Customer is King

Design Thinking: An Idea for Tesla’s Supercharging Wait Time Problem

An idea using a Design Thinking mindset, for Tesla’s Supercharging Wait Time Problem Tesla has really transformed the automobile industry, cracking the existing fuel industry and automotive heavyweight nexus. And this is despite the first versions of electric motor driven vehicles dating back to 1828! That’s when Hungarian Ányos Jedlik invented a type of electric motor and a model car […]



What the Customer Wants

What the Customer Wants There has been the occasional debate between two schools of thought: You need to ask the customer what he/she wants; and, The customer doesn’t know what he/she wants until we show them (remember ol Steve Jobs?) A bulk of the views I’ve come across so far lie on the side of ‘ask the customer’. However, it […]



Design Thinking: What a Patient Wants

Design Thinking: What a Patient Wants Design Thinking is a relatively new concept in many countries including India. It is, however, already some decades old now. And having been practicing it for a few years now, I often get asked what it is about. And for examples of its applications. For starters, design thinking is a mindset. One that uses […]



Microwave Idea – Return the Turntable to Original Position

Image (only used the LG image because I use one of their models at home): source I’m not exactly on top of the latest microwave oven features. Don’t think I even know most of the old ones. But if this feature doesn’t already exist, it would be great to have. I’m assuming this is how it works with most models, […]



Tata Sky

Image: source This is a heads-up for Tata Sky satellite television provider customers. Here’s something Tata Sky has been doing as standard procedure, that I find questionable. If you’re subscribed to an annual plan, and say  you cross your billing deadline by even a day, they automatically switch you to either a 6-month billing cycle, or worse, a monthly one. Like all […]



Sharpen your Business Focus

Image: source When starting one’s business, a set of people will advice you to keep a sharp focus when it comes to offerings or purpose. Another group might suggest offering as many products or services as possible, to minimize risk. And both groups could defend their views till the cows come home. However, in most cases, it is most prudent for you […]



Function, Form, and Overripe Apples

Image: source Over the decades, we have been seeing Apple grow at a blistering pace. Built on thinking different while staying hungry and foolish, it certainly created new sectors while killing redundant ones. With unwavering customer-focus, Apple maintained child-like curiosity, unbelievable innovation, and startup agility. The brand continues to enjoy a stronger following than even some religious cults. The iPhone surely leaves little to be desired […]



Startup Service Aggregators

Image: source Startups with business models revolving around aggregating services have their days numbered, unless they offer a significant additional benefit (than the underlying services they aggregate) to the end customer . Because without it, they’re just tech-backed middlemen looking for their share of the pie for merely connecting two parties, which is a tough ask in an increasingly connected […]



Think A-Team: For the Design & Strategy needs of Young Businesses

Image: link Hi, all you enterprising entrepreneurs, I am pleased to give to you, ‘Think A-Team’, a growth partnering service for all your business strategy needs. By way of it, I intend to help you make your business challenges a little less challenging, and work with you on growing your business faster & better. The chosen services are a result […]



The Up Side of Consulting

Here’s a post I had drafted for submitting as a resource to MosaicHub, in response to their call to members for ‘the Top 5 things businesses need to know about your area of expertise’. Here are five top thoughts that we at the A-Team, believe would be beneficial for businesses who engage consultants, for those wanting to start a consulting business, as well […]



NA-NObody

The Tata Nano, cheapest car in the world today, is arguably one of the biggest milestones in the auto industry in recent times, the world over. A close friend of mine, Sheshank Reddy shared an article which talked about how Mr. Ratan Tata, in hindsight, felt the Nano should not have been positioned as ‘the cheapest car’. Another close friend, Pradeep Shetty, Sheshank and I have, over […]



Sell Blankets to Eskimos

This post requires you to think a bit. Might be difficult on a Friday night, but do give it a thought over the weekend. We all know how challenging the life of a salesperson can be. Unrealistic sales targets, unwelcoming prospective customers, unending follow-up calls and meetings, demoralizing posters outside offices, the crushing pressure of time as the end of the month approaches, and clients who like the thrill of […]



Just Like That

I have always disliked the idea of businesses buying, and friends forcing ‘Likes’ on Facebook. The number of likes really skews the picture, and it becomes difficult to differentiate between a business that has bought 300 likes from one that has earned 200 likes with quality business and customer delight. Surely, Twitter, feedback, and public reviews help maintain some transparency in the quality of services […]



Like Endorsing, Endorse Liking?

We all remember the notorious financial meltdown of 2007-08 that washed away a lot of dreams. We all know why it happened. Some wise (read greedy) people built a huge structure on an extremely very weak foundation (sub-prime mortgage). And then went ahead and added floor over floor to their fantasy at the cost of the masses, till the foundation and […]



Beery Bad

Here’s a first. A product review. Several weeks ago I was at a Raymond’s store picking up a suit I had given for altering. On one of the display sections, a number of beer bottles caught my eye. Looking closer, they read “Beer Shampoo”. Hmmm.! Now I’ve heard that beer’s really good for the hair, softens it and all that. […]



It Could Have Rained Nanos

Sure the Tatas have had their share of tough n’ rough times with the Nano, and they buggered up with the advertising as well. That means there was extremely insufficient advertising, and never at the right time. It just struck me, what stopped them from making a kick-ass tv commercial for the monsoon season. Am sure for bikers riding through […]



Serves you Right

“Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.” – Peter Drucker We recently bought a cordless telephone from Croma (for the uninitiated, Croma comes under the Tata umbrella). Took it back home and it was not working. Late next evening mom and I made […]



Business – whenever, wherever

If you got to start your business, you can’t always wait for real estate prices to be right. Sometimes, you just start..Wherever.! (Saw this on some random inner road on the outskirts of Pune) For those still wondering, that is a car covered with clothes that a man is trying to sell to passers by. And while I was there […]



The Seat Next To The Lady

Recently, the latest player in the online travel business, Travelyaari.com brought in the option of “block your seat next to a lady” on your next bus journey. Yeah, I know. My eyes lit up too for a moment there. But no, buddies, your lifelong dream of getting a seat next to a pretty gal, will stay a dream, at least […]



Layers of BS

Ever realized how much time we spend each day either building a thick layer of ‘unnecessary’, and/ or scraping a thick layer of it. Rather than build quality products and services, we tend to build our own imaginary features, declare our products/ services to be the absolute best without the real stuff to prove it. Facts are covered up, hyped, or […]



We Deliver.!

Several years back, I used to work in the ever so famous BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) Industry in one of India’s IT hotbeds, Bangalore. My job involved providing technical assistance to North American customers of our pretty impressive all-in-one printer range. And just when I thought the monotony would leave me permanently depressed, or worse, brain-damaged, I received an email […]



Compromise? Don’t!

Several foreign countries have been following the professional hire-n-fire policy for several years if not decades, now. We Indians on the other hand, still go strong on references and the ‘chalta hain’ (a Hindi phrase meaning ‘it’s alright, no big deal’), ‘adjust maadi’ (maadi is a Kannada word meaning ‘to do’, in this case, asking someone to adjust) and ‘ki […]