Friday, November 18, 2005

A Twisted Cue

Another book review? Yep! Prompted by a literary discussion I attended yesterday at India Habitat Centre where Roshan Seth, Sabina Mehta Jaitly, Partha Chatterjee and Dr. Vijay Sharma discussed A Twisted Cue by Rohit Handa [Published by Ravi Dayal].

Unlike most fiction novels which I finish in about 4-5 days, I took over a month to finish this book. I had what you call in automotive language "starting trouble" and I was tempted to leave the book unfinished, when it suddenly occured to me this is no ordinary fiction novel to cruise through.

It was rather a docu-philosophy-biography of the lives and times before I was born [1968]. It was literature as Roshan Seth put it aptly "thick like condensed milk".

While most of the people at this discussion empathised with the narrative, for me it was an eye opener to the people and days of my father's times - including the much misunderstood Anglos in particular!

It gave me an interesting perspective to the thinking of all the parties involved in the Indo-Pak conflict way back then - from the Indian political parties, to the Americans, the British and the soldiers facing each other in the bunkers on both sides of the LoC.

Plus if you scratch below the surface, you will come up with an analysis of the reasons behind the apathy that envelopes Indians in general, putting into perspective a lot of what's happening in our society today.

I liked the book. Check it out... but be prepared to spend a lot of "open mind" time on it!

Dive into something new!

People ask me what I'm doing nowadays... since I left my job as country head of creative, in an advertising agency. Well the answer is "I'm swimming in a Blue Ocean"! I am creating communication products and services no one else offers today.

A major influence in this career shift has been this amazing book "Blue Ocean Strategy" by W Chan Kim and Renee' Mauborgne, published by Harvard Business School Press.

In a fascinating read, Kim and Mauborgne encourage us to go beyond bloody red oceans of existing markets, to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant.

While the authors agree the thinking is not new, they stake claim to the evocative new marketing term "Blue Ocean Strategy".

The book doesn't just hypothesize, but illustrates examples that have worked across categories - from watches, computers, and even a circus! And it is a great DIY guide for those "madventurous" enough to explore Blue Oceans :)

Thought I'd share info about this book with you.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Digital Road Rage

You think it, you write it. You like it, you announce it. You don’t like it, you trash it. And with the worldwide web on your side, the whole world can see it.

In times where world-wide audiences are available at the press of a computer button, are we putting our minds where our mouth is?

I’m speaking of off-the-cuff posts in blogs and even regular websites all over the world, where spontaneity holds sway over sensibility.

While conventional publishing puts the responsibility of putting presumably well thought out news and views in a few hands, publishing on the worldwide web is open source. Yours to do as you please.

Quite like driving on Delhi’s roads, where rules are damned, and decency is trashed. If you don’t like the way someone drives, you show him the finger. You don’t like his reaction to your finger, show him the hospital.

Many bloggers seem to be driving the same path – armed with what I call Digital Road Rage. Surf around you, and you’ll find more rants than raves and more angst than thanks.

Get personal, get unprofessional, and even hack away at your opponent in some cases. “All’s fair in blogs at war” seems to be the mantra. With no apologies due when my karma runs over your dogma.

My two bits of advice [three actually], learnt from navigating the streets of Delhi:

> Fight the rage, nurture the raves. Whether you’re a large organization or an individual, think before you upload. What you say, is going to drive the perception of you – positive or negative.

> The world is watching, and it has the same weapons as you do, maybe with more time and more friends.

> There’s nothing sillier, or uglier than two people battling it out in public – on the road, or on the internet.

Now I’d like to end by saying “thank you for reading my Blog all you nice people. Have a nice day!”