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Sunday, March 31, 2013

MARKETING SPECIAL...MODERN CUSTOMER


MODERN CUSTOMER 

The Interpreter Futurist Mike Walsh on the new age customers, new ways of working and why marketers should fear Facebook's like button


t here was a reason why a Kumbh experience was high on Mike Walsh's to-do list during his recent India visit. And that's because on travels like these not only does the new age guru pick up new consumer insights and ideas but he also gets a chance to decode firsthand the various interplays between technology and consumers. Capturing the ever changing dynamics between the consumers and brands over the years has now become a hallmark for the CEO of Innovation research lab Tommorrow. Walsh, who is part futurist, part marketer, part consultant has also authored the bestseller Futuretainment. In an interview with CD, he talks about the future and being future ready. Edited excerpts:

What questions do CEOs ask you these days?

The biggest thing that they ask is what I should be paying attention to. Of the million things that are happening around now, what are the one or two things, that if I do not act on now will land me in a mess in a couple of years. So it is prioritization. And the second thing that most of them ask is, how do I manage the human side of change? How do I get my people to accept that things are going to change and how do I get them to understand how the mentality of my customer is changing.

For companies, what would be one big theme to study closely?

One big theme would be how the next generation is going to change the globe. What I was arguing was, it will not be about the millenials, Gen X or Gen Y. I mean the real inflection point for me is what happens after 2007. Because that was when the first iPhone was launched and if you think about it that was the moment when any child born after that day has grown up in a world where not only do they always have internet, but their primary access is through a personal device, and that is going to change everything - entertainment, banking, work. We underestimate how different that generation is going to be. And that is a big opportunity for IT leaders, because there are new types of services coming up and it is also a big risk area, because if you are still thinking in that traditional PC outsourcing paradigm, you are in for a big shock.

    People often say, given that everything is changing, what do I tell my children? I tell them to make sure that they play video games. Video games are the best education for kids to learn how to manage the multi-channel world we are in now, where we have to process complex information in real time. And companies like Google have actually got programs where they look at kids who are good at World of Warcraft, because the capabilities of managing a remote team in a guild to attack a castle are the same as the capability that's needed to manage a remote team of software programmers towards a goal.

What's the key message in your book Futuretainment?

I wrote Futuretainment based on my experiences in China, Japan and Korea. This was before the iPhone. I was working in these countries in early 2000s, and I saw all the things that we now use today already happening in Asia. Korea already had the first social network created by SK telecom, it was called Cyworld. So I already saw and predicted that these technologies would end up becoming mainstream in the West. Future Shock

    At that time, traditional media was all about controlling regional distribution. Your network was a distribution network; TV satellite networks - that was distribution. Then what I saw in the 21st century where Facebook and Google were changing the distribution of content. The real network was not the network you owned; it was the network of consumers. You couldn't buy that. The only way you could influence was have information that they wanted to share themselves. This is the audiences' network. That's why if you are a brand today, the most important thing you can do is think like a media company. You have to create content that your consumers would share.

What will the company of the future look like?

I am doing some research on that. What will HR look like? How should our marketing department be organized? What links all these ideas together is that it is not a fixed concept. The companies of the future have to be flexible. So you might start up at Silicon Valley, but you somehow have got a global audience who can now access your act 24 hours so you have to be quick enough to scale.

    You may have a business that targets consumers in one market, but if you do not find a multiple language solution, you would have missed a big opportunity. Flexibility is actually going to be the biggest driver for the creation of economic value. What underlies these are new ways of working. You don't run your own IT services, you run it on Amazon. You put all your metrics and standards on the cloud then if you hire another 200 people tomorrow, it does not matter. What you are doing is trying to eliminate the bottlenecks to growth.

Lot of traditional companies don't understand social media very well. For them just having a presence on blogs, FB, Twitter, Linkedin or other platforms is enough. What should they be careful about?

The Facebook like symbol is the most dangerous symbol in the world. I say that because it seduces us into thinking we understand what is going on. And you get these big Fortune 500 companies, the 80 year old chairman gets wheeled in and he quizzes the marketing director, "where are we on social media?" The Market Director goes "a million people are following us". So then he says, well, that is good. And it is dangerous, because if you really understand what is going on, it does not matter how many people are following you or how many people like you or how many fans you have. It matters less how many people are connected to your brand. What matters more is how consumers are connected to each other. And the reason for that is, even on Facebook you may have a million people following you, but they won't be seeing your content unless the algorithm determines that people are engaged with your brand.

    And what determines engagement is the quality of the content you are creating and whether people are continuously interacting with that. The real focus we should have now as marketers is to create quality content that engages people. Then we should start tracking their behaviors with that to learn over time about what things they do contribute to the sales.

    This is called closed loop analytics and it is about working backwards. We now have the ability with technology, to say okay, consumers bought something, they have come into my store. I can now rewind the entire customer journey and understand that in order for them to buy something, they read this blog post, they read this Tweet, they read this piece of Facebook information, and they searched for this term. And if I understand their journey, I can recreate that to be more effective in the market. This is not about black magic - this is just science.

What are the signs CEOs should be looking at to be future ready?

    
One big indicator is the people that are causing trouble for you. The chances are that those people in the industry are doing something new. Second, look at your own children. Your kids are the ultimate focus group for the future. If you understand how they are using technology, how they are driving you mad. Do not tell them to grow up, realize that you are going to have to adapt to them, because they are the next generation of customers.

Are the marketers ready for that?

    
We are never ready. Now every CEO on the planet will tell you uncertainty is the hardest thing, but like I said, uncertainty is not a new concept, we just have more information that how wrong we are now.

——— Vinod Mahanta ———    ET 130322

FOOD SPECIAL..All Rounder Spice


All Rounder Spice

Allspice has a general spiciness that combines the aroma and taste of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg

In 1492 when Christopher Columbus first sailed into unexplored Western seas, he took along samples of the spices he wanted to find. These were pepper, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg, the much prized spices of the East Asian islands he hoped to reach. And when he landed in the Bahamas and showed the spices to the Arawak people he encountered, he was excited to note that they seemed to recognise the round pepper berries.

    It isn't clear if it was on that trip, or a later one that he found the berries they probably meant — round and pungent like pepper, though more moderate in heat, but with the wonderfully unexpected addition of aromatic spicy notes similar to cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. These berries improbably seemed to have the flavours of all the spices he wanted, the ultimate all-in-one product, like a microwave that cooks, grills, bakes, steams, packs your lunch dabba and then cleans the box as well!

But the plant product that really made it big from those trips was not those berries, but a small green or red pod with a viciously hot kick and really little else. Chillies are the culinary reason we remember Columbus' voyage, the spice that exploded across the world, and established itself in Asia so deeply we find it hard to believe it originally came from the Americas. Those multi-scented berries languished as a minor spice known as Jamaica pepper or, appropriately if not exactly distinctively, as allspice.

We are told as we grow up about the value of moderation. We are warned that geniuses can be great at one thing, but ruin their lives in other ways, and that it is better to express our abilities in a balanced way. Yet allspice is an example of why this wisdom doesn't always seem to work. It has a lovely rounded general spiciness. It is not extreme — it delivers the aroma of cloves, without that nasty medicinal note that reminds you of the dentist and it gives you c i n n a m o n witho u t i t s s l i g h t s i ck l i n e s s, nutmeg without its druggy note and pepper without extreme pungency.

Allspice also grows on lovely trees, each part of which is similarly scented; in their book The Spice of Life, on the history of spices, Sheldon Greenberg and Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz write that in a walk amid allspice trees in spring "when whole trees are blanketed by small, powder-white, aromatic flowers, one of nature's great sensual experiences is offered." It produces profusely (with one problem, which we'll come to), so the berries are cheap where it grows, and they work equally well with sweet and savoury. They are even used to make a rum based drink that is said to be delicious and which is, I think, the basis for spiced rums like Captain Morgan's, which is now a major international brand.

    And yet allspice remains a minor spice. Even food writers rarely have much to say about it — among the many writers on spices, Greenberg and Ortiz are almost the only ones I've found who devote much attention to it, and much of their chapter on allspice is devoted to wondering why it is so neglected. It is almost as if it was too perfect, the ideal product devised as per focus groups and R&D which real life customers ignore, attracted instead by the more dramatic spices. Allspice is that nice boy-or-girl-next-door who our parents keep trying to get us to meet, but who we just find too boring.

    But if Bollywood is to be believed, those nice neighbours are the ones we will learn to love, and allspice has a way of growing on you. The British are fond of it, perhaps from long encounter with it in their colony of Jamaica where it grows best, and use it to flavour puddings and cakes, and also to add spiciness to sausages. It is used for similar purposes in parts of Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, and is appreciated in Ethiopia and the Eastern Mediterranean. Syria is the biggest allspice enthusiast and in Food Cultures of the World, edited by Ken Albala, we are told that on Syrian tables, "salt and allspice appear instead of salt and pepper."

    Syria and its neighbours prefer spicy aromas to really strong spicy tastes, and allspice clearly fits well here. It is particularly used in mixtures of minced meat, whether kheema or kebabs, and this use has spread across the Middle East to India. Allspice appears in some sophisticated North Indian cuisines, like that of Lucknow. RK Saxena and Sangeeta Bhatnagar in Dastarkhan-e-Awadh mention it as a flavouring for Patili Kebabs, which despite its name is a kheema dish served in a copper or brass pot. Monisha Bharadwaj is probably right to say in The Indian Kitchen that allspice is "sometimes the secret, magic ingredient that gives a scent of heaven to north Indian curries and biryanis."

    Part of the problem with allspice in India is its name, which is usually given as kababchini. But this could also refer to cassia buds, which are known to be a spice, but so minor and rare that I wonder if this is really what Pratibha Karan means when she refers to them in her Biryani, an excellent book rather let down by inadequate discussion of ingredients. Kababchini could also be cubeb, another now obscure spice, but which from its name and origin (it comes from Java, so vaguely China) was probably what it was. The kababchini I get in Crawford Market may also be cubeb, since it has its distinctive tail, or stalk, and rather more pungent taste.

    But real allspice grows in Kerala and the berries are sold under the Keya brand. The plant grows in South India, but doesn't always produce berries, and this is probably the real reason why allspice never made it big. The tree is notoriously hard to grow outside Jamaica, for reasons that aren't clear. It was supposed at one time that the seeds had to be eaten and excreted by birds, but this has been shown not to untrue. Some trees just don't produce berries, even in Jamaica, but they are still worth growing. And this is because I have realised that while allspice berries are great, the leaves are even better.

    They are similar to the tej patta we use in our cooking, though with less of its woody aroma, and more spice. The leaves are more fragrant than the berries, adding an intense freshness when green, and a refined spiciness when dried. They are one of the very best things to add to plain black tea, giving it a wonderful, lingering aroma of compounded sweet spices that both relaxes and refreshes you. It is a lovely sensation that I have been reintroduced to by a young man named Noshirwan who has an orchard near Ratnagiri where he grows wonderful organic mangoes.

    Along with them he has planted a few allspice trees which he says don't produce berries, but whose dried leaves he has been selling at the Organic Farmer's Market in Mumbai. The Market will end its season at the end of March, but Noshirwan will be doing home delivery of mangoes and if I place an order, I will definitely ask for a dispatch of this most modest, yet pleasantly addictive of spices.

    vikram.doctor
ET130322

TEAM SPECIAL..... 4 Unique Working Styles: What's Yours?


 4 Unique Working Styles: What's Yours?
To get more out of your team, first figure out how your employees (and you) work best--and then assign tasks accordingly.

There is nothing more frustrating than listening to people haggle over different definitions of what constitutes "work." Catty conversations about who's working harder, who's working smarter, or who's not working at all are more about judging others than solving inefficiencies.
I'd like to steer you away from this all-or-nothing dialogue ("I work all the time and you never work") to a more robust conversation about what work really is. And, in the process, help you to appreciate not only your own unique working style, but also the working style of others on your team.
As my thinking has developed over the years, and after perusing many, many personality tests, I believe that there are four basic working styles: Doing, Leading, Loving, and Learning.
The best teams have a balance of all four styles. And the best organizations have many well-balanced teams who are confident in their working style and understand the necessity of divergent types or work. So, what's your style?
Doing
Doers execute. They come alive when tasks are complete, lists are checked, or projects are tackled. They typically have intense focus and are detailed in their efforts.
Doers are usually so focused, however, they may forget to look up and communicate what they're doing. Doers also tend to dive into work with little forethought. They believe that everyone should "Shoot, Fire, Aim" and tend to devalue the important work of planning.
Leading 
Leaders create the vision and inspire others to believe in it. You can't help but listen to, admire, and follow the Leaders. Without Leaders, we would be spinning in a hamster wheel with no real vision.
Leaders can be detached from others, not completely understanding all that goes into executing their vision. Because they're out in front, they sometimes forget to check in with the people following them. 
Loving
Lovers are relationship-builders. Believing that we're stronger together, they thrive in harmony and work hard to manage relationships and build consensus.
People strong in the Loving working style are sensitive and empathic. They have an unconscious finger on the pulse of every other person on the team. If you want to know how others on your team are really feeling, ask the Lover.
But Lovers can suck at follow through and more detail-oriented work. Left to their own devices, they can out-empathize anyone and make people feel great, but not provide "tangible" work.
Learning 
Learners are the researchers. These engineer types love learning and meticulously understanding the nuances of a problem.
They are deliberate, disciplined, and tend to think more strategically than most people.
Without others, however, Learners wouldn't get much done. In order to execute their best-laid plans, they need a team ready to act. Their strategy is only as good as the problems they actually solve--not in theory, but in reality.
Theologian Howard Thurman says, "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
So, let's get over the notion that all work looks one way. It does not. Nor should it. You need many people doing many things to accomplish many goals.
Everyone has unique strengths that become super-charged once they're aligned with other people's strengths. Rather than critique someone who you believe "isn't working," make sure you're living out your unique contribution in a powerful and sustainable way. Just do what makes you come alive.

Dr. Shelley Prevost is a co-founder of Lamp Post Group, a venture incubator in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
http://www.inc.com/shelley-prevost/4-unique-working-styles-whats-yours.html?cid=em01014week12a

To get more out of your team, first figure out how your employees (and you) work best--and then assign tasks accordingly.

There is nothing more frustrating than listening to people haggle over different definitions of what constitutes "work." Catty conversations about who's working harder, who's working smarter, or who's not working at all are more about judging others than solving inefficiencies.
I'd like to steer you away from this all-or-nothing dialogue ("I work all the time and you never work") to a more robust conversation about what work really is. And, in the process, help you to appreciate not only your own unique working style, but also the working style of others on your team.
As my thinking has developed over the years, and after perusing many, many personality tests, I believe that there are four basic working styles: Doing, Leading, Loving, and Learning.
The best teams have a balance of all four styles. And the best organizations have many well-balanced teams who are confident in their working style and understand the necessity of divergent types or work. So, what's your style?
Doing
Doers execute. They come alive when tasks are complete, lists are checked, or projects are tackled. They typically have intense focus and are detailed in their efforts.
Doers are usually so focused, however, they may forget to look up and communicate what they're doing. Doers also tend to dive into work with little forethought. They believe that everyone should "Shoot, Fire, Aim" and tend to devalue the important work of planning.
Leading 
Leaders create the vision and inspire others to believe in it. You can't help but listen to, admire, and follow the Leaders. Without Leaders, we would be spinning in a hamster wheel with no real vision.
Leaders can be detached from others, not completely understanding all that goes into executing their vision. Because they're out in front, they sometimes forget to check in with the people following them. 
Loving
Lovers are relationship-builders. Believing that we're stronger together, they thrive in harmony and work hard to manage relationships and build consensus.
People strong in the Loving working style are sensitive and empathic. They have an unconscious finger on the pulse of every other person on the team. If you want to know how others on your team are really feeling, ask the Lover.
But Lovers can suck at follow through and more detail-oriented work. Left to their own devices, they can out-empathize anyone and make people feel great, but not provide "tangible" work.
Learning 
Learners are the researchers. These engineer types love learning and meticulously understanding the nuances of a problem.
They are deliberate, disciplined, and tend to think more strategically than most people.
Without others, however, Learners wouldn't get much done. In order to execute their best-laid plans, they need a team ready to act. Their strategy is only as good as the problems they actually solve--not in theory, but in reality.
Theologian Howard Thurman says, "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
So, let's get over the notion that all work looks one way. It does not. Nor should it. You need many people doing many things to accomplish many goals.
Everyone has unique strengths that become super-charged once they're aligned with other people's strengths. Rather than critique someone who you believe "isn't working," make sure you're living out your unique contribution in a powerful and sustainable way. Just do what makes you come alive.

Dr. Shelley Prevost is a co-founder of Lamp Post Group, a venture incubator in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
http://www.inc.com/shelley-prevost/4-unique-working-styles-whats-yours.html?cid=em01014week12a

PERSONAL SPECIAL...MAKE IT A GOOD MORNING


MAKE IT A GOOD MORNING
Can maxing your mornings make you happy and successful?
    Actor Akshay’s Kumar’s success has been credited to sundry factors, including his recently discovered comic timing and long known affinity for action. But if Philadelphia-based career expert and author of What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, Laura Vanderkam were asked the reason, she’d add ‘he makes the most of the a.m. hours’ to the list. Time management experts believe that mornings hold the key to stable schedules, and using them wisely can lead to happier, more productive days. Vanderkam, who researched people on how they spend their precious morning minutes, found that the most successful people were those who devoted time in the morning to “things or people that they loved”. In her book, she exhorts the importance of doing things that you “want to do, not things that you have to do”. Studies have shown that early risers are more likely to be optimistic, perform better and draw higher wages. Research has also correlated larks with character traits like optimism, stability and conscientiousness. And while owls are linked with greater levels of creativity and intelligence, they are more likely to exhibit pessimism, depression and neurotic behaviour. Clearly, the old proverb holds: Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
WHY THE FIRST HALF?
So, why are mornings such a great time to do things? Human willpower and motivation are at their strongest then. You are mentally at your sharpest and less likely to be interrupted than later in the day, say experts. Starting on a winning note can ensure you build on that momentum all day long.
    One of the world’s leading time management experts, Dallas-based Peter Turla agrees that mornings work best for busy people, because “the day is a blank slate then”. “You can plan, control and focus on things that are important to you. Later in the day, you may be forced to work on things as they come up,” he says in an email interview to Mirror.
    But how does one successfully balance a chaotic morning schedule with seemingly impossible personal goals?
FIRST THINGS FIRST: Mornings are a great time to devote to things that are of utmost importance to you — whether it’s exercise, hobbies or family time. Vanderkam, in her book, writes that she found that busy and productive people had figured out that if they wanted something, they had to make it first priority. Figure out what will make your morning perfect and focus on that before the phones start ring- ing, emails start pouring in and the help knocks at your door. Take control of the time that is solely yours to ensure a successful morning.
    Peggy Duncan, international personal productivity expert and author of the Time Management Memory Jogger, says, “People are different and so are their needs. What works for one won’t work for another. You have to first decide what you want to get done, when it needs to be done, and how all that fits into your schedule.”
PLAN YOUR TIME: It’s important to make time tangible because it moves so fast and seems so amorphous. Most time management experts exhort planning for the next day before you turn in. “This allows you to get off to an easier, swifter start the next morning since you’ve already figured out part of what needs to get done,” Turla says. He advocates the 5P planning programme — Proper Planning Provides Peak Performance — and suggests that you plan ahead to take advantage of the time when you are “mentally sharpest”. Jot down what you would like to do to make it a happy morning — it could be meditation three days a week, exercise twice a week, and a creative class twice a week. “Plan things to take advantage of your brain power and creativity. You may also want to use that time for exercising so that you’ll have a bankable energy reserve for the rest of the day,” Turla says.
AN EARLY START: What you do between 6 am and 8.30 am — the time most people have at home in the mornings — is crucial to your success. The earlier you start, the better. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier, and wake up 15 minutes earlier for a few days. “If your mornings give you a sense of accomplishment, you’ve started your day on a happy note. It may seem tough, but after a couple of months, busy mornings will become part of a happy routine,” says Mumbai-based Suhail Gupta, consultant at Idea Management. Remember that slow-start mornings may mean that you are not getting enough sleep. “All happy and successful mornings have their foundation in a good night’s sleep,” Turla adds.
A GOOD BEGINNING: A positive start sets a positive tone for the day. A good morning routine can set you up for increased productivity. Do something that you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t found time for. And while it is true that there are ‘morning larks’ and ‘night owls’, a majority of us sit in the middle. “We can easily reset the body clock; it’s extremely adaptable,” says Soumya Tripathi, a Delhi-based advertising executive. Tripathi, who thought of herself as a ‘night person’, finds herself able to manage her day better by “crossing over to the other side”. “I realise that the hour before I leave for work is precious. I now choose to use it, and with my exercise routine regular, I am fitter than I have ever been,” she says.
WHAT YOU WANT: You could choose to spend your precious a.m. minutes on self-enrichment (prayer, meditation, exercise), family time (breakfast, an art project with the kids), me time (painting, photography, scrapbooking, writing, reading) or professional growth (strategising, organising, update your knowledge or taking an online class). Focus on one new habit/ritual at a time — an ideal morning may involve exercise, prayer and spending time with your partner, but make any one of these a habit before you start on the other. “I feel mornings are the best time to exercise. This helps you be fully awake and alert, and gets the adrenaline flowing,” Gupta says. Applaud and reward consistent good behaviour. Feel free to indulge yourself at times if you have been sticking to your schedule with a few extra snooze minutes.
    The best thing about mornings? They offer us the chance to make a new start, and do things differently every day.
RISE EARLY, BE HAPPY
Morning people aren’t only happier in the morning; often, they are the ones who report more content with life. A study published in the May 2012 issue of Emotion found that ‘morningness’ was associated with greater happiness emotions in both age groups. Study author Renee Biss, a psychology researcher at the University of Toronto, said being a morning person was associated with “feelings of happiness, liveliness, cheerfulness, and alertness.” The research also showed that evening people often find themselves suffering social jet lag as their “biological clock is out of sync with the social one”.
Teja Lele Desai MM130319

TECH /GADGET SPECIAL...SMART WARS 2


 SMART WARS 2

THE EMPIRES STRIKE BACK
    Not so long ago, the iPhone and Android began their domination of the smartphone market. Soon, old giants like Nokia, Microsoft and BlackBerry found themselves playing catch-up. Now, to regain lost ground, they have come up with refreshed operating systems, top-of-the-line hardware, and refined design. With new flagships, can these past stalwarts jostle for space with Apple, Google and Samsung once again?

Nokia Lumia 920
    Look & Feel: The Lumia 920 boasts of a unibody construction, a unique curved-glass design, and is available in red, yellow, grey, black and white. It looks trendy, expensive and sophisticated, all at once. It’s large and heavy, but you do get used to the weight after a while.
    Interface: Windows Phone 8 has a tile-based interface that feels fresh, modern and is intuitive and smooth. But it does not have a notification bar for instant updates
on emails, social network posts and missed calls. Its ‘Live Tiles’ display updates for corresponding apps, but you won’t put every single app on the start screen, will you? And inexplicably, the battery and clock bar isn’t always on screen – a small thing, but we found it really annoying. Of course, the biggest miss is the lack of a robust app store.
    Screen : The screen is capable of bright, true colours while maintaining deep black levels. The size is great and the sunlight legibility is fantastic. However, instead of smooth gradients of colours, you see banding in hues.
    Performance: The phone is a smooth performer, but the multi-tasking limitations of the OS are a pain. At any time, you can run only 8 apps; and not all apps update in the background, such as Twitter apps. In fact, multi-tasking is the biggest problem. While listening to a song, if another app has any small sound – even a solitary ‘ding’ when playing Words With Friends – the track will stop. It feels half-baked, and isn’t an enjoyable experience.
    Music: Nokia Music lets you download thousands of songs for free, legally, which is great for music lovers. On the down side, the music playback app is atrocious, the worst we have used. Simple tasks like fast-forwarding or creating a playlist are unintuitive and cumbersome.
    GPS & Maps: Nokia Maps remains the best mobile navigation solution for Indian users, with its large number of POIs (points of interest), great point-to-point directions, and detailed maps.
    Battery: The Lumia 920 has worse battery life than most Androids in its price range. On an average day of light 3G gaming, plenty of browsing, some video playback, lots of music playback, about an hour of calls, and a little 3G usage, it lasted just 14 hours. Very disappointing.
Price: At the price it asks for, we just don’t think it’s worth the money, especially considering the alternatives available in Android phones. Nokia Music’s free song downloads is its only saving grace.
Camera: Barring the out-of-production PureView 808, the Lumia 920 sports the best camera on a smartphone today. Photos are clear and crisp, enough to be a decent replacement for most pointand-shoots. It excels in low-light shots, but the 920 still artificially punches up colours, so you don’t get true images – blacks appear blue, reds appear pink; it’s messy. Verdict: Nokia Lumia 920 boasts of great hardware, let down by poor software; Windows Phone 8 just doesn’t match up to the experience on Android or iOS. When the Samsung Galaxy S III is available for 28,500, there is simply not a compelling enough reason to pay so much more for the Lumia.
Specs: 4.5-inch IPS touchscreen (1280x768 pixels) | 1.5GHz dual-core CPU | 1GB RAM | 32GB storage, no microSD slot | 8MP rear camera, 1080p FullHD video recording | 1.3MP front camera, 720p HD video | 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.1, micro USB, GPS | 2000mAh battery, around 14 hours of average usage | Windows Phone 8

BlackBerry Z10
 Look & Feel: The Z10 sports an elegant and minimalistic design. Brushed metal buttons that are firm and responsive; a screen that fades to a wonderful pitch black when in sleep mode; and a back cover with a texturedrubber coating make this BlackBerry polished and classy.
Interface: The BB10 OS uses gestures for various tasks. Unlocking the screen or ‘minimizing’ a fullscreen app involves swiping from the bottom edge. Multi-tasking is smooth, and all minimized apps – again, only eight at a time – can be accessed from a screen called the ‘Active Frame’ panel. A universal swipe gesture takes you to the ‘Hub’, which is home to your notifications: BBMs, emails, social network updates, etc. Also, new notifications are conveyed by a blinking red LED. Those who’ve used the BB Playbook will be up to speed in no time, while the intuitive UI will have new users comfortable in a few days.
Screen: The Z10 packs in 356 pixels per inch; greater than the iPhone 5’s 326 ppi. Images and text look sharp, and colours are rendered accurately with rich blacks. Add the wide viewing angles and a screen that’s legible in sunlight, and you have a display that befits a premium handset.
Performance: FullHD videos and heavy apps pose no problem to the phone’s hardware. Call quality is clear and the touchscreen is receptive to touches and swipes. Additionally, the phone’s voice control feature works well for small tasks like web searches, or to initiate phone calls. To create notes, you will be better served by the Z10’s virtual keyboard that minimizes typing errors.
Music: You can find songs (with rupee prices) at the BB World store. Lata, Rafi, Adele, Metallica, The Who – they’re all here. As far as playback is concerned, the Z10 boasts of
above average sound quality with good bass, though treble might seem lacking due to its warm fuzzy sound. Also, it lacks equalizer settings.
GPS & Maps: The GPS and Maps app on the Z10 is grossly inadequate to use as a direction guide. The device locks onto location co-ordinates, but lacks detailed cartographical data to be of any practical use.
Battery: In a day’s use that includes gaming, web browsing, video and music playback, 3G and Wi-Fi, the Z10 gave us around 16 hours of battery; mostly lasting well over a day when we didn’t push the device.
Price: At 43,490, the Z10 is too expensive. Period.
Camera: Pictures shot in daylight are crisp and clear – but in low light, they appear blurred and grainy. Video quality is decent. Overall,
the camera performance is on par with most premium handsets, although it is definitely not the best in class. One of the standout features of the Z10’s camera is its TimeShift mode to get rid of bad shots, where it captures 11 images of a scene so that the user can use a slider mechanism to create a snapshot where everyone has their eyes open and is smiling. Verdict: The Z10, by and large, is defined by sterling hardware, coupled with a very innovative and intuitive OS. Its price and lack of well-known apps, however, work against it. Recommended only for those die-hard BB users who are fans of its secure enterprise services and BBM.
Specs: 4.2-inch IPS touchscreen (1280x768 pixels) | 1.5GHz dual-core CPU | 2GB RAM | 16GB storage, microSD up to 32GB | 8MP rear camera, 1080p FullHD video recording | 2MP front camera, 720p HD video | 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, micro USB, GPS | 1800mAh battery, around 16 hours of average usage | BlackBerry OS 10

SUMMING IT UP…
    
At present, Nokia has great camera optics, a superb navigation tool in the form of Nokia Maps, and a free music service. Plus, Windows Phone 8 is buttery smooth. BlackBerry, on the other hand, has BBM and secure enterprise services, which they can leverage upon against the competition. The BB 10 OS, in fact, is something we put on par with iOS and Android. Nokia, Microsoft and Blackberry are brands we have loved in the past, so it’s hard not to root for them.
    However, these brands will need to launch devices in lower price brackets to take on Android. A larger user base, spread across price bands, will also entice developers to build apps for both OSes.
    Indeed, the biggest problem for both the Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry OS 10 platforms is ‘apps’. Good hardware, great design and beautiful user interfaces come to naught when users can’t go online and download Instagram, or play Temple Run 2. Past records have shown that new apps are released for these platforms much after being introduced on iOS and Android. Noticeably missing from both app stores is the official Gmail app (although both devices support Gmail through their native mail app).
    To sum it up, the Lumia 920 and the Z10 are good devices, but do not offer value for money due to lack of proper app support. Still, we would be cautious about writing these brands off. Regular OS updates, up-to-date app stores and better pricing from these players could very well change the smartphone ecosystem for the better.
Mihir Patkar & Savio D’Souza TL130318

MBA ENTREPRENEURS...IIM Grads Take Start-Up Route, Skip Placement


IIM Grads Take Start-Up Route, Skip Placement

Cushioned by deferred placements, up to 5 students walk out of placements at each institute

    An odd lot of students at the premier Indian Institutes of Management has decided to make way for classmates jostling for jobs in a tight economy. Some of them from the 2013 batch have opted out of placements to sell sanitary napkins to rural India, start a network for photographers and make algorithms that predict the market. The entrepreneurial road is less travelled, but the drive is strong.
Niranjan KM (23), an IIM Indore graduate, plans a start-up to manufacture and sell sanitary napkins in rural India. He had earlier thought of being a candy maker or mineral water producer but realised the market potential for sanitary napkins was big. Niranjan will start the plant in global manufacturing hub Tirupur. The expenses work out to around Rs 1 crore, of which the Tamil Nadu government has approved Rs 25 lakh. He plans to raise the rest through a loan.
“The big companies see money in urban areas, while I plan to concentrate on rural India. I can sell each napkin for around Rs 3-4, which is about half the cost for such a product from an FMCG major,” he says. Niranjan’s research showed rural women know little about sanitary napkins and his marketing campaign includes raising awareness through skits during festivals. It may not be the best time to walk out on campus placements, with the economy on the slouch, but students feel their ideas cannot wait for long as others may pick them up. They are wired differently and prefer to have their own start-ups rather than take the plunge into the corporate world, says Rajesh Aithal, placement head for IIM Lucknow. Final placements at the IIMs start in February-March and typically, three to five students are seen walking out of placements from each of the institutes. In a weak economy, such a decision involves more than the regular dose of risk involved in starting up on their own. But the comforting factor is that the alma mater will watch the entrepreneurs’ back in case the ventures fail. In the past three to four years, all big IIMs have introduced deferred placements, wherein a student who has opted out of the placement process is allowed to sit for company interviews after a gap of two to three years. IIM Bangalore, for instance, provided this choice from 2011 onwards. This practice gives students like Ajusal Sugathan and Achin Agarwal the cushion they need.
The two IIM Bangalore students have started an alternative investment management firm called Hedge Quants that will that specialise in quantitative trading and investment strategies across Indian equities, fixed income, currency, volatility and derivatives. “We have developed seven to eight models and our simulation tests show we can predict market movements,” says 24-year-old Ajusal Sugathan.
The two students have entered into an alliance with Kolkata-based brokerage firm Shivmangal Securities on a profit-sharing model and will start work from April. “Unlike the West, Indian markets do not use the algorithm-based trading method, but our live simulations have shown good results,” adds Sugathan.
The IIMs, where an all-inclusive fee for a two-year course is Rs 12 lakh to Rs 16 lakh, say students with educational loans too digress from placements to start their own firms. In 2005, when fees at IIMs were at Rs 3 lakh to Rs 3.5 lakh, and students would typically take a Rs 2-lakh loan, at least three to four of them would opt out of placements to incubate their own firms, says Shashank Rastogi, director, operations for Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) at IIM-A. Now, the loan amount has shot up to Rs 14 lakh to Rs 15 lakh, with the fee at around Rs 16 lakh. Yet, six to eight students at the institute want to build their own start-ups, he says. No student from IIM-A who opted out of placements returned for deferred placements since 2008, he says. Then there are others who form alliances with friends who have just quit regular jobs and want to start their own company. Venkat R from IIM-A started an online firm called Focaloid, where photographers get assignments, and clients pay the start-up. Venkat has received a seed fund of Rs 5 lakh from the CIIE and has raised another Rs 4 lakh along with two other friends who have just quit regular jobs.
There are also those who choose to go it alone. Gaurav Midha’s start-up partners took up job offers during placements at IIM Lucknow, but Midha decided to take it forward. Midha, along with two batch mates, started a data analytics firm, Beyond Numbers, within months of joining campus. But he is the only one who’s stuck to the course – his dream kept him going. “Data analytics is still a relatively new concept in India but it’s been growing at 20%-25%. I want a share of that pie,” he says.
In the final analysis, the entrepreneurial path has nothing to do with the state of the economy, says Rastogi. “The initial years for an entrepreneur are always tough, so there is never a good or bad economy,” he says. But what he finds encouraging is that the budding entrepreneurs are building companies that are extremely diverse and reflect their passion. “We know of students who have taken up regular jobs but are interested in start-ups, and keep themselves abreast of this industry,” he says.
DEVINA SENGUPTA & SREERADHA D BASU BANGALORE | MUMBAI TNN

Saturday, March 30, 2013

INTERNET SPECIAL...People who changed the INTERNET



People who changed the INTERNET
 
The world has become tightly connected since the internet.
The web itself has replaced the practice of reading newspaper.
Most of us now communicate through e-mails instead of paper
and pen. We now watch networks or movies online, it has even
become a wide business venture, so much so we can now make
purchase and pay our bills through the internet. The web has
also transformed friendships through various social media.
It also provides us the possibility to reconnect with people from
our childhood and it can be a life changing event.

Having a great idea is one thing. Turning that idea into a
booming company through innovation and execution is what
that matters most. Here, these are the people who have the
biggest impact on the direction of the web: past, present, and future.
They changed the internet and revolutionized the way we
lead our lives today. Just imagine the world without internet.
You can’t because it has become our daily life.

1 # Vint Cerf And Bob Kahn - Father of the Internet.

The Father of Internet Vint Cerf, together with Bob Kahn
created the TCP/IP suite of communication protocols. a
language used by computers to talk to each other in a
network. Vint Cerf once said that the internet is just a mirror of
the population and spam is a side effect of a free service.

2 # Tim Berners-Lee = Inventor of WWW.

Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. He wrote
the first web client and server and designed a way to create
links, or hypertext, amid different pieces of online information.
He now maintains standards for the web and continues to
refine its design as a director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

3 # Ray Tomlinson = Father of Email.

Programmer Ray Tomlinson, the Father of Email made it
possible to exchange messages between machines in
diverse locations; between universities, across continents,
and oceans. He came up with the “@†symbol format fo
r e-mail addresses. Today, more than a billion people around
the world type @ sign every day.

4 # Michael Hart = The birth of eBooks.

Michael Hart started the birth of eBooks and breaks down
the bars of ignorance and illiteracy. He created the Project
Gutenberg and was considered world’s first electronic library
that changed the way we read. The collection includes public
domain works and copyrighted works with express permission.

5 # Gary Thuerk = The first Email spam.

Spamming is an old marketing technique. Gary Thuerk, sent
his first mass e-mailing to customers over the Arpanet for
Digital’s new T-series of VAX systems. What he didn’t
realize at the time was that he had sent the world’s first spam.

6 # Scott Fahlman = The first emoticon.

Scott Fahlman is credited with originating the first ASCII-based
smiley emoticon, which he thought would help to distinguish
between posts that should be taken humorously and those of a
more serious nature. Now, everybody uses them in messenger
programs, chat rooms, and e-mail.

7 #Marc Andreessen = Netscape Navigator.

Marc Andreessen revolutionized Internet navigation. He came up
with first widely used Web browser called Mosaic which was later
commercialised as the Netscape Navigator. Marc Andreessen is
also co-founder and chairman of Ning and an investor in several
startups including Digg, Plazes, and Twitter.

8. Jarkko Oikarinen = Internet Relay Chat, IRC.

Jarkko Oikarinen developed the first real-time online chat tool
in Finland known as Internet Relay Chat. IRC’s fame took off in
1991. When Iraq invaded Kuwait and radio and TV signals were
shut down, thanks to IRC though up-to-date information was able to be distribute.

9 # Robert Tappan Morris = First Worm Virus.


The concept of a worm virus is unique compare to the
conventional hacking. Instead of getting into a network
themselves, they send a small program they have coded to
do the job. From this concept, Robert Tappan Morris created
the Morris Worm. It is one of the very first worm viruses to be
sent out over the internet that inadvertently caused many
thousands of dollars worth of damage and loss of productivity
when it was released in the late 80s

10 # David Bohnett - Geocities.

David Bohnett founded GeoCities in 1994, together with John Rezner.
It grew to become the largest community on the Internet.
He pioneered and championed the concept of providing free
home pages to everyone on the web. The company shut down
the service on October 27, 2009.

11 # Ward Cunningham - The first Wiki.

American programmer Ward Cunningham developed the first
wiki as a way to let people collaborate, create and edit online
pages together. Cunningham named the wiki after the Hawaiian word

12 # Sabeer Bhatia - Hotmail.

Sabeer Bhatia founded Hotmail in which the uppercase
letters spelling out HTML-the language used to write the
base of a webpage. He got in the news when he sold the
free e-mailing service , Hotmail to Microsoft for $400 million.
He was awarded the Entrepreneur of the Yearâ by
Draper Fisher Jurvertson in 1998 and was noted by
TIME as one of the People to Watch in international
business in 2002. His most exciting acquisition of 2009
was Jaxtyr which he believes is set to overtake Skype in terms of free global calling.

13 #Matt Drudge - The Drudge Report.

Matt Drudge started the news aggregation website The Drudge
Report. It gained popularity when he was the first outlet to break
the news that later became the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

14# Larry Page And Sergey Brin - Google.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin changed the way we search and
use the Internet. They worked as a seamless team at the top
of the search giant. Their company grew rapidly every year since
it began. Page and Brin started with their own funds, but
the site quickly outgrew their own existing resources.
They later obtain private investments through Stanford.
Larry Page, Sergey Brin and their company Google, continue to
favor engineering over business.

15# Bill Gates - Microsoft.


Bill Gates founded the software company called Micro-Soft
a combination of microcomputer software. Later on, Bill Gates
developed a new GUI (Graphical User Interface) for a disk operating
system. He called this new style Windows. He has all but accomplished
his famous mission statement, to put â computer on every desk and
in every home at least in developed countries.

16# Steve Jobs - Apple.

Steve Jobs innovative idea of a personal computer led him into
revolutionizing the computer hardware and software industry.
The Apple founder changed the way we work, play and communicate.
He made simple and uncluttered web design stylish. The story
of Apple and Steve Jobs is about determination, creative genius,
pursuit of innovation with passion and purpose.

18 # Brad Fitzpatrick - LiveJournal.

Brad Fitzpatrick created LiveJournal, one of the earliest blogging
platforms. He is seen on the Internet under the nickname bradfitz.
He is also the author of a variety of free software projects such as
memcached, used on LiveJournal, Facebook and YouTube.
LiveJournal continues today as an online community where
people can share updates on their lives via diaries and blogs.
Members connect by creating a friends list that links to their pals recent entries.

19 # Shawn Fanning = Napster.

Shawn Fanning developed Napster, a peer-to-peer file-sharing program
designed to let music fans find and trade music. Users put whatever
files they were willing to share with others into special directories
on their hard drives. The service had more than 25 million users
at its peak in 2001, and was shut down after a series of high-profile
lawsuits, not before helping to spark the digital music revolution
now dominated by Apple. Napster has since been rebranded and acquired by Roxio.


Peter Thiel is one of many Web luminaries associated with PayPal.
PayPal had enabled people to transfer money to each other instantly.
PayPal began giving a small group of developers access to its code,
allowing them to work with its super-sophisticated transaction framework.

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SENT BY MJ