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Showing posts from April, 2011

Am happy

From a student at T.I.M.E. Ahmedabad:

Thank you Sir,
Your concept of creativity
helped me a lot to convert
#$$#^%$^ call. Regards
to you Sir. Thank you so
much.
* Institute name in the above message obscured by me * Center aligned by me. Division of message-lines, courtesy my BB screen

Motorcycle industry suffering from imitancy

As avid a motorcycler as I am, it surprises me that I've been without a motorcycle for almost 2 years now. When I am out on the street I keep looking at motorcycles, pretty intently, as if one of them (the motorcycle models) will really really fascinate me and propel me to buy it.

But it doesn't happen. All the motorcycles more or less look the same. Similar lines, similar essence. The entire industry, especially in India, is suffering from imitancy.

A model has to make shit loads of money for the manufacturers. If there is a slight inkling that it will make a little less money then it won't be launched. At least that's what I gather from all the action happening in this space.

Companies making hundreds and thousands of crores of money aren't launching any niche products. As sales in lacs is the only success parameter for a model, aficionados are barely getting the stuff which would excite them.

No doubt, many enthusiasts revel in whatever is available and affordable a…

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On jamming and the music of business

Language of music is obvious. For two people to jam, they only need to hear one another's music before they decide to jam and make some good music.

The language of words isn't so obvious. For words are only but symbolic representations. These symbols represent motivations, intentions, images, desires, feelings and what not.

Feeling is 'envy', symbolic presentation is 'I really appreciate that'. Feeling is 'sexy', symbolic representation could turn out to be 'cute'.

Apart from sports and music, all other acts require dependence on words for jamming. But if word-driven representations are so uncertain, wonder what shape jamming through words would take. Music is a far cry.

Unfortunately, there are very few ways other than 'using words' through which jamming for the purpose of business is possible, at least in the shorter run. In the longer run, there are other ways which can make jamming possible. Like? Simple observation of each other …

Shahrukh Khan's political drama movie

In today's TOI sports page:


O dear Khansaab! Why bother! Dada apni dekhbhaal khud kar sakte hain and khud hi karte hain! Aapne cricket mein involve hone ki permission ke liye itne paise diye toh ab aap cricket mein 'political drama' movie banane lag gaye! Kolkattans ke tickets nahi milenge aapko! Aur IPL ka title bhi nahi milega, in all likelihood.

Spare Ganguly, Mr. Khan! He understands Cricket better than you do.

While KKR is not synonymous to Ganguly, Kolkattans and many many Indians do not have enough reasons to support you Mr. Khan or your cricketing acumen!

Consulting, Superstore & Zoo

It's such a paradox. Consultants are brought in to offer custom solutions. Expertise tailored to the needs of a client. However, what I see is that clients aren't happy simply getting tailor-made stuff. Na! Give them options. Once they see the options, remark, "This doesn't 'look' good." You sit with a look asking, "Why?" The answer is, "Hmmmmmmm... It doesn't."

I call this 'the superstore effect'. Just stack the racks with truckloads of stuff. Let the buyer walk in and pick. And mind you, conversations could be labelled unnecessary. Just let them see and decide.

The thing is consultants offer 'thought' products. Forget about producing options, even one thought product isn't easy to create. Here you have to create shelves and shelves of options! For all these options, the response could just be a browsing walk in the aisle!

And when it comes to offering 'options' of thought products, some times it's …

What I learn from my decision to stay away from the biggies

Throughout my career so far, I've chosen to work with smaller (even call them start-up-like) outfits. And now acting as an independent consultant, I can say that I'm working for a start-up again.

Why did I choose to do so? Premises & assumptions?

First, the premises:
I have a far greater propensity to take risks, accept challenges and get adventurous (in spite of the fact that I panic a lot)I get bored much too soon. Situations without challenges just make me go to sleep at unusual times. In fact, my days becomes blighted if there isn't an engrossing situation at handAssumptions:
Bigger organizations (and agencies) are very hierarchy-driven and therefore, rigidThere are fewer challengesGrowth, in terms of learning, is limitedThey are safe (in terms of job security and related factors)Probably I've tested the following hypotheses through my career moves:
Joining smaller organizations will offer more challenges. Consequently I will be able to apply myself far better and…

The critical question for a consultant

like me is, "Who gets to decide?"

No, am not asking, "Who is the decision-maker at the client's end?" I am asking, "Between the client and consultant, who gets to decide?"

One would say, "It's the client's business. He/she's spending the money; goes without saying he/she would decide."

Whoever said that spending money helps one make an appropriate (or a great) decision. In the first place, a consultant is hired because in certain respects the client lacks the capacity to make decisions. And also lacks the skills which would help him take decisions.

And most often spending money would not imply that the client has developed the capacity to make decisions or has learnt the skills which would help him take decisions.

It seems to me that, right at the outset, a consultant must ask the client, "Who gets to decide?" Depending on the answer, the consultant can determine what role he plays. That of a decision-making consultant?…

Wish all kids have access to one!

Is this litte message innocuous or dangerous?


Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone

The non-responsive is dead

In a situation of 'explicit' communication, I observe (many a time, my own self) these phenomena among people. I am talking specifically from the point of view of the person who 'initiates' the communication. 'Initiate' could mean that one has prompted the other person for a response. So, let's say that the initiator invites the other person for something. Now, given the initiator's propensity to stay reasonably patient, he sees it like this; mind you this isn't exhaustive:
The other person responds'yes' (exhilaration for the initiator)'no' (disappointment for the initiator)indecisiveThe other person doesn't respond coz he/she doesn't care for the personcoz he/she is indifferent to the mattercoz he/she just forgetscoz he/she is still thinkingcoz he/she wants to 'play'wants to show 'importance'wants to elicit better dealwants whatevercoz whatever You see non-responsiveness is such a challenge for the initiator. …

B'day

I don't recall the last time I received so many greetings. Though I am not an avid Facebook socialite, I must credit it for bringing people closer on such occasions and generating the sparks again. There were a lot of sparks anyway last nite! Memorable b'day.

I've spent quite a bit of time responding to everyone's b'day messages today. Nice! Guess that's how I am gonna check Facebook. Every Sunday.

Don't do this to your brand!

Right opposite our building.

Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone