smokerings of my mind..

Definition of Sales

Sam pointed me to a very interesting definition of sales he recently heard from someone. Sales is a true definition of “work” – which is force accompanied by displacement (in physics). There are two key elements here – force (your sales efforts) and displacement (meaning revenues, deals). In a sales or business development role, no matter what ever else you do, without these two, everything is eventually considered futile.


June 13, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Sarkar Raj – awesome movie / words of wisdom

Saw Sarkar Raj last night. Pretty powerful story, awesome acting by Amitabh Bachchan (he was too good), and Abhishek seemed damn comfortable as Shankar Nagre.. Aish too did well. I do not want to get into the subject of the story, rather let me share some really wise thoughts from the movie –

1. Living life on your own terms is not something that’s easily available or an easy-to-do thing, so who ever gets to do that or chooses to do that has to pay a price for this luxury.

How very freakishly true!!!

2. Everything is personal.

I used to believe that the key decision-driver for business partnerships is professional, merit-based kind of stuff. Over the years, I have come to realize that most of the times, it is all personal – given that your offering is nothing insanely revolutionary or changing-the-paradigm types, the clincher for partnership is the personal connect, the rapport you share / build with the potential partner. From the partner’s perspective also, even if you know the other vendor/partner has a slight edge, you would still prefer to go with the partner with whom you share a connect and you are more comfortable with. You would be more willing to work with the latter to ensure success. We like to work with people we connect with.

3. Do what you feel is right, people will anyways perceive the way they want to.

I am a strong believer of doing what your heart/mind/conscience feels right… doesn’t really matter what others say… and besides, at the time of making the decision, you have no way of knowing whether it is right or wrong, it’s only in hindsight that you can make that call. Further, people will perceive the way they want to based on their thoughts, experiences, beliefs, predispositions, personal agenda. You have to live with the decision, so it might as well be yours.

4. Decisions/Solutions come out of situations.

On a perfectly nice relaxed sunny day, our clarity of thinking, ability of analyzing and coming up with a balanced decision or a solution is at it’s prime. However, we do not have similar luxury of a perfect background scene when we have to make most of our decisions… most of the times when we have to make crucial decisions, we are not at the peak of our mental engergies, rather we might be under pressure, stressed, feeling not so great… Moreover, all decisions that are to be made have to made keeping the context, the prevailing situation in mind… it’s not one solution fits all similar problems. So, before we pass a judgement on how good or bad a decision is, it is important to consider that decisions are made under differing states of mind, and the situations are different, the context is different and the people making those decisions are different..

5. When you do something, people do not react to you, they do not hate/love you, it’s your thinking that they react to.

And yeah the tag line of the movie is quite something too – Power can not be given, it has to be taken.

June 8, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Japanese animation movies

I recently got introduced to Japanese animation movies, by beatzo. Fun, light humor is where beatzo’s and my tastes intersect, and most of his recommendations are awesome, so I decided to try out Japanese animation. So far, I’ve seen – My Neighbor Totoro, Whisper of the Heart, Kiki’s delivery service, Castle in the sky… all of them are so very beautiful movies.. the characters are so sweet.. the settings remind you of words like simplicity / country-side / pure / pristine.. the stories are easy-paced (I won’t say slow) and they’re really really wonderful stories.

I watched the dubbed english version of these movies. Though my friend recommends that I watch the Japanese version with subtitles, as the emotions come out much better in the latter.

I’m not much of a cartoon, animation buff… but these movies have the power to make your feel that ‘life is wonderful’ and they get that kid-like smile on your face. 🙂

June 5, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

iPhone “No Service” message

Suddenly my iPhone started showing “No service” message. I have AT&T service in US. Here’s what to do in such a case-

Go to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset Network Settings (click on it). You might have to enter the pass code if you had created one. It will take about 30 seconds for the iPhone to shut down and reboot. And it’s all fine then.

June 3, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

Connecting laptop to HDTV & Home Theater

I spent a lot of time searching, then researching for options to connect my laptop to my HDTV and home theater, to get best possible output. Sharing the solution I finally went in for, just in case any of you are looking for it —

1. Transferring video from your laptop to HDTV:

You have basically two options – (i.) S-video to DVI cable, or (ii.) HDMI to DVI cable. Now, since you already have an HDTV you might as well go for HDMI-to-DVI cables to enjoy the best possible experience. I went for Cables to Go HDMI to DVI – they cost about $30 on Amazon.

Since I have Macbook, which does not have a DVI outlet, rather it has a mini-DVI outlet, so I bought Apple Mini-DVI to DVI adapter – costing $18.

2. Transferring sound from your laptop to your home theater:

You will need an audio 2-RCA cable – so, one end of it has one plug, and the other has two plugs (red & white) that go into your home theater. Belkin Pure AV is a good brand – will cost about $10. Here, the max cable length that I found was 7ft, and I felt the need for an extension cable of 6ft – another $14.


May 31, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Pioneers & Settlers

I read a very interesting line this afternoon… adding to that.. here it goes..

In the world of business, there are Pioneers and there are Settlers. Businesses need both.

Knowing who you are will help you in deciding which direction to take.

May 23, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Regret minimization framework

Jeff Bezos:

I went to my boss and said to him, “You know, I’m going to go do this crazy thing and I’m going to start this company selling books online.” This was something that I had already been talking to him about in a sort of more general context, but then he said, “Let’s go on a walk.” And we went on a two hour walk in Central Park in New York City and the conclusion of that was this. He said, “You know, this actually sounds like a really good idea to me, but it sounds like it would be a better idea for somebody who didn’t already have a good job.” He convinced me to think about it for 48 hours before making a final decision. So I went away and was trying to find the right framework in which to make that kind of big decision. I had already talked to my wife about this, and she was very supportive and said, “Look, you know you can count me in 100 percent, whatever you want to do.” It’s true she had married this fairly stable guy in a stable career path, and now he wanted to go do this crazy thing, but she was 100 percent supportive. So it really was a decision that I had to make for myself, and the framework I found which made the decision incredibly easy was what I called — which only a nerd would call — a “regret minimization framework.” So I wanted to project myself forward to age 80 and say, “Okay, now I’m looking back on my life. I want to have minimized the number of regrets I have.” I knew that when I was 80 I was not going to regret having tried this. I was not going to regret trying to participate in this thing called the Internet that I thought was going to be a really big deal. I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not ever having tried. I knew that that would haunt me every day, and so when I thought about it that way it was an incredibly easy decision. And I think that’s very good. If you can project yourself out to age 80 and sort of think, “What will I think at that time?” it gets you away from some of the daily pieces of confusion. You know, I left this Wall Street firm in the middle of the year. When you do that, you walk away from your annual bonus. That’s the kind of thing that in the short-term can confuse you, but if you think about the long-term then you can really make good life decisions that you won’t regret later.

Most regrets, by the way, are acts of omission and not commission. If you do bad things, if you go murder somebody, that would be bad, and that would be an act of commission that you would regret. But most everyday, ordinary non-murderers, when they’re 80 years old, their big regrets are omissions.

May 23, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Dash – a potential ‘wow’ device

Few weeks back, I came across a post on Dash. I have been reading about Dash for over an year now – that they are building the next-gen GPS… they are trying to make the GPS interactive… attempting to be the iPhone of the PND industry (portable navigation industry).

Few really cool Dash innovations that I like (theoretically.. haven’t played with the unit yet) –

– Real time traffic flow: Dash takes data from the Dash Express units (installed in customers cars) and calculates traffic flows in real time.. and they say, it needs only about 100 units in a medium size city for this to work effectively.

– Send to car feature: Dash units have a built in GPRS. You can send addresses / search results to your car unit from your PC.

– Live search: It has built in Yahoo search engine.

And, now that Dash has opened up its platform for third party developers, there will be more of web-based content available to us in the car… and soon, we will be able to locate which of our friends are available and are in nearby area, look up for movie shows running in nearby theaters, buy movie tickets, make dinner (restaurant) reservations.. all with Dash… on the road.. while we’re stuck in traffic. Time well spent. Life made simpler. 🙂

May 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Japan train station during peak hour

Scene is pretty similar to Mumbai train station, where I have commuted for over an year. The difference is – in Japan, you have ‘Oshiya’ – who pushes you inside the train, while in Mumbai – we help push each other.

May 15, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Why FriendFeed is worth considering

I love FriendFeed.

This morning I came across an article that explains – why you should use FriendFeed. While I don’t subscribe to the notion of any ‘shoulds’ in life 😉 , the article gives few good logical reasons why you may want to look at FF.

May 15, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment