How Will You Measure Your Life? - Clayton Christensen

If you give in to "just this once," based on a marginal-cost analysis, you'll regret where you end up. That's the lesson I learned: it's easier to hold to your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold to them 98 percent of the time. The boundary—your personal moral line—is powerful because you don't cross it; if you have justified doing it once, there's nothing to stop you doing it again.

*Decide what you stand for. And then stand for it all the time.*

- Clayton Christensen - How will you measure your life? (Emphasis mine). 

A brilliant article on the impact of marginal thinking tying the critical business concept, which revolutionized the concept of investments in ongoing concerns and how you cannot lose context in the case of disruption to personal life decisions too. 

You're Not Listening | Rands in Repose

Listening is work, and the difference between listening well and making them feel like you’re selling them a car has to do with intent. Each time I sit down to listen, my goal is the same: continue to build trust with the people I depend upon and who, in turn, depend upon me. It takes months of listening, but I want a professional relationship where my team willingly tells me the smallest concern or their craziest idea. Think of healthy listening as preventative relationship maintenance.

The longer you’re a bad listener, the smaller your world gets and the narrower your mind becomes, because you’re not exposing yourself to different ideas and perspective. The better you become at listening, the more of the world you’ll see, and the world knows a lot more than you.

This is my Priority #1 Goal for 2012-2013. I have to improve my listening skills and this goes beyond just work. 

Apple v Samsung - the rise of APP£€

I know US patent law is liberal, but that's ridiculously thin. It seems that every half-baked idea that pops into a designer's head is thrown into the patent bin, and a big chunk of those are actually approved. Not only does that stifle budding inventors and companies, it makes a mockery of what an invention actually is.

I have been an Apple products user for about 7 years now. I've been an evangelizer for their products within my circles since then. However, I cannot back this move by Apple. Using a patent for bounce-back, or pinch-to-zoom against anyone is bull-shit.

During the '90s, and into the next decade, many considered Microsoft the enemy, the malevolent gate keeper to their technological world. Forums would be littered with references to "MicroShaft," or "M$," so strong was the resentment from certain quarters. At this same time, Apple was something of the plucky, hipster upstart. Having a Mac was cool, it also meant -- albeit in a small way -- you were sticking it to the man. You were free from the "Mon$ter's" grip.

I am nothing but one of the billions of customers for Apple. And they really don't care if I buy any of their products. However, Apple was more than a device maker in my book. They championed change and called out bullshit when it did not help us, the consumers. With this trial, Apple has lost that place. They were the few corporations that protected our interests and today they proved otherwise. Today marks the beginning of a new moniker - "APP£€."

It is a sad moment indeed.

Update: 08/26: I am against stealing. In fact, I don't agree with Steve Jobs's whole "great artists steal" usage. The big disappointment for me through the trial is Apple giving up on the high road.

Smoking crack? - Apple v Samsung

With the jury out of the courtroom, Koh laid into Apple, asking why it would present such a lengthy document "when unless you're smoking crack you know these witnesses aren't going to be called!"

Mmm... Go on! *breaking out popcorn*

Does anyone else smell a "Pirates of the Silicon Valley" time movie around the whole Apple v Samsung thing?

Nexus Beans - a week with the Galaxy Nexus and Jelly Bean

My first thoughts on the Galaxy Nexus, within a day of its use was captured as a google+ post. I will include the whole text at the end of this post. This post is written on Day 6. I stopped using my iPhone 4S for the past 6 days, completely transferring over to Galaxy Nexus as my only mobile device. I used it in Seattle, and also during my recent travel to SFO.

## The Good As I mentioned earlier, Jelly Bean has brought the Android platform to a fantastic place in terms of responsiveness and fluidity. Wrt Google apps like GMail, Maps etc. and the android stock apps of Email, Calendar etc, there is a sense of speed. Furthermore, with no skeumorphism to handle, it felt like a modern, super responsive, smartphone.

### The share menu This is the secret power in Android 4.1! I cannot believe that more people are not amazed by this. This is an extremely well implemented concept of "services" in the OS X parlance.

You can send a picture to any of the applications registered to handle pictures using it. You can send any piece of text from anywhere to your note taking application. You can send URL from anywhere to Instapaper for future reading.

I hear Microsoft has implemented this concept in the form of "contracts" and I am eager to see how applications will make use of it.

To me, this is the most frustrating piece of interaction in iOS. I want to be able to share information from anywhere to anywhere and not have to context switch to a particular app and then figure out ways to import data into the context.

### Chrome Enough said. Fast, clean and just awesome!

### Default apps You can set default apps for actions. You can set Chrome as the default browser. You can set Google Voice as your default dialer. You can set Whatsapp as your default texting handler. This is very powerful. This, at least in theory, and mostly in practice, makes the phone extremely personalized to what you want to do and you are not worried about maintaining multiple apps.

### Google search integration Blew me away. Siri is fantastic. However, Siri is mostly a demo thing for me. In fact, I demo it to my friends to talk about how Siri and I have still not understood each other well. Siri gets my query right about 50% of the time and let's just say, I have really gotten to know the spinning purple wheel. It looks fantastic, but it's not found much use in my real life.

Google's search is 1. Fast: I was blown away at the speed at which queries were processed (both typed and voice) and the results were shown. In fact, I'd say for anyone who actually uses voice search a lot, don't even bother with Siri. You'd save tons more time and get much more accurate results with Google's voice implementation. 2. Pro choice: Don't want to talk to your phone in public? - Type it in. Google's search improvements work whether you type the query in or talk to it. As a result, you still get the device optimized query results. 3. Interesting: Google Now is fascinating. It was very useful as I moved around the city in SFO and had meetings all over the place. It picked up that I was taking taxis to move around and would notify me of the right time to start out to arrive on time, had the weather for the current place always, kept me notified of interesting places around my hotel that I should check out and some of them were good. I can see multiple places where this could totally enhance the experience. One word of advice - Google needs to play well here with other context and location relevant services and this would totally rock the world for Android users.

### The keyboard For people who know me, this would come as a total surprise. Until Jelly Bean (including ICS), I always dinged Android on its software keyboard implementation. It was years behind the iOS counterpart wrt sensitivity. I constantly mistyped in Android vs. iOS. In fact, before Jelly Bean, I considered Microsoft to have implemented the ultimate software keyboard in Windows Phone 7.5.

In ICS, Swiftkey was a great replacement keyboard. Yet, it never felt organically smooth.

The Jelly Bean keyboard is by far the best implementation of any mobile software keyboard. It completely blows iOS away in its implementation. Provides meaningful settings for power users (who still wants keys popping up with typing?) and is phenomenally accurate. Typing on the Galaxy Nexus was a fun as typing on the original iPhone. Fantastic job Google! Kudos!

### App parity Between Amazon Android App store and Google Play, I pretty much got all the apps that I needed, either free or at a really great deal and they worked decently well. There were a few apps that crashed in Jelly Bean. However, even through the week, they would be updated to supported 4.1 and the crashes stopped.

## The Ugly Here are some of my personal reasons as to why I decided to return the Galaxy Nexus.

### Battery life The biggest ding. I was constantly charging it wherever I can, whenever I can. Maybe, I just use the mobile phone a lot more than typical Android users or they are able to keep it charged more often, I was reaching out for my charging cable at least twice a day or risk running out of battery.

You maybe asking - did you disable location services within apps, and other such battery saving tips? I tried them all. In vain.

In fact, I would NOT be returning the phone, if it at least met my 4S battery life. I'd venture to say that even at the cost of thickness of the phone, I wish Samsung and Google had decided to put a better battery for the Galaxy Nexus. =|

### Location I am not sure what the cause was, but most of the times, Galaxy Nexus was trying to get a fix on my current location and failed miserably to get a GPS signal. Because I had WiFi on, it helped to locate my surroundings and that was good enough for Yelp, foursquare et al. However, when it came to Navigation, it sucked.

Compare this to an iPhone 4/4S where within seconds I get a pinpoint on my location. Apple's doing something really right here. Good job!

### Maps Was a bit wonky. Could be partly because of a poor location fix. However, upon using it for walking directions within the city, it was a case of frustration. Android needs to fix this for normal people. Unlike me, they wouldn't care to check why it does not work. They would get frustrated and leave poor reviews.

### iMessage or lack of it. This was my personal big realization. SMS works and it's ok. Messages with iMessage integration is truly awesome. I had to switch to whatsapp and Facebook messenger to get the delivery notifications.

### My favorite apps A few of my most used favorite apps were poorly done in Android. For example, Path - I love the fluidity of the UI of Path in iOS. I am guessing this is an update issue and hopefully should be fixed soon. But, boy, when that fly out animation sucked when I tapped the "+" button, a little part of me was sorely disappointed.

## Conclusion More battery life, and a little more app love from developers and I can completely switch to a nexus device. However, for now, I will be returning the Galaxy Nexus back to Google. It's not that I cannot get used to the phone. However, I don't want to spend money on a device and then change my expectations for the device.

That said, I really felt like I owned a smartphone with the Galaxy Nexus. It took me back to the days where Gautam and I would spend hours talking about how to get the PC to ooze out the best performance by tweaking this and twiddling that. And I enjoyed that experience of it.

In a way, it is disheartening. I will be moving back to my iPhone 4S. It feels tiny compared to the Galaxy Nexus and I will miss the screen size. However, I've been on the phone the whole day, using it for multiple things and the battery has still not given out.

I will be on the lookout for a better nexus device from Google.

July 8 - Day 1: Thoughts on Galaxy Nexus and Jelly Bean

After some waiting, Google delivered the first Android phone that I have ever bought yesterday. The Galaxy Nexus came pre-installed with ICS 4.0.4. However, there was an OTA waiting to change the really garish experience of a janky Android to a buttery smooth snacky update.

A couple thoughts over Day 1 of usage -

Jelly Bean is smooth. I mean, really smooth. Like iOS smooth, smooth. I thought 3rd party apps would also benefit from Project Butter, and they do. However, major custom UI apps like Path etc. still have some laggy animations.

The Android keyboard has come a long way. In fact, I'd venture to say that the current keyboard is better than the iPhone keyboard and might just be slightly better than the Windows phone keyboard.

Just with these two improvements, Android is in a tight race with iOS devices, from a pure software perspective.

Build Quality: Galaxy Nexus feels cheap compared to the iPhone 4S.

The screen: (please insert appropriate #twss whenever I talk about inches and sizes). I have a love/hate relationship with the bigger screen. The experience is certainly better. But, it makes the phone way bigger in size. This is despite a near tiny bezel around the edges. That said, I get why people like bigger screen sizes.

Battery: Holy crap! iPhone blows the Galaxy Nexus away wrt battery life. I thought OLED devices have a much less battery drain. It could also be because of the puny battery that Samsung provides. I don't care to swap out batteries. I want longer battery life. This is going to be the bane of android users. =|

Final words (for this post): I am using the Galaxy Nexus as my only phone device over the next 13 days, when I will make a call to keep it / return it. The hope is to capture as much of the usage and pattern as possible to make a rational decision.

=)

Status Quo

Incumbents always fight status quo. It is human reaction to protect what you have built. It is also human nature to reap what you've sown. So, you always want to protect what you've sown to reap the rewards, as long as possible and as much as possible. It's (almost) nothing personal. This is why "disruption" seems to be a destructive process. Yet, it is a necessary process for the sake of evolution.

The recent eBooks case against the major publishers and Apple have folks on either side shouting support. There are well articulated arguments for either side. The "agency" side is pulling some major propaganda to convince the world that they are protecting the industry and the other side is not holding back either.

However, it is clear where we need to head.

It's not to artificially increase "competition" or prevent monopolies or monopsonies. It is to ensure that we promote reading books and ensure that we create a strong eco-system that ensures that readers have a strong supply of good literature and authors are compensated well to strengthen that supply. Everything else is moot.

From all the arguments presented, there's one that I shall comment on. DRM sucks! If anything the DoJ should recognize that and use this opportunity to truly provide a great experience for readers and an easy eco-system for authors.

I do believe that current corporate book publishers are the ones that insist DRM existence and requirements. All I ask at the end of this is - let's get DRM out and get the focus back on ensuring that authors continue to write and readers continue to read and make that experience as fucking great as possible.

5 years...

5 years ago to this day, a moment changed my life forever. For the better.

You walked from the airport and I was initially surprised at your height. You always looked taller in your pictures. Your first name belied your last name. And your height and gait belied your taste preferences. And your persona belied your courage to take action.

But here we are..

5 years of ups, downs, sideways. Dullness, Excitement, Boredom and Adventure. Sleeplessness, Snores, Mumbles and Tumbles.

We are a mixed bag of opposites.

I love music at all times. You like to play it in your head. I love my southern roots and you are a global citizen. I am a staunch vegetarian (aka paunch vegetarian) and you're a "free spirit" when it comes to your food. I am an extrovert who loves his alone time and you're the introvert who loves her couple time.

I don't have many things to give you on our 5th anniversary, but only my word that I treasure every single laugh, and tear that I share with you. Every time you are clingy and every time you need your alone time. Every plan that works and those that don't. Every time you wanted me to go to the mall with you to "look at clothes." (Ok, that I am not a big fan of).

And I promise and am confident that I'll continue to treasure the rest of our life together.

As cheesy as it sounds, you're missed sorely when you are not near and yet I fail to appreciate all the time I do have with you.

I love you and thank you for loving me back.

The people you work with

We are all people people. Let me explain. Most people who work in organizations and have a "job" work with other people in that organization. The 33%+ of your normal day and 50%+ of your conscious day is usually spent interacting with other fellow human beings who subscribe to the same club and get similar benefits.

Hence, the people you work with make or break the experience for you. It becomes very important that you have a chance to interact in detail with the people who you are going to dedicate 50%+ of your day.

My personal motivations are mutual respect, and acting as a reservoir of support. Everybody can do wonderful things when there's belief and support. If the team decides to focus on the job as a collective whole (which is definitely possible) and delegates work based on the strengths and weaknesses of the group, it would be a cohesive whole that truly achieves economies of scope, scale, value, time and everything else towards realizing those goals.

So, get to know the people who you will work with. It will make your experience that much richer, fulfilling and a pleasure.

Good luck.

P.S. I have had the tremendous fortune of working with some amazing people in my experience at Siemens and through Thunderbird. And things are certainly looking up for my next experience beginning in about a month. :)

Gizmodo and the reaction of the tech-gurus

I am a bit shocked at how much flak Gizmodo has received of late. Especially for the fact that they have paid to get the test model of the iPhone 4G from someone who claims to have "found" the phone in a bar. I do not condone Gizmodo ratting out the poor Apple dev, who would have already been going through a turmoil, if not facing the Jobs wrath already. However, I am still appalled at how the tech gurus and journalists are lashing at them for paying to obtain the device or publishing the information for the Internet.

Especially when those same tech-gurus are on the lookout to break exactly such information to the public. Now, I agree that speculation about the iPhone and tips from the sources add to the magic of expecting new devices. However, I personally feel that this is a case of sour-grapes.

The usual tech journalists who get the dish on what's happening inside Cupertino were over run by kids who acted on an opportunity. That Apple declared the phone stolen was *not* known until later. However, I ask the question that what if these people who lashed out against Gizmodo received the gadget. Would they have NOT published the information?

I am not too sure about that.

Business success is about balance

The last 42+ weeks of business school has taught me many things. If there is one thing that I can articulate in my learning is that business success is about balance. One one hand, you have your customers who are paying you some money for the benefits that you are providing through your business. On the other, you have your shareholders (even yourself) who are trying to ensure that your business generates enough money to justify investment.

A successful business is one that delivers the best set of benefits for its customer, while ensuring that it is able to retain most of the money that the customer provides for satiation.

In simple terms, business success is nothing but revenue / incremental costs.

Jonathan Knowles, who spoke during the New York brand management winterim in winter 2009/2010 was the one who drove home this nugget of awesomeness. I highly recommend reading his book, Vulcans, Earthlings and Marketing ROI: Getting Finance, Marketing and Advertising onto the Same Planet [Amazon Associates link]. Wonderful read.

New series

As I edge closer to graduation on April 30, 2010, I realized that it's time to take stock on what I have learned over my time in MBA and chronicle them as posts to share. So, I will begin a new series of posts today that recount my experience and learning at Thunderbird. They would be cross posted across Tumblr and here.

Google Wave: Marketed to perfection

Harini Saladi mentioned something in passing today

Google needs to be commented commended on how well they have marketed Google Wave to the geeks. They have done a tremendous job in positioning themselves properly.

I completely agree with her. I think Google has done a phenomenal job in marketing Wave to the geeks, who by and large would be the early adopters of such a technology.

The wave is a paradigm shifting technology. The early adopters have mixed reviews of the same, which is to be expected. More than the product, what really fascinates me is how Google has managed to generate, manipulate and manage the hype around Wave. They have reused a gimmick they learned from GMail and used it in perfection with Wave - create exclusivity.

Exclusivity mixed with cool new technology from Google makes for a potent marketing mix raising hype and buzz to astronomical proportions. The reasons are evident. It's been trending consistently high in twitterverse and the blogverse.

Kudos on an amazing campaign Google.

Vineet Nayar: Most American grads are 'unemployable'

First off, I have nothing but respect for one of India's most successful people in the world. In fact, I've made another blog post about the success of Mr Nayar. However, I strongly disagree with what Mr Nayar claims here.

...The official wanted to know why HCL, a $2.5 billion (revenue) company with more than 3,000 people across 21 offices in 15 states, wasn't hiring more people in his state. Vineet's short answer: because most American college grads are "unemployable." (In fairness to HCL, the company recently announced plans to open a delivery center in another state, North Carolina, and invest $3.2 million and hire more than 500 employees there over the next five years under a Job Development Investment Grant.)

Many American grads looking to enter the tech field are preoccupied with getting rich, Vineet said. They're far less inclined than students from developing countries like India, China, Brazil, South Africa, and Ireland to spend their time learning the "boring" details of tech process, methodology, and tools--ITIL, Six Sigma, and the like.

And Indians and Chinese and Brazilians are NOT? The entire reason why a good majority of Indian grads are even approaching software houses is because they offer the best pay for their knowledge and services. And that too for fairly low end work that is usually present in them.

And even worse is the fact that he classifies that "ITIL, Six Sigma, etc," as boring. In this case, about 90% of the Indians in these software houses have NO frickin' clue on how to write good code. Trust me, I've been there and done that. For ITIL and Six Sigma, they are not aware of basic quality processes and follow them on a rote model if instructed in written points pasted across bulletin boards.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying that American grads are better than Indian grads. We have some of the most technically gifted people on the planet, however, much like how we cannot generalize how Indian IT workers are software coolies, we cannot say that American grads are unemployable? If American grads did not have the skills, how come most of the world is running on Windows or the Mac, or Google became such a powerhouse or facebook and twitter and tumblr are taking over the world?

As a result, Vineet said, most Americans are just too expensive to train--despite the Indian IT industry's reputation for having the most exhaustive boot camps in the world. To some extent, he said, students from other highly developed countries fall into the same rut.

In an interview following his presentation, Vineet said HCL and other employers need to have a greater influence on the tech curricula of U.S. colleges and universities, to make them more real-world and rigorous. For the most part, he said, those institutions haven't been receptive to such industry partnerships.

Holy crap a moley. Why would they want to tarnish American institution reputation? The Indian institutes save for those IITs and those BITs etc have the awesome reputation of churning out mindless coding zombies who don't ask a question, but can churn out code at mindnumbingly fast rates (of course with poor quality: bugs are the way maintenance guys make money) and can pore through oodles of freakshow documentation. And why don't they first try and work with Indian institutions to make THEM real world capable first. How many Indian grads truly understand what's happening in the world today? Are they aware of coding quality standards, processes, project management, algo analysis and design, compiler theory, languages, PERL, Python Ruby? How many of them really work on true projects and come up with awesome stuff during their college days?

I will concede a point to Mr Nayar though, yes, the Americans are over all more expensive and for an Indian IT powerhouse that relies on low-cost model to win contracts, it doesn't make sense to hire an American grad and pay them through the nose.

Again, I am not claiming that every American grad is better than the Indian grad, but first look inside and change the things before pointing fingers. This all seems like a very impromptu reaction to why they are not hiring American grads in HCL?

More broadly, Vineet echoed the concerns expressed by other CEOs, including SAS Institute's Jim Goodnight and Cisco's John Chambers, about the failure of the U.S. education system to prepare the country's next-generation tech workforce (a subject Goodnight and others will dive into at the InformationWeek 500 Conference, Sept. 13 to 15).

Seems like an also-ran case. What Jim Goodnight and John Chambers were referring to was a problem that is facing not only America, but India as well and relates to the overall poor situation in technical education. Good God man, you should've at least made the point clear.

Beyond the need to bolster competencies in math, the hard sciences, and basic problem solving, U.S. schools at all levels must place a greater emphasis on global history, foreign languages, and other subjects that prepare students for jobs and life outside this country. How many grads of U.S. colleges are ready or even willing to work abroad? Vineet asked rhetorically. "We need to define the American dream to be more global in nature," he said.

Again, please look at the Indian state of education before shouting at some other country's education system. What the heck do we do better that we can claim such things. If anyone has been following the global news and Obama's speeches, they can state what Mr Nayar has said. So he hasn't really said anything so precocious that everyone needs to react.

To tie it all together, let me reiterate that I am not claiming the American education system or the American graduates are superior to home grown "techie geniuses." All I am saying is that Mr Nayar should have at least referred to the Indian education system and considered before lambasting the American education system. Furthermore, he should also make genuine efforts from HCL and all other tech companies side to truly make the Indian education system world class.

Check out here for the full article

One of the most important things to do in a startup -

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[Image credit: http://maxweber.hunter.cuny.edu/pub/eres/EDSPC715_MCINTYRE/sbWinner.jpg]

POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT.

Let me repeat that again - POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT.

When someone does something, appreciate their contribution. In most startups, the product is a vision of a particular person / group of people and the others are trying hard to materialize that vision. Make sure as the founder, you are grateful that they are sharing your vision and helping you realize it. Anytime you do otherwise, it's a major point against you and will bite you forever in the future.

And while you are at it, the best thing you can invest in before running a company is to understand how to manage work relationships.

Mahatma Gandhi's teachings and today's state of India and the world.

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[Thanks for the image: Wikipedia]

I saw the movie directed by Richard Attenborough yesterday. There are so many moments in that movie that is required by people world over to realize today in this time and age. What Mahatma, or as we Indians lovingly call him, Bapu, made us realize was that no person should be judged based on religion, caste, vocation, but be accepted as a fellow human being. There are so many wonderful quotes that it had made me order a copy of "My Experiments with Truth."

Mahatma's message is so powerful - Truth and love shall prevail over any other force created by mankind. I can go on, however, I need to stop raving about the movie and instead focus on how we should apply his teachings to the world at this time and age.

Today, the world certainly has more money and materialistic comforts than it had before. I have a computer that I can make do pretty much anything, a home that is a bungalow compared to the homes during the terrible times of poverty faced in India and around the world. Yet, it has come at a price. It saddens me today, as I write this that we paid for materialistic comforts by trading humanity. I, for one, certainly believe that it was an unfair trade.

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[Look at them ready to start a race... Awesome picture btw]
Let us take Bangalore for example - the (erstwhile?) garden city of India. I remember coming here a decade ago and being marvelled at the beauty of the city. It had gorgeous parks in every nook and corner of the city. It was famous for its two parks - the Lalbagh (meaning Red Garden) and Cubbon Park (which was right across the humongous, gorgeous architecture of the Vidhan Soudha). I remember travelling through Richmond Road and Malleshwaram and thinking this is what I call the perfect mix of nature and modern constructions. There was no dust, as the gardens used to almost soak in the dust. The weather was gorgeous, never an extreme and winters were delightful, sitting inside home and sipping on hot tea and chilli bondas.

Fast forward to 2009: it's the epitome of a city bursting at its seams, and worse mis managed to the core. Worse, people have lost their friendliness once and for all. Everybody is in a hurry to one up another. Competition is good, but is it good at the cost of losing friends, being lonely?

It is time that people realize that the change they are waiting for is not something that will be delivered to them in a platter with all the niceties involved. It is something that WE need to demand from the government. As V in V for Vendetta says, "People should not be afraid of their government. The government should be afraid of its people." We have a right to demand from the government that serves us (they are public servants aren't they?) to better our roads, to plan our system. We outsourced the work to them because we have better things to do - making money for the country that we ought to be proud of to live in.

India has come a long way and we are growing at a fast pace. However, what we need to realize is that we should be learning from the mistakes that the so called "developed economies" went through when they went through the very same process. Remember the mafia wars, the gang wars, the hatred that went through the various cities across USA, through the wars in Europe - we cannot let India go through that as unlike them, our country is tremendously diverse.

There's a very interesting line mentioned in the movie - A British official says, "India is not one country. There's a Hindu India, a Muslim India, an India of provincial rulers." Well, we showed them that united we stand, divided we fall, and still we seem to have forgotten what our forefathers themselves decided to do demand and provide independence to our nation.

Let us unite again to build the dream India that the world will be proud of. Let us honor our heritage, our traditions, our culture and stop being selfish pricks that we have become today. Let us not judge anyone by their religion, caste, or vocation. Let us treat everyone with respect, no matter what their economic state is. Most importantly, let us stop capitalizing on each others weaknesses to earn a quick buck, but build on our strengths. Let us build the glory India that we all dream of, but never have the time to build. LET US MAKE THE TIME. And my fellow citizens, my good friends, my brothers and sisters, NOW is the time.

Environmental responsibility...

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[Image credit: laptops.toshiba.com]

... is something that I try and keep in mind, be it turning off power when not required, or taking my bag to buy groceries. I am a vegetarian and I don't typically over eat or waste food. With all this, one thing that I couldn't get myself to do was to spend on recyclable batteries in India.

I have a duracell charger and recyclable batteries that I use for my mouse and keyboard combo when I am on the move. Unfortunately owing to the various voltages across the world and frequency of the Alternating Current (AC), they can't be used anywhere else other than US. I had a rechargeable rig before heading to US. However, it's in Chennai and I don't have access to it.

I went to Staples today and was checking out the various options available for me today, and realized that the recyclable batteries are sold at about 8x the price of normal batteries and the charging rig costs about 15 times an average pair of AA batteries. And this comes at a lower Wh rating. That implies that I need to recharge more often than using the throwaway batteries.

Economics prevailed and I ended up buying an 8pack of disposable batteries. I shall do the needful and dispose of them properly =|. However, the government should really look into this. With consumer spending on the rise and people flocking to buy TVs, flat panels, Home theater systems, etc the battery usage of an average family would be way superior to mine and hence economics would play an even bigger role there. We really need to find a way to bring technology that tries and makes living a little greener, cheaper. =|

On another note, check out this awesome wallpaper from Flickr. 33EF4793-7619-45C4-9772-0BBA0C627630.jpg

Alibaba.com and reaction to the recession...

There is something to be learned from what Alibaba.com, a counterpart of eBay in China, achieved. Accidental Product Manager was the one who brought my attention to this news. While they tried to go the traditional way of reducing the prices to keep existing customers and entice new customers into signing up, their addition of financing into their process is something that is going to help the typical sellers and buyers in an online marketplace.

However, I am not necessarily commenting on the model they chose, but what it achieved for their customers that stands out. In such an environment, anything a business does to cure their customers' headaches is the only model that will succeed. That is how businesses should be run, not just for making money. Needs/wants should be cured.