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Category Archives: Book Review

Amazon to open India Online Store this month!

Amazon is going to launch the online retailer store in India this month and reports claim that the online store can be opened by next week.Amazon is going to sell their own products in India and they have also joined hands with HCL and can sell HCL’s Android based tablets in India.

Amazon is surely going to launch the Amazon Kindle Fire and other versions of Kindle in India too.Amazon’s online store in India can give a tough competition to Indian originated online stores like Flipkart. This is sure to make some serious changes in te way people purchase books and read them. With Amazon coming in India, people who are an avid reader should likely to go with Amazon Kindle, which may end up in a new wave of reading habits in India!

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Book Review, Product Reviews

 

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Book review – Steve Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaacson

Steve…Steve Jobs…at an intersection of humanity and Technology…

The moment you start reading the new biography of Steve Jobs’ by Walter Isaacson, you bound to think one thing for sure…What a Man! What an iCon! What an iDea…

This book is with massive pages…656…phew! So it is going to take some time for me to complete it…so far I have gone through 4 chapters…and I must say there is one more reason why I don’t want to complete this book in one go…This book spins such a ‘Reality Distortion’ and an ‘Aura’ around you… that you are forced to say…let the ‘Aura’ be…

Isaacson’s book is studded with moments that make you go “wow.” There’s the Apple flotation, which made the 25-year-old Jobs US$256 million in the days when that was a lot of money. There’s his turnaround of the company after he returned as CEO in 1997: In the previous fiscal year the company lost US$1.04 billion, but he returned it to profit in his first quarter. There’s the launch of the iTunes store: Expected to sell a million songs in six months, it sold a million songs in six days.

Walter makes it very clear that Jobs wasn’t a visionary or even a particularly talented electronic engineer. But he was a businessman of astonishing flair and focus, a marketing genius, and — when he was getting it right, which wasn’t always — had an intuitive sense of what the customer would want before the customer had any idea. He was obsessed with the products, rather than with the money: Happily, as he found, if you get the products right, the money will come.

But with all this there remains a question which if you are reading this must like to know

Why read this book?

Because I want to be a GREAT problem solver…

Because I want to learn to become a better problem solver from one of the best problem solvers’ of this century

I am a HUGE fan of ‘Sir’ Steve Jobs…he ‘is’ a phenomenon…I have been following him from past few years very very closely…going through every keynotes…his way of presentation….his way os talking…everything…I admire in him. He is my idol…my ‘Mentor’…but having known so much about Steve, I still would like to know more…no as if I want to know what happened with Steve and his childhood…but because I want to learn as to whatever happened with him…how that made him the person he was….

So far book has been a great read…and I would love to go over this book…and will write more and more as I get to know…

Cheers!

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2011 in Book Review

 

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Essential for Product Managers : Writing Effective Use Cases – Book Review

Writing Effective Use Cases Front CoverAlistair Cockburn is a well-renowned expert on agile development and use cases; his book Writing Effective Use Cases is a “must read” for all product managers.  This is a book which will become part of your core reference library, never far from your reach.

For someone who has never written a use case, this is an excellent starting point, covering all you need to know about use cases to be successful.

For those that have written use cases, I am confident that you will find many new valuable nuggets of information that will help you in your job.  The book is manageable in length (270 pages including appendices and index) and very practical with many examples of uses cases throughout (including examples of bad ones). The most valuable aspect to the book is Cockburn’s professional advice and tidbits that he sprinkles throughout the book.  Anyone who is familiar with Alistair Cockburn’s work knows that he has a great deal of experience, and it shows in this book.  This book is short in theory and long in real-world examples.

Cockburn refers to use cases as “scaffolding” that connects various pieces of the project, which is very true.  Use cases are crossed linked to requirements, user interface designs and test plans, creating a traceability matrix throughout the lifecycle of the project.  Cockburn dedicates a chapter to how use cases fit in the overall process.  Managing the entire body of use cases is just as important as writing them.

A big part of any product manager’s job is time management, and Cockburn addresses this in the book.  It is not feasible to write detailed use cases right from the start, and it certainly cannot be done for all of the potential uses cases.  Cockburn stresses the importance of “warming up” with use case briefs or narratives, and then working towards more detailed, fully dressed use cases.

Best part is the section on differentiation between requirements and use cases – this is an important concept for product managers to understand.  In short, use cases really are requirements.  Properly written, use cases describe the behavioral requirements.  However, with that said, use cases do not deal with all requirements such as the non-functional ones (external interfaces, performance criteria, documentation standards, etc.).

As a product managers you may have your own format or preferred method for use cases, Cockburn provides many examples of different use case styles.In short the UCs are “fundamentally an exercise in writing prose essays, with all the difficulties in articulating good that comes with prose writing in general”. The use cases must be easy to read, short and clear for all stakeholders to understand.

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2011 in Book Review

 

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