Monday, December 14, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
- The average time spent at work is anywhere between 10-15 hours a day, sometimes weekends too. Most of them are youngsters who repose complete faith on their bosses to guide them. Do I need to stress the importance of work culture and leadership?
- The average salary of a person with 7-8 years experience (probably a Group Head or Account Director) is roughly 40% less than a person in Marketing with similar experience (or even less)
- The average time it takes for a person to understand the client’s business (and needs) is 2-3 months. Match this to the fact that the average life-span of an agency bloke in the business is roughly 15 months (Attrition level is roughly 25%-40%) So a person barely has settled in when he can’t wait to get out
Sunday, November 15, 2009
- If you want to make some headway, shut the f*ck up and listen
- Remains a conundrum in spite of all the experts and guru’s
- Has a long memory and never lets you forget your missteps
- Dismissive of fakes and prefers real men
- Believes healthy relationships are built when expressing innermost feelings
- Needs constant care and attention
- Headache, when you desperately want to control it
Monday, November 2, 2009
There is also one more use. Sometimes a quick read of tweets pertaining to a ‘hashtag’ can be an indicator of trends or sentiment. Just yesterday my 13-year old niece wanted some help for an essay on wildlife. #wildlife gave me a quick summary on the topic which was not way off the mark. The links provided the support.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
All I can say to all those who harbor a doubt about whether contradictions work or not. There is proof. And it is over 10000 years old.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Indian movie production and distribution until the 60’s was dominated by large studios. A studio’s fortune (or strength) rested on the popularity of the actors and technicians in their ‘portfolio’. Studio’s felt that they needed to have a vice-like grip on them (bonded labourers). Little did they realise that once an actor became a star, it is the public who had control over them. The stars threatened and demanded exorbitant fees. When the studios couldn’t cough up, they simply walked out to work with independent producers.
There are various reasons for this phenomenon. Strength tends to blind-side us, strength tends to makes us play it safe, strength creates inertia to change, strength becomes irrelevant with dramatic changes in the eco-system and so on.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Read this book if you haven’t already and when the economy tanks next time, you can say with confidence “I know why it happened!”
(Update: I would also recommend Liar's Poker which is a true story of a young man's experience working in an investment bank. It is funny and brilliant.)
Monday, September 14, 2009
It is rightly said that bad news, rumours and lies spreads faster than good news. Magnifying the speed a zillion times is Social Media. More than the speed, it is the erroneous opinion one tends to form about a person or event that makes it so damned dangerous.
I came across this post by Nassim Taleb wherein he accuses Guardian of distorting his views and comments on a particular topic. In this particular case though, one knows the source (Guardian) and what they represent. But is it realistic to expect to know the source of content always?
Theoretically, Social Media provides an equal platform for extreme views. But such is the power of misrepresentation (and Social Media) that more often than not the damage is done before one can react.
While the premise of this post is negative, it is with a reason. I do not want Social Media to become like 'traditional media'. Whatever be the debate amongst pundits about Social Media, I can confidently say that I am deriving enormous benefits from it. Social Media represents the hope that I have for getting information, knowledge and entertainment in a manner devoid of prejudices. Even if there were prejudices, it is out there in the open. This is not true of traditional media.
Traditional media(journalism) professes to be balanced, but that is hardly the case. For example, the newspaper that epitomised balanced journalism and which most Indians in the South like me grew up with is now increasingly sounding like Pravda. I continue to read it not because I am a leftist or that I have any sort of political inclination (far from it) The irony that is not lost on me is that the options to this paper are far worse. The reason for this deterioration in standards is pretty straight forward.
Media houses have sold their souls at the altar of rating points and readership. They are peddling conjectures and rumours as facts. Probably, the influence of electronic media and its inherent superficiality has a role to play. What is worse is that even the dead are not spared. I am not just talking about celebrities like MJ.
An incident that upset me and other like-minded Indians was the coverage of the murder of a 14-year old girl. The media circus that followed must be one of the most shameful episodes in India’s journalistic history. Indian media in collusion with the authorities tore that poor child’s name as well as that of her family to shreds. They reminded me of a pack of hyena’s circling an innocent prey.
I hope Social Media does not become an instrument to perpetuate social lie. Crap detection in Social Media is very easy. But for that we need to shake ourselves out of the habit (from time to time) of being mere passive consumers of information.
One cannot justify lies and rumours under the guise of freedom of speech. The enormous freedom and reach that Social Media gives us, comes with a rider. Responsibility!
(Image courtesy: somebody)
Monday, September 7, 2009
(Courtesy: Success Electrons via @dennisprice)
I have read this speech many times. However, when I viewed this video for the first time last week it gave me goose-bumps. It is about life said by a man who has seen it all. Awesome.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Secret Communication System involves frequency hopping that helps radio signals to hop between 88 frequencies and intended to make radio-guided torpedoes harder to detect. (US Patent No 2292387 dated August 11 1942 and awarded to Hedy Kiesler Markey and George Antheil)
Hedy Kiesler Markey is none other than Hedy Lamarr whose picture is shown above and who was rightly called the ‘most beautiful woman in the world’. And George Antheil was an Avant Garde Music composer. Secret Communication System is the basis for modern spread-spectrum communication technology that is used in WiFi, cordless phones and cellphones.
Her life is best captured from a line in this post:
“Not only was she the first actress to simulate an orgasm onscreen in 1933, but her frequency-switching device (now known as frequency hopping) developed with partner George Antheil, is the technology upon which the cell phones are built."
I first came to know the incredible story of Hedy Lamarr from my Physics professor. This particular professor had an amazing ability to tell stories on just about any topic related to Physics. And you guessed right, the attendance to his class was always full.
Hedy Lamarr was of Jewish parentage. She was drawn towards expressive arts at an early age and entered the world of films (German) in the 1930’s. She married a German arms manufacturer who was also a Nazi sympathiser. In addition, he was an extremely controlling man and refused to let her continue her acting career. Instead he took her to meetings involving military technology with his partners and technologists. Hedy picked up lot of ideas from these meetings. In 1937 she fled Germany and her husband for USA as she completely despised the growing fascist menace in Europe.She became a very famous actress with films like Samson and Delilah, Boom Town, Tortilla Flat and many more to her credit.
While she pursued her acting career, she wanted to help in the war efforts to defeat Germany. It was this burning mission that made her develop ‘Secret Communication System’ involving frequency hopping with her friend the music composer, George Antheil. The invention was seen way ahead of its time. In fact it was put to use successfully for the first time during the Cuban Missile Crisis. And now in cellphones.
Why am I narrating the story of Hedy Lamarr?
The story of Hedy Lamarr can be one of inspiration for people with a ‘creative’ persuasion.
Hedy Lamarr symbolises the magic that happens when creativity meets technology. Coming from an ‘Expressive Arts’ background, Lamarr and Antheil were highly intuitive. They could harness the potential of a phenomenon into a useful application. What is remarkable about her achievement is that it happened at a time when there was a very clear demarcation between arts and science.
That demarcation, at least pertaining to the digital world, is crumbling fast today. By digital I loosely mean all things internet, mobile and emerging media. It is user-friendly and with interesting possibilities for brands and marketing. More importantly, I foresee a new kind of role likely to emerge in technology companies in the near future. It is that of a ‘Creative Officer’.
As a budding entrepreneur (ahem!), I have come across young engineers in Bangalore with incredible product ideas. Some of them have also started full-fledged companies. However, they are struggling to make the much needed consumer connect for them to succeed. Creativity is the magic that can add ‘soul’ to their product and help it connect with the consumers.
Hedy Lamarr once said, “All creative people want to do the unexpected.” Have fun with technology and you can do the unexpected in which ever field you are in.