How much Facebook knows about us?

Most of us think that we just share our vacation photos, witty status messages, funny videos, inspiring quotes, dinner locations, kids activities etc with our friends on Facebook. All this is trivial information that we want our friends to know and we have no qualms about sharing it.

My guess is Facebook knows following about an active user:

1. When you post your personal photos, FB knows: What colors do you like most? What styles do you like most? Whether you like casuals or formals? Which brands you like most?

2. Are you married or single? What is your family size? Where does your kid study or go for daycare?

3. Where do you live? What kind of house you own?

4. What places you like more? Are you outdoor vacation type person? Do you like eating out often? What kind of food you like?

5. How old are you? How do you look for your age? With your so many photos a software can easily guess your dress size?

6. Who are your friends? What is your status in a group? Do you lead the group or remain just a member? Do you just share things that others have shared with you earlier?

If I start listing all the items, it would be a very long list.

My best guess is that Facebook knows your IQ. Some of my friends are sharing messages like- Share this photo of this God within 5 minutes and something good will happen to you? The kind of comments people make on a photo shows their IQ level. The point is that one can observe the interactions between other people on Facebook by seeing their photos and comments. It shows who is naïve and who is smart? Who is good at words and who is not? Who is gullible and who is the culprit? There is so much of data that it is so easy to calculate a person’s IQ.

If Facebook shares this information with marketers, it is a dangerous situation. How easy it would be a for a marketer to target low IQ persons for its shoddy, out-dated, over-priced products?

Even for a normal IQ person, with Facebook data in hand, a marketer already knows the color you like, the dress size that fits you, the budget you have, the style you like, the car you own.

I think in near future, people who are active on Facebook will start observing that how easily they are getting the products they like. No need to search for that specific color shirt for your size in the market, it will be already on display on your Facebook page. You need to just do add to cart and checkout…Smile

iProj : the new product concept

iPod, iPhone and iPad are great products. But the issue is that they come in different sizes. I agree that each has different screen dimensions that require a different physical product size. So for different screen size, we need to carry different physical size devices.

I think the next big product would be to remove this limitation of different screen-sizes and then device sizes.

I am still waiting for the device that will have variable screen size and smallest possible device size. When you are on move and want to make a call, the screen would be of iPhone size. When you are relaxing at home the screen would be of a 52 inch TV. When you are on your desk, typing emails, the screen would be of your desktop size. When you are making a presentation, the screen would be of size according to the room. But the device itself would have the smallest possible physical dimensions.

Our data is going to reside in cloud, we still carry and use different devices for same thing like- checking email, watching videos, browsing etc.

Pranav Mistry had come up with a demo of similar idea in 2009. But till date there is no real consumer product for this.

As Apple is obsessed with letter i and P in the names of its products, it looks like iProj to be a new product name for such a Product.

How to Double Your Charity Money Impact in 2 Years?

Well there are many ways to double your money and every one is looking for one of them 🙂 Here I am sharing with you one of the way to double your charity money impact. In less than 2 years, I made loans worth $1475 by just spending $630.

Around 2 years back in Dec 2009, I started an experiment. I came across a website that helps you Loan (not donate) a small sum of money to a needy but enterprising person in a remote country through the internet. It is a loan and not just one time donation, since the person to whom you lend the money is supposed to return it back to you.

So almost every month I started giving loan of $25 (around Rs1200 ) to a new person for different reasons.  Eg. To buy seeds and farm supplies, to repair a home, to buy a new sewing machine or to expand a grocery shop. See some of the needy ones below.

After 3-4 months, I received around $10 back. I added more money to make it $25 and loaned it to another person. Soon I started getting more of my loan money back and I kept on reloaning the same money again. In total I loand around $30 every month.

To cut a long story short, in 21 months, I spent around $630 in loans (approximately $30 per month). But when I counted my loans, I had given 59 loans which is around $1475 worth of money to people. So effectively in 21 months my $630 were used for making loans worth $1475 which is more than double the amount I had put aside for charity.

And the best part is that if I want to come out of these loans, in 6-9 months I would get most of my $630 back.

If I look at the following curve, it is increasing in a non-linear manner. It took me 8 months to make 10 loans, but it took me 7 months to make 20 more loans. Even though I spend a fixed amount ($25) every month, the number of loans I make is increasing every month. This is due to my previous loan amounts becoming available for re-loaning.

Overall, I am very pleased with my experiment and these results. If you would also like to join me and enjoy doubling your charity money impact, you can do so on

Following is my complete portfolio numbers as of Oct 2010.

My Experiments with Kiva

Kiva is a site through which you can give money as a loan to a needy person. There are poor people across the globe who need a relatively small amount of money to start or promote their business. This loan can help them improve their situation and come out of the vicious cycle of poverty. Eg. A fruit vendor may need a few hundred dollars to buy a better vending cart. A sewing shop owner may need to buy some sewing machines to expand the business. A farmer may need some money to buy seeds and fertilizer.

You can loan as less as $25 (around Rupees 1200). If a borrower needs $500 he will fund 20 persons willing to loan $25 each to him. Once he gets the money he puts it in the business and returns it to the 20 persons. Hopefully his business picks up and he starts returning the borrowed money.

I started giving loan around Jan 2010. I made it a point that I will make one loan of $25 every month. Well sometimes I get some extra money like bonus etc, I loan additional $25. With time I keep getting my previously loan money. Once I get my loan back, I have an option to get it in my account. But I used to reload that money.

Slowly, I started having more money in my portfolio and I started giving it as a loan to more people.

Since my first loan I have put total $650 in loans. But I have received the money back quite regularly and I kept reloaning it. As of now I have made loans worth $ 1450 with actual cash $ 650. Now every month I get around 4 loans back and I keep loaning it to people round or Farr from me.

Overall, I liked Kiva due to it’s simplicity it’s reach to remote Areas.

iDeliver – Personal Delivery System by Mini-Choppers

Every day we make a lot of short trips by Car in US. Downside is not only Traffic Congestion, but also our effort and time to drive the car to buy a gallon of milk. Or a Pizza Delivery person bringing a whole truck to deliver one Pizza to our home.

I propose a Personal Delivery System (iDeliver) that will be run by automated mini choppers, the ones that Kids already are flying by using a remote. The only difference is that these will be guided by GPS and controlled by some wireless device like a Smartphone. The chopper will be big enough to carry a small bag of grocery or Pizza or a package. It may remain parked in your back yard or hover on your rooftop.

Once you order a thing online from your local store, you can direct the chopper to go and fetch it from there. Since all the stores have a proper address/GPS coordinates, the Chopper can just go to the store where the item you bought would be ready. The store guys will just hang that bag, pizza, item to your chopper and pronto it will fly back to your home. Since your home location is the base of this chopper, it will always come back to your home after doing the work or when it senses the battery is down or fuel is low.

Since chopper is going by air route, it can take the shortest route, but for safety and legal reasons, it would be better if it flies on the shoulder area of road and remains safe.

I am just waiting for one of these to be available soon. It will save not only Gas, Time and Traffic, it will also increase the Human Value where a person does not have to earn a living by just delivering Pizzas or Packages to others in this time of email, internet and smartphones.


Update: Dec 22, 2013: has announced the Prime Air that will deliver the shipments through air. Link:

USA 2.0

United States of America has come long way from its origin and it reached its peak of being Super Power in the World. But the recent recession in economy and unprecedented growth in the economy of China has brought USA to a point where it would be nececcary to  launch a new version i.e. USA 2.0

Like any upcoming product let me predict the features of USA 2.0:

1. Automation – The next age belongs to automation. The long lost dream of robots in the house is soon going to be realized. There was an age of Electricity, an age of Plastics, an age of Agriculture Boom, an age of the Internet; Soon there will be an age of Automation. If you are in USA, you will find that in next 10 years you would be surrounded by Robots (I know it sounds like a cliche, even though we have not seen many robots in our back yard). This is still an imagination that has lingered in our minds for such a long time. Now it seems the time is ripe for the Robots that can cut our grass, make our bed, clean our house and even make a nice cup of coffee. Read my future posts on the kinds of Robots we would see in USA 2.0.

2. Alternate / Low Energy Devices: People of USA are very fond of things and devices. It is inevitable that they would be able to live without these. These devices define their life-style. But these devices make USA one of the biggest consumer of energy that comes from Oil. Recent trend of Energy Star standards would come a long way to make alomst every thing energy efficient.

3. All Natural Food: The food in USA is one of the biggest inhibitor of productivity. It is full of carbohydrsates, sugar, artificial colors and lots of preservatives. It makes people lazy, obese and sick. The cost of this kind of food on human productivity is very high. The trend is now towards organic and natural food. With advances in refrigeration and supply chain, it makes more sense to eat fresh and all natural food. It would be a healthy choice for USA 2.0.

4. Personal Transportation: Currently, Car and Flight are the most popular choices for transportation. The car has two big limitations, Firstly a car requires a parking lot. Secondly, you need to walk to the car in parking lot to get anything done. This adds to unlimted hours of wasting time. A personal transportation system that can take you from the place you are sitting or let say from outside of a building to the outside of another building without the hassle of parking and walking would be the coice of people in USA 2.0. Or there could be a case of cars coming automatically out of any parking lot to you.

5. Personal Home Delivery: This point is similar to the Automation point. But it is different in the sense that it would save so much of time and resources that USA 2.0 would just wonder how people in USA 1.0 were living with just the Internet and no Personal Home Delivery. The idea is that there will be flying robots to provide you Personal Home Delivery of almost every thing. Isn’t it odd that a Pizza guy has to pick a pizza, keep in the car, start the car, drive the car, find your home, ring the bell, deliver the Pizza and then go back to his shop. One pizza delivery is making a persona busy. It is not the kind of job USA 2.0 needs. Instead there would be a flying robot. Once your order is ready the robot will just fly and deliver the pizza to you within minutes via the shortest air route. Not only Pizza, there would be so many other things like- Coffee, Bakery Items, Fresh milk or any thing for which you have to drive to your nearest grocery store would be delivered through this Personal Delivery System without you taking a step out of your home.

6. Doctors and Scientists: I am not prejudiced towards any kind of job, except doctor and scientist. In future these are the two jobs USA 2.0 population needs to fulfil. With automation the jobs like- Toll Booth Operator, Parking Attendant, Cashier etc would shrink. Instead there would be need for jobs in Science and Medical area. With the shortage of Doctors in the whole World, it makes more sense for USA 2.0 to produce more doctors.

The list of things in USA 2.0 is very long. If you want to add some more points to the list write it in comments.

Facebook Business

Do you know in which businesses Facebook operates?

1. Email – With so many status updates on facebook, you don’t need to write emails to your friends and family, enquiring about their vacation, baby births, city change, birthday greetings etc. Facebook is eating a big chunk of email business.

2. Photo Sharing – Well, there are dedicated photo sharing websites like- Picasa, Flickr etc. But where do you get the relevant and selected photos of your friends? People put photos on their Facebook profile after so much careful selection. Its one of the biggest source of relevant photos on the Internet. (Do you know who is the biggest seller of digital cameras? Nikon, Canon, Sony? Its Nokia!! They sell more cell phones with digital cameras than the digicam manufacturers.)

3. Chat – Although Facebook has a chatting feature like Gtalk, Yahoo Chat, but it is the status update and Wall features that have reduced the need to chat on everyday topics that can be easily shared with a few clicks.

4. Videos – Where do you find the videos that you might like? Do you still spend hours searching and viewing videos on YouTube to find a handful of funny videos? Of course the place to put videos is Youtube. But the place to watch videos is Facebook, where you already have pre-selected videos.

5. Market Place – Recently launched Market place on Facebook, covers the need to sell (or get rid of) our unwanted items. You can buy or sell your used/new stuff online by putting it on Facebook Market place. This is something similar to the purpose for which ebay was launched. The only difference is that now you can buy from people you trust, the people who are too much connected to lose their reputation in a social network.

6. News Sharing (like) – You like an internet site and want to share it with your friends and family. Do you prefer clicking “Send an email” link and typing email address or just clicking the “Like” button, and it gets shared with your contacts on Facebook? Well this is one of the greatest changes in the Internet business that Facebook has brought. You are so much close to relevant content in the jungle of Internet, by just this small “like” button.

7. Online Advertising – The God of Online Advertising, Google, is feeling pressure on its throne. Google search has been serving not only relevant search results but also relevant ads for the services that you would like to buy. Now Facebook is slowly eating this space by providing online ads to people who are spending more and more time on Internet on Facebook pages. Think of it – You see the new born pictures of a friend’s baby and you get a link to send a gift to the friend. How much relevant !!

8. E-Greetings – Well this is a very small business. But looks like- Facebook is going to grab most of this business by providing you reminders about upcoming birth days, anniversaries, back to school and many more events on your newsfeed.

9. Bank – From this point the futuristic things start. Facebook may launch a Bank soon and it will pose competition to not only PayPal but also our ordinary Banks. It will be like lending money to your friends or may be friends of friends on terms favorable to you.

Often you have money lying in Bank that earns a low interest rate. Sometimes a friend in need borrows money from you. Now add these two statements, a friend in need borrows your money lying in Bank and offers you a better interest rate online through Facebook. It will add value to both of you. Since both of you are on Facebook in a Social Network, a person would lose a bigger reputation by not returning your money.

So it will be safer to lend money in your network then lending it to a bank or a mortgage company. With millions of users in Facebook network, it can easily match in size with a traditional bank.

10. Travel – How do you prefer to travel? Alone or with friends? If you prefer travelling with friends, Facebook can help you organize group travels, by creating a bigger group of people in your network, to travel to a destination and get deeper discounts from Travel companies- Airlines, Hotels, Car rentals etc.

11. Hotel – Not long before the birth of hotel industry, it was common for people to travel and stay with a friend or a friend of a friend. There are some social hospitality sites where people host fellow travellers in their spare bedrooms. With Facebook, it will be more convenient to find that spare room in friend’s friend’s house rather than choosing an unknown person on the Internet.

The limit of things ot be done on Facebook are unlimited. The time will tell where we will end up with Facebok. But my prediction is that the way Apple surpassed Microsoft this year, Facebook would surpass Google in next five years.

Why you should always buy a car made on Wednesday?

Old Toyota Car - still running

Most of the car dealers, mechanics and car manufacturers buy the cars that are made on wednesday. Why?

Reason is simple. On Monday and Friday the absenteeism is highest in the car factory. (why? Just because its common to add an extra day off around the weekend.) In car factory, its a assembly line operation. One guy fixes your side mirrors, another guys puts on the seats,  another guys installs the steering wheel. Each one of these is expert in its own area of work.

Lets say on one Monday they are short of people installing the steering wheel, they may ask a guy from another area to install it. Else the assembly line will slow or may stop. Now you can guess what will happen if a worker installing the side mirrors is asked to install the steering wheel. Even small things like Glove compartments can be incorrectly installed due to this shuffling.

Well there is always a quality department to check the defects after the car is made. But same rule of absenteeism applies to quality department too.

Eventually, it is Wednesday when the absenteeism is lowest in the factory. And you can expect right guy doing the right job.

Thats the reason Car Dealers and other Car industry related people buy the cars made on Wednesday.

Just check the manufacturing date of your car and see when was it made.

3D iPad

Apple has been announcing products after products to lead the Digital Lifestyle. With iPad it has made Touchpad an everyday use technology. Video calling that was a vision for long is soon going to be popular with iPhone 4g.

In this series of innovations, I expect 3D technology will also be made popular by Apple. And iPad would play a major role in this technology ride. Most of the companies are busy copying the iPad features and launching similar products.

While Apple would be working on new things that it can bring to market. iPad is a personal device and Apple has control over its hardware and software. All these things will make 3D technology a reality on this device.

My guess is that 3D iPad would not require any 3D glasses.

Once 3D becomes popular on iPad, it would grow to different size surfaces. It will literally add a new dimension to our vision, entertainment and life.

Human Energy Index

When we talk about energy we limit ourselves to energy produced and used by things other than humans. Eg. Energy saving lamps that have fluorescent tubes. The lamps convert electricity to light and ultimately light is consumed by humans. But the story does not end here. The light of a lamp can be used for reading a book, browsing a site, illuminating a patio, lighting a Rock Show, or even for writing a blog post.

The use of a form of energy is not yet measured according to its ultimate use. A Human Energy Index can help in quantifying the energy and its ultimate use. It would be difficult to quantify it in absolute terms like- Meter, Kilogram, Seconds etc. Rather this index can be in relative terms similar to the relativity theory of Einstein.

One prime factor of this index would be the number of people benefited by a form of energy in first person. Eg. People attending a Rock Show enjoy the lights behind the concert in person and directly. Where as those who watch a Rock Show on TV, iPhones or any other form of media are not in first person. For these people, lights generated by advanced computer graphics can produce the same effect as the original one. Therefore when we calculate the Human Energy Index of lights in a Rock Show it is the live audience that counts more than the remote audience.

Same idea can be applied to a Football Match, BasketBall Game, Presidential Debate and so on.

At micro level, a small amount of electrical energy in a portable music player provides a long duration of enjoyment to a listener. Similarly talking on a cell phone saves energy of physically going to a person. But the point here is that even with these savings we are still using a large amount of Human Energy. Eg. A person listening a songs is devoting a large amount of his time on this player. A person talking on cell phone is spending a lot of hours on unnecessary talks.

Human Energy Index is not limited to measuring utilization of energy on Human Beings. Rather it even measures use of Human Energy on Human Beings.

In the nascent stage, Human Energy Index can start with basic uses like conversion of light energy to human entertainment, connections, communication etc. But in the advanced stages the use would be to measure each and every thing that we use and spend energy on. Eg. Whether Golf is a game with less Human Energy Index or a Soccer game.

The time period of popularity of Human Energy Index is around the time when the energy savings from physical devices would be in a mature form.