Taken from Amitabh Bachchan's Blog ;P You can see the North and the South block, the parliament building and landscapes. Wow.
How about you ... ?
In Jan this year, I was very convinced that it will a year that would bring along change and I would be lot more closer to my goals. I even made a list of things that I wanted to do in 2008. They were
1. Stay fit (I am unhealthy, need to control it)
2. Acquire/create/partner a business
3. Write a book - fiction/non-fiction will do
4. Create an online presence (rather than an online identity). This would involve re-restructuring of blogs, conscious effort to post better quality content, creating the website, participating on social and professional networking websites and finally meeting/creating/talking with other people online/offline.
Now, on 26th Dec, if I look back, apart from few things here and there, 2008 was personally a very very average year for me (to say the least). Off the 4 things, I did not do even one. I did try to eat healthy and exercise. I did start a novel. I did think of n00b.in. I did work on creating my online presence and created saurabhgarg.com. All 4 were initiated but died with time. Its not that they were difficult. Its just that I could not complete them. I lost interest mid way and let my mind wander.
In 2009, mantra is going to be FOCUS and DO. Yes I have come up with yet another wish list of things for 2009. In the DO year, I will make sure I FOCUS on things and get them done.
P.S.: Please dont be surprised by lack of work on the do list. Work never was, never will be a priority.
The best part about him is the way he speaks. He mixes Hindi, English and Marathi like no one else.
For those who dont know about Shantaram, it is been written by Gregory David Roberts and is about an Australian convict who escapes jail and lands in India on a false passport. He learns life in Mumbai the hard way and finally gets settled. A very interesting (and thick) book.
I am now a Don Karnage fan. Actually I have always been a fan but its just reaffirmation.
I still remember the time when I would desperately wait for Tale Spin to happen. Obviously I was young enough not to have any biases and favorites. But with time, when the show became a passe, and memories began to fade away, there were few things left in the mysterious folds of memory. Amongst them was Don Karnage. The pirate king. The king of puns. The master of one-liners.
His impeccable sense of humour and great timing at the makes him such a superhero (supervillian if you may).
This is one character I would have loved to meet in real life. And I am talking from what I have seen in the translated version that ran in India. Have no clue how good/bad was he in the original series. If you are in India and you are keen on watching him, tune into Jetix every morning at 8.
Too bad Don doesn't have a page on Wikipedia. I however found a few fanpages and here is a linked list
Image credits: visionsfantastic Forums
Saturday was 49's birthday. Me + 122 reached 49's place on Friday night and went looking for sea food. Somehow reached ShilPhata and stopped for dinner at Kokam King. 49 and 122 loved the sea food. I loved the Masala Papad.
Planning to finish The Motorcycle Diaries by end of this weekend.
Might meet Met 58 at the airport. Will go Went for the first meeting of the LSBC on sunday (I can never seem to spell the name correct - I think Prasanna hates me for naming it like that). Hope to discover more people and share the love of reading books.
Written on Saturday, 20th December 2008 while waiting for a pizza that I just ordered from Dominoes.
P.S.: Is this post worthy enough of reaching saurabhgarg.com?
When I think of my loved ones now, that circle is increasing. It has not got to do with only my wife, my children and couple of friends. It is now increasing, I want to spend time with all the people I thought that I can like or love and slowly I believe this is going to make everyone in the country do the same. We are going to spread this circle of love. I think tragedy has strange sense of uniting people, so it is making me feel that I need to spend every living hour of my life with people who matter a lot.
Absolutely, if you can take away any positive thing from this tragedy and have some kind of peace in your heart to be able to look at that. I think the very thing that the terrorists try to destroy is unity, secularism, the economy and just the dignity of the country. I think for the first time, we all have come to realise that that very thing has actually strengthened. The unity has got strengthened and I cannot say I am glad but I can say that if you can take away anything positive, that in itself is biggest positive. They have now given us the biggest weapon against them and we need to utilise that in the best way possible.
At this point of time we are finding various areas to vent out, whether they are politicians, whether they are some services which failed, we will do all that but I just want to tell the youngsters not to let go of this frustration, anger and cynicism. Use it as a constructive, aggressive move towards bringing a change. This is a historical turning point for us which is going to bring the young people together. Ask questions and listen to the answers and if the answers are not right, ask the questions again or change the people who are giving those answers.
Jihad was supposed to be propagated by the Prophet himself but unfortunately now two versions of Islam exist. There is an Islam from Allah and - I am not being anti - very unfortunately, there is an Islam from the Mullahs. I appeal to all of them to please give the youngsters, the right reading of the Quran
I think fanatics have no ground stand, it is very easy to debate with fanatics because I think they are misinformed, illinformed and they have no ground stand. Any normal, educated, well brought up Indian or Pakistani can debate with a fanatic from either sides and win the debate very easily. They have no answers after a while, I am again and again saying that if you are following Allah's words, even if you are following Gita's words or Biblical words, there is no place anywhere which will say this.
“What is important,” said Rahul Gandhi, the heir to the family dynasty that controls the governing Congress Party, “is that we stop worrying about how the world will impact us, we stop being scared about how the world will impact us, and we step out and worry about how we will impact the world.”
via Di via NYTimes
Now, step back and consider the situation the Mumbai attackers have created. First, the Indian government faces an internal political crisis driving it toward a confrontation it didn’t plan on. Second, the minimum Pakistani response to a renewed Indo-Pakistani crisis will be withdrawing forces from western Pakistan, thereby strengthening the Taliban and securing al Qaeda. Third, sufficient pressure on Pakistan’s civilian government could cause it to collapse, opening the door to a military-Islamist government — or it could see Pakistan collapse into chaos, giving Islamists security in various regions and an opportunity to reshape Pakistan. Finally, the United States’ situation in Afghanistan has now become enormously more complex.
Please read. Kudos to George Friedman over at Stratfor for wonderful analysis.
I cant really say if reading has helped me or not, but I know for sure that I can now blabber on a lot of things in a group of people and get accepted socially.
I have also realized till the time I started reading seriously, everything I was taught, everything I read, I ate it as a fact, not mere opinion of the author. For example if a newspaper said a particular movie sucked, I would have accepted it without question (many people still do) but I have realized over the last year that it’s a mere opinion and they might be wrong after all even if they are the leading media house in the world, winner of Nobel prizes, authorities or even Einsteins of the world.
Continuing with it, I recently started asking questions at places where conventional wisdom wouldn’t have even ventured.
I also realized that it’s the freedom of speech that is one of the most important gifts to the mankind and a lot of us exploit this gift and talk and talk. Also, there is a breed of men (not women … but men) who would use this gift conservatively and speak only when required. No points for guessing which group of people would eventually emerge as winners. I used to belong to the first group and I am trying to jump over the fence and move to the other side.
So far results have been ok. Hopefully would get the desired results.
So, what is all this noise about? What after all is Focus?
Focus is my way of taking stock of things the way they are and the way they could be. I do a focus from time to time. The last (it was also the first one ever) one is here.
What changes this time?
Before everything else, why do I blog? One reason and one reason only. To get an opportunity to meet people who are better than me.
And here are some thoughts (my efforts at thinking out loud honestly) ...
So far I have been posting anything under the sun under the disguise of The New New Thing. As a result, I am not really engaging people in conversations as much as I would love to. I know for a fact that I hold a definitive opinion on quite a few things (branding, Internet, behavioural psychology, etc) and they are more than valid. Just because I have been a lazy blogger, I loose opportunity to interact with great minds. More than that I loose an opportunity to actually establish myself as an opinion holder on these subjects. Not that I want to be known as one but I dont want to be shrugged off as yet another n00b (cant help pimping my domain name :D) on a rampage with a domain name.
What happens to The New New Thing now?
The New New Thing would remain what it is. A blog where I track The New New Thing. However, it would strictly become a business, marketing/branding, technology, Internet and new media blog. 5 things is still too much to cover on one single blog by one single person but I really feel passionately for these things and want to try and juggle all these at the same time. Obviously, if I fail, I can always do a Focus 4.0 in few days.
What else changes about The New New Thing?
As pro-bloggers would say, The New New Thing would become my CV. My conversation starter. My selling proposition. It would act as food for thought for people. It would help me get access to interesting people and their opinions. Finally with these meetings, conversations and debates, I would help myself understand things better. Its like a feedback loop. More you understand, better people you find to talk to. And better people you know, more they help you understand.
And everything else goes to my War of Words blog. Its a step down (It is hosted on blogger) from here but I guess I will stick to it for the time being. I cant really develop two blogs at the same time. I will continue posting on mutiny.in, pluggd.in and venturewoods.org (not that these great blogs miss me) as and when I get motivation and opportunity. I will also maintain PseudoSocial and 04p050. I do plan to start a travel blog sometime soon.
Thank you for a patient read. Please do share any feedback you might have about me or my blogs.
- Organize a trip to Leh in June 2009.
- Work with Mutiny and its print edition efforts.
- Discover India, using post offices as a medium.
- Create a society akin to Mensa or TED where only criteria for membership is intellect. Its a group of eccentrics, megalomaniacs and talented individuals.
- Learn Urdu.
- Master the art of playing Poker.
- Start a book club for reading enthusiasts in Mumbai and elsewhere in India.
... all at the same time.
Basically I am responsible for spreading myself too thin at all times and hence this lingering feeling that I never complete anything. Any remedies anyone?
Written on 29th Nov, after Terrorists struck Mumbai. More here.
And this quote initiated my sgIdeas idea.
It was 11 and I was in Vashi (about 60 KMs from the South Mumbai) playing Counter-Strike when I first heard about terror strikes in Mumbai. A friend’s mom called up and said there was fire at CST and if we were ok. We did not take things seriously that time and went about our work. But when we started getting non-stop phone calls, we realized something was wrong. Left the game midway to rush to the nearest television screen (@McDonalds) and saw live footage from CST and Taj. We realized that it was as planned terrorist attack and there were lot of casualties (127 reported dead till last count) including the ATS chief, Hemant Karkare. The indiscriminate firing at CST and hostage situations at Taj and Oberoi came as a shock. I had never imagined that something like that could strike us.
First thoughts were “damn it, yet another attack on India”. First reactions were of indifference. First thing we did was called everyone in Mumbai and enquired about their safety. Once we realized things were ok with our kith and kin, we went back to our game. I did what a typical Indian would have done – ensured personal health and safety. I also did yet another typical Indian thing – I ignored it and decided that, like everything else, it will be ok soon. And like any other Indian, we had an opinion on things. We had no clue what the ground realities there were. We dint know what the situation asks for. But we had an opinion. An opinion that would not have helped. We commented on people and their follies. The very act of writing this piece of text is giving away an opinion.
Not for a minute I felt sympathy for people who have suffered. We celebrated a holiday. We made plans for going to Matheran or some place. We played Counter-Strike. Were we being irresponsible? Were we being selfish? Was everyone else in India feeling like that? Most probably no. But then again, you never no.
More I think about it, more disgusted I get. These terrorists are no different from what I and most of my friends are. 25 somethings, fond of good things, ambitious and optimistic about future. Where is it then, that these guys decided that they want to kill innocent civilians? What brainwashes these people that they suddenly are ready to die? And for what reason? What cause? And is killing innocent people part of the solution? I am strong believer in power of conversations. Why cant we sit and talk and resolve whatever these guys have in mind. If they say that they are doing it for love of god, someone needs to tell them God never preaches killing. Not of the innocent for sure. I would love to meet one someday and understand what makes them do such extreme things. What rush do they get out of it?
Investigation into the reasons would for sure prove futile. There were reports that terrorsits were singling out American, British and Israeli citizens at hotels. Was it thus an attack on foreigners in India? Unlikely. Was it done to attract attention of the world? Maybe. Was it to get closer to their god? HELL NO.
And whats with the Media in India? Apart from showing real news and analysis, every channel was in a race to declare news as “exclusive” and “you-saw-it-first-here”. They were competing with each other to come up with the most fancy headline for attacks. It was all about sensationalism and propaganda. The only other headline that they were concerned about was the cancellation of ongoing cricket series between England and India. I agree that life should go on normally and we should not bow down to these attacks and alter our routine, but is cricket that important that we ignore people who are fighting and dying on the streets?
Obvisouly the courage and solidarity shown by our politicians should be mentioned. People like Mr. Raj Thackery and Mr. Udhav Thackery were nowhere to be seen. On any given day, they could be seen paddling pride of Marathi Manoos and Shiv Vada Pav. Today when Mumbai was under a serious threat and needed reassurance, there was not a single word uttered from their camp. As a north-Indian, who has made Mumbai his home, does that give me confidence in Maharashtra? No it does not. In fact as a Maharashtrian, does it give me confidence that Shiv Sena And Maharashtra Navnirman Sena can stand for me? HELL NO. And what about all those “north Indian” security personnel who are fighting to save Mumbai? What about Mr. Modi? Mr. Advani? Can someone tell them that this is not the time to engage in political battles and getting mileage for things that may or may not have been done?
If there is something needs a special mention, its social media. Twitter in particular (I am @s4ur4bh there). I was far from a TV screen and there was no way for me to update myself with what’s happening in the other part of the city. Only way I could do that was with Twitter. There were people on Twitter who were as concerned and constantly fed people like me with information and tips. Some who were close to the site, actually ventured out and clicked pictures (@vinu). However difference between Twitter usage in India and other countries is the community. Most of us in India were merely relaying news clippings from mainstream media. Social Media is most effective when people actually report original news and make available things that mainstream media cant. In our case, there were hardly any notable individuals who did original reporting. Vinu is one such person and he is been doing a commendable job since. In fact most of the channels are using this pictures for their telecasts. Apart from twitter, individuals were quick to setup webpages for helpline numbers, lists of affected people, contribution calls for donating blood etc.
I am too insignificant an entity to actually predict the long term impact and ramifications of the attack. Tourism, travel and hotel industry would obviously be impacted. The ruing Congress government might have a tough battle ahead in the forthcoming general elections (due in first half of 2009). Investments in the Indian economy might take hit. Global companies would definitely not want anything to do with India (Board of HUL was reportedly at Taj when this happened). Ah, how can I forget plight of Cricket. Poor little gentleman's game. Series' would be cancelled, players would have to undergo agony, channels would loose money and media would have another field day creating headlines and
Coming back to the track, by the time the thought of these attacks sunk in, it was late in the night. Sleep was distant. Anger wasn't. And there was that familiar feeling of helplessness. My country is at the mercy of just a few men and just the thought of it is sickening. They enter our parliaments when they want to, they can explode not one or two but 15 bombs in any city and they can open fire at passengers trying to go back home after a long day of work. And after all this they can get away. How long will we tolerate this? When would all this stop?
We might say we as a country are proud of our unity in diversity. But are we really united? We conveniently ignore things because they don’t matter to us. For someone in Delhi, a terror strike on Mumbai is just a piece of news. For Mumbaikar, a strike in the Parliament is yet another news. Until it directly affects our lives, we conveniently ignore things and move on. We are indifferent to things happening in other cities with other people in their homes. We choose to ignore them. And in the process, when all of us are holed up in our respective cocoons, we feed that ticking time-bomb.
I also want to talk about much hyped spirit of Mumbai and how mumbaikars are resilient and come to work in worst of rains, largest of floods and deadliest of terror strikes. This spirit is commendable but how long can we just talk about “spirit of Mumbai” and keep ignoring things? We have used it as a lame excuse for too long and I guess its about time we move to actions rather than just opinions and discussions.
I have this People Tree t-shirt that reads “Ek Zabardast Toofan Aaye Aur Humein Gehri Neend Sey Jagaye”. India needs an awakening. And now. More than all that I, personally need an awakening. Guess this incident is that “toofan” that I needed in my life. Guess its time I recollect my thoughts and ethos and bring about a radical change.
Spoiler Warning: This post discloses the plot of the movie.
DasVidaniya (Imdb) is a simple movie with a simple plot. A very organized and simple guy is told that he has only three months to live. So far, his life has been uninteresting and nothing actually to write about. His life is full of things stereotypical to Indian men – widowed mother, estranged relationship with brother, long lost friends, dreams, aspirations, devoid of any possibilities of sex, perils of a pesky boss, tantrums of lazy colleagues and a predictable routine of office, home and office again.
So, unlike a typical guy and crying about his terminal disease, Amar Kaul (Vinay Pathak) decides that before he dies he would do things that he always wanted to do but couldn’t for some reason or the other. From things as easy as buying a car to things as difficult as confessing love that he’s hidden since his boyhood. And this is where things get interesting.
The movie is hilarious at times. Especially when DasGupta (Saurabh Shukla) is bossing around Amar and when Vivek (Gaurav Gera) is directing what probably is the most copied scenes in the history of bollywood – Mere Pass Maa Hai.
The movie is touching at other times. When for example Amar finally confesses his love to Neha (Neha Dhupia). Or when Amar finally buys his car – the way he touches the car and he has that most content smile on his face. Or the scene where Vivek is crying when he realises that Amar is dying.
The movie also makes you think every time Amar pulls out his “things to do before I die” list. You suddenly want to reach for a notepad and make a list like that of your own. You suddenly start debating the futility of human life and the rat race that most of us are running. The same rat race that most of us would run for rest of our lives. The movie makes you appreciate all those small moments in life that we simply ignore trying to run that rat race.
Overall Das Vidaniyan is a very well made movie with commendable acting by Vinay Pathak, Ranvir Shorey, Saurabh Shukla, Rajat Kapoor, Neha Dhupia and Gaurav Gera. The Kailasa trio (Kailash, Nareh, Pranesh) has done a really good job with background score. Director should be applauded for some great shots and heart-warming scenes. Although, I am told that the storyline resembles yet another great movie - The Bucket List, I am ready to concede that I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.
The big idea – the idea of things to do before you die – is really very intriguing. If everyone knew his or her expiry date, everyone would be so much better. People would loose inhibitions and for a change do things. Suddenly you start appreciating life a wee bit more. If I were to choose few things that I want to do before I die, they would be
- Provide for my family and few chosen friends.
- Bike to Leh (I will do it most probably in June 2009)
- Bungee Jump
What would be few things that you would want to do before you say goodbye?
The process started a good 15 days before the trip actually began.. and everything was planned online on a site called twitter. after that minute details were decided over e-mails and this is how the first ever TwiTrip was planned and implemented.
The plan initially was to head to a karaoke bar in Mumbai and sing "That Thing You Do".. i really wanted to do it.. i still want to.. but it ended up becoming an extended vacation to the virgin beaches of Murud and Kashid.. We decided to just book tickets to and from Mumbai and nothing beyond that, unplanned trips are lot more fun than planned trips..
2nd October, Salonee and me parked our asses at Bandra Terminus quite early in the morning.. We took Lokshakti from Ahmedabad as the other trains were not available..
Bandra and then a local from there to Bombay Central, as the bus to Alibaug was from Bombay Central.. We met three other twitter pals there.. Dhempe, s4ur4bh and punkpolkadots joined us here...
Dhempe and s4ur4bh enquired at the State Bus stop, while the three girls had their first smoke after meeting. We figured that the bus takes around 4 - 5 hours to reach Alibaug and then another hour to reach Kashid, which would basically mean losing one entire day...
We decided to take the ferry then and pushed off to Gateway of India. The ferry incidentally takes only 1.5 hr and in another hour we'd be at Kashid.. And nothing like an early morning ferry ride in the Arabian Sea with all the wind and all the nice bright sun..
The village is more like Goa, the construction etc is very Portuguese. I am not sure why but. The houses are like duplexes and for one family. I am sure the land is pretty cheap there and hence people can afford living in such spatial duplexes and houses. Each of them had a garden and quite a lot of open space around. The roads were nice, there was no proper mobile network though..
We enjoyed the tuk tuk trip over all.. twitter junkies that we are, lack of twitter made us sad time and again.
Reached Kashid at around 2 pm or so.. We saved around 3 hours of time by not taking a bus from Mumbai to Alibaug.
Dhempe had already booked Picnic Park in Kashid which he'd found through some research on the internet.. I think Mouthshut.com had rated this resort pretty high and the ratings were true.
5 mins walk thru the jungle to the beach and awesome food and hospitality. The rooms were nice and the staff was good too.. Dogs included :D
We went to the beach for a long evening walk. Salonee and s4ur4bh went missing and the three of us kept waiting all thru evening for them..
The beach was awesome.. totally virgin, not many people around and lovely breeze, sunset, food and chai. Not to forget sutta.. :)
Started talking about LyF, families, work, boyfriends/girlfriends, ghosts, spirits, auras.. and lot more things till the sun sunk into the sea.
Decided to pick up cold-drinks and wafers for the night.. it was Gandhiji's budday.. and we had to celebrate and get drunk.. :)
Walked back to the hotel.. Nokia 1100 turned out be a very handy, the torch light I mean.. the roads were pitch dark with traffic moving from both ends and at high speeds..
What followed was opening of bottles and the rest is history....
Run away to obscurity
To a place where they dont know me
Where there are no presumptions and no baggage
A place that offers to more than just a house and a place to sleep
To a life where we stop playing the chase the fame game and stop living the dream
har saal aata hain n makes me loose my compettive advantage each yrHe is a value investor and I have high hopes on him. He blogs about his investment ideas here.
Bhai saab bhai saab.
Dekh deen duniya deti dard dho dho
Khela kala kauva kahin kabhi kabhi kho kho
Raat rahe raat raat ro ro
Mainkya mu me lo mu me lo
And the other one
Kahin door mast gagan mainDedicated to Team MML.
Tez teekhi peeli dhoop main
Sard mausam ki masti main
Patjhad kay gire patton main
Bheegi baarish ke geele paani main
Bolo bolo kahan kahan loge
Mu main mu main mu main
The agency says that the new logo "depicts yellow flourish on a red rectangle, symbolizing an envelope. Yellow represents a rising sun, while red, signifies the dawn of a new era." I mean all that is fine but it lacks the class and panache of the simple, classic and yet powerful logo. Who would remember the "dawn of a new era" few years from now? I did not even realize that the yellow pseudo-swoosh on the red background is supposed to resemble folds of an envelope.
What about all the people that India post touches? Think for a minute about people who live in semi-urban and rural India? For a lot of them, postmen and post-offices act as sources of information, news, money, access to reading and writing, gossip etc. Would these people be able to adapt to the new logo easily? Would that trust on the postal system stay concrete? Wouldnt there be a disconnect in their minds when all of a sudden they see changes in the colors and imagery?
Agreed that the 150 year old institution is reeling under the pressure from Telephony and Internet (emails substituting letters and postcards), private courier companies (for freight carriage and bulky deliveries) and so and so forth. Agreed that India Post is seen as yet another sarkaari company with bureaucracy, painfully slow work environment, lack of enthusiasm and motivation amongst employees but just a new logo and communication is not the way to go about it.
Project Arrow was an initiative in the right direction - to make post offices more than just delivery and access points for mails (there were talks of setting up Internet kiosks, selling insurance, data collection etc.). The idea was to modernize the postal system and revitalize it. They hired McKinsey to work on the turnaround strategy and with the work so far, I am not very impressed. So much for consults being top preference for management graduates.
Ideally along with a management consult, India Post should be hiring a HR consultant to put some sense in their employees to start with. And then the marketing and branding consultants to help out with communication part. Its always an incremental process and has to be like one baby step as a time.
I am very disappointed with the new logo. And since we live in a democracy, I can not really do anything to stop Mr. Scindhia Junior to actually not use it. And with due course of time we will get used to it. We saw the same with Godrej, Shoppers Stop, Canara Bank, Axis Bank, Union Bank of India and their new logos. There is a huge hue and cry when the new logos are revealed. And with passage of time, people get busy with their lives and forget. The institution losses. The identity is lost. The classic era fades away. Only entity to win is the agency that has created the new logo and has charged pretty bucks for it.
Please note, the opinions herein are purely mine and mine only. Please also see my Discovery of India. The timing of the new logo and my discovery is purely coincidental!
The thrill of exploring the unknown,
The adventure of going down a road that you dont know,
The mystery behind the tun that you are about to take,
The feeling when you meet new people and you try to come across as interesting,
The realization that you get once you know that you are yet another human being,
are simply too rewarding and too tempting to make you seek travel.
Nokia E66 is yet one of those sliders from the E series family. The E-series is known for its ease of use and intuitive interface. E66 offers full multimedia and Internet experience with its wide display and high-resolution screen. It is a true office use phone with support for popular file formats like pdf, doc and xls etc.
Coming down to positives and negatives,
- Looks. It looks really impressive. In any meeting, people noticed the device and were actually curious about it. The display is brilliant. The metallic finish is awesome. Further, I loved the grip on the handset. It fitted perfectly in my palm and I dint have to clasp it too hard or too loose. It felt like an extension of my hand. Very comfortable to hold.
- Office Applications. Has all the applications one might need for productivity preloaded on the phone. Obviously you could download more from the Internet and use one of the many connectivity options (Bluetooth, wifi, 3G, infrared).
- Integration and Memory Usage. Love the way applications install with one click. It is easy to update them, remove them and then again reinstall them. In fact if you run more than 5 applications at the same time, the phone still works fine. This is in contrast with other phones that I have used in past.
- Long battery life. It easily had more than 24 hours of standby time and about 10 hours of talk time. I did not measure it with a stopwatch but I don’t charge my phone very often and in the entire month I used it, I never ran out of battery.
- Bad camera. Although the phone boasts of a 3 MP camera, the image quality is surprisingly bad. I expected the camera to be better.
- Keypad. Although ergonomics dont permit a QWERTY keypad, the regular keypad becomes a hindrance for an office phone. There are times when I wanted to write emails but could not because its too cumbersome and time consuming to write emails on a regular keypad.
- Accelerometer is buggy. There are quite a few times when you rotate the phone and the display freezes. It takes good 3-4 seconds to come back to normal and by that time you are almost frustrated.
- Snooze time is 5 mins. I hated this bit. I am used to snooze time of 10 mins and getting up is a long process. But with this device, I missed quite a few meetings because I would simply turn the alarm off (rather than get pissed off at a 5 min snooze).
- Too expensive for Indian market?
- I don’t know about the MRP on this phone but most of the retail outlets are selling this phone for about 20K in India. I find this price point for a Nokia E66 really steep. For 20 grand you can actually go for a Nokia E71. E71 has a CandyBar form factor and has a full QWERTY keypad with almost identical features. And personally I love CandyBars more than Sliders or ClamShells.
In the end I would give this phone 3 on 5. Although it has lots of features and is probably the best slider available in India right now, the phone lacks a decent camera and is probably priced on the bit higher side. I would recommend it to someone who wants a powerful business phone and does not need a camera.
P.S.: Cant do a technical analysis. If someone wants to write about it, lemme know. Will update the post.
In his own words, "BFBV is an excuse to teach worldly wisdom through multidisciplinary thinking...". Personally I have benefited immensely from my interactions with him. If I was to write my biography, I will describe a Saurabh Garg before he met Prof. Bakshi and another Saurabh Garg after he took BFBV. The course teaches you concepts and make you aware of ideas from vast variety of disciplines - Economics, Finance, Biology, History, Philosophy, Architecture, Religion, Mathematics etc. The course takes lessons from Illuminati like Benjamin Franklin, Charlie Munger, Warren Buffet (to name just a few)
He recently started the 2009 session of his value investing, behavioral finance and decision making course (course outline here). Please subscribe to Prof. Bakshi's blog here to get an update on his teaching material. Personally and professionally I will recommend it to anyone who wants to reinvent himself and believes that learning is a life long journey rather than an one time initiative. After taking a course you start looking at life in a different view all together.
I cant say that course made me wiser and more mature but I can say one thing for sure. It is an awesome experience and even if you are not looking at any long term rewards, the time you spent on that course is one of the most satisfying periods of your life. Do try it.
P.S.: Sandeep and I started PseudoSocial sometime back in 2006 to share whatever little we know and hoping to learn more and connect with more investors. The blog was a very rewarding experience till the time we were updating it. Time and work commitment does not permit us to update is very frequently. If someone wants to resurrect it, please let me know.
period of life immediately following the major changes of adolescence, usually ranging from the ages of 21 - 30This definition is hardly sufficient to really explain what it really is. If I can take liberties to explain, in my own words, QLC is that phase of life when you have grown out of your college, you find everyone around you doing great with their lives and you are all confused and dont have a clue what to do with your life.
So I have to answer following questions
- Why do I think I suffer from Quarter Life Crisis?
- How do I deal with it?
- And do I see it as positive or negative energy?
So why do I think I am suffering from QLC?
Few hard facts first. I think I have one of the best jobs in the world with a lot of freedom to do things the way I want to do. My boss is as supportive as anyone can be. My employer is a growing company that will be a powerhouse to reckon with in times to come. I am paid enough money to stay comfortably even in a city like Mumbai. Everything looks hunky-dory. On paper.
While advertising is a great place to be amidst the thick of actions, contributing to few of the biggest brands, trying to create new media and brand businesses, there are times when I feel that I am destined to do things larger and grander than just advertising or brain-storming. I have no clue what this grand dream is. I have been running after for all 25 years of my life and I still dont have a clue where to go with it. There are times when I feel as if I am stuck. And this is the exact reason why I think I am suffering from QLC.
I know that I have had a great education and I am ready to take on the world. But the entire exercise of taking on the world is not even starting. Everything I do, however grand it may be from my perspective looks insignificant compared to the entire world.
And then there are my friends. Everyone seems to be making more money than me. Everyone seems to be having an absolute blast in life with global travels, time for themselves, relationships, carer advancements and latest gadgets whereas I am stuck in Mumbai with nothing of this sort happening. And not even remote chances of it in the sight.
I know I am a future rich famous and important guy but I dont know how and when would I reach there. I have opinions on things around me. Rather strong ones at that. I think everyone around me is mediocre and needs improvement. I dont want to spend time with these people and I would rather sit online trying to discover a new new thing rather than meeting people in social settings. I still laugh and cry with them but mentally I am very detached from them.
I am told that all these symptoms (and thousands others that I am not writing about) point to one thing. And one thing only. That I do suffer from Quarter-Life Crisis.
And how do I deal with it?
Since there are no medications available that might help someone suffering from QLC, I have to resort to home grown ideas. I am giving away an entire list of remedies that I use.
- Get busy. As simple as that. I have been told zillion times that an idle mind is devil's workshop. Most of my friends are really happy with what they do because they dont really have time to think. They get up, goto work, come back, have dinner and sleep. The entire long day makes them tired and all they can do at the end of the day is sleep.
- Write. Writing is tough. And especially when its me. I am not really known for my writing and literary skills and it makes the task all the more frustrating. You try to write so that you might get an avenue to channel your frustration through (because you dont really have any friends and the ones that you have dont have time to hear you whine and the ones who actually listen to you dont really understand the predicament you are in). And once the words dont come out, you are left with a half written text, that you save on your hard drive to never open again and eventually delete after 5 years (assuming that you would not want to read what you wrote five years ago).
- Motivate yourself. You take examples from what everyone is doing around you. You start dreaming that you can also live their lives if you tried. You start buying bling shirts and star studded jeans and start frequenting the "happening" places. You initially get laughed at. Once you get used to it, you start thinking that you are just being unlucky the first time (and everyone else boasts about the luck of the first-timers). Then after the vanity of first timing fades out, you realize that people have moved on from clubbing to mundane activities like lounge bars and coffee conversations. Moment you reach there, they move on further. Its always like trying to catch that train whose driver is like a kid trying to take a revenge for all the beating you gave him in school.
- Get more secluded. If none of the above work, its best to confine yourself to isolation. For one simple reason. You would not break more walls and retain the damage to yourself. In fact I am planning to do exactly this in next couple of months.
I think energy is more positive than negative (at least for me). Reasons are very simple. Moment I see someone doing better than me, I would want to better him at his own game. I know I am not meant to do all the things in the world but at least I get to know more things. And this is something that moves me like no other thing. I can spend my entire life chasing that new thing and once accomplished, move on to the next one. And next one and the next one.
Secondly I also realize that end of the day I am human. However large things I may do, I will always remain a mere mortal that cant live beyond a certain comfort zone. My creations will always be lesser than all the mountains, oceans, Mother Nature. But again, can I get bigger than her? Can I beat her at her own game? Time shall tell and all of us shall stand witness to the confrontation.
And to end it all, yes I do suffer from QLC and I am still trying to find out a solution for the same. Prashant has a very interesting take on the entire thing. Please see his perspective also.
P.S.: Although I do suffer from QLC, the text above is a piece of fiction written on @gsik's request.
I got this SMS from Sonali (she doesn't blog yet)
While v celebrate 61 years of independence, i hav just one ques fr u - after spending more than 2 decades in this 61-yr old country, r u a proud indian or an apprehensive indian? I first heard the latest rabbi song 'bilqis' 5 days back on india's independence day and am still haunted by it. And i am still looking fr n ans to the ques raised - 'jinhe naaz hai hind par woh kahan hai?'
And since its 9:30 PM, I am in office and don't have anything important to work on, I thought why not some self-reflection. Please beware that this is going to be a rant where I go on a mental trip and hopefully get an answer. And to put things in context, the song that Sonali is talking about is this. And while I am writing this, I am listening to it.
So the question asks me if I am a proud Indian or an apprehensive Indian. In one line, a short and sweet answer is that I am a proud Indian. And more than apprehensive I am confident, curious and motivated, all three at the same time. If you asked me why, I would have no real reasons except for the statement that everything India is, defines me (large, full of contradictions, basking in the past glory, struggling to cope up with realities of world fast changing world) and everything I am, defines India (young, mediocre, forward-looking, ambitious, trying to prove a point, wanting to lead the world).
And now the longer version of the story. I am confident because I know that in last decades, thanks to few good decisions by some individuals (including my parents, policy makers and my professors), I have got myself bare minimum education required to actually understand things and take an informed decision. I am confident that since I know quite a few things, I would take a decision that is in the best interest under prevailing circumstances. I am no magician with a magic ball to gaze through and predict what the future holds for us. However, at the same time I know that I am on an adventure trip where I chase things like glory, intelligent company and huge rewards for my efforts. And I am ready to take the risk for the same. I am not sure about the results but I dont mind trying.
I am curious. Because of my background, I know a few things and now with all the learning opportunities that this connected world gives me, I want to know a lot more. I want to learn and apply the lessons in real life and use them for my advantage. My curiosity keeps me going. To look beyond the obvious. To dig deeper. To investigate further. To reach the root of a problem and work on it from there. And once I am informed, that is the time when I feel I can be at my best.
And I am motivated. I am motivated because I cherish the freedom that came as a result of a long and hard struggle by millions of Indians. I understand that my life is so much better simply because I can take decisions without fearing any retributions of any kind. I understand that the very act of thinking like that is a privilege. And since I have that privilege of thinking and working in a free world, I know that I need to make the most of it. twiI need to preserve it for the generations to come. I have to leave something behind as a legacy (or even a simple gift). What better gift can I leave behind than freedom?
So what does Independence mean to me? I have thought about this a lot of time and every time there is a different answer. At times conflicting and at times comforting. But the essence remains the same. Independence for me is the complete freedom of thoughts and actions. This would mean being financially, morally and socially free. Apart from the financial freedom, all the other kinds are offered by the environment you live in. In my case it happens to be India. I did not choose India. It was something that was forced upon me (along with a lot of other things like my parents, my family, my physical appearance, my receding hairline etc.). To be very honest, if I could choose a country, I dont know if I would have chosen India over other "developed" and "free" countries. But now that I am an Indian and I have become what I am, there is no choosing things/people/countries. Only thing that remains debatable is how to take India to new heights.
There are tons of things that are awesome about India. And then there are many more tons that needs to be changed. Stories of corruption, favoritism, red-tapism, bureaucracy, laziness, mediocrity, procrastination, organized religion etc. are in abundance. Rare are the instances of honestly, brilliance, dutifulness, obedience etc. Still rarer are stories of Manjunaths, Dubeys, Kumars who have raised their voices and laid down their lives fighting for causes that they believed in. And there are people like Abhinav Bindra, Sushil Kumar and Vijender Kumar who have broken the age old shackles and have proved themselves on the toughest platform they could have participated. I can go on talking about the likes of Kalpana Chawla, Kiran Bedi, Lt. Saurabh Kalra, NR Narayamurthy, Azim Premji, Dr. Bose (not Netaji), Sam Pitroda, Mother Teresa and host of others who have not only raised the bar and made us proud but changed the way, the world at large perceives India as a country. More than changing the perception of the world around us, we should be talking about changing the way we think about India as a country. The way we think about ourselves. What we have and how we can leverage them to reach farther.
A country is made of its people and is what all these people, decide to make it, collectively. It is very easy to play the blame games and curse the "system" but it takes courage to actually voice an opinion. A country is a place where we all have agreed to live (in a lot of cases by choice and in few cases by default) but since we are here and now is our time, one needs to contribute and do whatever one thinks is in the best interest of the country and self. It can be as elementary as teaching your maid or as monumental as casting your vote in the elections (which as numbers would prove, only less than 65% of Indians do). A country is not about You. It definitely is not about me. It is about us. It is about we. It is about India. We need to move beyond the petty battles of YOU and ME and work collectively for US
Change is something that is very interesting. Change is one of those things that everyone desires and asks for. And moment there is even a glimmer of change, everyone starts resisting it. But why am I talking about change all of a sudden when we are talking about India and being an Indian? What do you think things like our opinions, our leaders, our policy makers, our education system, our perceptions, our thinking, our actions need?
And coming bacl to what Rabbi asked, "Jinhe Naaz Hai, Hind Par Woh Kahan They, Jinhe Naaz Hai Woh Kahan Hai?". Do we have answer? I dont know about a lot of things and I don't know how to weave beautiful stories and poetic text but I know one thing for sure. Next time, there is someone who challenges my India, I would be there and I would stand tall and be counted.
What is your story? Please share. Please ask yourself. Please ask your friends. Please ask strangers. Please investigate.
With so much of work, and yet another blog to take care of, its increasing getting difficult to create quality content :(
I dint want to become a prolific blogger to have less time for blogging. A stupid example of negative feedback loop in action.
Inflation has hit us real hard. There used to be a time when one could travel Mumbai to Delhi on a low cost airline for just about 3000 bucks including taxes. Today we cant get one
If you click on the attached screenshot, you will see the kind of prices they are charging for a one way trip between Mumbai and Delhi. Is this justified .. ? I dont think so. And yes there were cheaper flights available but I ticked them out so that I can take this screenshot.
I know inflation is taking its toll on airlines, fuel prices are all time high and manpower cost is increasing by the day. The taxes are adding additional burden but 20K for a one way flight is stupid.
There was I time when I would boot my blog editor on Blogger and post about every small leaf moving with every strand of wind. And then there came a time when I would post things that are truly monumental.
As we increasingly live in a digital world where every bit of data and information you put anywhere on the Internet can be searched and indexed and retrieved easily. And moving with the times, I need to change the way I blog.
I will no longer create a new post on every small update. Now its about one place for everything related to a particular topic.
- This might mean several edits on the same post.
- This would mean trouble for people reading my blog from RSS readers.
- This would also mean comments going out of context. This would mean more trouble.
But I think the trouble is worth it. A post would no longer remain a small rant on things. It will, over a period of time, become a long page with lots of details on a particular topic. It will become my personal Wikipedia. In fact I had realized this long back and hence the pbWiki.
Also I have realized that juggling multiple blogs is very difficult. Apart from contributions to mutiny.in, pluggd.in, venturewoods, I manage quite a few blogs. My photoblog, personal blog, new new thing, Friends from Creativeland, value investing and probably a lot more blogs that I am forgetting (yes unofficial MDI blog, MML blog etc.). It is very difficult to juggle between all these. You tend to put a lot of effort on creating one and promoting it and as a result you ignore the other ones to die their natural, slow and painful death.
What do you think? Should I post on every small think? Or one large post with lots of data and information works?
Originally posted on here.
More I listen to Rabbi and more I connect with other Rabbi fans, more I like him. On Sonal's recommendation, I listened to Jugni. As compared to Bilquis where he talks about few heroes who laid their lives hoping for miracles, Jugni talks about India as a nation and things that we the people face everyday. The hard decisions we have to make. The trade offs. The sufferings. And the hope for a better future.
Lyrics (reproduced from rabbism.blogspot.com)
Jugni dekhan chali desh....
Jide janmay si kadi ved...
jidon kadyaa si angrez...
Ki banyaa usdaa....
Ki banyaa usdaa haal....
kede kite usne kamaal...
vir meryaa ve jugni....
vir meryaa ve jugni kehndi aa....
ek raah nawe aaj pandi hain..
Jugni jaa wadi kashmir ....
jithe roz maran das vee..
soni behnaa te sone veer..
oooo ro ro poochna..
ke jaghda tayi mukhnna...
jedo jhelum paani sukhnaa
vir meryaa ve jugni....
vir meryaa ve jugni kehndi aa....
ek neer nawe aaj behndi hain..
jugni jaa wadi punjab....
jithe padhe likhe bekaar...
bech zameenaa jaawen baahar...
uthe maaran jaadho....
uthe gori lain vewha..
peeche tabar take raah..
vir meryaa ve jugni....
vir meryaa ve jugni kehndi aa....
ek nayi udhari lendi aa....
Jugni jaa wadi bambai..
jithe sonda koi nahi...
sab labban cheez koi ....
kis kise noooo labbe...
jeno labbe woh bechain....
mathe matke uske pain...???
vir meryaa ve jugni....
vir meryaa ve jugni kehndi aa....
ek sah safar daa lendi aa....
jugni jaa wadi aaj dilli,,,,
uthe bheed ch ral ki bhuli..
kitho aayi teh kithe chali...
sab basar gaya...
jeddon aaya usno cheta...
taaki mukhea thaa usdaa belaaa....
vir meryaa ve jugni....
vir meryaa ve jugni kehndi aa....
aaj naam guraa daan lehendi aa.......
I have to reiterate that India needs more artists like Rabbi Shergill. We need people to understand the issues that confront us as a nation and its citizens. We need people to get everyone's attention towards these issues.
Music as a medium becomes is really helpful to hook on people from all walks of life to ponder on these issues. Initially people become fans (of the artist) and eventually the music. And once they know the music, they start understanding the causes that the artist is trying to talk about. They start discussing it. They start debating it. And finally they start working on it.
Last night, just before I slept, I chanced upon another song from Rabbi Shergill on Channel V. I just caught the last part of the song that ended with the beginning of our National Anthem.
Today morning first thing I did was download (illegally) the song. I heard it and it swept me off my feet. It is a must hear for anyone who even remotely thinks of India. While searching more about it, I realized that the song is about a month old and already has already been featured elsewhere on blogosphere (a very good post on Sepia Mutiny).
The song is available on the website of the album Avengi J Nahin at ajn.co.in. For those who prefer images to music, I found a low quality version on youtube here.
I will lift part of the lyrics from there, with due credits to Amardeep (Amardeep's blog).
Mera naam Bilqis Yakub Rasool
Mujhse hui bas ek hi bhool
Ki jab dhhundhhte thhe vo Ram ko
To maen khardi thhi rah mein
Pehle ek ne puchha na mujhe kuchh pata thha
Dujey ko bhi mera yehi javab thha
Itno ne puchha ki mera ab saval hai ki
Jinhe naaz hai, hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai, vo kahan hain
Mera naam Shriman Satyendra Dubey
Jo kehna tha kah woh kah chukey
Ab pade hai rah main dil main liye ek goli
Bas itna Kassor ki humane likha tha
Woh sach jo har kisi ki zubaan tha
par sach yahan ho jaate hain zahreele
Jinhe naaz hai, hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai, vo kahan hain
Mujhe kahte hain ? Manjunath
Maine dekhi bhatakti ek laash
Zameer kay beech sadak lakhiyonpur khedi
Aadarsh phansa jahan baataon main
Aur chor bhare darbaron main
Wahan maut ? ki ek khabar hai basi
Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain
Maza naam hai Lavleen Kumar
Unnees june unnees baar
Unnees unnees unnees unnees baar
Unnees unnees unnees unnees unnees unnees .. baar
Looto to haath kholo bazaar
Nalaspora aur Virar
Cheeno zamin humsey
Bhejo humain pataal
Jinhe naaz hai hind par vo kahan the
Jinhe naaz hai vo kahan hain
In this song, Rabbi talks about Bilquis Rassol, Satyendra Dubey, Manjunath and one Lavleen Kumar in the song. I know about Bilquis Rasool, Satyendra Dubey and Manjunath but can someone tell me who is this Lavleen Kumar? I searched his name and the context 19th Jun but could not find a thing. Someone please add here.
The lyrics talk about all these modern day Indians who have suffered because they thought they could raise their voices. Because they thought they could ask Y. Because they dared. Because they were Indians.
And their sacrifice probably got lost after our dear media moved onto other "more important" matters like health conditions of movie stars and relationships of cricketers. This song comes as a reminder for us. We do not want any more young engineers, management graduates to suffer the same fate. If these incidents fail to awaken the society, I wonder what would.
As I said earlier, the song ends with riffs from National Anthem and when it ends, you are left feeling good and bad at the same time. On one hand you are proud because you are humming your favorite tune. And you feel bad at the same time because music brings back memories of things being talked about in the song. The injustice, the call for action and finally the harsh realities of society we all dearly love.
In the end, I simply love the song and the entire idea of using music to spread word about India and being Indian. Do we know of more musicians like Rabbi? Can we please have more musicians like that in India?
Super Mario is a game that I have grown up playing. On youtube, I found these awesome vids.
Flute and Beat Box
Image Credits: Faith9990 on Flickr
So why do I blog?
- Blogging is thinking out loud. When I write/blog, I actually put pen to paper and I think before I dare make my thoughts public. And hence when I write, it helps me think. Helps in ideating.
- Blogging helps create an archive of thoughts. I have always made notes on notebooks of all shapes and sizes. A blog gives me a permanent place to archive them. I can now look at what I was thinking, what I was like way back in 2004 etc.
- Blogging helps me connect to more people. Since the web is permanent, anyone, anywhere in the world can read my blog (with a bit of luck obviously) and can give me feedback on what I am thinking. This is simply impossible in a real world. My immediate circle of friends can only be limited and there is no guarantee that they would be interested in what I am saying.
- Blogging Opens up minds. Before I was blogging, I was an arrogant and a mediocre person who lived in his own self created world. I thought I knew everything and I was above all. Moment I started writing, I realized that I need to learn a lot more and there are more people who can teach me things. I am still a self-claimed mediocre but no longer an arrogant one.
- Blogging is fun. As simple as that. :)
I am often asked why do I copy-paste my posts on plugdd.in, venturewoods.org, mutiny.in etc. Again the answer remains the same.
- Platforms like these give me a larger audience to express my thoughts to and more importantly get feedback from.
- Writing is about reaching out and meeting more people. Independently, I can never reach the kind of audience these platforms can give me (and have given me).
- Finally It is also about connecting to the people who share the same ethos and ideas. Wonderful things can happen when people talk. And blogging at these platform enables conversations.
In one line, blogging for me is that constant pursuit of learning and exploration. Why do YOU blog? Is it money? fame? connections? timepass? what?
I call my approach - meditating about an issue,
as opposed to thinking about an issue.
Thinking requires knowledge and a time target,
meditation does not require either.
But meditation enables one to come up with unique solutions that thinking cannot.
I absolutely loved the idea. Thinking is about coming up with perspectives on a certain topic from your previous knowledge or acquired knowledge within a time frame and with specific results as the targets.
Meditation on the other hand is contemplating what can be. Meditation is breaking all the conventions. Its like being virgin. Its a fresh start - all the time. When you are meditating you are no longer logical and pragmatic. You become evolved in the way you think. You go beyond the obvious.
What do you do? Think? Meditate? Personally, I think I think and I need to meditate more.
BookExpoCast.com has this podcast where Jeff Bezos talks about Kindle and then Chris Anderson (Wired Mag, The Long Tail) speaks to Jeff about publishing industry, Kindle, Amazon and Blue Origin.
The podcast is very very insightful and here are my raw notes from the podcast. Please note that these are raw notes and I scribbled them while listening to the podcast. I might have mis-understood and/or mis-interpreted the podcast but there are so many gems of wisdom that it would be a crime to not post them here.
I am breaking them into sections.
- Amazon was founded in 94. (I read later that Jeff Bezos created the Amazon business plan post his road trip across the country. I am planning to take one myself end of 2008. May be I will have some ideas too :D)
- When he was founding Amazon, Bezos had more than 40 meetings with 22 angel investors to raise USD 1 mn for the seed.
- Bezos also said more likely someone knew about the publishing business, less likely were they to invest in Amazon.
- One Amazon customer has bought more than 1700 books. WOW.
- Things like Super Saver on Amazon saves time and money or both Amazon and end customer. This helps them save by exploiting economies of scale and scope. They can ship two orders together faster.
- It took more than 3 years to develop Kindle.
- Kindle is a device that allows people to get books that they are looking for. And the ones they aren't looking for. Serendipity and accidental discovery of interesting books plays an important part of Kindle experience.
- Kindle uses electronic ink. This is different from text that we see on a computer or LCD screen
- While designing Kindle, the Amazon team wanted to capture few essential features of the system that they were making redundant. Things like book like form, ability to take notes, underline things etc.
- Other important things were weight of Kindle, ability to read in sunlight, efficient on power-consumption.
- The annotations and markings are stored on the Amazon servers. These are later searchable and can be accessed from anywhere.
- Kindle wanted to make it easy for the customer to browse the books and eventually buy more titles off the store. (The streamlined the book buying experience by integrating the buy button on recommendation engine and then not charging customer for the download separately. The cost of the network/download is bundled with the price of the book)
- Bezos made sure that the popular titles, including the ones on the bestsellers lists were available on Kindle right from day 1. This is important so that the customer who have spent about USD 399 on buying a device are not disappointed.
- Someone sent a comment "it is about the message and not about the medium" - when they were comparing reading physical books with Kindle. (This I think is very important. We can make thousands of industries redundant if we focus on the delivery of the message).
- Interesting statistic. About 6% of total Amazon book sales (by volume) now come from Kindle. Kindle customers buy as many physical book as eBooks. This was a surprising for even Jeff Bezos.
- The grand vision for Kindle is all books ever published in any language anywhere in the world made available to you in less than 60 seconds. Which in my opinion is as large as a PC on every desktop. Kudos to Jeff Bezos for this grand a vision and ACTUALLY making it come to life.
- He actually got CEO of Simon and Schuster on stage to talk about Kindle and how it is making it easier for publishers. (This was probably to address concerns of publishers - since the publishers have to first make the books available in electronic format).
On Future of Kindle
- Amazon sees Kindle as more than just an access device. They are already talking about experiments like never-ending book and collaborative writing using Kindle.
- Bezos envisions Kindle as a toolset for publishers and readers. He further talks about giving both publishers and customers these toolsets and let them surprise everyone else with their discoveries and inventions (I am reminded again of Jan Chipchase and his research).
- Its also about finding the right readers for publishers. If you are a student in Iceland looking for books on biological traits of Saharan camels, you can only find them on Amazon. Or Kindle. Kindle thus acts as a platform where a publisher can find his audience and vice versa.
- When asked if Kindle is already redundant with faster cellphones and other access devices, Bezos compared it with cameras. Every mobile phone has a camera now and people still buy smaller cameras and SLRs and other photography equipment. (I am sort of confused at this one. I think cameras AND Kindle both might get redundant at some point in time.)
On Bezos himself
- Jeff Bezos is bald. :D (And so am I.)
- 4 kids. 8.6.3 and 3. :D
- "You do not choose your passions. Your passions choose you." Awesome quote by Jeff Bezos, when he was asked about Blue Origin. Bezos says motto for Blue Origin is Step by step ferociously and he says they are in an industry that helps humanity get into space.
- Bezos says at one point in time that planetary alignments were needed to Amazon what it is today. Is he superstitious? (Am sure paparazzi would be snooping :D)
- Jeff Bezos talk about a concept of "me time". A time that you spend away from everyone including your family, co-workers etc. This time is typically spent bathing, exercising, traveling etc. A Kindle gives people something to do in this "me time".
- Awesome insight into way humans understand interactions. Humans are storytelling animals and we like narratives. (Actually wrote about branding as storytelling few months ago but I never developed the concept further.
- What about used books? Is there money to be made there? Everyone wants to read books and doesn't really want to pay for the book prices. If there was a website to regulate that? A pre-web2.0 era website is doing that in Delhi. Is their merit in buying that website out?
- You make money when you help customer make the purchase decision. This was in response to someone asking if negative reviews are bad for the business. All reviews actually help make the purchase decision. Negative , positive doesn't really play a role
- On elastic compute cloud, the idea was to convert the huge fixed cost for customers into onDemand variable cost. (I wrote about onDemand economics for my Berlin School application)
The best part about any great conversation is the quality and quantity of ideas that stem out of there. For me, these are the things that I think have the potential to be businesses.
- I think the Techcrunch Web Tablet probably stemmed out of the Kindle idea. And even though the commercial production and distribution might be years away, they want to stake a claim on the idea before anyone else.
- How about doing something on the old books market in India. Especially in all the engineering colleges in India, the content remains same and thus there is a large chunk demand. And then obviously there is the long tail.
- Search cost plays an important part in getting the buyers and sellers together. I wrote about Search Cost way back in Feb 08 and I think its about time I revisited that.
- Purchase decision is an interesting thing to think about. My day job involves working on this purchase decision for some of the leading brands in India and there is so much that I learn everyday. Need to post about it. What if there was a tool that everyone trusted and assisted in purchase decisions?
- The entire idea of making fixed costs redundant has been in existence for a long time. Things like outsourcing and contracts actually do that. But doing it to something as fundamental as network, access and storage is sheer brilliance. Airtel did that with their network in India and do far have reaped awesome rewards off it. What else can converted into variable costs? Brain power? Processing? Coding?
If you are listening to the podcast, please share your thoughts. And apologies for such a long post. I did not realize that I have taken these many notes.