linked to being happy for success overall is achievement of happiness only. Note that much emphasis should be given on not doing things which you don’t want to do. Doing things for most is an infinite ongoing list.

Its very common to associate money with being successful. I am not denying it is not, the only role of money is “money buys you resources which can be bought and which you can not do” as well as “buy resources and time which you want to do“. That explain the role of money.

Now the most important factor apart from role of money is when money does not play a part in success. e.g., you want to be fit, control an addiction,  wake up early etc. In fact surprisingly, most of the time money actually becomes your enemy in becoming successfully.

So now when we know what being successful is, lets try being one.

What is your list of things you want to do and more importantly things you don’t want to do.

Bots is all about data, and being hungry enough to collect that

Akhil wants to buy a phone which does not heat up fast, as his phone is to be used in his Uber – always engaged and in sunlight. His favourite ecommerce website can’t understand what he is looking for, yet there are lots of people who want to buy exact same phone. Welcome to the bot world where user will be able to freely tell the exact problem/ use case and not just be thrown up with some filters on category which 2-3 product people decide should exist. Where organisations will learn from one failed reply to user to make sure next time replies will be done around that problem.

The biggest self-created enemy of commerce apps as we will see will be imposing filters on users and not let them tell exactly what they are looking for. Its no surprise now to know that maximum books sold on Amazon when it was launched was books which were not available over major Book Stores. When users are given power to express their exact problems and those are fulfilled, we have always seen a huge business building out in that particular space. How that will be done? – well technology has always enabled organisation achieve what was seen impossible at one point of time and will be easily understood by ones who have first hand experience working in Neural Network or been part of process where humans provide training to machines.

Problem right now for any bot-tech product is getting rich data. And data is very private to each bot or website. Users buying phone over your bot will not be talking or asking in a similar way over Quora. Research and transactions have different behaviour and we already know how user behaviour is different over booking.com and tripadvisor.com. The only way to collect data is to let users type in whatever they want to and express what they are looking for while training algorithms to use this trained data to find exact goal next time. Fast failures is going to be biggest win in bot tech because more the failed data, more is training, better the bot.

Bot tech right now is enabled by available tools like wit.ai, api.ai, luis.ai etc. , but these are going to be intermediary solutions until bots organisations build data enough to self-train and write their own algorithms for ways they want to solve this problem. Then will be a bot-tech war as we had already seen previously in Search Engines.

What we know today is – it’s not going to be about just algorithms, it will be about data (more).  And we should care more about user providing us whatever free text solves their problem, while providing replies productive enough to do goal fulfilment as well as narrating bot capabilities.