Cassette tapes – Do people even use them?

July 28, 2008 § Leave a comment

Yes.  In prison.

No, seriously.  Even today.

I used to have a pretty neat collection of tapes, about a decade ago.  Some stolen (borrowed and never returned), some gifts, some of which I actually saved up money for.  And a few months back, I was in S’s house and we suddenly went down memory lane and dug up her cupboard to find some really old tapes.  I associate tapes to a certain phase of my formative years.  I really enjoy punching in that tape into the deck, pushing the rewind button and stopping right before your favourite song starts.  The timing really mattered when doing so.

Ah, what bliss 🙂  And yes, I was mighty bugged to know that she was the one who stole my Roxette tape!


A restaurant without food?

July 28, 2008 § 1 Comment

And you create a whole new business model on that?

There is one founding concept that this whole model thrives on. Trust.  The patrons here are expected to bring/cook their own food and are given the spatial expanse of a old boathouse converted into a rustic harbourside restaurant.  And they leave behind any amount of money that they please in a little box.  The experience is built on trust and social interactions and not just on the food.  And the boathouse provides the ambiance that one cannot get elsewhere. Because then I’d rather cook at home and eat. The only reason I would not go to this place is because they do not have a toilet.  That is the only part I find quite lame.

I understand that some may argue if this is even a restaurant.  I would probably relate it more to a picnic spot in that case.  But then again, you are what you position yourself to be.  Actually, you are what your consumers perceive you to be.

So what would you think of this no-food restaurant?

I love the way how human emotions are a huge motivator for innovation in business, however cynical that sounds.  Trust, romance, community living, insecurity (insurance!), greed, honour etc have been made into numerous successful business opportunities in the past.  I wonder if one can make a business opportunity by harnessing the anger capital in any given place.  Do kick boxing classes qualify for this one?

Power holidays – The power to tweak today lies in you.

July 26, 2008 § Leave a comment

In the wake of the power holidays being imposed throughout the city,  I was reading a couple of articles and was surprised to see one issue not being addressed anywhere.  We talk so much about the gap between the supply and the demand, we blame the lack of wind and the southwest monsoons, we claim that the Central Pool gave us only 60% of our share.  But we fail to rise up to the occasion and make some simple yet permanent changes in our lifestyle to conserve power and energy.  Sustainability is a lifestyle and a culture that we all need to understand, cultivate and apply.  It gives meaning to small actions aimed at larger implications.

We need to have take-aways from every experience and my suggested take-away in this scenario is this – SAVE THE REST.  If we can tweak little things in daily living, we can make sure we don’t have another power holiday, atleast in the future if not right away.  Here are a few ideas that we all may know of but refuse to acknowledge.

1. Walk more.  Cycle more.  And if this is not possible, look at No. 2

2. Car pool.

3. Use the fan more than the A/C.

4. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones. They last up to ten times longer and can use a quarter of the energy.

5. ALWAYS switch off all lights and fans before you leave a room.

So I hope you remember to switch off the lights in your office conference room when you walk by and see it empty.  I hope you remember to dump all your friends into one car before you head towards the beach.  I do.

Madras sans Hoardings – Eyes wide shut

July 25, 2008 § 2 Comments

Before April 2008, I could see blue.  I could see yellow.  Pink.  Red.  Orange.  Purple.  I could see various other colours whose names menfolk reading this cannot comprehend. (Men cannot understand words like teal :P) All of this on the colourful hoardings that adorned Madras’s skyline.

But there was one colour that I rarely saw.  Green. the natural, leaf green.  The greenery of the city has climbed to a higher strata through the removal of hoardings all across the city.  It was quite pleasant to see the leafy greenery which have been in hiding behind those multi-hued boards screaming out to the public.  But what does this open up?  As I whizzed past T.Nagar, I saw rusted roof tops, ugly buildings, broken and dilapidated skyscrapers(?) et al.  The removal of all these hoardings have opened our eyes to more than just the greenery.  Or has it?

As a community, we need to understand and be aware of the constituents that Stagnate, Contribute or Derail the city and its environment.  The hoarding ban has caused various repurcussions and realizations.  Advertising has taken a huge hit, event management companies have lost a way to announce to larger audiences and people now actually are more surprised seeing the free space and greenery rather than being awestruck looking at a Vodafone ad.

But my focus is more on the questions that have been thrown up.  What is the corporation doing about how dirty the buildings are and how dilapidated the surroundings are, now that they are more visible?  Why are the long posts that hold the hoardings still sticking out into the sky?  What sort of mass advertising is taking the place for hoardings (Internet?!)?  What are the electrical wires spoiling picturesque photographs?  How will the roads make-do for the loss of lighting from the hoardings?  Is there adequate city lighting through street lamps?

Also, this showed me that Madras will be Madras because of its people’s pure love for it.

So now that the doors are open to more questions, shall we start looking for some answers?  I will update when I do figure something out 🙂

A little beyond a lime juice…

July 22, 2008 § 4 Comments

When I walked into one of my neighbourhood eatouts after a gruelling work out one day, I ended up thinking about how people do very little to keep up a brand image built over years of hard work.

I am a regular there.  So much so that my friends and I even contemplated buying them new chairs and I would invest if they went public.  Now that you have a background, let me get on with it.

I walked in for a lime juice, just a lime juice.  Apparently, that is not allowed.  They serve burgers and sandwiches that I HAVE to eat to make myself eligible for the only lime juice that I want.  One may argue that it is the fault of the new guy who did not treat regulars well.  Or the fault of the guy who made the rules.  Sadly, it is the fault of the one guy who runs the show.  He did not hire to the right people and he did not educate them about the brand they were representing.

I left without eating/drinking anything.  They lost me.  And many others who cannot walk into a friendly place to grab some quick juice.  Then why even place that juice in the menu? What ever happened to customer delight?  Doesn’t brand retention ring a bell?

Brands + Amplification = Influence — ” David Armano”

I still do not know if I should mention the name of the place because I still like the food there.

Brand new day

July 13, 2008 § 2 Comments

WordPress just seems a lot more functional and cooler than most other blog sites.  So I moved my blog here.

Just to give you a quick update, you are entering my world and my take on stuff that intrigue me.  Branding+Management, Social Capital+Grassroots, Music, Humour, Entrepreneurship and some random thoughts as well.  Also, I am going to be more frequent here once I am done with my GMAT on July 21st.  So this is not procrastination 😛

To get things started, here’s one for the road. A random quote 🙂

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”

– Q

Where Am I?

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