Showing posts with label Interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Interview. Show all posts

Jul 21, 2015

A Chat at InsideIIM

A Chat at InsideIIM front
A place meant for the young and the smart. A place brimming with life experiences of students as they pass another great hurdle of life, an MBA.

InsideIIM started as a blog which has now transformed into "The Management Education University of the future". Over the years, this website was one of the chosen few which actually made a difference in the lives of its readers. The funny thing is that its founders too strive towards the same. 

InsideIIM boasts of the best talent in the country and grows larger year after year. The major services provided by the website are content (Student Stories + Chat forum) and Placements & Recruitment. They have collaborated with several institutions and organisations to connect prospective students and employees with their dreams.

Now without further ado, lets find out more about the website and the services from Ankit, one of the founders of InsideIIM.

On the Website

Mohit: I bet, your "What's worth reading?" posts are a real crowd puller. How much is the truth behind it and what importance do you give to similar posts which lead your readers towards external websites?

Ankit: I don't know what you mean by truth but we are here to solve a problem for our users. Our users want curated quality content. Shreyas does it and we are happy to do it even if it send traffic to other sites. InsideIIM is a platform and our aim is to solve our users problem whichever way possible. What's worth reading is very popular and Shreyas Panse is a star.

Mohit: Good to hear it Ankit, Currently, you have a lot of stories at with several of them written by your own authors. Do you ever feel the need to revise a previous article?

Ankit: Data based stories need a revision but personal stories and opinions no

On Growth Strategy

Mohit: I once overheard a discussion at Quora which said, "InsideIIM covers only crème de la crème of B-Schools", do you strive and pride yourself at being an elitist website, or was it by an accident?

Ankit: Over 80% of the content is user generated. There is no design to involve only the supposedly top ranked schools. But when we started we had to start with a limited set of schools. Today the platform is open to all business schools. Any student from any part of the world can write and we will publish. There is no intentional elitism. But the name became catchy so we stuck with it.

On Business

Mohit: For the sake of my readers we'll come to the business part, what is the revenue model of OR How do you decide which revenue source to act upon?

Ankit: Advertising and Recruitment. We help business school and universities reach out to too talent. We help companies recruit top talent. Currently we don't charge students or users anything.

Mohit: On a blog of your stature, I'm curious about the source of the majority of your readers (Is it through Email Marketing, Google Advertisements, Organic Growth Or some other method?)
Ankit: People keep recommending our content on Facebook. Also our content is highly relevant or Google gives us better discoverability. Emailer came in very [late] because until. 2013 late we didn't even have proper registration on the site

On Making a Difference

A Chat at InsideIIM Ankit
Mohit: Being an active part of many aspiring students' lives, How does it feel when students attribute their successes to

Ankit: We didn't make any money in the first 12 - 18 months. That's what kept us going and it still keeps us going.

Mohit: With the ripples you're creating, I'm sure you affecting millions of lives indirectly. Thank you so much for your candid responses. We'll wrap-up here, but the readers can ask Ankit by commenting below. I'll make sure your questions reach InsideIIM.

You can visit InsideIIM at their official website, their facebook page and twitter handle too.

Note. The author is pleased to divulge that though the interaction with the founders for the interview went on for about 3 months, it was in a scheduled public chat forum when the author finally got a hold of Ankit.

This was,
A Chat at InsideIIM MohitChar

Mar 30, 2015

A Dialogue with Allie from Grammarly

A Dialogue with Allie from Grammarly Front
English Grammar is a vexing concept that comes into use at every turn in your digital life. It is here, you often encounter Grammar Nazis who would tear you limb to limb if you're found with a wrong grammar construct or a misspelled word. 

You just cannot afford the time and energy to check every comment and every blabber by copying and pasting it into Microsoft word, just to check for mistakes. It simply seems too much work.

Introducing Grammarly, a service that can correct you anywhere, from typing in the hostile depths of social networks chained within 140 words, or replying to a racist comment at Facebook to mailing your boss about why you didn't submit the report.

We have with us Allison VanNest, Director of Public Relations at Grammarly. She seems petrifying, but trust me, Allie is a really bright and considerate professional who agreed to take time out of her busy schedule to let us trouble her with our questions.

The Office at GrammarlyLet me start with Grammarly first. It is a really efficient service that helps you write correct grammar in your everyday communications. The service works on several platforms and instantly points you towards an incorrect grammar construct or a misspelled word. You can then use it to provide correct alternatives to your incorrect sentence.

Grammarly is renowned worldwide as the best grammar checker there is. It was founded in 2009 by two entrepreneurs. Brad Hoover the CEO holds the reins of the san fransico based web service giant. The service can chekc more than 250 different types of grammatical errors that users often  make. The website boasts more than 3 million users as of 2015 and has an alexa rank of less than 4000.

Grammarly has performed consistently well at its job and hence, won too many awards and accolades to even mention here. However in august 2013, Grammarly was ranked number 344 on Inc. magazine’s 32nd annual Inc. 500 list, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. It was also the finalist in the “Best Bootstrapped Startup” category in the 8th Annual Crunchies Awards in Feb 2015.


Mohit: Tell us about the story of Grammarly, How did the idea take flight?

Allie: Grammar rules can be confusing, and they are constantly evolving. Grammarly was founded in 2008 by Alex Shevchenko and Max Lytvyn, both English language learners, to instantly and accurately provide written writing assistance to the more than two billion native and non-native English language speakers worldwide. The automated proofreading tool provides an easy way for students, professionals, job seekers, and English language learners to become more accurate English language writers.

About the Team

Mohit: Online service based companies are often depicted as geeky heaven with chocolate fountains, free food to sleeping pods. How is the work environment and culture at the offices of Grammarly?

Allie: At Grammarly, we codified our culture profile with one word -- EAGER. The goal is to have a memorable, understandable, and actionable company culture. While EAGER describes the attitude of Grammarly's team members, it’s also an acronym:
Ethical: Be honorable to earn trust. Do the right thing, even when no one is watching, without exception.
Adaptable: Embrace change, and learn in order to evolve and succeed. Apply a positive, problem-solving attitude.
Gritty: Demonstrate passion and perseverance for long-term goals, since persistence drives achievement. Do whatever it takes to get the job done, whenever it is necessary.
Empathetic: Treat others as you want to be treated, so we can work well together. Actively listen and put yourself in others’ shoes, and then respond accordingly.
Remarkable: Be recognized as exceptional yet humble, because talent drives impact. Seek out those who are exceptional and learn from them.
Although we have remarkable benefits at Grammarly – yoga, catered lunch, and more – we feel like the most important aspect of our work environment and culture is each other.

Tackling Competitors

Mohit: I'm sure you're aware that some websites have performed tests on Grammarly to check its accuracy. Some have found promising results (like me) but some (mostly rivals) have not. What is your opinion of such usage tests performed by individuals and rival firms on Grammarly?

Allie: We’re pleased you’ve found our product promising. The fact is that Grammarly’s ever-evolving algorithms work to accurately catch English spelling and grammar mistakes based on deviations from baseline grammar standards. For each potential issue flagged by Grammarly’s algorithms, users receive a detailed explanation so they can make an informed decision about how, and whether, to correct the mistake. While Grammarly’s algorithms are very powerful and constantly improving, they are not a replacement for a teacher or proofreader. Grammarly is an automated, cost-effective, and always-available tool to improve users’ English writing and skills.

On Social Networks

Mohit: You have a thriving Facebook community, which provides a platform for grammar discussions. With more than 4.5 million fans at facebook and nearing 2 million at Google plus, describe the challenges faced by your social media team in increasing and maintaining fans.

Allie: We actually don’t emphasize growing our social media fan base. It has been a fun thing for the team to watch, but it was never a sign of our success. Instead, Grammarly emphasizes engagement rates and reach. This has been the greatest challenge—to test, optimize, and adjust to make both our fans happy and the social algorithms. We’re just getting to know our audiences and responding. It’s just a conversation. Sometimes we say something wrong, but it informs how we say things moving forward.

On Business

Mohit: Cloud-based processing is often an advantage when you have exceedingly large algorithms to process the users' input. But this system often takes a hit in countries with no reliable internet connection. How do you propose to solve this?

Allie: Interestingly, some people who do have reliable access to the Internet are not able to make use of certain cloud-based tools for monetary reasons. That’s the first problem that the Grammarly team is tackling. Grammarly believes that quality writing improves confidence and credibility, and we know that everyone should have access to these personal and professional tools, regardless of income. 
Through the launch of Grammarly’s Chrome extension, we’re now offering our quality spelling- and grammar-checking tool for free to users of Google Chrome. We hope to extend this functionality in 2015 to other browsers so that any writer with a reliable Internet connection can improve their credibility and communication style.

Grammarly's Founders Alex and Max
Mohit: Note. For those without Chrome, Grammarly services can be accessed from various portals including the Grammarly Plug-in for Microsoft Office Software or Grammarly Words, a contextual online thesaurus or the Grammarly Editor at

Here we conclude this interview. Allie, I would like to thank you for taking time out of your schedule to help us understand the nitty-gritty of a service-based business and introducing us to Grammarly, which quite simply is an exceptional piece of work.

Our readers can pitch questions to Allie through the comment section and I'll make sure the questions reach Allie.

Related Reading

You know we have our share of interviews with really successful entrepreneurs like the one we've discussed here. For example, you should read about one of my local we designers, i.e. Jetbro from The Den. Just like Alex and Max, we also have the geniuses at and at RescueTime who have developed a service of similar standards.

This was,
A Dialogue with Allie from Grammarly MohitChar

Feb 23, 2015

An Interview at RescueTime

An Interview at RescueTime Front
Do you know you could increase your productivity up to 80% if you could assess and remove your most distracting activities from your work schedule?

With an ever increasing dependence on computers and PDAs for fulfilling our work and entertainment requirements, it is hard to keep track of when you digress and spend your precious time on unproductive activities. RescueTime literally rescues your time from the clutches of monsters like non productivity and gently nudges you towards more productive and gratifying activities.

RescueTime tracks your digital activities and shows you through interactive graphs the amount of time spent on different types of activities. It helps you point out which activities are given larger share of your time and which of your daily activities need more time to help you stay productive. 

I've used rescue time and can boast that I've spent most of my time in productive activities (proof attached :-p), but enough of me, lets haggle Robby Macdonell, the Head of Product Development for RescueTime.

Mohit Example RescueTime

An Introduction

Mohit: Okay Robby, our readers have a fair idea of RescueTime, but they'll be thrilled to hear it from you. How does it work?

Robby: RescueTime helps people understand how they really spend their time when they are in front of a computer or mobile device. We do this by keeping an accurate log of the different applications that a person is engaged with, then categorizing and scoring that time to help people get a richer picture of where their time is actually going.
Often, once someone understands where their time is going, they want to optimize it in some way. They may want be to be more productive, or simply more balanced. We have a bunch of tools to help people change their behaviors. There’s no one method that works for everyone, so we give people several options to choose from.

Customer Support

Mohit: We've seen dozens of services created by startups which often delegate the responsibility of customer support to other firms. But you actually have yourself responding to queries and making help pages. How does that turn out?

Robby: I can’t imagine ever outsourcing our support. We’re lucky to have a lot of people that use RescueTime, and they generate a fairly large volume of support and product discussion. It takes time to deal with, but if we didn’t do it, we wouldn’t really understand the problems that people were running into. I’m not just talking about problems with RescueTime. It’s important to fix bugs of course, but understanding what someone is personally trying to accomplish or overcome when choosing a tool like RescueTime is one of the most important things for us to hear about.

RescueTime DashBoard

Mohit: Sure Robby, in the beginning stage every firm must have a firm understanding of what people want from your product, which can very well be understood by answering questions through customer support. But what if, in the near future, you become something short of an internet giant. Would you still go forward with answering such plethora of questions with an ever increasing user base?

Robby: Well, I've worked at some of those "internet giants" before. In the most successful one, the CEO made it a point to speak with at least one customer a day. Obviously you have to structure things differently when working at a larger scale like that, but like I said before, I can't imagine ANY scenario where we would choose to completely cut ourselves off from that feedback channel. It's just way too valuable.

Typical RescueTime Dashboard

The Business Part

Mohit: First time users often take a shot in the dark when they use RescueTime. How do you encourage new users to try your service?

Robby: We've been really fortunate to have had a lot of people say nice things about us, so that certainly helps. We work really hard to give people a good experience and actually solve problems, and if we’re doing that correctly then our users become the best amplifier of who we are and what we’re doing. If I’m having a one-on-one conversation with someone, I tell them to think about the last time a manager or colleague asked them what they've been working on lately. Was it a struggle to remember? Did it feel awkward? That feeling was the reason we built RescueTime in the first place. We were sick of tripping over our tongues looking for answers when people asked us things like that.

RescueTime at PDAs

The Technical Part

Mohit: It is awfully difficult to integrate one service into so many environments like PC, Android, iOS etc. But for RescueTime you have to do it for efficiency's sake. What were the challenges you faced when you try to integrate a service in several environments?

Robby: The big challenge is figuring out how to manage the data across different devices. We chose early on to go with a cloud-based approach, largely because we were all better at building web applications than we were at native apps. It turned out to be a really good decision, because it means that to support a new platform, all we have to do is write a relatively lightweight client that tracks data and sends it back to the server for further processing. It’s helped us stay focused on the overall experience.

Mohit: Talking about receiving data, you must receive a huge amount of data from an equally large number of users. How do you ensure that the personal data you receive from the users are stored safely and cannot be hacked by or leaked to other parties?

Robby: That's not really my area, so I'm light on the details, but we use industry-standard secure data practices to isolate the data in a private network, and control access to it through authenticated and encrypted trails with an audit path.

On RescueTime Blog

Mohit: You also have a RescueTime Blog where you often discuss its applications. What role does a blog play in creating a positive image for RescueTime?

Robby: It gives us an outlet to tell the story of RescueTime from our perspective. Working with this type of application, we get to explore a lot of interesting things, and we love sharing what we find. Sometimes it’s a new way to use RescueTime. Other times it’s interesting things we’ve learned from researchers studying attention and productivity. We don’t have a structured content strategy. We just post the things that we feel like sharing with our users.

RescueTime Codemakit Focus


Mohit: I have been using RescueTime for quite some time and let me tell you, it has shown me ways to shut non productive distractions and focus on the rewarding ones. Visiting your testimonials confirmed that this view was shared by many. Did you envisage your service to be so popular and utilitarian?

Robby: When we started building RescueTime, we thought it would only appeal to complete nerds like us. But when we started telling people about it, we found that the problems we were working on are pretty universal. People spend a LOT of time in front of a computer (or some other digital device), and there are so many competing things going on, all vying for our time, that it’s REALLY easy for it to start to feel like a black hole. RescueTime gives people a way to feel more in control over their time, and that’s something that it turns out a lot of people can appreciate.

That’s all for today, I on behalf of our readers would thank Robby for taking time out of his busy schedule and answering our questions.  Do you know he battled blizzards (and emerged victorious) at his town to send us his answers? But that is for another time. 

If our readers have some questions that they would like answered; add it to the comments below and I’ll make sure it reaches Robby. The last interview was made interesting by one of our readers who added an insightful question, which was answered gracefully (have a look at the interview with the geniuses at

Also you can find them at their twitter handle or at their facebook page too.

This was,
An Interview at RescueTime MohitChar

Feb 2, 2015

Interview with the geniuses at

Interview with the geniuses at Front
Today we have with us the founders of a really interesting cloud based service, Often users face problems when they try to back up their computers. 

Some suffer due to lack of processing power. But, our Dynamic duo Carl Hasselskog (CEO) and Mattias Nylitz (Co-Founder) worked upon their master's thesis and created, a service that lets you automatically back your computer on the cloud by sharing your unused hard drive space. What’s more? You can get up to 100GBs of Back-Up space for the same! 

You just need to select the folders you want to back-up and whenever changes are made, they will be backed up. The space you designate will be used for storing the back up of other users. The files are compressed and stored with 128-bit AES encryption which reduces the safety concern substantially.
Degoo is also currently working on another service which personally interests me more, i.e. Processor time sharing. A concept, which can very well be a stepping stone in the world of computing. But enough of that let’s hear it from Carl and Mattias the founders of!

An Introduction

Mohit: Alright Carl! Here’s the first question. How did you start degoo and what does the word 'degoo' signify?

Carl: Hi! Degoo started off as my Master’s thesis at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. I felt that there was great demand for a backup but that the current solutions were too hard to use and expensive.

About the Team

Mohit: We'll be delighted to know about you and your team. What functions do you handle and how do you delegate responsibilities to the team? 

Carl: When working at a start-up you have to be prepared to do pretty much anything. One day I could be optimizing a compression algorithm, the next day I might be pitching to investors or answering support tickets. Lately we’ve been growing very rapidly and we’re therefore in the process of delegating some of the support work to an outside firm. However, we will never outsource all support. I think it’s crucial that the founders always stay very close to the customers to really understand their needs and struggles. Doing support is a crucial part of that.

On the Cloud Storage

Mohit: Though I have mentioned the workings before, I'm sure the readers would be thrilled to understand degoo's workings in the words of its creator.

Carl: There’s so much very highly technical stuff going on that it’s hard to describe everything in detail. My own Master’s thesis was written in Swedish but we have published some work in English. For instance this paper describes how we measure the online time of each computer.

Mohit: If you store all data on the computers of your own users, none of the data is actually stored on any of your servers, is that true?
We can also detect if someone tries to tamper with a fragment
Carl: Since we’re still in beta we actually store an extra copy on servers, in addition to the copies stored at users computers (just to be safe). 

Mohit: You call users providing storage space as 'subcontractors' and further add that the 'subcontractor' and not degoo is responsible to any damage to users' data stored on its computer. What if someone successfully hacks the user data stored on its PC and proceeds harm the owner of the data? Will degoo not be responsible? 

Carl: Before uploading any data the files are encrypted and then split into small fragments. You therefore only store a very small encrypted fragment of the file. We can also detect if someone tries to tamper with a fragment and if that happens we will just ignore that fragment and just one of the fragments that we’ve replicated to other users (we have lots of redundancy in place here).

On Processor Sharing

Mohit: Tell us something about how degoo shares processor time among users. 

Carl: The idea is that you will get more storage in exchange for sharing some of your processor time. This is an optional feature that you can opt-out of at anytime you like. Our long term goal is that this processor capacity will be used to create a giant virtual super computer.

Mohit: A virtual super computer sounds awfully futuristic! Do you envision your technology to be used for research and industrial applications in the future?

Carl: Yes, our long term goal is to create a super computer that drastically reduces the cost of computing in the world. We’d love to give researchers, corporations and hobbyists access to the vast amounts of computing power this would provide.

On Customer Support

It is crucial that the founders always stay close to the customers
Mohit: Why do you choose to be your front end for customer support instead of using degoo itself?

Carl: is a great way for us to stay productive and keep track of all support tickets coming in. The support portal that we can create with allows us to rapidly improve our support articles whenever we feel that they need to be made clearer. 
We give up some flexibility compared to doing it ourselves but we think the productivity gains outweigh that.

Question from our Readers

Recently one of our readers asked a really insightful question. Something that can be viewed both as a technical and a moral one. So, Carl here's a question from Rachel.

Rachel: Interesting concept. I hope my hard drive is not being used to store pirated or risque content of other users. How do you ensure that my hard drive is being used for legitimate purpose?

Carl: Before the upload all files encrypted and split up into tiny fragments. The data stored at each hard drive is therefore just a tiny encrypted fragment of a file. You therefore never run into the risk of storing some illegitimate content on your hard drive.


Mohit: A large project entails gigantic problems. What was the biggest difficulty or setback that you encountered in the project?

Handling all of that complexity without confusing the user is very difficult.Carl: The biggest challenge so far has been to make the system reliable and easy-to-use despite the very complex technology going on behind the scenes. P2P makes everything much more challenging. 

Degoo's Co-Founder MattiasSecurity, performance and reliability all become much more difficult when the underlying hardware can be unreliable and slow. Handling all of that complexity without confusing the user is very difficult.

That’s all for today folks, codemakit would like to extend its heartiest congratulations on the success of and would hope for more innovative surprises from the firm. 

Thank you Carl and Mattias (Whose photo can be seen at the right), you've been a true sport answering every question with utmost zeal. If our readers have some queries or suggestions for, put them in the comments section and I would make sure that they reach Carl or Mattias.

Related Reading,

You know we have seen some coding experts in the past too, have a look at An Interview with Metin Saylan from Shailan or Jacob Gube from Six Revisions.

The interview with JetBro wasn't too bad; you can check them out too.

This was,
Interview with the geniuses at MohitChar

Sep 1, 2014

An Amusing Interview at SafelyEndangered with Chris McCoy

An Amusing Interview at SafelyEndangered with Chris McCoy FrontHere, at codemakit we have a UK based comic artist, Ladies and gentlemen, presenting you the creator of SafelyEndangered, Chris McCoy! 

I've already pulled Reza Farazmand from PoorlyDrawnLines for the interview series but this is something different. Instead of ranting about him as an introduction, 

I'll let you find out about him in the article below (also because he has a 2 line about page).

SafelyEndangered Mario Brothers

An Introduction

Mohit: Tell us about yourself, I gather you are situated in UK and you started in 2012 end. How did safely endangered start?

Chris: Hey, I’m Chris and I’m a comic artist! I’ve been drawing and sketching comics since I was in school but only started putting stuff on the web in late 2012. I enjoy making people laugh and spend a lot of time online. I was originally planning on creating a website that allowed other users to share their own content. I never thought people would enjoy my own stuff, so I’m truly grateful to those who read my comic!

On works

Mohit: I once asked the same question to Reza Farazmand and all I got was a few grunts. So Chris, tell us about your process of comic creation. How do you do it? And what is the thought process when you start with a comic?
Chris: Grunt. Grunt. Grunt.

Mohit: Hmm, that was enlightening; OK next one, How different are gif comics than the png ones? Do gif comics receive more response?

Chris: I've only made one gif comic and so far the response has been pretty positive! I've had a little practice animating frames before. The concept isn't too difficult but it’s incredibly time consuming! The final animation is usually worth the effort, though. 

SafelyEndangered Patience Brother

On Revenue

Mohit: Where does majority of your revenue come: Advertising, Greeting Cards or Merchandise (like mugs or iphone cases)?

Chris: Most of the revenue comes from advertising. I hate having ugly adverts on my website but it helps pay the bills! I've recently began using Patreon, a website were people pledge donations in exchange for rewards. My hope is that it becomes more popular and, at some point in the future, I can remove the adverts from my site completely. I’d love to create a book at some point as well. I’ll put you down for 6 copies.

Mohit: Wow, I’d love to have a book from safelyendangered, thanks!

Something Personal

Mohit: What gives you happiness (other than drawing)?

Chris:  I’m an enthusiastic guitar player. I've always loved watching live music and playing with friends. I hate it when the crowd is too noisy at a concert though. Just be quiet so I can sing my duet. Jeez.

SafelyEndangered Snake Nerves of Steel


Mohit: Lastly, what advice would you give to budding enthusiasts?

Chris: If you enjoy a thing. Don’t stop doing the thing! Actually, don’t listen to me; I’m just an idiot with a graphics tablet.

That’s all for today guys; Thank you Chris for such amusing responses. Readers can connect with Chris at his Twitter handler and his Facebook page too. If you have another question that you would like to ask, drop it in the comment below and I’ll make sure you are answered.

This was,
An Amusing Interview at SafelyEndangered with Chris McCoy MohitChar

Aug 18, 2014

An interview with Vinay at TechPrevue

An interview with Vinay at TechPrevue
Here we have an eminent blogger with us today. He isn't like the type you see every day. He helps vernacular blogs. 

What attracted me towards TechPrevue was the desire to understand the challenges faced by a vernacular blogger. My understanding that SEO techniques do not work at blogs containing vernacular language was further cemented by Vinay's admittance. 

Read as Vinay explains how he overcame the most formidable of hurdles in SEO, making Google understand something other than English.

An Introduction

Mohit: Tell us about yourself. Being a NIFT alumnus, how did you stumble towards Website SEO?

Vinay: As a person it’s difficult to identify myself. I am a human who love creative things. I am involved in blogging since 2007. I created first blog to publish my poems. But after sometime I got many requests to reveal the secrets of blog design, widgets and template. So I created my Hindi tech blog तकनीक द्रष्टा(2009) to help bloggers. After that I learned about monetization of blog and tried it on my blog but after few months AdSense made Hindi unsupported language. That was the main reason why I switched to English and renamed my blog to Tech Prevue (2012).

I dint stumbled to website SEO because I never quit blogging after 2009. In May 2010 I joined 2 year program Master of Fashion Technology (Strategic management in Apparel production and Fashion retail) at NIFT, Gandhinagar. After completing MFTech in 2012 I tried to continue blogging because many of blogger friends always want me as blogger to help them. 

Again I started तकनीक द्रष्टा in January 2014 when I met with kind people from Google. We talked about Hindi content promotion on web, Hindi software and Android localization. After a healthy discussion I found Hindi blogging as an opportunity because Google AdSense for Hindi content will be available very soon. So now [I’m] still doing blogging as hobby and extracurricular activity and monetization in my second objective.

TechPrevue screenshot

Mohit: Tell us something about Tech Prevue and the Blog.

Vinay: Tech Prevue is a platform where we publish articles related to blogging, monetization, web development, Smartphone and technology etc. It is in existence because of people who love it. Our objective is to simplify tech noesis and make it understandable to audience. First we targeted only bloggers but now we are concentrating on all including business persons who want to keep their business alive with the help of technology. Now number of software companies relies on and sponsor article to promote their products and services.

Tech Prevue is not only a blog. We are consultant to bloggers about blog, blogging, design and SEO. We are crafting beautiful blogs and giving cent percent satisfaction to our clients. 

Mohit: What are your upcoming Projects?

Vinay: We are working on two projects Fashion Reveries and Digital Brainiac.
‘Fashion reveries’ [is] in alpha stage but serving fashion aspirants and professionals.  We are planning to build a new name for web consultancy and development job apart from Tech Prevue. 
So Digital Brainiac is different project of early age and yet not fully implemented. We are constantly working on it before providing our services. 

On Social Networks

Mohit: Be it Facebook or Twitter, Social Media was never the strong point for a majority of bloggers, yet, you boast of more than 3000 Fans on facebook and more than 2000 Blog followers? How did you manage it?

Vinay:  We are in existence since 2009 but that time only Hindi bloggers knew us. We are constantly working on quality over quantity. Those have interest in our niche love us and have special care. One of our old gadgets is ‘Google friend connect’. We have 2150+ followers. On Google+ number of followers are 1100+. Yes we opted for Facebook page a year before to give blog updates to our readers who are on Facebook savvy and their count is now 3150+. 

On Revenue

Mohit: How important are web Advertisements to running a good blog?

Vinay:  Monetization is always a tool to run a blog. No one can afford a blog from his pocket for life time. Monetization can be direct or indirect. When you earn a dollar from your blog you earn hundred dollar’s motivation to make a next post on your blog. I have seen many bloggers who invested lots of money in early phase but dint get any revenue from their blog. In Hindi blogging it is happening to every third blogger. 
Thus web advertising is very important to run a blog. When you earn from your blog you can afford more professional resources to promote your blog and content. It is an opportunity to avail professional SEM and SEO. Professionalism definitely brings success in your life whether you blogging or other things. 

On Search Engine Optimization

Mohit: You also host Online Tools at So tell me how efficient online tools are in bringing potential clients?

Vinay:  Online tools bring potential clients who have a unique kind of requirement if they found bugs in your tool they need solution for it. A very [few] clients come for additional features in your tools. We host Hindi tools which are used by numerous end users but they don’t ask for additional features because don’t want to pay you. So it seems client is wrong word for users. But for other tools situation might be different. I have no experience other tools so I can’t say anything about it. 

TechPrevue tools

Mohit: Referred to some of your testimonial websites, do you think SEO techniques for a Non-English website (e.g. Hindi) differs from an English website?

Vinay: Yes, I don’t want to take other blog. I will talk about my Hindi blog तकनीक द्रष्टा. It is really difficult to opt same SEO strategy as Tech Prevue, because search engines does not understand Hindi well as they can do English or Spanish. Audience is different for Hindi blogs because most of the blog readers know English and have subscribed English blogs of same niche. If they come to your blog, only come for specific reason. For a Hindi tech blog, second kind of audience [are] newbie in blogging and want to learn everything from scratch. [Since] very few have good command in computer and computing. So you have to calculate for every post and content language. At last, each time you need a different strategy to build new audience for your blog.

Something Personal

Mohit: Now something personal, you’ve used cartoons instead of your real face. Most Bloggers do not mind putting their faces on their creations. Why it that your real face is not visible on the website?

Vinay: Of course, I want to tell you about this. It is part of our research – How do people react when you use cartoon charters of yours rather than using your image. From Google search point of view it is not good to choose cartoon image for face. But if we talk about blog audience it reacts well. In my case I found ten percent audience is appreciating my new avatar and happy with it. I have not any survey report but I got good remarks them about this avatar. Well you can see my real picture on my Facebook account in picture gallery.


VinayThank you Vinay; I guess, we’ll all wait eagerly for that research. That was all for today, we wish well and bid adieu to our guest today.

Readers can contact him here and connect with him here. For any question that you would like to ask Vinay, drop it in the comment box below and I’ll make sure, you’ll be replied to.


An interview with an Indian individual is really interesting, but if you need to find something about an Indian web design firm you can read an Interview with JetBro design firm. On a totally non related matter, they actually wrote about codemakit too!

This was,
An interview with Vinay at TechPrevue MohitChar

May 5, 2014

An Interview with Metin Saylan from Shailan

An Interview with Metin Saylan from Shailan front
Metin Saylan is a Turkish Naval Architect with an awesome programming background. He has been coding websites since 1998. This reminds me, when I interviewed Steven Bradley of Vanseo Design, I found that he too was a structural Engineer. It seems that your background does not matter when you have passion for something. 

Coming back to Metin, he was associated with yahoo geocities. He is a WordPress enthusiast and often says that it saves you from database programming hassle, and lets you focus on design and content. In 2006 He acquired and it started as a personal blog then. But when he bought his own personal domain, He switched to a web design blog mainly focusing on WordPress and web design. Let us talk to Metin and find out all about his experiences,

It's like Clark Kent and Superman. I feel like superman when I am coding :)About Design and Development

Mohit: You are basically a naval architect with an array of exceptional projects to your name, why did you get into web Design and Development?

Metin: I just love designing websites. It's like a hobby to me. I still work as a design engineer. But when I find time, I like working on my personal website It's my blog about everything. When I need something specific, I consider writing a plugin about it. If I can, I release it to public. This brings more visitors to, and makes me happy. However, my real income is always engineering. It's like Clark Kent and Superman. I feel like superman when I am coding :)

Mohit: Your articles are always dripping with originality and detail. How do you get the ideas and organization to write them?

good content always brings more visitors.
Metin: As I said before, I like solving problems. When I want to add a feature to my personal site, or when a client request requires a custom feature, I do a wide research. Most people don’t have time to do wide researches. I try to summarize those problems and how to solve them on my web design blog. I also share basic tips, resources and Plugins I like on

Sometimes I get inspired by a tweet, a project or a stackoverflow question. Those are great resources if you want high quality content. Of course you need to work hard to solve them, but good content always brings more visitors.

Mohit: is almost synonymous with WordPress Plugins; however any person visiting would scratch their heads when asked about the nature of the blog. With no specific topic/genre, don't you face problems during monetization or visitor Retention? 
I mean why would people bother to subscribe to if the posts range from Marine Engineering to wallpaper to programming?

Metin: is a specific site about WordPress and Web Design. I like sharing knowledge and tips about web design. When I need to do something, and it's really hard to reach on web, I share my experiences about it. 

My personal site, is indented for everything else that is not about web design. I don't need people to subscribe on my personal site. It mainly works like my web memory, when you work on multiple sides; you get to forget things really quickly. That's why on my personal site, you would find everything I want to remember. I know it is not a readable blog, but still helps many people about many problems. It just acts as a visit and go website.

Revenue from the Website

Mohit: Your revenue model consists of Advertisements, Projects, Support Packages and Donations. How do these methods perform in comparison?

Metin: My main revenue comes from WordPress Projects. I have a few clients that outsource coding parts of their web design projects. If you prove yourself as a good developer, people tend to work with you in every project. I started working cheap first to get clients, now for a WordPress theme I get about 100$ and that's a 3 days work for me.

My second best performing revenue model is Google Adsense. It works because has really specific content. It's not optimized for High CPC words, but I still get around 100$ for a month from Adsense. That's enough for my hosting costs.

I accept donations for my free Plugins. People don’t donate on my site too much, maybe because I couldn't update my Plugins for a time now. In two years I only got 200$ from donations. 

Support packages are a new thing to my site. It just prevents too many support comments on my free Plugins. People always tend to think, you will answer every question. That support button tells them that I don't. It doesn't bring me anything really.

On Social Networks

Mohit: Shailan has acceptable fan following at Facebook and Twitter, but after interviewing several equally talented websites with a lesser page rank, (Bluntly) it seems Shailan doesn't invest much time at social media interactions. What are your thoughts?

once you have a good optimized website, you may go rest, and your site will do the rest.
Metin: I like sharing something time to time mainly on Facebook and Twitter. If an important update comes, I announce it on my website, and then share it on our social profiles. 

Social platforms are a great way for marketing, but if you don't sell anything on your website, sharing page links just gives you a temporary boost. Mainly people coming from twitter, doesn't bring too much revenue on Adsense when compared to search visitors. So if you want money from adsense, SEO is way better then temporary boosts. Plus, once you have a good optimized website, you may go rest, and your site will do the rest.

Metin's Advice

Mohit: I always ask this question in every one of my interviews to know about what they actually learnt in their journey. 
Having been in the blog atmosphere for so long, you must have seen the rise and fall of many webmasters and websites. What advice do you give to passionate amateur web designers?

Metin: I am not really a webdesign expert, but my advice would be that, if you want to earn money from writing, try writing original content. In time, sites change, themes change, even ways to reach the content change; but content stays. Quality content should be your aim, the rest will come afterwards.
If you are not a programming expert, compose useful resource lists from all over the web. Once you help people do things faster, they will stay with you. 

Keep your site simple and usable. Make it look similar to popular websites, because users don’t like extreme layouts. Once you have enough audience, you may change it to something else, but don't change everything at once. Those are just a few advice I'd like to follow.

WordPress VS Blogger

Mohit: Finally, towards the most contentious topics in the blogging world, I am currently using Blogger for codemakit and you are a WordPress enthusiast, How is WordPress any better than blogger?

Metin: Blogger is the simplest and best way to blog if you have good content. I started with Blogger myself too. Then I thought, why just depend on other people's websites, while I can make one. That's how my WordPress journey started. In fact, a few times later, Blogger was restricted for access in Turkey. That's too common in Turkey, so I was glad I had my own hosting. 

With self hosted WordPress site, you have full control over your site. This sometimes gets you away from main idea behind blogging, but surely it gave me a lot of content to write about.

I'm sure Metin would be happy to answer our readers's questions, If you have any, drop it in the comment below. Also, you can connect with him at Facebook or Twitter.


Metin Saylan was an absolute delight, but if you need another designer like Steven Snell of Vandelay Design, You should check out that interview too.

This was, 
An Interview with Metin Saylan from Shailan Mohitchar

Apr 21, 2014

Jacob Gube of Six Revisions Up Close

Up Close with Jacob Gube of Six Revisions
SixRevisions, A website aimed at providing the best designs to its readers for free. The face behind SixRevisions is here with us today (Applause for Jacob). Jacob Gube is a web developer, designer and the founder of Six Revisions.

He has been a web professional for more than 8 years. His comfort areas include PHP, JavaScript, and standards-based CSS/HTML. He is also quite versed with .NET, VB, Perl, AS2/Flash etc.

The Story

Like all exceptional stories, this one too starts with our protagonist starting from humble beginnings (like the ones of Reza Farazmand or Paul Crowe). Jacob started as a freelancing graphic designer who made brand identities for small businesses. He started a blog with his brother on tech gadgets. Though it witnessed a good start but lack of scheduled posting (What did I tell you about regularity) lead to its demise. But finally he found something worth writing for, something he was passionate about.

Though SixRevisions has now become something just short of an Internet giant, the site too had humble beginnings like his maker. It was started on a Sunday morning in February. He wrote two posts and published one, just the same day. Many ask why "SixRevisions"? What's so special about the name. Jacob explains that the name was inspired by his experience as a graphic designer where they often had to make many revisions to the same design.

Now enough of me, Let us move towards Jacob. Let's pick his brains and see what has he leant from SixRevisions.

From Jacob's Flickr Page

More than 35 Authors?

Mohit: I would skip the "Hi Jacob, Tell us about yourself" as your fans know everything about you. First and foremost question, 35 Authors (Check out the about page) for a single Website! Why?

Jacob: Actually, we have a lot more authors than that. The authors in the Six Revisions "About" page are just a few of our authors. That reminds me: That page needs to be updated. In the last 14 months alone, we've on-boarded 62 new authors. In total, both  Six Revisions and Design Instruct combined, we've worked with over 300 authors. Our authors are responsible for the growth of our websites. It simply wouldn't  be possible to get our sites to where they are now without the valuable contributions of our authors.

In addition, it's important for any online publisher that covers subjects as big as design and development to have a diversity of thought. In order to have a fuller understanding of these subjects, you need to learn them from multiple qualified sources.

Mohit: A page-rank 6 Website backed with such huge online presence is one tough nut to crack, what’s your secret?

Jacob: There's only one secret. And, really, it's not a secret. Focus on publishing great content.
When we work on articles, we never discuss SEO, or spinning the article a certain way just to get more page views, or any of the other tricks that's unfortunately become commonplace within the online publishing industry. We don't care about those things. We believe that if our content is good, then people will read it. And if it isn't, then we have to work on it. What we do is concentrate all our time, effort, and resources to publishing great content our readers will find useful. And that takes a considerable amount of work on our authors' part and on us.

We have just one mission: Publish content that provides value to the lives of our readers.And if that result in more page views, that's awesome, but only because it's a signal that we're on the right track in terms of publishing content our audience wants to read.

From Jacob's Flickr Page

On Social Media

Mohit: With a website as huge as SixRevisions, maintenance must be a drag; from updating previous articles and moderating comments to interacting at social media, how do you distribute the work?

Jacob: We prioritize the work. We identify key tasks and long-term projects that bring the most value to our readers and decide that we're going to work on those first. We assign tasks based on ability and availability. It's nothing formal. We just meet once a week, discuss important matters, and then dole out the tasks as needed. Social media almost runs itself. We'll check it a couple of times a day just to see if we have any messages.

Moderating comments continues to be the toughest day-to-day task because we receive hundreds of spam comments a day despite having our spam-prevention mechanisms in place, and so we have to manually moderate those.

Mohit: You have an enormous Twitter following and considerable number of likes at Facebook and several highly interactive social profiles. How important is social Media Interaction for any website/Blog?

Jacob: Social media is important for being able to have discussions with your readers. We find that it's convenient for our readers to just send us a tweet or a message on Facebook rather than email. So if you truly care about what your audience has to say, social media becomes important. But let it grow organically. Let people truly interested in engaging with you to find you on social media by themselves.

Something Personal :-P

Mohit: Let us get into something personal, some of us wonder Why isn't Isaac a part of your Author team?

Jacob: Isaac, my brother and my co-founder on Design Instruct, is part of the Six Revisions author team because he's written few posts on Six Revisions. But, as I've alluded to earlier, the Six Revisions "About" page doesn't display all of our authors.

He's editor-in-chief on Design Instruct. That means he's my boss when we're working on Design Instruct.

Mohit: What do you do when you're not working?

Jacob: I make it a habit to try and go to the gym a few times a week, I travel whenever I get a chance, and I work on personal coding projects. Recently, I've been playing console games on the PS 3. I suck though. You can add me on PSN and here's my public profile:

Mohit: Regarding revenue, how does the advertising revenue help in sustaining the website?

Jacob: It helps quite a lot. It's our primary source of funding.

Mohit: Ok Sensing a little secrecy.. Moving on, the designs at SixRevisions are unbelievingly cool and urbane. Yet, all of them are free. Why don't you sell them? I'm sure the proceeds would go a long way in improving SixRevisions.

Jacob: Our freebies? They're contributed to our community by creative professionals. Our freebies aren't meant for profit, but rather to provide useful resources our readers can use in their own projects. I believe publishing freebies is part of our mission to publish content that adds value to our readers' lives.

WordPress or Blogger?

Mohit: Let me ask a controversial question, many bloggers including me still prefer blogger/BlogSpot to Wordpress, How would you react?

Jacob: At the end of the day, your blogging software is simply a tool - just like a pen, a computer, or a paint brush. These tools don't matter if they're not being used by people. But under the right set of hands, the same paint brush can produce remarkable works of art that are celebrated for centuries, and the same laptop computer can be used to develop life-changing technologies that change the world forever.

So, use whatever helps you write and publish articles. Wordpress vs. Blogger vs. other publishing platforms is really all about preference. As for my personal choice: I use Wordpress. My partiality to WP is evident because it's the only online publishing platform that has its own category on Six Revisions. But I do regularly watch out for new publishing platforms that might serve our community better. I haven't found one yet, but a few new projects are coming close in terms of being better-suited for us. I'm keeping an eye on those.


Jacob Gube
Alright, this is the end of our up close and personal interview of Jacob from Six Revisions. We wish him well for his future endeavors. You can connect with him at Facebook and Twitter too. But do not forget to check out his awesome creations at his Flickr page.

If you have any questions, Pitch it in the comments, I'm sure Jacob wouldn't mind answering some more.


If you think another interview with a prominent designer, you should definitely have a look at the interview with Veerle Pieters of

This was about.
Up Close with Jacob Gube of Six Revisions MohitChar