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Showing posts from January, 2009

A personal board of directors

I like the idea. Somehow, I've ended up reading about the idea twice or thrice this week. I loved the idea of one.  
Jim Collin's talks about his idea here:
"The idea of a personal board of directors came to me when I was in my 20s. I drew a little conference table on a sheet of paper with seven chairs around it and wrote names on them of people I admired. I pasted it above my computer and would look up and in my mind poll the personal board when I was wrestling with tough questions. If I was really stuck, I might talk to some of them. It's sort of like a group of tribal elders that you create for yourself."
There seems to be a more standardi structured approach as well that talks about the different kinds of qualities that you should look for in the members of your board.
Now to just go about creating one. One more New Year resolution to add.  That's one more thing: I haven't done this year's resolutions yet.:)

Review: "Convergence Culture" and "Deciding the Next Decider"

2 books.
I haven't finished either yet, but I recommend both. :)

I'm nearly through Convergence Culture, and can't recommend it highly enough if you're interested in media/storytelling/technology/marketing etc.
Through exploring a few examples (Survior fans, Heroes, political blogs, Harry Potter fans, American Idol, the parts of Matrix most people didn't know about etc), Henry Jenkins explores just how much the very idea of what constitutes entertainment and storytelling, and, marketing and branding has changed.

My impatience meant I thought the book could use some editing :), but still its a must-read. I'll avoid trying to summarize the main points, but there are two tangential things that I took from the book that I'll talk about:
On storytelling: This forced me to change my thinking on this. Back when I tried to write short stories, one of the arguments that I had with others was about writer's intent. I believed that if the writer didn't strongly …

Sigh: VCs advertising on facebook

It's actually pretty effective, now that I think about it. The times are-a-changing, and if you're not Tier-1 VC firm this is a good way to source business plans.

The super-targeting that Facebook offers means that I've had a bunch of interesting ads served to me some where the targetting works and some when not. I've even had photo ads from someone who wanted to work on YouTube
someone who wanted to work at Googlesomeone how wanted a date to the Google dance. :)When the targetting has failed has been once I got engaged a year ago, and had nothing but wedding-themed ads for months (where to get married, what to buy, wedding gowns etc.) Of course, those have disappeared now that I'm married. :)

It's not a tip when its not your money!

A few weeks ago while on the honeymoon, I noticed a person next to me in the hotel's internet business center do something strange as he fnished his Internet session. (Umm...yes I'm strange that way and sometime don't realise that its that rude to notice other people's surfing habits. :) )
As he got up to leave, he clicked on an ad on the page he was reading. Just as the ad started to load, he quickly switched back to the original page, clicked on another ad and then quickly logged out of his Internet session. He left the room without returning his chair under the desk, and with me shaking my head.
Why you ask? And what was he doing?
It reminded me of this head-shaker of a blog post(Ads are the new online tip jar) (that I read on Seth Godin's blog many months ago. Text below:
"If you like what you're reading, click an ad to say thanks. Pretty simple, but not an accepted online protocol, at least not yet. If every time you read a blog post or bit of online conte…

Humor on the errors.

Someone sent around this list of humorous 404 links. Its an entertaining way to admit to a mistake. The first humorous 404 message I remember is Orkut's "No donut for you.". It was funny for a while, like the Twitter whale and like all the messages listed above; until I saw it too often. At that point I was just pissed at the site, and the attempt at humor annoyed me even more.
Humor works; I'm a big fan of using it as much as possible if its part of the way you think. However a couple of times I've had a rein people in from trying to be funny in an apology email. There are a few reasons for this  No one is ever as funny as they think they are.Sure, humor can make the message more "interesting", but if you're sending an apology there's a chance that people are pissed off,  and I'd like to minimize that chance of the fringe getting marginally more pissed because of an attempt at humor.There's opportunities aplenty to be funny when things are…

OK. Sorry Kellogg, but really?

One of the more interesting decisions that the Chicago GSB (oops Chicago Booth) Marketing team made when I was in business school, was to well...actually market the school's full-time MBA program via very traditional magazine and online ads.
In fact, I could seldom visit LinkedIn or Businessweek without seeing the ad. Top-tier schools weren't doing this for their full-time programs (the logic being they didn't need to be marketed.) So it was unusual when Chicago started doing this, but it seemed to be well received, and ulitmately successful. Here's some more on it. I loved the message the school had and the tone the ads struck.
Clearly, it was a matter of time before other schools adopted this strategy, and the first I've seen is from the school just a few miles away. I have one problem with this ad. Its bad....its clearly inspired by Chicago's message, but its just much cheesier and cliched. And the creative...yuck! C'mon Kellogg...marketing is supposedly w…

Woohoo....

I was hoping it would take something important and momentous to get me to resuscitate this blog....of course instead it turned out to be the movies.:)
I'm pretty kicked that Slumdog Millionaire won the Golden Globes. That's effectively ensured that I will watch the Oscars live this year.
As always, I'm in awe of the YouTube community as well. I was surfing Rediff, when I read the artile headline: "SRK at the Golden Globes." Step 2: Type that line into YouTube. And about 30 mins after the Golden Globes had ended, I already had 5 relevant results. 
I loved the movie when I saw it a few months ago, but frankly I'm even more kicked to see Rahman being recognized internationally. Other feelings from watching the clips: embarrassment that Anil Kapoor still shows an almost inappropriate amount of enthusiasm, and the realization that that somehow-not-annoying over-confidence that SRK (the "King of Bollywood"? really?) exudes stayed intact. :)

Clips below: