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Saturday, October 23 2021

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Get just the right tech news at Silicon Byte!

Meet Sarang Namboodiri, a sixteen-year-old boy who single-handedly runs Silicon Byte news website that covers news stories of the technology beat. This young boy pursuing his eleventh grade at Deeksha Pre-University College, Yelahanka, Bengaluru, has also launched a clothing line under the same brand!

In conversation about Silicon Byte and its journey, Sarang expressed that he has been quite passionate about technology since he was a child. He constantly follows tech news and thus, desirous to share his knowledge; he launched Silicon Byte on February 17, 2021 with a friend. He asserted that although many of his friends encouraged him to do something similar, he never really got to it due to time commitments. “After two weeks, we split due to a difference of opinion, and since March 2021, I have been running Silicon Byte by myself,” he said.

 What is Silicon Byte?

Speaking about his brainchild, Sarang informed that he chose the name ‘Silicon’ because it stands for Silicon Valley, the heart of technology in California. ‘Byte’ is the basic unit of storage. Hence, Silicon Byte.

At Silicon Byte, Sarang caters tech news as simply as possible for a layperson to understand. “Fathoming the updates in the tech world will soon become a necessity, looking at the evolution of technology. Therefore, I try to cover all the important points in basic language. It isn’t possible to do it every single time as some updates are quite complicated. Nevertheless, this is my aim,” he informed.

Sarang also runs a weekly Question and Answer (QnA) to recap the significant tech-related updates of that week. As an incentive, he gives two lucky winners a shoutout on his Instagram stories. An essential news component is timeliness; therefore, Sarang tries to provide news as fast as possible, covering many events live! “Since the beginning of Silicon Byte in February, I’ve covered 2 Apple, 2 Samsung, 1 Microsoft, and 1 OnePlus event live! I also provide a free consultation to my followers, who come with questions about technology,” he disclosed.

Gathering information is a continuous process for Sarang. Most of what he follows on social media are tech and media-related. Hence, he is constantly consuming information regarding tech, which aids him in writing articles. A rather remarkable characteristic of Silicon Byte is that it features no advertisements. Sarang monetises through Amazon affiliate links he uses while providing consultation to people. “It’s important to keep in mind that I provide only accurate, transparent, and honest reviews while providing consultation and always disclose when I use affiliate links,” he assured.

 What does the audience say?

In conversation about the impact of Silicon Byte, Sarang confessed that he had received messages and emails giving a positive affirmation. “I’m also building a community here, where I often see a lot of discussions whenever a product launches or any news update comes up. Overall, I’ve been able to get a lot of people to start talking about tech, and I hope to continue to do so in the future,” he contended.

 Some obstacles on the way

For Sarang, the significant difficulty is time management. “Managing Silicon Byte along with my studies is a tough task, but so far, I’ve been doing well. I also almost lost access to my account once, but I was able to recover it in a few minutes,” he confessed. He maintained that his education shall always be the number one priority. As an 11th grader, he has been preparing for engineering entrance exams as well. “It’s a lot easier to run the social media section as making posts doesn’t take a lot of time. The real challenge is finding time to write blogs, as it’s a lengthier process. Nevertheless, I am enjoying this journey and don’t plan on giving up anytime soon,” he added.

Family and friends’ support goes a big way in such a venture. Sarang mentioned that his mother has been encouraging since day one. The boy who has launched a clothing line informed that his mother helped him in designing the products! “My friends help me too, in choosing between designs or helping me with tasks when I’m busy studying. My circle has been very supportive,” Sarang said.

 Tech news: how relevant is it now?

Tech news has been relatively given a blind eye in the news industry. However, Sarang aims to change this with Silicon Byte. He believes that our entire lives presently revolve around technology. From emails to ordering groceries and food, it is hard to imagine a life without tech. “Since UPI and 4G, more people need to know about at least the basic tech updates. (For example, the change in auto-subscription rules coming into effect next month),” the boy asserted.

Fashion and Technology

Sarang runs a tech news site and has launched a clothing line. In conversation about the same, he said that he has always wanted to do something creative in technology other than just reporting the news. “I had not been able to properly monetise Silicon Byte yet as I have only around 1,000 followers, and I’m still building the brand. One day, while casually talking to a friend of mine, I got the idea of a clothing line that kills two birds with one stone. I thought it was a great idea, and approached my mom with a few close friends. Clothing is something that interests me, and my mom has a lot of experience in the clothing industry. So, I went ahead with it,” he said.

By combining fashion and technology, Sarang is trying to turn tech jokes and puns into quirky designs on T-Shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies. “I believe that with the current evolution of technology, there will be a rise in the audience for this niche of fashion, especially in Bengaluru, the Silicon Valley of the East. There are a lot more designs that I have planned that are coming soon!” he enthusiastically claimed.

 The pandemic’s effect

Sarang said that the pandemic has mostly had a positive effect on Silicon Byte. In the premise of online learning, Sarang derived much time to focus on developing Silicon Byte. Since almost everyone is at home, scrolling through their phones, it has helped him gain a decent-sized audience in a short period. “Overall, I’ve gained and learned a lot during this pandemic situation,” he revealed.

 What’s next?

After achieving so much at such a young age, Sarang’s quench for knowledge and learning remains unfulfilled. He aims to collaborate with other brands and hopefully start receiving products for review from huge labels in the tech industry. He disclosed that he has few other ideas that he will be introducing soon! Look out for the official Silicon Byte discord server that Sarang will be launching soon to build a community for tech discussions! “Another venture would be a fortnightly Silicon Byte podcast which I haven’t begun yet because of time constraints as I have to give priority to my studies at this stage of my life. I’m also looking to rebrand the Silicon Byte clothing line in a few months (different name, still incorporated under Silicon Byte). Overall, I’m looking to build the Silicon Byte brand over the coming years,” the young talent signed off.

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Siri Shekar

The author is a student reporter who is also pursuing Psychology and English Literature. A wanderer searching for faces that inspire an optimistic place about the world, she hunts for different human experiences, not just leads for a story.

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