Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Net crimes

Wonder what Indian scene would look like? With all the stories of phishing going on I thought it must the be the top of the list.

Source: Internet Crime Complaint Center (US)

Web 2.0: India Snapshot-Take 1

Did read a lot about this sometime back. Will try and put in interesting stuff.

First the masala-Social Networking:
1) Minglebox: Arguably the best content right now. The team seems to have focus and innovation is there.
2) My previous fav's Yaari and Jhoom (music oriented social networking-great concept) are not in the news. Maybe iam missing something there.
3) The all time favorite orkut: Other than adding some video capability, Google has not really come up with anything. Weird tho', they can actually set of a successful business model if ever that was possible with the Indian orkut community.

The key for social networking at this level is getting the teen crowd in. You need more women coming in to get in the guys. And then the repeat usage is purely on the interface and the content you are able to create. The content is something that is difficult to see happening in India because of bandwidth problems. But my friend with a telecom company assures me that the once the underlying cables have been laid, broadband will come cheap and speeds would be high.

The professional versions:
1) Rediff Connexions: Very simple to use. Again another company which has not really taken the 2.0 space by storm surprisingly. They come in with the concepts that are too late for the market (rediff bol). Somebody should tell them to think ahead not backwards. Strategy!!!!!
2) TechTribe: The desi version of LinkedIn. How many VCs there is not something that Iam aware off. Hopefully one day some biz plan of mine shall be funded there. The site is quite user friendly but the topics being debated seem pretty arbitrary.

Other desi versions of concepts that ought to be there (or are already there)
1) you tube (something that easily allows mobile uploads)
2) : Smaller businesses in India have yet to take to life on the net and their requirements could be as simple as setting up a website
3) hot or not(I hear RSS banging on my doors)
4) GigaOm: Common Om Malik, you can support and Indian Version somewhere. Sooner or later most of your audience would be based here.
5) motley fool

Nice thing I wrote this, interesting to look at stuff this way.

And consolidation required in-
1) All the netflix clones. You just cannot provide cheap access without scale and right now just cannibalization are there
2) the job sites: all of them fight on weird parameters like resume views, number of resumes etc. what are they really targeting?
3) Matrimonial: Aren't there 1 million marriage sites? Yeah one dedicated to my dear friend Venkat too? No way so many people could make money unless they add an off the net dimension to it.

What can Bill do for Hillary?

Will Bill be an influence on Hillary? What will be his role? What can he do? A lot:
1) Teach Hillary to keep her mouth shut, until forced to do otherwise. Hillary should have known better than to support the war in Iraq. A nation can be at war, but the rulers have to know that the decision is purely strategic.
2) Encourage her to add some 'spice' up: Too much of this motherhood syndrome, Mother America thing taken a bit too far (not as far as French Royal tho'). If she is seen as having some fun, maybe more people will turn out to vote. White America not withstanding, what % of other communities vote?
3) Get the right people in: Rumsfeld is a PR disaster. Way larger than life. You cannot have too many such names. Bush, Rice, Cheney, Rumsfeld-disaster surely. Who do I remember from the Clinton era- Madeline Albright, foreign office and the eco guys who created the surplus.
4) Make Hillary understand that America will always be a Nation to be looked up to, to be feared and emulated. Money, free society (not maybe), democracy and pure military might. You dont have to play bully to be acknowledged leader.
But reality remains clear, a Democrat president wont be too different from our man Bush. Yes, even on climate change.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Movie Review: Perfect Stranger

Cast: Bruce Willis (Harrison Hill-whats he doing in this movie?), Halle Berry (Rowina), Giovanni Ribisi (Miles)

Direction: James Foley

Absolute crap!!! The only redeeming quality is the last 10 min of the movie. Ok the lighting effects to show the eye imagery is pretty good and a dark mood is kept up throughout.

Rowina bumps into one of her friends after she is stopped from being a true media journalist and her editor runs out on her. Her friend gives her the info that a famous ad-guru (Harrison Hill) is online sexual predator and wants Rowina to help in exposing him. Promptly the friend is found dead and Rowina decides that Harrison Hill must be the killer and goes all out to prove so. Her help in all this is the perverted Miles who is love with her. Done right, this should turn out decent, right? Far from it.

The director does not have any sort of control on the pace of the movie. The exceptionally weak dialogues and screenplay make you wonder the point of spending any money on this venture. Chat text reads, “Are you turned on?” and stuff. Ribisi can actually hack through anything and he makes Rowina, Hill’s temp worker just like that. He can get files, account numbers and all that jazz. No acting so to speak in the movie. The best scene is probably when Berry uses perfume between the legs. At least more of the same would have ensured some value for money. Instead, you do have some ‘submission’ scenes to throw in some more weird angles to a non-existent plot.

Harrison Hill cant sleep around because his wife will find out and then take away his wealth. Willis might just as well do Die Hard 10. Halle Berry is going down exponentially from monster’s ball. The theme of movie “you just can’t bury someone from the past and forget about it”

I shall try.

Rating: 3/10

Increase in Indian Risk taking ability?

India is the place to be- there are no two ways about it. A very confident corporate India looking to dominate the global market place, an economy that could tend towards 10% growth, rising income levels, positive demographics etc have made the India story a little bit believable. Commentators are now talking about the capacity of the average Indian to think big with the acquisition spree of corporate India being held as a sure sign of increased risk taking ability.

Now the key questions are
1) Are Indians traditionally risk-averse? If so why?
2) Has the risk taking ability increased now? If so why?

The answer to both questions is, Team-work. Indians are traditionally not good at working in teams. Seems counter-intuitive right? After all it is the joint family culture. But, on a closer look the family culture is mainly patriarcal with the female sphere of influence being limited. Further, the Hindu religion is based on "To each his own" philosophy which has lead to a multitude of paths for people to follow (atleast on the rituals side). Education is by-rote (yes again religious reasons-the scriptures were to be learned by hearing alone) with little focus on 'activities'. Sports, again a potent team building exercise does not get importance here, ( whether this is a cause or effect is left to another post). Risk is chance of a loss. It deals with understanding the concept of input-> reward. Do we lack this? No we don't, just that the scale of the reward did not seem to matter. Any evidence for risk-taking ability? Yes, a majority of the populace is self-employed. Self-employment maybe due to lack of opportunities, but it is trend nevertheless.

Where is the current change then? Indians are slowly realizing that their key problem is implementation, not ideas. And to implement anything on a decent scale, you need people working in teams, not silos. Even as we look at successful partnerships of Indians with companies abroad the key theme is 'people working together' and the key theme for stuttering Indian sectors? lack of implementation again.

Is the increase in team-culture due to the recent economic gains? Nope, its because of increased exposure. Cities always tend to create more opportunities because they give a higher reward for the inputs (Think Mumbai). The current global integration has exposed Indians to higher rewards and they have responded by learning to work in teams.

further reading (courtesy-swl):

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ash-Abhi Saga.- Flimi Chakkar

Random sequence of news events on a daily day:

India just launched Agni -3, we just found out ash is going to wear embroidered undies, Pak takes notice of Rahul bravado, fartometer to be installed at wedding, sachin cried ( don't know for what reason), there was large scale arson and shooting between two communities ( must be happening somewhere), z+ security at wedding, you will not be allowed to take a leak even ( dogs allowed exceptions), Ash designer 'inadvertently' gives out info about the wedding dress, U.P has lot of crime (oh, we cant give people such news), Mehndi would be at this muhurt and so and so deities would be appeased, somewhere... Ash-Abhi wedding is a symbol of national unity, a marriage across regions with people from all communities attending, such marriages will contribute to world peace, what if it rains on the wedding day... how many celebrities would be drenched, what would be loss to the fashion world? Shiv Sena.. Bachan should disown Aishwarya to set an example, only 2 affairs/woman to be allowed, Abhi is number 3-unfair to the aam admi, Mayawati...'ye shaadi manuvad ka pratibimb hai, bahujan samaj ko ladna chahiye', and lo! they start fighting amongst themselves, Shilpa Shetty 'It was his culture', late night show... "i think it was just an attempt by shilpa to steal the thunder from the wedding", Starnews...The savior of people in love....this was all tidbits .. now for the crescendo

fan offers to go on foot to mansaraover (yeah that's me ) if the wedding goes right- tv coverage, some bull shit was seen on the road in 'AA' formation in U.P (yeah somewhere Rahul was campaigning), now seen as diving blessing of the new couple, Indian women are equal to women now, who will undress whom first? Salmon khan put under house arrest, sangeet muhurt, colour of masts in wedding house, colour of the 4 tile from the left corner wall of the third room in the basement, shoes, chains, strand of wedding hair to be auctioned at $10000, watches, sweets, pandit-filmi or non-filmi?, ash has learnt Harvanshji poems too apparently...and so on and so forth.....

My country, right or wrong.

Special Mention for all the actual info on the post: Suchitra W L