Is Recession Real?

26 02 2009

Well, many people asked this question and many people responded with what they thought. I am not a financial expert nor an Economist who can answer this question. But, I have been in the Industry for close to 10 Years now and have friends who have been in the Industry for longer than me and also many of my close friends have their own startup’s. This post comes with my interactions with them and also what I have been seeing in the Industry I work. 

During 2001-2003, we saw the Internet bubble burst. There were many people who sacrificed their lives, given up their line of work and moved to the IT field to make their name and fame. There were many organizations born, but eventually, most of them faded away. Let us also not forget, that organizations which had their fundamentals correct, grew up to be giants in their own fields. 

So, are we seeing the same phenomenon here today? The only similarity I see from my eyes in the two recessions is that they are man made. We have been hungry for more in a shorter span of time and this has really effected us. If this is human’s thought process, we should never forget that the nature also has its own ways of sustaining itself. This is a natural cycle and if the 2001-2003 recession helped in streamlining the speed at which we travelled in making a new world, this recession is setting expectations for us to ensure we have our fundamentals correct for a better future. 

Fortunately, most of my very good friends organizations have not been disastrously hit by this current situation and also quite a few of reputed organizations are also not hit. Organizations which have been disturbed are the one’s which missed out one or two of the key elements of ensuring the life of the organization works the way it should. 

What are the fundamentals which I am talking about? 

The fundamentals I am speaking apply to both individual and also the organization. The fundamentals which each of us should be aware of. The precautions we take to ensure we have a healthy living (not money, but health). Eat good food, have healthy habits, keep your mind calm and peaceful and ensure that you perform your responsibilities well. The same applies to even organizations. They have life too. 

I once received a forwarded email about Recession and it made a lot of sense to me. I just wanted to summarize the story here as an illustration of the concept. 

There was a poor man, who made eateries on the roadside. He worked very hard, to ensure he maintained cleanliness around the place he ran his business, he had few chairs for his customers to sit, clean drinking water and his USP was that he always ensured that he was presentable and welcomed his customers with a big smile. He did this for all the last 15 years since he started his small outlet. He was contended with his earning, and ensured that his customers left with a smile.  

This businessman had a son and ensured he provided the best of the education to him, with what he could earn. His son went on to study well and acquired a very decent and dignified job for himself.  One day, his son stopped over at their eatery and was explaining the current situation to his father. How people are loosing jobs, how banks are going bankrupt and how access to money was getting difficult day-by-day. With this, the poor father began to think. Over the period of time, he reduced his expenses. He was getting the place cleaned once in two days instead of every day. He stopped buying fresh water every time, but instead managed by mixing tap water to the water he bought. With various thoughts and tensions in his mind, his smile went away, he cared less about his presentability.

Over the period of time, his customers stopped coming and his business went gloomy. He told his son that he was absolutely correct and the economy is really very bad. Their business has come down heavily and tomorrow does not look bright. 

What is the morale of the story? It is actually not a story, but REALITY. The reality is that we are more worried and hence our productivity is reducing. What would have happened if his son never studied and helped his father? I am sure their business would be the same and their lives would have definitely been the same. At times, too much of thought also hits our overall productivity. 

Let us stop worrying about recession and concentrate on our work. Organizations should do what they need to do and individuals need to do what they need to do. I am sure, our tomorrow is more bright.

In my next post, I would share about my experiences with the industry and entrepreneur friends who are definitely working at the same pace and ensuring they get their business 🙂





First Post from Nokia E71

22 12 2008

I wrote a very big post earlier and it failed. The trial version of Wavelog does not allow me to save and hence had to exit the editor and come back to write.
Well, to begin with, I got a new Nokia E71. Yesterday, tried to search for blogging clients for Symbian and i found two – Scribe and Wavelog from Telewaving. After unsuccessful attempts to install Scribe (certificate error), I now installed Wavelog. This tool is really cool. It is very easy to install and use, but costs $16.50. Well, i don’t mind as long as its working. I found two hitches, there is no Support/Contact us information and the license is only for one phone. Now that i am going to use my E71 for long time, am planning to buy. But before that I have a month to try out.

I feel all features of the application should have been given and the duration of the trial could have been reduced. You cannot save and once you exit the application, you need to create your login credentials again 😦





Going the iPod Way

26 11 2008

Long ago, not so long ago, when the world was just welcoming mp3 players, I was in London and felt the need to have a portable music player which I can carry along. I brought a Creative Zen 20 GB player which can play WAV and MP3 format music. On Windows operating system, when you plug it in, it opens the windows explorer where you can organize your music or you can use NOMAD. Over the next few months saw the arrival of iPod. Initially, I felt it is just expensive and just another MP3 player (even though I am a huge fan of Apple). I refused to even look at it in the stores or even read about the machine which changed the world of music.

Two incidents made me look at iPod:

1. I brought my MAC Book last year and lo! it was a bumper for me. I could not organize my music as NOMAD (which is used to organize music on Creative range of products) is not supported. I then searched and finally got an alternative to use my Creative on the MAC. Read more about this in my earlier post NOMAD for MAC.

2. Last year, I got a music player for my car and it came with the USB extension to play music players. I was able to connect my USB stick and play music, but unfortunately my creative player is not recognized. It really pained me. I searched on the web, but was not successful in finding a solution. Probably an AUX out should have helped, but never got that.

Finally, just a month back, got a iPod 120 GB classic. Well, I thought 120 GB is quite a good amount of space and only now realizing that I am sure to exhaust this space in 2009 for sure. Already have close to 2,200 songs and the most facinating part of iPod for me is the ability to organize PodCasts. I have good number of subscriptions and I am so very happy that I can carry my Podcasts without my computer now 🙂

Overall, in the last one month I have become obsessed with my iPod and looking forward for many more intersting encounters with the machine which made a huge difference in my life.

Last but not the least, have loads of movies on the go 🙂





eBook’s and eBook Reader

27 10 2008

After a gap of more than 3 months, I am back to my blog. No reasons for the disturbance in updating my bolg, but just that every time I wanted to write, something was pulling me back. Today, I decided to write and wanted to start with something which interests me and also, might interest many others.

Recently, in June 2008, I moved my house and during the shift I realized how many books I collected over the last 3 and half years. I told the movers and packers that I would not need more than 10 big box’s for the move and after they packed everything, realized that 15 medium sized box’s are my books and print out’s of articles. I then realized that I need to do something urgently to control my book collection and started researching for eBook readers. Initially when I searched, the closest and the most interesting item I found was the Amazon Kindle. I spoke to Rajesh Jain after reading his blog post on the kindle. He mentioned that he was enjoying it and now, it is easier for carrying books rather than the traditional paperback or hardbound in his luggage while traveling. But, there is a hitch. This comes with a plan as Kindle comes with a CDMA Plan in the US to buy books online. As I don’t live in the US, I found this not so exciting.

Off-late, found few more eBook Readers on Wikipedia. Yesterday, I went to Target and found Sony eBook Reader and it was really attractive. The reviews were good, but I only had second thoughts because of the heavy price of $299 +Tax. While investing Rs.15,000+, I wanted to check various features and so, went slow before I brought it. Did some more research and found that few users of this machine had troubles opening PDF files. This device supports PDF, Doc files in common and many eBook formats (PDF, TXT, RTF, DOC, FB2, LRF, LRX, ePub, JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, MP3, AAC w/o DRM) etc. It comes with inbuilt 200 MB internal storage space and expandable up to 16 GB with SD Memory.

Coming to the next aspect of my research, I wanted to check out how many titles of hardbound/paperback come in eBook format? There are few good sites which offer excellent collection – eBooks.com, Free eBooks.Net, e-Library.Net etc. However, almost all titles are double priced than the traditional paperback/hardbound. I didn’t expect this. Honestly, I was expecting the cost to be lesser because the cost of the paper used to print books including the ink is reduced. Unfortunately, all the titles I compared with traditional print and e Book format are double expensive than the print. I am a bit disappointed. However, I am sure that over the period of time, these will come down and hence postponed the purchase of eBook reader.

I think all of us must move towards ebooks and save planet by reducing the use of paper which controls the cutting of trees. It is a long way to go, but a small step is the beginning to a long journey.

If you find any interesting eBook readers, please share with all of us by posting a comment to this post.

You may download PodCast of this Blog Post here. 3 Minutes, MP3 format.





Pangea Cinema Day

11 05 2008

Last night was a memorable evening. I received an email two weeks back informing of the Pangea Day. I had no idea of this event. The venue was ThoughtWorks. Before I registered, I have to admit that I did not do my homework of searching on google 😦 The only thing I knew about this event is that there are movies going to shown around the world at the same time. I mistook these movies to be art, but they were more than that.

Anyway, landed at the venue at around 9 PM, the screening was scheduled to begin at around 11 PM. There were few guys playing music to entertain the crowd. Dinner was also sponsored and it was nice. Most of my gang from other groups were there, so never felt left out.

When the event began, that is when I realized that this is covered on STAR World, LIVE from across the world – Los Angeles, Kigali, London, Cairo, Mumbai etc.

In 2006, filmmaker Jehane Noujaim won the TED Prize, an annual award granted at the TED Conference. She was granted $100,000, and more important, a wish to change the world. Her wish was to create a day in which the world came together through film. Pangea Day grew out of that wish. You can watch Jehane Noujaim’s 2006 acceptance speech at the link. This is truly inspiring and worth watching.

What did I learn from this event? A lot. I knew about art films, but films which can change your thoughts and inspire you to live life are something worth watching. There were films made on mobile camera’s, professional camera’s and films which show emotions. In the regular cinema, you get to watch the emotions of actors as in the script, but here, you watch emotions which are quite natural and you would definitely relate them very close to yourself. If you are like me, who left home for living and coming back after long time, you can closely relate to the movie The American Project: Cuba. A wonderful cinema capturing emotions of family when they re-unite after a long time. I especially like the Elevator Music, A thousand words.

I can go on with the list, but it is worth watching each of the movies. Visit Pangea Day website to view all the movies shown during this time. If this is happening again, make it a mandatory appointment on your calender, because it might change your life.





Twittering life

9 01 2008

Of late, I am spending a lot of time on my twitter home page. In a day, at least I take 30 minutes to go thru all the twitters over the time. Also, twittering from my Nokia E62 is really being a pleasure. Why is twittring addictive? Is there anything special about it? My friend asked me – “What do you get by sharing what your thoughts are? Why do you want every one to know everything? ” I do understand that it might be sensitive for people to exactly share what is in their minds, but twittering is just not about that. It gives you an opportunity to share information to your friends when you like. Unlike blogging, twittering expects your expression to be shared in 160 characters, which will add to your language skills 🙂

Twittering is a recent development and as on date, we do not have more than 2000 people Indian registrants on twitter. But this trend is soon to take shape.





New Year Wishes

1 01 2008

Opportunity is missed by most people.

Because it is dressed in overalls and looks like hard work.


Do you know what opportunity looks like?

Real opportunity most often looks like a lot of long, hard work.


Do you know where to look for opportunity?

You are most likely to find it in the problems, the frustrations and the challenges about which the most people complain in the most, loudly.


Do you know what to do with opportunity when you find it?

The best thing you can do is to take full responsibility for transforming it into something of real and lasting value.


How do you do that?

With an unshakable commitment, a positive attitude, the willingness to make whatever effort is necessary, and the persistence to continue until is done.


Do you understand what opportunity is not?

It is not a free ride, or a lucky break, or an innovation to get something for nothing.

 

Do you want to make the most of a great opportunity?

Then get busy and put everything you have, into making it happen, for if you do, it will.

Wishing all my readers the best of the New Year and wishing that you don’t miss any opportunities coming your way