Shadows

Photo 07/30: iPhoneX, ISO 20, f4, 1/200th of a second. 

Selfie


Photo 06/30: iPhoneX  Portrait mode, ISO 25, f2.4, 1/30th of a second. 

Some thoughts on the Blog Post Bribe Scandal

The Outline, an often forgotten but exciting web publication, exposed a widespread practice at publications such as Mashable, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Huffington Post and Forbes, wherein freelance writers were taking payments in exchange for favorable coverage. It doesn’t surprise me — when publications pay as little as $25 per post; the freelancers are going to be wide open for exploitation by marketers. But the problem is much larger and insidious and goes beyond these payola like tricks. The whole ecosystem of information is highly compromised, thanks to a need for cheap page views, fast.

The sad part is that tomorrow or the week after, we will move on. It will soon be forgotten, and the digital marketers will be back in the swing of things. We will never ask the question — why is this happening. So, to understand the why, let me share a story from recent history. Continue reading "Some thoughts on the Blog Post Bribe Scandal"

Will AI match randomness of a human mind?

The other Sunday, I was sitting in Sightglass, chatting with a friend and having coffee. It is what I usually do on the weekend, talk to friends in real life. He stepped away for a few minutes and all I heard between the strains of rock music, the constant rhythmic noise of the belt of the coffee roaster. It was a very mechanical and sweet sound. It was only a few seconds, but I was immediately taken back to when I was six years old. Continue reading "Will AI match randomness of a human mind?"

Omakase: November 2017

Omakase is a monthly selection of products, services, applications, and art I have enjoyed. These are not reviews. Instead, they are my recommendations. I don’t mind endorsing these products because they are of high quality, and in general have been a positive addition to my life. I am sorry that the November 2017 edition is a little late. Continue reading "Omakase: November 2017"

Meta.Bijan

A coffee with Chris Michel and Bijan Sabet turned into a full-blown photo session. I thought this photo represented Bijan the best — with his Leica, captured on Chris’ Leica in my everyman’s Leica, the iPhoneX.

Photo 05/30: iPhoneX  Portrait mode, f2.4, 1/120th of a second.

Jingle Bells

It was quite hard to find a photo today as I was busy with partner meetings most of the day, and then had a lot of emails to deal with upon my return from Palo Alto. Our building was putting up a Christmas tree, and I took this photo as it went up. A good reminder that holiday season is finally here!

Photo 04/30: iPhoneX  Portrait mode, f2.4, 1/30th of a second.

Why we (the riders) are not Uber’s customers

I have been using Uber since the day it went into service. It has been a godsend for me — I don’t drive and almost always have to go to the far corners of the city to see the medical practitioners who have to keep me ticking over past ten years. I would be remiss in saying that Uber is not a net addition to my creature comforts. And that is saying a lot because I have twisted and turned over its ethics, corporate ethos and constant crossing the line.

But lately, I have been thinking — if I (like other riders) am really the customer for the company? Its actions display a certain level of “taking riders for granted” attitude, that reminds me of cable companies, phone companies, and certain web giants. Uber is yet another example of a company, where we are merely the product.   Continue reading "Why we (the riders) are not Uber’s customers"

Towers in the Mist

TowerintheMist

Fog is my weakness, and every time there is low fog, I am out and about with my camera. I like the muted sounds, the shroud of grey and the silence that comes with fog. I loved this image of how SalesForce tower is emerging out of the mist as a defining feature of San Francisco’s landscape and the Pyramid building is fading into the background. Both these buildings have been polarising in their impact on San Francisco’s skyline.

San Francisco, November 25, 2016. 

Photo 02/30: Leica SL with Canon 50mm lens f8, 1/500th of a second, ISO 100.

Looking Ahead: Photography’s New Challenges

I am coming to the end of my photos from this most recent trip to Tuscany. It has been fun sharing these images with you all, but it is time to move forward in the direction of new projects and selections. I have shared the entire collection on my photo blog,  where you can view my photos on bigger screens.

As part of my attempts to improve my photography skills, I am challenging myself to bring the same silent, soft, ethereal look to photos I make in San Francisco, where I live and in New York, where I visit frequently.  I want to get into the habit of editing my photos every day, by keeping things simple.  So for next 30 days, you will see share a photo a day on my blog, even if it is mundane and somewhat boring!

After being on a hectic travel treadmill for Continue reading "Looking Ahead: Photography’s New Challenges"

I am thankful for…

Thank you, everyone, who is not an a**hole and cares for other people. Thank you, warriors, for the open web, privacy, and freedom of thought. I am grateful for you making the effort to make Internet good for everyone! Special shout out to EFF, Dave Winer and Matt Mullenweg who do this every day.

The Real Genius of Tesla Roadster

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The new Tesla Roadster is quite a beauty, even though it is not quite a roadster in the classic sense. It is more like a 4-seater with a removable roof. But still, hubba hubba! I mean who would not want a supercar. Especially the Founders edition for a mere $250,000. When compared to those mega-million dollar Bugattis this is downright cheap.

For those who are doubting on Tesla’s ability to make these supercars – remember way easier to make a 1000 supercars for fanboys versus making 100,000 sedans a year for hoi polloi. The doubting toms are obviously going to bring up some challenges of math and physics to make this happen, but that does not take away the fact that it is a middle-aged dream, a fantasy even.

Jeremy Clarkson has built a career on that fantasy – and we middle-aged blokes all like to think we can drive

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Continue reading "The Real Genius of Tesla Roadster"

Pico Shorts: Mark Cho

I’d like to introduce you to my new Pi.co shorts series, where I sit down with voracious readers to chat about their reading and information consumption habits in today’s world. My first interview in this series is with Mark Cho, a menswear industry entrepreneur who splits his time between London, New York and Hong Kong and is one of my favorite people to talk to about everything from art to food and obviously fashion. Among other topics, we discuss social sharing, essential blogs and publications and the ritual of reading a book. I enjoyed my conversation with Mark, and hopefully you will too.

Fake news is here to stay…

I tweeted this earlier, So Forbes published a story based on a fake police report. Amazon vehemently denied the Adage report. The original stories spread like wildfire because it was what the narrative masses wanted to read. The apologies, corrections, and errors never get the same amplification and as a result, the incorrect information stays in our mind.

In there is the real dilemma of Fake News & why the virus isn’t going away, thanks to our modern swift distribution platforms. I still think Snapchat can play a role here as it is one network built on identity and real engagement.

Too bad, they focus so much on content and don’t appreciate their own platform’s power.

Random Notes from a Rainy Wednesday

It has been almost two months since I quit visiting Facebook — I still post photos from my Instagram and occasional notes via Buffer — and if there is anything I miss, it is publishing random musings, which were too small for a blog post and too long to be a tweet.

A friend suggested, well why don’t you collect all your thoughts in one piece and post it as a blog post. And today seemed like a perfect day to start doing this. It is a little grey, rainy and chilly in San Francisco — and for once I have just two meetings during the working day. I have made my favorite tea, and I am sitting in my apartment — just musing about various things. Continue reading "Random Notes from a Rainy Wednesday"

Tuscany on Film

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My most recent trip to Tuscany was a first of sorts. I took along a film camera and some film to understand why everyone makes such a fuss about film photography. With my Konica Hexar AF camera, I knew at least I would at least get the photos right. In addition to my digital photos, I used up four film rolls, shooting at the same time and locations where I was also using my Leica SL camera.

The film photos elicited a lot of reaction from friends who aren’t photographers. One of them pointed out that it felt different, even though he had no idea I had shot it on film. I will be the first to admit that I don’t quite know how to describe how film photographs feel different, but I can feel it. In my brief experiment, what I like is that I have to focus on composition and exposure. Continue reading "Tuscany on Film"

Meet my new link blog

Back in the day, I used to publish the Daily Om as a way to collect, collate and share some of the best stuff about our industry, I read on the Internet. Given that we were all suffering from the post-bubble hangover, there was a paucity of good articles worth reading. It made perfect sense to find and share stuff worth reading.

Fast forward 16 years, we now have a different problem. There is just way too much stuff being written about technology. Unfortunately, most of the writing that dominates the attention and social space is bad behavior, scandals, fundraising, and valuations. It is actually less about technology, its innovations, and its business. It is not that people aren’t covering those things — it is just that it is getting buried in the general narrative around the industry being bad actors.

So I thought, why not just start another blog where Continue reading "Meet my new link blog"