Last four days in Madurai


Last four days in Madurai has been a different experience than my previous ones. Normally my stay is Madurai was full of discipline as I don’t have any friends here, city is small to cover any distance & there is not much places to hangout.

But this time I was totally out of my routine because; 

  • I skipped going to GYM.
  • I ate a lot as I found lots of eateries in Madurai which I was not exposed to previously.
  • Hanged out in new hangouts as Big Cinemas has opened two new multiplexes and there are two more expected in KK Nagar.
  • My friend base is slowly growing here.
  • Kudos to Hypersomnia I slept for more than 14 hours a day.

Over all I can’t cherish this moment officially as I think my productivity and work concentration has been severely affected. But personally I really enjoyed staying in Madurai and I started to develop a liking for the city.

So what did I do for last four days? 

  • Found a road side eatery which has vast menus for dosas. Its owner has become my good friend and I’m planning to do a coverage with him (The Hindu has already done a coverage on this eatery).
  • Then I close my dinner with Jil Jil Jigardhanda as dessert. But to be frank drinking Jigardhanda has become like my second dinner.
  • I finish the day by watching second show cinema from Big Cinemas.
  • Found a new coffee shop near Apollo Hospital by name Coffee Float which provides nice atmosphere to watch cricket matches and sip coffees.
  • My subordinates are doing a good job that they have made my work simple which eventually creates a lot for time for me.
  • Then my new mobile phone has a Cricket Game in it and I spent more time playing cricket.

Anyways last four days has given me a new experience and I enjoyed being here and stayed here without complaining for the first time.

So this has been my experience for the trip and I need to hang here as I must go back home to do some cleaning work, take shower and board bus to Kumbakonam to attend a relatives marriage. Kumbakonam must be 6-7 hours of travel from here and I think I need not worry as I’m addicted playing cricket in my mobile.

Oops forgot to charge my mobile let me do that and finish all my work.

Bye Bye Madurai.

First & Second Startup experience – a comparison


I had the opportunity to be a startup twice in my life. My first one started as early as a student and the second was with eight years of entrepreneurial experience. I just wanted to compare how it makes a difference and how I felt on both occasions. So here is a small comparison chart;

 

First Startup Experience

Second Startup Experience

 

 

Lack of experience, focus & investment.

More experience, focus & reasonable investment.

 

 

Trust levels are low among stake holders.

Trust levels are high among stake holders.

 

 

Company & Personal costs are low.

Company & Personal costs are High.

 

 

Fluctuations in motivation are High.

At times motivations levels fluctuates. But experience shows how to overcome it.

 

 

Fear of failure is less because there is not point to prove.

Fear of failure is high because people expectation is high because of past success.

 

 

Problem solving was poor.

Experience has improved problem solving skills.

 

Over all it is interesting to be a startup second time also I might think my piece of cake is being like a Serial Entrepreneur so that I always have the excitement of being a Startup. Anyway let me enjoy my second stint of being a startup and run the show until I loose my motivation.

What I did last Friday night?


After a tedious drive to Bangalore which lasted for 14 hours (Check this blog post for more) we all were tired and we all took a long nap and all woke up by 4.30 PM, took bath and everyone was ready by 5.15 PM. Then we wanted to goto the spot where Startup City 2009 is scheduled. It was a fulfilling night and we did following things;

 

·         Reached NIMHANS Convention Center where event is scheduled by 6 o clock in the evening.

·         We pasted a banner which has details of all our services in our booth and we met person who coordinates with us to know schedule for Saturday.

·         Then we straight to Garuda Mall around 8 o clock

·         As everyone was hungry because of skipping our lunch we headed to food court to have our dinner.

·         En route on the entrance of food court I saw this small shop painting temporary tattoos and I was longing for a long to time to have one. I choose my star sign Pieces to be tattooed and it took less than 2 min to get it done. I got it painted on my right hand and this will last for one week with some instructions to be followed.

·         Then we all had our dinner and I had dosa and 4 glasses of sugar cane juice.

·         Then we booked Shinjaku Incident a Jackie Chan’s movie ticket in INOX cinemas.

·         Then we wanted to buy some tray, bowls for the event and we were unable to find our needs in the mall.

·         We thought of going to Bangalore central to buy them, luckily we found Home Shop opposite to Garuda mall where we found all that we needed.

·         Then we returned back and checked our weight in a weighing machine and headed inside the theatre.

·         I really loved the movie and Jackie Chan played a different kind of a role which was way different from his Image and he has really sizzled.

·         Then we returned home and we (myself & Bala) gave a small training to Ramanan & Boopathi on how to handle enquiry in the booth.

·         Then I wrote some blogs before this, then I checked emails, read some days news, checked slides for tomorrow’s presentation.

 

Now it is 3 o clock early morning and have decided to wake up by 6 o clock and reach the event spot by 7.30 AM so that we can be settled and well prepared when the event starts. So, let me take a short nap and get back to you tomorrow with live tweeting and blogging of my experience when every I find time.

 

Until then it is Good Bye everyone :)…

Driving to Bangalore!!!


Today I’m driving to Bangalore after a long time. Driving to Bangalore has always been a pleasure and I use to travel to Bangalore at least once in a month till a year back.

 

We are heading to Bangalore to attend an event called Silicon India event where we are giving a presentation of our business plan to a group of VC’s and visitors. Also we have booked a stall to showcase our services.

 

Will be blogging about the outcome of the event on Saturday before that we (myself, Bala, Boopathi & Ramanan) are discussing about the plans for Friday and Sunday. En route to Bangalore I’m taking them to Khaja Hotel in Ambur which is famous for biriyani for dinner and I’ll be having roti’s in a Dhaba in Vaniyambadi which is my favorite.

 

Mostly tomorrow we will be heading to Forum mall and do some window -shopping and will be watching a movie. On Sunday we will be doing the same in Garuda Mall and also itz been long I walked on the streets of Brigade road and M.G.Road which I might give a shot if time permits.

 

Also I wish to go to 13th Floor Ebony restaurant and would like try some of their Sindhi dishes. Last time I tried only one dish and was amazed. Probably this time I might go there and will try exclusive Sindhi dishes.

 

Over all I’ll make a blog post about the entire experience of this Bangalore trip once I wrap it on Monday. Tonight I’ll make a post about the experience we had while driving.

 

Now let me grab the role of driver from Boopathi as I’ve been longing for this moment for long.

How I bootstrapped my first venture!!!


This is how I bootstrapped my first venture which was started during the starting days of Dotcom bubble.

 

  • Shared office space from a Gingelly oil company where they gave us 100 sq ft space, 5 systems, internet connection and a telephone line for $200 a month.
  • Provided out of our business model services which helped us sustain till we got a groove into our core business. Services we offered were;
    • Linux installation
    • System Assembling & Trouble shooting
    • Java Training
    • Offering real time projects for college students
    • Sub sourcing resumes to manpower companies

Since we were out of college we had big network of friends who were college pass outs or students which helped in spreading our services and we got decent response to recover our monthly expense.

  • Since it was recession there was acute shortage of jobs. We offered jobs for deposit and we got tremendous response for this. We made $2000 from two people which were our six months liquidity with which we stopped all non core activities and concentrated on core business.
  • Apart from those two paid resource. We hired talented people who joined us for no pay. This changed our fortunes.

Having generated 6 months cash flow and a team of talented people we were able to win projects with the HELP of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and market places like scriptlance.com and elance.com.

An experience in a clinic!!!


Today I took one of my friends to a doctor and lot of crazy things happened in the clinic;

 

  • It seems he is a doctor practicing Russian medicine… But he has put MBBS so I assume he must have finished his course from Russia…
  • Doctor was not in station and doctor heard the complaint thru. Phone and he asked his asst. who claims to be a Doctor and looks like a compounder to give some medicines…
  • Compounder Doctor’s assistant looked like a Tug and over a point fun changed to fear…
  • All the medicines were given as capsules and they were packed in envelop… I think medicines were prepared by the doctor himself…
  • To be on the safer side we asked for a receipt for the payment and the compounder Doctor’s assistant gave us the receipt and he signed in for the doctor…
  • Here is scanned copy of the receipt which advertises the political affiliations of the doctor… Also there were multiple websites and email addresses

dr

 

Over all I advised my friend not to take those tablets and I really don’t know the authenticity of such doctors… Very much wired and these doctors reference are given by Just Dial…

Moments of embarrassment


Yesterday I met an acquaintance who happens to be common friend of couple of my friends… He has learned about lot of my bad side of mine thru my friends and he was talking to me telling that his friends had a Crazy bad guy as a friend and when I told him I’m that crazy bad guy, I got embarrassed and I was enjoying his facial reactions :)… Then I thought I can think of embarrassment I’d over come till date…

 

  1. Got caught with a COP while I was coming in one way… Didn’t want to waste time and I immediately offered him a bribe and only then came to know he was a honest cop and ended up getting advice for 30 min…
  2. Got caught with my MOM when I was stealing money from her wallet…
  3. When I was mimicking a faculty while he was standing behind me… The way he handled the situation embarrassed me further…
  4. Myself and Aravind went to a expensive restaurant and had milkshake and we got a bill of $2 or something, but we had only $1… Aravind faced the situation but still that was an embarrassing moment…
  5. When I lied a client telling I was not feeling well and didn’t come online… He said he was following me on twitter and he knew what all I updated… I’m happy that people are following me and also embarrassed…
  6. As a child I use to quarrel with my sister for window seat and she will give it up for me…

 

There are more moments and these are the ones I remember immediately… If you have any moment of embarrassment please post it as comment… So, the we can know how we got embarrassed and see how we can overcome these situation in future…

I’m a Word Press Boy


I’m a WordPress Bhoy boy looking for a WordPress girl 🙂 yes for last 2 days I’m using WordPress… Not it is not a fools day prank… You can check this blog is on WordPress… I’ve been using Drupal CMS for my blog for last 4 years and I’ve great love for Drupal… There were lot criticism and cry from Drupal world… Even I got a shout from a buddy in twitter…

tronathan@anandnataraj Why on earth would you go from drupal TO wordpress? please enlighten me…6:19 AM Mar 29th from TweetDeck in reply to anandnataraj

For Drupal lovers or WordPress lovers let me confess I’m still a Drupalian by heart and WordPress is just a mask… I still challenge everyone that Drupal is the best CMS in the world than any other CMS… So, you can ask me why I converted from Drupal to WordPress… Here are my justifications

  •  
    • WordPress is quick in giving updates and more happening now-a-days
    • WordPress has all the tools for running a blog, which drupal must improve
    • WordPress admin interface is very simple to use
    • WordPress has more plugins and themes compared to drupal
    • Last but not least I get lot of enquries on wordpress customization… So using the system will help me understand client’s challenges and expectation…

I decided to convert to WordPress a month back, but I researched a lot on reading other blogs on lessons as I didn’t want to take a change… But itz all done within an hour and the process was very simple… This is what I did;

 

1.)    Installed WordPress in a folder /blog…

2.)    Make sure both wordpress and drupal tables are in same database…

Please use below SQL queries to export the posts and comments from drupal to wordpress 2.7.1. I used phpmyadmin to write queries

 

This sql will export all posts from drupal to wordpress 2.7.1

 

# Use the Drupal database

use db261070012;

# Remove all current posts from WordPress

TRUNCATE TABLE wp_posts;

# Insert posts from Drupal into WordPress

INSERT INTO wp_posts (id, post_date, post_content, post_title, post_excerpt, post_name, post_modified, post_type, `post_status`)

SELECT DISTINCT

n.nid `id`,

FROM_UNIXTIME(n.created) `post_date`,

r.body `post_content`,

n.title `post_title`,

r.teaser `post_excerpt`,

IF(SUBSTR(a.dst, 11, 1) = ‘/’, SUBSTR(a.dst, 12), a.dst) `post_name`,

FROM_UNIXTIME(n.changed) `post_modified`,

‘post’ `post_type`,

IF(n.status = 1, ‘publish’, ‘private’) `post_status`

FROM cms_node n

INNER JOIN cms_node_revisions r

USING(vid)

LEFT OUTER JOIN cms_url_alias a

ON a.src = CONCAT(‘node/’, n.nid)

;

            This sql will export all comments from drupal to wordpress 2.7.1

 

TRUNCATE TABLE wp_comments;INSERT INTO wp_comments (comment_post_ID, comment_date, comment_date_gmt, comment_content, comment_parent, comment_author, comment_author_email, comment_author_url, comment_author_ip, comment_approved)SELECTnid,FROM_UNIXTIME(timestamp),FROM_UNIXTIME(timestamp),comment,0,name,IF(mail=”, CONCAT(REPLACE(LOWER(name),’ ‘, ”), ‘@’, hostname, ‘.localhost’), mail),homepage,hostname,1FROM cms_comments;

This sql will update the number of counts in wordpress posts table

 

# update comments count on wp_posts tableUPDATE wp_posts SET comment_count = (SELECT COUNT(comment_post_id) FROM wp_comments WHERE wp_posts.id = wp_comments.comment_post_id);

3.)    In Drupal, I used url alies which was like /my_post_title_name and I wanted to have the same url alies.
To do this I updated the WordPress Permalink settings:
Custom Structure : %postname%    

4.)    120 posts and 98 comments were successfully imported from drupal to wordpress…

5.)    Finally pointed my site’s destination from /anandnataraj (location where drupal files reside) to /anandnataraj/blog (wordpress files)…

6.)    Changed rewritebase in /anandnataraj/blog/.htaccess from “/blog” to “/”…

7.)    Changed the site URL and blog URL in wp_options table to http://www.anandnataraj.com

 

It took 30 minutes to migrate from drupal to wordpress 2.7.1… So far, everything seems to be working just fine…

 

Yesterday I designed my own WordPress, brought a coffee mug and printed it there, also shot some snaps with it :)…