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I am not a huge fan of LinkedIn’s cover image. Its an odd-sized banner that gets overridden by ads and the profile header itself. The flip-side of not having one is that it makes your profile look very lame. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
A couple of iterations later, I put up a metaphor of my professional side as the cover image. What do you make out of it? I’d love to hear in the comments section.
Today my dad bought the first set of mangoes this season. If asked to relate a couple of things to May, my answer would be mangoes, and ever since I started working: appraisals & attrition. While material – screenshot showing the baseline version on tissue – dates back to 2009, this post has remained queued for several months. Just like mangoes taste best in May, a post on choosing jobs has to wait for its own season to deliver maximum value. With appraisals around the corner and attrition already kicking-in, I thought this could help those switching to resolve their dilemma between their current job and offers in hand!
Just to set the expectations right, this is a simple decision matrix that allows you to weigh options against a few well-defined criteria.
I traveled international from Mumbai airport after a couple of years, and the change was more than pleasing. While work is still on, the infrastructure plan is magnanimous and state-of-the-art, and air traffic is comparable to any major hub. I could see a long trail of blinking lights in the moon light and there no longer seems to be a hold position at the end of the run-way. It was a good flight on Singapore Airlines, although the much-hyped Singapore Sling was a bit disappointing. Dixit Jasani, Vaibhav Pani and I were on a business trip. Dixit had been to Singapore just a month back. Vaibhav’s epic moment was to set foot in a foreign country. Mine was to catch a glimpse of the A380.
Without family, I had an option of trying some local food. Vaibhav and I tried some Indonesian-Chinese noodles, Chinese crab fritter and Indonesian fish cake. Honestly, it wasn’t until a glass of Milo that I started feeling better again. My mom would never agree to $1 chocolate drink when she could add 7 spoons of Milo to half a liter milk and make enough drink for the entire family. But honestly, that is how we all think. Fortunately on this trip, I did less of multiplication & more of subtraction when spending – if you know what I mean. I’m sure I’ll forget the math altogether when I start earning in a stronger currency.
Singapore is more like what it was in 2006; Mustafa got bigger & better and Marina Bay looks better with the Singapore Flyer and Marina Sands hotel in the background. It was good to meet a couple of old friends: Pritish Purohit & Ashish Singh. After a good breakfast at the hotel with samosas, what was supposed to be a 1.5 hour part on my side at the meeting, went on close to 5 hours, and I was involved right until the end. It was great to receive a very different kind of compliment from an attendee: “thank you, you enlightened me about P2P”. That’s precious!
On the way back, moments into the air, I had the epic moment of my life: I caught a glimpse of a Qantas A380. Krisworld, SQ’s inflight entertainment system, introduced me to ‘Come fly with me’, one of the most hilarious parodies I’ve ever seen; unfortunately, this mocked one of old favorites – Airport on BBC. I would still say that the food is better on Air India. As usual, I couldn’t sleep on board – there’s nothing like getting back home!
Consumer P&L is an analysis of the profit and loss from individual consumers/customers or a segment, for products & services they avail. This is extremely important, at least in the software business, because when you sell an additional CD or host another tenant, it does not affect your input cost, but it definitely adds to overheads such like the billing & support functions. So when undercutting prices and compromising on margins, one should note that these costs will continue to add up, even though infrastructure, RnD & production costs hold level. This is still possible if the business model & product packaging is well thought of – that is if you have something special for the super consumers.
I first bumped into this idea when reading Eddie Yoon’s article title Why Verizon’s iPhone Could Be Good for AT&T where he highlighted the need to focus on loyal, super consumers who make a considerable impact on your bottom line rather the divas & deal chasers.
The theme for my life over the last year or so has been ‘change without choice’. Things & people, out of my control, are forcing a change in my life – all for good. A fortnight back my web account was locked for some abusive script – probably my Facebook app that was looping indefinitely. Other ‘happening’ things spared little time to fix my blog. Last week, I recovered the data, massaged it to match the WP3.0 structure and got a new setup running on a new host – took around 10 hours in toto. Please help by sharing bugs & performance issues.
Mumbai has given me my friends, education, bread, happiness & sorrow – I love it. But with that it has given us traffic & pollution – 2 things unavoidable in this city. Despite of the patient Gaurav Samant driving me to work on that crazy JVLR, both of those rankle me everyday. But over the last couple of months, I’ve come to conclude that the traffic problem in Mumbai is a mere flow-rate issue. I might have lost touch with the intricacies of fluid dynamics, but the flow rate concept is simple enough to recollect & apply here. Wider roads have more cars flowing per second (wider area allows high velocity, hence higher flow rate). And its exactly the opposite on narrower roads. When 2 roads come together to form a road narrower than the sum of their widths, theoretically cars would have to go faster to keep the flow-rate constant. But I wish Mumbai roads allowed this. Such joints are usually where traffic clogs due to damaged roads & lack of driving sense.
Yeah, I know its been quite some time since I wrote. Difficult time that made me look 20 years older. Naah, don’t get at my hair. Never mind. Things are better now. But some things haven’t changed. Traffic sucks with an average car buyer spending 7.5 lakhs (39% up since ’06), while we’re speculating the ill-effects of the Nano. Markets are volatile, gold is more valuable than ever. While the house buyer is speculative in the pretense of builders, BMC & the government fighting each other, property rates are only going north. Terrorism is testing our patience & resilience, while Kasab celebrates his birthday in a country that’s at the behest of robbers & killers. What are we doing? Creating circles on Google Plus, letting potholes break our spine, and gathering papers to file IT returns (btw, filling thru Sahaj takes less than 15 minutes & rupees) So here we are justifying while our assets are being killed & burnt in the name of tax.
But what are assets? Things that can make us happy & sad. Things in which we invest time, money & energy for a better future. Things we won’t let go easily. Gold, stock, property for example. But don’t you think assets cover people, promises? And as someone rightly argued, your own body (as a plant)? People & promises that have the power to make you smile, and reinforce confidence to audaciously embrace challenges. And so is your body, Continue reading Do we kill our assets?→
To be very honest, I don’t see a reason why someone should stray away from innovation. Thinking ‘New’ keeps your idea muscle toned for tough challenges. But here’s 3 reasons why you should innovate all the time: not just on the professional front, but also in relationships. After all, as LinkedIn says, relationships matter.
1. Not all ideas from the past scale
There could have been some things that worked very well for you in the past. But everything changes with time, ideas get stale, and they won’t always scale to match the situation – if at all they still work. A 20 picture photo album might have made for a lovely Valentine’s day, but that does not mean that a 200-slide story board – full of pictures and promises – can save a relationship. You have to think fresh! Eat Subway if it takes that 🙂
2. Not all ideas click (plan for failure)
I once had to put some things together in a paper bag (like the McDonalds carry bag – sorry can’t think outside food), and snail mail it. I had to attach a note, and trying to be creative, I decided to use the inside of the bag. So, I cut the edges of the bag to make it one long sheet of paper (kinda rotulus), wrote the message on it (in black so it would be noticed) and stitched it back with tape. Outcome? It hit the trash can – unnoticed. I failed to deliver the message. Don’t be shy of failure, the world today is chasing failure, and the Tata’s are even giving out awards for failing. But make sure you have enough alternatives to compensate for the failure, without really having to start over.
Make yourself a promise: I will always have 5 alternate ideas or planned for 5 un-happy scenarios (what does not fall on the happy path) before executing an idea
3. Competition is catching up fast
Need I say more?
Innovate or perish. Sharpen your axe. Work out your idea muscle. Have coffee, or Subway, or whatever helps you think. Do something special for that special one: be it your better half or your project/product. It’s up to you to save it!
Marginalia: If you are planning to make them coffee, remember that if you make a heart with Hershey’s on it, it will sink. Instead, try rangoli (sprinkling) with coffee powder.
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I’m a cleanliness freak – to the extent of cleaning up my Facebook wall. Over the last week, there’s been a lot of spam with wall messages that read: “Hahaha! Mine is hilarious. Check out yours”? Familiar? Yes, that silly app which tells you how you would look in the future. I never tried it, but tired of the requests, I urged friends to avoid it via a FB update. 13 people liked it, but I only hope its the latter of these 2 messages it conveys: how awful I look, and how useless that app is. (I take everybody’s privacy too seriously, hence some masking)