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Showing posts from October, 2011

Happy Diwali

Why we buy

Jaden was pretty pleased about his birthday. The party had something to do with it. So did the gifts he got. Post the celebrations he did something that comes naturally to most of us. He took out one his toys, a remote controlled race car into the corridor to show it off to his friends.

The reaction to Jaden’s ‘display’ was understandable. Envious, the others boys responded. One such response by a kid was to counter with his own set of ‘new’ toys. Another was to try and crash Jaden’s car beyond repair so it could be immobilised.

Envy is a good and a bad thing. The good is what prompts us to strive for more so we can counter conspicuous displays that get bandied about in our face. The bad prompts us to go the destruction route. We try and covet what isn’t ours, or at least not allow for others to have what they have. The talkative amongst us take the ‘bitching’ ventilating route .

Now most of marketing taps into envy, I believe in a good way. Much of marketing as much as it presents to us…

The Wall Street Mob

'There is something ludicrous about a throng of ranting, raving, raging college kids slurping Starbucks and staring into iPhones while angrily protesting the very system that made it all possible in the first place. Even the mob's ability to turn out the mob is made possible by this system. It's like an infant indignantly lifting its head from the breast of its mother and saying, "You don't exist."

Well, Steve Jobs existed. As co-founder and CEO of Apple, he changed the world for the better. The Wall Street "occupiers" are exploiting the technology that he helped create.

What the Wall Street horde and Roseanne do not understand is that in America, people generally get rich by providing a product or service that people want. Sure, there are exceptions. Some get wealthy by promulgating vice instead of virtue -- witness the porn industry's parasitical attachment to Jobs' technology industry. Some are rich because they inherited the money -- wit…

Come Home

Why Alphy cares and I don't

Alphy's been fussing about her few strands of grey. Though I have thrice as much, I don't care. Instead, what bothers me more is my battle with the bulge. The difference between our 'bothers' is the difference between what is the pursuit of the 'ideal social self', and the 'ideal self'.

To Alphy its about looking a certain way when she's 'out'. To me its looking a certain way, when I am 'in'. Let me explain. Alphy cares more about how she looks to others. I care more about how I look to me. If my bulge gets the better of me I'll be disappointed with myself. In fact it isn't easy for me to admit I may lose (I won't!), for that will diminish me in my own eyes. For Alphy the disappointment I reckon is more about how she may have to answer her significant others, our neighbours for example.

Our pursuit of our ideals selves is a universal. The difference is whether that pursuit's a result of a desired social self, or just a …

Apple Man, 1955-2011

'Good lord. Any one of these many accomplishments, and Jobs would be hailed as a titan of industry. You may or may not be an “Apple person,” but the way you work, play and compute have all been deeply effected by the man in the black, mock-neck sweater. From your Windows 7 all-in-one computer, to your Acer Timeline ultra-lightweight laptop, to your SanDisk MP3 player, to your Android smartphone or your Samsung tablet — none of them are made by Apple and all of them adhere to the vision of Steve Jobs.

That’s an astounding legacy, unparalleled except perhaps for Henry Ford.

Poor health is certainly what prompted Jobs to resign yesterday as CEO of Apple, Inc. Nobody knows how long he’ll have to enjoy his retirement — but he’s earned it like no one else has.

So, thanks, Steve, for all the insanely great stuff. Thanks also for leaving Apple in such capable hands. But thank you most of all for setting an example that never failed to inspire.

ONE MORE THING: I’m adding this on the day of Job…

Making sense

At times, stuff that makes no sense to me makes perfect sense to others. The other day, the diesel Genset (in the basement) that lights up our building during times of power cuts, was the object of prayer. I can't get it. Why must a 'thing' be part of worship?

But then I realise its part of what's been for ages a religious practice in our country. To those who do the practice it makes perfect sense. After all, Ayudha Puja is a 'worship of the implements'. Now if I were a marketer, being either confounded or staying blissfully ignorant about such practices is a no-no. After all, to successfully sell I must know how consumers buy. Knowing how consumers buy is a subset of knowing how they behave in real life. Making a Genset an object of worship is part of that behaviour, and so making sense of such practice must up on the marketer's priority list.

Knowing and absorbing culture is a necessity for marketers. Its facilitates the crafting of consumer value proposit…

Free markets, not redistribution, is the best way to reduce Poverty

So now we have some of the top economists in India advocating a return to universal PDS. What's important to note here isn't their advocacy, but the institutions they belong to.

Should it be surprising that economists who work for government institutions or institutions funded by government advocate the PDS?

Note what Andrew Quinlan of the CF&P Foundation has to say, "Poverty is typically used as an excuse for expanding government and redistributing wealth, but freedom and prosperity go hand in hand. We need more economic freedom - which means less government interference - so that the less fortunate have an opportunity to climb the economic ladder."

Adds Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute, "The safety net has become a hammock. Rather than reducing poverty, government programs have gone overboard and are now encouraging it. The government needs to return to its core duties and the federal government should get out of the business of income redistribution."