Jagriti Yatra – A day at Arvind Eye Care System (Madurai)

Jagriti Yatra – A day at Arvind Eye Care System (Madurai)

Intelligence and capability are not enough. There must also be the joy of doing something beautiful

– Dr. G. Venkatswami (Founder of Arvind Eye Care system)

The morning at Jagriti Yatra Day 4 started with the news that Jagriti train changed its route and instead of heading to Madurai, it ended up in Chennai. So now it was supposed to go back to Madurai.  The day passed in the train waiting for it to reach Madurai and meet Dr. S Arvind and Dr. Ravi Chandran, Chairman Arvind Eye care systems. Finally we were on the site and after we settled down in the hall of Arvind Eye Care Systems (Madurai) hospital, first thing we were told by our mentor was, “today when we will leave this hall after the presentation, we will leave with some amount  of faith, spirituality, humanity, values  and heart full of inspiration”.  There I got a beautiful hint and the presentation started with a documentary. Here is what I could retain and gain….

[alert style=”grey”]Almost 38 years back, Arvind Eye Care systems started with 11 beds in a room and a team of 10-12 people. In a country (India) with 12 million blind people, 80% of blindness is needless. Poor is needlessly blind because they don’t have money for the treatment or because the hospitals or clinics are not accessible for various reasons. Dr. G. Venkatswami felt such needless blindness was not required thus there was a need to eliminate it.[/alert]

Jagriti Yatra – A day at Arvind Eye Care System (Madurai)

Aspirations are bigger than Resources

At Arvind Eye Care systems, Money earned from patients who can afford the treatment is spent on the treatment of poor.  70% of the patients treated till date at Arvind Eye Care Systems have been treated for free.  Huge volume of blind people in India is seen as opportunity to reap the benefits of economies of scale. With such a scale technology becomes more cost efficient. Nurses, helpers and sisters working at the hospital contribute 60% of the workforce. They are the one closest to the patients. Ones who meet patients everyday and calm them down for their worries. These women are 12th passed girls from the high school, who undergo special 3 years training at the hospital.  Dr. G always looked up to the standardisation of McDonalds fast food quality.  He was truly fascinated by his idea that “Like McDonalds could serve same quality food across geographies by applying standardisation to its processes and workflows, similar approach can let an eye care hospital provide quality services everywhere.  800-1000 patients are treated everyday at Arvind Eye Care Systems to keep the business sustainable and profitable.

Over the time Arvind eyecare has expended its arms to Eye Consulting business, Eye – Lenses manufacturing and eye care franchisee business.  It has expanded its operations in countries like Africa, Nigeria, US and other countries and collaborated with other 300 eye care hospitals who shares similar values. Arvind Eye Care system has enough infrastructure and money to scale up with  more Arvind Eye Care setups. Still they don’t feel a rush of it and cares about its values the most. Every New Arvind Eye Care Setup needs to breathe 3 building blocks laid down by Dr. G.

  • Value System
  • Delivery System
  • Innovation

To carry the value system forward in the absence of Dr. G is only by moving 50% of employees from existing set up to new set up and let them train new people.

I believe 1.5 hours of the presentation and conversations with board member put all 450 yatris into some thinking. Thinking to serve a purpose bigger than them self.   Thinking which got even deeper with the last slide of the presentation quoting words by the idol of Dr. G. Venkatswami.

Jagriti Yatra 2013 – The journey of awakening in 15 days

Jagriti Yatra 2013

Jagriti Yatra, a journey that has changed lives, brought hope and inculcated ideas and solutions to difficult problems among the youth of India is about to start its 6th Yatra with 450 Yatris and their role models. A residence on wheels- this train will cover 13 destinations, 8000km over a span of 15 days, in the meanwhile meeting 15 inspiring entrepreneurs and role models and implementing the fun filled process of learning through experimentation.

The Jagriti Sewa Sansthan, a non-profit organization, conducts this journey. It is scheduled to begin on the 24th of December 2013 and end on 8th January 2014. The main motive of this Yatra is to discover oneself, enterprise and India. It is based on Udyam Janit Vikas or Enterprise led development. This states that our country has to be built by its very own citizens. Hope is an essential component that helps drive out corruption, darkness and all other negativities of the heart. Jagriti Yatra teaches its Yatris to have faith and belief and continue doing the right thing and bringing the right change in the minds of fellow Indians.

Yatris boarding on train

Here are a few examples of the eminent personalities Jagriti Yatra is conducting conferences with. Ramaswamy Elango, is one of the famous role models who is actually a Sarpanch of Kutumbakam village. He is an excellent example of the kind of character the Yatra is trying to make out of the Indian youths. Elango left his engineering job to inspire and revive the village and he has succeeded in his attempt. Joe Madiath will be waiting for the Yatris in the forests of Orissa. This revolutionary figure has been providing clean water, sanitation and energy to the entire community since the past 30 years. It is indeed amazing. There is also SEWA in Ahmedabad. This brings us to the destinations that the train will cover.

Conversations on train

The train starts and ends it journey from Mumbai. It then goes on to Hubli, which is a completely solar energy-utilizing village. Then comes the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore proceeding to Madurai, the temple town of South India. Then it travels to Chennai, Vishakhapatnam, Bhubaneshwar, Patna, Deoria, where Jagriti’s headquarter lies and then Delhi, the urban capital of the country. It then moves on to Tilonia and Ahmedabad, the financial capital of Gujarat, a true entrepreneur’s den. All the destinations bear enough significance for the entire journey.

Niranjan with young musicians

The facilities provided during the entire journey are comforting if not luxurious. Non-air conditioned second class sleepers are allotted to all the boarders. Male and female compartments are completely separate. Air conditioned conference rooms are provided within the train wherein the role models discuss and inspire the collaborators. There is a 24 hour pantry car that caters food throughout the day and full time doctors and medical facilities on board.

Jagriti Yatra, along with its encounters with entrepreneurs, panel discussions, cultural stops and a mind blowing journey has been effortlessly reshaping the future of India by practically teaching the virtues of living to the youth since the past 5 years and will continue to do so in the future.

Save money while you are young

Save money while you are young

When you are young and in your twenties, you are confused and unsure of what to do in life. You get into odd jobs, work hard to make ends meet and gain some money. And what should you do with this money? You do not have a family to take care of, neither do you have high expenses to be met, therefore the best thing to do at this age is to save all the bucks that you earn in the bank so that when you get a little level-headed you can use this money to do something that you love. There are three vital reasons that should give you the spur to save money when you are young.

Save money while you are youngA youngster has hardly any expense to do. You do not have to buy a large house. You can just crash in someone’s place till you have got hold of the address of any hostel or flat to be let. You don’t have to buy a large SUV for your kids and family. You can take a cab or a bus to places. Neither do you have to spend dimes on dining at expensive places. You can just eat at the roadside shack or cook something for yourself. So what do you do of this extra money? Save it!

At a young age you are unsure of what to do with life. You don’t know what kind of job you want to spend the rest of your life doing. You are undetermined of your future. At this stage you end up doing any sort of work just to keep working and earn money. So this is the right time to save enough cash so that when you switch career, all of a sudden once you have found your calling, you won’t have a lack of capital.

Once you know you have saved enough to grant your little wishes you no more have to depend on anyone. You don’t have to ask money from your parents, friends or your spouse in case you get into any kind of financial trouble. This is a great thing for people who want to stay economically independent.

Enjoy your future by saving in a calculating manner at the present.

Ideas worth implementing – Startup Weekend, Mumbai

Ideas worth implementing – Startup Weekend, MumbaiYou sprang up with an idea or a cause and looking for the right people and support to make it a success? Here’s an event coming up on 15th to 17th of November to fulfill your requirements about it. Startup Weekend is a two and half days weekend workshop scheduled at SIES College of Management, Nerul (Navi Mumbai), enables participants to develop the essentials of venture from an idea by undergoing the process of customer validation, prototype development, team formation and mentor guidance. It is one of the largest communities of effective and empowered entrepreneurs with over 1,000 past events in over 400 cities across the globe.

It starts from Friday evening with the voicing of ideas. Teams are formed on the basis of top ideas, determined by the maximum number of votes.  But before working in a team and making the prototype, participants are encouraged to work on their ideas in order to discover their utmost potential values and motivations.

Ideas worth implementing – Startup Weekend, Mumbai

[alert style=”grey”]The motto behind this activity is to promote head-hearts-and-hands coordination for the progress in personal and professional conducts. Next, the teams then go ahead for the brainstorming, market validation and research and surveys. After this, a business model is built based on all the previous activities. While working on the prototype, the participants also get feedback from the experienced entrepreneurs. On Sunday evening, the prototypes are being presented to a panel of entrepreneurs and angel investors. Out of all these teams, three winning teams bag away with some cool prizes and loads of memories to cherish over time.[/alert]

This exclusive event is a part of Global Startup Battle 2013 which includes some lofty prizes worth 20,000 USD from Google for Entrepreneurs of Indiegogo crowd funding campaign and a trip to Google Headquarters for three team members. This event will also be an exploration to the models of how startup ecosystem “Designed for generosity” will appear like. So, this package is a testament to a whole new experience in the creative arena of startups, and an addition of various new perspectives of a venture. Ready to register? Here you go Startup Weekend (Mumbai).

A company that won over with its transparency – Evernote

A company that won over with its transparency - Evernote

Evernote, the company that has more than 20-million users out of which one million of them pay about $5 every month to become the premium ones. The service is available in about 30 languages. Quite an achievement for a startup that was about to get bankrupted a few years back. Yes, you read right. Evernote was on the verge of bankruptcy and was about to be sold. To know more about the success story of this amazing startup let’s first get acquainted with what exactly is Evernote.

EvernoteThe purpose of this startup is to take down people’s notes and make it available across many different platforms. That means you can access the notes from windows, iOS, Android, etc. All your information is synced to the cloud. It can store text, audio, video, as well as pictures. Phil Libin, the CEO of Evernote, has never given up his positive attitude and hardworking spirit.

Evernote ran into a great deal of financial crisis in the year 2008 and all of its activities were halted for quite some time. The company was about to be shut down. However, like an angel, a faithful user of Evernote, mailed Libin to express his appreciation towards the company and said he will be ready to help financially in any way that he can for the progress of the company. Thus, a skype conversation was set up, conditions were discussed, agreement was signed and Evernote was saved from its doom by a fan.

Evernote has a strange Smile Graph to depict the usage of the service. In the initial months the user uses the service at a high rate. As time goes by the usage decreases. However after few months the same user gets more habituated and uses the graph at an equal high rate.

Libin believes in being transparent and open to his customers, employees, the press as well as the board members. His reason behind this is he doesn’t want to keep any secrets from anyone because at the end all the details come to the forefront and he doesn’t believe in depriving anyone of the truth. For the very same reason the ardent Evernote fan could help out the company when it was needed.

The company has a distant goal to reach. It wishes to become the second human brain where people can store all the important information related to their life. This amazing company with its wonderful policies will surely do well ahead.

Most celebrities act – Smart celebrities invest in tech startups

Tech Startups - The new baby of Celebs

Celebrities love to promote everything and everything they promote sells. So when we come across their recent found love for technical startups we are hopeful that it stays. Tech startups are the recent buzzword everywhere and celebs are not only promoting them all over social networking sites but also actively investing and getting involved with such startups. Lets see which startups are these reputed celebrities joining hands with.

Andy Samberg is not only the spokesperson but also an active investor of Canaryhop.

Andy Samberg is not only the spokesperson but also an active investor of Canaryhop. This tech startup makes contact between tour guides and activity providers with people who are interested in going on a tour or are in search of new activities to do.

T.I. funded the popular startup YOPIMA that stands for Your Opinion Matters. This startup provides an awesome service of letting its users know where the hottest parties are happening in the city and what sort of things are going to be available there. It gives you choices of deciding if you want to visit a particular party based on the drinks available, people who are going to be there and the inside opinions about the place. Nice, right?

Honest CompanyJessica Alba has joined hands with Honest Company, a startup that delivers non-toxic baby diapers and cleaning stuff to others’ doorsteps. This range of non-toxic products have been made by Jessica Alba’s own company which she was inspired to open after her hands-on experience with her kids.

Bruno MarsBruno Mars, the Grammy winning music artist invested in a music startup quite convincingly. Chromatic creates the digital version of sheet music. These digital versions can be available on iPads as well as the Internet. Mars also believes in another company’s mission statement and fully endorses the brand NJOY. NJOY creates electronic cigarettes and promotes health factor.

Magic JohnsonMagic Johnson has been associated with many startups previously. Right now his favorite investments are Stylecaster, Sociocast, FLUD news. A Celeb startup pioneer he sure knows what to do and in the right way to do it.

Funny Or Die is one of the most established startups in the comedy business. And who best to promote it other than Will Ferrell. This site makes comedy skits featuring the best talents and all of their videos get instantly viewed throughout the world.

Leonardo DiCaprio – Mobli

When Leonardo DiCaprio invested in Mobli, the startup started going heights and more reputed personalities started investing in it. Mobli is a rival of Instagram and is into the photo sharing service.

Edward Norton – Crowdrise

Edward Norton is getting along with Crowdrise, a fundraising site for philanthropic causes and issues. A real noble work it is and a very good thing that Norton is doing.

Nas – Mass AppealNas helped out the urban magazine, Mass Appeal with a large sum as investment. It revived the magazine’s status. He is also associated with the rap website named Rap Genius.

William Shatner had become the brand ambassador of Priceline and later on accepted a share of the company as his reward. He ended up earning quite a large amount (umm, it was 600 mn US).

Bono - Facebook

Bono’s equity firm, Elevation Partners takes care of companies such as Forbes, MarketShare and Yelp. His firm invested for a 1.5% stake in Facebook and later on received $1.5billion as the equity amount when Facebook was sold for $100billion.

Jay Z and Will Smith, the two media icon has been associated wholeheartedly with Duracell Powermat and Viddy.

Justin Timberlake – Myspace

Justin Timberlake quite resembling his character in “The Social Network” has become attentive to the tech world. He has been investing and promoting Myspace since the early days. He also partnered with Stipple, which gives a chance to photographers to sell their pictures as well as Miso Media, a music revolutionary site.

http://www.skype.com/en/

Ashton Kutcher knows that he needs to stay at the top of every game and thereby he single-handedly invests in many startups. He has partnered with good and reputed sites such as Skype, Airbnb, Foursquare, Hipmunk and LikeALittle.

Most celebrities act – Smart celebrities invest in tech startups

Let’s take a cue from them and continue with our tech dreams.

Common mistakes you should never repeat

Common mistakes you should never repeat

Today’s generation works hard and is not at all willing to take up the conventional career choices. They want to do things on their terms and as per their wish lists. Rigorous 9-to-5 jobs, a boss who keeps nagging, mindlessly working on boring projects are something that they hate. Today’s generation prefers getting what they want and if they don’t get it then they better start everything anew their way. No wonder most younger people are starting their company. However most startups fail because of innumerable inevitable reasons. It’s better not to repeat the following common mistakes.Common mistakes you should never repeat

Do not be over enthusiastic about your work. If there are small issues that require attention but are not too urgent then let them wait. You do not need to immediately mail your team or call a meeting for a petty thing. You’ll only be overcrowding their already filled up inbox. Keep your messages and instructions short, curt and responsive.

If you are planning to open a large office space for your company to impress your prospective investors then do not do it. Investors would get the impression that you aren’t much of a planner and you cannot handle large amounts of money. Honestly this can be devastating. If you can work from your house or any coffee shop, then don’t waste money on acquiring large areas.

Common mistakes you should never repeatDo not make unnecessary and over-the-top promises that are difficult to keep. If you promise stuff to your customers and don’t keep them then your customers will not be too happy with you. They will get angry and dissatisfied. Instead if you are honest with them right from the beginning and let them know each term and condition and the problems as well as the advantages then you will get trusted customers who will be able to comprehend your working situation.

[alert style=”green”]Too much of growth in a short span of time can be harmful for your company, especially if that happens at the cost of your budget. If you want to extend the market of your company then reassess your resources, ask yourself why you wish to grow the startup and most importantly see if your startup’s mission is getting sacrificed. Never forget why you started the company, what is the purpose of your service or products and strive to live up to them instead of pointlessly growing your company.[/alert]

Planning is a good thing but planning to an extent that your real activities take a back stand and all you do is plan then be aware, you are doing a mistake. Too much of planning and procrastinating the present work is extremely harmful for your startup. Instead of thinking all that you could do, just do them now and make all your plans happen. There will be no lack of achievements once you have made your mind to do things the right way.

Are you still doing it? You better stop, if you want to be successful

Are you doing it? You better stop, if you want to be successful

Becoming successful is something that every human desires but the actual mantra of success is unknown to most. Actions help in gaining what we want in life. However actions can be both detrimental as well as positive. What we choose to act on and how we choose to act are extremely essential in going one step ahead towards success. Moreover staying focused is another added quality that needs to be acquired. Focusing where it is absolutely necessary to can push us towards success and achieving the best in life will no more be an issue. A few things if kept in mind and followed carefully will surely help in the long run.

Hitting the snooze button of your alarm each morning can be furiously destructive to your mindset. Negativity in any form is not good. When you are telling yourself that you do not wish to welcome the beautiful day with open arms you are definitely becoming all pessimistic at the beginning of the day. Try to get rid of the laziness and do what you are destined to do at that very moment.

Are you doing it You better stop, if you want to be successfulAs has been told before, focus is an important trait to be acquired. And multitasking does not provide you with that luxury. When you are doing two to three tasks at the same time you tend to do all of them in a mediocre manner. In this way perfection is lost and you are gradually moving away from excellence. Thus multitasking has to be avoided for the best.

The company that we have generally affects the kind of person we become. If you think that you are hanging with a person who is not at all productive, neither has any creative thought process or can be encouraging in any way then do not share his company. You might end up getting his bad qualities and that would not be too helpful for your future.

Are you still doing it? You better stop, if you want to be successful Are you still doing it? You better stop, if you want to be successfulIt is absolutely essential that you do not take unnecessary breaks from working towards your goal. When you know what you want from life and how you want to achieve it then the only work left to do is work day and night in achieving it. It is advised not to deviate from that goal. Therefore do not take time out from this.

Change is the new word for progress. It is useless to be stagnant and fixed in life. The more openly you welcome change in your life the sooner you will reach the ladder of success. Every day comes with new challenges and new difficulties and these in turn teach you to survive in the world. Experience turns into excellence. Therefore let yourself be molded as per the circumstances and situations around you.

Do not hesitate to ask what you require or want from others. After all it’s necessary to ask for the thing you deserve or what is rightfully yours. It would not harm you in any way if you ask for anything from others.

Learn to say no to things that you do not wish to do. Many a times people would want to take advantage of your goodness. It is high time you stop them from doing so. If you are not comfortable with a particular task then disagree to do it in the first place. This would make life a lot easier for you and you can save time that you would have spent otherwise in doing useless things.

Procrastinating is a very bad habit and needs to be done away with. If you can do a work write now then don’t be lazy and put it off. Get up and finish it off right now. Now is a good time to do it. May be tomorrow you will have more work to do and you are only increasing your burden of work instead of lessening it.

A university degree can be helpful for starting up

A university degree can be helpful for starting up

A university degree can be helpful for starting upWhether you require a university degree from a reputed business school to do well in the entrepreneurial world is a query that has been long debated and argued upon. Although there are dozens of successful stories of some school dropouts, it is quite recommended that you have a university degree with you.

However if assessed carefully there can be many advantages of completing a course from a business school and it is not just the training that matters. The people you meet including the teachers, consultants, fellow entrepreneurs and classmates will be helpful when you get into the real world. The number of extra-curricular activities, competitions you will get to participate in will help you showcase your valuable ideas in front of the entire world.

Doesn’t matter what training or course you are enrolled in, the things taught there will eventually teach you a lot about entrepreneurship. Grad school prepares you for the real world. You can make any number of mistakes in there and learn from there so that you can avoid those mistakes when you are working on your startup. The facilities and infrastructure provided in the university help the students launch their startups while still in the educational period. As per study, 20% of the people who start their education in universities don’t manage to complete them. Angel investors, venture capitalists, mentors are there to help you while you are still in university and guide you through your problems.

Basically, it depends on the person whether he wishes to complete his education and then start his venture or he already has all the skills required to become successful and can skip the education part. Truly going to a grad school is much more than getting just a degree.

Bunch of startup advices you never thought of

Bunch of startup advices you never thought of

Being a startup, is not even an ounce of ease. But then we do have the mighty Google to help us cope up, and there are always advices. There are few pointers by “once upon a time, startups” that will make your job easy.

Basically, what startups need is an active and healthy environment to think over something peacefully. The best possible way to achieve it is by personalizing your workspace. You need to keep your workspace clean and also decorate it with your belongings. One needs to interact with their teammates to achieve a comfort level and create a bond of trust. You can sometimes adopt the minor and multiple roles to mix up with your employees.

You can also work out before you began working. It’s been proven that on average such people are more efficient in completing their job than others. They seem to be more focused.

You can also make championship belts and award it to your employees, as a way to show that they have done something worth being valued, for the company.

As a startup, one creates an example for the others to follow. Keeping that in mind, you should encourage daily siestas i.e. a catnap. After heavy work there is an energy drain, so the best way to rejuvenate is having a 20 mins catnap, post lunch. You can also take up an initiative to help other startups establish. It’s a great way to come across different people and understand them. But always remember to take one step at a time, and not get overburdened.

And one most important thing, never live with your co-founders. They have an amazing ability to make you bite their head off. Keep distance!

Well, at the end of the day, what matters is how well you can handle your employees and your position. Because that’s what will define you and will make you stand out from a crowd of startups.

Protect the Intellectual Property of your startup

Protect the Intellectual Property of your startup

Establishing a new business comes with a lot of challenges and difficulties for example, acquiring capital, recruiting and managing a team of employees, gaining a loyal customer base, etc. Another issue that generally goes neglected is the intellectual property rights of every startup. It is essential for every startup to protect their IP rights as well as respect the rights of their competitors. Intellectual property rights creates a legal encasement for all the ideas, revenues and protects from competitors and rivals. It raises the value of your startup in the eyes of angel investors and venture capitalists. There are few common mistakes that people generally make regarding IP rights.

Protect the Intellectual Property of your startupApplying for patents, drafting and maintaining an IP filing can get extremely costly. A lot of money, time and energy can get wasted if the patent filings are not done in a proper manner. Ensure that all your important innovations are filed for patents and emphasize on drafting patents for the valuable resources. To reduce the unnecessary expenses it is important to build a well-worked out strategy. Consult a patent attorney for better results. In the initial stage the employees and team members can take part in building the strategy to reduce excess cost.

Protect the Intellectual Property of your startupAnother thing to do to avoid serious consequences is get all your employees to sign on the agreement. The company’s agreement must state clearly that all the employees are to respect the IP rights of the company and strive to protect the entire intellectual property belonging to it. Also the non-employees who frequently interact with your startup, such as designers, contractors need to be informed and obliged to follow the IP rights of your company.

It is also important to take care of others’ trademark rights. Your company should not perform any sort of action that will in any way infringe someone else’s trademark rights. Trademark infringement occurs when your actions, publications or advertisements confuse the customers as to the origin or source of the product you are selling with that of another company. Your startup name, logo or any such thing should not convey the misinformation that you and some other company are linked somehow.

Trade secrets are an invaluable part of every startup. It can include anything from formula, business idea, pricing to customer data to expected deals, etc. Any information that another person can use to bring down your reputation among your customers can be claimed as trade secret. It is vital for any startup to legally protect all of their trade secrets.

Finally learn to distinguish between different types of patents such as utility patents and design patents. More importantly consult a law firm and hire a suitable lawyer. Your intellectual property is as vital as your other resources.

10 innovative inventions you never heard of

10 innovative inventions you never heard of

Previously no one could imagine that mechanized motors could replace horses in the carriages but motorcars were indeed born and now we cannot imagine life without them. A boy staying in India can hear his friend’s voice, who resides in America. Who could have thought that a simple thin wire can transfer voices across the globe? Telephonic conversations changed our lives. Such inventions have been so necessary that one cannot imagine the times before these products. Ideas that are put down on paper, submitted to get a patent to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) finally get converted into successful inventions that can be commercially applied. But there are hundreds of thousands of applicants that get turned down due to their impracticalities. The following are ten innovative ideas that widen our thought process yet seem difficult to be practically implemented.

10 innovative inventions you never heard ofAn Arizona State University researcher under a US DARPA grant is working upon a military helmet that has the capability of controlling the soldier’s minds. It is based on the technology of transcranial pulsed ultrasound. Using a remote controller the soldier can utilize ultrasound waves to stimulate various parts of the brain. This could be used in eliminating pain and exhaustion during critical times by simply giving commands to the brain.

10 innovative inventions you never heard ofThree Chinese inventors have produced a device namely P&P Office Waste Paper Processor that can convert waste papers into useful pencils. Innovative, right? This is another addition to the methods of recycling stuff and getting something useful out of them. The job of the machine is rolling and compressing waste paper onto lead using glue. The advantage is the companies with this machine can get loads of free pencils. The disadvantage is with the advent of tablets and laptops, pencils are rarely used in offices.

10 innovative inventions you never heard ofA Japanese company, Sanwa Netec, has invented a printer that can do paperless, tonerless printing. The sheets of paper are embedded with leuco dyes that get transparent when hot and opaque when cool. Thus an average sheet can be reused about 1000 times. The only problem is the printer is not at all cost-effective being priced at above $6000.

10 innovative inventions you never heard ofThe US Military services have taken Lockheed Martin’s Samarai micro-drone extremely seriously and are developing it. It weighs 5.29 ounces and has 12-inch wingspan. Its miniature jet engine provides the entire thrust and makes it a deadly weapon to be used in the combat field.

10 innovative inventions you never heard ofMercedes-Benz has designed a new eco-friendly car called BIOME. It is made of a material named BioFibre which reduces the car’s weight to a mere 876 pounds. Its specialty is that it can be grown in a nursery’s organic surroundings from a tiny seed. While running it would emit oxygen to the surroundings and can be ultimately bio-composted. It is an assembled car where separate seeds need to be grown for the interior, exterior and the four wheels.

10 innovative inventions you never heard ofThe Armstar Bodyguard 9XI-HD01 is a multipurpose shield that can be used by future bodyguards and law-enforcers. It has a flexible arm that is encased with a rechargeable lithium battery that gives power to an electric deterrent device. If the person pulls the pin anyone trying to touch his hand will get an electric shock. It has also has an LED flashlight, HD camera and a slot to charge iPhones. The only drawback is its high cost.

10 innovative inventions you never heard ofRecently a Connecticut inventor has got his idea of a bat-suit patented. His is a dynamic human powered flying suit that contains a strap-on bat wings. To fly like a bat the person wearing the suit needs to jump from a higher point in the flying position headed downwards. Hopefully, it works.

10 innovative inventions you never heard ofThis invention is for all the cat lovers out there. A New York inventor has come up with the idea of a portable cat amusement park. It has many components that will keep your cat busy and occupied for quite some time. It contains a scratching post, a tunnel to crawl through, a hanging toy that can be chewed, and a tube with a fan that blows colored spheres through a mesh tube.

10 innovative inventions you never heard ofNow your James Bond desires will come true. A company is offering its customers an amazing product electronic license plate flipper. Priced at $79, it rotates by 90 degree to display another plate with a message. For a cost of $74.99 the plate flipper is available for motorcycles. Although this seems to be a plausible discovery, such license plates cannot be used on the roads because it is illegal.

10 innovative inventions you never heard ofTired of pests and rodents at home? Jimmy Loizeau and James Auger have come up with ideas of robots that will eat pests and use that waste to fuel them. There are different types of automaton ideas such as mousetrap coffee table robot, lampshade robot, cobweb robot, etc.

[alert style=”green”]Inventions are a necessity in life. Without them, society will be stagnant and there will be no scope of progress. The above inventions, although too futuristic for their time teaches us to come up with amazing and innovative ideas.[/alert]

Make your startup a bit more social

Make your startup a bit more social

These days it is extremely essential for a company to be able to connect to and maintain that attachment with their customers. When the users can easily access a startup they will be more attracted and interested in dealing with that company. Therefore, the quicker you try to make your company more social the better it is. The following points need to be kept in mind and applied effectively for better results.

Make your startup a bit more socialMany software companies for example Zopim, gives their users a chance to do live chat when they are surfing through the website of a company. They can chat with the representatives of the startup and can ask questions, resolve their queries and discuss their doubts easily. Customers love it if they have someone available who will solve their troubles at a moment’s notice and who better to do it other than your representatives. It will benefit your website in numerous ways. It will incite you to take action and interact with fellow visitors and the company.

Make your startup a bit more socialBelieve me, it gets really annoying when you have to input all your contact details when you have to register for any website. And on top of that waiting for confirmation of email id or contact number makes it even more irritating. Allowing social logins is the best solution to this. It takes seconds for a user to login into a website using his pre-owned social networking account. For example a user may be asked to sign in using his facebook or twitter account. In this way all his information can be accessed in a small amount of time without the pain of entering them again and again.

Make your startup a bit more socialThe more you allow your customers to participate in the creation and execution process the more included they will feel. Creation of surveys and questionnaires for users is an extremely creative idea. This will help you get correct feedback anonymously and users will not feel embarrassed to give their honest opinions. There can also be feedback forums where visitors can type in their questions. Ensure that the company’s team of experts gives immediate replies. Nothing sets off a person more than negligence.

[alert style=”white”]Enable easy options of sharing posts and information so that a large number of visitors can see your content in your website. If your content has a got a great response in adjoining social networking sites then there are high chances of being acknowledged on a larger scale.[/alert]

The best way of creating more publicity for your company is by using customer reviews and displaying them on your website. Users would enjoy the fact that their inputs will be valuable for the brand. Moreover, the product reviews that they write will help draw new customers as they will find your brand trustworthy and feel sure enough to use your products.

Going to school is too old school – Successful stories of some school dropouts

Going to school is too old school - Successful stories of some school dropouts

We have always been told that if we go to school, study properly, do our homework, pass the tests with flying colors then we are sure to become something great in life. But there have been the examples of few visionaries, great personalities and celebrities who have dropped out of school and grown up to become eminent and renowned personas in their own respective fields. Does this mean that the age-old lessons that have been given to children are wrong? Definitely, not. What helped these people succeed even after dropping out of school was their extraordinary talent, immense hard work and the good ol’ luck.

Going to school is too old school - Successful stories of some school dropoutsThomas Alva Edison, the great inventor who has uncountable patents in his name, was himself a dropout. He had started formal education a little later than any other normal kid due to an ailment. Unfortunately, he did not survive there for more than three months. Being the son of a schoolteacher, his mother educated him further at home. Thus the great scientist developed in spite of staying away from school and invented big things such as electric bulb.

Going to school is too old school - Successful stories of some school dropoutsBenjamin Franklin is a multi-talented person. He is a politician, author, printer, publisher, scientist, inventor, founder and coauthor of the Declaration of Independence. Who would have thought that this learned personality had never been to high school. Benjamin dropped out of Boston Latin School at the early age of ten years to help his father and brother with work. All this did not stop him from achieving everything that he did.

Going to school is too old school – Successful stories of some school dropoutsBill Gates, the richest person in the world, left Harvard in his junior year to develop a software (popularly known as Microsoft) for the microcomputer Altair along with his friend Paul Allen. He went on to become the co-founder of Microsoft, the most popular software in the world.

Going to school is too old school - Successful stories of some school dropoutsAlbert Einstein, who received Nobel Prize in Physics, had failed to receive his high school diploma in the first attempt. He left school when he was 15 and later tried to get admitted into Swiss Federal Institute of Technology but failed. He completed his schooling in the second attempt.

Going to school is too old school – Successful stories of some school dropoutsJohn D. Rockefeller, the world’s first billionaire, had dropped out of his high school two months before graduating. His reason was to acquire business education from Folsom Mercantile College. He later founded the Standard Oil Company and earned billions. He spent his later life by spending his riches to provide education and health to the underprivileged.

Going to school is too old school - Successful stories of some school dropoutsOscar-winning film producer and the designer of the theme park, Walt Disney left school at the age of 16 to join the army. He succeeded in joining the Red Cross and later was sent to France to drive an ambulance painted with cartoon characters. These cartoons influenced his movies. In his later life when he had gained success and money he was awarded an honorary high school diploma at the age of 58.

Going to school is too old school - Successful stories of some school dropoutsSir Richard Branson of Great Britain suffered from dyslexia and had to quit school when he was 16 and moved to London where he started his entrepreneurial career. He is now a billionaire having founded Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Records, Virgin Mobile, etc.

Going to school is too old school - Successful stories of some school dropoutsGeorge Burns is another example of a school dropout who managed to win accolades in life. He, after his father died, left school when he was in the fourth grade. He ran all sorts of errands and finally started putting up acts in radio, TV and as a movie comedian.

Going to school is too old school - Successful stories of some school dropoutsColonel Harland Sanders dropped out of elementary school. His father died when was 6 and since his mother had to work outside, he had to cook for the entire family. His culinary skills gave way to his success. He founded the food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).

Going to school is too old school - Successful stories of some school dropoutsCharles Dickens, who penned down many classics such as Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, etc. left school when he was 12 after his father was charged with debt. He had to work 10 hours in a day in a boot-blacking industry. He continued doing different types of work to make ends meet. In spite of all the difficulties he faced in life he evolved to become the great writer that he is.

Going to school is too old school – Successful stories of some school dropoutsMember of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the musician with a high number of music records, Sir Elton John, joined London’s Royal Academy of Music when he was 11. Since he did not prefer the classical compositions that were taught in the institution and he had always been more inclined to rock and roll, he quit school after 5years. Thus he started his journey of rock and roll music world and slowly climbed his way to superstardom.

Going to school is too old school - Successful stories of some school dropoutsRay Kroc dropped out of high school at the age of 15 and became a Red Cross ambulance driver. This is the same who grew up to be a millionaire and purchased McDonald’s and made it what it is now. He was included in Time’s list of the 100 most influential builders and titans of industry in the 20th century.

Going to school is too old school - Successful stories of some school dropoutsHarry Houdini dropped out of school when he was just 12 years old. This same personality grew up to become a famous magician. His reputed Challenge Act is known all over the world.

Going to school is too old school - Successful stories of some school dropoutsRingo Starr, the well-known drummer of Beatles, suffered serious health issues when he was just six years old. He spent three years in hospital and thereby, was left behind in studies in school. At the age of 15 when he quit school, he hardly knew to read or write. While working at a part-time job he got into a musical band and started playing drums. Later he joined Beatles and became a reputed drummer.

Going to school is too old school - Successful stories of some school dropoutsDiana Spencer, was also a school dropout at the age of 16 as she was a below-average student in school. At age 19, she became engaged to Prince Charles and became Princess Diana herself.

These people excelled in life in spite of not completing formal education. Let not your educational background dishearten you and stop you from doing what you have always wanted to.

Increasing the range of customers for your startup

Increasing the range of customers for your startup

Increasing the range of customers for your startupThe content of a website or company blog is the key to the hearts of customers. If you have a wonderful story to tell in your blog in a well-crafted manner then you will win prospective customers who will be loyal to your brand throughout the years. Heaps of dollars spent on designing a magnificent looking website with hardly any strong content is useless. Thereby it gets necessary to build proper content in any company website and revealing that to all the visitors.

Increasing the range of customers for your startupConverting plain visitors to lifelong customers is a challenging task. It requires some sort of attractive chances to be given to the visitors. CrazyEgg, a popular online platform engaged in this kind of work, reminds us the simple ways of channeling visitors to the customer category. Offering free-trial sign up to the people who regularly visit your site is a great idea. This will help people know the products that you are offering, try them out and then sign up for the paid deals.

[alert style=”white”]You cannot do all the work single-handedly. There are some parts of every field where you would need the help of an expert. Therefore, it is wise to partner up with some media company who can help you build great content for your website. Take help from editors who will organize your write-ups and story. The number of visitors will grow largely and there will be a larger number of people who will be interested in signing up for your products.[/alert]

Once you have set up amazing content, the next thing to be sure of is persistency. Constantly, keep putting up tickers, messages and banners all over your website, on each and every page that will ask people to sign up for your company. No, it doesn’t become annoying because the visitors are reading a wonderful story behind your startup and the moment they realize the sentiments behind it they will sign up for your app.

Increasing the range of customers for your startupIf your startup is still in the developing stages in terms of website designing and content writing then to check the reception of your product you could give out free private beta version try-outs of your apps and products. The people who will use your app at the beta stage they will surely get converted into addictive users in the later days. Also you can ask your visitors to subscribe to your newsletters so that you may stay connected to them.

The most important people of your startup are not the founder or the team but the customers. Learn to thank your customers and appreciate their acknowledgement. Express your gratitude to them.

Innovate Delhi – An academy to groom entrepreneurs

Innovate Delhi – An academy to groom entrepreneurs

Ever felt like getting admitted to an elite business grad school but did not have the chance, time or money to apply? The opportunity has finally arrived to learn everything that is available about entrepreneurship. Innovate Delhi is one such academy that aspires to groom and polish budding entrepreneurs. The best part is that you need not spend years of studying to gain the expertise. It is just a three-week long program specially designed to encourage people in India to take a further step towards the world of startups.

Innovate Delhi – An academy to groom entrepreneursThe summer academy is supposed to be held from June 1 to June 22, 2014. It has been efficiently divided into three basic modules that will be covered in the three-week duration. The first thing to be done is to teach the students the entire process of building a startup, launching products and making the venture successful. Professors and entrepreneurs take the responsibility of educating the students about the market situation and how to analyze it, the best way to design the product,etc.

The next module is practically implementing the lessons learned into real-life situations. Innovate Delhi gives the students chance to work on team projects so that they can develop their skills. Lastly the ultimate motive of the academy is to make their students create something of their own. The best creations are rewarded grandly.

The entire program will be held at IIIT-Delhi and it has been funded jointly by SEED Institute at Stanford GSB and Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The online applications are free of cost and the only cost to be paid is for materials and technology i.e. a sum of Rs 3000. Other expense related information can be obtained from their official website. Teachers from Stanford University, IIIT-Delhi and entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley will deliver lectures to the students.

[alert style=”yellow”]Innovate Delhi aims at providing the proper technology, knowledge and tactics required to make the best entrepreneurs out of young people. The last date for the submission of online applications is December 15, 2013. A maximum of 300 applicants are allowed to take part in the program. There is no need to worry about accommodation issues. You can apply to stay inside the campus for a meager amount of Rs 11000.[/alert]

If you want to climb the entrepreneurial ladder of success in a swift manner apply quickly for Innovate Delhi. After completing the program you will be enriched with not only knowledge but also a network of friends and colleagues with similar experience as to yours.

Campus Diaries – An amazing magazine embracing the storytelling culture

Campus Diaries – An amazing online magazine embracing the storytelling culture

When readers like us look for entertaining or informative articles to go through they have to surf net and look for specific things. And even after that there will be innumerable articles available and we might have to go through the first paragraph of each article to judge if the entire thing is worth reading. This is time consuming and ultimately makes people lose the essence of good reading. If only there was an online community that would bring together the best write-ups on a variety of topics and categories, it would be heaven for all the hungry readers.

The happiest moment has arrived for all of us. Campus Diaries is an online community that is linked with the publishing and the storytelling work, bringing to us each month an amazing collection of stories, articles, poems, and travelogues to devour upon. It is indeed an exciting news. It combines the dosage of good stories along with magnificent pictures.

Campus Diaries - September IssueCampus Diaries is a boon not only to passionate readers but also to budding writers, designers, photographers, poets, cartoonists, etc. It is a wonderful platform to showcase one’s creativity and gain experience thereby. The entire concept of this online magazine is extremely positive and encouraging. It has been designed in such a manner as to improve the form of storytelling in the present time.

The content of the magazine is oozing with individuality, originality and artistry. The subscription plans of Campus Diaries are varying in form to suit the needs of its readers. For a subscription of three months the plan is of Rs 100, Rs 150 for six months and Rs 250 for 12 months. Inexpensive and efficient are the terms that define the Campus Diaries’ monthly issues. Sign up with their community and enjoy the wonderful experience of diving into some beautiful content writing.

Paletly – Like a Look? Make it Yours!

Paletly – Like a Look Make it Yours

The last time you saw Victoria Beckham wearing an amazing outfit, you kept looking for clothes resembling that color or cut but were unable to find the right thing. You will be surprised to know that finding outfits on the basis of style, color and budget is no more a big deal. Paletly has brought to shopaholics like us a wonderful way of shopping directly from celebrity and street style images.

Paletly’s image recognition algorithm is able to identify the apparel items worn in a celebrity fashion or street style image and generate matching products from over 1000 global brands. The company is presently connected to Asos, Target, Neiman Marcus, Yoox, Bloomingdale’s among other popular retailers.  With products ranging from premium to economy, users are essentially shopping for celebrity fashion within their budget.

Whereas most other online shopping portals offer a clinical shopping interface, Paletly enables users to shop by celebrity and street style images giving them the option to emulate entire ensembles within their budget.

Palet.ly - Jessica Alba announces the nominations for the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

The website also features applications that have not been seen on typical fashion shopping sites – the most interesting being an ‘Online Fashion Stylist’ app that puts products together to create fashionable looks.  The ‘Shop by Color‘ feature allows users to search for products by a particular hex value making it the most accurate color search in the market.  Shoppers looking for an apparel item in ‘my kinda peach’ will surely find this feature useful.

Blogathon - India's First Blogging Hackathon seriesPaletly recently partnered with the Blogathon initiative and presented a cool blogging widget that transforms images on a blog into shopping windows.  By converting static blog images into interactive shopping windows, Paletly is targeting fulfillment at the point of desire.

Paletly has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Kae Capital, Mumbai Angels and Blume Ventures.  The company is presently focusing on refining the core product offering and building a presence in the global fashion discovery space.  Headed by Founder & CEO, Suma Mandagiri, Paletly’s team of image recognition experts and app developers are working towards making online shopping relevant and engaging.

Job-hopping or not is the ultimate question

Job-hopping or not is the ultimate question

One very conflicting question that comes in every employee’s life is whether to continue in the same workplace or switch jobs. There was a time when people were rewarded and considered to be respectful employees if they worked in the same place for 30 years or so. However as time has changed so have people’s wishes and desires. Now most of the youngsters believe in job-hopping.

The reason people believe in changing jobs frequently is because of various different factors such as higher salary, nice perks, more advantages and better quality work. Although many might say that staying in the same profession and getting promotion can be extremely fruitful. However, research shows that people who quit jobs get higher raises than people who get promotion by staying in the same workplace. Also when you don’t change jobs and stay at the same place for about 8 years, you are considered to be stagnant and unprogressive.

Job-hopping or not is the ultimate questionOne might ask himself, how long is too long to work in a specific company. To be honest there is no time limit for working in a particular company for getting success. There are examples of people who have stayed in the same company for 20 years and have still progressed a bit and there are people who have been in one company for just about 10 years and reached the top of success’ ladder and has been recruited immediately in the best company. Thus it is important to work in a company as long as you are achieving triumphs and building professional network. Your ultimate aim is to prove that you are capable of adapting in various situations and can show leadership, partnership and such other qualities.

Most of the recent hiring managers consider that the less time you spend in a particular job the faster you gather network and complete more and more new challenges that spring your way. However, if your jobs hardly last for a year then it will cause some serious troubles in your work culture. When you have changed jobs quite often then the best way of putting it forward in good light is by telling the true and positive story behind it. Show how you have gained maximum experience and accomplishments in the past few jobs and how you have gradually developed in your own respective fields. Job-hopping can ultimately be a boon to your professional career.

Dont fight other’s battles at your workplace

Dont fight other’s battles at your workplace

Many times in workplaces you will be facing troubles. When the trouble is yours, the solution is yours too and you can sort it out quickly. However, when you have to deal with other people’s troubles, then things get extremely complicated. It’s difficult to turn a blind eye to coworker’s problems. Not that we are advising you to do that either. But there can be immense disadvantages of fighting your coworker’s battles in the workplace.

Dont fight other’s battles at your workplaceAlthough it would seem to you that you are trying to win the situation for someone else at your work but all you will end up doing is you will hate your workplace unknowingly. When you are fighting for a person’s rights and trying to resolve their sadness then make sure that you don’t increase the amount of emotional upheaval and tension for yourself.

When your coworker hates a specific person at office then there are heavy chances that he might influence you. You will start hating that person too and it will bring negativity into your work culture. It might hamper your tasks and might even force you to leave your office. Trying to solve some other person’s trouble got free trouble your way.

Also it is necessary to remember that there are two sides of every coin. What you are hearing from your coworker is just one side of the story. You don’t know the entire episode and therefore, it is no use taking actions against anyone. It is beneficial if you stay out of all the mishaps.

It is known to all that frustration and anger are useless emotions that waste unnecessary energy. So instead of doubling the anger, sadness and depression stop fighting other’s battles.