HOW TO BUILD A GREAT WEBSITE FOR FREE

It’s 2018. Everyone’s online be it on a smartphone or a laptop. A website is among the most important online assets for a person or a business. To create a website was one thing meant for the geeks, not anymore. With the arrival of Drag and Drop DIY Website builder tools like Wix, Weebly, IM Creator, Squarespace, Ezywebs, etc, creating a website has become easy for the uninitiated. You can create your website for free now!!!

Want to know how?

 

Strikingly is a free website builder best suited for creating gorgeous one-page websites. Unlike Wix or Weebly where tons of features are showered upon the user, Strikingly is a simple platform in terms of usability. Wix does have an option to create one-page websites, but it’s too confusing and a lot of work there. I created a simple one-page website for my business, complete with a blog and other requisites.

 

On the Discover section, users can get inspired browsing through the trending and Editor’s Pick websites created using Strikingly.

 

Our previous website astahr.strikingly.com was created in half an hour.  That too for free!

There are many options available according to what the user needs. For hobbyists/bloggers, the Free Plan gives a lot of room to play around. For the more advanced users, The Pro Plan ($16/month) and Limited Plan ($8/month) gives loads of features to make the website smart.

Another cool feature is that any user can create a professional personal website using their LinkedIn profile. A professional looking personal website will be the next best way to bag your next big job with that impressive website. With creating the personal website, Strikingly rewards users by giving one month Pro membership (worth $16) FOR FREE when connecting LinkedIn.

 

Whatever your taste be, Strikingly has it all. Need not say more, check it out yourself here

 

Want a good deal on self-hosting your blog? WebHostingPad offers everything you need to launch your website: domain names, site builders, WordPress, and more. Click here to get started!

 

 

Dark side of entrepreneurship

Yes. We all hear the success stories of successful startups or bigwigs like Facebook, Apple, Microsoft or how Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos made it big. The motivational content pages celebrate entrepreneurship like making a billion dollars is a walk in the park. No one talks about the dark side of entrepreneurship.

 

 

Having left my cozy comfy job and taken the plunge,being a full time entrepreneur starting up a fledgling business the formal way(by the way, it is my fourth business), i see a lot of young people out there, excited about being entrepreneurs, totally clueless about the hardships they are to face. They are motivated by the bells and whistles around them (let’s blame the success pages on Facebook for that) since entrepreneurship is the new sexy. Having failed twice before, here are few things the newbies are totally unprepared for,

-Monetary issues

-Product issues

-Partner problems

-Client issues

-Other uncertain market aspects.

-Failure to accept failure.

 

While I had a job, I was sure of the paycheck by the end of every month.Being an entrepreneur now, I had to wait for a whole month to get a client who was ready to ink the deal. Though I was prepared to be broke for some time, very few things have changed since my first venture. I’m still scared of many a thing in business.

So, to all the wannabes out there,

Being your boss sounds super cool, working according to your rules is great, making your home an office and bed your workstation is cool, but be prepared for the thorns out there. The road is not easy. The journey is a barefoot trek down a road filled with thorns, snakes, pits and every other danger.
|
ALL THE BEST!!!

THE CIRCLE- THE DEATH OF PRIVACY

KNOWING IS GOOD. KNOWING EVERYTHING IS BETTER.

Just finished watching The Circle movie. I know I’m late, work keeps me busy.  Getting straight into the performance aspect, Emma Watson in one of her best roles till date. Tom Hanks does justice to his role to the full as always.  Great concept, superb screenplay, and excellent direction make it a racy movie that keeps viewers guessing what comes next, right from the moment Mae steps into The Circle HQ.

 

The movie is a great watch and a novel idea to follow, for millennial entrepreneurs. What made me think about the movie and the concept after watching it was what it shows. The Circle is shown as the all-knowing social network where everything and everyone is connected and can easily be tracked. The concepts of SeeChange, SoulSearch, etc are brilliant but simply murdering privacy. Though not available to the public, I’m sure the secret service agencies do have SeeChange like technologies in place for implementation.

 

 

The movie or rather the plot celebrates Mae being “completely transparent ” but how would it be if the whole world could watch you the whole day? How would it feel knowing you are being under surveillance by some organization? The Circle or rather the concept of it is how sinister, companies/corporations can get. That’s unmetered, unchecked, undeterred surveillance on a users life, both private and personal, with the user’s consent. Even when Mae is chosen as the transparent one, it should be noticed that Eamon and Tom in the movie stay out of transparency. When its forced upon them, they prefer to stay silent or walk out.  The killer side of social media is shown when Mae’s friend Mercer builds a beautiful chandelier and receives death threats when Mae posts a picture of it on The Circle. SoulSearch is a great concept to track people in real time, the concept will be in place in a few years, implemented by the governments.  Once you get in, there’s no way out. In the end, Mae ends up helplessly watching her friend die while demoing SoulSearch, almost being Mercer’s killer.

 

Going by the current growth path, a doubt that might arise in everyone’s mind is “Is Facebook becoming The Circle?”

 

 

Facebook is free, open and awesome. So is The Circle.

It does make money through ads, but a good part of pie can be suspected to arise from the user data(Demographics, personal details, posts, online behavior and all other blah blah) that are being sold to other companies.

Secrets are lies, that’s what the movie says. Privacy is a joke these days since we all agree and give consent to all the companies, corporation or websites to access our data anytime as they wish. If you have any doubts regarding that,  try uninstalling the Messenger app on your Android/iOS smartphone and install it again. During reinstall, carefully read the Terms & Conditions of the app. You will expressly give your consent to use your phone camera or microphone without even when you aren’t using the app.

 

Facebook is free, Instagram is free and WhatsApp is free.  Mr.Zuck isn’t crazy to provide us with all the wonderful stuff just for ad revenue.

 

I’m not accusing Facebook of being The Circle. Given the current direction the company is going, it is the right contender to be the real-life ‘The Circle’.Not just Facebook, even the latest entrant in the Indian telecom scenario, Jio, can be The Circle. The company first gives you unlimited data, calls, SMS, and whatnot, that too for free. Once the whole of India has started using Jio, Mr.Ambani can’t recoup the investment he made just by making all customers subscribe to Jio Prime or making them recharge their numbers.After people are hooked on their service, Jio can easily make the now free services paid and the public would happily comply with it since they got addicted to being connected 24/7. The calls, texts, downloads the browsing habits of customers would be mapped and sold.

It’s Big Data!!!

The time when we are monitored in every step is not so far. A minute of silence for privacy which would be murdered then and be history.

Remembering Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is one person I admire the most. The products he gave this world literally changed everything those did.This video describes why he is one of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time.

 

The guy who gave us the Mac,iPod, the awesome iPhone,iPad, eternally brilliant  Macbook,iTunes and much more.The visionary, the ruthless CEO, the product genius.One complete package of an entrepreneur. The world still misses you, Steve Jobs.

 

A minute of silence in remembrance of this awesome human being and the brilliant products we will never get with the Steve Jobs touch.

Silicon Valley

Been going through a rough week with its share of ups and downs. When the business is doing good, other issues and problems would be there to give me company.

Came across Silicon Valley on Hotstar while going through random shows on the Premium section. The trailer got me hooked and watched all 4 seasons (again).

The efforts by Richard and team building Pied Piper fending off threats from Hooli and others, the so-called ‘manly’ show by Erlich, the Tom & Jerry like Dinesh and Gilfoyle, meek Jared, the badass investor Russ, simpleton Jin-Yang, Gavin Belson, make it a watchable logical series, unlike the popular fantasies. What motivated me to watch the whole thing was Richard’s undying spirit to persevere and do what’s right for the company. It’s what any CEO/entrepreneur would do.

Silicon Valley did help drive my blues away, why not watch it if you haven’t yet? Watch it here

Want a good deal on domains and hosting? Click here  and sign up for the best deal you could ever get.

Why I became an entrepreneur

That’s one thing almost all of my friends asked when I started up. I had a comfortable job in a really comfy office and a good salary. When I broke the news of leaving my job and starting a business, all my friends were shocked to hear me starting up a business. Since I was the introvert in our class, I was the least expected to be an entrepreneur. After school, and dropping engineering the next thing I did while pursuing graduation was starting a business with my new buddy.

 

 

 

I have mentioned before about dropping engineering here. After going through a few incidents in and out of college, I had a chance for thorough introspection. Even though I never had any benefit doing engineering, it did give me life lessons.Engineering life forced me to leave my shyness and countless inhibitions. The first business was just a pastime but it made me realize what I could and what I couldn’t do. That was followed by a couple of other businesses which gave me the confidence to start a more serious business while still in college. That was the first business disaster. Lost all the money I had and started again from zero. The thought of making a mark and impacting the lives of people struck me then. That was the eureka moment for my current business.

 

 

 

Once done with college, I got a job at a company which gave me a comfy life for some time. The entrepreneur was still not gone. Working for someone gave me the courage to leave the job and start my business. Though the major reason was being unable to stand the immature behaviour of my colleagues, I resigned mentioning my plan to pursue Masters degree.

 

 

 

The idea of being your own boss sounds really cool though it isn’t. Taking the risk when I could was my only shot then. Guess that’s why Spiderman said, “With great power comes great responsibility”. Working dawn to dusk, saving every penny, to a certain extent starving, and handling multiple jobs at the same time and navigating through the countless setbacks, hurdles and problems is entrepreneurship. During that, I had to fire two of my guys.

 

 

 

My road to entrepreneurship was coincidental unlike that of others who study in detail and wait for the best time. I took the leap and believed things would be alright when my chance came. Heres to all the wannapreneurs and those running their businesses. Keep grinding!!!

 

 

 

 

 

My Movies 2016

2016 saw awesome movies being released in India. Be it English, Hindi, Malayalam or Tamil, movies were really good. It was a year I watched a lot of movies back to back.Here is my pick of few movies I loved in 2016.

Dangal

dangal_poster

 

Dangal was a much-awaited movie based on the life of Mahavir Phogat, who trained his daughters Gita and Babita in the male-dominated sport of wrestling.His daughters went on to become the pride of every Indian.The movie shows the extraordinary effort a father takes to raise his daughters to excellence in a male dominated sport, in a society where female foeticides are rampant.One of the best performances by Aamir Khan.A must watch for everyone looking for a shot of motivation.

 

 

Deadpool

deadpool_poster

 

Hilariously awesome.A superhero movie can and will never be as funny as Deadpool

10 Songs for the Indian Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is not a walk in the park or a bed of roses. It has its bulk of difficulties.One has to suffer a number of setbacks, losses both financial and others, crushing defeats, and much more. An entrepreneur in any stage of his venture is to be motivated always to keep himself, his team and business running in full swing. Songs can be a great way to stay motivated. Here is a list of songs from Indian movies for entrepreneurs going through a rough patch.

 

1. Chak De India 

Chak_De_India_song
Chak De India

If this song doesn’t inspire one, no other can. It does motivate not just entrepreneurs but everyone looking for the much-needed shot of motivation.

Watch it here .

 

PO and ME

My 5-year-old cousin brother is a big fan of Po and The Kung Fu Panda series. I watched for the first time ‘The’ big fat panda fight with my friends at school. After a long time and two more films later, I watched the series, all three movies in a go, with the kid brother. After three movies, I realize Po not only fights but teaches something else too( he teaches Tigress, Mantis, Monkey, Viper, and Crane in the third film).  A few life lessons.

All three films show that some of the most important things come to one by accident or without us wanting it. Po learned the Wuxi finger hold from Shifu while roaming awestruck inside the Jade Palace. He saw how Shifu controlled a drop of water, which he used against Lord Shen in the second film. Mastering Chi was shown to Po by Shifu in the third film. The Dragon warrior learns something after every film and calls for the viewers to do the same.

One line by Oogway in the first film tells the audience to live in the present and enjoy it. He says, ” Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called PRESENT”. It teaches not to regret about the past, not be anxious about future and live in the present.

Continue reading “PO and ME”

THE PUMA STORY – A BUSINESS FAIRY-TALE

Rolf-herbert Peters excellently chronicles the ups and downs of two of the most famous sports brands, Puma and Adidas, and how the near bankrupt Dassler family business was turned around by a visionary CEO. A book to be adopted as a rulebook for young entrepreneurs who start up almost in similar to the situations when Puma had almost no money.

The book begins with the Dassler family and how Adolf and Rudolf Dassler did business, together. It closely follows how the brothers went on to start their own businesses, Adidas and Puma. The business rivalry between the brands is made clear when the author explains how a machine was scrapped at Adidas, soon after it was at Puma. The brothers were on and endorsement war, getting on board the likes of Boris Becker, Pele, Diego Maradona, etc. It did give an edge to Puma over Adidas, but bled a lot of money. When Rudolf Dassler was done fighting with his brother, it was too late to realise that the company was in debt.

 

Continue reading “THE PUMA STORY – A BUSINESS FAIRY-TALE”