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Dos and don'ts of building a product; Rewriting social media story

The Product Folks is an online community for product managers and developers, where people engage to troubleshoot issues. Despite initial traction, none of the homegrown apps has come close to pulling users away from social media giants. Tara Mobile Creches was founded by Meera Mahadevan in 1969.

Dos and don'ts of building a product; Rewriting social media story

Friday April 05, 2024 , 6 min Read

Hello,

It’s all in the courts now for BYJU'S.

The embattled edtech firm pleaded with the NCLT to refer its dispute with the investors for arbitration. On the other hand, the investors—Peak XV, Prosus, General Atlantic, and Sofina—claimed BYJU’S violated the tribunal’s orders by allotting shares to those who subscribed to the rights issue without first increasing the authorised capital, which BYJU’S denied.

Also, founder Byju Raveendran was notably absent from the recently released Forbes Billionaires Index 2024, which valued his wealth at zero. He had previously made the list with a net worth of $2.1 billion.

Elsewhere, Indian investors are gravitating towards green energy.

Avendus Capital, in a report, noted that the green hydrogen value chain in India may create a cumulative investment opportunity of up to $125 billion by 2030. The biggest chunk within this opportunity is renewable energy production, with an investment potential of $80 billion.

In other news, Elon Musk-owned social media platform ​​X has expanded its crowd-sourced fact-checking programme, Community Notes, to accept contributions from India. This development comes mere days ahead of the General Elections. 

ICYMI: Meet Ramesh Kunhikanna, who became a billionaire after Chandrayaan-3’s success.

And lastly, do you feel the pace of the job interview process now is glacial compared to three years ago?

You’re not the only one. Some companies are setting complex tasks for candidates and even deliberately keeping them on ice for as long as possible in what is called, decision paralysis.

In today’s newsletter, we will talk about 

  • What kills a good product?
  • Rewriting social media story
  • Creches for migrant labourers

Here’s your trivia for today: Which YouTube channel was the first to reach 100,000 subscribers?


TechSparks

What kills a good product?

In a panel discussion at TechSparks Mumbai, Qubo CEO Nikhil Rajpal stressed the importance of putting products in consumers' hands to test their user-friendliness and weed out over-engineering. 

Aditya Mohanty, Co-founder of The Product Folks, and Harsh Rajat, Founder of Push Protocol, also joined him to discuss various product strategies for Indian startups.

Deets:

  • “Kill, and move on." These are the resolute words Mohanty swears by. The Product Folks is an online community for product managers and developers, where people engage to troubleshoot issues and get feedback from peers on their product designs.
  • “No one builds a first product that actually succeeds or works,” Rajat says, referencing LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman’s wise words, “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
  • The three product experts, however, warn against sacrificing the use of the latest tech at the altar of simplifying a product.
Product innovation


Funding Alert

Startup: SiMa.ai

Amount: $70M

Round: Undisclosed

Startup: SingleInterface 

Amount: $30M

Round: Equity

Startup: Electronica Finance Ltd

Amount: Rs 400 Cr

Round: Series B


Startups

Rewriting social media story

Few years have been as dramatic as 2020. It was the time of a global pandemic and uncertainty, and in India’s social media ecosystem—a time when startups doubled down on their attempts to make platforms that could rival popular social networking sites. The ban of TikTok in India in 2020 led to the growth of players like Moj, Chingari, MX TakaTak, and even most recently, Zee’s HiPi.

Despite initial traction, none of the homegrown apps has come close to pulling users away from social media giants. Startups, however, are continuing to develop apps in hopes of building the next social media powerhouse.

Engagements:

  • The challenge is significant—Meta-owned Facebook and Instagram hold considerable sway in the country. Instagram has 516 million users while Facebook has 366 million users in India.
  • So far in 2024, at least six new-age social media startups have raised funding. Of the new lot, Dubai-based social discovery app Hunch has secured $23 million in Series A round.
  • Most new-age players are trying to build a niche platform that either caters to a particular type of group of users or provides a unique user experience. For instance, Medial focuses on building a platform specifically for the startup audience.
indian social media


Social Impact

Creches for migrant labourers

Tara Mobile Creches was founded by Meera Mahadevan in 1969 in Delhi when she saw the plight of children at construction sites. Later, in 1980, Sindhutai Sawardekar established its Pune branch. However, in 2007, all the branches became independent entities for ease of work and management. 

Tara Mobile Creches Pune runs daycare centres in 15 areas across Pune near construction sites for the children of migrant workers, offering them food, education, and healthcare facilities. 

Changing lives:

  • Children between 1 and 6 years old are taken care of in the creches while their parents are at work; the older children come to the centres for food and classes. 
  • Health checkups are conducted for the children once a month at the centres. The NGO has eight doctors on board who screen the children for cough, cold and fever and treat minor injuries. 
  • Mallinath M Shinge, a headmaster in a school now, recalls going to the centre for extra classes from Class 6. After completing his schooling, the organisation helped him enrol in a diploma course in education in Pune. 
Pune


News & updates

  • Electric cars: Tesla has begun production of right-hand drive cars at its plant in Germany for export to India later this year. A team from Tesla is expected to visit India later this month to look at sites for a local car manufacturing plant that would require an investment of about $2 billion.
  • No sharing: Walt Disney's streaming service will start cracking down on password-sharing from June onwards, CEO Bob Iger said, as the entertainment conglomerate looks to boost subscriber growth and profitability at the business. Iger said Disney is eventually looking at double-digit margins in streaming.
  • Pay up: Google is considering charging for new “premium” features powered by Gen AI, in what would be the biggest-ever shake-up of its search business. The proposed revamp to its cash cow search engine would mark the first time the company has put any of its core products behind a paywall.


Which YouTube channel was the first to reach 100,000 subscribers?

Answer: Smosh.


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