Sid Saha

Developer. Growth Hacker. Entrepreneur.

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Start-up class - Lecture #1

The first lecture on How to Start a Startup had been posted a few days ago. What follows in this post is the lecture video and my notes. Do watch the video first and then read my notes.


The first lecture video was pretty basic but fundamental. I think that everyone starting-up must watch the video and I am sure that most of us didn’t give proper thoughts and did skip thinking about some of the important details when starting up.

A startup is a combination of four things - Idea, Product, Team and Execution.


This is the first step when trying to start-up. We know all about this. Or do we?

  • A good idea is better than a bad idea. Recently, there have been a lot many discussions on Ideas don’t matter. Execution is everything. But a good idea has a better chance of succeeding than a bad idea given other things remain constant. However, it’s often difficult to comprehend...

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YC Class - How to start a start-up?

I have recently started taking a class from Y-Combinator guys on how to start a startup. Every Tuesday and Thursday they post a lecture video accompanied with some pre-reading material. I intend to take the classes and then write down / summarise the thoughts presented in the lecture on my blog for my own (and possibly others’) future reference.

These notes are in no way a substitute for the actual class itself. It will be far more beneficial to you if you attend the class and participate in the discussion forums. Maybe later you can head back here and read my notes as well. I’d be happy to connect with you and talk one-on-one over email.

Head over to my next post for my notes on the first lecture.

By - Sid Saha

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DIY SEO - Make your website faster

When working on RideApp and asking around seasoned entrepreneurs about what should be the first marketing technique that I should use for promoting my new service, there are invariably two suggestions - Ads and SEO. Which kinda makes sense.

Ads - This depends on what your service is. From what I know, if you have a web product go for Google ads. For phone apps, Facebook is the go-to place. (Subscribe to my blog for future posts on effectively running Facebook App Install Ads).

SEO - The holy grail of internet. SEO is vast and I don’t think that you will get a single resource to learn all about SEO because there are numerous disparate things at play. In this post, I will outline some of the basic techniques that you SHOULD do. These are the basics of SEO but for people who are new to the topic, these are some of the low-hanging fruits. In this post, I will outline some techniques that...

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Video: Carpool from home to office

I made a fun video on carpooling and an intro to RideApp. Sit back and enjoy this 30 second video. Ah and yes, do not forget to hit the Like Button.

By - Sid Saha

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Drive for Pune Campaign

Drive for Pune.png

At RideApp we are committed to better the streets of Pune and work towards curbing the recent traffic explosion in the city. To that effect, RideApp connects people who drive to work (drivers) to people who do not have cars and probably take the bus or an auto (riders).

First, I would like to thank so many people who have been pinging me with their words of encouragement (“Great Initiative”, “We need this!”) and the awesome response we have been getting on social media. (Like our Facebook page and Follow us on Twitter).

We are starting a campaign throughout Pune and calling all those who drive alone to work everyday. Start giving lifts to your colleagues from work to home everyday and split your fuel costs. RideApp will help you schedule your rides, send requests to your colleagues to ride along and handle the transaction as well from within the app. No more awkward cash...

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Why I started RideApp?

Recently, I have started working on RideApp. RideApp is a simple carpooling app which aims to make our daily office commute easy, affordable and most importantly good on the environment.


I visited the US in February 2014 and, this being my first visit, I was taken aback by the stark difference between the traffic conditions in the US and India. Definitely better roads, better traffic management. It aches to see the condition of the traffic that we have to face everyday here in India. It’s not that there are less vehicles in the US but the roads are definitely broader, people follow traffic rules religiously. Driving was definitely a pleasure. The next question was what can we, the educated class, do to better our city’s streets, even by a small measure.

We can always crib about our government not building better roads or broadening them. According to some data road length in India...

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Television in India

To start this post, I must make a confession. I don’t own a television and I don’t watch any TV.

Taking some time off and visiting my parents is the only time I get to watch any TV. I do watch American TV series online though. When watching indian television, I find that there is an aching lack of anything good on TV.

Let’s take a look at what’s on TV. There are news channels, and lots of them, whose only job is sensationalising anything which could be remotely called news. One always needs to decrease the volume when switching to a news channel.

Second there are soap operas. Frankly speaking these should be banned. These are a disgrace to humans. They just show scheming and hateful people. These are more removed from reality than 90s Bollywood movies. These just show how a mother-in-law tortures their sons’ wives and in some cases bitter rivalry among family members. This is...

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A programmer is already a good designer

Yes, you are! You are already a pretty good designer. You already have the behaviour and qualities that is required to be a good designer. The problem is that there is a mindset that you, as a programmer, have which interferes with you getting started with visual designing. You need to shed some of that mindset and you will realise that you have many of the qualities which a budding designer struggles to develop.

Familiarity with technical challenges is a hindrance

When a programmers starts designing a product, she throws about a design on paper or wireframe it and goes about implementing it. When she is stuck somewhere while implementing because the design she made before is too damn difficult or the complexity of the program increases, she goes back and changes the design to suit her needs.

Do not do that!

Moreover, while designing in the first phase, because she knows all about...

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HackDesign: Design for programmers

Recently, I have been working with some designers - at work and otherwise as well. I find the process of working with designers a little difficult than it is working with other programmers.

This may be because I have been a programmer for the last 4 years and am now an Application Architect. I understand how programmers think because mostly all the programmers think in the same way and I find it easier to articulate my thoughts in a way which is more suited to the programmer mindset.

However, I love design. I think good design suddenly puts the product / software in a completely different trajectory. It suddenly becomes more usable, better looking and efficient. Given my affinity towards design and my inability to get into the designer’s mindset, I thought that it is time that I start working on design as a discipline and learn design for myself.

With the advent of the term Design...

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The 22 hour flight

I had recently been to the US. I had written this post on the flight - I absolutely hate flying.

For the record, I absolutely hate flying. I get irritated when a 2 hour domestic flight gets delayed by 10 minutes.

I am on a 22 hour long flight to the US now. This is my first international flight. If I had to describe my ongoing journey on this flight - it’s torture.

Flying economy class on such a long flight is painful. Ah, only if I were rich. It is worse than domestic flights. The leg space is minimal, four people in a row all wearing jackets makes it very clumsy. Nothing much to do except sitting in a cramped seat with headphones plugged watching movie after movie feeling the plane moving. The feel of a car moving is so much better.

To top it all, I am on a British flight. And I find it extremely difficult to understand the English accent. More so, when all the stewardess have...

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