I like

I suppose the reason behind people “liking‘ all the pages and songs and tv shows and blah blah on Facebook is that they’re kinda lonely, and are, by some natural instinct, walking around with their hearts and about 50 MB of data from the deepest crevices of their brains, all on their sleeve, for the world to know.

All the movies they like, the soaps, celebrities, ideas, businesses, brands, songs, books, (groan), and what have you.

It’s akin to people dressing their best even when they are grocery shopping at their neighbourhood store, always prepared for a possibility of bumping into their soulmate or whatever. (don’t give me that puzzled look, there has been a study carried out to that effect).

So I guess on one side, you have people desperately seeking attention with an ever-increasing sense of loneliness, who’re adding to their information ‘sleeve’; and on the other hand, an increasing reduction (ok, I’m sure you can use those two “opposite” meaning words together, they’re supposed to attract afterall, remember?)… ok, enough of all that play of words.

Back to the topic. Yeah, so on the other hand, you have an increasing reduction in the amount people care for details nowadays, so who do you think, would have the patience, or be inclined to read your entire bio-data (read info or wall) unless they’re perhaps, in school and going through the phase of their first 50 or so crushes?

So then, what is the point of it all anyway?

Worth a Thousand Words

Worth a Thousand Words

A picture, it is said, is worth a thousand words.

In the past few months, I have taken a few which, I’ll say, left me totally speechless.

#7 Somewhere in Rajasthan, left turn’s not free, they say..

#6 This one was at the entrance to a mall in Jaipur. Firearm not allowed.! Sounded like something straight out of the good ol’ West.

#5 This one’s all about having something to offer at various price points… Car with body colored side-view mirrors, car without body colored side-view mirrors; juice from a mixer, juice from a juicer… take your pick! Reminds me, I’ve even seen one on a menu card at some shady restaurant, Chicken with bone, Chicken without bone. All us well-fed, comfortable living, taking-everything-for-granted city folk don’t know much about all the limitless possibilities offered in smaller towns. This one was at a nice joint on the outskirts of Mangalore.

#4 The world as we know it…

#3 In a shopping complex in Pune. Whoever thought of this, obviously, does not think too much.

#2 This one was in some small town on the outskirts of Pune. The residents must live in fear.

#1 This one takes the cake and the bakery with it. They say even the Almighty can’t understand women. At least these folks are giving it a shot.

Ok… Apologizes everyone. You know how life is, right? Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something better, or worse, hits you in the face. Well, I just found our new #1. Its a restaurant I had the fortune of visiting on the outskirts of Pune, a couple of days ago. The menu card had some very interesting dishes to offer.

(guess the chicken is a resident of the place, hence the apt ‘lastname’. Its funny how I’d cross this place every other day and wonder how the food might be, considering the fancy cars and huge waiting outside. Now I wonder if the crowd was only to check out the menu 😉  And if you thought that’s all they had on the menu, you aint seen nothing yet)

The winner (picture from the same menu) is……

 I’d like to add though, the food was quite alright, it’s the swallowing while laughing that was becoming a problem.

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Senti-mental

Senti-mental

Remember ‘Compromise‘?

Human mentality doesn’t cease to surprise. Astound even.

We all have come to believe that the stock markets seem to move much more with tiny human sentiment, and less due to company or industry fundamentals.

Lets have a look at the Sensex movement in relation to ‘sentiments’.

I’ve taken the Sensex merely as a representation of the fluctuation of such sentiments.

When the world was hit by the sub-prime crisis, the all-famous Global Meltdown, Indians saw the Sensex “melt” over the next few months, as shown below:

The markets were beaten down to about 60% of their August 2008 levels. And it took the Sensex about 9 months to go through the meltdown to regain those August 2008 levels.

And August and September of 2010 saw not one or two, but a series of scams happen at home. If we start with the CommonWealth Games scam of (I say ‘start with’ to define a period I’m talking about, as many of us have literally grown up hearing about one scam or another, and have taken them as inseparable parts of our lives); around Rs.70,000 crore. Some magicians seem to make the Taj Mahal or a big truck disappear. These folk must have thought, ‘what the hell, let’s make unimaginable amounts of money disappear’, and that, under the watchful eye of the authorities, who then managed to brilliantly gasp when the scam was brought to light.

Anyway, after that came the 2G scam of around Rs.1.76 lakh crore, and the even harder to digest news of involvement of the Tata Group in the same. Around the same time, we also had the Adarsh Society scam, where shameless, soulless individuals deprived war widows of homes in an attempt to satisfy their own greed.

So, lets say between September 2010 and Jan 2010, we’ve seen three shameful scams involving ridiculously high values. Lets have a look at how the Sensex moved around this time while we all sat in front of our TV sets eating popcorn and swallowing scam after scam:

Surprisingly, the index didn’t fluctuate more than a 1000 points. Despite the fact that such news dealt a hard blow to the economy. And to the image of India and that of every Indian the world over (not necessarily in that order).

Guess all we Indians would say to this is, “who the hell cares about scams or whatever, they’re part and parcel of life. All we’re concerned about is our money. And image, err.. What image?”

And foreign investors observe and learn fast; so tomorrow it’s just business as usual.

(like ol’ times, these are my views, and you are free to comment/ disagree/ discuss).

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Compromise? Don’t!

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 farak paenda’ (a popular Hindi phrase meaning ‘what difference will it make’) attitude.

Do you think Infosys would have been what it is if they fed their ever-increasing hunger for talented workforce with just about any relative, friend or a friend of a friend? Sure they would’ve filled seats in a jiffy, but I strongly doubt Infy would’ve made it even half as far.

I remember some elders telling me years ago, that it’s all about networking, all about the contacts you have, etc. And sure it worked brilliantly when I was watching the Godfather movie. All the ‘offer you can’t refuse’ and ‘I will call upon you to do me a service in return’; but it doesn’t seem to have a very good effect in the corporate world. If favours are done or asked for in any manner that’s less than at what they call ‘arms’ length’, it is, without doubt, going to compromise on something.

Close friends don’t feel uncomfortable in declining requests if they have reasons to. And they feel comfortable in expressing the inability to do so, and it doesn’t in any way, affect the friendship either.

But in our rat race, we have really gotten programmed with the whole ‘doing a favor, asking a favor’ routine. So much so, it is second nature. Often at the cost of compromising on something else. Ki farak paenda after all, aye..?

And don’t you feel its way beyond time that we Indians graduated from call centre jobs? Even if we were considered good at being the ‘back end’ to the world (no pun intended). I ask you now – can you think of any one company, where you’d feel genuinely satisfied with the level of service, were you to call their helpline? Hell, even I’ve worked with a call centre, years ago, so I know what I’m talking about. And believe me, in the past few years, interacting with call centres of the likes of biggies like Vodafone, I can genuinely relate to the frustration and helplessness that foreigners may have felt over the years, when we’ve struggled to ‘resolve an issue’ for them.

And while I still have some hilarious memories from work at the time. For instance, the general process was flawed then, and it is flawed now. So after almost a decade of BPOs, the least we could have done is worked on and simplified the process? Made more sensible options on the IVR? Or made agents more efficient at what they do? Perhaps taught them to ’empathize’ with customers rather than doing a mindless line-by-line delivery of a script? And finally, if it isn’t too much trouble, ensure that the ‘issue’ was resolved? But I guess ‘woh bhi chalta hain yaar’.

So put a bunch of ‘chalta hain’ attitude people in a company, and what do you get? Then put a bunch of companies with a large number of ‘chalta hain’ attitude employees in them together, and what do you get? And while we’re at that, what if we have a nation with several such companies, then what do we get?

What I’m guessing is, a strong probable cause for the next slowdown, where there is a strong possibility that India would play host, because employees and organizations compromised on several little things, and just drifted along, till a point where, just like the gig at the CWG, products, services and efforts start collapsing in front of bigger audiences.

Compromise then, just became a real dangerous word for me right now, something representing slow degradation. How about for you?

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India – The State of Affairs…

India – The State of Affairs

Just when we Indians thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse…

We got an opportunity to host the Commonwealth games. But instead, Kalmadi and his cronies stretched their luck way beyond the Milky Way with corruption. And the Prime Minister’s office magically stretched a sanction to several multiples of the same. Wish someone would do that with my pay too. How Rs. 70000 crore of hard-earned money vanished over a span of a few years. And into how many Swiss accounts of how many politicians, we’ll probably never know.

Yet somehow, the poor are still poor, people still pay taxes in the hope of betterment of the country, and politicians still spend it thinking its part of an inheritance their grandparents left them.

And while the CWG scam unfolds, next month it’ll be 2 years since the Mumbai attack.! Two years.! That’s seven hundred and thirty days. And with our judiciary system sitting with their thumbs up their ass, we’re still trying the terrorist responsible.

Perhaps that’s why most crazies (terrorists n many politicians) have the impression that everything they shouldn’t be doing, can perhaps still be pulled off with ease and gotten away with, if it’s in India.

Left to the citizens, we’d have tried and sentenced the terrorist in less than a week after the attack. Who the hell cares about the defense. He is a culprit. He killed nearly 200 innocent Indians, and the legal system gives a f@(& about what he has to say about anything? News channels still manage to keep debating. Courts will have hearing after hearing. And before we know it, we might even be talking about it at the third anniversary.

More than anything else, it’s an indirect way of humiliating those brave Indians who faced the terrorists in that fateful attack.

At the bottom of it all, guess more than anything else, we Indians lack self-respect.

Take any small attack on Israel or on Israelis in the past. It would tell you what or how a nation should be towards its citizens. They’d hit back so hard, not only would it not instill fear in the enemy, but also cultivate a sense of belonging among their citizens.

Reminds me of a hilarious dialog from the movie ‘Bad Company‘ which describes the incompetence, if I may, of the concerned authorities. In the movie, the hero, Chris Rock tells the head of an FBI team, “Man, you guys can’t even find Saddam Hussein! If you told a woman at 8 in the morning, that her husband was sleeping with Saddam Hussein, she’d find Saddam by 8 that night!”

Look at it from the point of view of the brave Indian cops who nabbed the terrorist in hope of a trial and execution. To witness or read about the inane tantrums of the damn terrorist, two years after the crime.

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An uncle and a friend

An uncle and a friend

I just heard a few hours back, that one of dad’s closest friends, Eshwaran, passed away this morning. That was extremely bad news.

I had probably met Eshwar uncle and his wife several times as a toddler. And then I met them nearly a decade or more later, probably when I was in the eighth or ninth standard at school. And yet the meeting still feels recent.

Anyone who ever knew him, knew him as an extremely light-hearted and jovial person. But something else apart from his great sense of humour came across strongly too. And that was his keen interest in photography. That, and of course the way he expressed that interest. He was probably around 40-45 or so at the time. But he’d sit and chat with me as if I was just another buddy of his. And yet, the conversation was always extremely interesting, relevant, and still, simple enough so as not to bore an easily distracted kid.

He would tell us about some hilarious incidents from bachelorhood when he, dad, and some friends hung out together. He would then literally zoom in on an important part of his life, his hobby, photography. And he’d  give us a vivid description of some amazing scenery that he’d seen. A scenery he had taken several photographs of, several years before. And yet, he’d remember it with more clarity than any of us would remember our last holiday anywhere. And he’d almost get into the technicalities of how he’d place his real fancy camera on the tripod on a slope perhaps, and adjust it to get that right shot.

Or of another incident at another holiday spot that would be amazingly breathtaking, and how he’d proceed to click innumerable pictures of. And it didn’t end there. Back in the day, photograph films had to be developed, and he’d do that too himself. So he’d talk about that too. The dark room, the negatives, and then, how exactly the pictures would have captured to a satisfactory level, a beautiful sunrise, or sunset, or a vast stretch of lush green.

And all that talk would just express his true love for his hobby. That was probably one of the few times when someone’s passion for something they absolutely loved doing, came through very strongly. I even bought my first camera on his recommendation; and just like he said, snaps did come out ‘superb’.

Not only did I learn quite a bit about the basics of ‘clicking a snap’ from him, but also little lessons on perfection. While most of us nowadays just pull out a digital camera and fire away, the little extra effort that I take when clicking snaps to make sure they come out good, are to a great extent, thanks to his photography tips  that I got on the few occasions that I got to spend time chatting with him.

And in our world of fads and herds, a few people like Eshwar uncle, stand out for pursuing even a hobby with more interest and dedication than many of us show towards even our work.

Uncle, you’ll live forever in our minds, and it truly has been a pleasure knowing you, as an uncle, a friend, and most importantly, a great human being.

And while I’ll always regret not having spent enough time with you; a line from the movie, Mr. Deeds, comes to mind; that I’ve reworded a little, and that goes like:

We never hung out (enough), and that makes me sad…

All the good times we could’ve had…

But when I die, uncle, you better say cheers…

Cause me and you are hanging at the pearly gates…

I’ll bring the beers… I’ll bring the beers.

IMG_20150316_113102

Funny Side Up

All those moments that left you speechless…More like the dumbfounded speechless. I was just thinking about it today, and thought I’d share some such situations that I have been lucky (and sometimes not so lucky) to be stuck in the middle of.

Funny Side Up

All those moments that left you speechless… (No, not like when you saw Claudia Lynx or  Mila Kunis on TV). More like the dumbfounded speechless. I was just thinking about it today, and thought I’d share some such situations that I have been lucky (and sometimes not so lucky) to be stuck in the middle of.

  • About two months back, I called my credit card company to tell them that I hadn’t received my estatement, and to ask them to mail it to me. The charming voice at the other end asked me some random questions just to make sure I was the actual holder of the card, and then proceeded to say that she’ll have the statement emailed to me. Then, as what I assume to be a part of the ‘procedure’, she thought of “confirming” my cell number, mail id, landline number, address (hey, don’t look at me, am still wondering about the logic behind it). Anyway, so when she read out my address, I realized that she’d got one alphabet wrong in the name, so I asked her to correct it. After that, again, as part of the procedure, she proceeded to fire a series of questions, about practically everything, just to (again) make sure I was me. The second last question, ‘what was the last amount billed to your card?’ Thankfully, since I had received a message when the transaction happened, I remembered and told her the amount. Last question, ‘where was that transaction made?’ How the hell would I remember, it was over 12 days ago. ‘No problem’, she said, cheerfully, ‘you can check on it, I’ll call you back tomorrow’. I completely forgot, so the next day, she called up as planned, but I didn’t have the info. ‘Not a problem’ she said again,  suggesting the same deal of me checking after I get back from work, and that she’d call the next day. Anyway, I checked that evening, but missed her call the next day. Next thing I know, I receive a letter from the credit card folks (the address on which, by the way, still happened to have the minor spelling mistake). The letter stated that “this is the last correspondence to your old address, and all further correspondence would be made to your new address.” Whoa. When did I change my address? And, if that wasn’t enough to leave anyone wondering, I received another similar letter the next day (with the spelling mistake rectified), informing me that my new address has been updated in their records and from then on, all correspondence would be to the new address.
  • Back in 2008, I got myself a Vodafone USB internet card after paying for a limited usage for the year (1GB free/ month). The little software which installs on your laptop, helps you connect/ disconnect, and also shows you the usage. So I’d keep the usage within limits, so as not to have to pay at crazy rates/MB beyond the free usage. And then, about 4 months down, I received a bill for Rs.200 for excess usage. As I saw the statement only on the due date, I thought I’d rather pay it and then look into the matter. So, I paid, but then didn’t bother check with Vodafone. Next month, I made sure I kept checking my usage. I’d used about 3/4th of my free limit for the next month, but I received a bill for Rs.1400. Ok, now things were getting serious. I went to Vodafone to find out about the screw-up. After the usual ‘Happy to help’ chat, they assured me it was probably a billing mistake. That it happened sometimes. The issue was that while my Vodafone software was showing my usage at 3/4 of the limit, on the company system it was registering a usage 40% or so more above the limit. Few days down, my connection was blocked. Next visit to Vodafone, the same exec apologized profusely. He said he had forgotten to log the complaint, which is why it got blocked. I told him to take care of it, n went my way. Next month’s bill was over Rs.1500 (Rs.1400 + late charges, service tax, the works). What followed was 2.5 months of constant comms with Vodafone, at the store, on the helpline, and to with every email id I could find on their site. They kept insisting that they’ve checked and rechecked, and that I would have to pay up. At the end of that time, I had pretty much had it, and so I went and settled the bill, so as not to let them torment me anymore, even though they still hadn’t realized that there was something wrong with their systems. Next thing you know, I receive a letter from Vodafone’s legal guys threatening to go to court if I didn’t pay. The @#$#.! I called the lady at Vodafone whom I’d been in touch with regarding this matter. She was, I think, some mid-level manager. She told me that they’d received the payment, and that I could ignore the letter. Then I happened to just discuss the problem one last time with that lady. Just to let her know the hell they’d all put me through for some mistake on the part of Vodafone. And when I, for the nth time, told her about the Vodafone software that installs on the laptop, I said, ‘you know, the little window that shows the level of usage, and other info’. Her reply was priceless. The Customer service something Manager told me she had never seen the actual software before. And she didn’t know what it did. So, I was arguing with about 12 different people at Vodafone for well over three months, had to shell out money for no reason at all, and all along, this lady, who was definitely at a fairly high up position, didn’t even know what she was arguing about or defending. No better way to kill customer care, eh? I guess all along, all they meant was ‘Happy to Help (ourselves to your money)’.
  • Several years back, my dad had applied for a car loan. So, as part of the process, the bank executive dropped by home one afternoon, to get some papers filled, and to collect the post-dated  cheques. While dad was signing the 59 odd cheques (5 year loan), the executive, with a concerned look, asks dad, ‘Sir, I hope you have the total amount (the loan amount) in this bank account?’ Dad, already a little irritated with all that signing, suddenly was at a loss for words. He tried his best not to show his disbelief at the question, which of course, didn’t work too well. He looked at the executive and said, ‘if I had that kind of money in the bank, do you think I’d be applying for a loan?’ It then struck the executive, who then tried his best to hide his embarrassment with ‘of course sir, well, I was just asking’.
  • As a kid, I used to frequent the Croissants‘ outlet near my granny’s place. I had many favourites on their menu. And we sometimes used to parcel plain croissants. A slightly microwaved plain croissant tastes great with tea, especially in the mornings. So one evening, mom sent me to pick up about 15 plain croissants. I walked in, to find that I was the only customer in the huge place. Anyway, so I paid at the cash counter, and then walked up to the counter for plain croissants and gave the attendant the little order slip. He looks at it, and then asks me, “Will you be having them here?” I looked around, and then asked him, does it look like I’ll be eating 15 plain croissants here, alone?” Talk about being stuck with your foot in your mouth =O
  • My job in Venture Capital too, made sure I got a regular dose of such situations. Like a few times when I’d get calls or even random visits from aspiring entrepreneurs. They’d go, “I’m planning to venture out on my own. How can your Venture firm help me?”, they’d ask, with a straight, I-mean-business sort of face. That would get me all thrilled, every single time. I mean, it takes a lot of guts and conviction for anyone to start a business on their own. And I admire that. So then I’d ask them about what the venture is all about. How much money they’d need, and all that. Then comes the priceless answer. Something that normally sounds like, “I have a few different types of businesses that I could possibly get into. Depending on which one, the venture funding I’d want would vary. However, I haven’t really worked out the exact funding that might be required. You see, I could either start with one of the businesses in one state, or cover like, half of India. So accordingly, the funding I’d need would vary. I wanted to know how your fund could help me out.” Huh.! I could’ve sworn the board outside my office didn’t read ‘Charity Venture’ or something to that effect. Then why.?

Lemme know bout your ‘at a loss for words’ moments…

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The Last Straw

This one’s for all those people who’ve found their goal, and work towards it like nothing else matters, like there is no tomorrow. And for all those who know the true meaning of rules, the sensible rules at least.

The Last Straw

Have you ever been in a state where you’re head is filled with the purest rage? Where you think, ‘once more someone messes with me regarding (whatever), and they’re really gonna get it?

Have a look at this article. Just an average, or in my view, above average employee, who just got pushed way over the edge, for apparently no fault of his. (Fed-Up Flight Attendant Makes Sliding Exit)

What happened was, that an airline attendant, Steven Slater, who probably had his share of responsibilities and troubles, got pushed a little too much when a passenger stood up to fetch his luggage on the aircraft before the crew had given permission. When Slater instructed the man over the PAS to remain seated, the passenger goes ahead with removing his luggage. And when Slater reaches the passenger, he accidentally gets hit on the head by the luggage the passenger was trying to remove. Now this, in itself, is a random accident that could happen to anyone. But when Slater asked for an apology, the passenger proceeds to curse him. So that’s two mistakes by one moron of a passenger. Firstly, not following rules, and then throwing his weight on someone trying to enforce those rules.

Slater, who apparently has served 20 years in the industry, (20 whole years is a bloody long time eh!), was a regular chap, who had been recently caring for his dying mother, who happened to be a retired flight attendant. His father too was a pilot in his day. Slater happened to be the leader of the airline’s uniform redesign committee apart from being a member of the airline’s in-flight values committee.

So I guess that does speak for his character, abilities and his work.

There’s something that the average consumer, customer or colleague often doesn’t understand. That different industries and businesses have rules for the purpose of the very meaning of the word, rule = that which is prescribed or laid down as a guide for conduct or action. So obviously, being aware of the risks, or to maintain an orderly way of doing things, rules are laid down.

But most beings, thinking themselves the wiser, feel that they can merely bend the rules a bit to accommodate their holiness. It’s easy when the average self-centered soul thinks that way. But what happens when everyone starts thinking that way. We get chaos. We get three lines at a counter where there’s supposed to be only one, we get five lines of cars on a road with three lanes, we get the ‘everyone’s doing it so why cant I?’ question staring you in the face. We get herd mentality. We also get more fights, more abusing, more punches, etc. Because they are not the only self-centered one around, there are more like them always around, many more.

And then what happens. The last straw. What’s worse, is that oftentimes, the one pushed off the edge for no fault of theirs, gets punished too.

Like Slater, who after letting out a string of expletives at the passenger over the PAS, grabbed a beer, activated the emergency-evacuation chute, and slid down and drove home, only to have his home surrounded by police officers, detectives and port authorities, and him, arrested.

Normal people don’t do such crazy things. Grab a beer and jump out of a plane. As ridiculous as that sounds, bloody cool even. But no, normal people wouldn’t take their job that seriously either. Most of the kind of staff I have seen on airlines or even with some people I’ve had the (dis)pleasure of working with, they wouldn’t have bothered too hard in trying to enforce rules and regulations to that extent. They try a bit, and then don’t bother. So it’s usually the most hard working, the most driven and most dedicated of employees who usually end up reacting in such extreme ways when they are constantly pushed against the wall for their efforts and dedication.

It’s because, on a scale from 0 to 100, the average expectation of, say quality, or enforceability of a rule for a normal person is, say 50. The normal chap or gal would expect something in the 45-55 range under most circumstances. So when the weird folk bend the rules to say a 40 or even 30, they think they’re just doing something that’s 10-20 units off the normal. Not too big a deal.

But to that crazy dedicated worker, the normal delivery expectation he or she provides is nothing less that a 95. When someone’s screwing about with rules (pushing it to the 30’s or 40’s), regular employees think they’re 10-20 below average. From the dedicated fellow’s point of view however, they’re way below the 95 average. Which is why you then get the extreme reaction to situations like this.

Reminds me of the movie ‘The Rock’. Am pretty sure most of you who watched it, ‘wowed’ at the story, the action, and then forgot about it. But give it some more thought. The story of a Brigadier who takes tourists hostage as a final desperate attempt. An effort to get the government to open its eyes to a cause he’s fighting for. The deaths of fellow marines killed in action, who have been denied even the honour for their ultimate sacrifice.

But somehow, that fight of the Brigadier General is never addressed during the rest of the movie. Or realized even by most people who watched the movie. So, through most of the movie, the Brigadier General is viewed as the bad guy.

It is only a few people who follow the rules to that level, work towards something with everything they’ve got, and the least they expect, or rather deserve; is respect for their efforts. And when finally, their efforts aren’t leading to anything, they sometimes end up getting frustrated and taking a drastic step in a final attempt at bringing out the flaw in the system…only to be rewarded with punishment.

Rather than look at the final action, it would do some help if people were to even look at the situations and all the causative factors which eventually culminate in that one drastic or so-called stupid career-killing step.

I guess the world expects people to merely reconcile themselves with things that happen. To not complain, challenge, nor question it.

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Be Your Best Judge

Be Your Best Judge

This is a small extract from Michael E. Gerber’s ‘Awakening the Entrepreneur Within’. Michael Gerber is the bestselling author of The E-Myth Revisited, E-Myth Mastery.

He says “Unfortunately, most businesses don’t close soon enough. They just linger on and on and on, surviving as best they can. Entrepreneurs should never create a business simply because it can survive. To do so would be to commit oneself to daily dying. Entrepreneurs create business that thrive.”

I guess that simply says a lot.

While starting companies is one thing, but something that entrepreneurs should always constantly do is judge or evaluate their business/ progress/ future growth, rather than losing sight of the big picture in the race to capture more market share…

Judging based on the business itself, competitors, and on the vision.

Many companies just seem to drag the eventuality, that way burning tons of money, sabotaging employee careers, and neither growing nor benefiting from the business.

Opposed to that, it sure takes the rare soul to accept defeat, wrap up, and fight another day.

And there is an advantage to that. Your big business could be based on the idea you get after you’ve freed your mind of a business that’s just trudging along. So be your best judge, and take a good call.

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Way to go, Alok! The Venture Capital Differentiators

Way to go, Alok! The Venture Capital Differentiators

A few years ago, I came across this interview with Alok Mittal on the internet. Alok is the Managing Director at Canaan Partners, one of the leading VCs in the technology and healthcare businesses, the world over. And in that interview, Alok was talking about their investment in techTribe a few years earlier. techTribe, by the way, happens to have a job referral service offering, similar to the incentive based job referral business model of the company I wrote about earlier.

Alok had publicly agreed that the incentive driving referrals was not going as expected. And that they have been planning to sell the company as the business model didn’t seem to work. I did feel a sense of pride and satisfaction that my gut feel and reasoning was in a way being backed by someone, who is to me, something of an authority in the field.

Then, something struck me. Here was a world where everything that everyone spoke about publicly was, like the Americans popularized, “good”. And amongst them was someone as knowledgeable, intelligent, and capable as Alok Mittal. It took someone humble, grounded, and true to his work, to openly talk about his mistakes. Literally in Rudyard Kipling’s words, he could ‘meet Triumph and Disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same‘.

Hats off to your humility and honesty towards your work, Alok.!

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