Friday, February 26, 2010

“the kinetic quality”: the future of advertising

I was just reading about the 'kinetic quality of products' here at

The future of brands is interaction, not commodity. It is not something you buy, but something you participate in.

A good read for anyone interested in brands, products, consumer perception. I enjoyed reading it. :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Phir Mile Sur

When some-buddy told me that a new version of the famous 'Mile Sur Mera Tumhara' was launched, I was very eager to see its telecast. But when I saw it on YouTube last Sunday, I was dissappointed due to the following points:

1. More than showing United Colors of India, it seemed to be showcasing United Colors of Bollywood.
2. Sports which needs focus today and ample promotion to flourish in India - was vastly neglected in the 16 minute song. When I say sports, I don't include Cricket in it. Cricket is more popular than required.
3. How many of you noticed Saina Nehwal, Gopichand and Abhinav Bindra in the song? They must have collectively shared 5 'blink-and-you-miss' seconds. In India sports needs an impetus today which 'Phir Mile Sur' was capable of providing.
4. 5 seconds of these Sports stars compared to 10 minutes of Bollywood stars dancing around unconvincingly singing 'Mile Sur Mera Tumhara'.
5. Perhaps a sort of fusion of dance was attempted in Shobhanaa and Shaimak Davar's dancing styles - how 2 radically different dancing styles exist in India today - one, ancient and another too new to be true. I personally enjoyed only the part where Shobhanaa gracefully performs Bharatnatyam.
6. It did not somehow connect with me. The whole song. I felt it lacked an emotional appeal.

Will share some more concerns later. Meanwhile, I will just re-run the old 'Mile Sur Mera Tumhara' in my mind.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Interacting with Students

Recently, I was asked to speak to the final year students of some Engineering, MCA, MCS colleges in the city. I was asked to tell them 'what to expect in the corporate world and how things are radically different out there'. I recalled when during my engineering days, there was no system/process which helped us interact with our seniors and learn about opportunities in the 'corporate' world.

I immediately accepted the offer to speak to my 'juniors'. But it wasn't easy as it sounded. I recollected how during my engineering, we were reluctant to attend any such seminar of a 'faculty' who told us the difficulties one faced in the corporate world. It was when I actually entered the corporate world that I experienced them.

I decided to share the following with the students:
1. Life during my graduation
2. My 'wake-up' call during engineering
3. how we identified that we had poor communication skills, then went ahead full-steam in improving it.
4. Experience as an Entrepreneur
5. Difficulties we faced in our enterprise
6. How in today's Information age, not knowing something is a sin.
7. The attitude required in corporate world
8. What grads/post-grads do not focus on during their studies
9. Importance of Networking and Mentoring
10. Miconceptions about the dreaded personality called 'boss'
11. Importance of being in touch with your alma-mater
12. A to-do list to help them grow - personally and professionally
13. How important it is to be in the company of people better than you

I kept it interactive most of the times and tried giving practical examples. It was a good experience because the sense of 'giving back' to your society came for the first time.

I am keen to do this again. I want to tell them how they can maximise their potential by making good use of their graduation/ post-graduation period.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Has Nature Really Evolved?

There are three types of canines. First, who live on my side of the road. Second, who live on the other side of the road. Third, who die crossing the road.

Canines have inspired me over the years about the sense of purpose, sense of existence, the elemental drive, evolution etc. Strange, but true. Will try to elaborate these one by one below.

En route my office on my bike, I always observe lot of dogs 'just' hanging around.

ABOUT PURPOSE/ SENSE OF EXISTENCE: They seem to roam around with no sense of purpose/ the 'higher' goal in life. They are either making a futile effort of trying to catch their own tail or just chasing each other out of their territory. Is that all they exist for? Are they self-aware? Do they know why they exist?

Life for them seems pretty easy, from OUR POINT OF VIEW. But we would never know their thoughts. Unless we can find some telepathic veterinary doctor or someone like Dr. Doolittle.

ABOUT EVOLUTION: Many dogs get killed in road accidents each year, and those who live on either side of the road, also become familiar with these accidents. My thought is, through evolutionary measures, why don't dogs - who have seen accidents or seen their near ones die - pass on this info through their genes to their successors?

In doing so, the new breed of dogs would get accustomed to urban lifestyles and the reckless driving habits. Thus, they could save a whole bunch of dogs while crossing. They could evolve into someone with an elastic, resilient, strong body - capable of withstanding high-speed impacts. What say? [Food for thought: How did homo erectus become homo sapiens?]

But this led me to thinking about evolution of human beings as well. Every child has to spend the same amount of time in learning things that his/her parents already know, right? We teach him to speak, to sing, to talk, to walk, to drink, to write, etc. Why do we have to do that, if our parents already know it? Why aren't these basic actitivites passed on through their genes to their child?

Won't it save time in training him in those things again? What happened to evolution? Why are we redoing and relearning things? Won't this help every new generation to start learning at a new level? Every generation would 'have' earlier gen's knowledge from their birth. They could start at an altogether new level of research, thinking, learning etc.

I'm unable to comprehend this immediately. But then, a possible solution surfaces: All that is there is in the world is 'material'. It may not exist tomorrow. And so what is the point of knowing something that may not exist tomorrow? And so, may be this info is not passed on to the next gen. Is this THE answer? Seriously, I have no idea.

I'm trying to find answers to these questions. I ask these to every wise being I meet and I get varied answers. What do you think?

Friday, February 05, 2010

Mental Peace

There are times at random, when your mental harmony is disturbed for no reason whatsoever. Or that is what it apparently looks like.

Upon closer observation of yourself, you begin to understand the nature of the problem. Once you have identified, you can solve it easily.

The mental harmony cannot be restored by external factors, nor can it be disturbed by external factors. It is something that you need to restore through soul-searching, resolving internal conflicts, introspection etc. All this can happen when you spend some time with your self.

My mental equilibrium was suddenly disturbed yesterday for no apparent reason. Something had happened at the office front, and I was about to go into the same old trap. But after spending some quality time alone, with my self today I could control it.

I will act on things asap - without critically over-analyzing and over-assessing things. I will limit my thinking to things of the present, rather than the past. Future is what I make of present, so I am not worried much about it.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Flying is for lazy people

After many days today, I went for a morning walk with my cousin. On our way back, I shared my thought about how spectacular it must be to fly around.

To which he promptly replied, "Flying is for lazy people who do not like to run/ jog!". He continued, "What's there - you just have to think about it and you start flying. While running, you actually exercise. That's better."

I had no answer to this. I think I was too shocked to hear it. Perhaps, I had expected him to empathize with me and say, "Yeah, how interesting it must to be like Superman!".

But anyway, I guess, there is nothing right or wrong - only opinions. I just kept the possibilities of flying to myself and felt happier later.