Saturday, November 29, 2008

Apologies for the recent snafus

I recently started using posterous and really like it. Posterous cross posts all of my posts to twitter and blogger. Unfortunately it seems to have some problems with the cross posting. So my posts on blogger show up with typos and structural problems. I am hoping posterous will clean that up for me. 

In the meanwhile my posterous blog is at

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Random thoughts on recent events

The ongoing attacks in Bombay got me unsettled. Below is a top 10 listcountries by population categorized for the four major world religions.As you go through the list, ask yourself two questions -
  1. Do you see that country as an aggressor or a victim?
  2. Do you consider that country as having bright future or goingdownhill?
Why is that?

Hindu Christian
United Kingdom
Trinidad and Tobago
United Kingdom
Sri Lanka

I was trying to look for patterns across these countries. I did not trytoo hard and gave up after a while but during the process I ended up atthe "human development index". According to Wikipedia,apart from Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh all the other countries listedin the top 10 Hindu list below, have a higher HDI score than India. Iwas born and raised smack dab in the heart of Indian middle class andnever would have guessed that the UN thinks Guyana is a better placefor me to be born than India. Then again no one person can representthe country of a billion people. Just something for me to keep in mindbefore I try to pretend like I understand what motivates people to doseemingly barbarous acts.


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Why cannot I give a business presentation like this?

I don't think it is gimmicky, I actually believe it is powerful!



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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008




thanks to Kim for the link ->

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Can you tell the difference between failure and learning?

I came up with the following.
Failure is when a defibrillator stops working, failure is when your car engine breaks down in the middle of your long road trip, failure is when your insurance company declares chapter 11 right after you file for flood damage claims on your house.

Learning when a entrepreneur starts a company that does not make it, learning is when a young woman goes from competing for her college at the NCAA level to qualifying for the Olympics and ends up 4th in the race, learning is when you scrape your way through graduate school, work hard on a degree that you are passionate about and realize that the job market has tanked on your just as your graduate.

They might look very similar on first glance but they are worlds apart. Don't listen to others when they call your lessons failures, they just might be envying your courage to learn :-)

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Think Long, Act Short

I cameacross this snippet in a report. This is taking a page right out of thesuccessful Obama grass roots campaign machine. How different the message soundswhen you go from

“Pleaseprepare yourself to give 2300$ for candidate X in 2012” to “Pleaseset aside 2.85$/day so you can fully support the candidate you want in 2012”. Looks like the 2008 elections are already starting to change how the game isplayed.


Supporters behind have even committed tosetting aside $2.85 a day so that if Huckabee decides to run, they'll havesaved up enough by the time of his announcement to contribute the maximum$2,300 to his campaign. And if not, they'll "just use the

savings to splurge on something nice to lessen ourdisappointment," according to the group's Web site.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

College Stops Giving Students New Email Accounts: Start Of New Trend?

Small decisions lead to big changes


via ReadWriteWeb by Sarah Perez on 11/20/08

Officials at Boston College have made what may be a momentous decision: they've stopped doling out new email accounts to incoming students. The officials realized that the students already had established digital identities by the time they entered college, so the new email addresses were just not being utilized. The college will offer forwarding services instead.


Starting next year, freshman enrolled at Boston College won't be given an actual email account complete with login and inbox, just an email address. This address, in the format of will simply forward mail to the student's already established inbox, be it Gmail, Windows Live Mail, Yahoo Mail, AOL, or whatever else they may be using.

The college reached this decision after first looking into outsourcing their email to the cloud. They considered offering from both Google and Microsoft, but eventually decided against both in lieu of the new forwarding option.

A Smart Decision

While the Boston College decision may have been made for cost-saving reasons more than anything, we can easily imagine this as being the start of a new trend.

Can you even imagine a U.S. college student who didn't have an email address of their own by the time they were a freshman? It's practically unheard of. Today's students are digital natives who have been immersed in technology from the day they were born. It simply doesn't make sense to give them yet another account to manage when they enter college.

Some Challenges

By going this route, there are still some challenges to overcome, though. For example, a student who changes their email carrier will probably forget to alert the institution to the change and could then miss out on important messages from the university pertaining to their courses, scholarship, and disciplinary and/or safety information.

However, it can easily be argued that a change of (email) address is a student's responsibility to handle, not the institution's. If a student changed their address or phone number, would they not alert the affected parties? The same should hold true for email. And if the end result is more efficient and effective communication with the student body as a whole, the outliers who didn't follow through on managing their email transition are ultimately the ones at fault for any missed messages.

The only danger in drawing a hard line like that would be if the college or university was in the habit of sending out critical safety information utilizing the students' email addresses. If that was the institution's main way of communicating this urgent info, they may want to devise another solution. Urgent messages should ideally be sent out using multiple pathways: email, IM, text messages, and, these days, Twitter alerts would also be a valuable tool to use, too. In fact, Omnilert's e2Campus emergency notification system  already integrates with Twitter and Facebook as well as email, SMS, and RSS.

In the end, we think the decision Boston College made could easily be the start of a new trend, especially for smaller institutions looking to reduce I.T. infrastructure and support costs. We're sure the students like it, too.


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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hear Hear - By a VC on VC's

TheFunded - Canarie
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: lp investing)

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Seriously it is that easy?


Has the US Treasury not seen any de-motivationalposters? The treasury department has a 6 page application on their website ( to help YOU claim a piece ofthe 700 Billion dollars in loan waiting to be doled out. I am excited about howsimple the application is but seriously is this the right problem for this?

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Not to gloat or anything

Below is an excerpt from a post by Greg Mankiw ->


Here (via Mark Perry, posted two days ago) areGRE scores by field. Economists rank number 4. Political scientists are number17, and sociologists are number 23.

In last place is public administration.

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My encounter with an author

On a recent flight to the east coast, I sat across theaisle from a mom with two adorable girls. The girls used fluent French, Englishand I found out later Chinese during the course of the 3hr flight. When the momwas replaced by the dad (he wanted to give the mom a breakJ) I leanedover and discovered that their daughters spoke 4 languages.


I had tremendous fun getting to know this family, thehusband is American, the wife is French and they have Chinese girls who speak 4languages. I think that is such a vivid picture of how the world is differentin 2008 than it was in 1958.


It turns out that the gentleman is a very good authorwho has written NYTimes bestsellers. His recent book can be found here ->  I am going to check it out J

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I will say these things just this once

(because I typically keep this blog focussed on small-ideas, customerservice observations, entrepreneurship, communication techniques andstuff that make mego hrmm..)

  • I am a brown skinned Indian born in India and raised a Hindu(Brahmin).
  • I am now a passionate Christian (call me a jesus freak) marriedto a red haired Texas beauty. She is gorgeous for sure (hi babe) but Imarried her because she groks being a "jesus freak".
  • We are a mixed race couple embracing the fact that we arechallenging stereotypes in our own small ways. We don't set out tochallenge stereotypes but we love hurling a rock at them when weencounter them as part of life *fun*.
  • Theocracy is not democracy!!
  • Jesus looked more like me and to be precise very much like AbdulHussein Ahmed living in Palestine rather than John Adam Smith in Ohio(GASP! you blaspheme) No I do not. Seriously read your bible and goresearch how people born in Nazareth looked 2000 years ago.
  • Jesus loves Barack Obama as much as he loves George W Bush  orBush Sr or even Ronald Reagan. Yup I did come right out and say it.
  • Jesus never was, never is and never will be for one party overanother.
  • If you are fighting based on convictions arising from the bible,I will pray with you and do keep up the good fight. But if you thinkbeing a Christian means embracing everything Republican and blindlyopposing everything Democrat. Seriously wake up and smell the coffeeand oh read your bible while you are at it.

This should go without saying but unfortunately it has to be said. Thisdoes not mean I am pro-abortion, pro gay marriage or a prosperitygospel merchant. If you want to know my views on these things, ping meand buy me coffee and we can talk.

I am done. I feel clean now.

1. I do not know any Abdul Hussein Ahmed's, I am just making a point.If that annoys you :) good bye.
2. I do not know a John Adam Smith in Ohio either.

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Customer Service FAIL!!!

US Airways. I am currently in transit fromProvidence to Austin. I boarded a US Airways flight in Providence.Apparently they don't offer even water anymore on the flight. It costs2$ for a bottle of water. Sure I think it is outrageous but myobjection is not that it costs 2$. I am appalled by the fact that theyDO NOT ADVERTISE this. I did not have any change in my wallet and I hadto stay thirsty for the entire flight.
How ridiculous is that!
It is not that hard, get on your PA system and advise people to bringtheir own bottle of water if they don't want to buy one on the plane. Ipromise to make sure everybody I know stay away from US Airways asmuch as possible. Yes, I am that annoyed!

The Charlotte airport. Roomy, spacious, lots ofgarden furniture scattered around to help you stay productive betweenflights.

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