New beginnings

The force of change I have experienced over last few months is simply incredible. 

“You are crazy, Abhi!”, Andy said. Care to tell me why? I quipped. 

My ex-boss & a great mentor Andy (your identity is safe Andy!) was merely trying to tell me that what I was about to go through are usually the 3 most stressful events in one’s life. Of course they were.

  • Change of career (and an industry) – check
  • Go through having a baby – check
  • Move into a new home – had plans but thought better of it 😄

Andy was right, it has been stressful, but at the same time most wonderful and memorable few months. On November 25’th, Deepika and I were blessed with a baby boy. Anik our bundle of joy is the best thing to have happened to us. Although for now, he loves to party all night 🙂 talk about following his Dad’s footsteps!

 

I have been told its normal and like all other things it shall pass. In return, Deepika and I have high expectations of him. 

We would like Anik to invent the “warp drive”!! you know, humanity’s future is in the stars 😃

On the career front, I am very grateful to have had a long and successful career with Barclays. Over the years I made a few significant career moves. I had a chance to build some wonderful things for our customers,  as well as contribute to some really cutting edge innovations. I worked with many wonderful people and have grown tremendously as a professional. Moreover, I have been able to count on a few amazing mentors for a word of advise at every crucial step.  I have also made a few friends for life and have learnt many valuable lessons along the way. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and looking back all over those years, I  feel a sense of pride and nostalgia. Barclays will always be near and dear to me.

My first 4 months with Vodafone have been amazing. 

An iconic brand sure, but what I didn’t appreciate was its amazing history with over 460+ million customers worldwide. The global scale is just mind-boggling. 

Also, with an ever increasing smartphone base, our mobile app is truly transforming how customers interact with Vodafone. At the outset, it feels like an exciting race between customer expectations and transformation of experience. In last 3 months I visited some Vodafone markets, and plan to visit more this year – very excited by how much opportunity the scale presents. Every country offers a case study for growth and a challenge in commercial strategy. In a nutshell, super interesting stuff!! Andressen Horowitz has a famous quote, “Software is eating the world” and now that has turned into “Mobile is eating the world”. With overwhelming evidence that it is true, obviously I am finding it super interesting being in the “kitchen” here at Vodafone, metaphorically speaking, of-course.

Until next post, I wish you all a wonderful 2017!

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5 tell-tale signs from iOS10 announcements @WWDC2016

Here is a summary of iOS10 features apple announced today at WWDC2016. At Apple announcements, I often oscillate between * yawn, incremental updates * and * Hey cool!*. I was in the second camp today. This is a well known fact and Apple has proven it again; it is not always first to release a feature, however it is extremely smart at integrating new stuff within it’s ecosystem. Kudos, Apple!

Let us look at 5 tell-tale signs, and my interpretation of what technology trends it bets on

  1. #SiriIsNowOpenForBusiness

sirifullmac2

Alexa, Google Home, and the annoying Siri that doesn’t even recognise you when you say “Hey Siri”. Assistants are a plenty these days. Okay, I know it maybe my accent, but there are lots of complaints about Siri! Today marks the day when Apple has finally opened up Siri to developers and yes to Mac devices. Every single app developer will now be able to add Siri integrations, how powerful is that? this move alone can potentially deal a huge blow to Google Home and Amazon Alexa. Plus, we are more closer to a phone these days than to a device that may or may not be sitting a corner of our house. Also, who wants to shell out another $200? Impeccable timing! I hope they fix “Hey Siri” too though.

Tech trend : assistants are here to say, and apple has announced its entry in-style. Combined power of apple developer ecosystem will really make it useful – well done, Apple!

2. #LockScreenHasBeenUnlocked

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Courtsey / thenextweb.com

The Home Screen finally looks alive. Apple has completely re-designed the way you interact with Home Screen. You can pick up the screen to wake the phone, and you can interact with notifications in a really rich way. Swipe left and you can get to widgets and swipe right will get you to the camera. Simple but powerful features. I didn’t use widgets as much, now I might. Plus 3D touch an app and it gives you a widget like experience. This is really cool and feels like is designed to get adoption on both 3D touch and widgets which seem to have been missing a trick so far. Imagine, you can order an Uber using Siri, and then track the status using the widget on your lock screen. Never need to open the app.

Tech trend : Our interactions will slowly become less cluttered, notification fatigue will reduce, and lock-screen will become our favourite hangout. Major departure from “app as an interaction point”

3. #MapsThatDoMore

Apple has opened Apple Maps to developers. What else could it do? People were hardly ever using it (judging from a limited sample of observed behaviours). Google Maps is popular not just because of quality of maps, but also because of its rich information integrations. By opening it up to developer ecosystem, Apple has gone a step further. Google already does this to an extent, but with Apple’s OS integration, I place my bet on Maps that are actually useful beyond directions.

Tech trend : Map as a platform will have amazing business model implications; I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple Maps starts gaining traction. Not in a traditional way but as a “starting point of map-commerce apps” or M-apps 🙂

 4. #HomeKitHasANewHome

Home App now becomes the new home of Home Kit. It cleverly uses Apple TV to detect a register on a shared network as proximity. Imagine your TV switches to your favourite channel when it detects you or better turns on that soccer game just for  you! Smart home is still quite elusive for most people, but apple seems to be setting itself up nicely as the home control devices become cheap, and more integrated, the IOT will really explode. I still think that this platform has a lot of room for disruptions by smaller players.

Tech trend : Apple and possibly Google will extend their App ecosystems to the internet of things, in order to play, all you will need to do is have an app on the app store and there, you have it. A refrigerator that orders milk when you run out. Machine payable web. Go figure. 

5. #MeTooUpdatesAreStillASnooze

Photos – major progress in promoting privacy – but do users really care that you perform many billion computations to recognise that there is a lake and a mountain? Google has a way stronger lead – apple really needs to do more here, but this is a welcome step.

OS X is now MacOS and Sierra Beta is here (Ok, some other time), WatchOS 3 is here, ok. Code playground is free and a lot of people will learn how to code now thanks to some emotionally charged appeals – super, Apple! Apple music is now more simple. Snooze.

Tech trend : Are you still there? check your iMessage with a bubble effect and an animated Mickey mouse. Just what I wanted after trying to to use SnapChat and failing spectacularly.

Thanks Apple… you have restored my faith in humanity again!