Land your start-up flight in mid of journey.

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.- Helen Keller

Today, I hear a lot of  talk in media encouraging entrepreneurship as a credible career choice. Indian government supports for start-ups is new and wasn’t always like this. Generations before us were taught to find a ‘good job’, stay as long as you can and retire as soon as possible. Has everything changed? No.  On transition from a job to entrepreneur, one needs more attention to be aware of the risk and evaluate loss of leaving a steady job. This blog is not about transition from corporate job to start-up and if you are one, the articles of Saras Sarasvathy are of immense value.

Ignorant of lean-start-up concept in my first start-up days(2011), we performed quick research experiments on field with real customers. MVP was more an idea on head. More than Lean start-up, I recommend entrepreneurship principles starting with Affordable Loss in articles of Saras Sarasvathy.

When first start-up has not moved towards success and you are in state of limbo, there is a risk of falling in to trap of increasing eagerness to take more risks driven by your state of non-success.  Looking backwards, I question whether I invested sufficient time and thought to evaluate my decision to do second start-up initiative.  I became aware of this risk during my second start-up initiative via session of Saras with iSpirit. One area where risk applied to me was my failure to get my wife consent on the second initiative.

This blog is about landing the flight in mid of start-up journey, without reaching the planned destination. There is less traction from customers. You run out of money. Your partners decide to continue in start-up mode. Your attempt to aqua-hire did not happen too. Your ability became limited to act with little or no money to sustain and wait for another year.  You explored consulting and found the money inflow is less for family. Whatever is the reason, you decided to obtain a paying job. What next?

First step is to realize “Whether you like it or not, your personal life has changed. Be prepared to be alone”.  You spent waking hours to turn your dreams and plans into reality and were less in touch with your friends and relationships continuing in stable jobs during entrepreneurship.  You developed relationship with like-minded entrepreneurs, and supported their initiatives.

When you decide to transition back, the entrepreneur group seemed to keep distance using focus questions. They are right to safeguard their focus and attention to their dream or do not want to be distracted on their success focus in their start-ups. Failure is as good a distraction as much as success. You observe that cherished relationship in friends and entrepreneur groups continue and there is support.  All relationships that did not mature gets tested during transition.

You need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. I failed to take care of myself and feel some guilt still.   Today I can realize a huge desire in me for someone to take care of me in my difficult times, when I wrote this blog Have I “Moved on with life” from mother’s loss? to kill silence and loneliness around me. My wife was also upset with my start-up journey and was ashamed to cry with her with the fear that she would break and I would become paralyzed in action. Both my children eased my pain with their love, started spending more time with them than anything else. My volunteering activities played significant role to create feeling of self-worth to myself. My first assignment after getting job was to bring my wife and children fully back in to my life.

Second step is to Cry out loud for your state for which you are solely responsible. The realization that I am stepping out of start-up race made me look things like failure in competition.  How long to cry alone? I called and people help from distance. No one is expert to support people in pain and suffering.  An early drink with my CTO (close his startup in 1990s) helped me to prepare myself to extent and was not fully helpful as he had the clarity to decide to continue the journey in start-up mode. If you need, call me and I am happy to give you company & revive old memories. I think this is needed to get out of guilt and plan another dream worth your chase and Get on with your next step.

Third step is to acknowledge the concern that it may be scary for recruiters, bosses and co-workers to interact with start-up entrepreneur. Start-up made you act like a hacker and hustle or be like a pirate. Who would want to work with a pirate? And once you were/are a pirate, you are a pirate for life. I realized this quite late after joining a job.

Fourth Step is to do some soul searching and come to terms with what it means to give up working for yourself. Get comfortable with your transition so that you can pitch your skills with conviction. I had limited time to perform this. In this aspect, I was doing transition to start-up to job similar to shifting between two jobs. I continue to suffer from the guilt/doubt whether I would be able to take best care of my children what I and my wife dreams in my current state and constraints.

Hell is for real. Crawling out and getting a life back is not a fantasy. Be prepared to do this alone. Any support is bonus.  I am still in process of that.

While it is sad and very difficult to do something else after a start up, you need to focus on your learning from a start-up to hear a NO without taking it personally and to sell stuff. So think yourself as the product, think of compelling reasons why someone would hire you, and meet them and let them know.

  • Worst outcome .. They say NO.
  • Best outcome .. You have the job and career you want.

Build confidence that you moved from corporate to start-up and you can move back also. You need a compelling story to explain the transitions. Many like me are unsure of how to talk about entrepreneurial ventures that flopped. You need to build strength to crawl through this hell. Seeing media articles, I have not estimate effort needed to get to a career job. Simply, I realized my unpreparedness in my job search and  learnt following.

  • Employers want to hire people interested to be there in job. You are already in disadvantage position not being in a job. You need to present yourself as someone pulled towards the company and not pushed out of constraints or money. I have done classic mistake “ If we scaled and been successful, I might not be here”. Talk to them how working for clients in start-up is similar to working within organization, meeting deadlines and attending to company needs.
  • Hiring managers may be averse to hear negative things. Failure is still perceived negative. If you fail to frames story in terms of what is drawing you to the job in question, to that company, to that industry, and focus on what went wrong with the start-up, you may find interviewers listen carefully to what you say. Some may be happy about what you said and some may be jealous of what you said. At last, they need to make a hiring decision of “Yes” or “No” and they may end with decision “May Be”. That is not in your favour and the resume gets lost in the email maze.
  • Explain move back to corporate with no apologies. Can your reframe Failures as Lessons? If  your start-up did not get traction, you did not get additional funding, describe your learning about launching new products and this can be reason for corporate to hire.
  • Talk Less, Answer only question Nobody wants to hire a start-up guy. Describe your start-up job like you were an employee instead of a co-founder. You are not in interview for a job to become entrepreneur. The other party may provide no brownie points for having been an entrepreneur. Take one or two lines to why you need to keep going. Do not try to explain what went wrong or be defensive to admit that something did go wrong. Try to keep yourself away from the past.  Ask yourself whether  one goes for a date and spend the first dinner talking about ex-date.

You have realized that the fact that you failed is not attractive.  What may become attractive is the experience gained by doing a start-up.  I have become self-aware that entrepreneur’s failure is more visible and likely to come up during an interview.

You need a resume. The purpose of the resume is to get you to the interview. Do not expect the resume to get you to job. It cannot do that. So anything that helps you Stand Out and get that call-back for interview is fair.

Do not market being founder of a failed start-up. Market how you got customers to experiment product, what made them perform so, how you recruited people to the team and how did you get press coverage without spending money.  How did you get attention of large corporations and involved in performing business development with them.  How did you self-train yourself on product management? Effectively market what you won.

While searching for a job, do not start with question “what job will I get with this experience?” May be start with question “What job I want to go out and get?”  The second question is more close to what your start-up probably took you closer to it, not further.

You need to apply to jobs that best suits your talents. What you were good prior to your start-up may have changed unless your role in start-up was similar to your previous job. But for that first you need to recognize what are you best at?

  • If you are software person and choose to be CTO (same discipline), then your skills may be considered more valuable if technology in start-up continues to be hot.
  • If you are software person and performed multi-disciplinary role in start-up, it is challenge for you to project your skills, when things have not succeeded. You spend less time in technical areas compared to corporate expectation. This changes perception of others as multi-disciplinary skill and make them observe that you are not expert in technical areas.

When you have more than 15 years of experience, be prepared to fact that probability to hire senior resource is driven by culture of company, team culture, and budget of hiring manager. Most of them may not have budget or may not be able to decide whether to invest their budget hiring you, as one needs to acknowledge the perception of hiring manager to hire someone attempted to start a business. When you are not from IIT, only few in India would be able to appreciate value in someone with failed start-up experience.

Talking to friends who continued in corporate jobs help to some extent. Some genuinely try to build my resume for you to become employable. Be aware that your skills and style of articulation that were your strengths in start-up may not be apt in interview and can overpower the spot on your resume, interview and upset your hiring chances. This was all after a friend said across lunch “While I admire you, I am going to recommend that you to purchase villa for a crore to have EMI payment of 1 lakh. This would help you to keep your mouth shut in job and be ready for corporate”.

Prepare yourself to talk on interview. Bucket your experience in to a couple of categories.

  • What did you accomplish at your start-up? Did you build a solid team, sign good deals, build a good product, secure and learn from community? Is this what is in your resume?
  • If you can go back to time when you started, What would you perform different? Which of your original assumptions turned out to be false? Where you spend time that you should not have and where else you should have focused?
  • Identify and share what was exciting part of your role in start-up.
  • In each context, be prepared to say what you would perform differently to prevent making the mistake again. Be prepared to discuss in interview. Do not think answer for first time in interview. In areas where you had success, try to get external validation, if possible on LinkedIn.

I am still not clear how much others receive or what they perceive when I describe to  demonstrate the guts and drive to start something or experience gained working rapidly in variety of disciplines, fact that you do things, not just talk about them.  Remember the start-ups may not have money, which is your need.

What I can perform within my control was following

  • Follow behaviour of servant leadership, being humble and  be respectful
  • Look for a small company to get a job, where you can be big, or work directly under the CEO/CTO if possible.
  • If you end up in a big corporate, you are below someone who is there for no reason at all, and your entrepreneur critical eye just leads you to frustration.
  • No one wants to hire someone who carries an aura of failure about them. Plus hiring someone with the entrepreneurial bug is a persistent flight risk
  • Stop attributing problems to external things. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make massive progress. If you make these regular incremental improvements, your life improves dramatically within not too long

This transition is life event. That means that this would play its role in the next job interview also.  Realize that how others will interpret life event depends almost solely on how you present it. If it is your great shame, then yes, people will see your great shame.

When you get a job and get salary credited, it is really weird feeling to see a paycheck come in every month for just showing up; that excites you for a bit, then the itch to get back to real action almost kills you. To handle my itch, I continue to write my blog and volunteer for non-profits, be a spring board to bounce and discuss ideas for entrepreneur friends and connect them via my network.

Like having children, Working for society and community is a life event or choice. You cannot get freedom from social bug, once you are bitten. Entrepreneurship is same, it is a life choice, you can give up on a career but the entrepreneurial bug is forever.

Good Read “Work Rules” by Laszlo

After reading book “Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead” by Laszlo. I wanted to recommend book to others.  May be  availability of pirated copy of book indicated its real popularity.

Some of authors points connect with my own experiences in my startup job or running a startup.

  • Choose to think of yourself as founder and act like one.
  • Can you think of your work calling, with a mission that matters
  • Given limited resources, invest your dollar in recruiting.
  • if you believe people are fundamentally good and worthy of trust, you must be honest and transparent with them.
  • Most people who are performing poorly know it and want to get better. It’s important to give them that chance.
  • Find ways for people to shape their work and the company.Eliminate status symbols
  • Split rewards conversations from development conversations.
  • Help those in need; Put your best people under a microscope.
  • Invest only in learning courses that you can prove changes people’s behavior.Have your best people teach
  • Celebrate accomplishment, not compensation.Reward thoughtful failure.
  • Find ways to say yes.The bad stuff in life happens rarely. Be there for your people when it does.
  • Admit your mistake. Be transparent about it


XML Schema, DTD, and Entity Attacks – Part 1

Today, developers have access to powerful XML parser and XML technology enabled the developers to offload the marshalling issues. No more they are required to perform  custom serialization.  There exists a generic approach to handle different data structures and simple-easy approach to transform XML documents into business objects.

While highly generic and dynamic components made life easy for developers, they  also serve as the foundation for XML parser based attacks. This includes DoS – Denial of Service Attacks, inclusion of local files into XML documents, port scanning from the system where the XML parser is located, overloading of XML-Schema from foreign locations.

To start with, it has become easier to generate XML document in windows machine and consume in Linux machine, and there is possibility that implementation of libraries that generates XML may not be same as the ones ones that parse uploaded files.

A quick recall on XML and its elements. XML is a standard for exchanging structured data in textual format. Format of XML document is defined by either Document Type Definition (DTD) or XML Schema. A XML document is Well-formed if document adheres to the XML syntax specification and is valid if document adheres to the DTD or XML schema. When used incorrectly, these document definition and validation features can lead to security vulnerabilities in applications using XML.

A quick recall on DTD and its constituents. A DTD is a declarative syntax used to specify how elements and references appear for a document of a particular type. The document can be checked whether it is well-formed using a DTD. In addition, entities can be declared in the DTD to define variables (similar to textual macros) to be used later in the DTD or XML document.  To resolve external entities, an XML parser consults various networking protocols and services (DNS, FTP, HTTP, SMB, etc.) depending on the scheme (protocol) specified in URLs. External entities are used to create dynamic references so that any changes made to the referenced are automatically updated in the document.

[Some content comes from other sites and entire Code snippets].
Injection of a XML fragment  XML generators build the XML documents. Depending on the generator, injection of XML document fragments can be attack.  When more XML generators in the front-end, attacker injects fragments and send to server. Here, you see Injection of a XML fragment into the comment field of a online banking payment form (marked red)

XML injection

Addition of other  file in DTD – Processing external entities, Loading of content from local devices  DTD allows the inclusion of documents XML documents (web.xml) and any other file ( /etc/passwd). External EntitiesThe provided example is to reflect/emphasize the seriousness of the issue as most XML parser may find difficult to parse this file since XML parsers often require the content to be parseable

The attacker includes a short DTD in the document to define the “file” external entity, which references a configuration file local to the vulnerable application. When XML gets evaluated, contents of the configuration file gets included inline for the Designation field. XML parser evaluates the entities occurs within the XML parser, the application receiving this request has no simple way to know that the content in the Designation field was actually not a literal string.

Reference a local file

Once this is done, the attacker needs to ask the application for previously submitted employee profile information and would receive the information along with the desired file contents. In this approach, simple text files can be retrieved.Any XML special characters will generate a parse error and typically blocks inclusion of the entity in the document. The application does not know about the parse error  at the moment of entity inclusion, not during subsequent parsing of the containing XML.

Another similar exploit is “billion laughs” attack, done by defining nested entities within an XML DTD to build an XML memory bomb.

While XML specifications do not require any specific URL schemes to be supported, each XML parser has support for a set of URL schemes. Some  platforms expose all URL schemes supported by underlying networking libraries.By invoking URLs from within XML external entities, an attacker can leverage the system hosting the XML parser to initiate potentially malicious requests to third-party systems. These “server-side request forgery” (SSRF) techniques can allow for attacks against other internal services, even ones local to the machine(not otherwise exposed).

Exploit URL Schemes.png


Here is small write-ups of stalls I visited and could relate better with innovations at stalls@Innofest. Wish that innovation stalls were open for viewing by public,children and youngsters. Captured innovations to share and motivate readers to dream.

Let me start with TeamIndus,prototype design and aerial vehicle. Young guys have been able to innovated on large scale and serve as motivation for all to dream big and achieve.They stand to demonstrate that fundamental innovation can happen in India too.

Kisan Raja , powerAdapter to enable farmers to swtich on motor pumps in the field from his home and save the effort to walk across a long distance.

Visted stalls of 3D printers PRAMAAN and PRAMAAN-Mini. Learnt  what items can be made with 3D printers and raw materials used to create items like keychain, table tops, flower pots. Wish the innovators work to enable audience to relate to product easily, something like create some pre-designed items, make items and share with audience to take home(for charge). Connected audience has ability to share with more people.

vSkin is a wearable glove to creates a sense of touch on the users’ fingers in a virtual setting.  One can feel the hand movements while working with a digital piano or use glove as part of video conferencing calls to perform remote handshake. The innovators are currently in age group of 19 to 22 years.

Tesseract is a Virtual Reality headset. The prototype headset works with content created or stored on a laptop; new ones work with mobile phones also. Wish Tesseract becomes complimentary item with XBox for customers to think about. They have sourced optics from China, acrylic lens from India and manufactured in China.

RideLogik helps with charging base for the smartphone. Wish they provide more value propositions around the vehicle efficiency and performance. Though they can integrate with any vehicle that runs based on electronic control unit, their focus is 2-Wheeler’s. They need to develop channels to reach existing 2-wheeler owners.

Found innovation of insulin pen to enable diabetes patients to take care of their health better more connected at ground level.The innovator has patent filed In India.

Shrishti  has displayed multiple innovative items. Though I am not covering all of them, I would like to cover the chair they have made using old newspaper. This chair can be used for outdoor purpose too and would not spoil in rain.  A means for paperwallas to become furniture makers? Here is my photo on the chair to say that chair was stable with my body weight.

Plugzee is device to turn any audio speaker system into a Bluetooth speaker. The device plugs into the 3.5 mm audio jack of speaker & lets you stream music wireless by Bluetooth pairing with a smartphone. They have leveraged crowd-sourcing to transform innovation to reality. Already started to ship last week- that is nice.

For more innovative items present in the stall, please check Madan article Passion and policy – startups and ministers at InnoFest 2015!

Edited version of this article was posted at

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 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.

Should schools focus to teach tools?

I heard my daughter  studying in second standard asking my wife that ” I completed studying. Ask me questions. I will answer”. As she was busy, I volunteered to ask questions. Here are the questions in her classwork. Please have a look at them. Answer these questions. Should schools focus to teach tools and have exams to evaluate tool usage? What is impact by tool  taught in school on your child? if you want to deep dive, more questions below the classwork.

Introduction to Word 2007

  1. Give steps to start MS-Word?
    • Answer: Click on start – All Programs-> Microsoft Office -> Microsoft Office Word 2007
  2. List different components of MS-Word
    • Answer: The different components are Title Bar, Ribbon, Ruler, Scroll bars, work area, Cursor, Status bar, Quick Access toolbar, Office Button and View button
  3. Which commands are used to store text in MS-Word 2007?
    • Answer: The Save and SaveAs Commands are used to store the typed next
  4. Explain the function of Quick Access toolbar
    • Answer: The quick access toolbar is used to directly save, undo or redo changes in the word file while working on it.

Some additional questions to think and ponder.

  1. They taught tool. Why not schools just have only practical tests?
  2. They are teaching tool version that is quite old. Do we realize the tool usage is not same on  iPad?
  3. When children get used Microsoft Word 2007,  Will it be easy for children to change themselves later to a different tool later?

Testing for Errors – Bring a Product(SLA) perspective

I had a good read of article  Testing for Errors – Bringing A Designer’s Perspective! by Parimala  and started to think whether it should be designer only or product manager.  In outsourced product development cycle, I observed that developers are more exposed in their work to designers and client side program/product managers and test engineers are less exposed to designers or product managers This make test engineers more dependent on developers and look less smart in others eyes. With support of my client, I experimented to engage test engineer(on silent mode) as part of meeting between developers and designers/product manager.

Developing my own products in my start-up, there are 3  human skills required to develop and launch product.  technical skills( write code, design, architect and devOps), UX skills( user interface, usability and user experience) and product skills( customer, demos, product position, evangelize).  Who would perform testing? For our products, I was in shared role of product person working along with test engineers. Testing was with me.

When my test engineer was involved by me in product demos to customer, the test engineer was more matured in deciding what bugs impact customer and what do not.  For him the focus was no more in creating bugs, and focus was on better customer experience. if we scaled, I wanted to setup  practice where  product manager and test engineer works closely. Hence blog “Bring product manager perspective to testing for errors” and here is why test engineers to have product manager perspective.

When product manger offers service,  customer expects  service to offer pretty good reliability. To satisfy customer expectation, product manager comes with SLA to convince customers and win their trust and confidence. Even before that, the product manager needs to get convinced that the product meets SLA to be shared with customers.

Here comes the test engineer’s role to perform tests for reliability with discussion with product manager to make sure that product adheres to SLA. When test engineer reports product to be 60% reliable, the product manager needs to project product to be less than 60% reliable and  reliability cannot be more than 60%.

when there is product launch of next version,  the technical team is under pressure to ship new features and product manager is under pressure to launch from management. If product with new features is  found to be outside of its SLA promised to customer, the test engineer needs to collaborate with product manager before he puts his foot down either  to stop the roll out of new features  or drop features that impacts reliability and continue roll out. Effectively reliability needs to improve and SLAs have to be met.

This scenario brings to front the classic conflict of developers & test engineers or development team & product team.  Leader needs to resolve the conflict in favor of the customer and not in favor of specific  person or group.

Right leadership increases team collaboration to deliver benefits. When the test engineers are provided with responsibility to test for adhering to SLAs and developers are educated about SLAs and role of test engineer, some new things start to happen. Smart developers walk across floor to test engineers to understand whether the new feature added will impact reliability.  They also ask how to determine there is loss of reliability as they want the  features to be shipped after spending significant effort.