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Showing posts from January, 2012


'Normalcy does not make for a good story; the psychopathology of everyday life does. Similarly, there are many who cannot live with the equilibrium of every day existence. For them, life needs a step function or two, a qualitative change from time to time. And unlike the sociopath, they are incapable of moving to the edge and testing the boundaries of what they can get away with while being oblivious to the consequences; they live vicariously through the destructive sociopath who can do all that. This is the attraction. The sociopath provides the soundtrack for other people’s existence. Whether through the vicarious experience of watching the sociopath push life to limits that they could not imagine or periodically going along for the ride with him at the wheel, those who tie themselves to sociopaths find the narrative of their own existence in the relationship...

There are those that believe that they can be in a relationship with a sociopath and stay in control. Even some therapi…

Calm in Chaos?

I am glad Oprah was here. I have to thank her for making us feel good about the chaotic traffic in India. According to her it seems there's an underlying calm to everything that's witnessed in everyday India. Sadly, the heady feeling Oprah gave me went up in smoke as I travelled to work this morning. Maybe Oprah should travel back and forth from work everyday in India, and then wait and see if the 'calm' theory stays. My bet is, it won't.

Calm in chaos? You gotta be kidding me! Consider the statistics. According to the World Health Organisation's first ever Global Status Report on Road Safety (2010), road accidents have earned India a dubious distinction. With over 130,000 deaths annually, India has overtaken China and now has the worst road traffic accident rate worldwide.

But I guess Oprah will have none of the statistics. She will parrot what most other foreigners do about India. That's there's a spiritual calm to everything here. Now such 'blind&#…

I'd Rather Go Blind

Etta James.



3 point Someone

When storywriter Chetan Bhagat tweets'I have always believed that one can be good as well as enjoy the good life. So yes, got my own three-pointed star now!', he isn't crowing the purchase of a car, rather its him announcing his new-found status, proclaiming 'he's arrived'.

Has he?

Who cares.

But then his tweet is important for what it reveals. Something which most marketers miss seeing. That all buys at some level reek of needs that are psychogenic in nature. For Chetan, the 'three-pointed star' purchase was more an esteem buy than one aimed at fulfilling transportation needs. It wasn't functional value that was the pull, its what the car stood for that mattered.

The gravest mistake marketers make is in thinking that if consumers can't afford the price 'esteem' comes at, they don't harbour any. Take the Tata Nano for example. A superb functional value proposition from a car isn't all that middle/lower income consumers seek. They too…

Education, or something like it

'All too often I see too many young people trying to get into my field when they lack not only the personal qualifications but the needed willingness to make an effort. The university education they have received gets in the way of their understanding reality just as the proliferation of jargon makes them incapable of writing clearly, or — indeed — of having anything useful to say. At one point, we took on ten interns after making it clear that hard work could lead to employment. Nine of them did almost nothing despite the opportunity offered.

Masses of people with degrees decide that they should be writers, policy analysts, and academics (especially the kind who indoctrinate rather than teach anything truthful) far more than the numbers ever conceivably needed to fill these professions. And you can imagine what the political worldview of 90 percent of them is. Those who don’t find jobs are bitter that the capitalist economy has “failed.” Those who do find jobs will spend their car…

Government isn't the solution to poverty, its the problem

The food bill in India isn't about how much its going to cost the Indian government. Its about how much money will be squandered in the name of feeding the poor. Years of socialist ramblings has ensured the authors and operators (read, intermediaries and some dealers of PDS outlets) of such schemes are the only ones who benefit. And yes, governments behind such hair-brained schemes mired in corruption too score brownie talking points.

Amidst all of this, the poor in Indian remain hopelessly poor!

Again, it isn't centralising or decentralising schemes of this kind. Its about fundamentally altering a mindset that believes Governments (whether Central or state) can alleviate poverty.

Governments can't!

Free Markets can!

To know better, watch the video above.

Cooing on a crimson tale

Lady Gaga leaving blood in the tub of the suite she was staying at has more to do with branding, than anything else. Perish the thought of any satanic rituals. Plus don't take reports of Gaga going gaga over paranormal investigators too seriously.

It's all part of the branding/positioning game.

One half of Lady Gaga is music, the other's pure performance. In fact, if asked to pick, I'd take the latter as being key to the Gaga story. Tell you what, the Gaga stories are far more important than what's real. A buy-in into the Gaga music is a buy-in into the complete story. Now there's a lesson there for for all those who are trying to sell.

Stories elicit better responses from consumers. More so in certain product categories. Of course, a story on its own can't engineer a sale. But the story could be reason why the brand's remembered, plus is differentiated from competition. The Gaga songs ain't any different or better than the rest of the stuff that gets …