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10 years is an eternity in tech. It’s really hard to understate how far technology can transform our personal and work lives in that time.

Back in 2008, my relationship with technology centered around an early Macbook Pro and an HTC Touch running Windows Mobile. No data plan, so when I wasn’t connected to Wi-Fi, I was truly offline. Going “off the grid” happened many times a day rather than being a special time reserved for hipster vacations. Twitter had a mere 200k weekly active users. Facebook was relatively static — News Feed was in its infancy. Everyone who did have FB open in their browser was probably playing a social game such as FarmVille. …


People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. — Simon Sinek

Every now and then I read a book that causes me to change how I think in some fundamental way. One such book was Start with Why by Simon Sinek. (To get a condensed version of the main preachings of his book, watch this TED Talk). While most — including Amazon — merely categorize it as a business book, I believe Start with Why has far broader relevance. It’s actually a lesson in how to communicate any message in a more sticky way.

In the book, Sinek introduces what he calls the Golden Circle: 3 concentric circles labeled WHY, HOW and WHAT, respectively. …


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Image Credit: marketingland.com

Last week I was at CES. After walking the West Hall, which housed newer tech categories such as IoT and Smart Home, I was absolutely amazed at the scale of Alexa’s presence. In fact, at one point I joked to a friend “Babies born a couple of years from now will learn to say mama, daddy, …then alexa!” While that may be a bit of a hyperbole, here’s 4 reasons why I believe Alexa will win the battle to become your home assistant.

  1. Alexa will become ubiquitous

A lot of people think Alexa is just about Echo. I did too until recently. Nope. Not even close. At this year’s CES, there were countless devices that could be voice-driven via Alexa. …


Highly recommend watching this 15 minute presentation to gain a high-level understanding of how autopilot systems work.

Hotz wants comma.ai to be the “Android for self-driving cars”. While comma.ai only supports select Honda/Acura models, he is encouraging the developer community to contribute to the open-source project by implementing the autopilot system for additional models. The only constraint is that the car needs both lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise technology since it’s via those “APIs” that comma’s main brain controlsd both senses and acts.

My favorite bullet point from his talk was this:

Let’s change the safety conversation from legal threats to pull…


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During the Christmas down time week, I was able to dedicate several hours to composing the first ever, Future Drive Automotive Tech Landscape.

The exercise was super valuable for me to help wrap my head around the ecosystem — both incumbent players as well as the numerous notable startups that have burst onto the scene. In fact, one of the biggest challenges was figuring out where to draw the line in terms of what to include in the landscape and what to exclude.

For example, I left out a whole class of companies dedicated to Auto Insurance such as pay-per-mile insurance startup, Metromile. For this first landscape iteration, I chose to exclude this category, and other business model innovation categories such as ride-sharing, so that the landscape focuses more on core automotive tech centered around the vehicle itself. …


I’ve recently read 2 books about selling: To Sell Is Human by Daniel Pink and The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge. Pink’s book covers the cognitive science behind selling and how it’s evolving. Roberge’s book outlines a metrics-driven, near step-by-step playbook for the modern sales (with an emphasis on inside sales) organization. While the 2 books approach the topic of selling from entirely different angles, I found the underlying message of both books to be strikingly similar and incredibly thought-provoking.

This underlying message revolves around information symmetry and how the shift in symmetry from seller to buyer is flipping sales on its head. …


It took me a long time to understand Kickstarter. I’m going to pledge money for something that doesn’t exist yet, to be delivered at a mostly unknown date, by a team with little to no track record, and, ultimately, this might all just be vaporware. Ummm no thanks.

But, alas, crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter have become massively popular. Even, in spite of high-profile failed projects, the notion that people are willing to pre-order a loosely-defined product has become…normal. …


One of my most striking observations as a leader at a fast-growing startup has been that the most real, pressing problems in your organization often live in the shadows. And, unfortunately, such problems can remain in the shadows for months until one day they burst into the spotlight when it’s a principle cause of a material, negative event such as a surprise departure of a high-performing team member or a costly operational slip-up. Yet, every single day, these shadow problems are hurting productivity, morale and culture. Examples of such problems are product strategy misalignment, people pain-points, and process annoyances.

So, as a manager, how can you actively seek out these shadow problems? I would argue that 1–1 chats with each of your direct reports is a critical starting point. However, as I’ve learned, the challenge with 1–1’s is that it’s pretty easy to do them poorly. In fact, my hunch is that most 1–1’s have a lot of room for improvement. …


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Jaguar i-PACE reveal at the 2016 LA Auto Show. Source: AutoExpress

This is probably the most important car since the E-Type, I really mean that. And when we get this car out into production and it gains recognition and popularity, I think history will show it’s a significant step for the brand. Not only because we’re embracing the future, quite openly and honestly, but because we’re going to beat the rest of them. Tesla is there already, but none of the rest. — Ian Callum, Director of Design @ Jaguar

JLR (Jaguar Land Rover) is on a roll. When Tata acquired the company in 2008, I have to admit I was pretty skeptical. But clearly the massive cash infusions have proven to be a recipe for awesomeness. Investments in lightweight platforms, new powertrains, and increased production capacity have led to a string of successful launches from all-new flagship Range Rovers down to the mainstream models like Jaguar XE and F-PACE which are poised to dramatically boost overall production volume for the brand. …


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Lotus Elise vs Tesla Roadster. source: Road & Track

Automotive journalists, enthusiasts, and collectors alike universally agree on one thing: The analog car is dead and we miss them.

Want proof? The value of many analog cars has shot through the roof in just the past few years. For example, any modern Ferrari with a manual gearbox is now worth 50%+ more than the equivalent model with an automatic. …

About

Rishi Khaitan

I play with blocks. :)

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