Speakers & Volunteers

WordCamp Mumbai 2016 Day 2 Wrap

WordCamp Mumbai 2016 Day 1 Wrap

My favourite talks of day 2 at WordCamp Mumbai 2016, in chronological order:

  1. Naoko Takano (@naokomc) came all the way from Japan (and brought really cool WordPress tattoos for us – you saw a sample in yesterday’s post) to talk about how WordPress became successful in Japan, capturing 78% of the website share. A relevant talk for anyone interested in internationalization and localization.
  2. Michael Eisenwasser (fb/eisenwasser) is the co-founder of BuddyBoss, a company which build products for the BuddyPress ecosystem. Great talk to help us build user engagement using “social tools” on WordPress.
  3. Sakin Shrestha (@sakinshrestha) came all the way from Nepal, where he heads various companies and also manages to host WordCamp Nepal. He introduced the audience to different approaches to developing themes for WordPress, ranging from modifying an existing theme, to building one from scratch, including using frameworks and starter themes.
  4. Darshan Sawardekar (@_dsawardekar) is a Lead Web Engineer at 10up, and a vim enthusiast – to the extent that he is the author of a vim plugin called WordPress.vim. He explained why URLs are important, how pretty URLs/permalinks work in WordPress, what Rewrite rules are, and how we can leverage them to our advantage.
  5. Mahangu Weerasinghe (@MahanguW) is a Happiness Engineer at Automattic, and like Bryce & Sam, I had met him and heard him speak on stage for the first time at WordCamp Mumbai 2015. This time he shared how he, a non-programmer, taught himself to write code on WordPress that lets him do things one step at a time, using action & filter hooks. But beyond just the technique of it, his deeper message was that programming is not only for the math-minded toppers in school – essentially, programming (at least algorithms and high-level programming languages) is language, and similar to any language we speak in with each other – so any person who can communicate well can also code well.

Thus ended my fourth WordCamp and the volunteer stint with it. In the process I had the chance to discuss with great people, some of whom are employees at Automattic, others are business owners in India, some developers, and every one of them a WordPress enthusiast.

Photographs courtesy: Bigul Malayi (@mbigul)

Until the next WordCamp!

WordCamp Mumbai 2016 Day 1 Wrap

On my way to the venue.

On my way to the venue.

The venue was set, the sandwiches, tea, coffee, water was all fixed, the projection on stage, the sound from the laptops, the presenters/clickers were tested, the WiFi worked finally after a couple of hours of tinkering.

47999106-9408-4c1d-9471-f450230a221fAfter around an hour of attendees walking in, collecting their goodie bags, and walking in to the auditorium after getting something to munch on & sip, we were ready for the talks to start.

WordCamp Mumbai 2016 was open!

This is my fourth ever WordCamp. I was an attendee at the first one (Mumbai 2014), a speaker at the next (Mumbai 2015), a sponsor at the next (Pune 2015), and I’m an organizer/volunteer/<localhost> at this one.

I was looking forward to this WordCamp eagerly, for the quality of the planned talks if not for anything else.

And this is the first WordCamp which was duly attended by the whole 13 Llama Studio team.


In the chronological order, here’s my take on what I liked about what went on today:

  1. Shilpa Shah (@IdleGazer, HWS) told us what customers want. It’s been a recurring theme in WordCamps, and rightly so. Developers have been known to not fully understand the importance of dealing with customers with empathy and a kind word. Shilpa delivered the message in her disarming fun way. A great start to a great WordCamp.
  2. Nirav Mehta (@niravmehta, StoreApps) had delivered this session at a WordPress meetup a few weeks ago, which I had missed. Later I heard many good things about it from those who hadn’t. Today I found out what I had missed then. Various insights into the WordPress plugin universe and what an aspiring plugin developer should focus on made this a must go.
  3. Bryce Adams (@bryceadams): I had heard Bryce for the first time in WordCamp Mumbai 2015, and was just blown away with the way he built his case for the famous “decisions over choices” principle. This time he spoke about building Freemium plugins, and how it follows from looking at The Bigger Picture.CdU57xTUAAAsQ9_
  4. Sam Hotchkiss (@HotchkissWeb): Same as Bryce, I had heard Sam last year, and he showed us a very cool picture of the admin panel of the future. This time around, he took us through the best practices for Plugin development. Very thorough, and very enlightening.
    I want this printed, framed, and hung on every developer's desk every where

    I want this printed, framed, and hung on every developer’s desk every where

  5. Karthikraj Magapu (@KarthikMagapu, HWS) in his inimitable style, took Nirav Mehta, Rohan Thakare (@rohanthakare, Wisdm Labs), and yours truly, along with a member from the audience on a panel discussion – the topic being how can growing WordPress based companies get to their first million. As much as it was fun, it was thought-provoking, forcing us to look inwards, and learn from each other. The learning opportunity for me was immense, since both Nirav and Rohan have been in business longer than I, and run larger companies than I.
    The panel at WCMumbai 2016

    Photo courtesy: Harshaja Ajinkya

  6. Rahul Bansal (@rahul286, rtCamp) is the god of scaling, speed, reliability, and taking off from his previous talk at Mumbai 2015, he taught us how to make WooCommerce scalable. Entertaining and educative.
  7. Raghavendra: though I missed a major part of his talk, whatever I heard moved me to the core. As a developer, I have always insisted on the alt tag, and warned against the indiscriminate mixing of alt with title in imgs. Today I got validation for this seemingly pedantic practice. But the alt is only one of the things we developers need to take care of while making the web accessible to those with disabilities. And WordPress is the only platform which focuses on accessibility. Yet another reason to be proud of using WordPress and being in the community.
  8. Kshitij Patil (@thekshitijpatil, kshitijpatil.com) is an entrepreneur who has sold web design services for years. And he shared his techniques and principles with the audience.
  9. Saurabh Shukla (@actual_saurabh, hookrefineandtinker.com) delivered one of the most fun, engaging, and moving talks of the day, where he shared his numerous stints with a development career, the failures & struggles, and finally simplified talent retention through the famous Maslow’s Hierarchy of human needs.

WordCamp Mumbai Day 2 Wrap

A new UI Kit for React-Native

I love Javascript.

And I have come to love ReactJS a lot more than I had loved any other Javascript library, sorry jQuery.

In the last few weeks, I have been learning React Native, while putting together an iOS app for a project of ours. While working with React Native, I realised that there isn’t a default styling/component kit available for creating native mobile applications. The ones that are there are not open source, each coming with a decent enough price tag.

And then I realised that even though React Native uses some form of stylesheets, I cannot simply drop the stylesheets from Twitter Bootstrap and expect it to work.

So I got down to creating usable UI components, with the style borrowed from Bootstrap.

It’s far from finished, but at the time of writing this you can use it to create a text input field with a label, and the six types of buttons provided by Bootstrap. I’ll keep adding more components to the kit as time permits.

Go ahead and use it, share it, give me feedback, and contribute to it if you would like to.

https://github.com/hypnosh/ui-kit-for-react-native

Indian Institute of #NetNeutrality

A lot has been said about #netneutrality in the last few days, from how dear ol’ “altruistic” Zucky has a golden heart and wants to see poor kids in Chandauli access Facebook the Internet for free, and how Airtel just wants every poor child to access “the Internet”, to how the debate is full of metaphors like a fishermen’s net is full of fish in the evening.

So let me take a jump in the net neutrality discussion to talk about three issues that have been bugging me related to this:
1. Idea & IIN
2. The cable TV metaphor, and
3. The toll-free number metaphor.

Idea & IIN

We don’t see the connect between Idea’s IIN ads and net neutrality yet. It isn’t directly related, but it does lay down the groundwork for the idea (pun unintended) that somehow, the mobile operators/ISPs are the magnanimous fellows who are bringing all this wonderful Internet magic to you, and by association, can claim ownership to the content and innovation it brings along.

You’ve seen the IIN ads – where Idea’s Internet Network is the source of education for all the underprivileged, all who have been wronged by unfair selection practices in traditional educational institutions, and all who are mocked by their peers, but have the zeal to learn on their own.

Wow so cool. Except that Idea has nothing to do with it. Like I tweeted a few days ago, it’s like BEST laying claim for the education of your kid who goes to college by bus and becomes a lawyer. There, one more metaphor – take it and go.

Yes, Idea (or any mobile operator/ISP) isn’t providing anything beyond a connection to the Internet. They aren’t providing a platform. They surely aren’t creating the content that’s adding to our education when we decide to educate ourselves. The people in the ads could very well learn the exact same thing, find the exact same information if they were using a Vodafone connection, or were accessing the Internet through a local cable broadband connection.

If anything, Idea and other mobile operators are responsible for impeding said education due to their pathetic network quality and high data prices.

The Cable TV Metaphor

Mobile operator sympathizers have been citing the way cable MSOs operate as the model for internet access, which is, you choose which channels you want to watch and subscribe to those, in addition to a basic access charge, that you pay your MSO or local cable guy. Certain channel groups have tie-ups with certain large MSOs and not with others, so certain channels are available only on the former and not on the latter. Nobody complains there, so why the hue and cry this time?

To start with, that one industry is being run as a racket can not and should not be used to justify attempts to destroy another network and technology. But let’s keep that aside for a while.

TV and the Internet can not be compared. Here is why. In the case of TV, a cable/dish subscription is nothing but a bundle of channels, it’s a one-way medium, and we’re all purely consumers. Add to that, we do not do our daily communication and business over television waves. It’s a pure mass-media system.

The Internet, on the other hand, is not just another media. It’s not a bundle of websites, and not at all a bundle of websites the folks at Airtel / Reliance / Internet.org can decide it to be. It’s like the ocean, where these websites exist, and thrive purely on merit, either of technology, content, or marketing, not because they sign up with particular ISPs so that those ISPs agree to delivery their bytes to end-users. The Internet is not “just a technology”, the Internet is an entity of its own, and you do not get to call it the Internet if you do not let me access certain sites based on tieups your tieup sales team has made.

Secondly, the Internet has always been about choice. I choose to open Vimeo or YouTube at the time I please, and search for the video I want to see, and choose to watch the one I like. Compare this with TV, where the channel decides which content is appropriate for its audiences, and when it should be aired – the only choice we have is to either watch it or watch some other channel altogether.

I am not just a consumer on the Internet. I am also a content creator. Through our websites, blogs, social profiles, we disseminate content.
We are, at the same time, consumers and creators of content.

More importantly, I am not just a consumer on the Internet. I am also a content creator. Through our websites, blogs, social profiles, we disseminate content, of varying levels of intensity and seriousness. In addition to that, people like me make our living through the Internet. We are, at the same time, consumers and creators of content. And with this freedom to create and innovate, the number of web properties increases every day. Can the ISPs play god by deciding which ones of these you and I, or the kids in Chandauli get to see?

The Toll-Free Number Metaphor

We started hearing this when Airtel started feeling the heat of the public backlash. In fact, an email arrived in many mailboxes today from Airtel’s MD & CEO Mr. Gopal Vittal, where he insists that Airtel Zero is nothing but a 1800 service for websites.

Except that it’s not.

I can call a 1800 number from any SIM card or landline phone within the geographic boundaries, and not be charged. To access the “1800 website” I will have to sign up with Airtel Zero’s service on an Airtel SIM card. The metaphor does not go the whole hog Mr. Vittal.

Once again, the Internet is not comprised of a bundle of websites or phone numbers. It’s a place where different forms of media and platforms and properties are being created every hour, and that’s the beauty of it. “Websites” are one type of property on the web, though the dominant ones, but there are other types of properties, and more such will keep coming up as innovation goes on.

…the illusion of choice the mobile operators are talking about, is for the provider of the content, and not you and me, the consumer of the content.

Also, to access a 1800 number, all I do is dial the said number (the transaction with the network begins there), and be assured that the conversation is between the owner of the number and me (unless there’s tapping going on, in which case we have other serious issues to handle). In the case of Airtel Zero or Internet.org, the only way the ISPs can make sure I am not billed for going to their favourite sites is by snooping on my data packets (because my transaction with the ISP begins when I log on, or in the case of mobile internet, it’s an ongoing transaction). This is gross violation of my privacy, and it’s none of their business to be looking at the data I am sending and receiving.

In the end, the illusion of choice the mobile operators are talking about, is for the provider of the content, and not you and me, the consumer of the content. You and I don’t choose whether we get Flipkart for free or Amazon. It’s only the choice of Bansal or Bezos to sign up with these “zero plans” if they want more visitors to their sites. We don’t get any choice if there’s no net neutrality going forward.

If we let the mobile operators/ISPs decide which sites we can and cannot access, and do not insist on net neutrality today, maybe going forward you’ll be charged extra to read this blog, or simply access WordPress.com, or maybe you simply can’t access these, because they’re not part of the bundle that your ISP is offering you.

Do your bit today, visit www.savetheinternet.in, or www.netneutrality.in to know more about the issue and find out what actions you can take to prevent mobile operators and ISPs from taking the Internet hostage.

Disclaimer: I run a firm which makes web properties and runs its entire business on the web.
Disclaimer 2: I am trying to post this blog through the Airtel broadband connection I have at home, which after the miniscule 15GB FUP (which can be exhausted in a mere 5 OSX updates) runs at the awesomely slow speed of 512kbps. I’m frustrated with them over this, but net neutrality is way bigger than petty quibbles over data packs ending prematurely.

(Post’s featured image from FreePress on Flickr under Creative Commons licence)

WordCamp 2015 Mumbai

It’s official.

I’m speaking at the WordCamp 2015 in Mumbai. It’s being held on the 7th and 8th of March 2015, at Manik Sabhagriha Auditorium in Bandra.

The topic of my talk is WordPress as the backbone of a mobile app.

Do try to make it if you’re interested in WordPress, mobile app development, PHP, or programming. It’s one of the most high-power events for software professionals in India, and you can expect to hear and meet inspiring professionals working in the WordPress ecosystem and in software development for the two days of the event. And it’s right next to the Bandra Candy’s if you need more incentive to attend 🙂

See you there.


Update: Prasad is speaking there as well. Now you have two reasons to come attend it 🙂

Moto X comes to India as well!

Back in February, Flipkart surprised us all by bringing in the amazing Moto G to India. But wait a second, they had another ace up their sleeves. Now they are also selling the game-changing Moto X, albeit stocking just the 16GB variant so far.

Moto X on FlipkartFlipkart and Motorola have managed to surpass themselves yet again on the price front.

If you haven’t yet bought the Moto G, and if your budget is around 25000, what excuse can you think of not to buy this one? 🙂 Now I wish I hadn’t bought a Moto G myself.

My 6 Basic WordPress Plugins

wpplugins
I make a living working on WordPress. And this blog is on WordPress. And at the risk of sounding repetitive, I’ve been on WordPress for 4-5 years now. One of the most important things in the install workflow is selecting and installing the plugins you’d need. While the exact set of plugins varies from project to project, and depends on the intended functionality of the site, there are a few basic ones that I make sure to install on every site I deploy. The exhaustive list is too big, but here’s my top six, which you may find useful.

  1. Akismet: Automattic’s own plugin which saves me a lot of time & energy in filtering out the comment spam, done by SEO bots mainly.
  2. Google Analytics: Any GA plugin will do. But most loved by us is the one by Joost de Valk. Why do you need this? You do want to know the details of the traffic you get, don’t you? And then you can export that data, import it into your spreadsheet software, and soar into the dreamy world of pivot-tables.
  3. YARPP: Remember how you forgot to leave Amazon the last time you went there, because you kept clicking on the “the people who bought this also saw this” products? Well, why not use the same tactic for your blog? Increase the stickiness. Increase the meaningful interlinks. Increase SEO juice. There are plenty of related posts plugin, but I favour Yet Another Related Posts Plugin. Why? Is the name not enough?
  4. BWP Google XML Sitemaps: Sitemaps are important. Sitemaps let crawlers know where all your content is. It’s like the related posts for robots. Must for improved search rankings, and findability. Preferred plugin: BWP’s.
  5. Regenerate Thumbnails: How many times during development have you realised you need a new size of an image, and found that WordPress is either giving you too small or too big an image? And then after registering a new thumbnail size, how many times have you wondered if you need to delete and reupload the images already in the library, so that the thumbnails in the new size are created for these images? If you have come across such questions, you need to install this plugin, which regenerates thumbnails for all the images already in the library.
  6. Smushit: Have lots of images making your blog heavy to load? Install this plugin, so that every image you upload is passed through Yahoo!’s smush.it service and losslessly compressed.

Which plugins do you recommend as the bare necessities when installing a fresh WordPress setup? And do you have alternatives to the ones mentioned above?

Share them in the comments.

Cloud, Workflow & Backups

cloud_backup
My system hard disk failed today. BAD_CTX error. The 120GB Intel SSD now declares to everybody who listens that it’s 8MB now.

So my previous Mountain Lion installation has vanished into thin air. But my data is safe, of course because the drive that died did not contain this data – it was stored in a regular 5400rpm WD drive. But the reason I wasn’t overly worried about the data is that my data is backed up. Despite me being me.

We all know that we need backups. We need regular backups. And we need reliable, redundant backups.

If you’re anything like me, you keep forgetting your backup schedule, keep forgetting to connect the external hard disk to your machine at regular intervals (I once went close to 2 months without a Time Machine backup, and the current backlog is close to 4 weeks), and generally find yourself too busy for backup routines.

You can do backups with hard disks, pen drives, optical drives, FTP, and the cloud.

You can set up copy schedules, Time Machine, or set up scripts. Or simply use this technique I’ve been using for the last few months.

I maintain a Time Machine backup, which is automated, except for the fact that I need to plug in the big 2TB hard disk to the laptop and the power source. Which, as I said earlier, happens rarely. But there is a low-cost (free for most cases) method which gives me instant redundancy automatically:

  1. Sign up for a cloud storage service, like Dropbox, Copy, Ubuntu One, SkyDriveOneDrive, or Google Drive.
  2. Install the desktop client for the service, sign in, and create its base folder on your local drive.
  3. Copy or move your entire work folder to this new folder.
  4. Over the next few hours or days, depending on the size of the folder and your internet connection speed, your work will be replicated to your cloud account in the background while you deal with other more important things.

It’s a pretty simple process, but after this, whenever you update any of your files, it’s automatically updated on the cloud as well. Instant backups!

Whether you lose your computer, or your hard disk crashes, or the computer gets damaged or stops functioning, your data is safe up in the cloud. Oh, and the bonus: both Dropbox and Copy also maintain basic file versions.

And you can access it using the web interface of the respective service.

What do I recommend: you can take your pick between the more popular Dropbox and the whoa-I-started-with-15GB Copy.

nexus one

8 Ways to Use Your Old Smartphone

So you got yourself a new octa-core smartphone. And you’re feeling kind of weird putting your old trusted Android phone in the cupboard, because you won’t be using it. Because, you know, you’re sentimental about the phone you used to have so much fun with.

Well, you can still use it. Not as a phone maybe, but as the powerful computer that it always has been.

Here are a few ways you can use it in:
1. Make a wireless music receiver connected to your sound system
If you have a dumb sound system (dumb as in no smart microprocessors, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi etc., in it. A simple analog sound system with aux input) at home, you can hook up your smartphone to it (make sure to connect a charger to it so it doesn’t just run out of juice), and use it as a wireless music receiver & player. You can stream your music to it through iTunes on your computer, your Wi-Fi enabled iPod/music player, or your iPhone.
AirPlayer works wonderfully well for me.

2. Run a PHP/mySQL/nginx server
And run a website off it. Maybe even install WordPress!
NAMP nginx android web server

2. Make a SMB/FTP/web/proxy/server
To share files in your home network, and/or operate a firewall.
Servers Ultimate

3. Download torrents
Take the load off your laptop, and put it on the handset that lies at home all day. The only thing you need to do is get a huge memory card, or find out a way to connect an external storage to it (through USB-OTG).
µTorrent® Beta

4. Sync your iTunes playlists with it, and use it like an MP3 player
You can take off the media player functionality off your main phone, and use your old phone instead, thus ensuring you never lose connectivity because you ran out of battery because you listened to too much music.
iSyncr Lite for iTunes – Mac
iSyncr Lite for iTunes – PC

5. Access your website via FTP and edit the files there
Why not? Well, you can do this with your primary Android phone as well.
AndFTP (your FTP client)

6. Use it as a computer by adding a keyboard, mouse, monitor and storage to it
I’ve always wondered if we can do this. The Motorola Atrix was one handset which let us do it. The Ubuntu phone OS has a flavour which lets you use the phone as the computer when you dock it with desktop peripherals. If you have a Nexus One lying around (like I do), this is worth a shot.
Nexus One USB Host Mode Driver

7. Fix it in your car’s dashboard, and use it as a GPS navigator
Google Maps is one of the best navigation systems out there. And now it does turn-by-turn voice navigation as well. Some people have tried fixing their Android tablets into their car dashboards. I say if you have an old phone lying around, you can use that as well. The screens are decently big, and all you’d need is a SIM card with a data connection on it.
Google Maps

8. Use it as an ebook, articles & feed reader
Like with #4, using your old handset as a reader frees up your primary handset’s battery. And no more screens vanishing when a call comes, and no more getting out of the reader when you hear a message beep.
Amazon Kindle Reader
Google Play Books
Feedly Reader

Evolution for Dummies

(…aka Evolution for Techies, Geeks & MBAs)

Six years ago, a few of us were trying to debate evolution on an online forum, and were surprised to find that many people had so many misconceptions about what Evolution really is (‘theory not law’, ‘monkeys are humans’ ancestors’, ‘microevolution vs macroevolution’ etc.). We were really tired of asking everyone to do some preliminary reading about it before declaring it absolute truth or a hoax. We were also tired of hearing the same arguments/misconceptions again and again and again. So I wrote this post, to make it simple for everyone to understand what Evolution is in its barebones form.

So here goes, with a few minor tweaks & changes:

Evolution by itself is not a theory, it’s a phenomenon. In organisms it is a slow process, with certain jumps that speed it up. In other things you may see it at a good pace.

Natural selection happens everywhere – organisms, substances, compounds, companies, societies, corporations, bands, artists, theories, technologies. Anything that interacts with its environment is affected by evolution.

An example close to my heart is that of cameras. 10 years back film cameras ruled the world – right? Now they don’t. In another 10 years time they’ll be extinct. How’s that? Cameras are objects that interact a lot with their environment – no, not the pictures they take. Cameras need supplies to function – a power source and a storage. Before digital imaging came along the storage function was fulfilled by film rolls only. Then digital imaging was developed, and now consumer levels cameras have also gone digital. Similarly, Ni-Cad batteries have given way to Ni-MH.
So cameras have ‘evolved’ from film to digital.

Does that mean a Nikon film camera literally turned into a Nikon digital camera? Or that someone opened its casings and then changed the parts therein? then how is it that in 1980’s the cameras were film only and in say 2020, the cameras will be digital only and film cameras will be ‘extinct’?

It’s because of the environment. There may be people who prefer film over digital any day. They keep film alive even today. But they’ll be able to keep doing that only till they find new film in the market – a factor of the environment. When, say, a few of them encounter a stock-out of 35mm in the town, they’ll either stop shooting or buy and start using a digital camera. Maybe they’ll like it better, maybe they’ll not. But they’ll still use it now because if they want to shoot using film, they won’t be able to because of the film stock out (they of course are aware that digital has become the rave nowadays and the stock out isn’t going to go away sometime soon). The markets will sense that the demand for film is decreasing, so they’ll reduce their output of film, and keep churning out digital storage media. Eventually all shops in the world will stop stocking film, and then film will be extinct. So wil the film cameras. Natural selection. Digital cameras ‘adapted’ to the environment (that they were built to adapt, or that the markets were catering to them is not the point here… still if you want to know why, just post a reply, I’ll answer that as well), film cameras weren’t equipped to ‘adapt’ to the environment. Thus film will be dead in some time. The cameras from 1980s without film and power will become fossils of their own ‘living’ self in 2020. I can show you fossils of my dad’s cameras which used film that’s not available today.

Now on to companies. Say there existed a company which was the world leader in film. But never cared enough for digital imaging – myopia, stupidity, whatever. It thought that it could sustain itself on the film lovers mentioned above. It forgot that its distribution doesn’t reach EVERY shop in the world. So some of these film lovers do not use film made by this particular company. Now there comes a day that all the other film companies have either shut down or moved to digital. Say there were 10 film lovers. When 4 of them find out that the film they were using regularly isn’t available anymore they move to digital. The remaining 6 still use our company’s film. But the market has shrunk – you have 100% market share in a decreasing market… eventually the remaining 6 are going to move to digital. And the company cannot sustain itself long term on a diminishing market. Pragmatism prevails, and the company is closed down. Natural selection – the company failed to adapt to its environments.

Now on to the question of lineage etc.

Say that there was another company that was a market leader in film, say Nikonica. Its leaders foresaw the digital imaging future, and decided to start producing digital media ‘as well’. So as happens in corporations, a factory & department is made to handle digital operations. So the VPs of the film & digital department are called VP, Nikonica Classic and VP, Nikonica Digital respectively. Time goes by and by the natural selection explained above Nikonica Classic loses customers in a diminishing market. One day the company board decides to shut down Nikonica Classic. In the meanwhile Nikonica Digital has been doing roaring business – is a top market share holder, and is now the entire business of the company. The company Nikonica has ‘evolved’ into ‘Nikonica Digital’. Treat the original company as a parent species and the two, Classic & Digital, as the children – both different in their characteristics, fit for different environments. It’s just that the environment was more favourable to Digital than to Classic.
I love open markets… they mimic nature and its laws so closely that it fascinates me. They also follow evolution, and even the Theory of Evolution fits them quite nicely. Only that the evolution in case of markets is way way faster than that in living organisms.

Amit
Disclaimer: Evolution doesn’t necessarily mean ‘improvement’ or isn’t a process to become ‘superior’. It’s just a process of becoming ‘better adapted’.