Feb 06

AWS re:Invent 2015 | (BDT310) Big Data Architectural Patterns and Best Practices on AWS

Big Data, Technology Comments Off on AWS re:Invent 2015 | (BDT310) Big Data Architectural Patterns and Best Practices on AWS

Good talk by Siva Raghupathy on Big Data architectural patterns.

Jan 29

How Algorithms shape our world

Innovation, Technology Comments Off on How Algorithms shape our world

Jan 07

The Secret Sneaker Market

Marketing Comments Off on The Secret Sneaker Market

Jan 03

Born to Run

Personal Comments Off on Born to Run

Jan 01

As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify

Leadership, Structure/HR Comments Off on As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify

Kicking off 2016 with good Ted talks. This is good one on organizational design and how to simplify it.

Jan 01

Design at the intersection of technology and biology

Innovation, Technology Comments Off on Design at the intersection of technology and biology

Kicking off 2016 with good Ted talks. This is great one on product design bring biology and technology together to build new products.

Sep 04

Building zulily’s big data platform

Big Data, Innovation Comments Off on Building zulily’s big data platform

If you have not already ready my post on zulily engineering blog, it is a good read on what we are building at zulily.  Send me a note if you want to learn more or if you are interested in joining our team. 

In July 2014 we started our journey to building a new data platform that would allow us to use big data to drive business decisions. I would like to start with a quote from our 2015 Q2 earnings that was highlighted in various press outlets and share how we built a data platform that allows zulily to make decisions which were near impossible to do before.

“We compared two sets of customers from 2012 that both came in through the same channel, a display ad on a major homepage, but through two different types of ads,” [Darrell] Cavens said. “The first ad featured a globally distributed well-known shoe brand, and the second was a set of uniquely styled but unbranded women’s dresses. When we analyze customers coming in through the two different ad types, the shoe ad had more than twice the rate of customer activations on day one. But 2.5 years later, the spend from customers that came in through the women dresses ad was significantly higher than the shoe ad with the difference increasing over time.” – www.bizjournals.com

Our vision is for every decision, at every level in the organization, to be driven by data. In early 2014 we realized the data platform we had which was combination of SQL server database for data warehousing primarily for structured operational data + Hadoop cluster for unstructured data was too limiting. We started with defining core principles for our new data platform (v3).

zulily Engineering Blog | Seattle’s Best Engineering Team

Sep 04

Five open source Big Data projects to watch | ZDNet

Big Data Comments Off on Five open source Big Data projects to watch | ZDNet

I need to read more about these 5.  Apache Flink, Apache Samza, Ibis, Apache Twill and Apache Mahout-samsara. Mahout is the one I have read a bit about but others were not on my radar yet. :)

There are a lot of open source projects out there, and keeping track of them all is next to impossible. Here are five important ones in the Big Data space that you may not know about.

Five open source Big Data projects to watch | ZDNet

Jun 07

Book Review: First Break all the Rules

Book Reviews Comments Off on Book Review: First Break all the Rules

This is one of the best books on management I have read in a while.

Authors:Marcus Buckingham , Curt W Coffman

Rating: ★★★★★

First Break All Rules cover image.jpgTheme is based on “The greatest managers in the world don’t have much in common except that they break conventional rules of wisdom concerning management style.”

There are twelve questions in first chapter that managers should focus on to attract and retain top talent which are really good. These are like “Do I know what is expected of me at work?”, “Do I have materials and equipment to do my job?”,  “Do I have opportunity o do what I do best?”, “ Have I received recognition in for good work?” etc…

According to author,

  • The role of manager is to act as catalyst by working one on one with each person to convert his talent into performance.
  • Also, there is limit to how much you can develop people hence managers should help each person to become more of who he or she already is.
  • Focus on outcomes not right steps
  • When hiring select for talent, skill and abilities
  • Talent cannot be taught, skills and knowledge can be developed
  • Each person has his own strength, focus on strengths and work around weaknesses
  • Most importantly “FIND THE RIGHT FIT” Smile

Great read, highly recommend it.

Mar 22

Web Ad Rates Based on Time Viewed Instead of Clicks – Bloomberg Business

Marketing Comments Off on Web Ad Rates Based on Time Viewed Instead of Clicks – Bloomberg Business

This is a great read for folks who are interested in online marketing and analytics. Traditionally most online ads have been sold based on unique views or cost per click(CPC) model. There is a new trend where companies are looking at selling these ads based on time spent.

CPC & view based model has introduced lot of phony sites who only try to get you to come to the site and show you ads and make you switch between pages to show more ads.

Hmm, Interesting question  is what are the scenarios where time based model makes sense? Recently I have seen lot of sites add “Sponsored Links or content”. This is a great scenario for time based revenue model. If people read the whole article  advertiser pays more money, if they bail immediately you . Another example would be to charge more when someone watches longer video ad on a site.

Analytics focused companies like Omniture and Chartbeat are spearheading the revolution and will be interesting to see which other models are introduced and if any of them will actually threaten the traditional powerhouses like Google.  I am sure CPC model is not going anywhere soon but exciting times ahead…

In 2014 digital subscriptions to the Financial Times grew 21 percent, more than twice the rate of overall circulation, and the digital audience accounted for 70 percent of paying readers. Still, the salmon-colored business newspaper faces the same problem as all publications: Print ad rates are far higher than digital ones. But FT Group Chief Executive Officer John Ridding says its secret weapon is audience engagement. “Our audience is not just growing,” he told shareholders on Feb. 27. “People are spending more time with the FT and consuming more content.” To take fuller advantage of those eyeballs, the paper’s website has started to change the way it sells ads.

Web Ad Rates Based on Time Viewed Instead of Clicks – Bloomberg Business