Showing posts from February, 2010


View from my room in downtown Chicago - night and morning. :)

Whatever happened to the pen?

Om's fond reminiscing over slates, and Bill Gates' comment on what he thought of the iPad, reminded me of my sixth or seventh reaction after the iPad demo: "So where's the pen?"
Whatever happened to kill pen computing? I'm old enough to have bought a Palm Pilot handheld organizer and though it took a while to learn how to "write" on it. I found the note-taking feature kinda cool. Similarly, I glanced enviously at friends with tablet pcs (particularly in b-school) who were able to add notes to their printed documents directly on their devices. For some reason, possibly including the software integration with Word and Image editing tools just not being good enough, the pricing never quite getting there, and the hand-writing recognition not being up-to-scratch, tablet pcs just haven't been the run-away success many expected.
Just three days ago, as I was struggling with mocks and trying to take notes in a class, I thought again about just how much I&…

United of Gurgaon, Haryana :)

Just booked a flight to Chicago. Noticed this little anamoly on my bill while doing expenses.Apparently United moved to Haryana. :):)

Quick review:s Ishqiya and Wikinomics

Caught this one over the weekend.Really good; funny, twisted, gritty, and very Tarantino-esque. Trailer link.
Also got through about 1/5th of Wikinomics, which came highly recommended from a bunch of folks. However, I just couldn't get myself to continue beyond that point. The material was interesting, but something about the lack of continuity in the writing and (what I perceived as) repetitiveness, made me give up on the book. Life's too short to try to finish books I'm not enjoying. :)
Anyone who's read the book suggest that I persevere?

Story-telling as part of user-experience

I stumbled on to this article thanks to GigaOm
It was a very timely reminder.
A few months ago while trying to sketch some scenarios, instead of doing the standard "User does X; then does Y",  after some encouragement by a more senior Googler, I spent a little bit of time thinking about who the user was and wove stories around each use case (admittedly what I was working on lent itself to that.)
I told a story about how Bob would use a certain product, why he was interested in it, and how it fit perfectly with what he did in the morning, and how his daugher would use it as well and how they'd pay for it...etc., etc.
Two things happened: Firstly, it was just a lot more fun for me to work on! I like story-telling. :)Secondly, I thought it helped the product definition quite a bit.True marketing professoinals (especially in CPG) do this really well, and there's a lot to learn there. They create detailed profiles of their end users and think about them obsessively (life-size-…

Retro Sholay poster

For some reason, I had a sudden craving for kathi rolls, so I found myself here at the Kathi Roll Company. Also found there, really cool retro decor and the poster below:

Quick review: "Up in the Air", "The Natural" and "Lions for Lambs"

A strange thing almost happened in January; I almost didn't watch a movie in a theater. Luckily I fixed that right at the end of the month.:)
Up In the Air: I liked! I liked a lot. Its extremely enjoyable, funny, poignant, and uniformly well-acted. The Oscar nomination(s) I don't completely understand, but still.
Also ended up catching a Robert Redford double bill over the weekend thanks to NetFlix. "Lions for Lambs" was simple, powerful and well-told, but a still somehow a little lacking. "The Natural", I'd been meaning to watch for a while (I'm a sucker for good sports movies), and it was pretty much near-perfect for a sports movie.:)
This weekend's theatre movie schedule: Ishqiya, which is getting really good reivews.

Cloudy weather ahead: the iPad and the Apple/Google relationship

So the iPad was finally released (...oh, announced!), and if the reactions of my friends are anything to go by, Apple has another winner on its hands.
Also, it looks like Jobs is now officially mad at Google. :)
I'm keen to get my hands on one and play with it for a while before making a decision, but I'm not planning to buy one yet. I have my cool device for the year, but I have been seeing a lot of Kindles on the ride to work. In addition, yesterday I saw two other people reading what looked like books on their iPhones on the train. So, my anecdotal evidence + Amazon's continued encouraging success suggests that that there'll be enough people who use these tablet-like devices perhaps first for reading, and will eventually want them to do more. But I'm pretty certain that it won't be their only device, and even if it becomes their primary device to consume media, they'll want to continue to have access to their books/music/movies on their phone and on their…