Crypto and Web3

  Web3 is all the rage now. The problem is that it is a mixture of genuinely interesting new technology, opportunistic money making schemes and scams. There is so much hype around this that a lot of non-technical folks are being drawn into it without understanding and are at risk of loosing a lot of money. I am going to attempt to differentiate some of these as best as I can. The Promise De-centralization and free from government control – that is the dream that is being sold. The web, unfortunately, has evolved to be controlled by a few tech giants like facebook, google, amazon and twitter. Of course there are general troubles of social media controlled by companies manipulating user behavior towards goal of profits. People who want alternatives that don’t push harmful content such as anti-vax or censorship find themselves out of choice. So, there is a want for a web free from ability to be controlled centrally. This is a very valid one.  Taking this too far. A lot of crypto things se

Can you hear me now?

  Do you expect your mobile apps to always have access to data? How important is it for people out in the field to be able view and input information even when network connectivity is poor or non-existent? With everything being in the cloud, micro-services architecture and designing for omni-channel, most data is stored somewhere on the cloud and accessed via api calls of some sort. This works until someone is trying to use a mobile application and network connectivity is not present. This could mean lost sales and lost opportunities. The solution is usually to use a local db like sql lite or so that works on the platform and then build a sync functionality. Even though this sounds fine, the details are what will get you. There are a lot of details regarding sync, conflict resolution and many more things that will make this a lot more complicated that it appears. That is why a solution such as Couchbase’s Lite DB along with sync gateway would be a better solution. It does most of the h

Low / No code solutions are NOT the next big thing

  Low / No code solutions are not new. The promise of business folks being able to create applications without much help from developers has been a dream / promise that has been around for quite a while now. There are also some powerful solutions out there that do this to a significant degree. I have been closely working with a couple of well known low code solutions for many years now. The are actually pretty useful and cool. But here is a truth that those companies realized early on and many startups also eventually realize ‘If you try to do everything for everyone, you end up doing nothing for anyone’ Business folks, the intended target, do not connect well with a product that says you can build whatever you want. So the companies eventually, and correctly, decide to focus on a particular market/vertical and even evolve a reference implementation as the product they sell. Now there is a solid thing that can be sold.  The real problem is that generic ‘no code / low code’ products are

Lack of Innovation in Banking

  True innovation in Banking is just not there. All online efforts are there to put a nice front end on top of same products, services and features. I am going to present a couple of examples Banks offer services such as identifying subscriptions or budgeting and such for their online experience. The big problem here is the assumption that the consumers are just using their bank account! This, I would think, is not the case for majority of consumers. I have many accounts and credit cards. I pay some bills on some credit cards to take advantage of rewards, some accounts for paycheck deposit, some accounts / cards for other services and so on. The whole service about analyzing my transactions is mute. Consolidators like  might have an advantage here. Savings goals features set up by banks. Once again, with the interest rate where it is, this feature is of zero (possibly negative) interest to me. Lots of investment in building this feature into online experience also is going on

AI Driven Personalized UX

I have lead, architected and developed consumer facing applications, especially in Financial sector, for a long time and have seen a lot of evolution. Current state of things The movement towards designing UX with what the customer is likely looking to achieve is the right track. There has been a lot of design innovations towards this. One of the primary approaches that is used today is to have a sort of landing page / dashboard with the summary of various information and then the most common links that are easy to access. Some times the links are deep links into other parts of the application. This works ok for most parts. But the experience could be even better and here is some thoughts on where it might be heading, specifically powered by AI insights. Understanding what the user wants The holy grail of best UX would be if we can know what any user is looking to achieve and take them to the right place and present them with the right information and/or tools. This of course will be d

The College Problem

  College eduction and more specifically college tuition and resulting student loans are at a critical level in our country. Even as a parent of kids who are currently only in elementary school, the thought about paying for college is already giving me anxiety. Traditional colleges are certainly under stress. But there are really no good alternatives for them now. Currently the college fees are untenable and certainly alternatives are required. But do we have that? Let us look at what colleges provide ‍ 1. Education and training (of course) 2. College experience  3. Connections and friends with similar interests  4. Access and inspiration from Professors and resource ‍ #1 is the reason parents and most folks think why colleges are needed and certainly is the primary reason, no question. #2 is another reason kids want to go to college. How about #3 and #4 #3 and #4 are sort of ignored but I think are a big reason. Humans do not create or build in isolation. Companies are built with team

2020 review and 2021 predictions

  We have collectively made another trip around the sun. But psychologically New Year is a good time to reset and start things. Given the especially tough year that 2020 was, we all need something that feels like a demarcation line to hopeful future. Taking a look back at the year that was ‍ The enormous suffering and pain brought about by the Pandemic is so horrible. It is a stark reminder for us that in spite of the advancements in medicine, technology and increased wealth, we are so vulnerable and probably more so than we were a century ago. This should give us all impetus to roll up our sleeves and get to work to address the real issues. Beginning this also needs for everyone to get out of their social media introduced bubbles and see the real world and work towards addressing these. In Business and Technology, Acceleration in Digital Transformation - All businesses and companies had to take their 5 year digital transformation plans and literally do that in a few months. This was t