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What you may not have thought while watching “The Social Network”

16 Nov

I saw “The Social Network” yesterday. Brings out quite fiercely that what we are is sometimes a result of some kind of occasional hate or apathy or revengeful nature we have due to some incident

Facebook was an instant success, because it gave me power to be boastful about myself without talking much by my mouth.
You could literally say what you wanted to say on it, keeping a lot of what you are intact.
You could show a thousand people what you are doing in a single click

Social network is the defining entity. FB success adheres to the fact that we are constantly in need of attention.

We are attention seekers by default.
We want recognition, acceptance and confirmation.
This applies not only to those who have internet access, but also to everybody else. Anyways, internet did not happen at first. We happened and our wants and needs happened

Being an entrepreneur takes guts and lot of stomach to digest the ill side effects of it. If Mark had to start his own, he would dot it anyways.

If the Winklewoss’s were waiting for 4 weeks (or whatever) for Mark to get back on something concrete, then they were either absolutely crazy or absolutely intelligent enough, to have guaged that Mark has already stolen the idea and working on something of his own
They could either confront Mark any how at earlier stages or could wait for the baby to get born and then ask for a partial claim on the grounds of IP theft

I personally felt that Mark was a victim of the 2nd situation explained above

Nevertheless, movie was very much focused on the lawsuit showing flashbacks of the journey of Mark while developing. But doesn’t leave a huge mark on your minds on the aspect of entrepreneurship

A better movie would be our own "Rocket Singh" that has all the elements of being a pro-entrepreneur movie.

TSN is still one of the best combination of out-of-the-court settlement drama and journey of a high-school grad who built something.

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Management Guru With A Different Take Towards Life– Ram Charan

14 Jun

image For the two years of my life in my MBA School, there were a lot of Management Gurus, Consultants, Authors, Harvard Professors, CEO’s and Presidents who we came accross. We read about them and praised them in unison. With few of our professors idolizing American names and their feats which drove companies on a breathtaking accelerated path of growth.

The only international guru of Indian origin that was talked about was Pankaj Ghemawat, that too during an International Business session by Prof Shareif. Never once was Ram Charan mentioned. Although being an avid reader of a lot of books, I was knowledgeable about him but did not read much about him till today. I wonder why is Ram Charan not included in the countable-on-my-fingers list. Reading about Ram Charan is like visualising a fast-track jet travelling through space.

So today I was spending my time relatively more productively at Crosswords, where I picked up his latest book called “What the Customer Wants You to Know”. Right from the first page, the book catches your interest. If you are into the business of selling (which generally everybody is, most of them at least), this book is a must read for you.

His previous books are

  • Owning Up: The 14 Questions Every Board Member Needs To Ask (2009)
  • The Game-Changer: How You Can Drive Revenue and Profit Growth with Innovation (2008)
  • Know-How: The 8 Skills That Separate People Who Perform from Those Who Don’t (2007)
  • Leaders at All Levels: Deepening Your Talent Pool to Solve the Succession Crisis (2007)
  • Boards That Deliver: Advancing Corporate Governance From Compliance to Competitive Advantage (2005)
  • The Source of Success: Five Enduring Principles at the Heart of Real Leadership (2005)
  • Confronting Reality: Doing What Matters to Get Things Right (2004)
  • Profitable Growth Is Everyone’s Business: 10 Tools You Can Use Monday Morning (2004)
  • Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done (2002)
  • What the CEO Wants You to Know : How Your Company Really Works (2001)
  • The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership Powered Company (2000)
  • Every Business is a Growth Business: How Your Company Can Prosper Year After Year (2000)

He is called as the most influential consultant alive on earth by Fortune and some of the top CEO’s in the world. Most interesting is he didnt have a home till recently, used to stay at hotels or stay back at Client’s home and his laundry was flown to and fro by FedEx.

Came across a very intriguing article on cnn website by Fortune’s David Whitford, that talks about history of Mr. Ram ad his daily life. Recommend to read this article. Please read it till the end. Extremely interesting.


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Super Freakonomics – Go Read It

22 Jan

image Just finished reading "Super Freakonomics"… Freaking awesome it is.. Absolutely entertaining,mind-boggling,insightful and full of information..

What a read it was, right from the first alphabet of the book till the last note. Riveting, absolutely informative. A person like me who likes to read out of the box things, this was an aphrodisiac. Lately I have taken a huge interest in economics and International business. This book literally adds a flavor to these interest levels.

The first one "Freakonomics" landed in my hands, when I was in TCS. I read  few chapters but could not complete it. And now post Super Freakonomics, I am sure I would complete it too.

If you think any of the following questions interest you even a bit, go and read this book.

  • Why walking drunk can be fatal as compared to driving drunk?
  • How is a street prostitute like a department store Santa?
  • What is a "PIMPACT"?
  • What the similarity between prostitution and real estate?
  • Why a May-birth in Uganda can have 20% increased chances of hearing or learning disabilities?
  • How a failed act of terrorism can still levy a huge tax on the common man?
  • What is relation between cognitive drift and death of patients?
  • Why chemotherapy may not be helping cancer patients at all?
  • Why people are altruistic and selfish at the same time?
  • Why the death rate post delivery was high in the doctors’ section in the General Hospital in Vienna as compared to the midwives’’ section?
  • Why "cheap fixes" or "jugaad" can be much more effective than solutions worth millions?
  • Why is ammonium nitrate so much of a vital chemical?
  • How pushing warm water down into the ocean will help reduce the formation of life threatening Hurricanes?
  • Why Co2 may not be the prime reason for the Global Warming?
  • How a hot air balloon and a long pipe hose can reduce the average temperature of Earth?
  • Why big-fat volcanic eruptions are good for the planet?
  • Who is "Nathan Myhrvold"?
  • How "Geo-engineering" may help reduce the threat of Global Warming?
  • Why "incentive" is the single most important factor that decides the behavior of a human irrespective of whether it is good or bad?
  • How a bunch of researchers taught a group of monkeys the value of money and how the first Monkey-trade happened?

Steven J. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have done a marvelous job with this book. Apologies for putting few points out of the book on the blog, although I haven’t quoted anything that takes away the sheen, it will only build curiosity. All credits to the original authors.

The World’s Most Powerful People – FORBES

14 Nov

Forbes in a special report on Nov 11, has released a list of 67 most important people in the world.

Here is the full list.

Obama for the most obvious reasons stands on top of this list. Four of them are Indians. Osama bin laden also takes a seat in this list (God knows where he is now)

1. Barack Obama 24. Kim Jong Il 47. Dominique Strauss-Kahn
2. Hu Jintao 25. Jean-Claude Trichet 48. Zhou Xiaochuan
3. Vladimir Putin 26. Masaaki Shirakawa 49. John Roberts Jr.
4. Ben S. Bernanke 27. Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed al Nahyan 50. Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar
5. Sergey Brin and Larry Page 28. Akio Toyoda 51. William Keller
6. Carlos Slim Helu 29. Gordon Brown 52. Bernard Arnault
7. Rupert Murdoch 30. James S. Dimon 53. Joseph S. Blatter
8. Michael T. Duke 31. Bill Clinton 54. Wadah Khanfar
9. Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud 32. William H. Gross 55. Lakshmi Mittal
10. William Gates III 33. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva 56. Nicolas Sarkozy
11. Pope Benedict XVI 34. Lou Jiwei 57. Steve Jobs
12. Silvio Berlusconi 35. Yukio Hatoyama 58. Fujio Mitarai
13. Jeffrey R. Immelt 36. Manmohan Singh 59. Ratan Tata
14. Warren Buffett 37. Osama bin Laden 60. Jacques Rogge
15. Angela Merkel 38. Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani 61. Li Rongrong
16. Laurence D. Fink 39. Tenzin Gyatso 62. Blairo Maggi
17. Hillary Clinton 40. Ali Hoseini-Khamenei 63. Robert B. Zoellick
18. Lloyd C. Blankfein 41. Joaquin Guzman 64. Antonio Guterres
19. Li Changchun 42. Igor Sechin 65. Mark John Thompson
20. Michael Bloomberg 43. Dmitry Medvedev 66. Klaus Schwab
21. Timothy Geithner 44. Mukesh Ambani 67. Hugo Chavez
22. Rex W. Tillerson 45. Oprah Winfrey  
23. Li Ka-shing 46. Benjamin Netanyahu  


For the full report click here

Is it the “What” or “When” that defines entrepreneurship?

23 Oct

From past few days, there have been lot of discussions happening in life around a concept very close to my heart– Entrepreneurship.


Someone who’s quite experienced to have started his own business, told me, that if you want to start something, don’t wait for the perfect idea to emerge, rather jump right into the bandwagon and take the risk. Entrepreneurship is not about answering “What do we start?”. In fact it is about answering the question “Do we start…now?


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Wisdom in Knowledge Management

23 Aug

A tap, water, bucket, a person is data. The water comes from tap and fills the bucket is information. The phenomena that the person daily turns the water tap to fill the bucket is knowledge.

Then what is wisdom : The ability of the person to take a decision when to turn the tap on and when to turn it off, and most importantly why to turn it on or off is wisdom.

Wisdom is not just the application of knowledge. But it is the application at the right time, right place and in the right manner.
Humans are wise, per se. Every decision making process is an output of a wise choice.

Wisdom plays the role of the judge when the case of choosing between alternatives is presented in front of the court of brain.

Wisdom exists due to one sole fact of life : That life is a pattern of intertwined web of strings, each of which represent a set of "Cause And Effect". And that the brain needs to not just look at these strings but also the rationality and emotionality of the "Cause and Effect". Wisdom is the force that will act on the strings to create a perfect balance of strength and durability ( read "right and sustainable decision")

This brings out a very interesting topic : Is wisdom manageable.
Interestingly I came across few articles and websites, where a lot of discussion on the "Possibility of Wisdom management" is taking place. Quoting a few :

To end this thread here’s a thought :
“If brain were like a planet, then data, information and knowledge would be like humans in varying levels of intelligence and wisdom would be like the culture that integrates all three to have a meaningful existence.”

(Thanks to Prof Arkalgud Ramaprasad, whose five day session on KM and the practical approach of using a wiki, has intrigued me to write this article. Hopefully more will come on knowledge management)

“Personality Not Included” by Rohit Bhargava

15 Jun

Came accross this book “Personality Not Included” by Rohit Bhargava while searching for SMM (Social Media Marketing)

This is his presentation about the making of the book.

Did you notice the simplisitic nature of this presentation and yet so powerful it is!!

I personally am looking forward to reading this book soon.

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Yahoo Big Thinkers Series – Automated Economy and Prediction market

13 Jun

At the 2nd of the lectures in the Yahoo Big Thinker Series, which happened yesterday at the Hotel Leela, Dr. David Pennock talked on how the internet and search engines have developed and are developing to make the economy more automated.

David is Principal Research Scientist at Yahoo. More about David is here:

What David discussed was about how search engines have evolved from being just word searchers to being auctioneers for what people are searching.

There are people who are willing to sell products, services and information, other people are searching. One of the key areas that David talks about is Continuous Double Auction.

Prediction market utilising CDA was also discussed. gives insurance to customer against bad weather, and the cost of which is calculated based on the prediction that the customer does. There are levels of severity of prediction that can be chosen from, and the website provides options to calibrate your prediction. is another success e-commerce that is based on predictions. You trade the predictions about events happening around the world, you can buy and sell them based on what your current take on them is. To know about how it works ->

A variety of questions were raised as to would this really work, if someone trades on a prediction like
Would terrorists attack on ___ time?“.
Such kind of predcitions themselves are not worth enough to trade about.

But the amount of intel such a model generates is enormous. Karthikeyan Iyer ( Director, Crafitti Consulting Pvt Ltd, ) asked me how would one monetize such kind of a model.

The prediction market is generating info about what is the current mind set of people and whether the prediction that is in hand is on the right lines of not.

Take an example : A hybrid car which generates more power than it
consumes will be ready in an economically viable state by 2015

The amount of response to this prediction gives a rough estimate how many people like this idea. If the P-value is > 50% it means there are fair chances of people buying such a product and companies like Toyota, Honda can basically utilise this intel to know where there target markets are.

Take another example : A Red coloured shampoo which is not harmful,
if eaten accidentally, will be a big hit

Now clearly an example of radically different idea that can be worked upon, especially from the point of view of children. But if the market is not positive about this prediction, this might be because of any of the things -> color, edible nature etc. This is a simple example, but complex predictions can be formulated to make sure that the intel generated is good enough to find out if a particular product is viable or not.


Point to ponder :

How prediction market concept can be utlized inside organisations to improve productivity of processes as well as employees?


See the image at the top of the post.
Me and my friend Vishal were discussing about the various interpretations of it when this is what came up:

How big can YOUTH INK?


Books I am currently reading

13 Jun

These are the books I am currently reading

Vodpod videos no longer available.
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Six Thinking Hats – Visual Map

3 Jun

Six Thinking Hats

A Visual Map of the Six Thinking Hat framework that I made sometime last month.
This is helpful if you want to quickly find out what are the faces under each of the six hats.