30 September, 2008

Dark humour

An example from the economist -
"Perhaps fittingly in an economy that is in danger of sliding into depression, the only stock among the 500 in the S&P index that finished higher was Campbell’s Soup"

I have not been able to write anything over the past few weeks - general lethargy due to bad scheduling is to blame.

22 September, 2008

Credit Crunch in a screenshot

Lesson number 1 -
If you screw up, it is your problem. If you screw up big time, it is your boss's problem. If you screw up really well, big time, for a long time and make a lot of money in the process, the US Fed will take care of you.

Lesson number 2 - Greed is always good.

Have a look at the news article below, and then take a look at the ad which captures the essence of the "sub-prime" mess brilliantly..

13 September, 2008

Inertia, innovation, evil, implosion and I-am-too-cool

This one is going to be a roll call of things in my head.
Inertia - The head count at office has stayed put for just under two months now and that is depressing. The fact is that we got a very big new client but an existing client reduced business due to internal issues so our numbers remained constant, because of which our head count did not change. Now with September almost over and the Diwali madness about to start, I am not very certain of hitting 20 people as planned earlier. Basically, if we do not hit 20, it would mean that I was wrong twice. Earlier, I had forecast a headcount of 10 by the year end. Given that we got there in June, I then re-forecast and thought we would now do a 20. To be wrong twice, by a large margin for a small business is not very impressive.
Innovation - Take a look at diffen.com - it is a wiki based website where you can find out the difference between Bourbon vs Whiskey or between a Nokia and an I-phone. If you want to, you can add your own pages or contribute to existing pages. My friend has built this website - he owns it and codes for it. He has a regular job and this is something he has gone on weekends and in the evenings. There is no advertising and the website generates more visits than some of our clients! I had noted the somewhat above average size of this boy's head when I had met him for the first time in 1997, I had known that this boy will go far.
Evil - The launch of chrome by Google is evil. Will it not be picked up by people who try new browsers? Who are these people - these are the people who use firefox today. Wasn't Google supporting firefox? Would this not hurt Firefox more than Microsoft? Does Google even care?
Implosion - Large banks in the US. The financial services sector in the US is slowly but surely imploding. Stock prices of all major banks have fallen. Quite a few banks have closed. Bear Stearns went without a whimper. Lehman seems to be the next one. Quite a few people I know work in this sector, out of the UK and US. They have seen some very good times and I guess what is happening is cyclical. I wonder how long will it be before things bounce back.
I-am-too-cool - My candidate for this year (and for the past few years as well) Farhan Akhtar. He made Dil Chahta Hai. He topped it up with Rock On. The movie looks good, feels good and sounds good. This man sings, writes, directs (not for Rock On) and produces. When he is producing, he lets the director have his way. Loads and loads will be written about him and the movie. I will only add this - Notice the way he says "Yeah" in the movie! Also, Please watch it.

03 September, 2008


The last time I had a proper holiday was 20 months back. It does not mean I am a hard worker and have been really busy. Envigo needed as much capital as I could muster, so that meant that post the decision to quit my job (Aug 2007), I did not plan a holiday. Now it is August 2008 and I feel jealous with every one making plans and every one sharing pics on flickr and facebook.
SM went to Peru, Brazil and Argentina and then went to Zanzibar and some other equally exotic places. It is hard to keep track of this one. Other friends of mine visited Greece, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Indonesia, Spain, Iceland, Norway and so many places in India, while I shuttled between Gurgaon, Mumbai and New Delhi. (Actually I did go to New York for 2.5 days, but it does not really count and I came to London for a week in April and am there again, but then again, not really a holiday)

There are so many places which I want to see - Barcelona and Seville, Scotland (again and again), Thailand, Indonesia, Peru, Kerala, Leh and Ladakh... the list is a long one. I wonder if and when will I be able to do some of this.Some of the most fascinating places I have been to include Cornwall, Prague, Scotland and even Wales. I would like to go to each one of these places again... especially Scotland. The place and the people - both the ones you go with and the ones you meet there make a holiday memorable (making such a nobrainer is like saying that the sun rises when the sun rises).

Came across a cool website thanks to RG - www.diditz.com. It is another "share your experiences" kind of as website, but they have put quite a lot of attention to small details and it makes the overall experience quite nice. Lots and lots of travelling to do before i can contribute meaningfully to the content.