Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Apple vs. Nokia

Corporate battles are always interesting to watch. If they are happening between the best of the big companies with strong personalities , there is no void of fun.
One such battles which seems to be heating up is that between Nokia and Apple. To be precise this is round # 3. Apparently Nokia has some arrangements with 40 odd companies which use Nokia technologies in some form or other and Apple hasnt done so. Leaving the outcome to the on or off the court settlements, is it a right strategic move from Nokia at a time where they are losing money big time?
Though still a leader in the mobile market, Nokia has lost grounds to RIM (blackberry) and to Apple (iPhone) for the last couple of years. The smartphone market is a highend market with higher profitability (Apple made 1+billion in profits last year with iPhone) and Nokia is still struggling to captivate the minds of smartphone users.
Whilst RIM has captured the Exec User segment, Apple has captured the popular user segments. With new entrant of the Android Operating system from Google, this war is going to get even more intense and nasty. The smart phone market is on its way to heat up even more and it could soon reach a point where the price-war starts between the major players, once the features across the phone are more or less similar (iPhone, BB Storm and HTC/Android, Motorola ) .
Nokia with its inability to comeup with something which could capture the market share, has resorted to the game of distracting Apple and making it lose its resources over the legal landmine battle and eventual off-the-court settlement.
In my opinion this is going to take a significant management attention from Nokia (esp if Apple decides to play hardball) and could lead to deadly spiral, unless Nokia uses this as a distraction attempt before it launches its stunner iPhone killer.
Lets keep watching

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Domestication of Animalistic behaviours

The title may sound pompous and a bit academic, but the thoughts behind are very simple. Over several thousand years mankind has been getting domesticated after having travelled a long way from the forests of Africa (?) to the grasslands of savannah and further to so many other countries and getting diverged to so many other races.
But the fact is that human beings derive their genetic makeup from the animalistic behaviours which has been dominating their psyche for long. Over the past 6 or 8 thousand years, man has been domesticated and has been left with agriculture , then to trade and then to further manipulations. The strange fact if you look at those famous have always had that animalistic , go for the kill kind of tendencies.
So should we all give up our social niceties and get brutal? Looks like yes

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Strategy Game : Apple , Microsoft and Google

For anybody who is interested in corporate strategy these are real feast time. The strategic wars waged by the technology heavy weights is seeming to get intense day by day. MS is really flexing its muscles agaisnt the Google to break its monopoly in the search with the Bing. Though Bing is not a path breaking revolution it neatly aligns to the MS style of adopting to the best working model and perfecting it. Down the line Bing could prove nuisance to Google if not as an outright killer.
Google, while preparing to adapt to Bing's onslaught wanted to drag the war to a different war and announced Chrome OS. While Chrome OS itself is not an ingenious invention (would be based on linux kernal) google is just trying to open up another battle to distract Microsoft. This may force microsoft to release a lite version of either XP or 7 to counter the Chrome Offense (if it really an offence) as MS thrives on it OS dominance.
While the analysts and industry pundits were discussing the Chrome, Bing etc Microsoft has entered into a deal with Yahoo to further intense the onslaught on Google. It is going to be interesting to see how google react and retain its dominance on the search engine (and ultimately ad revenue battle) field with the fight intensifying from different corners of the world , especially from baidu which could eat away a major portion of chinese, japanese and far-eastern market.
When MS, Yahoo and Google are fighting the known battles, Apple is on the verge of releasing its iTablet(?) which is hoped to be another revolutionary breakthrough in the content publishing world (people could buy few chapters of the book, instead of the whole book). If the tablet lives up to its hype , world is pretty sure that it will, then amazon would be dragged to a bigger fight for dominance in distrubution of the content which more or less it dominates now through amazon book store.
Of all the games played by MS and Google , the most interesting game would be that of Apple. Apple creates a market, retains its dominance for a longer time with its own supply chain (iTunes) for distribution and makes another innovation before the current product loses its charm or the space is crowded by copy cats(iPod, iPhone etc) . If Apple adopts a right pricing (very likely) for the iTablet, it could crack open a new avenue for its much awaited growth into the OS domination.
Anyways, we are going to have plenty of actions these days and it is going to be throughly entertaining.

Monday, 15 June 2009

#iranelection , twitterati and emergence of new media

Sunday 14th of June 2009 has been an interesting day for iran, media and twitter and in no particular order.
During sorting out things for the next week, i happened to catch the trend #cnnfail from my twitterfon and found people are very upset that CNN hasnt done much coverage on the emerging Iran trends, this was taken up seriously by CNN and looks like the Iran story is given prominence there. Traditionally the Newspaper and TV media are used to give people what they thought is relevant and which would captivate the attention of mass and advertisers. Looks like this law is being rewritten now. The public could express contempt of the way media behaves and the media has to listen to the public
And the term journalist which used to be static earlier has become more dynamic as the common public could easily express in real-time open media like twitter and post their photos and videos to popular social media sites like youtube and flickr. The common man who happens to be there on the spot who may not have journalistic acumen is ready to pass on the information the analysis which was typically done by the journalist has now been given to the common public.
Though this brings in chaos (most of the tweets are emotional and rumour based) , the relevance in time (i tweeted to couple of blokes in iran to get some opinion) and the flexibility that it offers is next to none.
Probably the traditional media moguls should take a note and be prepared to face the reality.
In the meantime, things are extremely chaotic in iran as per the input streams from twitter (good that twitocalypse was yesterday) and twitter once again is in mainstream headlines by serving as a gateway for various links to opinions, videos and pictures across the web.
I think for most of us it feels like suddenly stepping into the sunlight after having spent years in a dark dungeon cell, facing a flood of informations. But i think we would get used to this and refine our life styles.
Hope iran gets some peace tomorrow, will check my twitter first before checking the static media.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Amsterdam : A Social Experiment

I happened to go on a short tour de europe covering Amsterdam, Zurich and France. With diverse cultures , richness, building, cobbled streets, greeness etc, arguably europe (at least the part that i went to ) is a typical poets dream.

Amsterdam throws many a surprises for those who are typical moral beliefs. Drug (soft drug) is legal, prositution is legal. A coffee shop said "Smoking Permitted, No Tobacco". It is no brainer to understand what they intend to say and i dont understand why cant they be explicit about it. Amsterdam surely is a social experiment in liberalising the key dark wants of the human mind. Apart from drawing the tourists in tons of thousands, the argument says by not restricting these "Anyway happens" thing in the country it experiences a low crime rate etc.

To me it looks like a weak argument, if that being the case this would have been adopted by other countries more successfully and easily. There is some element which is beyond the obviousness of the reasons. Perhaps the dutch being the one of the smartest of the traders in the globe, would have realised that it is an easy way to lure people's attention towards the country if the moral ethics could be relaxed a little. Anyways there is no universally accepted moral ethics in the world, and these are enforced only for the poorer segments which cannot enjoy these benefits. While the poor man is advised to stay put with his wife loyally , the king is rightfully given permission to have a harlem.

Amsterdam is a worthy philosophical debate.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Brighton Street Performers

Brighton is very synonynous with joy and i happened to be there for couple of days during the last longweekend. Being used to be travelers than a tourists , sounds a bit zennish, we just packed up some food and stacked up some loose change. As usual with the weekends (both long and short versions of it) , trains didnt disappoint us and we have to take a circum route towards london victoria. After having bought the tickets by staring too long at the dumb terminals , we missed a fast train by a minute and took a slower one which was very adamant to stop at all the stations in the route.

The thing that attracted me most was the street musicians throughout Brighton (May is the Brighton festival time). We were watching a show by a small band in the fringe street (near Royal Pavilion) and i started thinking about the numerous street performers and buskers that i stumble upon. Performing in the street is the hardest job for any artist as the people are always on the move and not having paid to listen/see they could walk away in any moment (sometimes only the ticket money makes us stay ) . To captivate a fluid audience, the artist needs to really engage them and should have lot of perseverance and a good sunny day.

Street performing must have had its origins from very olden days as it is a form of an art which allows you to reach the common mass which cannot afford to go to the theatres (same applies for artists as well). If we take evolutionary angles, the performing can be closely linked to an attempt to attract the females and that could have gradually evolved to amuse others who are in power and have huge money. In the due course the performing has got sophisticated and has reached into the shelters of specialised buildings viz theatres and has taken many a forms through radio, tv, dvd, internet etc.

Performing in great theatres and cinemas are not reachable for everybody and those who didnt hit the jackpot, resort to various other platforms where the entry barriers are not very high. Street is full of untalented (who have an illusion of having lot of talent) and unlucky talented ones. I think it is the moral obligation of the society to acknowledge those underappretiated and hard working artists who work with passion and with a hope that somebody important would notice them and lift them to the stardom forward.
Next time when you come across a street artist, please acknowledge them as the air sorrounding you is full of their songs and music which expects to be appretiated , otherwise it could just mix up with the horrific traffic noise unnoticed.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

iPhone and twitter ecosystem

The social media phenomenon is further evolving with the advent of twitter and iPhone Apps ecosystems. The twitter and iPhone platform have something in common ie they provide the basic platform and expose functionalities that you could mash up to your imaginations and be wildly creative.
Creating an ecosystem where the innovators would defy mediocrity and stretch the products is not something which comes easily to everybody. While iPhone thrives out of the Apple/Steve Jobs brand clout, twitter came from nowhere and has been rocking the world. I felt there is a similarity in the popularity of both and wanted to put my points (has been quite while since i blogged last)
Opensource was probably the pioneers in getting the value based on ideas of few individuals and developing it with the efforts of an mass intellectual army. While OS offers you the full flexibility of shaping in whatever way you can, twitter and iPhone doesnt offer you the same flexibility but offer an access to the stabler platform (debatable in twitters case) which you could extend to offer varied functionalities.
Twitter has become the defacto microblogging platform and has taken varied faces in the forms of apps across browser, blackberry (twitterberry) and iPhone (twitterfon). In acceptance to its popularity spammers have started venturing into this ( wait for those ads selling viagras and mail from nigerians offering 50% of 1 billion that they have to collect).
iPhone has offered the flexibilities that we never used to enjoy (my wife searched for indian restaurants nearby using google maps which asked to share our location and ordered chicken tikka in a nearest shop for snacks in the evening) and has created a near gold-rush with every body grabbing a mac and trying to write a killer app that could make them rich.
Nobody can be sure whether iPhone or twitter ecoSystems are here to stay but may be they are just an instance of an emerging phenomenon of product vendors providing a platform that could be extended and left to the creative imagination of end users than a closed environment. This is worth noting especially with the popularity of the social media (Facebook apps).
I am very curious to see how this would affect the development of the enterprise applications, with a core platform alone and prebuilt apps at a lower cost and remaining extendable features........
In the gloomy times where everybody (you and me too ) is preoccupied in whats going to happen next, these ecosystems give us some hope that we could also make some money if we are creative and willing to burn some midnight oil. Lets all get a mac (no sight of PC version of iPhone SDK sadly(

Friday, 27 March 2009

Twitter Monetization

Twitter has come a long way in the last three years it has been in existence which is a relatively short span of time. The leading internet traffic analysis site compete has estimated that twitter’s popularity has grown by 964% compared to the same month last year (Myspace is going down). The number of unique visitors are close to 8 million. This is huge given the basic functionality twitter offers (140 characters on ‘what are you doing now?’).  What is very interesting is the fact how it is going to survive further as the VC’s would be mounting pressure on twitter team before web obsessed crowd turns their attention to something else..

Web is full of social networking sites that serve as an alternate to the decreasing interpersonal relations in a fast paced world. For millions of years ,if you are looking at a coverage for billions of years, read ‘Ancestors Tale’ by Richard Dawkins, we have been operating as groups and this desire to operate as a group has taken the shape of social networking in the web world. If we were to consider orkut,myspace, facebook etc as 3 course meals, twitter is ‘the’ fast food. Grab something real quick , have it and move on. But mind the fact that like triple whopper with loads of cheese, it is really addictive as well ( i have an urge to sign on to twitter early morning after checking mails in my blackberry, as soon as i wake up)

The factors that make twitter click are

> It is quick and easy, the 140 character limit makes is mass SMS media of the web

> It interests high profile techies and celebrities, so high chance of developing valuable networks

> Great platform to market your product and yourself (sparing those I-AM-IN-BATHTUB-NOW type updates)

> The facts are more authentic as the false information gets corrected by the ungoverned watchful eyes (same phenomenon like Wikipedia)

But How will twitter make money?

Twitter as a concept has web, mobile and 3rd party apps as its channels and hence any monetization strategy has to be different according to the nature of the channel. While web is a great medium to put adverts, mobile is not. And since twitter allows api level access, governing 3rd party apps would be too difficult. So it is going to be interesting to see how twitter folks monetize their fame , real quick.

Following are my predictions about the ‘cashing in’ of twitter

> Online contests/prizes that could earn you twitter points (nice business opportunity those chinese entrepreneurs who could employs 1000+ chinese youths to earn and sell these points)

> Opinion polls by product vendors with guaranteed freebies

> A small fee for premium twitters with more options which are not normally available to the common folks ( Linkedin irritates you with this strategy already)

> Sponsored Ads in between the twitter streams (this would annoy really)

My thoughts are based on the fact that twitter would remain textual and wouldn’t want to become another jazzy confused social networking site. In this web 2.0 era where people have multiple options to voice their opinions , companies are getting increasingly conscious of guarding their brand (bad mouthing by a lead twitter could do a considerable damage) and market their brands to the masses who crowd these sites. Anyways as long as i am not restricted in what i could do now and if i had to do a courtesy-click of some weird ads to support twitter engine going, I am perfectly fine. Go Twitter Go……

You can follow me in twitter at 

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Saturday, 21 March 2009

Chinese Aggression

China as a country has always been good Greenfield for strategic thinkers and has produced great thinkers like Confucius, Sun Tzu etc. Chinese society has survived several odds in its long history and has contributed immensely to the world (paper, gunpowder, silk , sil road etc). The leaders of china never react in haste and when they react it carries lot of hidden meanings. There are three incidents which happened in the last few weeks which are worth a close look.

The first being harassment of the USNS impeccable ship near Hainan Island ,which is supposed to be a Survey ship collective marine data(?). The ship was surrounded by Chinese fish-vessels and a PLA navy vessel(People Liberation Army) there were some bold/aggressive manoeuvres like throwing wooden logs in front of the US ship, bringing the Chinese vessels too closely etc. USNS impeccable is not the only ship which suffered this fate but there were other survey ships like USNS victorious which was a victim of Chinese aggression.

The second incident is the warning from Chinese Premier Wen Jiobao expressing concerns over the credit worthiness of US government as Chinese have invested heftily on the US Treasury bonds. Traditionally Governments all over the world have a habit of buying Tbonds as a safety net to preserve their foreign exchange reserves. China has accumulated over a Trillion dollars of US Bonds which accounts for more than 70% of its foreign reserve and more than 50% of US Debt in bonds.

The third incident is the blocking of an 2.5 Billion acquisition of leading juice maker Huiyuan by coca cola. Though this would have recurpussions in Chinese acquisition in US and all over the world , the closely guarded Govt of China (Republic or whatever) seems not to be bothered, in spite of china’s reliance on US for its exports.

If we connect the dots, Chinese are clearly questioning the authority of American Might on the lines of Military , Economy and Fundamentals upon which american society is built.

>When the enemy is too strong to be attacked directly, then attack something he holds dear

>Encourage your enemy to expend his energy in futile quests while you conserve your strength. When he is exhausted and confused, you attack with energy and purpose.

>Loot a burning house

>Make a sound in the east, then strike in the west

>Startle the snake by hitting the grass around it

The above are the selected few from the 36 stratagems, an age old wisdom practised in China and probably Obama should have a look at these instead of his usual rhetoric about how great mankind is , why should we all love each other etc. Anyhow apart from the usual news of failing banks, falling interest rates, vanished property markets etc, china is determined to add some spice to the ongoing drama. Time has to tell how much more spice china would be willing to add and how much obama would be willing to take. May be he should pickup some lessons from Dalai lama…..

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Hyundai Assurance Plus - Recession time innovation

This is clearly a time for the "Survival of the fittest" (contrary to popular belief , the quote was made by Herbert Spencer and not by darwin). If fittest stands for strongest or most intellect only elephants and foxes would be surviving among the rest(discounting homo sapiens sapiens). The fittest in my opinion means the most adaptable animal or species which could adjust itself to the hardships of changing environments and acquire newer skills. This applies to businesses as well.
It has been very boring to be saying that we are going through historically transformations times and this is the most difficult era of the current generation/living memory etc. HenceI was trying to see how businesses are shaping their strategies to survive in this environment and one that really caught my eyes is the "Hyundai Assurance Plus" program.
The main reason why majority of the population are not willing to spend (i spent quite a lot over this weekend promotional sales due to domestic compulsions :-( ) is because of the fear of job loss. This is a vicious cycle as the lesser spending break even more business and hence more job loss (Prisoners dilemma). Interestingly Hyundai has taken advantage of this tricky situation and guarantees that one need not pay for the first three months after losing the job and if the job loss continues beyond three months , they can simply return the car. This is a very clever more where in Hyundai has just wrapped an additonal job loss insurance cover and has marketed it very effectively. The clever strategy has paid well and while Toyota car sales has slumped by 36% , hyundai's sale has gone up by 4-5% in US.
Hyundai is definetely not the strongest car company of the world, they are not the company with the best R&D team in the world(Is it Merc/BMW?), but they are adaptable evidently. Please check out Hyndai commercials/website alternatively you could wait for 1 more month to read the "Successful Recession Business Strategies" by some of the management gurus for 30$.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Live Writer – A great blog writer

Just testing the Windows Live Writer which is promising to be cool……..

Yeah it definitely is , looks like Microsoft is into mainstream league at last. One real cool feature that i love about Live writer is that it can detect the annoying spelling mistakes, which I don't tend to correct while typing into the rich text box  of the blogger (because it doesn't show ;-)

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Self Help Industry - Master Con against the human mind

Generally i am not a great fan of Self Improvement books but based on recommendation from a collegue i bought a book called "PersonalImpact", though i wouldnt say it was a bad book, it was not very impressive either. But this gave rise to very interesting questions about the selfhelp books.
There are multitudes of selfhelp books. There are the kind of books that take (auto)biography format and tell you how successful a particular individual was and how you can emulate the same and other popular kind is those which directly tell you what to do, Like 'How to do negotiations effectively', 'how to successfully run your business', 'how to influence everybody' etc.
While there is a certain amount of authenticity in the former category the latter is a complete joke especially those written by obsure 'thought leaders' and other intellects.

The common theme among all of these books is to have a catchy title which exploits our want and current state of affairs, for e.g how to influence your boss?, how to close every deal; If you closely observe the titles are generic enough to catch your attention span very very fast. Once you fall prey to this then you develop an urge to buy (especially when you are buying books from railway stations W.H Smiths like me) in a hurry.

The main problem with the Self Help books/authors is the fact that they all think that the rest of the world is completely dumb and need their help to have basic sanity. This is very close to the moral high ground that religious leaders take by proclaiming that the world is full of sinners and they have the message of the God to relive us from the clutches of sin. Like the preachers exploiting those poor mortals by promising a berth in the heaven, these neo conmen(some times women too) promise higher salary, likeable personality, faster career growth, becoming thin, quitting smoking etc.

The Self Help industry thrives in the chaotic times and now is their best time to make most out of the current confusions in the world(rumours say, 10 downing street has placed huge orders for 'economy for dummies). Though i dont argue that all selfhelp is rotten, i feel the basket is more full of rotten eggs than good ones. If in doubt, please check out 'I moved your cheese' by Darrel Baristow Bovey. Awesome read and hilarious.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Grand Depression

I just noticed that the current depression/recession has not been named yet. The pundits who name each and every thing , especially the natural calamities (katrina, elf etc) must have been busy saving their jobs. Probably would "Grand Depression" suit ?

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Relevance of Charles Darwin now

Coming february 12th, world would witness a remarkable completion of 200 years of darwin's day of birth and last november we witnessed 150th year of publication of origin of species, his magna cum laude. Very few books have been able to cast their impression upon human mind as strong as charles darwin's work. The atheist community has heralded his concept to a greater heights and creationists have tried and would be trying to keep it under the lid for ages to come adding fuel to his fame.

While everything about darwin and the 'origin of species' have been written in all the languages that accept science , my thought was along the applicability of his concepts in the recent times. Nobody could argue against the darwin's law that only fittest have the highest possibility of survival and there is a (unseen) natural selection which favours stronger candidates over the weak. But is it true still?

If we closely watch, the misfits who(ich) are no longer useful, in the context of bigger definition of society gets eliminated gradually but does this happen nowadays? It looks like the answer is very debatable. The context at which darwin spoke didnt include the advances in technological advances that we are witnessing these times. Technology has been a great leveller and has helped the weak and poor to a great extent that they are working around their weaknesses. Like the democratic systems, where the vote driven and majority based politics could promote weaker individuals to the top places.
In the 1.8 million years of human evolution, the timeframe that we are talking about doesnt even merit a paragraph, but still we could be on top of something which could change the way we perceive the laws of darwin. The human race has reached a pinnacle where it doesnt depend upon the principles of evolution anymore and has started manipulating it rather , through alterations in genetics and technological sophistications that makes a weak strong.
Evolutionary principles have been applied to everything from philosophy, psychology, economy, and several possible walks of life and even there are games like spore built around it. Out of 5% everything spoken and written in the world may be related to it (thanks to the theits and atheists), it is the basis for the study of genetics which john gregor mendel pioneered, it is the root cause for so many exciting journeys into the science, it is the core fundemental of several social networking sites which exploit our inner thirst to be a social animal (which the materialistic society has denied us) and so many other phenomenon around the world. But may be it is time that we revalidate it with the emergence of newer facts. Btw, i need to check that the scrambled egg that i left in the stove is evolving into a good omlette. You?

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Acidic Information Rain

We live in the age of information abundance and it keeps pouring throught the day and night. We all face an acidic rain of information through out our life now a days.  Many of us get drowned in the ocean of information , be it good or bad.
Most of start our day with seeing mails from blackberry and those mails alter the mood significantly. Then TV occupies sometime feeding us with what we really dont need. On our way to office the freebie newspapers start telling about whats is recent in the gangwars, which company has gone burst along with the stories of amy winehouse who is crawling for some drinks in carribean island and some obscure island where people are fighting agaisnt the closure of the post office.
On the way to office, after saying no (sometimes yes) to those who sell the BIG ISSUE, fleeing the suggesting advertisements to invest in central london property(too late guys!) and by the time we start our work , we have tons of information in our head that we grapple with. Ths  can be repeated for afternoon, evening and nights dosage of it in various forms and devices.
Do we really need this much of communication and information in the life? Wont the world be a better place with limited access to the information? However absurd this may sound given the current lifestyle context, if we tread backwards in the time, it reveals quite interesting facts.
In the last 250,000 years of noteworthy human history , human race started living in established settlements for the last 10000 years and notable civilizations have shown traces in the last 5000 years. During all these years human communicated effectively and efficiently. But in the last 20 odd years we are faced by severe information explosion, especially with television and in the last 10 years internet and other communication devices have bombarded us with the amount of information beyond measure. Our brain by evolution is not really equipped to handle this amount of information and could very well be confused to react to the amount of information it receives , processes and takes action upon.
While it is good to have vast amount of information, when it lands into to the minds of those who cannot process it in an effective way , it breeds anxiety confusing people and has a profound effect on the whole society towards chaos (like the current times). May be we are going through some big transformation and i am sure those who are fittest would develop strong acumen to withstand this acidic information rain. Till this happens for all , people like stephen covey would be writing books like "9 effective habits of processing information" and we would be buying to improve ourselves.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Microsoft layoffs

The gloomy economy has started taking its toll at all possible corners, the newspapers are full of the stories of jobcuts, reduction in costs , companies winding down their businesses, increase in unemployment rates, decrease in consumer spending etc. What started in last parts of 2007 as a correction of overhot economic engine has spread its horror tentacles across the globe. 

These are the times when only the fittest , meanest and leanest survive, Companies have been laying off in thousands to adhere to the "survival of the fittest" paradigm (charles darwin would definitely be psyched up against all of us to have made his concept a cheap cliche) as nobody has a clue on how long the recession, a word which was unuttered earlier due to psychological reasons, would last and when the economy would start kicking again.

Interesting twist has been the layoff's by Microsoft today which was around the Zune Music player division and could spread across other divisions too , to the tune of 5000 employees.  Traditionally MS has been very cash rich quoting the reason that they need to protect employee interests etc etc. But when the push comes to shove, Gates (Should we say balmer?) has resorted to traditional means of saving costs, without trying any innovations. 

I think next in the line must be larry ellison or Steve Jobs and while corporate giants are busy shedding their extraweights, lets sit and watch or alternatively we can focus on obama's antics for atleast next couple of months to keep our spirits high.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Linked(in) Life

I have been active in linkedin for quite sometime and as a part of spending less effort spending time looking for information, configured the feedreader (awesome rss aggregator) for linkedin and accidentally found that linkedin support rss feeds for the famous (infamous as i discovered later) Q&A section. With the comfort that feedreader provides to see the whole range of questions, i started subscribing and analysing several sections.

There were whole range of questions people were  asking . A few of them were
a) Who can help me building an access database?
b) How can i Help?
c) Are we expecting much from sales managers today?
d) What is the difference between business plan and feasibility study?

You can spend reading these hilarious questions and have a nice time and you dont need to look out for funny articles to relax your mood.
While linkedin looks very professional from outside, the more naive part of linkedin was a bit realistic and interesting to observe. I raised a few questions to test waters and for questions seeking information, there were not much answers and for controversial questions, people were piling (okay, a bit of a poetic exagerration) to answer.  Entangled in the question ocean, i ended up answering a few (was fun) to ensure my enlightment is shared across fellow human beings.

I am sure the questions are not going to slowdown now, (only economy is supposed to slowdown) when people are struggling hard to see a glimpse of hope and hear a sound of comfort from others. Lets keep asking questions, i dont think there are much answers around and atleast lets fill the world with questions...

Saturday, 10 January 2009

No more resolutions - Resolution for 2009

Wow, 2009 seems to have a bright and colourful start, India accusing pakistan (and vice versa), Israel bombarding Gaza strip, India's 4th largest IT company Satyam (sanskrit word for 'truth') admitting financial fraud to the tune to more than 1Billon dollars, Obama hinting about a 1 Trillion dollar deficit in the budget , which would amount for more than 90% of countries budget put together. 
As usual people have taken resolutions to quit smoking, consume lesser alcohol,reduce calories, save more money, have stabler relationships and by this time , most of it would have been broken.
Resolutions are an interesting part of human life, they are born out of commitments to ourselves or to somebody to move towards something good. But unfortunately resolutions are taken out of compulsive reasons like pleasing the girlfriend, newyear eve etc and lose their meaning after the charm of girlfriend decreases or after the hangover of dec31/jan1 wanes away.
I took a simpler resolution couple of years back and still sticking to that , it is quite easy to follow and i feel good sticking to it. The resolution is "No more resolutions".
This year is going to be quite interesting , historic and painful to be precise. As philosopher seneca ably told before the ages of financial scams, fundementalist terrorism etc "Luck favours the prepared".
Be prepared in whatever you do , anticipate opportunities and hazards and enjoy the ride, in no time , we all will be talking about the top 10 blah blahs of 2009 and planning( the same) resolutions for 2010.