With growth comes change and with change comes a huge responsibility: the responsibility of building a reputation and keeping it clean and untarnished. Like with everything in the world, the startup life is no different. As people keep having new ideas and new thoughts, it seems but natural to have things go more wrong than right. With the increase in the number of startups, the number of people fighting for the same positions also increase. As things progress at an alarmingly fast pace, it comes as no surprise that there are more controversies than positive things in the startup world. To prove just this point, here is looking at some of the highly talked about controversies of the past couple of years.
1. Snapdeal Flipkart Merge Disaster
Quite possibly one of the most talked about controversy, the Snapdeal Flipkart merger failure was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Back in the year 2016, Snapdeal was one of the Indian startups with a really high valuation ($ 6.5 billion.) However, despite reaching the pinnacle of success, the company did not have the capacity to sustain at that level for much longer. With Snapdeal struggling to make its relevance felt, SoftBank proposed a merger between the homegrown e commerce platform, Flipkart. What made this deal hit the headlines was several rumours floating around about Snapdeal firing employees. Furthermore, the Snapdeal founders made multiple public statements about their disapproval of the merger.
Post the breakdown of merger talks, on August 1, it was reported the Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal-founded startup was gearing up to dismiss close to 80% of its employees. Durimg the second week of the same month, former and current employees of Snapdeal anonymously sent the founders a letter, addressing it to the PMO, accusing the company of not letting the merger go through for ‘personal motives. With all this going on, Flipkart saw no option but to back off, leaving Snapdeal all by itself in the dust.
2. Ola and Uber sue each other
The March of 2016 was an interesting year, atleast in relationship to Ola and Uber. The two rivals had just entered the big leagues in the cab sector, with each at the other’s throat for the first place. Uber started off the feud by suing Ola. According to Uber, Ola was using fake accounts and booking rides on Uber, with the sole aim of cancelling them once booked. According to reports, Ola created over 94,000 fake accounts and booked over 4 lakh rides. Not only did this disrupt Uber’s business, it also prevented genuine riders the chance of getting a cab. Ola replied to Uber’s petition saying the lawsuit was filed in an attempt to bypass the laws of the land by foreign companies who run their operations in this country for profit without due regard for the applicable laws. Uber retorted though they are established in San Francisco, they have a hyperlocal team solving problems that are locally relevant. “Like our competitors, we received most of our funding from ‘foreign’ investors,” Uber said in response to the accusation! As bystanders, this war was entertaining as hell, with the only drawback being that I did not really get cabs on time!
3. PayTm accused for propagating a political agenda
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetization and the absence of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes, PayTm put out a full page advertisement. The ad thanked Mr. Modi with a message saying the Prime Minister had finally taken a decision in favour of the growth of the country. Post the advert and the announcement, PayTm’s revenue saw a growth of 200% in terms of revenue, with more than triple the number of app downloads. Fintech in India responded strongly to this move, questioning the ethics and moral conduct, with PayTm’s every move put under scrutiny! What made the entire issue all the more controversial was Arvind Kejriwal’s comment about how the country was moving towards the Dark Side of Digitisation. After a lot of frenzy on Twitter and other social media platforms, the issue only quieted down when Vijay Shekhar Sharma (PayTm CEO) put out a public statement saying it was not only PayTm benefiting through the move but the entire country as well! Who knew free speech was only a law in the Constitution and not a civil right?
4. The Qarth and Ola misrepresentation scandal!
Qarth Technologies, founded by Perit Shrivastava and Aditya Shrivastava, skyrocketed into the headlines for stealing identities through a self developed “Aadhaar e KYC verification” mobile app. While this in itself was a scandal, what made the entire affair all the more interesting was Ola’s involvement in the issue. Founded in the year 2012, Qarth was bought over by the home grown cab aggregator, Ola, in an attempt to increase the efficiency of its mobile wallet.
The moment Qarth’s illegal activities hit the headlines, Ola promptly denied any involvement in the matter, stating they had no hand to play in Qarth’s criminal activities. However, despite the government’s stringent search into Ola’s history with Qarth, no direct link could be found between the two companies and Qarth was left to pick up the pieces on its own.
The startup world is exciting, motivating and invigorating. With growth comes great responsibilities and great expectations. However, when these cannot be met, things fall apart, resulting in chaos. If you think we missed out on some truly shocking controversies in the startup world, feel free to comment and let us know!
Women And Work Life Balance
As a woman, growing comes with its pitfalls, its struggles and its unrealistic expectations. As a woman in a competitive work environment, not everyone has the option of being successful and having a comfortable home environment. If you are tired all the time, unhappy at home everyday and not growing the right way, then these tips might just help fix the every day blues.
1. Define the word balance to yourself
Whether you are a working mother or a working woman care of things at home, what does the word balance mean to you? The word balance is like clothes: it is not designed to fit everyone perfectly. Write down your priorities and think about how to spend time outside work as well. Chalk out your life outside and work, this will give your life the much needed clarity. Before you jump full throttle into two worlds at the same time, define what balance means to you and set the guidelines to your happiness.
2. Seek the balance
Let your colleagues and bosses know how serious you are about maintaining a strong work life balance. One of the major mistakes I made at the beginning of my career was to make it known that I am available all the time. I would reply to mails constantly and always stay on top of things. Not only does this ensure an early burn out, it makes your life at home miserable, to say the least. My work life balance is gone for a toss, obviously. However, if you still have the chance, then yourself now! Set a timer on your email app and make sure you do not respond as soon as you get an email. P.S., this really does help keep yourself sane.
3. Let your aspirations be known
Define both your family and career aspirations. Reflect and revisit them often. Communicate your aspirations to your organization or network, as well as your family. On a side note, if you really do want to take a break from work, make sure you understand the repercussions of how going back to work will be like.
We live in a male dominated world. There is no denying that Achilles Heel. As a woman of this generation, we want everything. We want to be at the top of the corporate ladder and be the best version of ourselves on the home front as well. If you think we missed out one any aspects which might help, then comment and let us know!
Historical Moments In Tech History
There are certain moments in life, especially in the world of technology, which make their place in history. No, these are not the disasters, but events in the world which set the ball rolling for a great future. Check out our list of great historical tech moments here!
1. The dot com boom
The evolving of an idea to a revolution with the dot com bubble in the 1990s. The dot com craze gave rise to the presence of companies like Google and Amazon. While some of the other companies crashed and burned post the dot com bubble burst, these companies survived and changed the course of the Internet. Not only did the dot com craze show us a new tech future, it showed us what would happen if technology was used the right way!
2. Sheryl Sandberg becomes the first Facebook woman COO
After breaking multiple barriers, Sheryl Sandberg became the first woman COO of Facebook in the year 2006! Not only is she one of the first woman on the board in Facebook’s history, she also set in place several groups within and outside Facebook to empower women all over the world!
3. The first mouse
The first mouse was invented way back in the year 1941, however the first mouse was publicly announced only in the year 1968. In 2003, a former Bristol professor named Ralph Benjamin claimed he was the original creator of a mouse-like device. Secretly patented in 1946 by the British Royal Navy, the ‘ball tracker’ was a metallic ball that would roll between wheels to send coordinates to a radar system, however, it wasn’t public knowledge until decades later.
4. The first mail is received from outer space
Over 25 years ago, the first mail was sent from the mail! The mail was sent on 28 August, 1991 and was sent from a portable Macintosh system. The computer was fitted on the Atlantis Shuttle and read the following:
Hello Earth! Greetings from the STS-43 Crew. This is the first AppleLink from space. Having a GREAT time, wish you were here… send cryo and RCS! Hasta la vista, baby,…we’ll be back!
5. The Google Doodle came to be
The 1990s were memorable, to say the least. A couple of years after the first mail was sent from space, Google went a step further and brought to life the unique concept of the Google Doodle! Google has an official doodler, with the doodles appearing more and more often on the search engine’s home page. Google transformed the way we celebrate events and set a trend as regards celebrating history, even becoming a benchmark for creativity and ideas.
There are so many things that make the tech world a brilliant place. If you think we missed out on any important events, then comment and let us know!
The Most Intriguing Tech Disasters In History
Not every innovation is a success. Not every invention instantly makes it to the top of the list. Where do they end up? Not on the failures list but on our list of “How on Earth did that happen?” Here is taking a look at some of the weirdest tech disasters of all time!
1. The Blackberry outage
Back when the Blackberry was one of the largest phones out there, a service outage was a serious issue! One of the major disasters to affect the phone was a service outage in 2011 that left some customers in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South America, the United States, and Canada without text messaging or internet access for a few days. The outage eventually led many customers to switch to iOS or Android devices. When an analysis was done on what went wrong, this outage was cited as one of the major reasons for the drop in the users of the Blackberry.
2. Grand Theft Auto
Since the beginning of gaming history, gamers have found little hidden treasures and Easter Eggs. However, Grand Theft Auto went a step further. Hackers found sex simulations hidden deep into Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas! The moment this news became public, Rockstar Games suffered. Boxes started gathering dust on the shelves and the revenue fell down drastically! Grand Theft Auto was never the same after this disastrous discovery!
3. Pepsi bottling numbers glitch
During the early 1990s, a Pepsi promotion in the Philippines claimed one lucky customer who found a bottle with the number 349 printed under its cap would win a large sum of money. Unfortunately, a computer glitch caused thousands of number 349 caps to be printed, leading to riots in the streets and even a bombing of a Pepsi plant in the country. Oh Pepsi, you boo boo maker!
4. Apple Mac Portable
Expected to break barriers when it came to portable systems, the 1989 released Apple Mac Portable was anything but that! As heavy as a tree trunk, the portable mac failed miserably. It was so bad, it had to be discontinued in October 1991.
5. The LAX network failure
In 2007, a computer outage at Los Angeles International Airport led to the stranding of 17,000 passengers on international flights for 10 hours. The problem occurred because US Customs authorities could not screen the passengers without the software. It was later revealed the software had not been updated for more than 3 months, causing this unfortunate breakdown.
Technology can be a funny thing. When it takes off, it takes off with a bang. When it fails, the repercussions are disastrous, to say the least. If you think we missed out on any interesting tech disasters, please feel comment and let us know!
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- Historical Moments In Tech History
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- The Most Intriguing Tech Disasters In History
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