Can an app name your startup?

The other day, I was browsing through Product Hunt and stumbled upon Namewhale, an app that comes up with names for your startup. I was immediately intrigued. In some of my projects, one of the hardest parts has been coming up with a good name. I am more than willing to outsource this task to an app and try it out!

Startup names are harder than you would think. The name has to be unique, memorable, appeal to customers or investors and also needs to have a domain name easily available! In some cases naming your startup after arbitrary fruits or by stringing together two small words might be good enough. But maybe that just doesn’t cut it or you feel you need to exercise your creative muscle. You then spend a lot of time on this and realize you have better things to do with your time. This is where the app comes in. So, how does it fare?
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How we organized the execution of an engineering team goal

Goals are important. Not just for the individual, but also for the team, the department and the entire organization. On my team, we’ve been setting ourselves quarterly goals. As a part of that process, we’ve been setting core goals as well as stretch goals to ensure that the team’s effort is focused and remains on track. At the end of a quarter, we hold retrospectives to assess our performance as a team and check-in to what extent we’ve met the goals we set for ourselves.

More often than not, our goals are business oriented – we aim to take on projects and undertakings that are central to the product and also aim to bring in a large benefit to a broad set of our users. While some of the goals correspond to large feature releases and the creation of new workflows, other goals revolve around improvements to the core infrastructure of our product as well as goals that enable us as a team to get better.

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Using Asana to set and track personal goals

Outside of work, I’ve always wanted to set and attain personal goals. I never wrote them down, but I always had them at the back of my mind. And with that, it was very hard to get to them as I always ended up procrastinating. A few months ago, I read Ryan Allis’ advice in your 20s and decided that I should do something about it. Writing your goals down is powerful and the act of writing down itself has shown to increase the probability of goals being achieved by orders of magnitude.

In a 1979 Harvard MBA study, participants were asked whether they had written down their goals. 10 years later the 3% of the students who had written down their goals were earning 10 times as much as the other 97% of the class combined.

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My first Toastmasters experience

I’ve never been a great public speaker and it has always bothered me. In the limited times I’ve had an opportunity to talk to an audience in the past, I have felt very nervous and only extensive preparation has given me the ability to actually finish the talk. Even in those cases, I have mostly presented to an audience in a professional context and an audience that I am very familiar with. Nevertheless, I remain in awe of public speakers who can deliver powerful speeches with seemingly limited preparation.

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A trip to a tropical paradise

During a casual conversation with AT in September, I got the idea of going on a winter trip with him. I was already thinking of going somewhere in the winter and figured it would be good to rope in a travel partner. After considering Spain and Argentina, we finally settled on a 10 day trip to a tropical vacation in Puerto Rico. As I have been doing in some of my recent trips, I logged a travel journal on each day and some of the highlights from my journal are recorded here.

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