Morning tea at Garbett after overnight camping

My first camping trip

  • Lazy Saturday morning
  • Sudden urge to go camping by noon – thanks to ze wife for the motivation
  • Got some friends to join. It’s decided, we’re going to Garbett point.
  • Oh shit – no tent, sleeping bag nor any camping experience
  • Jude borrowed tent from a friend for me, Kuldeep arranged sleeping bag for me.
  • Got act together – food, jacket, misc. stuff, shoved things in a bag and took off
  • Reached Matheran by 8 pm
  • Trekked about 5km from parking lot to camping site
  • Getting colder as the night progressed
  • Half moon, sky full of stars
  • Set up the tents
  • Got the barbecue going – ’twas windy, so a slight challenge. Prior barbecue experience in the US helped.
  • F&B: marinated cottage cheese pieces, cauliflower florets, baby potatoes, corn on the cob and gentleman jack for slow sipping. Nazir brought the non-veg stuff. Kuldeep brought Danska.
  • Bluetooth speaker (thanks Swapnil) and some really good music (thanks Jude), pitch darkness, no distractions.
  • Cool breeze, starry night, friends for company. What more can one ask for?
  • Saw the moon set, spotted Jupiter, Ursa Major, Milky way, North star and then some others.
  • Yikes – 12.30 am already, oh let’s get some sleep
  • Stepped inside tent, into the sleeping bag, and then Kuldeep asks whether I want to go for a stroll. Yes.
  • 30 minutes of conversation later, Kuldeep is feeling super sleepy. It’s a wrap.
  • Slept like a baby. These T2 tents from Decathalon are quite good. Double-walled and well made. Full insulation. Note to self: must get them soon.
  • 6.30 am Sunday – a little mist and magic in the morning.
  • 6.45 am – preparations on for morning cuppa tea. Kuldeep and Jude are setting up the fire.
  • 7.15 am – hot cup of tea, cool morning and sunrise. Some villagers make their way up to the spot on their way to work in Matheran.
  • Had Good day biscuits, Oranges and Guava for breakfast.
  • Learned the art and science of rolling up the tents.
  • 9.00 am – Packed stuff back in to the bags. Hiked back to parking lot.

My first camping trip comes to an end, but a lifetime of memories are mine to keep.

Some photos:


Top libraries used in mobile apps

Apart from the native and obvious ones (FB, Google etc.) here’s a list of the most popular libraries used in top 100 apps –


The number of apps these libraries were found in out of 100 top iOS apps
  • #7 Crashlytics – 37 apps
  • #8 Flurry – 31 apps
  • #16 Google Analytics – 20 apps
  • #21 Adjust – 16 apps
  • #49 Tapjoy – 9 apps
  • #61 Localytics – 7 apps
  • #64 Kochava – 7 apps
  • #66 Mixpanel – 7 apps
  • #100 Parse – 4 apps

Android – 

The number of apps these libraries were found in out of 100 top Android apps
  • Crashlytics – 15 apps
  • Google Analytics – 14 apps
  • Flurry – 13 apps
  • Mixpanel – 7 apps
  • Adjust – 5 apps
  • Localytics – 2 apps
  • Tapjoy – 2 apps
  • AppsFlyer – 2 apps
Disclosure: I’m the founder of CleverTap – a real-time mobile user engagement and analytics platform . CleverTap helps your marketer identify, track and engage app users using push notifications, in-app messages and emails.

7 questions that every Startup must answer

Zero to One book cover

I recently read Zero to One by Peter Thiel. In one of the chapters, he lists down seven questions that every business must satisfactorily answer –

  1. The Engineering Question – Can you create breakthrough technology instead of incremental improvements? A 10x improvement over existing solutions.
  2. The Timing Question – Is now the right time to start your particular business?
  3. The Monopoly Question – Are you starting with a big share of a small market? Figure out the appropriate market and it’s size – whether it’s local, national or global.
  4. The People Question – Do you have the right team?
  5. The Distribution Question – Do you have a way to not just create but deliver your product? Building a kick-ass product is one thing, getting your target market to buy/install/use it is another.
  6. The Durability Question – Will your market position be defensible 10 and 20 years into the future? What sequence of events in the future can kill your business?
  7. The Secret Question – Have you identified a unique opportunity that others don’t see? Basically, a perspective that only you and your startup team share which others don’t know of.

The Chapters I enjoyed were – #11 If you build it, will they come and #5 Last mover advantage.



3 Reasons Why You Don’t Appreciate Kishore Kumar As Much As You Should

The Kabootar Chronicles

Yesterday was Kishore Kumar’s 85th Birthday…and Google did what it does best and made a Doodle for this occasion.

Pictured: What Google Does Best And of course Times of India paid tribute to Kishore by posting an article about the Google Doodle paying tribute to Kishore.

Kishore Kumar is best known as one of the greatest and most versatile singers ever to lend his voice to another person in Indian films. But he is also fondly remembered by thousands of fans like me as one of the greatest comic actors India has ever produced. He was also a director, producer, writer and music composer with some amount of success to his credit.

Imdb lists 760 films in which he has been credited as playback singer, 94 acting credits, 8 credits each for direction and music composition and 5 credits each as producer and writer. But for all of these credits and all the adulation he…

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A Ping solution for a website/mobile app to ping from various locations across India – Make money right away,Do this Product Startup

Santosh Panda's Blog

Problem : A Ping solution for a website/mobile app that can ping test from various locations across India.

Who needs it?

Here are the Startups who need it

1. Anand Jain – Co-Founder of WizRocket

2. Miten Sampat – GM TimesCity

3. Naman Sarawagi – Founder of FindYogi

4. Santosh Panda – Co-Founder of Explara

5. Hrishikesh Rajpathak – Co-founder of Dishoomit

Is there a solution already?

Yes, there are solution like

1. by Zoho which can only Ping test from Mumbai, Chennai

2. Akamai – Can do brilliant job but it comes with their CDN/related solutions which has huge XXXX $ cost

3. Pingdom and many such but none covers India as such or various locations across India.

There are not any one out there which could cover various locations across India.

Here is a thread of the pain point via Twitter thread discussion :

For sure, there are many…

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Mandatory reading for startups

If you’re either a “startup enthusiast” who hasn’t taken the plunge into the entrepreneurial waters yet, or are a first timer who’s just started up with a super cool idea and unlimited passion, below is a list of mandatory posts you should read to know what you’re going to get into. These will help shape your thinking on the dos and don’ts which either make or break a startup. Please read and re-read until you fully grasp the essence –  

Also once you’re done with the reading bit, try answering the below questions in the context of your startup. While answering them make sure  (a) you don’t use any hyperbole, (b) be as clear and concise of possible and (c) each sentence should take the reader forward towards the understanding your idea. Each answer cannot be more than 120 words.
  1. What is your company going to make?
  2. Why did you pick this idea to work on? Do you have domain expertise in this area? How do you know people need what you’re making?
  3. What’s new about what you’re making? What substitutes do people resort to because it doesn’t exist yet (or they don’t know about it)?
  4. Who are your competitors, and who might become competitors? Who do you fear most?
  5. What do you understand about your business that other companies in it just don’t get?
  6. How do or will you make money? How much could you make? (We realize you can’t know precisely, but give your best estimate.)
  7. If you’re launched, what is your monthly growth rate (in users or revenue or both)?
  8. How will you get users? If your idea is the type that faces a chicken-and-egg problem in the sense that it won’t be attractive to users till it has a lot of users (e.g. a marketplace, a dating site, an ad network), how will you overcome that?
  9. How far along are you? Do you have an MVP yet? If not, when will you? Are you launched? If so, how many users do you have? Do you have revenue? If so, how much? If you’re launched, what is your monthly growth rate (in users or revenue or both)?

I’ll be happy to review your answers to the above questions and tell you how you fared. I’m reachable on – helloanand at gmail. Shoot across your answers within in the body of the email itself (no docs and pdfs please).

Bonus reading (thanks to Annkur, Pravin and Kulin) –

So read up plenty and prepare for the journey ahead.