Category Archives: JLT-just life that

airtel’s feedback strategy- how to keep customers happy


No Place for a bad feedback. The worse feedback an unsatisfied customer can give them is that they are doing OK LOL… Sunil bharti Mittal ji.. are you listening????

“The social network” vs “When life is your playground”


Finally I could lay my hands on the movie I have been dying to watch – “The social network”. Awesome movie. Totally blew off my mind. As if this movie was totally in line with my financial goals for this year – 20 lacs from my entrepreneurship endeavours. 

It was amazing to see the dedication mark had about his site. the energy that Shawn displays, the conception and how this guy could just get the switch of Kirkland House collapse within an hour of launching his website.

______________________

“2200 hits in an hour?:

” Thousand”

“what?”

“22 thousand hits in an hour”

______________________

“Its begining to rain”

“Excuse me. Do you have my full attention”

“No”

“Ok. Do I deserve your full attention”

______________________

I wonder whether it was the site – facemash or the background of Harvard  or the geniuses of Mark or his luck.. but his site was exceptionally accepted.

 While mine.. lol  6000 hits in around 5 years lol…. pretty neat huh! don’t worry Mark bro, i am catching up 😛

Delhi Road beautification


While travelling in radio taxi in the southern region of Delhi, I found my driver using all sort of road tactics and maneuvers to move ahead in traffic with utmost disrespect for the lane system.

On the next red light I after exchanging initial pleasantry, I asked him  ” Driver bhaiya.. ye road pe white lines kyon banati hai govt?”(why do govt paint the road with white markings)”

He confidently replied “are bhai ye isliye hoti hai ki road sunder dikhe, kali sadak achchi nahi lagegi” (hey brother the markings are for the sole purpose of beautification of road, without these markings the black bland road doesn’t look good)

 Probably govt. should paint the road with seven colors of the rainbow then they would look even more beautiful….

Unsafe Delhi unsafe women


A few days back, I was tuned into radio in the morning and sum discussion was going on with RJ’s and public regarding the safety of women/girls in Delhi. One lawyer picked up the phone and suggested that the girls shouldn’t wear provocative clothes to avoid getting undesired attention. The RJ retorted back with a Deemak “termite” example. He said that the anti social elements are like deemak (Termites) and if deemak  (termite) attacks ur furniture u dont change furniture but u attack deemak so here police should take some measures for those anti social elements rather than telling girls what to wear and what not..

So much for the intelligence of this RJ. I have a few question for him.

1. When deemak (termite) attacks ur furniture, do you blindly go for terminating that pest even though u know that there is NO foolproof measure to stop the growth. If it is contained for a few months it will reappear after sometime.

2. Don’t he even think of getting Furniture coated with anti termite coating?

3. Does he ever think of buying a kind of furniture made up of special wood like rubber wood which doesn’t get termites

4. Does he ever think of getting newer steel furniture?

I guess not… cuz in my opinion he failed to understand that sometimes, it’s easier to change whats under your own control rather than telling the world to change. All the moral values and ideologies apart I believe a girl who wear modest clothes have lesser chances of provoking  a comment or gesture than a girl who is wearing revealing clothes. If girls have the liberty to wear whatever they like, I believe then guys should have the liberty of saying what they like.

So i believe in the benefit of the society, our protection is in our hands as its easier to change myself rather than dreaming about changing the mindset of the whole society. I few measures I would like to suggest to all my fellow citizens of Delhi be it be girl or guys..

1. Dress modestly and according to occasion. avoid venturing in deserted locations specially after dark and especially now a days when the streets get deserted due to cold weather much earlier.

2. carry some kind of protection in the form of pepper sprays, chilli sprays or some small nail filers or something similar. Carry panic alarm devices.

3. Set your phone on speed dials.. so that pressing one key would initiate a call to your near and dear ones

4. Keep in touch with your folks at home continuously thru phone so that they are aware of your whereabouts

5. Remember the help line numbers and keep them handy. ( http://www.delhipolice.nic.in/home/helpline/helpline.aspx )

6.  Keep a mental map of police gypsies and post locations on your way or around your area.

7. Whenever you venture around keep your eyes and ears open. Keep track of any suspicious vehicle or ppl moment around you.

8. Learn the art of self-defence. It would give you lot of confidence and prepare you for the worst.

9. Now-a-days all police PCRs have been instructed to leave a girl at her home in case she needs help. So make use of that and avoid taking any risk.

And leave the rest to that almighty…

I want my Delhi safe. I want our citizens safe. I want to make sure when anyone goes out, his/her near and dear ones can be certain of his/her safety and that he/she would come back safe and sound!!!

Cheers! and Amen!

Simplicity – The Next Wave


In the early 70s, people had limited sources of information ranging from daily local newspapers to local gossips. People used to have simple thought process and based their decisions on a few known facts, and lots and lots of unknowns due to which led people used to crave for more and more information. This, coupled with information outbreak of 1970s, started an information revolution, where lot of never before accessible information was made readily available. For once, information really became the most sought after wealth. That was the dawn of Information Age.  

Come 2007 and that Information Age is a passé. Now is the age of Information Bombardment. The human brain gets bombarded with data from the time it boots up in the morning to the time it finally shuts itself down at night. Our minds get so engrossed in processing all the information that we fail to realize that every new variable it adds to a real life equation takes the equation a degree higher. Result? Formulation of a more complex equation that’s even more difficult to solve. Hence, need was soon felt to move from the concept of “Give me all” to “Give me just what I need”. That’s how the concept of personalization and customization spurred up. People realized that they do not need to have all the data — they simply want to get just the information they need. Lesser and more relevant is the data, simpler is the equation and better is the decision making ability. Riding on this very wave of simplicity, Google became one of the most respected and valued organizations of Silicon Valley. It did nothing heroic but just made the task of finding information through the maze of websites, simpler.  

Take Away: In everyday life one can adhere to similar guidelines – prioritization, neglecting non-essential data, making the best possible decision even with unknown variables and lastly, keeping the equation open and solving it to the best, as it unfolds.

Communication is a process of exchanging information between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior. Sometimes, however, the simplest thing is the one that’s most difficult to follow. In a few of business meetings in international geographies, people play an interesting game called as Lingoing. In this game, managers sew two or more concepts together to make a catchy and sophisticated lingo and then they become the brand ambassador for the new born lingo to general masses-A religious practice normally followed by the top management gurus in biz-world. In the example below three different versions of a sentence are trying to convey essentially the same thing.

The management had a bird’s eye view of the problem

The management had a view of the problem from 30,000 feet

The management helicoptered this problem (New version)

A few words commonly used at business meetings but have yet to make it to Oxford dictionary are:- Equivocalism, Recontextualize, Delayering, Unsiloing, and Dimensionalize. Although fascinating, sometimes they can simply create an ambiguity or complexity. Sometimes the lingo followed by a particular organization becomes so company-specific that communication between employees of two different organizations becomes difficult without exchanging a corporate dictionary.

Take Away: The only purpose of communication is to transfer thoughts from one entity to another without any ambiguity. The clearest form of communication is brief and simple with short sentences.  

Simplicity is an offshoot of common sense. Common sense can be defined as an obvious truth to a community.  Whatever is obvious generally makes sense. When things become too obvious they become intuition and that is called as Intuitive Simplicity, which incidentally happens to be a brand new buzzword in the biz-world now-a-days. In simple words, it’s defined as something that’s so simple and obvious that it almost falls under the realm of intuitiveness. The whole aim behind making the interfaces intuitive is to reduce the gap Ipod Nanobetween the current knowledge of the user and the targeted knowledge and thereby making the product more acceptable. While other music player creators were busy printing user manuals, Apple was busy refining its user interface. Any music enthusiast can use an iPod with least possible training. However, this does not mean that the product is technically not complex. It definitely is. But its complexity has been abstracted by simple interface.

Another example of Intuitive Simplicity that one can come across is the use of Push door-latch opener and pull handles in the doors in several malls and shopping arcades. Use of this intuitive design is far better and less error prone than the use of “Please pull the door” or “Please push the door” notices normally found hung on the glass doors.

Imagine how it would be to ride a motorbike that allows a user to adjust and play with every little nitty-gritty say, the preload in suspension, the adjustment of visor as per the wind velocity and direction, adjustment of suspension as per the road contours, adjustment of tire pressure to suit the exact rider weight and max grip, adjustment to engine’s power and fuel consumption etc. Will a rider really feel comfortable making all those adjustments before riding? Chances are that he wouldn’t. These are too much for a simple human to grasp. He would rather like to trade some of the finer adjustments that are low on his priority and concentrate on the ones that are most important to you like- stability, acceleration and braking and will feel most satisfied if these three or four features are well taken care off. This brings us to another concept-prioritized cropping of the features. Apple has retained the most useful feature of the list in its product and got rid of all the other complicated no-so-needed features. Yes, there is definitely a tradeoff there but its worth from the customer experience point of view. This is probably one of the reason why several technologically superior products with better design and quality have fail to make a dent in consumer market while iPod has been a runaway success.

Human mind almost always tries to follow the path towards simplicity. It retains what it can understand, co-relates it with the information it already possesses and neglects the rest of it. A simple idea of taking the pain of re-sharpening the blade everyday before shaving and instead using the throwaway razor made Gillette one of the best brands in the world.   

Southwest Airlines has always been respected for being profitable and successful airlines. It was founded on the principles of keeping things simple.  First, there were only one kind of airplanes, the Boeing 737, that made things simpler for pilots and maintenance people, then there no assigned seats and better yet no overbooking. Things were simple — you come on time, you board on time and the flight leaves on time. In 1971, when Southwest started, they used paper tickets that looked and felt very much like bus tickets. Customers wrote and complained that:1. They threw them in the trash by accident because of their insignificant appearance.2. Their pets ate them.3. They wash them into oblivion with their Jeans. Soon a proposal was made to install a multi-million dollar computerized ticketing system to rectify the problems. However, during one of the discussions, a simple suggestion was made that they should simply modify the cash register machines to print “THIS IS A TICKET” across the top of each piece of paper issued by cash register machines and so they did. The problem was solved.

A few years after that, shortly after Southwest started using the “Just Plane Smart” motto, Stevens Aviation, who had been using “Plane Smart” for their motto, threatened a trademark lawsuit. A lawsuit could have resulted on tainted images for both the airlines as well as lot of financial losses for both. Instead of a lawsuit, the CEOs for both companies formulated a simple yet innovative solution – To stage an arm wrestling match. The loser of each round was to pay $5,000 to the charity of their choice, with the winner gaining the use of the trademarked phrase. Herb Kelleher lost the match for Southwest, with Stevens Aviation (Kurt) winning the rights to the phrase. Although Herb lost, Kurt allowed Southwest Airlines to use the slogan, out of a gesture of goodwill. The net result was both companies having use of the trademark, $15,000 going to charity and a healthy dose of publicity for both the companies.

Another interesting incident is from one of Japan’s biggest cosmetics company. The company received a complaint that a consumer had bought a box of soap that was empty. It immediately isolated the problem to the assembly line, which transported all the packaged boxes of soap to the delivery department. For some reason, one soap box went through the assembly line empty. Management tasked its engineers to solve the problem. Post-haste, the engineers worked hard to devise an X-ray machine with high-resolution monitors manned by two people to watch all the soap boxes that passed through the line to make sure they were not empty. No doubt, they worked hard and they worked fast. But when a rank-and-file employee was posed the same problem, he came out with another solution. He bought a strong industrial electric fan and pointed it at the assembly line. He switched the fan on, and as each soap box passed the fan, it simply blew the empty boxes out of the line. Simply brilliant!

Such examples of pure brilliance and simplicity are not uncommon in the software industry. Software industry that once started with low level languages, that could only be understood by research scientists and elite groups of people, has slowly started to contain an arsenal of English-like languages and real life objects that even a toddler can understand and play with.  The next level might probably be a human like interface where one wouldn’t have to learn anything to be able to operate a machine or use software.

A new trend emerging in the Web world is the use of informational messages for user’s action. Earlier user was kept guessing about the action that will happen once he clicks on “Pay” or used to click multiple times; making the websites tech guys deal with the issue of multiple payments for a single purchase. Now a few websites have found out a simple yet innovative solution. They have started showing an informational message beforehand stating “clicking on this button will”, “please click on this button just once”. Result? Lesser and lesser users committed errors and thus happier customer. Simplicity at play? 

At one location in California, an esteemed technology client faced a similar dilemma. The software that was developed and implemented by a third party vendor had passed UAT when the client team (about 20 users) came to know about a bug. It seems that a text field, designed to accept only numerical inputs could accept alpha numeric inputs as well. When users tried using the system they were prone to enter measurement digits and units in the same field and as a result they could no longer run comparisons or reporting software. The only obvious fix seemed to be re-involving the vendor and setting up the software labs and then making changes in the code and taking the code through the software development cycle, the estimated cost for which ran in several grand. No one really tried to put their thoughts on the option of sitting with those 20 users for a day or two and educating them about the correct use of that field at an expense of $0. Simplicity ignored?

Final Take Away: No one wants to be ignorant of the unknown. Today when there are so many things running in parallel each demanding people’s attention, one of the last priorities that people have is the need to learn and unlearn and then re-learn. The best solution is – unless warranted by technical or business constrains, stick with the obvious. One way to achieve this is to think from the perspective of a user. Other way to achieve that is to go with the simplest and most intuitive approach and hide the underlying complexities from the user through Abstraction. That can reduce the need to learn a new software or GUI and make the product readily acceptable. Not every complex situation has a complex answer. The need is to find the simplest and most reasonable solution that works. No wonder Winston Churchill once said “Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge”.     

My Letter to Google : Business Idea


Dear google stalwarts,

While searching around on the web to deposit a place for my idea I came across this email-ID and I believe google is the best place where my idea can get the care and nourishment it needs.

In the Internet world, where number of sites and domains are soon gonna exceed the number of humans here, no-one really knows which site is genuine site. Although we have Secured sites and security seals like verisign’s but they addresses only one aspect of the website. Now people like me who are in IT and know a great deal about commonly used websites and the level of trust these sites command but there are a great deal of people who are not net savvy and have no clue reg the genuineness of a website. And when it comes to purchasing there is always a tussle between knowing the genuineness of a site and the least offered price.

I believe that the time is now to move a step above the normal secured site mechanism. Now the need is to validate the genuine of all the aspect of a site so that the person using a site can be sure of not just about the security aspect of a transaction but all other necessary aspects as well.

So the idea is to have a high consortium or a panel of web business analysts to judge and rate/rank a site. High level parameters that i can now think of is

1. Web site related aspects

   (Security, Design, bkps,data centres and data protection,  data validation, performance, ease of use/user experience, technology used, encryption level etc)

2. Business model related aspects

   ( Business model, Management, Delivery model, Credibility, Networth, Shareholders aspect, Years of existence, Governing principles etc)

any other…

These parameters involve almost all the aspect of web transaction that a normal user needs to know before making any transaction.Now I understand that normally a user might not want to know the details about all the above parameters, fine, we can rate all the parameters based on a scale of 1-10 and that rating is all a user needs…

what say?

Quote


Simple is new complicated….