THE WORLD is increasingly designed to depress us. Happiness isn’t very good for the economy. If we were with what we had, why would we need more? How do you sell an anti-ageing moisturiser? You make someone worry about ageing. How do you get people to yote for a political party? You make them worry about immigration. How do you get them to buy insurance? By making them worry about everything. How do you get them to have plastic surgery? By highlighting their physical laws. How do you get them to watch a TV show?’ By making them worry about missing out.How do you get them to buy a new smartphone? By making them feel like they are being left behind. To be calm becomes a kind of revolutionary act.To be happy with your own non-upgraded existence.To be comfortable with our messy, human sclves,would not be good for business.
-- Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
Have Breakfast or Breakfast
By Y. L. R. Moorthi
(Management Views from IIMB is an exclusive column written every two weeks for india.wsj.com by faculty members of the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.)
Who sells the largest number of cameras in India? Your guess is likely to be Sony, Canon or Nikon. Answer is none of the above. The winner is Nokia, whose main line of business in India is not cameras but cell phones.
Reason being cameras bundled with cellphones are outselling standalone cameras. Now, what prevents the cell phone from replacing the camera outright? Nothing at all. One can only hope the Sonys and Canons are taking note.Try this. Who runs the biggest in music business in India? You think it is HMV Sa-Re-Ga-Ma? Sorry. The answer is Airtel. By selling caller tunes (that play for 30 seconds) Airtel earns more than what music companies make by selling music albums (that run for hours). Incidentally Airtel is not in the music business. It is the mobile service provider with the largest subscriber base in India. That sort of a competitor is difficult to detect, even more difficult to beat (because by the time you have identified him he has already gone past you). But if you imagine that Nokia and Bharti (Airtel's parent) are breathing easy, you can't be far from the truth.
Nokia confessed that they missed the smart phone bus. They admit that Apple's iPhone and Google's Android can make life difficult in future. But you never thought Google was a mobile company, did you? If these illustrations mean anything, there is a bigger game unfolding. It is not so much about mobile or music or camera or emails? The "Mahabharat" (the great Indian epic battle) is about "what is tomorrow's personal digital device?" Will it be a souped up mobile or a palmtop with a telephone? All these are little wars that add up to that big battle. Hiding behind all these wars is a gem of a question - "who is my competitor?"
Once in a while, to intrigue my students I toss a question at them. "What Apple did to Sony, Sony did to Kodak, explain?" The smart ones get the answer almost immediately. Sony defined its market as audio (music from the walkman). They never expected an IT company like Apple to encroach into their audio domain. Come to think of it, is it really surprising? Apple as a computer maker has both audio and video capabilities. So what made Sony think Kodak won't compete on pure audio? "Elementary Watson". Also, Kodak defined its business in film cameras, Sony defines its businesses as "digital."
In the digital camera market, the two products perfectly meshed. Kodak was torn between going digital and sacrificing money on camera film or staying with films and getting left behind in digital technology. Left undecided, it lost in both. It had to. It did not ask the question "who is my competitor for tomorrow?" The same was true for IBM whose mainframe revenue prevented it from seeing the PC. The same was true of Bill Gates who declared "internet is a fad!" and then turned around to bundle the browser with windows to bury Netscape. The point is not who is today's competitor. Today's competitor is obvious. Tomorrow's is not.
In 2008, who was the toughest competitor to British Airways in India? Singapore Airlines? Better still, Indian Airlines? Maybe, but there are better answers. There are competitors that can hurt all these airlines and others not mentioned. The answer is videoconferencing and telepresence services of HP and Cisco. Travel dropped due to recession. Senior IT executives in India and abroad were compelled by their head quarters to use videoconferencing to shrink travel budget. So much so, that the mad scramble for American visas from Indian techies was nowhere in sight in 2008. (India has a quota of something like 65,000 visas to the U.S. They were going a-begging. Blame it on the recession!). So far so good. But to think that the airlines will be back in business post recession is something I would not bet on. In short term, yes. In the long term, a resounding no. Remember, if there is one place where Newton's law of gravity is applicable besides physics it is in electronic hardware. Between 1977 and 1991 the prices of the now dead VCR (parent of Blue-Ray disc player) crashed to one-third of its original level in India. PC's prices dropped. If this trend repeats then telepresence prices will also crash. Imagine the fate of airlines then. As it is, not many are making money. Then it will surely be RIP!
India has two passions. Films and cricket. The two markets were distinctly different. So were the icons. The cricket gods were Sachin and Sehwag. The filmi gods were the Khans (Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and the other Khans who followed suit). That was, when cricket was fundamentally test cricket or at best 50 over cricket. Then came IPL and the two markets collapsed into one. IPL brought cricket down to 20 overs. Suddenly an IPL match was reduced to the length of a three-hour movie. Cricket became film's competitor. On the eve of IPL matches, movie halls ran empty. Desperate multiplex owners requisitioned the rights for screening IPL matches at movie halls to hang on to the audience. If IPL were to become the mainstay of cricket, as it is likely to be, films have to sequence their releases so as to not clash with IPL matches. As far as the audience is concerned, both are a three- hour "tamasha" (entertainment). Cricket season might push films out of the market.
Look at the products that vanished from India in the last 20 years. When did you last see a black and white movie? When did you last use a fountain pen? When did you last type on a typewriter? The answer for all the above is "I don't remember!" For some time, there was a mild substitute for the typewriter called electronic typewriter that had a limited memory. Then came the computer and mowed them all. Today, most technologically challenged guys like me use the computer as an upgraded typewriter. Typewriters per se are nowhere to be seen.
One last illustration. 20 years back what were Indians using to wake them up in the morning? The answer is an "alarm clock." The alarm clock was a monster made of mechanical springs. It had to be physically keyed every day to keep it running. It made so much noise by way of alarm, that it woke you up and the rest of the colony. Then came quartz clocks, which were sleeker. They were much more gentle though still quaintly called "alarms." What do we use today for waking up in the morning? Cell phone! An entire industry of clocks disappeared without warning, thanks to cell phones. Big watch companies like Titan were the losers. You never know in which bush your competitor is hiding!
On a lighter vein, who are the competitors for authors? Joke spewing machines? (Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, himself a Pole, tagged a Polish joke telling machine to a telephone, much to the mirth of Silicon Valley). Or will the competition be story telling robots? Future is scary!
The boss of an IT company once said something interesting about the animal called competition. He said "Have breakfast or be breakfast". That sums it up rather neatly.
Complied by : Giri Chaturvedi
'Why do we shout in anger?'
a saint asked his disciples.
Why do people shout at each other when they are upset?' His disciples thought for a while. One of them said, 'because we lose our calm, we shout for that.'
'But why do you shout when the other person is just next to you?' asked the saint. Is it not possible to speak to him or her with a soft voice? Why do you shout at a person when you are angry?
Disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the saint.
Finally he explained. When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other through that great distance. Then the saint asked, 'What happens when two people fall in love? They do not shout at each other but talk softly, why? Because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is very small. The saint continued, 'when they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that is all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.
“A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are victimised first.”
“Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.”
“The biggest guru-mantra is: Never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you.”
“There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no Friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth..”
“As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it.”
“Once you start a working on something don’t be afraid of failure and don’t abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest.”
“Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions — Why am I doing it, what the results might be and will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahed.”
“The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a man spreads in all directions.”
“A man is great by deeds, not by birth.”
“Treat your kid like a darling for the first five years.
For the next five years, scold them.
By the time they turn sixteen, treat them like a friend.
Your grown up children are your best friends.”
“Books are as useful to a stupid person
as a mirror is useful to a blind person.”
“Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere.
Education beats the beauty and the youth.”
“Life ends; when you stop Dreaming, Hope ends; when you stop Believing, Love ends; when you stop Caring, And Friendship; ends when you stop Sharing”
Have a peaceful Life
Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. This was in the initial days. While they were traveling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake there.” The disciple walked up to the lake. When he reached it, he noticed that right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink!” So he came back and told Buddha, “The water in there is very muddy. I don’t think it is fit to drink.” After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake. This time too he found that the lake was muddy. He returned and informed Buddha about the same. After sometime, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back. The disciple reached the lake to find the lake absolutely clean and clear with pure water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked fit to be had. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.
Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, “See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be and the mud settled down on its own and you got clear water. Your mind is also like that! When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You don’t have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.” What did Buddha emphasize here? He said, “It is effortless.” Having ‘Peace of Mind’ is not a strenuous job; it is an effortless process!
This is a very beautiful story with lessons of STRENGTH and COURAGE to pursue and have loads of PATIENCE. In life everything goes on. Keep Going.
शायद ज़िन्दगी बदल रही है!!
जब मैं छोटा था, तब खेल भी अजीब हुआ करते थे,
छुपन छुपाई, लंगडी टांग, पोषम पा, कट थे केक, टिप्पी टीपी टाप.
अब इन्टरनेट, ऑफिस, फिल्म्स, से फुर्सत ही नहीं मिलती..
शायद ज़िन्दगी बदल रही है.
जिंदगी का सबसे बड़ा सच यही है.. जो अक्सर कबरिस्तान के बाहर बोर्ड पर
लिखा होता है.
“मंजिल तो यही थी, बस जिंदगी गुज़र गयी मेरी यहाँ आते आते”
जिंदगी का लम्हा बहुत छोटा सा है.
कल की कोई बुनियाद नहीं है
और आने वाला कल सिर्फ सपने मैं ही हैं.
अब बच गए इस पल मैं..
तमन्नाओ से भरे इस जिंदगी मैं हम सिर्फ भाग रहे हैं..
इस जिंदगी को जियो न की काटो
All of us tend to look up to big people for lessons on how to get better. We are keen to learn the secrets of their success. But we forget that sometimes the biggest lessons in life come from the smallest folks around us. Now that’s a good lesson to remember!
Take ants for instance. Would you believe those small creatures can teach us how to live a better life? Jim Rohn – the great motivational guru – developed what he called the ‘Ants Philosophy’. He identified four key lessons from the behaviour of ants that can help us lead better lives. Jim Rohn is no more – but his messages continue to inspire. Here then, are the four lessons from Rohn’s ‘AntsPhilosophy’.
Every charitable act is a stepping stone toward heaven.
Now that’s “Positive Attitude”.
Only in Japan?
Pearls of Wisdom from Bhisma to Yudhisthira from his death bed