Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fighting the United States of Terrorism

Terrorism, bombings and killings have started taking a big space in our thought. Thanks to the regular bombings in the Indian cities. We fear, we feel anguish and we condemn; and then we again get our live going. We are after all working class people, and have to work to earn our living.

Recent Terrorist attacks in Mumbai however was different. These Terrorists were cold hearted people, who had no demands or no goals apart from killing, destroying and they were prepared for death. The fight went for around 60 hrs with many security agencies of India fighting to end the crisis. Even the NSG believes that the mission was not easy, and they had to give their best to bring those terrorists down. This is surprising!

There are many rumors about the cause of the attack, and many more regarding the involved party in it. Interestingly Deccan Mujahidin has claimed responsibility, and investigators have found Pakistani and Malaysian links. Whatever the cause be, it is condemnable and action needs to be taken against these people, where ever they are. They need to be tracked and acted with force. This is something everyone believes.

Few questions that arise in my mind are:
1. Does LeT and other Pakistan based Terrorist organizations have the capability to take such deadly steps?
2. Did Pakistan based Terrorist organizations get active help from Al Quida?
3. Attack on Jews, Americans and Britons show sign of bigger mission. Is this linked to Hamas, Hizbollah or the Likes?
4. Is Indian Police force so unprofessional to not control the indiscriminate firing in its Central City Railway Stations?
5. Does ISI actively involve itself in War against India? Or some other outfit is trying to sour relations between India and Pakistan?

The questions are plenty. The cause of worry is increasing. It is also increasing because the level of attacks have increased. This was one of the most sophisticated attack anywhere in the World. And India is chosen for it. Does this signify that India is in limelight of International Unified Terrorist groups?

Whether or not India is in the limelight, one thing is sure. There is a deep co-operation between all such out fits. And this has to tackled giving the respect, and an International Body needs to be formed to tackle this. And this body should not only look at current trends of Terrorism and counter insurgency, but need to go to the root of all such attacks, and address the concern.

After all killings and counter killings does not end dispute. It increases further. Everybody should understands this and act responsibly.

Having said this, India's preparation for Intelligence and Counter Insurgency seems very poor. Needs to upgrade it to a great height to match the best in the World. Minister's resignation does help little to stop such acts, it can only calm people. When India is poised to become future Super Power in next 30 to 50 years, it needs to have its Intelligence Agency matching CIA, KGB or Mossad. And it needs to be prepared to launch counter strike with professional force like NSG within an Hour in any location in India.

This might look more important to India's space program for now. And many people have commented that India needs to focus on Internal Security and serving hungry poor, and not waste money in Space Missions. But India should not stop progress to gain stability.

We should not over react to make our future look dark. We want to live in peace, but that should not mean we compromise on Optimism for the coming generations. Space Missions and Scientific Researches should go on, and our Economic Growth should move ahead. Whatever comes by will have to tackled Professionally with the aim of beating their cause, and not only the Terrorists.

If this attack is to hinder India's growth, then more growth is the answer to them. Not an Army launch along the Pakistan border but working with Pakistan Govt. for better Defense and Trade ties is the answer.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Death of Personal Blogs?

Most of the highly rated blogs are maintained by group and not by individuals. Seth Godin says in his blog post. And he asks if this is the death of personal blogging?. He says, NO. I agree with him.

Seth has taken the Top 10 Blogs from Technorati or from Alexa or Feedburner. But if you look closely, you will find every new ranking ranks the blogs differently.

(Group Victory is different from Individual Victory.)

Seth is the most successful bloggers, in Marketing Domain, in terms of most rankings. He has huge numbers of feed readers, he has huge number of fan following in Facebook Blog Networks, and he is in Top 20 in Technorati rankings. He might have been trying to move up, and not making it might have forced him to write this post.

But is it necessary to have good ranking? Well yes! If you are involved in any sector then it does make feel good if you reach the top in any rankings. But can you compare Best Movie Award to Best Actor Award? Well, not!
I would take the group bloggers as Movies where the individuals are not as important as their competitors who come close solely. So Seth, there are no reasons to feel bad. Just keep up your good work! You are anyway the best actor in the industry. No matter what the rankings say and how your movie perform.

May be we need some way to measure individual performance. Technorati does not rank blogger but ranks Blogs. A Blogger Ranker is the solution to this issue. Anyone does that? Or shall I start a business out of it? Suggest me!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Terrorist Attacks : Dont only Condemn, but Act

Terrorist attacks are increasing in the faster pace in India, and the World. This shows more than just the failure of the Defense and Home Security forces, it marks the failure of the society as a whole. Govt. should take the leadership and prepare a grand plan for fight such terrorist organizations, and intellectuals need to be trained to train the general public.

I would recommend few things to the Govt. and the Civil Society.

1. We need to Educate People on Terrorism Acts so that people be careful, and fight themselves too. Police or Army alone can in no way stop such acts.
2. Govt. needs to address the root causes from where such terrorism acts originate. There must be some serious flaw to force people take such dreadful acts. Intellectuals and Civil Society should do more work here, as govt. may find difficult to find out such reasons.
3. Govt. and people just needs to focus on their work, and neither should over-react. Terrorism acts does not harm more than what the over reaction does.
One of the reason for US Fiscal and Financial Crisis goes to the over reaction of 2001 Terrorists bombing of Pentagon. The huge defense and homeland security budget gave govt. very little money to spend for Economic Causes. This should not happen in India.

My recommendation is that, use the people power where possible. They will be one who see the first instances or who are hurt. So if they are ready to tackle the situations, expenditure of both the man and materials will come down.

How about starting Martial Arts in all Schools? Just a thought.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Are you in Facebook? If yes, I seek your help

One of my friend, Deep Sherchan, has registered my blog "Business Analytics" to the Blog Networks in Facebook. And I got a confirmation email from the same. But interesting, 10 people needs to confirm my ownership of the blog.

Please help me here. You can directly reach the voting page from here. And if you like my blog, do not forget to be fan. It will help me get better rank.

Most importantly, it will be good if we become friends and get connected through FaceBook. Do not forget to add me by visiting my profile.

Thanks in advance.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bailout : Death of American Pride and Performance

There are news about bailout everywhere. Any Bank which is in the verge of collapse is saved by the Govt. by bailout. But the more they save, the more are ready on the queue creating a chain reaction in the market.
Reason : when there are two ways to go, people chose the easier way.

When Enron collapsed and IT Burst happened, US govt. choose to let it happen. Few people think, govt. should have kept them alive. Might be they are correct, and after-all why should market punish the general investors when few of the top level executives go wrong. This is a valid point.
The case of Bank is even more serious, not only investors but also the depositors need to be saved. So giving life to troubled banks is very important for economy.

But see the negative part of it. Most of the European govt.s are serious about creating new jobs and keeping existing jobs. They are against outsourcing and always ready to help companies when they face any problem. The result is a peaceful and joyful Europe. But it has to be see, has this done good to Europe? I think NO.
Europe has almost become a museum and old aged economy. The more control they keep with the govt. the lesser is the performance. There are hardly any Revolutionary Company (like Oracle, Microsoft, Google, Pfizer,Mckinsey etc.)that came from Europe in last many decades. They have chosen to live in modesty and stability, and not performance.

I have always found the opposite with the US govt. They have the Green Card Lottery through which they bring in 55k people from all over the world to US providing them Green Card. This is increasing immigrant population in US, but it is moving their economy ahead too. There are always people who work for low cost due to this initiative.

The other good part of US Govt. is letting companies fail, when they don't perform. This makes people cautious of things they do and the company boards always think to improve efficiency and effectiveness within themselves.

But with the introduction of bail out, this culture of performance is gone. Signals are on where company board don't try to live at all cost. They play safe and just cry for help. This is likely to go for many years now. It is the human nature; reversing might be a great challenge for the new govt. And continuing it might hit the already sick American Fiscal Balance. Bad days ahead.

The biggest hit will be on the pride. Americans now cannot boost their belief in Performance. And neither they can do for liberalization and free market. If they come up with such suggestions for other countries like they did to Asian countries in 1995 Asian crisis, they will find no takers.

Someone once asked me what is the religion of Americans. I said Christianity. He said thats of Europe. I gave up. He said, "Europe's religion is Christianity; Middle East's is Islam; India's is Hinduism; Japan's is Buddhism; China's is Communism; and America's is Performance." Wow. I was so impressed. I too worked for FICO earlier, and I was impressed with the culture within the organization to value performance. If you are good, you are sure to grow!

But will it remain same? A big question lies ahead. After-all now the management does not need to value performance, they can seek help and survive!!!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Google Destroying Intellectual Value?

Today I had a discussion with a Professor of Economics and an Economic Researcher. Both had wonderful view about Google. They say, Google is destroying the Intellectual Value of the Information Creaters.

In their Own Words:
  • After Google has come, all the focus has gone from the Information Creation to the Information Integration and Publishing.
  • The Print Media is dying, and all the focus has gone to the on-line publishing where Intellectual Property is not protected.
  • The free information distribution mode including blogs are creating so much of buzz where they are hardly of any value. Most of the information present in these formats are junk.
  • People can copy and reformat, and republish same material creating so much of redundancy.
  • The concept of Knol where a portion of revenue is shared with the Writer is hardly of any value to them. It just pays off very little. And all the profit goes to the platform and not to the writers. Google just benefits from it.
  • Blogs and Knol provides platform to anyone to judge and reward. This creates a difficult situation for great researcher as the common man hardly understands it.
  • Information collectors, Interators and Good presenters are highly rewarded. This is making people to believe in searching and copying rather than in doing serious research.
I just have one thing to say to them. They don't understand business and are not able to cope up with the changed situation.

Professors and Researchers will have to understand business logic and need to create value readers. They cant just run away with saying people are stupid, who don't understand or value their findings or writings. This is just not done. They will have to find wrong inside themselves and have to respect the people's views. Need to digest the Information Area, and not blame Google.

Google's Knol is one of the best platform for any underdog to put his views. This has made World more flat and now the information world is not dominated by few Media agencies and so called intellectuals. But by the group of the entire mass who is interested in the information. Everyone in the world is in the same plane, and one needs to build his profile in the open market to be successful in the long term.

I however don't say, Professors are totally wrong. There are problems with the free information distribution. Most of these websites and blogs are filled with advertisements. It really pisses off sometimes, but readers have the right to punish them. They just need to do is to learn on how to punish them.
e.g. They can mark "Don't Like" in StumbleUpon.

The other weakness I see is that of the profile and linked profile. It is the disadvantage of extreme freedom and democracy in all areas, and it has entered Information Space too. A new guy who thinks to blog from company like Google can quickly have good traffic, if his friend bloggers link his website from theirs. But I doubt he can really sustain with just help, if he does not have quality.

I support Google's fight for right to information to all. They have done a remarkable job. But few points that Professors have put up are alarming. We need to make sure how good researchers and information creaters are rewarded. If they are not valued and left behind, it will hurt the World. World will just become a place of smart players trying to fool each other.

Wonderful follow up by Deep Sherchan. Thanks a lot Deep.

Obama's CTO

I am amazed, and I am happy to know that US President Elect Barack Obama is going to keep his CTO. I am wondering why did he call CTO (Chief Technical Officer) and not CTA (Chief Technical Advisor). CTA would have been a post in line with CEA (Chief Economic Advisor), but now when he is keeping CTO the role needs to be more operational than Advisory. Interesting!!

I am wondering who that lucky person be. Obama might have thought a name for the post. He could be Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, Steve Balmer, Bill Gates or Steve jobs. I would support Bill Gates, he just deserves it.
Just kidding, I don't expect these guys to be a CTO of US. They are very technical to be that, but yes, if Obama chose to make someone of this level, it will bring a huge change in the World.

Next important question is, what would CTO do. Will he suggest the President or will he follow what President says. CTO should actually be doing the second. Will have to see what Obama plans to achieve with him. When the Web is going in free use advertisement model, there is little Nation can do to make it to the poor. It already is.
This leaves space for the second mission. He will be working for projects of social cause, like building good monitoring systems and automated e-governance. But I doubt if anything such is left in US to be done.

I fear, and sometime think isn't Obama doing just what he said he wont do. He seems to be taking Capitalism to the next level, and seems to be moving closer to Von Misses. He seems to be creating a govt. which does not own anything but monitors. Govt.s are getting closer to the company, and the only difference being the same customers and investors, the people.

Hillary Clinton is likely to get the Secretary of State. But how about making her Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). She seems a good marketer, and after-all post of Secretary of State is also about Marketing American Policies in the World.

Moving on the same line, how about getting a Chief Information Officer and Chief Policy Architect too. These posts can be filled by the head of CIA and Pentagon. Next comes the Chief Customer Engagement Officer to be taken by the Foreign Secretary. And CFO by the Finance Secretary. Great huh!!

Then President Obama can run America with full logic, and in well thought notions. Not surprising, but true. The Cs will not be the political hires and will represent more bureaucracy than politics. Good for the govt. but will have to see if it actually is good for the people too.

I am optimistic, and will be watching the development very closely.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Global Analytics Preparing to Take on FICO

Fair Isaac ec-CEO Larry Rosenberger is now in the board of Directors for Global Analytics, a San Diego based Analytics firm with major operations center in Chennai, India. This is however not a new news, it has already been about 6 months old.

Interesting fact is that Larry is not the first person to join Global in near past. First Fair Isaac senior fellow Ted Crooks joined Global Analytics as VP for Business Development, who was followed by Chris and Steve. All these together is giving a feeling that Krishna, CEO Global Analytics, is preparing himself with a major battle with FICO. After all he is one of the person responsible for designing and building one of FICO's most successful product, FALCON.

Krishna started Global Analytics with his Falcon Team mate, Steve Biofore and few other folks. He started the company in 2003 and have been quite successful since then. While I joined Global Analytics in 2005, I was the 33rd employee of the company. Now the company has grown to above 120, and most of these people are involved in high end analytics. This makes GA one of the leading player in Analytics.

Global Analytics is heard to be expanding to UK, and have built a Fraud product for Banks. These developments have taken place after its tremendous success in serving Decision Management Services for the Sub-Prime market in US. fair
The two development happened last year i.e. the same year when Ted and Larry were brought in. And it is heard that Krishna and his team is working really hard to take the company to the next level. So, this year and next should be interesting to see on how Global Analytics moves ahead. If it gets the right strike, it would be no wonder to see GA taking FICO head-on in the Decision Management and Analytics Space.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Multiple Levels of Reports

There is a interesting post written by Romakanta in his blog, Datalligence. He has listed and described eight levels of reports that is prepared by BI Folks.
Here is Romakanta's list.


The area where I disagree with him is on calling everything reports. I would rather divide these things into various steps of Decision Management. First three comes under reporting, and rest come under Analysis.

Mostly the standard reports and ad-hoc reports are called reports, and the OLAP is more to dashboard than report. It gives a flexibility to play with the data and do some analysis.

Also, I can hardly make out any difference between forecasting and prediction. Prediction Modeling is a technique and forecasting is a business solution. Forecasting can be done in various ways like Predictive Modeling, Time Series (curve fit or waterfall), Multiple Modeling Approach, Business Rules Approach etc.

Optimization is again business solution to a business problem of low efficiency. It can be achieved by various methods including segmentation, Optimization Algorithms (Operations Research Methods like Transportation Problem, Simplex Method etc) etc.

Information 2.0 and OpenI

I have been hearing so much about Web 2.0, Business Intelligence 2.0 etc. But very little has been heard about Information. I have been hearing problems from Business people saying they never get the information or reports they want, and the BI Team and the Analysts feel otherwise. They feel business people don't understand what to expect and what NOT. The issue here is about not understanding each other and the missing link between the two sides.

BI 2.0 has brought huge advantage on it own, but it has forced companies to invest heavily in IT Systems and Software too. This couples with the Salary expenses. But still the systems are not solving the business problems.

These days people have power to send huge information to the mass (by Youtube, blogs, Knol etc), and most people are taking the advantage of it. While few people use it effectively, most are not. People are confused to choose the right medium, and the right information to pass.

The problem in all such is common. It is the non-evolution of Information 2.0. A framework needs to be worked out now for standardization of the Information so that everyone knows what Information they can expect. If not the frame-work, people should start thinking about using BI and Web (or other channels) to directly attack the business issues.

OpenI has made an attempt to rightly address this issue. It is not the platform to build report like JasperSoft or Pentahoo, but it is the solution. OpenI directly delivers the required reports to the end user.
OpenI is Open Source Project and is cheap to implement and use. It has coupled the low cost with good sales and after-sales service. Believe me Sandeep Giri, Lead of OpenI, is a fantastic guy with open mind. Just reach him if you want the service.

Good follow up by Deep Sherchan.

Connect to Earn

Seth Godin has an interesting post today regarding Earning Money Using Internet. He has rightly pointed that the way to go ahead is "Connect".
  • Connect advertisers to people who want to be advertised to.
  • Connect job hunters with jobs.
  • Connect information seekers with information.
  • Connect teams to each other.
  • Connect those seeking similar.
  • Connect to partners and those that can leverage your work.
  • Connect people who are proximate geographically.
  • Connect organizations spending money with ways to save money.
  • Connect like-minded people into a movement.
  • Connect people buying with people who are selling.
This is a real great point. Most of the today's Web 2.0 companies have just been doing this. Either it is Google or Amazon, or Facebook to Ebay, all have been doing the same thing.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Indian Govt. Needs to be more Responsible

Indian Govt. have decided to keep the high petroleum prices intact and not bring down after the price of Petroleum has come down from $170 per barrel to $50 per barrel.

The reasons:
1. Govt. had to fight a lot to increase the price and they fear if they can hike in future if they bring down now.
2. Decrease in price could swell the demand, and as India is a net importer it will harm its trade and fiscal balance.
3. The Oil Companies have been harmed when the international prices were high, and now is the time for them to recover the loses.
4. Reliance is coming up with its KG Basin and is going to reduce huge external dependency. But along with that it is also speculated that Reliance is lobbying govt. for not cutting retail prices. all to the benefit of the firm.

Govt. is fighting with Inflation and low economic growth pressure, and they are trying to influence Industries not to fire more people so that unemployment does not shoot up. Economist PM understands the Economics and Financial system much better than I do. But it is really surprising to see him choosing not to lower energy prices to shoot demand and go for bleeding the already failing companies.
He is also using Financial measures like reducing CRR and Interest Rates to fight the crisis. This is increasing money supply in the market but this can hardly solve the industry problems. The crisis is global and it has come to India with the reduction of Global demand for Indian products. This has coupled with insufficient fund for companies to expand in India.

PM rightly took the second cause. But if the first does not bounce back and if there is no demand in the grass root level, the increased money supply may just end up rising inflation and lowering currency value. He might need to learn from Zimbabwe and Japan. Japan's use of these instruments in 1995 Asian crisis didn't do any good. And Zimbabwe's current Financial collapse is horrible.

PM Manmohan Singh has taken Indian and Developing Nations issues to G20 Summit. He has criticized WB, IMF and the developed nations for not doing enough to tackle the crisis and putting false blame in developing nations while they are just the victims of the crisis. He is probably correct and it seems India is really getting ready for taking some responsibility in the International Governance.
But does India want greater role in the International Area at the time when Most of the Asian Economies (Including India) grows on American Consumerism? Has time not come yet for India to push itself for increased consumerism and uplift the social/economic status of the general people?

Indian Govt. and India Inc may seriously need to review this. Blame game hardly helps.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

10 Lessons from US Elections

I have learnt a lot of lessons from the US Elections, and I am sure everybody has. Let me just put my ten picks of the season.

1. When there is Economic Crisis, people vote for the opposition.
2. If you are too strong, you are too lazy to work hard! I doubt if McCain really worked hard in the initial campaigns.
3. Woman can never win a vote, specially if there's a Handsome guy against her. Sorry Hillary, Obama is Tall, Dark and Handsome!! Women vote for him instead.
4. Most of the time, it's the Taller guy who gets the vote, as he is seen from distance. Simply because majority of voters will never get close to an Candidate. Republicans, be prepared for the next election.
5. Never support a principle or a person, support the condition and the time. McCain!! Why did you support Bush? Didn't you know he failed US.
People have suddenly realized that he is the villain. They just mistakenly voted him to President twice.
6. Change is the mantra. Support change, be change and ask vote for change. After-all whole World is frustrated. They need change.
7. A sentence against Pakistan and some favor can win hearts of both the Pakistanis and Indians. NRI and NRP votes guaranteed.
8. When a tide comes, no one can stop. No logic can control. It just flows!! Obama!! Candidate Obama!!! President Obama!!
9. European supported Obama just because they hate Americans. Oh! Yeah!! Obama is an Non-American? Of-course, else how can he be against Outsourcing?
10. Use the Internet dudes! Now information age has come. And all you have to do is open a Facebook account and add Youtude videos.
People simply have no time to listen to News and Views brought by the media which don't listen to them. Now people want two way communication. If I add Obama and he accepts it, he is the one to vote. So I vote, and go and rate his Youtube video as my favorite.

Great Lessons!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Everything They Have Told About Marketing is Wrong

I became a big fan of Uncertainty Principle when I first read it. Every Principles said this happens, that happens, this is possible and that is possible; but when I first read Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, it was so different. It was saying something that is not possible.

Then one day I got to read a book "Brand Failures" by Matt Haig. Matt has listed all live examples of brand failures; not a book which give you suggestions but a collections of true stories. This is something I loved a lot.

Now in this series, Ron Shevlin has come up with a book "Everything They Have Told You About Marketing is Wrong". I just could not stop laughing while reading this book. Very well written and humorous as Ron always is.
The book has criticized all aspects of Marketing and myths of using Marketing Analytics metrics. I could not agree with him more when he replaced 4 P's of Marketing to 3 P's. In his own words :

Pick up any textbook on marketing and you’re sure to read about the four P’s of marketing: product, place, price, and promotion. These have been the foundation upon which marketing education has relied for forty or so years.

Most marketing departments, however, only practice three Ps of marketing (and different ones than the textbooks preach, at that): 1) Predicting what customers will buy; 2) Pushing a bunch of marketing messages out to those customers/prospects; and 3) Praying for a better response and conversion rate than the last campaign.

Predicting, Pushing and Praying!!! Great choice of words. I think, this is what Marketers and the Marketing Analysts currently believes in. This is certainly not the right way. They should be doing something better --
  • understanding the product better and give right information to the customers.
  • be actively engaged in bettering the sales service and after-sales service.
  • and more ....
Ron calls this Operational Excellence!

"The history of the CIO will repeat itself with the CMO."

His take on the today's problems faced by Chief Marketing Officers role is great. He compares the development of IT as a core business function with that of Marketing. And problems now with CMO were once faced by CIOs.

While WOW is an admirable goal, not only is it NOT the “only marketing that works”, it’s not marketing at all. WOW.

Word of Mouth has been taken as Marketing work till now. But I have never referred any product or service yet for having great Marketing. But I do for various other reasons. I always refer ICICI Bank for Customer Service and Efficient IT Systems (great Net Banking Experience), and I refer Airtel for reliable network, good Customer Service etc. Have you referred any company or brand for Marketing? I would be interested to know.

Thanks Ron for pointing this in a great way. I simply love it.

I have lots of good things to tell about this book, but then you might read this and settle here. But I want you to go and buy this book so that Ron gets reward and you get the complete information.

Remember, not everything in the book is good. If you are not an Analyst, you might not love it. It has hell lots of criticisms for Marketers and their beliefs; and most of these criticisms have come from a Analytical point of view (Ron is a Analyst; No Wonder He Has Done This.)

The book also has lots of suggestions. You will die if you actually go and implement. These are some of the idealistic views of an Analyst to make things work as a trend. But I know, real world business does not work this way. He has put very little examples of how any company or brand has worked, and what worked and what not. But he is focused on hitting the Marketers head ... might be because Marketers didn't listen to him when he gave his analytical findings. Quite Possible!

Anyway this is a must read book by both the Analysts and Marketers. Analysts to know how they can better themselves and become more business friendly; and for Marketers to understand what Analyst have to say.

Happy Reading!! Do not forget to share your views on Ron and the book here. Will love to know those.

Interesting follow up by Deep Sherchan on Engineering Analytics.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bailout for GM?

There is an article on New York Time today on Bailout for crisis hit Automakers. It is not surprising to see these protectionist voice once the economy is in problem but US Govt. should be very careful in taking these steps. Any subsidy or bailout tend to make people less cautious and careless going ahead. And after-all US Govt. cannot spend tax payers money to bail out the corporates in all sectors.

I see everything bad in the bail-out and for various reasons. Let me list down few.

1. Where does the money come from? Increasing Tax?
Govt. is after-all just a institution, a massive organization with both investors and clients as the people of the country. They hardly have any external source of Income apart from Tax Income. And if they go on bailing out the problematic firms, they will have no options but to increase tax for the General Public.
Bad for government stability. Bad for the Citizens.

2. Bailout can help cure the symptoms but not the disease.
There was something wrong with any company that collapse, or in verge of collapse. How will bail out help ensure that the root causes are addressed. The reasons for GM's financial condition is its poor cars, they are neither good looking like the Europeans nor are fuel efficient like the Asians. GM has one of the poorest distribution channel in India (don't know about US), and the worst amongst all automakers in terms of the after-sales service. You will find a Maruti, Mahindra, Tata or Hundai service center in the most rural areas also. There are Toyota Service Centers in all smaller towns and every corner of big cities. Searching a GM service center will be a real pain anywhere.

More to this, is the increasing expenditure of the US Companies. Asians have build their firms in very cost effective manner while the Americans and Europeans have inherited the high spending culture once gained by political power. This is the root of all cause.

Can bailout address these issues? NO.

My suggestions to the US Govt. and GM would be to work in their own areas. Do not interfere, and don't cry for help. GM's Board should get together sell few unprofitable units to finance their operations and for obvious reasons search a Executive from IBM and replace the CEO.

If GM needs to do anything good in future, they will have to learn from IBM. IBM is one American Company which has mastered lowering cost of operations and is still leading the Software Services area by far margin.

Good cars and competitive GM is better for the Americans and the World. Nothing else is.

Good Follow up by Deep Serchan.

Veggie Drinkers tend less towards Crime

Nepal Police has made a study on the relation between crime and food habit. It says, Veggie drinkers tend to commit less crime than their Non-Vegetarian counter-parts. News coverage here.

This is one of the poorest finding I have seen for long. The concluded the finding on the basis of numbers of number of drinker criminals being veg or non-veg. This is a case of population bias. There are more non-vegetarians in Kathmandu than Vegetarians, and by far margin.

The finding would have been great if they had included approximate numbers for total population, Veggie population, non-veg population, veggie drinkers and non-veg drinkers. The higher number of Non-Veg Drinkers committing crime cannot be a metric at all. They could have judged something else.

If the ratio of non-veg drinkers who commit crime to the total number of non-veg drinkers was high against that for veggies, then there would be some weight in their say.

Sorry Nepal Police. I cannot take your finding.

Obama Could Become a War President

Most people wont agree with me here. But I see Obama running his Presidency in more WAR than Peace, and the CHANGE he has promised might just turn out to be a Election Campaign and a raw thought in American Politics.

The first hint Obama has given towards War is his words against Pakistan. Bush was never so clear on his dealing with Pakistan but was successful in getting Pakistan work against Taliban. Obama may lead a major ground work for Nuclear Disarmament of Pakistan. This could be a reason he has four Indian-Americans (Sonal Shah, Anjan Mukherjee, Preeta Bansal, Nicholas Rathod) in his core team. How he carries this is yet to be seen.

I expect Obama to build diplomatic relations with Iran. He will need to do this to act against Pakistan, which he feels is the major source of terrorist activities. This is a wait and see thing again.

His African Origin and non-elitist thought might distance him from his work in Africa. He could work to help Zimbabwe come out of crisis doing great work for Human Race, but this is sure to distance him from the British. This in-turn will help Europe build good bonding amongst themselves. Good news for France and Germany.

Obama is net savvy. He is going to be the first US President of the Youtube and Facebook era. His active Facebook profile and him saying people can find anything they want about him in his Facebook profile is a clear indicator of his network savvy attitude. Along with that 1800 videos in Youtube videos from Obama camp for Elections is another big story.
Now Americans might get a govt. which directly talks to them. Obama will speak where no one ask questions, and first hand and non-polluted information will be available to the World directly from Pentagon and White House. But this will go unchecked too. Might turn dangerous if they went wrong way.

Obama has a Law Degree and is a community organizer. He has deep understanding of the community and is smart at playing with the Law. Will have to see how he uses that to fight the Economic Downturn.
I am sure, he is not good at Economics but seems to be smart enough to learn and implement. Afterall world does not lack knowledge specialists, they are available in every corner of the world. Many do Ph. D.s in Economics and many others are Economic hobbyist, and all have suggestions. Obama will have to pick smart people, and have to safe guard himself from over-dependency with the smart folks.

Obama is certainly a change, and a big change. His Black Origin and White touch; Hussain as his middle name and a Christianity as Religion etc. he is certainly a change. But Americans are the same. They are Performance driven, and are aggressive. Which is in sharp contrast to stability and fun loving Europeans, and he wont be able to change this.
He will have to bring good economic situation and have to keep American Global Leadership intact. This will make difficult for him to discourage outsourcing or pull-off US soldiers from Iraq. But he will have to try doing it, which might make things worse.

Then time will come when Obama's Data Analysts will work. Trend shows that US economy boosts when US goes to War. Result Obama turns to becoming greater War President than G.W. Bush.

What do you have to say here? Would be looking to hear from you.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

5 Most Valuable Marketing and Analytics Blogs

5 Most Valuable Marketing and Analytics Blogs are listed below. No offense, if your's is not here; had to choose some five. Some tough call but I made it today.

5. Seth Godin's Blog
It is always fun to read his blog. Some critical thought and some humor; great flow in writing and very much readable. Not so much visionary and strategic thoughts, but cool views better read.

Godin is a writer of the book "All Marketers are Liers" and "The Dip". First one is a cool book and is full of criticism to the traditional marketers. Second one just sucked me.

If you are a Marketer, you have to read his books and follow his blogs. But do all these to know what you should not be doing. His recommendations are not that great, and they are as poor as IMF's suggestions for the developing countries; good to hear, hard to implement and if you implement, you are sure to fail.

4. Occam's Razor by Avinash Kaushik
Always comes with great articles; mostly heavy and highly informative write-ups. I like the way he presents technical stuffs in a business friendly way.

It however is very much limited to Web Analytics and is bit more tactical than strategic. Not always readable and usually posts with repetitive thoughts. His blog is more a Book than a blog. But this is certainly a blog no Analysts can miss out.

Avinash has written a book "Web Analytics : An Hour a Day". The name sounds like a Marketing campaign and is not different from Godin's one, but the Book is very well written. Great write-up. It has covered all areas of Web Analytics and is written for Analysts in a very tactical way.

3. Smart (Enough) Systems by James Taylor
James is a serious writer. Not a great flow in the language but very informative posts. The blog surrounds around Decision Management Systems.

James has software background and adds more technical stuffs, which bores people like me. But James articles on Business Rules and EDM are something hard to find else where. Blog is both informative and suggestive.

2. Marketing Geek by Michael Fassnacht
Its a underdog blog. Not much read and has fairly low page rank compared to other picks. It is all because Michael teaches others to market very well but he does not do it himself. Very few links in the blogs and not of any SEO work done. His articles too are very well thought but not framed well. In overall, Michael is a genius, who is very lazy.
Now you might be wondering why did I rate his blog so high. Read any of posts and you will find. The internal insights, the strategic vision and the well-thought recommendation that he makes is simply great. I just love his writings and I am waiting for the day when he comes with a book on Marketing. Great Blog.

1. Marketing ROI by Ron Shevlin
If you are a blog reader than this should not surprise you. Ron is by far a better thinker and presenter than most bloggers. He is one of the best criticizer I have seen around, and he criticizes anyone anytime.
Sometime I feel, Ron should have to be in Risk Domain and not in Marketing. Had he been looking after the Financial Institutions, the crises would have never come. He is always ready with don't do this and don't do that.
But good thing is he has few recommendations too. Most of his posts have great flow and posses mixed humor. Adding all of these, he is the pick of this year.

If you are a Marketer or a Analyst, or a Business leader having Business Development role, you have to follow these blogs. If you don't, believe me, you are really missing something.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Geeky Humans and Geeky Companies

Everyone in the world wants to be Geeky. Correct me if I am wrong.

This is something always true for humans. They want to show that they study less (but score more in exams), they don't mind even bigger things (but they mind every little things), they want to be seen as least possessive about their love (but its just that they don't want their partner to be, but in actual everybody is), and the list goes on.

Human loves criticizing self for actions but they wont ever do for the results. I have never seen people saying, I fail in exams or I am too fat or I am just too thin or I have tolerated my wife dating someone else ....

The reason might be ... everyone wants to prove they are smart enough not to work for better but have better results. So everyone wants to prove that he is smart and geeky.

But if you want to find yourself how much geeky you are I have a solution. I found for myself and now its your turn for yourself.

Just go and visit this page. And do not forget to share how geeky you are through comments here.

Now let us evaluate about the companies. Every company's main agenda is to earn and save, and grow. Have huge revenue, least expenses and awesome profits. But mostly companies don't share this information to the employees.

Reason : They want to look Geeky!!

I have seen a consulting company having very poor economic health, which is verge of bankruptcy, saying they offer such an extra-ordinary working environment to the employees that they send people to foreign trip even when there is no on-site assignment. WOW.

Great news. I would love to join this type of company. How about you?

One of my friend joined the company, and the very first month he discovered that they have not sent any employees abroad for last 2 years. He felt, he was cheated and went to the HR.

HR folks told him, "we are sorry, but we had to say that to look geeky. We will however try one foreign tour for you. Please do not disclose these matters to the outside world. You are one of us now, and we need to work to make things better here."

WOW!! Great Geeky Company!

My friend said he is going to resign the same day. The HR folks proposed to negotiate for extra compensation. He had no options but to accept it. After all he too had issues in changing companies often. He settled for the increased compensation and started preparing for GMAT and CAT. He seemed more geeky than the HR folks that day but he never actually got the increased compensation. :D

Does anyone have similar experience in your career? Do not forget to share, if you have any.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Entrepreneurs : Don't Do an MBA

First let me ask you few questions.
1. Do you remember Maradona?
2. Do you know who Bill Gates is?
3. Do you know who Britney Spears is?
4. Do you know Sergey Brin?
5. Do you know Steve Jobs?

Well, you must have scored 5 out of 5. Great.

Now can you give some time to think who are the people managing these folks. Remember the managers of Britney and Marodona? Remember who Steve Ballmer is? And then think if you can remember what educational degree these folks have.

Done? YES!! Cool.

I am sure none of you actually scored 100% on the later half.

I have been studying whether MBA is necessary to be successful in career, especially an Entrepreneur career. The study showed that most of the World CEOs are MBAs, and it was a WOW for MBAs.

But then the underlying thing is, none of the most successful Entrepreneurs are MBAs. They are either college drop outs like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, or they are simply very passionate youth Entrepreneurs like Kishore Binyani (founder, chairman of Future Group).

This lead I to think that MBA is required to be a high spending CEO or a high profile Employee as the Entrepreneurs tend to hire MBAs for the Managerial roles. But if you have something to deliver to the world and if you are passionate about it, You Don’t Need an MBA.

MBA is a waste of two years. And at the end of two years, you are left with little passion about work but are trained to manage other folks. Managing is a great skill to have to lessen risk in life. But to really do something World will remember for long, it might not be. Because World Remembers people who actually work but not the one who Manages them.

MBAs have built many companies but only few of them can actually jump into starting a business after an MBA. They need to work for some other company to build their profile and earn money to pay back educational loan (which most people think is a path to greatness).
So MBAs when start a company, it’s gonna be their retiring venture which calls for being risk averse (for family reasons or age issues or whatever). Instead if someone starts a company early, he can take it much ahead as it is gonna be his starting venture and he can take up huge risks.

So if you think, you are Entrepreneurial and can build company. Please don't do an MBA and please don't go and work under someone who once chose not to go for an MBA.

Just start a company. Do it asap.

Politics Uncovered in Simple English

Just got a mail from one of my friend on Politics. It was a forward mail, and I don't actually know who created it. But whoever has done it, hats off to him. Really impressive work.

FEUDALISM: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

PURE SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all of the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.

BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and put them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs as the regulations say you need.

FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them and sells you the milk.

PURE COMMUNISM: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.

RUSSIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

CAMBODIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. The government takes both of them and shoots you.

DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.

PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.

PURE ANARCHY: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to take the cows and kill you.

LIBERTARIAN/ANARCHO-CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

SURREALISM: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

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