Innovation Conundrum


L.P. Draper and A.H. Kirkendal started the ride-sharing service in Los Angeles. This was in 1914. Long before Uber and Travis Kalanick were born.

First electric vehicles came to market in 1880s. In 1890s, the demand exceeded that of gasoline powered cars. Long before Toyota released Prius, before Tesla and Elon Musk became a household name.

Door delivery services have existed in third-world countries for years. Long before Tony Xu and DoorDash and similar services came to  exist.

Conventional wisdom teaches us innovation means unique ideas. But often times, inspiration for new ideas and solutions, lie in the past. Many technology advances we celebrate today are extensions of history. Take a hard look at Facebook and Twitter.

In order to be innovative, we tend to think optics are more important. We spend our time and energy trying to look different, like most teenagers in the world.

When you look at any innovation, or for that matter any accomplishment, through a narrow slice of time, it looks unique. Popular culture have long led us to believe that. Reality is, successful innovators have always used history as their playbook. The world rewarded them for failing repeatedly, learning, persisting and solving. More than who just dreamed.

Flawless for billions of years, the universe has given everything you need to survive, create and solve.

The thing is, you have to care to look.

4 Simple Ways to Improve Project Communication


One of the common problems executives and team members face within an organization is poor project communication. According to a study conducted by PMI, “Ineffective communications is the primary contributor to project failure one third of the time, and had a negative impact on project success more than half the time.”

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I’m moving on to my next adventure

next adventureIt was approximately a year ago, I wrote my first blog post “Why you should change jobs every 4 to 5 years”.  At that time, little did I know where I’d be going next or what my game plan was.  But I did know I won’t stay in my current role for not more than a couple of years.

After five years at Yahoo, three of which in my current role, I have decided to pursue something new.  An opportunity to work at a startup company.  I’m going to Boost Media in San Francisco where I’ll be joining a good old friend and a mentor of mine, Shawn Kernes.  I was stoked when I met with the team over there and walked away very impressed with what they have built so far.

But why this switch?

For all of us, when it comes to switching jobs the motivation could differ from time to time depending on where we are at that point in life.  Be it a new challenge, better title, more money, additional responsibility or whatever.  I’ve made my fair share of moves along those lines.

Learning something new every day is a priority for me.

The moment you wake up and you commit to yourself you are going to learn something that day, then it doesn’t feel like you are walking into work.  Instead it feels like you are about to have fun and getting paid for it.  Our ability to learn is not constrained by age, however it does get constrained by the environment.  I feel like I’ve plateaued.

I’m walking into Boost to learn how startup life is going to be and also share the experience I gained at companies like KPMG, eBay and Yahoo and help them be successful.

Past five years at Yahoo, I learned a ton.  I know I have grown personally and professionally.  I’m very grateful to the amazing individuals who helped me get here.  I’m also incredibly proud of my team and the impactful projects we delivered for the company.  Thanks Yahoo for the wonderful opportunity!!  I truly had a blast!!

On to my next adventure.  Wish me luck.


Image: (c) Can Stock Photo

Is my role relevant anymore?


Is my job function still relevant? Is my business becoming a dinosaur? Relevancy questions that often come up when we are in the verge of disruption. The question is one of concern, one laden with uncertainty and doubt. More often than not, the timing of the question becomes a tad late.

When I was a project manager a few years ago, I used to get such existential questions a lot from fellow project managers who are used to waterfall style of software development. If you are in the technology industry, especially in Silicon Valley, you could probably relate to the fact that many tech companies are moving away from Program Management Office towards a nimbler Agile style development approach. Nowadays the lead engineer takes on the role of a scrum master and drives the work product delivery. Although the fundamentals of project management has not changed, the title has.

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