Showing posts from 2006

Life: Human life

According to the most brilliant startegist who ever lived, according to my opinion, Human life is the best gift that exists. Think about it. All life forms get to sleep, have sex, eat, drink etc. but only humans have the ability to do great things. So, do GREAT THINGS!

Life: Decision Making

We make decisions every day. Some big, some small. I noticed that most people do not have a framework that they apply to decision making. Most of the decisions are made on "gut-felling" and without required analysis. I attended an executive program on decision making at Harvard and as optional reading material, I read "Smart Choices" It outlines a very simple approach which can be applied to all decisions-business, personal, financial, etc. The recommended model is called PrOACT-URL . It is: Pr=Problem: Identify the problem correctly. E.g. when you buy a car, usually the problem is commute and not the car. O=Objectives: What are trying to achieve by solving the problem? You can have multiple objectives with one problem. A=Alternatives: What alternatives do you have and what alternatives can you create? C=Consequences: how well the Alternatives meet your Objectives?

Life: Coffee and Life

My sister sent me the following story today. A good reminder of what life is: Live a good life A group of alumni of a Management Institute, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university lecturer. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the lecturer went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups: porcelain, plastic, glass, some plain-looking and some expensive and exquisite, telling them to help themselves to hot coffee. When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the lecturer said: "If you noticed, all the nice-looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the better cups and are eyeing each other's cups.&quo

Technology: History of Aviation

One of my very close friends is visiting from Florida this weekend. I took him to the Museum of Flight today. It was very inspiring to see what William Boeing did. In addition to the Wright brothers, we owe the evolution of the global trade to William Boeing. He was a Yale dropout who moved to Seattle to make money when he was 21. He did make money in lumber trade. He was a millionaire at the age of 27. In 1909, he came across seaplanes and was fascinated by them. Furthermore, he thought that they could be made better. See William's biography at What was most amazing at the museum was the speed of technical advances in those days. After the first flight in 1903 by Right brothers, the aviation industry involved very fast. The commercial flights began in 1928, less than 25 years after the 12 second long flight. I am amazed how the technology progressed so fast without the communication channels (Internet, TV, etc.) which are available

Human Behavior: Privacy

I was walking back to my place yesterday and at a stop light I overheard two women talking about the fastest way to get to the ferry terminal. My first instinct was to give them the directions but then I thought about how it might be considered invasion of privacy. My next thought was that it is not a life-threatening situation, they would figure it out eventually and if they need help, they can ask me for it. Before I could decide, the light turned green and women walked to in a different direction:-) Everyone has his one definition of privacy. What is yours?

Human Behavior: How do people adopt new innovations?

Adoption of innovations is my favorite topic. It integrates business, technology, systems, and human behavior. Everett Rogers developed a model to predict the adoption curve of innovations. I simplified it for our discussion with help of my friend, Tom Carter . There are five attributes of innovations which effect how innovations get adopted or customers change their behavior: 1. Relative Advantage: What advantage does the new innovation (product/service/etc.) offer over what’s available currently? The relative advantage could be price, new features, convenience, etc-anything customers perceive beneficial. Let’s take example of iPod which is one of the fastest adopted new innovations. iPod offers following advantages which were not offered by previous portable music players: a. Better design: light weight, easy navigation, different colors, cool aesthetics. b. Choice: ability to store up to 5,000 songs and no need to carry CDs. c. New features: Ability to org

Business: User Generated Videos on Mobile Phones

Since the approach Verizon is taking is not very appealing, let's see if there is an opportunity for User Generated Videos on mobile phones. First questions is how are User Generated Videos making money on the Internet? Well, they are not! Although ads placed before Internet videos (mainly music and tv shows) have very high click-through rate and are one of the fastest growing ad-revenue categories, the user-generated videos are not making much money. Google bought YouTube for its potential (integration/buldling/advertising) and as defensive move against a competitor buying YouTube. There is definitely demand for user-generated videos since more than 100m are watched everyday on The challenge is how to monetize this demand. I think, in the short term, Apple will do better than the wireless companies by providing user-generated videos on iTunes. It has been very successful at selling Video iPods and selling music videos/tv shows. So why not user-generated videos? It c

Business: YouTube on Verizon

Verizon officially announced a deal with YouTube today. See . As I understand it, the deal will enable Verizon Wireless customers to watch YouTube videos, they have preselected while browsing, on their mobile phones. Sounds cool? Well, it is not! I think the news has generated more clicks than the new service will ever generate subscribers. Who do you think will pay $15/month to Verizon Wireless to get access to Vcast so that she/he can watch the videos she/he has already seen on Youtube? I would love to see the financial arangement of this deal. Most likely, this deal is more favorable for YouTube than for Verizon. The strategic issue here is that the wireless companies in the US, most of which have wireline parents, don't want to "loose out" like they did with wireline broadband. In the current broadband world, the ISPs/wireline telecom companies are pipe providers a