Reinvention after a startup.

In lean start-up one performs quick experiments, measures the outcome to ascertain whether value is created for customers to pay for the product. If customers do not see value, pivot your idea and plan for next action. After 3.5 years, I decided to move forward and the answer to What next? was not an easy one. “You dig the well before you are thirsty.”  I have not digged a well and here is how I kept my spirtits up and alive kicking.  This blog is for any unfortunate souls like me.

For the first time, I experienced not being engineer or MBA and feeling the absence of strong alumni network support.  There are inclubators and accelerators to welcome developers and professionals to arrive at startups. There is less support available to support startup guys who do not succeed. Seen this experience multiple times earlier for other enterpreneurs and experienced same now too.

Posted message as “Looking for new opporunity” in LinkedIn, and did not result to much leads or enquiries. Recruiters connect with you as connection and no communiucation even if you follow. I do not know why they connect at first place. One observation is that more than 500 people have applied a single job positions on LinkedIn. How will the recruiter or hiring manager get time to review that large number of candidate profiles?. The only way and best way seem to be reference.

Wrote to VCs who connected with startups to explore. Less engagement from startup teams even after showing interest. May be need of money pushes them back.  Wrote to firms CEOs who connected with their recruitment teams. Most of recruitment heads failed to connect or engage even after follow-ups(dropped to some offices in person). One established startup reached me for whom my startup experience was relevant. After discussion and understanding the field know-how from me, I was promised to be called back. No response, they do not return calls and no response to follow-up emails.

Two Delhi startups and Chennai startup asked me for willigness to relocate. The founders made sure that a phone call was made to understand me better. May be I should have relocated.  Missed. Sorry guys

Choose area of expertise to contribute to others. Do not ask for opportunity to earn money, ask for areas to contribute. Identify areas to  contribute and earn money. Ask for references. Do not be in idea mode or wait mode. Perform actions.

  • When some employees want to find next job, I connected them with other firms and startups. that lead to references to follow-up for potential engagement.
  • Your partners may want to continue using the existing start-up legal entity. Get equity papers in place and contribute to their plans(if needed) and create positive energy.
  • My startup technology focus started from depth to breadth and remained in breadth. My technical depth has become shallow with rapid technology changes, and employers need resources with depth for execution. Kept reading to bridge gap .
  • Found a hidden gap with friends who worked as employees else where. Some are busy in their own life to respond. I took initiative to reach them and talk of my need.
  • Friends want to help and are un-clear of how to help. Some engaged to keep me positive. Some reviewed my resume & some with tips on latest technical trends. .
  • Enterpreneurs seem to keep distance post my decision. While I was working hard to keep myself positive, may be they want to safeguard from negative energy. Fair enough. Be crisp and specific. They want elevator pitch of what you want to do.

Searching for consulting lead me to startups in search of product-market fit. There was a need of my know-how and shared my learnings in their startup context . Contributed using consulting free hours leading to engagement discussions. Some learnings from consulting are.

  • Identify skill areas that you can work & start looking for work in this area. I choose technology and product. I could take instructions from others. and open to explore. The start-up experience has equipped me to start from scratch & learn on the job.
  • When asked to support in areas not preferred by me, I did not start with “No”. Went ahead and put my effort to learn how to perform. Be positive that other person knows your interest and still asked to perform and you are paid for the effort.
  • After learning and performing un-interested for few days, I did not want to continue. Shared the mismatch of work to my goals, perceived positive.
  • Some assignments started with assumption. On execution, I found that assumption was wrong and that I do not have capability to perform them. I called them off.

Additional things I performed to make myself positive

  1. Get resume ready : I got my resume reviewed by multiple people to make it apt.  Blog readers can reach me for a free resume review.
  2. Meditation : mediated for 10 minutes without fail most of the days.  This helped me to remove fear that used to stop action.
  3. Volunteer at a non-profit. Though no pay, there is feeling of being worth when you get to help others and expands your network.  It also helps me to keep busy and maintain good company.  Some discussion  results in to leads for consulting.
  4. Take consulting job or an “interim” job.  With more mobile and cloud developers, I positioned myself in requirements engineering to retain confidence, keep my soft skills fresh and had money come to my bank.
  5. Allocate time for physical excercise. This helped me to keep my frustrations away.

Failed to  

  1. Have a daily task routine to keep me  productive. When you accomplish major tasks around the same time each day, you get a sense of  structure in your day.
  2. Be more disciplined to search job every day. I could have better planned & organized with alloted daily hour to search for jobs,email hiring mgrs & follow-ups.
  3. Try to hang with successful people. I tried to reach industry enterprenur forums. for guidance and help. There was no help forthcoming. Seems all of them were for people interested in enterprenurship or successful enterprenurs.

Things I wish I knew prior to my startup journey.

As part of my consulting, I meet entrepreneurs with start-up or want to start-up. I spend 2 hours as part of my business initiation, to understand the person and maturity of the product idea. While I ask them to explore some of the below, only few are ready to invest time & efforts to plan their journey. Here is a reminder “Plans are necessary evil. You plan with the understanding all plans might not work.”.

Prior to my start-up, I did not know them and learnt at end of first product and second product experience. In 2011, I started as a techie experienced with team, technology and customers. I became entrepreneur coming from a family with no entrepreneurial background. Hence here is a blog to remind individuals planning their own start-ups.

Let me start with my biggest miss, not able to explain situation, I did lousy job to get buy-in of my wife and this haunted me through my start-up journey.

Get Buy-in from my family:  You need to have buy-in of your dear family mainly your wife. Start talking about the start-up idea, both the success and failure scenario. Write down their questions and try to answer them. Do not ignore ones which you do not have answer. For questions without answer, go and get answers and share with them. Do not expect them to be convinced with answers, still take best efforts possible.

After accepting a start-up mode, they have fear to run family without consistent income.

  • Most of them are hesitant to bring the topic so that you are not upset. Take initiative to bring topic in open and look at alternatives and challenges. You need to prepare them more than yourself for the start-up journey.
  • Some might share that another person has pointed out these challenges. If they are important to your dear ones, talk to them also. Not talking to them makes your dear one question your intent more.

Remember it is your idea and no one believes in your idea more than you do. Do not expect them to understand your idea and validate the same. If they fear in your start-up journey, it pulls you down emotionally and you need to do this to self protect from emotional pull downs across start-up journey.(any way they will be)

You need to perform above, before you quit your job. I did few of them after quitting my job and my wife lost some trust in me and betted on my word to bring money home every month to run family(failed few times). She was great to believe me even after my behaviour and lucky to be with her even today.

In consulting, I have met one entepreneur with his wife,open for harsh questions about their ideas another young unmarried guy at their home and takes money from his mother for my consulting charges. This is way one should be.

One could follow lean start-up idea for your start-up to develop product. That is great. If you are not aware or have less time to understand, please do not start with “Quit your job. Start writing code for your product”. You have product idea and perform the following. Reach me for any help.

Write Value Proposition message for product idea: To start, fill the below format for each of your product idea and use this in talks with others to describe product idea. For a platform idea with more than one customer type, fill this once for each customer type. When you discover new things, update the same to make it more complete.

  • For << this type of customer>>, Who << has this type of problem>>
  • We offer<< this solution>>
  • Which is <<different in this way>> From <<other competitors>>

Leverage KISS philosophy (simple and stupid) to complete them. Do not use buzzwords and make words as simple as possible. For green-field idea, find a set of firms with business that is closer to your idea to be termed as competitor to start with.

Fill Business Model Canvas: The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool. It allows to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot your business model. Today firms like strategyzer train how to fill business model canvas

Business Canvas has questions to helps person to structure product idea in the quest to search for new business model.

  • You need not have answers to all questions. You know what you know and what you do not know. Few more may be of type what you do not know that “you do not know”.
  • In search for answers, you get to network, some might become co-founder or moon-light employee or customers.
  • Business model canvas serves as baseline to form a mental minset of product idea.
  • Be prepared to hear that your idea is lousy and is not needed. Listen to them and write them. Do not argue with them.

Application UI Design : In your techie experience, you worked with UI experts or has less work experience with UI experts. or have worked with UI experts as manager. Lot of us feel that we do not have UI skills. We cannot afford to hire UI skills.

If you agree and acknolwedge the need for design for your product, you can do something to make your application not look worse(some thing ok).  if you are manager, you might have UI skills to discover or can learn UI skills to lead.

  • Attend online courses(some free) that talk about UI design practices Please attend them and get familar with concepts.
  • Do research on innovative websites and applications. Use trial version and take snapshots for features that you want in your application. Share them with your developer and ask for the effort to develop them. Any UI developer will feel motivated to come with more ideas. Try and experiment some of them.
  • Do not say to your developer that you have no idea about design. Talk to some of your friends or contacts who might work as UI designer in larger corporate. Go and ask for feedback to them and they will give criitcal ones. Water down harsh part of feedback and share cool part with your developers.

Web-site Design : Do not benchmark first website with corproate site. You need some thing simple with focus on what customer would perceive on coming to website. When there are multiple customers, choose one customer segment and the home page targets this customer segment.  You display value proposition and Call to Action for this customer in the home page.

  • Efforts required for design layout of website is different from the developer effort required to program the website.
  • There is additional effort to come with content(images, text) for website. As techie, one understand design and developer efforts, and under-estimates content effort.
  • Better for content writer and UI designer to sit next to each other focused (say for 36 hours) and complete the website.  when you do not sit next to each other, the website gets delayed for long time.
  • Do not expect the website to be one-time affair. You might have to update website multiple times. Design to perform minor updates without designer.
  • Some websites talk about the company, product features and team. These are good for internal pages in the website. when end user likes value proposition in home page, interest comes to know who is behind product and what are the features.

Build your network:  As employee of corporate, one can attend special interest groups and share your idea. I was part of cloud camp and also part of android and amazon meetup groups. Being early member in some of these groups created network with entrepreneurs who I am in touch even today.

When you perform action in area and also hear to speaker talk of the challenge in area for action, you understand better speaker and can ask questions. Recommend entrepreneurs to

  • Be part of TIE, try to participate iSpirit session. Attend meetings in Microsoft accelerator. Some might ask small token money for networking sessions and it is really worth to pay or even have a membership.
  • Attend meetings , open to meet people who want to start-up may be in your area or different area. Some may be entrepreneurs. Do not attend all meetings. Plan some time every week to attend meetings to identify the right community for your idea.
  • Free industry sessions of India Product Leadership helped me to learn concepts like value proposition, business model canvas, and digital marketing.
  • Blogs of close.io explained that my sales challenges due to my ignorance.
  • YourStory helps to search for competitor or be aware of other startups in your space.

Gain domain experience:  For techies, please reach people to get exposure to domain and get your value proposition validated by domain experts you might connect through your friendship circles. Some of contacts would describe of similar start-ups. Now you can look at their website and compare with your plans.

Some of them can become prospects for your product idea. If one of them likes your product idea, their competitor might also be a prospect to sell your product.

Learn sell process and what it means to sell.  In my start-up, we started with product idea in green field area. Today I know Greenfield area expects that we introduce product concept to customer and sell product. Being techie those days, I considered creating product in Greenfield was cool and did not questioned our sales capability to sell product even in areas with competitors.

If your employer provides you pre-sales opportunity, please do that even if you have to spend additional time. Sales is not account management with existing customers. As a techie, you may have limited or no sales capability. Sales exposure in a large company would help you learn customer development process.

Be prepared to tailor the same for your start-up. You would have no experience to make direct calls to customer by phone or walk to their office. You can learn sales being aware of customer development process and open to learn for mistakes and ability to be resilient to handle rejections.

Explore external consulting opportunity: If you have niche skills, go ahead and perform consulting opportunities. Better do this when you are in job over weekend or in night. Look these opportunities to validate your problem and solution and not for making money. Collect money given as it might validate some of your thoughts without actual risk.

In 2011, I failed to leverage consulting with cloud skills after joining my start-up and know of folks who leveraged their Big Data skills and have start-up in that space today. I still remember a great friend running a cloud company asked to experiment my ideas offering me infrastructure

Remember all interactions might lead to creation of new networks and relationships. You have opportunity to articulate and sell your skills. Both are needed to sell your product. Please allot limited hours for consulting and be aware that you are doing to get prepared for your product and not to become consultant /Service Company.

New IT Training with Guaranteed Placement – Launch

Unnati is an NGO offering vocational training for underprivileged youth. They have a 100% placement record,  training and employing close to 6000 youth in the last ten years of their existence, helping pull them and their families out of the vicious circle of poverty.

Here come launch of a course to increase employ-ability quotient of Computer Science Engineers interested to land at jobs.

  • Admissions will take places on the 2nd of May and training will begin on the 4th of May.
  • The training is done at little to no cost to the youth, with a guaranteed job at the end of the 50 day program.
  • Their holistic model of training includes Spoken English, Basic Computers, Life Skills and Values – in addition to Vocational Training.

If you know someone who will benefit from this training, please do let them know. Please share the same in your social networks.

Poster-Design-web

What it means to be an employee or to be a consultant?

This is continuation of my  blog. “Start-up did not fail or pass. What next?”. Prior to start-ups I failed  to perform home work to learn “Am I ready to be an entrepreneur?”. Now I decided to see through what it means to be employee or a consultant.

Am I ready to be employee?.

Any person who works for employer, has a set of responsibilities based on his/her position in the organization, expected to execute and complete assigned tasks successfully to achieve business objectives.  Few employees find a match between their personal interests and tasks assigned by employer. Irrespective of match, employee needs to meet the job expectation to earn salary.

The employee gets the support of social structure in the work place and is guaranteed with a promise of monthly salary by employer, irrespective of the business outcome. Employee collaborates with others and his/her success is driven by results expected by boss or the team. The uncertainty of business is employer responsibility.

To handle uncertainty risk and ensure salary payment, employer keeps a major portion of business earnings while sharing minor portion as employee salary.On things going wrong, the employee is made to feel safe, (unless being terminated). Most of times, failure is considered as group failure and there is still salary.

On success, the successes become team successes and financial gains on success belongs first to the employer and selectively shared. Few employees are exposed to functions in sales and marketing that provides experience in failure and resilience and make business decisions and face the execution outcome of business decision.

When existing employee skills do not match to the trends of the industry, employer can facilitate you with training  programs to reskill and become more suitable for job.  One cannot expect employer to spend money and train you unless they have important and immediate need for business.  You need to proactive to succeed as employee.

“Works Hard, Earns less salary, More certainty, Execution Leader or Good Follower”.  An employee has choice to join another employer to start and repeat a similar story starts, when employee’s skills are in demand in industry. More supply of people with similar skills makes you a commodity, employer gets easy replacement.

You sacrificed freedom and individuality for certainty. Where is certainty?  You work for long years to save for your retirement being aware that there is no salary post retirement years. To save for certainty in retirement, you become selfish and save more money to achieve certainty at retirement.  Are you not living in the present?

Am I ready to be Professional or Self-Employed or Consultant?

Doctor, lawyers, dancers, singers and creative person fall in this category. The person has special skills and chooses to sell skills being self-employed. The success or the failure is on his or her shoulders and the financial implications are immediate.

You have ability to choose customer and areas to contribute to customer using their skills. You connect with other person and understand their problem. You get hired for your special skill/expertise as consultant for short term quick solutions to problem. Your rates depends on urgency and importance to your customer.

Effectively you are selling your skills.  You have no control over buyer. The buyer can choose to pay for skills and not use the skills in real business. When there is no sale, there is no commission and no cash flow. When there are more people with similar skills, the competition can create significant pressure to get customers.

Being on your own, you see challenge to go on vacation for fear of losing earnings. A long vacation can make client to replace you with some one else. You need to develop brand to charge higher rates. There is risk of customer going to competitor.  At times, you need to work across Sundays and Saturdays, making your family unhappy.

Things become tiring as consultant to meet expectation to stay on top of the industry trends, policy changes and best practices. There are uncertainties of when the next project will come from and existing projects could be truncated in days’ notice.  Being a consultant makes one experience risk to feed entrepreneurial instincts. This stress might be an unnecessary stress factor.

“Works Smart, Earns more salary (skill demand), Less certainty, involve in Strategy”.  I find that I am not good to sell myself as we always undervalue us. That means we are not projecting right data to customers for them to see more value.

Being good at consulting does not reflect that you are good at start-ups. While entrepreneur owns idea, make decisions and works to execute decisions, the consultant researches and come with insight’s and suggestions to arrive at decision and is not involved in the execution.

I would recommend that every one needs to experience consulting for short term to better personal growth. Doing consulting for long term depends on lot of factors including  your skills and your style.

  • Employee with sabbatical option should explore as consultant for a year. The personal, professional growth and networking is good and you experience freedom to make decisions. On-going back, you are more valuable to an employer than earlier.
  • Successful in business(sold your business), one can engage as consultant with other business to make some money and have time  to explore new business ideas and identify new opportunities and also experience being a follower.
  • Not successful or failed in business, one can engage as consultant if you our business was in niche area and you have insights about domain, market approach, pitfalls in execution that are valuable to business to arrive at better decisions.

How Common man views Net neutrality?

Let me start saying that I am in favor of Net neutrality being a techie.

You might have heard of launch of internet.org initiative and release of mobile application launched by Facebook with Reliance. This week came with news of introduction to AirTel Zero platform.and reports of a major e-retailer has joined the platform. Start-ups are concerned that the application allows access only to limited set of content and services and not others. This is termed as violation of net neutrality. There is  fear of step-mother treatment  compared to biggies boarded on the platform.

I decided to see Net neutrality from eyes of the common man. Started with explanation in language closer to the common man.

  • To access limited free content offered by Internet.org, pay for a specific mobile connection (in this case, Reliance).
  • To get access on equal basis to a diversity of internet content, pay a little extra in absence of Internet.org.

The common man cultivated habit supported by telecom operators with free minutes as part of pre-paid plan- voice and data. The common man sees extension of the plan to include limited free content. The common man  started using Facebook years as Facebook access plan was offered for Rs 30 per month by cellular provider. He see this move a positive with new power to view more content over internet compared to earlier times. He can also hear new music and view short clips from movie of his favorite actor. He does not see today why or how it is not good for him.

Looks very similar to complaints of social activists about  UIDAI or Aadhaar  and their explanation that the same is not for their benefit. Even current ruling party apposed the same while in apposition and now they support the same. May be these people who complaint would also not do so later. Why to involve in area that I do not understand?

When one looks from common man perspective, the new initiative has potential to remove digital divide in the country ( advantage) and at the same time has ability to also to create monopolies(detrimental) for the common man. The common man is one who needs to decide which way to go forward.

Have a brave heart if telecom operators board state governments and utilities on the platform and allow citizens to access government related e-services for free or say Rs 50 per month. That also would benefit the common man.

Effectively common man does not have much money and the new initiative offers benefits to him with little or no additional expense.

Who collects feedback on recruitment experience?

Today there are lot of talent acquisition portals more suited to the needs of the company hiring. Some start-ups offer code assessments to candidates to help company to saves time to identify right candidates. Some start-ups make candidate to record answers online for pre-defined questions and help in decision to invite candidate for interview. Some start-ups measures the candidate’s interest and availability by collecting candidate information like notice period, other company offers and new salary amount,joining date for new offer and facilitate company to help staff to be more productive by allowing candidates who can join in company terms.

Most of them are a market place for companies to publish job position and look for qualified candidates and for candidate to publish resumes and look for a interested job. The recruitment experience is more similar to e-commerce purchase experience with difference that e-commerce portal shares price for all the products and job portal fails to  display salary range for most of the job position. The recruitment process needs improvement  and more maturity similar to process at e-retailer.

Like e-retailers are required to focus on collecting  feedback about customer delivery effectiveness, with more faith on technology to create Wow, recruiters fail to collect candidates feedback with more faith on org leadership to create Wow factor. What is not measured cannot be improved. As the effectiveness of recruitment process is not measures, no efforts are spend to improve the same. As organizations measure employee productivity, they are aware of the time measure spend by employees on recruitment. Hence they focus efforts to optimize the time spend on hiring talent.

It is quite natural for start-ups to focus on the value proposition for the company from increasing productivity and companies pay for them. Why should they bother on the value proposition to candidates which their buyer does not bother much as part of recruitment process? Hence the start-ups position value to candidate as “Get more offers! Better salaries! No charge !”.

In recruitment, once the transaction is complete, there is scope of more human interaction than with e-retailer and hence comes recruiter. Exploring new opportunities, I have been happy with few recruiters support similar to being happy with few e-retailer support. There have been several disappointments with recruitment process. Wish a start-ups comes to address the needs of the candidate for better experience & impress the candidate to join for less salaries. Here are some challenges observed.

  1. When the candidate view this job position, he sees that job was posted 6 months ago. In these cases, there is no information whether job opening is valid or not. Should there not be a hiring deadline or validity date for the job posting? Today website like naukri.com shows the date of job posting only. The candidate question ” Are you really hiring now?
  2. Some job offering emails asks candidates to respond with current and expected salary packages with the resume. The email fails to have company name. The candidate question “Why email without company name?
  3. If recruiters want to be more productive, they should provide a salary range. The candidates looks at salary range & decide to apply or not based on their interest. The candidate question ” What is salary range for job position?
  4. It’s ok for recruiter not to display salary range on all job sites. When candidate applies, the candidate can be provided salary range in email or when the recruiters talks to the candidate, he shared salary range early in the conversation. Both rarely happens. The recruiter is focused to get the candidate’s current salary and expected salary and when asked, few recruiters provide information(may be they do not have). Not sure what is point of hiding information from the candidate. The candidate question “ Why don’t you give me a minimum salary range even when you want to know my side though.
  5. The recruiter does not share the time needed to be spend by the candidate in the hiring process. On short notice, The candidate is asked to sign up for long hours.Recruiters focus is more on time suitability for the interviewer than the candidate. The candidate question “Is my time not equally valuable?
  6. Recruiters share little or no information on what is hiring process (may be they do not know). It is okay not to share name of the interviewer name. Knowing background of interviewer helps candidate to prepare his mind for the discussion. While recruiter expects candidate to confirm time, status change of the interviewer are not communicated. The candidate question ” Why are there surprises in hiring process? Plan.
  7. The recruiter assume perfect working of the whole system. When phone call does not happen on time,  the candidate is asked first why he is not on call? May the interviewer had not started call or there are genuine issues to start the call. Recruiters are not prepared for scenarios where the interviewer fails to come for phone call or face-to-face discussion at planned time. They are neither available ( may they have no time) to handle these situations where candidate needs help. The candidate question is “Are recruiters over loaded? They work with humans and need flexibility in their time also“.
  8. When recruiter  leverages security to connect the candidate to interviewer and the interviewer is not present, the security guy has no clue of the next action. The security asks the candidate to call recruiter . As candidate, in addition to upset that my time is not respected, the experience is not fair either. “Can organization make recruiter as one point contact for coordination across recruitment process?
  9. Once candidate completes hiring process, the candidate has no clue of the number of days to wait to know the outcome. On candidate kept waiting, the candidate loses patience and trust in hiring process. The candidate question “Do you want to take advantage over me in the hiring process? Stop wasting my time”..
  10. Love me or hate me, just tell me why. Recruiter possibly gets more than 100 applications for 1 job position and does not get time to really care about the 99 who are rejected. On company saying “YES”, the candidate might not ask why and thinks that he would eventually find when he meets hiring manager or team. On company saying “NO”, the candidate does not know why he was not shortlisted. The candidate question is “When can I apply again to company if interested. What should be done different to improve my chances? What was lacking in the job application? If I knew then at least I can improve my chances with other companies“..

The recruiter does not collect feedback from the candidate on the recruitment experience. Implementing  a mechanism for the recruiters to collect feedback  on process from candidate can help to streamline recruitment process. The recruiter needs to collect and report delays due to interviewer and other causes leading to poor feedback and also reasons for good feedback.

At end of email, I want to mention about hasjob website, more fair to candidate. The site is free for the candidates and the company to engage a process of purchase and sale from each other with potential for candidate to join employer. The candidate feels fair opportunity to evaluate other side with more information about company( though crisp and specific) is shared than most other websites.

How to decide whether website is trustworthy?

Today I observed that my daughters look for information needed in their class to website. They search for things in Google and are lead by hyperlinks that engage them on the website. How will they know whether the websites are trustworthy?

Today I see website like Alexa where you can verify the popularity of the website. They help the website developers to learn how much their websites are able to engage with their user segment compared to their competitors and what different is done by their competitors.  Effectively they help website creator to learn about the popularity of the website or the webpage. We decide  whether the website is popular or not.

Today I read articles on LinkedIn pulse. and people write on different topics. How do i decide to trust author and so article ?  Some of them are termed influencer. Does one become influencer  due to number of followers and number of likes and shares or they have impacted a create a positive change in the lifestyle of the audience life? We can decide whether the author and article is popular or not.

Lot of times, we view articles and perceive them as solution or approach to solve the problems faced by us in real life and hence on reading article, we mark article liked. What does like of the article mean? Does that mean that I am going to implement the solution. I agree that there are authors who influence people to undergo a change in reality are on LinkedIn Pulse and they write article to reach a larger audience base. What stops a person to misrepresent and start become influencer in the virtual network. I am not sure to decide to trust a website or article or author on online world.

For example gossip websites have high PageRank scores, whose information mostly is not reliable. Some of the website with  neutral opinion on similar topic and more accurate information are not popular and do not appear in search results are viewed by smaller audience.

When website had correct value for a fact and it might have only few facts that are correct, one can term website as trust-worthy.

I consider Wikipedia to be one of the trustworthy websites. The information has been contributed by the community. The community people own the responsibility for the correctness of the fact. There is mechanism to flag our incorrect information and this flag is visible to readers. Still, when there is revenue of a movie at box office specified, there might less means to verify the same. They also list different websites that have contribute or describe the topic and that adds more trust.

One place where one might want to ask for trustworthiness is while looking at annual reports of registered company. The company publishes their annual reports online and the link to report is shared with all shareholders. The company would claim that auditor has signed the annual report and it is a fact. Does that prevent some to upload a wrong version of the annual report by mistake?

• Website with High PageRank with High trustworthiness:
o Stack overflow and khan academy would fall in this category.
• Website with Low PageRank with high trustworthiness
o Alternate law forum would fall here.
• Website with High PageRank with low trustworthiness:
o You will see public discussion forums fall in this category.

If you are building your website, do check this article How to Build a Trustworthy Website. If you are reader, please be aware that website that has implemented the suggestion of the above link may be trustworthy most of the times and not trustworthy always.

I use some  approaches to make a biased  judgement of whether information in the website is trustworthy and this starts by Googling  about website to view related website links as part of search results.

1. Does the website provides information about the author? Can I know who wrote article of the website contents?
2. Find the owners of the registered domain. What is the organization main purpose? Do they have main website and are they related?
3. What is the main purpose of this website? Why did someone try to put efforts to write and publish the same?
4. Does website targets audience that includes me? The  website that comes abstract and complex for me is judged as not trustworthy( Do you make them wrong too?).
5. when website is referred by multiple other websites, I assume that website is trust worthy, unless found negative.
6. When information mentioned in website is found as part of press websites published by traditional media(say HBR), I assume content to be trustworthy.
7. I consider authors who are known to me through their  Webinar or popular youtube video that I can listen to be trustworthy( may not be right always)..