2018, the year of numbers

The year of analytics

I have been talking about data and analytics for quite some time now. So much so that, I have shifted from doing development as a service (at 13 Llama Studio), to agency as a service (at 13 Llama Interactive). The reason behind this was to capitalise on my love for data analysis and build an organisation that works with data instead of opinions.

From Full Service to Data Analysis

One of the main things that I have been doing, is never say no to anything that lands on my work desk. This is a good thing, since you can pretty much get started as a service based business and do a variety of things.

This, however, is a bad thing since it takes you away from your chosen area of work. In my case, that’s analytics.

We started off as a Full Service Digital Agency and did everything under the sun. Websites, logos, app development … product development, incubation even. Whereas, it’s a fantastic way to keep busy, it did not sate my need to work with numbers.

Saying No

The year 2017 was the year of No. I have been steadfastly refusing to engage with anything which did not involve numbers. So much so that, the organisation that I had so loving built has become an empty shell, almost.

While, this lean attitude is good for companies where there is a lot of waste, taking this to near starvation levels also does not help. Unfortunately, I keep getting such insights only as hindsight :)

What 2017 did offer was a massive consolidation of business interests, which was a good sign. It also taught me the value of human engagement and how business engagements were closely related to the simple human interactions.

Focus on Measurements

I had been going on and on about measurements for some time. I realised that without getting into this completely in your system, you cannot really appreciate this thought. Here’s a quote from Swami Vivekananda –

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life — think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success…

To fully understand and appreciate what this means, do go through this interpretation by Srinivas Venkatram.

It took me some time to fully get this, and for me that meant focusing on analytics. It did not really mean saying No to different engagements. It means applying my love for data and analysis in whichever engagement to drive value.

2018 for me, represents just this. A year where using measurements I would drive value. Be it in product development, be it in promotions.

Happy New Year 2014

This post took some time to write, I wanted to post this much earlier … bygones.

As the world wakes up to a new year, it brings forth many opportunities to do great things … it ushers in a growth on the personal and hopefully the business front. Here’s looking at the past year and how it has panned out …

Goodbye Employment

After a decade of working in the senior management team for other businesses, I have finally launched a design and development company in Mumbai.

I have always been on the other side of the IT outsourcing business (where I represent the client). On almost all occasions (barring a few agencies), I felt that the quality of services provided were not justified for the charges. So instead of complaining, I decided to join the other side and sort things out for myself.
In the past couple of years, I had a few product ideas which never came to fruition as I was not spending enough time on them. With a services firm, I get to spend the weekends on those ideas and weekdays on sustaining these ideas. Of course this would not have been possible without the support of family, friends and even past organizations that I have worked with!
I am grateful for the opportunity that you have provided and thanks!!

The kids start school

Both Anasuya and Malhar will start schooling this year. The trials we had faced during admission had prepared for my son’s admission procedure, but it was not until the fee payment structure that was given out till we breathed a sigh of relief.
Surprising that parents face up this tension every year!!


Last year, I had resolved to do the following things –

  • Write more frequently on this blog – 67 posts last year
  • Stop writing about games and start writing about tech
  • Wake up early and start the day at 7am

Here is my report card for the 2nd resolution, I took the report from my blog’s Google Analytics account


I managed to stick to these two resolutions, but failed miserably on the third. This year, the idea would be to keep working on the failed resolution.

As for the other resolutions, I frankly believe that a content driven approach even for a hobby can lead to tremendous fulfillment. I will keep writing about things that drive me and keep up the tempo. The last month has seen many ups and downs, and these keep taking me away from the writing, but as I write this post, I realize that the more I write, the easier it is to articulate my thoughts.

Here’s wishing you a Happy 2014!

Happy New Year 2013!

People ask me what will I be doing this new years? In the past, I would be partying during my bachelor days … there were some other nights when on New Years, I was installing Ubuntu alongside with a glass of scotch! (yes, this has happened on two separate New Year occasions in fact!). This year end, I plan to spend quality time with my family and away from the machines.

As time goes by, one’s personal opinions on certain issues also change. 2013 for me is going to herald such changes. Resolutions for me have always been a no-no. I used to think that resolutions are just another way of breaking a rule that you set for yourself. As we enter the year 2013, I am making these resolutions … not for breaking them but as a sense of maintaining some personal discipline!!

Here are my resolutions for 2013

  • Be more regular on my blog, with at least 1-2 posts a week.
  • Not just write about games or random topics, but try to write around a niche of topics that are ACTUALLY interesting and USEFUL to people.
  • Wake up at 7am every day (yes, even as lowly as this one … I can’t help it … sometimes I just manage to oversleep till 10!!)

I’d like to stop here since I never tend to follow-up with things when I overdo them. The thing with resolutions is that they need to be measurable … and then we need to follow through with reviews and rinse-repeat!!

  • That means I need to post roughly 81 posts in 2013 (right now I am at 504, exactly a year after I write this post, I need to be at 585+ posts). Perhaps a small widget displaying the post count this year would do this task! Saw this post a day after I published this post – it’s the commitment which pays and why there is no such thing as writer’s block.
  • I have decided to write more about WordPress, Google Analytic and, Google Adwords. How do you track useful to people, hmmm … one metric could be traffic! another could be the number of returning visitors! A third an perhaps more relevant metric could be the share of Most Read Categories to switch from games (which is now at 39%) to Technology.
  • This is a completely offline event, so you need to rely on my reliable reporting! Which means that I report faithfully what time I woke up and keep a track of this for a year! Ughh … I am hating this resolution already! A percentage metric would then be a simple matter of find how many days I woke up at 7am.

I will leave you with this lovely quote I stumbled across on the interwebs

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.

Wishing you all a very happy new year!

Best way to beat the cold

A couple of nights back, it was the coldest dip in Mumbai city ever. A chilly 11 degrees celsius!

I thought, that I might share with you good folks this family recipe that we have been having ever since my childhood. It’s a simple enough drink and it beats the cold and soothes the throat. Here’s what you need –

  1. 1 cup of drinking water
  2. 3 teaspoons of honey
  3. Half a lemon

Simply heat the water to the boiling point and cool it down, while it is hot add the honey and lemon. Serve it hot. It works great with kids, Anasuya is loving it :-)

For the parents, here’s a twist – add 30 ml of brandy or scotch! Have it hot, and it goes down pretty smoothly.

Three guesses what we are going to have for New Years :-), ohhh and here’s wishing all you good folks out there a very happy new year!!

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous new year!

May you do awesome work instead of making up useless resolutions, may your work be noticed by every one that matters and may all of us get more energy and inspiration to do great stuff!!

PS – incidentally today also is the date 1/1/11 and this post has been published on 11:11