Industry problem-solving experience vs. Just programming language experience

During early 2000, when I was writing code for a product from Bangalore, my company was struggling to hire. The HR team was getting feedback that one of the factors was the company was not using the latest programming languages or software stacks for development.
During those days, one sentence I heard from that company CEO sharing: Technology is to solve problems, Customer pays for solutions and not for what programming language you apply to solve, as long as you are not using 1980s programming language and/or inefficient programming language.

Fast forward to 2005s to 2012 when I was coding in London as part of my job (full time/part time), I almost didn’t see this fascination with using latest and greatest language in problem-solving. Java was equally used, like PHP, or Ruby or Python but business was making the decision based on their need vs. using the latest languages. I am not generalizing this as India vs. others. But, the truth is most Indian software programmers are fascinated using latest languages as a skill to get a high paid somewhere else (abroad/in another company), therefore that behavior is ok for IT services, but that behavior is unfavorable for product companies!

I believe once you code using one language for 1 to 2 years, you can almost code in any other programming languages for application development. Core system/kernel level product development needs years of expertise in one language though (& multiskilled in more than one).
However, coding to solve an industry problem deeper enables you to apply much deeper logic and problem-solving mindset vs. just switching to a new language because that is sexy!

The world needs deep industry problem solvers, and, Product companies take years to solve a problem at scale and go deep using languages, and some produce the extension to those languages. Basecamp doing for Ruby, Facebook for PHP and many are such examples.

Industry problem-solving at scale is first, sexy language is second.
Build an excellent solution for the customer is first, using sexy language for the solution is second.

Be Problem-solving experienced engineers any day.

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Big market or small market?

Fellow entrepreneur Hitesh put a tweet querying:

That got me to write this post.

Though not every problem will always be big, but if you have to choose a problem, want a bigger problem in a bigger market. There is a catch to this: The problem could be bigger, but the market is yet to become bigger. This is a classic paradox. This means the market is still not ready for the bigger problem to be solved. If the big market exists with a bigger problem, there must be a market inefficiency due to which the problem is still there.

Just an example: Corruption is a bigger problem, and there is a bigger market everywhere to solve corruption by bringing transparency, and the market inefficiency is due to physical cash which can’t be efficiently tracked and needs policy /frameworks by govt and/or institutions before you can remove inefficiencies.

Big market or small market: What do you do?

Should you enter such an inefficient market? (big market, big problem/small problem)


Should you instead pick a small market with a bigger problem?

The product-market fit needs a more in-depth analysis to establish size (how small market, market growth %, deeper pain/how deep, how widespread the problem) and choose a market which could be small now but might become more significant, or, select an inefficient market which could explode with billions of $ opportunities.

There is no right answer as such, it is just how you see things and which ones you want to pursue.


Where is my songs playlist ? Give me a Songs Index DB

Where is your songs playlist? Are you sure it will remain there forever ? I don’t think so, here is why…

Each of us has a personal songs playlist that we love, we keep discovering great songs from others/via word of mouth/social sharing and several online music sites. I have had a playlist ‘notebook’ given by a friend which had top of the chart and not-so-top-of-the-chart but cute hindi songs collection from 70’s. I lost the notebook during one of my travel from Finland to India/UK to India trip (during 99s). That ended my access to great playlist that was handpicked by this friend of mine and his sister.

YouTube arrived on music discovery scene and we all had access to songs that we could remember and I felt we have a solution to go back to history and dig deep to discover music. I did like many of you created YouTube Playlist. So, we had some list in Music India Online, Smashits, Raaga, iTunes, recent Dhingana, Saavn, Gaana…

Sooner or later, I saw YouTube keeps deleting the songs that I added to playlist as that was uploaded by somebody whose account is frozen or illegal content or original music producer didn’t allow them. Other online music sites as I mentioned above have had their own lifeline (MIO, Smashits, Raaga is slowly getting outdated by Dhingana, Saavn, Gaana). This trend means none of us will have a ‘Master index’ of the songs we like on ‘cloud'( i.e. online music sites) will live for long. That exactly is the problem somebody should solve. How about a Songs Index DB like Amazon’s IMDB? It should

a. index all songs and point to master producer index or

b. allow user to create a Songs Index that list all songs (think excel sheet with each row one song listed), each song further linked to online music sites that user wants to hear from. This means I could index the same song on YouTube, Dhingaan, Saavn.

c. If any of the music sites run out of business, I have my own Songs DB that I could keep nurturing and not at the mercy of the online sites

How difficult is the above?


If you could help me reaching somebody who might have a handpicked note of all great songs (Hindi) from 70’s, please connect. I promise I will give you a Big Big treat 🙂