Categories
Entrepreneurship

Biz plan: Build a better Craigslist

I am surprised that I haven’t come across a voice based classifieds system. Well creating one from scratch and reaching critical mass is difficult, but leveraging social media and Craig’s list should not be difficult at all. So, here’s the idea.

  1. User calls a premium number and speaks the advert.
  2. The server processes the voice and tries to understand the message.
  3. If the message is correctly understood, it will post an appropriate ad on Craig’s list, with the user’s phone number and an auto generated email id.
  4. If the message is not fully understood, it is passed to a call centre for transcription.
  5. The message is then transcribed and posted to Craig’s list.
  6. Any email received on the auto generated email id is sent as text message to the caller.

The above set up allows the user to place a classified ad in under 2 minutes with no unnecessary steps required. The calls are placed to a premium number thus generating revenue.

I am surprised no one has thought about it or maybe I didn’t dig into it enough.

Categories
Entrepreneurship Life

Teaching kids (& adults) about climate

photo_verybig_110295[1]With Copenhagen behind us, it makes me wonder is there something we as individuals do to help the climate? On one such thought tangent I wondered if it possible to teach kids about climate using a simulation game like Civilisation? On cursory search I could not find anything that could entertain and educate kids.

What would it be?

An empire building game that needs to balance technology, way of life and climate to achieve sustainable conditions. The players will need to move from stone age to iron age to industrial age to knowledge age. All this is well covered by games in the Civilisation series. The difference is, to advance in the technology tree, they will need to consume resources and they need to understand that resources are limited and that consuming them is not without consequences.

Learning

A game that will show the interdependence of several factors like:

  • Exploitation of natural resources (wood, coal, oil, gold, diamonds, animals, fishes etc)  for technical progress and their costs in terms of environmental impact
  • The long term implication of the such impact
  • Investing in technology to achieve sustainable development
  • Also the flip side of not consuming natural resources and it impact on growth and empire building
  • The need to consume resources to ‘unlock’ next levels of technical innovation
  • Trading of resources amongst empires which have surplus of something
  • I would probably underplay the option of war and more of foreign trade as a means to acquire scarce resources.

What next?

I am not a game developer so wouldn’t know how to get about doing it. But may be some like minded people will come together and look at it. Maybe Freeciv can provide a starting point. Maybe it even becomes successful and makes some money for the creators.

Categories
Entrepreneurship

Micro ISV jump start tool kit

Every micro ISV needs several standard things to get started. Few of them are:

  • A web host
  • A web site, including a blog
  • A store front
  • Email
  • Customer support infrastructure like forums, CRM, Chat, etc.
  • Bug tracker
  • Source Control
  • Build environment

Apart from these, some software related bits

  • Common controls / Custom controls
  • Framework things like:
  • Installer
  • Auto updater

And if your software is not open source, then

  • Obfuscater
  • Software copy protection
  • Licensing
  • Payment provider

And some marketing related:

  • Software submitter
  • Ad network

What I could come up with so far are:

I would update the list as and when I find more resources.

Is anything available integrated out-of-the box for a micro ISV to jump start, drop a comment below.

Categories
Entrepreneurship

20 Qs with Sudhir of vfreshers.com

In the second interview, I get to interview Mr. Sudhir of vfreshers.com. He runs a website that provides info about fresher jobs.

Introduction

Q. In your own words, who are you and what is your business?
A. I am an IT Professional having worked in Software industry in India & USA for 4-5 years. I have been working on Vfreshers.com along with my wife who is a law graduate and left her career to pursue my dream.I have also left my full-time job 3 months back. Vfreshers.com is a platform for all the fresh graduates in India.
Q. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
A. I myself used to look for this kind of information when I passed out of University. Initially, I started with a website on Walk-in Interviews and then later on started Vfreshers.com
Q. Is this your first business?
A. Yes

Categories
Entrepreneurship

20 Qs with Mr. Kadiyala of fullhyd.com

In a planned series of interviews with Indian entrepreneurs, here is the first one. I got in touch with Kishore, an old friend and associate, and talked to him about his venture fullhyd.com.

Introduction

In your own words, who are you and what is your business?
fullhyd.com is a local content and local search company, currently focusing on Hyderabad, India, and planning to scale to all Indian cities soon. We help people find comprehensive details about various businesses and services in their neighbourhood, and help them interact with the businesses, and with each other about the businesses.
We also cover life in the city – events, movies, shopping & sales – and serve as a local community organizer, apart from being a guide for tourists.
Our revenue/business is focused on providing unprecedentedly low-cost advertising solutions to small and medium business enterprises, by helping them reach customers in their neighbourhood, and pay for just that.
How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Through reading about the Internet and the way it is likely to evolve. I felt geographic communities are quite likely to be big.
Is this your first business?
Yes.
Categories
Education Entrepreneurship Technology

Hello World!

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Hi, this is Hitesh. I am here to talk about stuff I like. How do I know what I like? Well I asked myself the same question and like any true geek looked at the data at hand to decide. So I analysed my bookmarks at delicious and the three areas that interest me way beyond others are programming, education and entrepreneurship.

Thus the focus of this blog will remain these three areas of my interest. My plan is to add at least one post per week, let’s see how it goes.

Once again, Hello world!