Protect the team from chaos

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Krishna, lifting a mountain to shield people from rain — Protect people from chaos

There is a story of Krishna, growing up in Vrindavan. Indra (god of rain & lightning) was feared by human beings because he would either give the people no rain or flood them if he was not satisfied with their worship. When Krishna found out, he opposed the performance of sacrificial worship for Indra. He emphasized the importance of karma and doing one’s duty. This made Indra angry. Indra started torrential rain lasting for seven days and seven nights.

As an entrepreneur, you are exposed all the time to a lot of chaos. It’s your responsibility to protect other people working with you from this chaos and help them focus. Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. …


Build a balanced team

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Brahma (Creator), Shiva (Destroyer) and Vishnu (Preserver) — Balance your team

Hindu mythology talks about Trinity: Brahma — The Creator, Vishnu — The Preserver and Shiva — The Destroyer.

Brahma, the creator of the universe is associated with knowledge — Saraswati. On creating the world he gets mesmerized by his creation that he follows it passionately, pursuing only the possession of materialistic truth and believing in his subjective world, ignoring the ultimate truth of the soul.

Shiva is the God who does not believe in illusions but seeks the soul, the only Truth. Thus, he shuns the notion of the world, society, rules, and culture. He prefers to stay alone on the icy mountains of Kailash, wearing a tiger-skin, deep into meditation and smeared with ash. Through the continuous Yoga of eons, he becomes an infinite source of spiritual power — Tapa and is associated with power — Shakti. …


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Near the city of Hassan, three hours drive from Bengaluru in India is a small town called Halebidu. It was the thriving capital of the Hoysala empire in the 12th century. Hoysala Empire ruled most of the modern-day Karnataka for close to 400 years from year 950 CE to 1343 CE. The capital of the Hoysala Empire was initially located at Belur but was later shifted to Halebidu and remained. During their reign, Hoysalas built about 1500 temples of which now just about 100 temples survive while the rest of the temples have been destroyed by the invaders over a period of time. …


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Human-Machine Cooperation

Machine learning algorithms are very dependent on accurate, clean, and well-labeled training data for training to produce accurate results. It’s for this reason that the vast majority of the time spent during AI projects is during the data collection, cleaning, preparation, and labeling phases. When an early-stage ML-based product, trained on limited data, is deployed in production, the results are not accurate. The results may contain false negatives which wrongly indicates that a particular condition or attribute is absent or false positives which wrongly indicates that a particular condition or attribute is present.

ML models mature slowly as more and more labeled data is available. To start with, any early-stage product needs to work with a limited amount of labeled data and slowly build the repository as more such data is collected and interpreted by humans. In the beginning, such a product can be positioned as first-pass automation which needs second pass inspection by humans to rectify any incorrect results from machine learning. The results of the second pass are exposed to end consumers. They can also be used to correctly identify the type of mistakes done by the ML algorithms and attach correct labels so that labeled data can be fed back to improve the model. Eventually, there will be a large amount of already trained neural networks that can be used by organizations for their own model purposes, or extended via transfer learning to new applications. But until that time, organizations need to deal with the human-dominated labor involved in the second pass correction and data labeling. Such products still improve overall efficiency by significantly reducing the amount of manual work needed. Such human-powered second-pass correction and labeling of unstructured data requires a user interface that allows quick visual review of the first-pass output, ease of correcting errors, providing feedback and attaching labels. …


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Estimating the price of a home is both science and art. Home characteristics, such as square footage, location or the number of bathrooms, are given different weights according to their influence on home sale prices in each specific geography over a specific period of time, resulting in a set of valuation rules, or models that are applied to generate each home’s Zestimate. Specifically, some of the structured data that is used in the estimation include Physical attributes: Location, lot size, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and many other details. Tax assessments: Property tax information, actual property taxes paid, exceptions to tax assessments and other information provided in the tax assessors’ records. …


The most common question that I hear from my clients is what are wireframes and why are they important during initial phase of product development.

Wireframes help fine tune the product flow and design before the hard part of development starts.

To design good wireframes, the user interface designer need to follow these steps:

#1. Understand use cases

Use cases describe product features from the point of view of end user. Analyzing them is the first step that should be taken into consideration while developing wireframes.

#2. Model user personas

User modeling is essential because it defines the user of the product and goals they want to achieve by using the product.


This four-part series is about my experiences and lessons learnt from bringing advantages of technology to Indian farmers. To read part 1, click here.

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Field officer talking to farmers

An old farmer was fumbling with his newly bought Android phone stretching his ears to understand instructions from our extension officer. The extension officer had installed our app on his phone was trying hard to show him how it works. This was one of my many on-site trips to understand the introduction of technology to farming ecosystem. We were ready with our solution after more than 12 months of hard work and intermediate field testing. It was now time to start engaging our customers — the farmers in remote parts of North-west India. …


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Bringing technology to Indian farmer (View original)

Our car was traveling on dry, dusty roads deep in villages of Indian state of Haryana. It’s peak of summer and it was hot inside despite the air-conditioner running on the full. We were going to meet a few farmers in village 11H, named after the branch of Gangnahar flowing through the village. I was heading a technology team of an Indian agriculture startup. Along with our field team, I was going to meet farmers in remote Indian villages and understand the ground realities and explore ways to bring about benefits of digitization to the masses.

The car pulled into a winding gully and we entered a small village of about 60–70 houses. Nearby farmers were rounded up by him before we arrived. Old farmers were gathering slowly, some with their mobile feature phones wrapped in their white dhotis. There were a few young people in the room, mostly our field officers and their local friends who were carrying low-end Android phones. Our local field officer has arranged this meeting in a small hut of his relative. Everyone started occupying seats on red plastic chairs while the host served sweet tea to everyone. A sole table fan was creakingly rotating — stopping intermittently with fluctuating power supply. Though I could mostly make a voice call to our office, the data connection was patchy and 2G connectivity available in some places. …

About

Rajeev Dixit

Those places where you find resistance in yourself, that’s where growth happens. I am a Co-founder and CTO at http://47Billion.com.

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