My articles and research on ‘LinkedIn’

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...

LinkedIn Influencers: Calling All Engineers: Please Tell Us Your Gender Numbers

One of the technology industry’s most serious shortcomings is that it leaves out women and some minorities. I have written a lot about the dearth of women and why this is animportant issue. I am also crowdcreating a book, Innovating Women, on how to fix this imbalance. In a nutshell, we need to do this for the economy and to boost innovation. Culture, values, and ethics flow from the top to the bottom...

Why Facebook is Doomed

I expect that, within a few years, my Tesla electric car will drive by itself, using Google software. Yes, I am talking about the self-driving, autonomous vehicles that we have seen in science-fiction movies: Google is making these a reality. Its autonomous cars have already driven half a million miles on California roads — without a single accident — and will soon transform transportation in cities all...

LinkedIn: Nokia Can’t Save Microsoft — Only its Geniuses Can!

Microsoft’s announcement that it is buying Nokia’s Devices and Services unit shows it thinks that by acquiring the right technology, it can regain its lost momentum. Sadly, the company is mistaken. Microsoft’s problem isn’t that it has too little technology; it has too much. And it has too many smart people whose talent is being wasted. Instead of expanding, it needs to be disbanding...

LinkedIn: Is the GMAT the Root of Evil in the Business World?

Yes, I know that that’s a very provocative title. But after analyzing data that B-school professor Raj Aggarwal sent me, this is what I now believe about the Graduate Management Admission Test. A high GMAT score is necessary to gain admission to top business schools—world wide. But, shockingly, what Aggarwal reported in a paper in the Journal of Business Ethics is that high GMAT scores correlate with...