6 months in a Poland…..a well needed reflection! [Part 1]

Well it has been 6 months in Poland and yes time flew by so quickly especially when you have a big event to prepare for! Life in Poland has been highlighted with a number of ups and downs and I would daresay that this time here has been quite enlightening. I have been travelling quite a number of times here and I had the opportunity to go to the northern-most part of Poland and went multiple times to both Warsaw and Krakow. They are for sure amongst my favorite cities in Poland. The Startup scene in these cities is quite lively and a substantial amount of people meet on a weekly if not twice-weekly basis and discuss about startup ideas. No wonder people want to set up their technology startup in Poland. There is a feeling which for now might be the closest that I could ever get to the American Startup Scene. So many people ask me: What is a Startup? and somehow quite a number of times, I was taken aback by this question and as if in a fleet of inspiration I remember this wonderful quote from Steve Blank about startups which says A startup is an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model Then again the next natural question is: What is a business model? And the way I could explain that is by saying that it is rudimentary/basic essentials of a business plan which will give you the necessary vision and direction to lead your business in the right direction. I can see we have veered of course here…..back again...

MOOCs

Recovering from major knee surgery and being away from work gives you a lot of time. A lot. Recently, I had subscribed to a number of Massively Open Online Courses on coursera.org which I didn’t have so much time to dedicate to beforehand. Work drains your energy and after a days work, the last thing that you feel like doing is learning. But alas, now I’m unable to go to work and a good chunk of time which had been previously filled by work had to find new pastures. And there comes along, MOOCs(along with a subscription to lynda.com and an amazing subscription offer at udemy.com). And, yes, time is flying fast. It has already been 5 days since my operation and equipped with my new Macbook (the true productivity machine which was enhanced by the fact that I had the opportunity to do a 6-hour long training programme on lynda to learn all the features of this wonderful machine). Bring on the learning! One more thing, I’m doing two courses which I’m focusing on right now: Health Informatics in the Cloud E-Learning and Digital Culture These MOOCs are giving me an insight into what I’m passionate about, that is , Technology. And, it is providing me with the opportunity to have a full 360 degree view of how technology affects peoples lives and how it bothers and empowers them. Equipped with this knowledge, I truly believe that I can be a better advocate of technology. If you are thinking of taking one of these MOOCs. The following video is a friendly and great video...

The importance of the art of communication amongst educators

Have you ever been in a situation as a student where you are called out to help out with the lecturer to set up the power point presentation or trying to point out to the lecturer how he puts the power point into slideshow mode and shouting “F5” (shortcut key to start a powerpoint presentation in Microsoft Power Point). Is this familiar to you? Well this is pretty much the situation in most schools and universities around the world. The point I want to make out of this is the following : How do you expect to educate using a medium that you barely know how to operate? Sometimes I am called out during lectures to help out with setting up the presentation and every time I get up to do it, I feel as if someone is hitting my head with a brick to keep me comatose for the rest of the lecture. The rules of engagement with the audience are somehow broken at that point in time as the educator is trying to pass on the message to us. This following video from Youtube pretty much sums up all the rules of engagement between the educator and students as they’re being broken : Being an educator sometimes is more than just knowing your stuff from inside out, it’s also about how much you are able to communicate the information. Once again, it’s a question on why you want to do it, and not how to do it. Before I started writing this post I was focused on the fact that educators have to know how to pass on the message,...

Choosing the right smartphone, my personal battle revisited : of iOs versus Android and Microsoft versus Apple

During the last few months, I have been pondering about an important choice. More than one important choice actually. And since I’m quite the technology geek, I thought the Samsung Galaxy I9000 with upgraded firmware and running Froyo 2.2 was not making the cut for me. Powered emotionally by the fact that I had just read Steve Jobs Biography. I had to revisit my allegiances and where I stand with regards to Mobile Operating Systems. When I was revisiting this, I realized that this was not just a battle of the mobile operating systems, but it was a battle of values. It was a battle between the philosophy of trying to content everyone and adjusting to their every whim and a philosophy of providing an integrated product which might not so modifiable at first glance, but which provides a user experience which is undeniably effective and lets the user focus on other important issues. The question of focus plays a pivotal role in this battle. I will talk about this later. I could definitely say that I was a Windows and Android boy. I loved everything which was open and which catered for every kind of hardware. It was years that my older sibling pointed out to me that I should switch to the Apple philosophy which provided me a product which simply worked and even though he recently had to change his MacBook Pro Motherboard for a hefty sum of money, he still won’t go back to Windows. That is saying something. When I ask around, I go and approach anyone who has an iPhone, and ask him...