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Monday, June 2, 2008

Debugbar - firebug for IE, IETester, Companion.JS - Javascript debugger for IE

Lots of web developers love Firebug in FF, but it's hard to debug anything in IE or No proper debugger tool is there for IE. Today I came across a debugger tool for IE - Debugbar

It's an Internet Explorer plug-in that brings you new powerful features.
- DOM Inspector: View DOM Tree and modify tags attributes and css attributes on the fly to test your page
- HTTP Inspector: View HTTP/S request to check cookies, GET and POST parameters, view server info
- Javascript Inspector and Javascript Console: View javascript functions for easier debugging, see Javascript and AJAX code
- HTML Validator: Validate HTML code to correct and optimize your code and html size of your page
- And many more features: See page cookies, get pixel color on a page, make a page screenshot...

In DebugBar 5.0.2 BETA you will find...
- Greatly improved DOM tab : for each element, get the applied styles, computed style, layout and attributes

- Fully unicode, support for international characters

Download Here

Another good tool for IE is IETester
IETester is a free web browser that allows you to have the rendering and javascript engines of IE8 beta 1, IE7 IE 6 and IE5.5 on Vista and XP, as well as the installed IE in the same process.

Download Here

Companion.JS (pronounced Companion dot JS or CJS) is a Javascript debugger for IE.
- Detailled javascript error reporting (call stack and real file name where the error occured).
- "Firebug"-like Console API feature.
- Javascript console feature useful to inspect javascript objects at runtime.
- A toolbar icon to open the Companion.JS panel.

Download Here

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Startup City Bangalore - Summary of various talks

Last Saturday (24th May), I attended the startup city at NIMHANS convention center, Bangalore. The event was organized by The Smart Techie Magazine & sponsored by Sun, Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo and a host of other companies. The idea was to promote the start up culture, share experiences, network with VCs and see cool startups in Bangalore who were demoing their products.

I have summarized some of the points below.

The first talk was by Ashish Gupta from Helion Venture Capital firm. He is a co-founder of Helion & has invested in over 35 companies in the U.S. and in India.

He talked about how to start a startup, the various phases that a startup goes through.

Summary of his talk:-
* Startup Risks
- You have to work hard to deliver what you have committed
- What do you want?
(1) Talent from brand? OR
(2) Expertise required for the work need to be done?

* Remember - money, people & information can move at any time.

* Growth of startup is like growth of a child.
- In first 6 months, you need to learn lots of things.
- Next 12 months are execution of what you have planned.
- In next 2 years, you will be mature enough to play on ground.

* Behavior change
- Change expense pattern
- Next level CEO
- Need to change process
- Need to introduce new technology
- Need to change business or pricing model

* ASP business model

* Think
- What company would need a year from today?
- Measure stuffs

* Rules of thumb
- Focus on the customer or issue.
e.g. If a glass is dropped by someone, then don't waste your time to figure out, who broke the glass, what's the reason behind it. The key task here is: How fast you can clear the floor? Then you can check how to avoid this condition in future?
- Focus on continuous improvement
- Intellectual honesty
- Results matter - only for measuring

The second talk was by some executive of Sun about the startup essentials program. Basically, the talk was for marketing of their program. The Sun Startup Essentials program is designed specifically to help startups get off the ground rapidly and at lower cost. Find out more @ http://in.sun.com/startup

Then there was a panel discussion on Consumers and Business Marketing in High Technology. The panel consisted of members from Nokia, Microsoft, Amazon and IIMB. The talk was mentored by Dr. Y.L.R. Moorthi, Professor (Marketing), IIM Bangalore.

Summary of this discussion:-

- Find the opportunity or idea
- Make it global
- Pre-evaluation of product i.e. whether idea is right or not?
- Acquiring users for your product. Engage / Retain the users
- Stay tuned with current technology & Current market
- How do you go out, reach to people & make money? i.e. How to monetize that idea?
e.g. zara supply chain management - http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/4652.html
- If you think like startup, you have an opportunity for marketing. i.e. if you are startup, you can approach other than traditional way for marketing.
e.g. (1) Kinetics's Dancing Baby Marketing Strategy (2) Cello's Hello Marketing Strategy
- Build strong word of mouth
- Create partners / channels
- Check, if product changes, what will happen to brand?
- You are not the only one developing a product in an area. There will be many startups doing the same thing. So implementation is as important as the idea itself.

- Start with market; don't start with product (Paul Murphy - Director of innovation, Microsoft India)

- Challenges faced by a startup to market its products.
e.g. Nokia is a 160 year old company and still it faces many of the challenges a startup faces. Many of the problems faced by a startup and a big company are same. In a big company, you came upon this brilliant idea for a new product or feature. You will make a prototype; take it to the senior technical people to get it approved. Then you will go to management saying that this has a market value and try to convince them and once approved, get the funds from the higher management to develop the product and finally sell it to the consumers. If at any point in time, it does not work, you are back to square one. In case of a startup, the techie thinks of the product, makes a prototype, goes to a VC and tries to sell the idea. Many VC's will reject him and may be he will be able to convince a VC finally. Then with the money, he make the product and then sell it. If it does not sell or he hits a failure in-between, he is back to his original position. Hence, the problems are same, just that in the case of the startup, it’s your own money, and in case of the big company, its the company's money and hence you have security and safety to fall back on.

In case of Failure:
- What are the factors for failure?
- How is failure rewarded?

Fourth talk was by Jinesh Varia from Amazon about cloud computing and the Amazon EC2 initiative. http://aws.amazon.com/ec2

Summary of his talk:-

* Lots of factors are there between an idea and actual product.
- Hardware cost
- S/w cost
- Maintenance
- load balance
- scaling
- Utilization
- Idle m/c's
- Bandwidth etc.

* What is changed in last few years?
- Bandwidth is getting abundant & cheap
- Hardware is become ubiquitous

* Think for an idea & left other things to cloud computing.

* Scaling problem in startup.i.e. if user base increase your product should be scaled accordingly.
(1) Animoto who was running on 50 machines and then within 3 days of launching a facebook application, they needed 500 machines. Such sort of scalability could be got only by such cloud initiatives as a startup simply doesn't have the money to but so much hardware so quickly.

(2) OOYALA - server less startup

(3) New your times prorated supercomputing

* Embrace the uncertainty
- Acquire resources on demand
- Release resources when no need
- Use only what you need

* Growth with demand

Fifth talk was by R.K. Mishra. This was probably the most inspiring talk. He started of telling us about his school, college (IIT Kanpur) and then he went to Japan for higher studies and how he started his venture out there. Then he came back to India and started working for a MNC who's India operations he was heading and after two years he bought out the company. He also started traveljini.com in 1999 which was the first online travel portal in India which he sold to ICICI Ventures. He retired at 40 and started getting involved with public work. His talk was filled with great examples, and positive attitude towards solving many of the problems facing our country.

Second half was a CEO's conclave. The panel consisted of Sharad Sharma, head of Yahoo India, Kris Gopalakrishnan, CEO of Infosys and heads of Dell India and Intel India. It was an interesting talk which discussed problems facing the Indian startup scene and about scaling a startup.

Summary of this discussion:-
* How startup is different from RnD Company?
- Idea should create value
- Team
- Capital
- Execution

* New markets (India, China etc) & New technologies

* Keep an eye on customer needs

* Enhance the experience through co-creation (e.g. Google code platform)

* SAAS model: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_as_a_Service

* Problems in India (Build your products to resolve these issues)
- Health service
- Energy cost
- Education
- Food

* Next emerging opportunities in India
- SAAS + mobile
- Solve consumer problem in India
- Information analytics i.e. intelligent mashing
- Make metadata free

* Imagination + intelligent is no always Innovation

* Radical change required?
e.g. Are you ready to give up control at the right point in time? i.e. Are you ready to hire a CEO from outside in order to let the company grow ?

* Opportunity is growing faster in India

* How to scale revenue?

* Create new leaders