Archive for the ‘work’ Category

Saumil’s Guide to Corporate Speak: Pushback

September 3, 2007 2 comments

In two brief years of selling my soul to The Man, I’ve learned very few real business skills. But fear not for me! I’ve picked up on other irrelevant artifacts of corporate culture. One of those skills is the ability to recognize and dissect somewhat artificial and fully bullshit corporatespeak. I’ll present these words and phrases as I go along.

Today’s word is pushback. It is a noun and may be spelled as one or two words depending upon context.


noun, verb

Definition: Pushback is a euphemism for “f*** you, I won’t do what you want me to”. It is a wonderful example of the usage of euphemisms. The word’s history can be traced back to 1987 when a rather skinny engineering manager physically pushed around a fat sales guy over a disagreement at work.

Example Usage: “Bob, I’d love to help you out but we received pushback from the boss” or “James, I understand why you want to pushback but don’t forget that I’m the boss” or even “I find it hard to pushback against your stupid ideas since you are kind of fat”. Okay, scratch that last one, but the other ones are legit.

If you wanna hear about other corporate BS, subscribe to my damn feed here:

Categories: corporatespeak, tech, work

Kosmix RightHealth and The Wall Street Journal

July 16, 2007 1 comment

Here is an article comparing several different online health tools that mentions Kosmix’s health property. The article is very detailed and doesn’t give rightful billing (in my biased opinion) to Kosmix and spends an excessive amount of time profiling MedStory – why? Simply because MedStory got scooped by Microsoft? Let’s not forget that MedStory is still a 2000 visitor a month site – compared to Kosmix’s 3mn a month.

Anyhoo – it is a nice article and can be found using this link:

The link is a Google News link because that is the only way to get to Wall Street Journal’s content without a subscription 🙂


Categories: health, kosmix, righthealth, work, wsj

On Kosmix, RightHealth and the Unofficial Home Page for Topics

Ever since I landed my cushy gig as PM at Kosmix, I’ve been straining to come up with an elevator pitch for our little company. So far, the results haven’t been so hot.

At cocktail parties and during dinner conversations, it takes me five full minutes to get through the pitch. By that time, the person opposite is either a) pissed at themselves for asking me or b) pissed at me for making it an elevator pitch for a crapola crankshaft elevator to nowhere or c) both.

Well, if you want to hear the Kosmix elevator pitch – in the form of a nice blog post – try the Alt Search Engines’ guest post by our co-founder here

And quit asking me what I do for a living!

BabyCenter Diaper Bag Sale!

I can’t tell you how excited I am. I almost jumped for joy when I saw this note come in on my Crackberry. I mean, I get meaningless commercials thrown in my face everyday, but this one really spoke to me. BabyCenter has announced a bonanza diaper bag sale for Father’s Day!

If you are getting creeped out by this post and wondering why a 24 year old dude with no kids would see BabyCenter advertising, fear not: see here. Oh, the things I do for comedy.


Categories: babycenter, comedy, work

Bogus Vertical Search Percentages

June 2, 2007 6 comments

Is it me or are people routinely making up numbers on search verticals and categories? Over the last few months, I’ve heard search vertical percentages thrown around like money by drunken sailors at a Vegas whorehouse. I’ve never seen a source, neither has anyone who seems to quote these:

  •, the “secretive” people search engine claims that 30% of searches on the web are people-related. This is the basis of their entire freaking business model. Sure, but what the hell does that 30% mean? Almost no one out of that 30% is searching for Saumil Mehta (I wish I had a stalker; I’ve wanted one for a long time but no one seems to oblige). 20% of those searches are for some combination of “Lindsay Lohan”, “Britney Spears” and “Sanjaya”. In other words, head terms, for which a Wikipedia page written by a freckled 17 year old will probably suffice. If it doesn’t suffice – well, that’s a sign that the reader has bigger problems than a poor flipping search experience.
  • While I can’t personally afford to attend the swanky All Things D show, a colleague of mine made it down to San Diego to hear Jason Calacanis brag about how 24% of all searches are for the top 10000 terms. This is the basis behind Mahalo, a Hawaiian word that Bloat! so hilariously derides as translating to “Bandwagoneer”. While the product IMHO is a redundant version of Wikipedia + Google, the number sounds like it came from where the sun don’t shine (don’t quote me on it though)
  • Lesser luminaries have quoted me other BS search percentages: 15-30% navigational queries, 20% local queries and 68% pornographic ones (okay, I made that last one up).

Does anyone know what the real numbers are? Do they even exist, or are we all just making shit up as we go along?

BabyCenter Moms Panel

I am very excited. Today is a red letter day in my life. Believe it or not, I have been invited to join BabyCenter’s moms panel. I am considering joining the panel. I am sure that when I first contribute to the panel, I will feel the same emotions that Neil Armstrong did on that fateful day in 1969.

For some context, check out the post on my sketchy web history

new-picture.jpgy web history

Categories: work

BabyCenter Update

Okay folks, here is the latest on BabyCenter. Yay! I get to buy the Bugaboo stroller to push a goddamn infant for a “stroll through the woods”. The woods? Where the hell do these people live, Never Neverland?


Categories: tech, work

My Sketchy Web History

May 22, 2007 7 comments

In the days when Google opaquely records all my browsing history on the Web, it is only natural to be sort of look over one’s shoulder before visiting a, um, questionable site. Outside of the usual risks of being exposed as the sex offender you really are on the inside, the other problem is being labeled incorrectly in everybody’s personalization efforts.

Take my example. I recently landed a cushy, kick-ass gig at Kosmix Corp. ( as a product manager for the health vertical (; more about the gig later, but part of the job is to know the health/wellness space inside out. Naturally, this involves trolling the Web actively looking for results for queries such as “untreated herpes”, “18 and pregnant”, both real-world queries gleaned from a data source that I wont disclose.

Suffice it to say, then, that the other part of the job involves throwing up more often than a coked-out Kate Moss during a purging period.

Since the health space is targeted at the baby boomer types as well as women in their thirties and up, I’ve also had to sign up for a lot of services that could be considered a question mark in a 24 year old straight man’s “web career”. If you look at my list, you’d be surprised to find sites related to pregnancy, infant growth charts, herpes and diabetic foot infections. One word: yum.

I’m not proud to say that today I signed up for Is it sad that I thought a couple of minutes before specifying the “due date” of my as-yet unborn baby? Is it pathetic that I paused carefully for a second, then checked off the box that asked: “Are you trying to become pregnant?”.

No, it ain’t. If people can eat bugs on national TV in pursuit of the American dream, I sure as hell can become preggers online.

BabyCenter Invite

Categories: work