Vegas trip with family

Happy New year!

December holidays we were planning a trip to Lake Tahoe… and last min R says lets go to Vegas. We end up in Vegas next day.

Vegas with a kid is a different experience. There is still enough to do without gambling. These are my top 3:

  1. All the themed casinos
  2. Bellagio fountain
  3. Circus Circus Adventure dome

Here is a compilation of all pictures in 3 days…

Tips for parents:

  • avoid staying in casinos for too long; #PassiveSmokingSucks
  • take the stroller; you will walk at least 15K steps a day

CTO to Product planning – What is missing?

Most large organizations have a gap between the CTO group and the Product Groups

55% of the companies struggle to bridge the gap between innovation strategy and business strategy (internet research)

CTO group’s perspective:

CTO organizations are focused on core technology and patents. They tend to focus on fundamental technology problems that products face and how to solution those and, on new technologies that give products the title of the “Firsts”.

For example,  often CTOs are wrestling with finding innovative solutions to how wireless technology in product X is leading to a large volume of consumer complaints. And to how Virtual reality (VR) that uses state of the art ABC technology can lead to the next “first” product.

Product planner group’s perspective:

On the other hand, product planners in a company are focused on creating product roadmaps with the following goals:

  1. Beat the number of awards I have last year
  2. Reduce cost
  3. Launch new versions with something new in it
  4. Something new that competition doesn’t have
  5. What is missing and how can this be fixed?

Individually both sets of goals for the CTO and the product planner makes sense. But then why do we see a disconnect between the two?

Most CTO ideas are not considered; Many new product launches fail

In my experience of talking to many large companies, I have found this to be true.

Often as set goals for each organization, we tend to forget the fundamental goal of any company – To build stellar products that customers need. With that goal in mind, we almost need another entity in between CTO and the traditional Product Planners to do the “Lean” work.

Introducing The Lean Product managers (LPM) group

I am a big fan of Eric Rice’s Lean startup and Sprint from Jake Knapp. These guys have taught the world how to figure out “Product market fit” without building the product.

With that in mind the LPM group should ideally interface between CTO and the Product Planners, working closely with customers and validating hypothesis and backing it up with data.


Output of this group will be a validated output that product planners can now take with confidence.

CTO output goes into one of the two buckets. Pivot or Proceed. They would also get data from customers on what works and what does not.

It is not about the best technology that makes best products, it is about solving the best customer problem makes the best product.

Let me know what you guys think? How does this work in your organization. Do you think this method would work in large organization?

Austin – Trail of Lights

Trail of light at Austin was a perfect opportunity to do Night photography. Roopa and I decided to head down this and get some nice pics of beautiful Austin with lights.

This event is held at Zilker Park, one of the largest parks in Austin

Photography was not easy that night as the weather was quite cold. It was close to 35 deg F by the time we got done.


Even with cold weather there was a big crowd with lots of people selling different items.


The whole park was lit with different shapes and was light with different color lights


Fire truck was decorated really well.


We could see even tall trees being lit all the way to the top.


Most of these Christmas trees had blinking lights with different colors.


Zilker Holiday Tree:

The Zilker Tree stands 155 feet tall and is composed of 39 streamers, each holding 81 multicolored, 25-watt bulbs – totaling 3,309 lights. At the top of the tree, a double star measures 10 feet from point to point. The double star displays 150 frosted bulbs. This unique spiral pattern of lights was created by City of Austin electricians so now you can find really good LED lights for home on . At its circumference, the tree measures 380 feet. The diameter is 120 feet. The base of the tree is made up of 19 utility poles, each 14 feet tall, arranged in a circle around the Moonlight Tower.

On December 10, 1967, the first tree was lighted by Mayor Pro Tem Mrs. Emma Long. In subsequent years this honor has been awarded to the young winner of a city-wide tree coloring contest.


Finally while exiting you will see the brilliant skyline of austin with “The trail of Lights”.


Road Biking in Austin

When I moved to Austin, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get a road bike or a mountain bike. I always had a mountain bike which I used in most of my city rides.

What I found out was, Austin is great for both road biking and mountain biking. It has great trails like the Barton Creek Greenbelt on the mountain biking side and for road biking Austin has many dedicated bike lanes that makes it easy and fun to ride.

I finally decided to buy the best folding bike and have enjoyed ever since:

My Fuji Road bike

Here is one the routes that I like: “I call it the 360-620 route”

Best part of Austin is that you get good hill training around.

View from 360 bridge

Can bike for long distances before you hit the signal. Helps to improve average speed.

360 Route

Lake view is breathtaking. Someday I’ll get a boat / kayak and go on it! 😀

Nice view of the lake

Overall, I really enjoy road biking in Austin. More important of all the biking community and people around are very friendly!

Pindari Glacier – On the top

It has been a month since I’m back from the Himalayan Trek, and it already feels like for ever. Every time I look at these pictures, both Roopa and I take a deep breath thinking about the place and hoping to feel the same air.

After 6 days of strenuous trekking, we reached the top and it was worth every bit of it. Reaching the top did give me a very different high. Here are some of the pictures on the way to the place.

Continue reading Pindari Glacier – On the top

Pindari Trek Day 2

Day 2:

After staying a night at Kathkodam, we started out early in the morning to a place called Bageshwar.

A journey of 182KM which would take close to 7 hours by road due to hilly region and tough terrains.

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We stopped somewhere in between for rest and found a nice huge tree. I clicked this with higher aperture to get better depth of field.
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After sometime when we stopped for lunch we spotted a birds nest where these birds were feeding the little ones. Both Roopa and I got very busy clicking this wonderful sight.

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Even with such long journey spirit of the group was very high as we were all eager to reach our final destination and get on to the trails trekking.

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That evening we  roamed around the streets of Baheswar looking for. We knew that the closer we got to the himalayan range the landscape was getting prettier.

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Click here to view all pictures of Day 2!