Monday, January 30, 2012

Agneepath Review


You are a Bomb

Organizations are drones and employees are bombs. If not all, many are.

They want to drop you at one place. A targeted place. They want you to explode within that space and burn yourself out.

Now imagine if a bomb had a will and it made choices and decisions. And imagine if this bomb chose not to explode at one place. Instead it distributed itself in two or three or four places. And, perhaps, it chose to save a part of itself instead of burning itself. Perhaps, the bomb would choose not to explode at all on any of the sorties.

Now that makes the bomb really really dangerous. Imagine if an organization had to harness such a bomb...

Starting a business

or thinking about starting a business?

There are many ways of thinking about it. Here's one. Answer this question. Which two people will benefit from getting connected but haven't been connected yet?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

KTM Duke 200 glimpses

Sharing some pics I clicked at the Kanjurmarg Probiking showroom this aftenoon.





Pictures do not necessarily give an idea of the size of the bike. So here's with a rider with a good build and average height. Around 5'8" or 5'9".


Has a great stance I would say. Reminded me of my FZ16. The bike's really burly. Fit and finish is top notch. Comparable to (or I would say at par with) the R15. Here's how the engine looks. Again nothing like we typically see on Indian bikes.



They don't allow test-rides yet. Test-rides from mid-february. But I did switch on the engine and revved it a little. The sound's perceptibly different and louder than the current crop of bikes. I shouldn't say loud. It howls.

I was also informed that the bike's gonna have a mileage between 25-30kms/litre and that one shouldn't expect anything above 30kms/litre since it's a street bike and has a short-stroke.

One HOWLER of a bike!

Friday, January 27, 2012

How do you write your heart out?

There isn't a universal answer. Nor is there a formula.

There are people who have a serious urge to sit in silence but interact with the world around. And they have a lot to share. So they write. Voluntarily. And they have platforms like twitter, blogger, wordpress, squarespace.

But for those who feel they should write or have an urge to write but don't necessarily have the an idea of what to write, here's the platform. http://www.plinky.com/. The good thing here is that you are given a prompt everyday and you need to write and share based on that prompt. Hasn't become immensely popular yet but great platform nonetheless. Btw, the guys behind plinky are the same guys who built blogger.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Your CV is bananas

Or may be apples or rice.

There are people who've chosen to call it Aeroplane Basmati Long Grain Rice. Others call it Sanjeev Kapoor's Biryani.

And if your rice doesn't assume those names? Would you pack it in a gunny bag? What size? Would it have a handle? Would you let them smell it? Would they bother to even smell it? Would it carry a sticker? Who would consume it? What would be the manner of consumption? What would they say after consuming it?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

On actions

Products fill space. Actions fill time.

Like there are categories of products (TV, mobile phones, shoes, chairs, etc.), there are categories of action. Breathing, Sleeping, Fishing, Running, Sitting, Watching TV, Playing Cricket and so on.

There are some actions which don't require space. Like Watching TV. Others require quite a bit of space. Like Breathing Clean Air now requires holiday destinations.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

If I controlled you and what you do...

This is what I would ask you to read. First thing before you do anything.

Of course, before you read, you've to buy.


This is a tour de force.

And listen to what Nassim Taleb, the author of FOOLED BY RANDOMNESS & THE BLACK SWAN, has to say:
This is a landmark book in social thought, in the same league as The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith and The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud.
Anything to beat that? I am on Pg. No. 125 and I've found it tough to put this one down.

The interesting thing is Flipkart is selling at a price which is Rs.150 lesser than at Crossword. And Flipkart's price is lesser than the Kindle edition price, again by about Rs.150. Do not miss. Buy Thinking Fast And Slow now! 

Vespa 125 India

Pic from http://www.it.vespa.com/


These Vespas were showcased at Auto Expo 2012. Delightful. Both, yellow and red. This site estimates the price to be 55k. What do you think? Would you buy? Going by the looks, it's almost the Beetle of scooters, no? If it comes out at that price, it's gonna sell like hot cakes. I assume the fittings are just the same as seen in the pics.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bee the Baker

A MICAmate is doing interesting things.

The first interesting thing is the name of her venture/initiative Bee the Baker.

Second interesting thing is her designation: Chef, CFO, CEO & Office Boy at Bee the Baker. 

Third interesting thing is her FB page: https://www.facebook.com/beethebakerindia

Fourth interesting thing is all that she is doing to make that FB page come really alive.


Fifth interesting thing is the visual rendition.

Wanna do something interesting of your own? Here's a little to learn.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Out-of-the-Box Thinking

That's the 'requirement' that recruiters often quote in their postings and ads.

So, after the out-of-the-box thinking happens, what next? Doing? If 'doing' follows the out-of-the-box thinking, then to quite an extent it would mean out-of-the-box doing.

The thing about out-of-the-box doing is that, it requires movement. It requires time. It requires space. Perhaps it requires breaking or bypassing or rearranging the existing processes. All of these, cost.

Partially, that's the reason for frustration among people who really think they are doing out-of-the-box thinking. They don't quite get to 'do' it. Sure, the requirement never promised out-of-the-box doing. Did it?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chain se maza lo...


Ana: What happened?
Clado: Am bored.
Ana: You don't look bored.
Clado: Am bored. And listless. And anxious.
Ana: How about some music?
Clado: What!?
Ana: Some music? And some mouth-freshner!?
Clado: Ana! Don't pakao me okay.
Ana: Alright, hear me out... Chaini chaini, chain se maza lo!
Clado: You picked that up! You know what? I hate this name. I hate pan masalas. But, once heard, this just doesn't stop ringing in my head. Stop it, stop it, stop it!
Ana: Clado Clado, chain se maza lo!

It's the way you make me feel

It's the way you respond.

When it comes to job applications, an applicant's feeling is based on the way the employer (or the representative of the employer) responds. Included in the 'way of responding' is the time taken to respond.

And surely, an employer's feeling is also dependent on the way an applicant responds. Here am just talking from an applicant's perspective.

Process:
  1. Employer broadcasts an opportunity to the world.
  2. Prospects come to know about the opportunity.
  3. Prospects apply.
  4. Employer calls for an interview/meeting.
  5. Employer takes a decision (or applicant takes a decision).
The negotiation or deliberation always takes place before the 5th step. During this stage, representatives of employers typically do this (the list isn't exhaustive but gives an idea):
  • Find the applicant suitable but try to judge 'how badly does he wants it'.
  • Find the applicant suitable but try to bring 'the price' down.
  • Find the applicant suitable but still try to figure out if they should be adding to the head-count.
  • Find the applicant suitable and try to make him join sooner than later.
The last option is the best, of course, for the applicant. The other three aren't bad either until the way to negotiate is 'don't respond'. 'Don't respond' means stay put. Don't communicate at all in response to the applicant's communication. And the impact of 'don't respond' gets either mitigated or aggravated depending on the monetary/occupational situation of the applicant.

Here's what I sense. There's magic to swift response. No matter what the response. Yes, No, May be, Later... It spurs the next action on both sides. It's also a signal about the organization, one that's hard to ignore.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Aegon Religare couldn't enough care :)


Interesting article in the TOI Crest last weekend. Reminds me of a recommendation we made to Aegon Religare Insurance a couple of years back. We offered something similar but seems our pitch was marred by the manner in which we tried to reach out... Happens. Here's the presentation. You might find it interesting.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Barefoot Running Shoes in India (Post # 2)

On the eve of the Mumbai Marathon, thought I should share this information. No, it is not gonna help you as immediately as tomorrow if you are participating in the event. But surely if you are taking your running seriously, if you are preparing for running long distances seriously, if you've had niggles coz of running and want to avoid them in future, and in general, if you wanna have fitter legs, this information and these kind of shoes might really help.

These are the brands available in India:
  1. New Balance
    Check for the Minimus series of shoes. Want to see how the shoes look like so that you can spot them at the store, visit this page.
  2. Nike
    Check for the Free series of shoes. See how the shoes look like here.
  3. Vivo Barefoot
    I wrote about this brand a few days back. See how the shoes look like here. From my knowledge, this brand is available only at SportXS stores.
Will share more. Stay tuned.

And if you want to read some exciting stuff on barefoot running, check this out.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bite your own tail

Often heard that organization is greater. Employees are replaceable.

Sometimes, heard my superiors say, "Set up processes. If you leave, the organization should not suffer. Organization should not be person-dependent."

Incredible! Effectively what the above means is that a person should create processes so that the organization can run without the very person who is creating processes. Why would an employee do so? To an extent, it is almost demeaning and dehumanizing.

Doesn't mean there shouldn't be processes. But the refrain should be used to drive the organization to higher levels of performance and effectiveness. To make things easily discernible and understandable.

Besides, even if every person is replaced with processes, there have to be at least those people who trigger the processes to unfold everyday.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Which 'batch' are you from?

Can't quite hold back when asked such a question. Have to reply MICA 2002-04. Understand the meaning of the question but can't quite accept what it implies and what is buried deep beneath layers.

Classrooms, office cubicles and tables, assembly lines, retail shelves... Uncannily similar. Batch like. Check the crimp of your toothpaste tube. It shows batch number.

'Batch' just sort of explains why we are what we are.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Flood of Names

Branding has to contend with quite a few names now. Add to that the words in the message that the brand wants people to remember and credit the brand for.

Depending on the business model and the intentions, one might have to take care of the following names/words. Take for once, Shopper's Stop, a retail hub fashion brands.
  • Retail Store Name - Shopper's Stop
  • Online Store/Domain Name - Shoppersstop.com
  • Tagline/Punchline for the Retail Store - Start Something New
  • Owned Brands - Stop (and similar other names)
Also, important is the category name. Category name of the retail store, category name of the product for which it has an owned brand and so on
  • Category Name for the retail store - Fashion Store? Lifestyle Store?
  • Category Name for the owned brand - Women's Office Wear / Casual Wear, etc.
Sure, category names get embedded in a while and therefore, might not need marketing spends and energies. But for any new position or innovation, category names also need to be remembered.

And many more words are added through campaigns and messages in those campaigns... Imagine the memory capacities of common people! And there's a passage through which these messages reach the place of storage in the consumer's active memory, imagine the width of that passage and possibilities of clogging.

Or if the minds are fertile lands of the earth, imagine the rate of absorption. Also imagine then, the viscosity of the messages. Water-like? Toothpaste-like? Soup-like? Or wood-like? Or metal-like?

So how patient are you? How much do you have? Do you have a nail and a hammer?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Invisible Roots

We all root. Like plants and trees do. But invisibly. That's the exciting part and that's the problem.

Sometimes, it's difficult to move on to even good things. Reason? We root into the familiar, the things often seen and heard and done.

We also call them habits. Check habits. They help us root and get our nourishment, in whatever form, from the present. But they also root us in a manner that prevents moving on.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bodyweight Exercises

Running, cycling are the two things that I find fun and easy. Never found weight training to be as much fun. But discovering bodyweight (also known by other names like felon workout, etc. etc.) exercises made weight training fun. Of course, we all know a few of them. But there are many many many more. And it is surprising how we've never figured them out.

I am using this book to guide me. You might find it useful too.


This is Mark Lauren's site.

These exercises ensure that no matter where we are, with just a little space and few simple things, we do not have to compromise on our fitness routine.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Barefoot Running Shoes in India

I've been running in these for quite a while now and a lot of people around have asked if these are available in India.


No, Vibrams are still not available in India.

They look funny, grey-monkey-like but/and therefore striking. Running in these shoes have kept the few niggles I started experiencing at bay. Though of course, running in these shoes requires adjustments and a little practice since while running you land on the front part of the foot instead of the heel. Years of conditioning to heel pounding sort of running takes some undoing.

Find out more about these shoes here.

There's reason for cheer for avid runners who can't yet manage to get hold of Vibrams. Shoes for barefoot running are now available in India. Check this out:


I got to see them right on the eve of Sabarmati Marathon 2011. Recently launched in the country. You can buy them at SpostsXS stores. You can find out more about these shoes here.

The coolest thing I found at Vivo Barefoot exhibit was this:



Amazing design. Delightful colors. And yes, I was informed that you can go running in these! I might try these out some time soon. Cheers!

Mississippi Earrings

Yes, earrings! My fondness for earrings turned into Mississippi Earrings.


Online: missi.in

Showroom address is:
115, Primate,
Nr. Gormoh Restaurant,
Judges' Bungalows Crossroad,
Bodakdev,
Ahmedabad.

There are plenty of beautiful li'l surprises like these...

Updated on 5th Jan 2012.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ignitor or Imposter


Clado: Ana, Ana, Ana....  
Clado is huff-puffing his way.
Clado: Ana...
Ana: Listening, Cladooooo!
Clado: Unbelievable! They've turned imposters now. Just found an evidence.
Ana: Whom are you talking about? And what evidence?
Clado: Remember, we rode the Honda Stunner?
Ana: Ya, I do. Naaaaaaice bike.
Clado: Now there's an Ignitor on the road. The same thing! Replica of Stunner!
Ana: Clado, they are better called twins.
Winks.
Clado: Ya, lost-at-birth kind of twins. The other one only shows up later in the movie, right?
Ana: Smaaart!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Impulse is silky smooth


Clado: Ana, am disgusted!
Ana: What happened?
Clado: The Hero Impulse...
Ana: You didn't like it?
Clado: They call it Transroader - on-road, off-road bike. Gaaawd! Disgusting!
Ana: Will you tell me what happened?
Clado: The bike looks like it would shoot off the block as soon as you sit on it. Instead, it runs like Honda Unicorn. Silk and smooth.
Ana: O' com' on, impulses also need to be graceful. Clado, I like the stickers in fact. And I really don't mind waving a silk scarf riding smoothly on this bike... Any bike, rather!
Clado: That's the problem, Ana, that's the problem.

Be an Outsider or seek one

Sorry that word 'or' should be replaced by 'and'.

The reason, so often, outsiders' words work wonder is that they are unencumbered by any fears or considerations. It seems mind works very differently without fears and anxieties.

You can't be an outsider to your own situations. Not impossible but tough for most. Behaving like outsider doesn't happen when you are actually a part of the situation. So, don't refrain from seeking an outsider.

You can definitely be an outsider to others. In that case, build a reputation that others seek you.

Musings on Executing a Wall Bed or Murphy Bed

The cost of real estate has ensured that I stay hooked to the concept of wall-bed. I think any piece of estate that makes multiple uses pos...