My articles and research on ‘LinkedIn’

Uber’s legacy hangs in the balance: Digital robber baron or respectable innovator?

Uber, the leading ridesharing company, has earned the distinction of becoming one of the most hated companies in the technology industry. One of its executives, Emil Michael, recently suggested to a large dinner gathering that his company should allocate $1 million to dig up dirt on reporters who were criticizing it. Last month, it tried to entice riders in Lyon, France, with ads pitching free pickups from...

My INK Talk: Why India shouldn’t be succeeding — but is about to experience an innovation boom

When I started researching India’s engineering education in 2005, my first conclusion was that Indian I.T. was doomed. The country was barely graduating enough engineers to staff this growing industry. The quality of engineers that India’s universities graduated was also inconsistent, and most were unemployable. To make matters worse, India graduated hardly any engineering PhDs—so there wasn’t much...

This Indian start-up could disrupt health care with its powerful and affordable diagnostic machine

Frustrated at the lack of interest by the medical establishment in reducing the costs of diagnostic testing, and seeing almost no chance of getting the necessary research grants, Kanav Kahol returned home to New Delhi in 2011. He was a member of Arizona State University’s department of biomedical informatics. Kahol had noted that despite the similarities between most medical devices in their computer displays...

Move over, humans, the robocars are coming

My prediction is that in fewer than 15 years, we will be debating whether human beings should be allowed to drive on highways. After all, we are prone to road rage; rush headlong into traffic jams; break rules; get distracted; and crash into each other. That is why our automobiles need tank-like bumper bars and military-grade crumple zones. And it is why we need speed limits and traffic police. Self-driving...

It’s a beautiful time to be alive and educated

This is a commencement address I gave at Hult International Business School August 22, 2014. I grew up watching Star Trek and believing that by the time I became an adult we would all be using communicators, replicators, tricorders, and transporters. I was optimistic that the world would be a much better place: that we would have solved humanity’s problems and be exploring new worlds. That’s why my first...

Indian IT Is A Boys Club Like Silicon Valley–But There Is More Hope

This is a piece I wrote at for Times of India which compares and contrasts Indian IT to Silicon Valley. Sadly, Indian IT is as sexist as the Valley is. But the tide is rising in India. When I moved to Silicon Valley from Pakistan, I did not expect that people would be so surprised my cofounder Sabika Nazim is a woman” said Faizan Buzdar, CEO of Convo.  He was also in disbelief at the public battles I have...

Here’s what it actually takes to make it as an entrepreneur

A young male who was born to be an entrepreneur drops out from a computer-science program at a prestigious university.  He meets a powerful venture capitalist who is so enamored with his idea that he gives him millions of dollars to build his technology.  Then comes the multi-billion-dollar IPO. That’s the Hollywood version of Silicon Valley.  But it is as far from reality as is Disneyland.  Entrepreneurship...

Life and Success Require Constant Reinvention

I still remember the first time I heard about computers. They were straight out of science fiction. I began to dream about working with them. Then I got my big chance. I enrolled in one of the first courses in computer technology at what is now the University of Canberra. I couldn’t imagine doing anything but writing computer code for a living. And that is what I did for the first ten years of my career. Then...

Economic Times and LinkedIn: The Next Microsoft CEO And Lessons From Indians in Silicon Valley

When Vijay Vashee joined Microsoft in 1982 he was just one of two Indians at the 160-person company. It added several more recruits from India, mostly IITans, over the years. They held low-level technical positions. Vashee became the first Indian to break through Microsoft’s glass ceiling in 1988 when he was named General Manager for Microsoft Project. In 1992 he was asked to head the fledgling PowerPoint...

LinkedIn: Entrepreneurship is a Roller Coaster, Not a Cruise

Listen to the tales of successful company founders and you will get the impression that they sailed smoothly to success. They’ll lead you to believe that they did everything right and made it big because of their smarts and perhaps a little luck. Don’t be fooled. Entrepreneurship is never like that. You fail constantly, suffer setbacks at every turn, and live with the fear that you won’t be able to make...

Why I Have Become Pessimistic About Indian I.T.

When Wall Street Journal and Forbes published articles, a few years ago, predicting the demise of Indian IT, I responded in BusinessWeek that they were dead wrong. I said that the outsourcing market had a long way to go before it peaked; rising salaries and attrition rates were not a cause for long-term concern; and Indian IT would soon become a $100 billion industry. I was, of course, right. Now I am...

LinkedIn: Chinese Can Innovate–But China Can’t

The Economist asked me to comment on a debate about whether China can innovate. Here is my response. Feel free to weigh in below and vote on Economist’s website. China produces more than a million engineering graduates a year—which is seven times as many as America. It is second in academic publications to America and by 2015 will file more patents annually than America. China has already invested...