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Showing posts from June, 2012

What nations must do. What organisations must too.

Every political party in India is at pains to assure us their choice of presidential nominee is so they can restore glory days. Of course, everyone else knows that's pure bunkum. Political parties don't give a damn what happens to everyone else or even the country, they're just busy settling scores, and scoring political points.

Take a moment and take this reality in.

In the guise of furthering the nations' glory, all political parties do is further their own fortunes, individually, and as a collective. Note, such 'selfish' games play out in organisations too. In the guise of furthering the organisation's growth, there are employees who shamelessly pilot their own fortunes.

By nature, humans are wired to seek their own good over others. When people come together to work as a collective the unsaid understanding they share is that the collective can achieve far more than what they could have, for their own selves. 

Ditto for a nation too.

Its important nation…

Rajat Gupta & Primal Behaviour

Rajat Gupta epitomizes the American Dream. He also epitomises human behavior at its primal best. Its easy to feel for Rajat considering his rise from orphan to opulence. His brilliant academic performance is aptly matched by his meteoric rise in the world of business. But what drags him down to commoner level is what binds us all together.


Never mind talk about Rajaratnam manipulating Rajat, its greed that did Rajat in. Beware, it will be greed that may do us all in at some point in time. Don't for moment think I am condemning greed. It is but natural to want more, and working at it surely must be encouraged. Its when greed takes the law breaking route that it deserves condemnation.

Marketers on their part thrive on consumers wanting more. Why just marketers, an economy thrives only if  people spend, to have more. Rajat on his part wanted more. We can empathize with it. Rajat slipped when he broke the law to have more. Though we may still empathize with that, the American …


Does it matter who's President?

The current Indian Presidential nominee hullabaloo pretty much sums up why we're such a mess when it comes to economic progress. Shekhar Gupta of the Indian Express finds the whole thing fascinating and opines, politics and presidential office are natural bedfellows

Really? Wonder why I can't see it the way he does?. Wonder why I think the decision on our first citizen has zero impact on our lives as citizens? Wonder why our floundering growth and government failure on the economic front bothers me more?

Tell you the truth, socialist politics in India is the sole reason why we haven't progressed as a nation. The socialist nonsense we embraced since independence ensured the poor stayed poor, the jhollawallahs had a field day, and no one had an incentive to do anything productive. Much of that nonsense continues unabated. Pranabda on his part must be delirious with joy. After wrecking the economy as the Finance Minster he gets rewarded with a ceremonial post that'll mak…

Why Casey Anthony gets judged

I see Casey Anthony's lawyer on TV telling us Casey's sick of all the judgement she's been enduring for the past two years. Just yesterday, a colleague tells me of my judgemental stance whilst in a discussion.

Yeah, the lord's told us not to judge but note, he's never said judge never. In fact I think judging is good, even when others do it to us and then say it. That's the only sure way we'll ever know what's on another's mind. Also if you dish it out, be ready to take it when it comes your way. Don't whine. Tell you what, judging is what we do all the time. Its probable we may not be articulating all our judgements, but inside we're all judgers. That's what we are wired to be.

Every time we select stimuli and form perceptions, we are in effect starting on our way to judgement. Judgments range from being made as 'snap' ones to 'considered' ones. The difference is that the former is based on 'perceptions', the la…

Go Get It

Why political violence is natural to Kerala

The recent spate of political murders in the state of Kerala has left people there shocked and anguished. Everyone wonders how a state with the most literacy rate and the best socio-economic indicators can witness such mindless violence. Note that Kerala also has a history of political violence and a recent RTI enquiry has revealed that 56 people have died in a decade as a result of such violence.

Now its natural for anyone sane to wonder why people would kill in a bloodthirsty manner in the name of political party. But such wonder is misplaced. Political violence in fact is what should come naturally to a state like Kerala. Don't for a moment think Kerala owes its literacy and socio-economic development to political activism. Attribute such progress instead to the enterprising Malayalee who's sacrificed much to move to places where he engaged in fruitful economic activity that resulted in his personal prosperity. This personal prosperity is the real and only reason behind Ke…

Why the poor stay poor in India

There's no denying India is a desperately poor country. There's no arguing that steps must be taken to alleviate poverty.

But if you think the usual trio of politician, bureaucrat, and the socialist-jholawala-activist are going to do something about it, you're turning a nelson's eye to this trio's colossal failure for the past sixty years!

If for a moment you can't understand why they've failed, all you have to do is focus on the funds the trio mismanages in the name of alleviating poverty. Again, its easy to see why they mismanage.

Note. Every paise this famed trio manages in the name of alleviating poverty isn't earned by them. Plus there's zero accountability to the money they manage. Why in god's name would they give a whit to managing funds well? The fact is, hare brained social schemes will do nothing to dent poverty. All they'll do is either fill the coffers of those are put in charge of the kitty, or make slothful citizens out of …

Will Facebook disappear?

Here's someone who thinks Facebook will disappear in 5-8 years. If that were to happen it will only further reinforce what Joseph Schumpeter identified as 'creative destruction'.

You see, the problem in consumer value creation is its susceptibility to radicalisation. Meaning, socialising on the web may be big for now. But there's no guarantee that's way it'll be in the future. Eric Jackson's got a point in stating Facebook's 'mobility' problem. There's merit in admitting this problem could even threaten Facebook's existence.

The biggest problem for current consumer creators is the upstart who's gonna come out of nowhere to create enhanced, but more importantly radical value that'll bankrupt existing value propositions. That's the kind of risk Facebook currently faces.

You can bet on that.

Mani in the Mayor

Mani's got a brother in the mayor of New York. Mayor Bloomberg has proposed to outlaw the sale of large, sugary sodas. All in the name of saving the citizen from 'excess' calories.

Pray, why does the citizen need saving?

Note Frank J. Fleming's analysis: 'Anyway, the principle we’ve learned is that man can’t survive if he has to make choices for himself. Think about it: From what to eat to what to wear to what to do, you basically do nothing but make choices about your life all day long. It’s annoying and tiresome, and none of us has read all the scientific studies to know what’s healthy to eat and how much exercise we need. We need smart people to limit this insane number of choices so we can know what to do. Thus we have politicians who hover above us (or, in Bloomberg’s case, below us) watching us lovingly and telling us what to do for our own benefit...

So does Bloomberg hate people eating sweets and other tasty foods? Obviously not. In fact, one of his first jo…

SUVs & Flush Toilets

Surely any dimwit would agree subsidised diesel being downed by SUVs owned by the rich is a national tragedy. But Mani Shankar Aiyer on his part thinks banning SUVs is the way to go.

You bet.

Along with the SUVs, let's do away with flush toilets too!

Way to go, dude!

Will Facebook Advertising work?

If GM's pulling its ads off Facebook, should you concerned about the investment you made in buying Facebook shares?

Frankly, I don't know.

But I do know a few other things. Advertising essentially is 'talking'. The best a brand can do while advertising (read talking) is, first talk to the right audience, and second, talk to an audience that wants to listen. When it comes to using Facebook to advertise, finding the right audience to talk to is easier done than getting them to listen.

The million dollar question for the moment is whether the target audience a brand finds on Facebook would be keen to listen to what the brand has to say. Remember, the audience congregates on Facebook to socialise, and so would they heed to marketer talk? To come to a fair conclusion of the question posed, one has to assess the 'nature of socialising' on Facebook.

How much of person's time on Facebook is spent in 'active' socialising? Active would refer to 'creati…

Weepy Aamir won't change a thing

Shruti asks, 'Just out of curiosity what is your stand on 'Satyameva Jayate' ? They are most definitely talking about sensitive issues but my question is whether they can keep up interest of the people, or will it wash away like the Anna Hazare craze, or will it make an impact?'

Two issues here. One, can slickly presenting social issues on the idiot box with much weeping (or any other screen) sensitise society towards those very issues? Two, must it?

To answer the first one, no. A society's outlook changes only if there's a groundswell change at an individual level. Such a change won't happen because people witness a weepy Aamir, and a few heart rending stories on screen. Such change can only be piloted through 'sensitised' upbringing. The conditioning that an individual undergoes whilst young, shapes his character. Meaning if you want Indians to treat the girl child, or a lady better, get every parent in India to teach their children respect for w…