Sunday, January 6, 2013

Easy Introduction to SOM (Self Organizing Maps)

SOM (Self Organizing Maps) is an Artificial Neural Network technique. It is also a data clustering and dimension reduction technique. Visualization and analyzing tool for high-dimensional data.
Moreover it's an unsupervised learning technique, which means it learns without a teacher.
Competitive learning technique. This means the neurons in the SOM learns by competing with each other to become the winner.
SOM (Self Organizing Maps) has many variations and here we are referring to Kohonen’s SOMs as SOMs.

Difference between supervised unsupervised learning
Should be there someone to provide guidance in learning? Supervised learning example can be a mother teaching you to recognize an apple, first show an apple and say the word apple. Next time you see an apple you’ll say that’s an apple. Mother is your teacher. 
Unsupervised learning if you were given black/blue/red color buttons and ask you to separate depending on colors, you’ll do it by yourself probably. You won't need a teacher.

What's the inspiration behind SOM?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Marketing a Product - Part 2

Creating business model
Draw a table, expenses & revenues. Decide breakeven point. Decide initial investment
Having a business model is very important. Everyone has an app, but what most of them doesn’t know is how to get it to the targeted audience. But if you have a sound business model, you’ll start earning revenue very quickly. Let’s be honest, you work to live, and to live you need money.
Define the problem you’re trying to solve. The problem should be very focused and narrow. It should be well-defined. All these will help you to define the scope of your product. Then determine the targeted audience. Don’t say its entire nation. You should have specific groups as audience. Make sure you understand their behaviors and culture. Else, you’re going to have problem penetrating their market with your product.

Determine what can go wrong in the product/application & solutions. This not only gives you bad reviews but also causes you to lose money. Think about it; if you have an application with loop-holes, then some users may try to get advantages beyond their permission. Stating the risks of your product shows that you have thought about them.

Marketing a Product - Part 1

Recently I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in a 54hr Hackathon. And we were able to work with experts from the industry. This is a glimpse of what I was able to learn from that Hackathon.

Presenting your idea
When it comes to entrepreneurship, the most important out of all is how you present you idea. You can have a great idea, but if you beat around the bush, while you’re explaining it to potential stakeholders, you can’t be successful. Define your problem and explain him how you address it. Show that you have identified where things can go wrong, by stating the risks. If you creating a presentation, for a 5 minute time, 5-8 slides is enough. Don’t have artwork, where you want to highlight the unique features of the idea. Have them as bullet points. Also you need to defend your idea against the questions from the stakeholder. Promote your branding as much as you can in presentation (have the company logo and product logo in the presentation background. Mention product name often)