New comment on Calvin and Hobbes with Post-It Notes.

I got this comment from and I must say this is a CHEAP way of advertising the business.
Sorry guys. You need to think of another way to market your product aka service.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tarun Gupta <>
Date: Sep 29, 2007 1:22 PM
Subject: [The War Of Words] New comment on Calvin and Hobbes with Post-It Notes.

Tarun Gupta has left a new comment on your post " Calvin and Hobbes with Post-It Notes":

I read your blog and thought I could tell you about something else which would be useful for seeing maps and directions in India.

I am writing to tell you about, a free interactive maps and directions portal for all India. See the map of connaught place, new delhi, get directions in mumbai from nariman point to juhu airport, and find nearby ATMs in kormangala, bangalore.

As a company and individual enthusiasts, we dream only of solving the problem of reliable directions and navigation for India. For your blog specifically, you can map enable it by using our youtube-style embeddable maps, and links to specific searches (of maps, directions, local and eLocation) on MapmyIndia.

Do give us feedback, suggestions, or get involved yourself by mailing me back at or

And if you find the different services useful, we would be grateful to you for writing and telling your readers about us.

Warm Regards,
Tarun Gupta
The MapmyIndia Team
For directions in India, just search print and go with

Publish this comment.

Reject this comment.

Moderate comments for this blog.

Posted by Tarun Gupta to The War Of Words at Saturday, September 29, 2007 1:22:00 PM

In Pursuit Of Happyness

There are some things that can change your life. It could be movies, music, people, places, sights, dreams, and in a few cases – a Rubik’s cube. I am currently watching and live blogging a movie called "In pursuit of Happyness". With a Y in happiness instead of an I.

So our Mr. Chris gets a call. A very important call – a matter of life and death. He is asked if he had a pen and he is given a 10 digit phone number and a 4 digit extension number. He did not have a pen. No other choice, he has to try and remember the number. I try to remember the number and I could not. And guess what – Chris does.

Then there is this interesting conversation between Mr. Gardner and his son:
"Don’t ever let somebody tell you, you cant do something"
"You gotta dream you protect it."
"You want something, go get it. Period."

Then Chris gets enrolled with the internship programme and he is handed over Graham and Dodds Security Analysis. He is told that Graham and Dodd is bible. He should sleep with it, eat with it, and die with it.

And this is yet another movie that made me cry. Twice.

Minute Maid Pulpy Orange

I shopped at Big Bazaar and guess what I found in my bag once I was home. A Minute Maid Pulpy Orange. I distinctly remember seeing it at a special display and not picking it. I checked my bill twice to see if they had billed me. No they hadn’t billed me. I hadn’t picked it. What was it doing in my bag?

Anyways who doesn’t like free goodies? I certainly do. While I was opening it, I thought may be I will check out the price. Eureka. It said "FREE SAMPLE NOT FOR SALE".

There was another article on Minute Maid somewhere. Coke was apparently planning to use Dabbawalas to push free samples to all offices in Mumbai. Imagine a free Orange drink with lunch. Innovative I must say.

Coming to the most important part – do I like it? I would say I don’t like it and I don’t dislike it. I am not an Orange person. I would not refuse it someone bought and offered a sip but I would not go out and buy it. Only drink I can buy and drink is water or may be a Frooti, Mazza or a Slice. I do not differentiate between a Mango drink.

The claims of being a pulpy Orange drink are accurate. It is pulpy. It is refreshing. It is different and yes it is recommended.

Coke has done a wonderful job of marketing Minute Maid Pulpy Orange. Worth a try.

Vance Packard - The Hidden Persuaders

I recently heard about this book called The Hidden Persuaders ( by Vance Packard (wiki). Its the Bible for anyone interested in advertising and social influence.

This book has been widely spoken about on the Internet and there have been a few negative comments too. I would read the book first and then comment on it.

Some chapters are available online here. I cant find this book anywhere on Indian websites and ordering from Amazon is prohibitively expensive. Can anyone point to some resources?

Another book that comes to mind is Prof. Cialdini's (wiki) Influence (website,

Johnnie Walker - Keep Walking

Johnnie Walker has done it again.

Link: Cherryflava: Just keep walking

:) is 25 years old has a small history of my favorite thing on the internet - :)

Hindi Joke !

एक दिन राजू के पापा एक रोबोट ले कर आये.

वह रोबोट झूठ पकड़ सकता था और झूठ बोलने वाले को गाल पर खीँच कर चांटा मार देता था.

आज राजू स्कूल से घर देर से आया था... पापा ने पूछा "घर लौटने में देर क्यो हो गयी?"

"आज हमारी एक्स्ट्रा क्लासेस थी" राजू ने जवाब दिया...

रोबोट अचानक अपनी जगह से उछला और जमकर राजू के गाल पर चांटा मार दिया.

पापा हंसकर बोले, "ये रोबोट हर झूठ को पकड़ सकता है और झूठ बोलने वाले को चांटा भी मारता है. अब सच क्या है यह बताओ... कहाँ गए थे?"

"में फिल्म देखने गया था" राजू बोला

"कौन सी फिल्म?" पापा ने कड़ककर पूछा

चटाक... अभी राजू की बात पूरी भी नहीं हुई थी की उसके गाल पर रोबोट ने एक जोर का चांटा मारा.

"कौन सी फिल्म?" पापा ने फिर पूछा

"कातिल जवानी."

पापा ग़ुस्से में बोले "शर्म आनी चाहिए तुम्हे. जब में तुम्हारे जितना था तब ऐसी हरकत नहीं किया करता था."

चटाक... रोबोट ने एक चांटा मारा... इस बार पापा के गाल पर.

यह सुनते ही मम्मी किचन में से आते हुए बोली "आख़िर तुम्हारा बेटा है ना... झूठ तो बोलेगा ही"

अब मम्मी की बारी थी...

Post-It Notes: Social Proof !

Found On: Dark Roasted Blend

Related Link:
Post-It Notes - 3M

Post-It Notes: Super Mario

A simple search on flickr returned about 60 images for Mario and Post-It Notes. Shigeru Miyamoto would be proud of these.

Here is one ...

Brendan Lynch

Other Post-It Notes Posts
Social Proof

Related Links
Ben Mario Piano

Indian Cricket - New Captain

Ok I don't really blog about cricket until something really really important happens. Today it was an exception. Something important happened.

Rahul Dravid resigned as the captain of Indian Cricket Team and Mahendra Singh Dhoni captained The Twenty20 Team India in their match against Pakistan.

There are no reasons for Rahul Dravid to step down until or unless Sourav Ganguly is being made the captain again. Sounds absurd that I am predicting the next captain of Indian Cricket Team but in India, situations can be funny and a lot of things totally unrelated to the game can influence things.

Second, Dhoni is not proving to be a good captain. He's not even being an average captain. Today's match, India should have won comfortably. There were too many incidents of the team huddling together to figure out the strategy. They were running around like headless chickens. As Navjot Singh Siddhu would have said, they were as confused as a child in the topless bar. How many times have you seen Australia huddle and try to come up with a strategy on field? Stcrrategies and plans are for pavilions and dressing rooms. Action should have the priority on

If trends are any indication, India selects the most experienced player as their captain. It's an ok strategy but not really effective.

A captain is a leader and there are certain qualities that a leader should have. In my humble biased opinion, Mahendra Singh Dhoni lacks that. In fact even Rahul Dravid is not the captaincy material.

A good captain was Sourav Ganguly. He had everything that you wanted in a captain. He was bold. He led by example. He was aggressive. And most importantly he came to the rescue when we needed him.

Any thoughts on leadership ...?

UPDATE: Just heard Mahendra Singh Dhoni speak about the match. He speaks a lot of sense. Why are his actions on field not reflecting his thoughts on the game? Lessons to be learnt?

Open Letter to Hugh MacLeod

I think very highly of Hugh MacLeod. Here is a comment I left on his page. I dont know if he would publish it or not, but here is a copy.
You rock Hugh. Keep on the good work.

I have taken fwe liberties to post a couple of your cartoons on my blog (obviously with due credits).

I always thought no one knows (or could understand) what I thought about life and work and here you are with exact same thoughts (in lot of cases - you are ten steps ahead - talking about things that I havent thought about) and that too on the back of the business cards.

Thanks for being such a relief from millions of tons of gibberish spread on the internet


P.S.: Wondering if all webpages were measurable in grams, would we exceed the weight of the planet .. ?

P.P.S.: Law of conservation of energy - You produce something by using something and sum total of Energy in the planet remains same (E=mc[sqr]). When creating websites is simple and in many cases automated, what law are we following .. ?

UPDATE: Changed name from Hugh Grant to Hugh MacLeod after Venkatesh commented. Slip of fingers .. :( Sorry !

Post-It Notes - 3M

Post-It Notes Logo
Wikipedia defines Post-It notes as
a piece of stationery with a re-adherable strip of adhesive on the back, designed for temporarily attaching notes to documents, computer displays, and so forth

Invented accidentally in 1968 by Dr. Spencer Silver and made popular by Arthur Fry (both scientists at 3M), Post-Its were first made available commercially in 1980. Almost 30 years on, today in 2007, Post-It Notes are nothing short of a revolution (ok niche-revolution). It is no longer restricted to use in offices. People have gone ahead and made paintings, artefacts, cartoons, videos with Post-It Notes.

Post-Its notes are recyclable, do not leave any residue on surfaces and are available in 8 standard sizes, 25 shapes and 62 colors. The most popular obviously is the 3.5 inch square Canary Yellow one.

I simply love the concept of Post-It Notes and would try posting a few things related to Post-It Notes here.

Post-It Notes Rock is doing what I want to - create a dicrectory of Post-It Notes.

The Wish List


wants to travel The Silk Route (Added 2007, Sep 13)
is in quest to conquer the world
is in pursuit of happiness
wants to bungee jump (jumped in May 2010)
plans to bike from Kanyakumari to Leh and from Rann of Kutch to Arunachal Pradesh

Cricket Australia - New Avatar

Today was third day at Twenty 20 Cricket Worldcup in South Africa. Just came back from Australia v Zimbabwe match. Australia went in the match as clear favorites but Zimbabweans had other plans. They defeated Australia by 4 wickets. Well played Zimbabwe. They outplayed Aussies in Batting, Bowling and Fielding. Scorecard from the match.

Interesting thing to notice was the new avatar, new uniform of Cricket Australia. They still have their yellow and green colour schemes but there is a subtle change in their uniform. The uniform is tighter around their biceps and triceps. It can easily pass off as suits used by swimmers and wind surfers. Obvisouly this change is by design rather than by accident. May be they want to reinforce their supremacy at the game? May be they have a scientific reason behind it. May be propaganda @ play? May be a bit of everything?

Ideas for marketers ...?

Lose Yourself - Eminem

I don't really listen to a lot of English music but here is something that I love.

Heard this first time when Prof. Bakshi used this in one of his classes. One of his slides on probability quoted Eminem as
You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo

Here are the complete lyrics ...
Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted-One moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?

His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti
He's nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready
To drop bombs, but he keeps on forgettin
What he wrote down, the whole crowd goes so loud
He opens his mouth, but the words won't come out
He's chokin, how everybody's jokin now
The clock's run out, time's up over, bloah!
Snap back to reality, Oh there goes gravity
Oh, there goes Rabbit, he choked
He's so mad, but he won't give up that
Easy, no
He won't have it , he knows his whole back's to these ropes
It don't matter, he's dope
He knows that, but he's broke
He's so stagnant that he knows
When he goes back to his mobile home, that's when it's
Back to the lab again yo
This whole rap shit
He better go capture this moment and hope it don't pass him

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo

The soul's escaping, through this hole that it's gaping
This world is mine for the taking
Make me king, as we move toward a, new world order
A normal life is borin, but superstardom's close to post mortem
It only grows harder, only grows hotter
He blows us all over these hoes is all on him
Coast to coast shows, he's know as the globetrotter
Lonely roads, God only knows
He's grown farther from home, he's no father
He goes home and barely knows his own daughter
But hold your nose cuz here goes the cold water
His hoes don't want him no mo, he's cold product
They moved on to the next schmoe who flows
He nose dove and sold nada
So the soap opera is told and unfolds
I suppose it's old partna', but the beat goes on
Da da dum da dum da da


No more games, I'ma change what you call rage
Tear this mothafuckin roof off like 2 dogs caged
I was playin in the beginnin, the mood all changed
I been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage
But I kept rhymin and stepwritin the next cypher
Best believe somebody's payin the pied piper
All the pain inside amplified by the fact
That I can't get by with my 9 to 5
And I can't provide the right type of life for my family
Cuz man, these goddam food stamps don't buy diapers
And it's no movie, there's no Mekhi Phifer, this is my life
And these times are so hard and it's getting even harder
Tryin to feed and water my seed, plus
Teeter totter caught up between being a father and a prima donna
Baby mama drama's screamin on and
Too much for me to wanna
Stay in one spot, another day of monotony
Has gotten me to the point, I'm like a snail
I've got to formulate a plot fore I end up in jail or shot
Success is my only mothafuckin option, failure's not
Mom, I love you, but this trailer's got to go
I cannot grow old in Salem's lot
So here I go is my shot.
Feet fail me not cuz maybe the only opportunity that I got


You can do anything you set your mind to, man
Copy Pasted from

Wikipedia on Eminem

The Invisible Foot - Garrett Hardin vs The Invisible Hand - Adam Smith

Recently, I came across a reference to Garrett Hardin and his Invisible Foot. Also known as the Tragedy of the Commons, in simplest terms, it is the battle between the individual interest and common good on a resource that is finite. Wikipedia says "It is a structural relationship between free access to, and unrestricted demand for, a finite resource". Its called the Tragedy of Commons because every individual is acting rationally and still ends up destroying the resources and Commons because the resources under scanner are free for everyone to use.
The Invisible Foot is often used alongside Invisible Hand by Adam Smith to explain the principles of economics. " The Invisible Hand" says that a person acting in self interest acts as if he is guided by an individual hand trying to work for the good of the mankind. So basically every time there was a breakthrough (evolution or business), the individual did it for his own benefit and ended up benefiting the entire mankind. For example, in Natural Selection - Individual started differentiating itself from others to gain an edge over members of the same species and it ended up making the entire species stronger ( Survival of the fittest). In business, with every new breakthrough product, individuals trying to corner more market share and making money actually helped mankind take a leap (example use of CDs instead of Tapes).
According to Adam Smith every subsequent improvement by an individual brings that individual benefits and helps the world to move forward. Here resources are infinite and everyone can capture large market share happily.
And according to Garrett Hardin, every subsequent improvement by an individual brings benefits to that individual but degrades the quality of resource. This resource is limited and with every subsequent chunk being taken by an individual reduces the availability and quality of the resources.
Both of these are very interesting theories. Both talk about actions of individuals. Hope I could understand them better.

Your iPod is the beginning. Discover the rest.

I bought the iPod few months back and I registered it on their website.

Few days back, I got this mailer from them and obviously it made me happy that I own an Apple product. I might or might not buy the iMac but I am happy that someone out there cares (even though it's an automated, unmonitored mailbox)

Your iPod is the beginning. Discover the rest.

Marketing at its very best. Hats off to Steve Jobs and team. There are few observations.

Customization. The mailer could have addressed me with my name.

Value. Some kind of discount (even 5%) on purchase.

Time bound offer. Buy within next 30 days and get a discount.

Spreading the word. Send this to your friends and help them get discounts.

The Takeaways
Q: Why would someone register a product on the website?
ME: Because Apple offered a free no-questions asked tech support for a year.
Apple: They get to collect data about users and preferences. In some cases it also helps them to check on piracy and smuggled items.

Q: Was registering hard? Was it fun?
ME: No, just enter the ipod serial number, enter your email address and that’s about it. Any customer initiated activity should be simple, fun and fast.
Apple: They just needed to make a simple small form where you are not asked useless questions unless they know a user. First time interaction should be fun, easy and simple.

Q: Was the actual support as good as they promised?
ME: Had problems with the ipod. They exchanged it without even asking a question.
Apple: Another way to keep customers happy.

Related Links
Shankar on Steve Jobs

Another One from Hugh MacLeod at GapingVoid


I am truely amazed at Hugh MacLeod's ability of coming up with masterpieces time after time.

Copied from

Marketing Apple

Marketing Apple is about 5 pages long pdf that talks about things that have worked at Apple. I respect that company for all those wonderful marketing ideas and how they create hype before a product is even launched. I think its an interesting read for any one looking out for marketing ideas and new products.
However I disagree with one of the observations. Point 2 says "Never be First to Market".
I strongly disagree. Ok Apple was never first to market but that doesnt mean being first to market would not work. Todays world is like a flush. The first player comes and customers flock the way water rushes when the plug is pulled. And to complete the analogy, once a customer is hooked, the switching costs are too high to let any customer go. Once you enroll at MDI, you can not tihnk about enorolling at a better BSchool - cos you have paid so much and any other BSchool is only marginally better.
They could have talked about solving a problem easier and better and faster. iPod worked becuase it was part cult and it solved the problem of moving around with music better than any other player in the market (check out iPod launch videos on youtube).
So basically create something that is attractive, easy for cusotmers to join and has high switching cost for customers.
I more or less agree with the other observations.
Any comments ... ?
P.S.: Talking is way too easy. Getting an idea and opening an enterprise is way too difficult :(

Probably The Best Hospital Signboard Ever

I got this in email today.

UX Pioneers: An Interview with Seth Godin

Yet Another Seth Godin interview.

In his own words, Seth says
Tamara recently interviewed me for UXPioneers. The only reason I agreed to consider it was that a good friend introduced us. Then I read her other interviews and realized that this woman had figured out how to create a very different kind of interview. It was a lot of fun. More relevant, as a reader, is that I actually learned something from reading the other interviews she had done.

I guess this is what happens if you ignore press releases, don't have a traditional editor and aren't trying to appeal to the largest possible audience segment. Either that or if you're a good interviewer.

Link: UX Pioneers: An Interview with Seth Godin

Google: Gmail: How Does An e-mail Travel?

Google asked its users to help them imagine "how an email message travels around the world". They asked users to submit movie clips featuring the Gmail M-velope (). Thousands of users submitted clips and Google edited those clips to make a one minute video on how an email travels around the world.

I would say this is a small step from Google, a giant leap for User Generated Content.

Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates

Another one of those Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates battles - but with a twist. This time we have pics when neither of them were famous. Gates with his PCs (and Microsoft) and Jobs with his Apples (and THINK as background).

I found this on BoingBoing.

P.S.: From now, every post that I copy from other sources would be tagged Copied Categories aka CopyCat

Quote from Benjamin Franklin

In his biography, Benjamin Franklin said ... a man traveling in foggy weather, those at some distance before him on the road he sees wrapped up in the fog, as well as those behind him, and also the people in the fields on each side, but near him all appears clear, tho' in truth he is as much in the fog as any of them.

Delhi Autorickshaw Drivers - A Fare Deal ... ?

Autorickshaw (aka autos) drivers in Delhi have always been notorious for fleecing customers and demanding exorbitant fares from passengers. Autos are supposed to charge by a fare meter (installed on the auto). A fare meter is an essential part of any public transport system. All the autos had a meter but no driver ever used them. Even people in Delhi got used to haggling with the drivers before they took an auto. I have spent good part of 25 years in Delhi and have never travelled in an auto that runs on fare meter. Even Lonely Planet Guide and other Delhi travel advisories told people to fix rate before they get into the auto.

I moved to Mumbai three months back and on a recent visit to Delhi, I was surprised to see that somehow all autos were going by meter. All means all autos on the road. I took autos at 2 AM, 8 PM, 6 AM and all the time I paid by meter. This was something new to me. How can this radical a change happen in less than 3 months? What changed? This is equal to a social epidemic. The very basic behaviour of people (in this case autodrivers) changed in less than three months. What brought about the change?

It took almost a day to figure out and this is what I could find.

In last three months, few things changed.
1. The per kilometre tariff for auto was hiked (from Rs. 4.5 per KM to Rs. 5.5 per KM).

2. The fine on not going by a fare meter was hiked. From Rs. 100 to Rs. 2000. In case of second default, the autos could be impounded.

3. Policemen were given incentives for catching defaulters. I asked a cop, he did not share the exact numbers but he said that if they catch even 5 defaulters a day, they make same money as they would make in bribes in a week.(This is what a cop told me when I acted as an innocent college kid :))

Now these three changes had following effects
1. Auto Drivers: Most of these auto drivers do not actually own the autos they drive. These are rented (Rs. 250 per day). It was easy for most of the drivers to cough up 100 bucks if at all they were caught. They could either pay Rs. 100 or bribe a cop Rs. 50. To compensate, all they needed to do was over charge 2 other customers. Now with fine at 2000, if they are caught even once, they are in a soup (large fine and possibility of not getting the auto for next day). And with super-incentives to cops, chances of getting caught and fined became higher. It also became difficult to bribe cops as they make more money if they issue challans (traffic violation ticket).

2. Cops: Earlier, cops were happy catching autos for petty things (no driving license, improper uniform etc) and getting Rs. 50 as bribe. With high incentives, they cracked down on autos like anything. They stop autos at random and instead of asking the driver, they ask the passenger about the fare and if the meter is being used or not. Suddenly cops were making quick and easy money and above all, this money came in form of awards. This probably became the tipping point and suddenly every auto driver wanted to go by meter.

So basically it took two simple step to solve an age old problem of over-charging. An awesome application of what Robert Cialdini, Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell and a lot of other unknown social scientists have been doing (I am taking the liberty of categorizing all of them as social scientists).

Moral of the story is that next time you take an auto in Delhi, make it a point to go by meter (spread the Ideavirus - become a sneezer).

Post BFBV, everything is reduced to application of Mental Models.There are quite a few evident Mental Models in the entire episode. The ones I could spot immediately are
1. Reciprocation – we have increased the fares, now you start using the meters and stop fleecing the commuters.

2. Incentives – catch defaulters and make fast money.

3. Punishments – large (comparatively) and enforced strictly.

4. Positive Feedback Loop – Initially cops made money, they got stricter, autos started going by meter to avoid getting caught, cops getting even stricter with lesser autos defaulting.

If there is a different opinion, please share. Please point out flaws in arguments.

I have also made following two assumptions
1. No one paid fines earlier and most cops were happy to take bribes than issue challans (aka traffic violation tickets)

2. Assumed that this exercise is success. However the effectiveness is yet to be proved. Until commuters start demanding to travel by meter and use of meters becomes a norm, the effects would start fading in some time.

Also posted on PseudoSocial at Delhi Autorickshaw Drivers - A Fare Deal ... ?

The Nidhi Kapoor Story

Did you like this post? May be you want to read my first book - The Nidhi Kapoor Story.

Check it out on Amazon or Flipkart?