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Weekend Reading (11.08.13) – Week 2

11 Aug


Interesting read(or watch) from around the web on a multitude of topics!

The Unexpected Antidote to Procrastination (HBR, #gtd #behavior #selfhelp)

8 Things Productive People Do During the Workday (LinkedIN, #gtd #behavior #selfhelp #professional)

11 Ways to Instantly Simplify Your Life (Prolific Living, #motivation #inspiration #simplify #life)

Motorola Moto X Review (YouTube, #motorola #motoX #google #android)

The Day I Stopped Saying “Hurry Up” (HuffingtonPost, #parenting #living #life #enjoy)


Disrupting The Business Software Industry

7 Aug

Couldn’t agree more with Aaron!

Enterprise software segment is currently dominated by big players who are in it since quite a long time. And this may inhibit new players from entering fearing that the relationship which existing software players have built over the years will be difficult to break away with. Even though relationships are no doubt important and does have a say in renewing contracts, but its not the only thing. A business is all about money and how an application can help the enterprise better utilize their resources. And this is the want or rather the need on an ongoing basis.

More often than not, it is the fear of the challenges and the learning associated with a new enterprise software which prohibits companies from changing their existing ones. To a large extent this is true. But this also shows the complexity involved and this needs to be simplified. The cost(tangible/in-tangible) of running an enterprise software seems more than the cost of acquiring it and this has to be changed and is changing. See how Google with their Google Apps totally disrupted a lot many things even though people were used to the old way of doing for years. But Google made it simple, added value, users saw benefit and they switched!

Recently there was a news that Bharti which had given a massive contract to IBM in 2004 and which is now up for renewal, may not renew the existing contract in its entirety only to IBM. Many new vendors are expected to be included, which will clearly bite into IBM’s share compared to what they got(everything) way back in 2004. This is a classic example of the state of things!

From a user/enterprise point of view, things will only get better. From a software vendor point of view, things will get more competitive and challenging!

As always, the best is yet to come!

IPMA Event Coverage : Excel for Product Managers

25 Sep

First a bit about what IPMA is all about –

India Product Management Association (IPMA) is a not-for-profit, voluntary, grassroots organization with chapters in Pune and Bangalore. Our Mission is to Foster Product Design and Innovation and Catalyze Product Management/Marketing Talent in India across software, mobile, hardware, telecommunications sectors in the IT industry. IPMA organizes knowledge sharing and networking forums such as Speaker Series, Workshops, P-Camps etc.

IPMA regularly conducts events for Professionals in the industry and specially relevant to those who are in the area of Product Management.

This time it was about Excel which is a valuable tool in any Product Manager’s tool kit.

Lets get started…

Day/Date/Time – Saturday, 22nd September, 9:30 AM

Venue – The beautiful Yahoo campus at Embassy Golf Links, Domlur, Bangalore

Trainer – Anand Vishwanathan, Microsoft

Topic – Excel for Product Managers

It was a beautiful Saturday morning and the splendid Embassy Golf Link made it even more so! I would love to work in any of the companies here just for the luxury in the form of their sprawling space! 🙂

It was my first trip to one of most widely known tech companies on the planet! Yes they have been sidelined for sometime thanks to the Apples, Googles, Microsofts etc but now since a star ex-Googler  : Marissa Mayer has taken the helm in the form of CEO of Yahoo, Yahoo can certainly look forward to even more interesting  and fun times in a good way! Why even more?? Well to start with Yahoo has started free food for all which has started in their offices in US to begin with! And very recently Marissa sent a memo to all their employees giving a list of smartphones(iphone5, s3, motorazr, etc) of which they had to choose one…for free! Now its not about the freebies which is commendable to me but the confidence which Marissa has shown in her employees in these very challenging times. Yahoo is probably going through their worst phase ever since they came into inception and these freebies will further put their top-line under pressure but imagine the confidence each and everyone will get from this move. Now each one will be renewed in their endeavor and work to make sure Yahoo comes back to glory! Anyways…lets not divert here!

I was very excited to see how a Yahoo looks like and though I didn’t get what I expected, it still is a beautiful office! One thing I don’t understand is why the security guards have a cribby and stern look on their faces. Don’t they know what a smile is? Or is it part of their job not to be friendly?? Hmm…

This workshop was at 2nd floor, after registration and registering our laptop serial numbers, after passing the blocks which you would normally see in Metro stations, we took the elevator and onto the 2nd floor. Crossing a typical office space lined up with cubicles…we reached India Gate!!!,  which was the name of the training room! Name is quiet quirky, though I didn’t get the link!

Training room was one big room which can comfortably sit 64 people and which consisted of 2 different training rooms separated by a partition. One can easily remove or close the partition as per their requirements. Room itself was quite nice and colorful and gave a feel good factor to it! Though I was the first to enter soon enough the room was comfortably packed!

Packed Crowd for the workshop

Session was opened by Anand Xavier(Yahoo) who is part of the organizing committee and is Vice-President of IPMA along with Ravi Padaki(Yahoo) who is the founder of IPMA.

Ravi Padaki, Founder of IPMA giving a brief intro of what IPMA is all about.

Now it was time for the trainer  – Anand Vishwanathan to get started. Since it was a hands-on workshop, we all were required to download certain files on which we could work upon. Anand started showing the demo and we all followed him. Some of the topics covered were –

  1. Formulae
  2. Charts
  3. Pivot Table
  4. Macros
  5. Goal Seek
  6. Data Validation & Analysis

Trainer – Anand Vishwanathan taking the stage!

Considering we had a very short time of 2 hours, Anand could barely touch on all the above without us getting lost, which I have to confess I did get lost with the quantum of things to do in Excel. At present I would be using less than 5% of Excel! 😦

Anand is a seasoned trainer and has been conducting such workshops for years now. It definitely shows as he had a nice flow to the entire session and knew what he was talking about. The session was very interactive, with every now and then questions coming up.

Overall the session was definitely useful to at least start exploring the capabilities of Excel.  Yes longer duration sessions are even more useful and beneficial, but its a start and I am not complaining! 🙂

If you are in Product Management or aspiring to make it part of your Profession, I highly recommend joining IPMA. Please don’t judge from their site which – they are aware – needs a revamp and are looking for Volunteers to help them do the same!

See you at the next event!


CEOs, Get Out of the Way!

3 May

Very well articulated by Vineet Nayar(CEO, HCL Technologies Ltd.)

In today’s uber fast-changing age, its the employees(specially new recruits) who have the inclination to change if something is not right and/or improvise the current systems. Ideally the top management and people hanging on to their cosy chairs must acknowledge, appreciate and apply feedback. Of-course not every feedback may be in the interest of the organisation, but if majority is saying the same, there has to be some truth in it.

Organisations who stay in the past, will soon become a thing of the past!

P.S. – I just commend Vineet’s approach to employees, how easily he is approachable and trying to connect with his employees first, through various mediums! 

Fantastic Read : The Twelve Most Important Lessons I’ve Learned So Far

3 May

Great post by Tony Schwartz !

Few excerpts :

1. The more we know about ourselves, the more power we have to behave better. Humility is underrated. We each have an infinite capacity for self-deception — countless unconscious ways we protect ourselves from pain, uncertainty, and responsibility — often at the expense of others and of ourselves. Endless introspection can turn into self-indulgence, but deepening self-awareness is essential to freeing ourselves from our reactive, habitual behaviors.

2. Notice the good. We each carry an evolutionary predisposition to dwell on what’s wrong in our lives. The antidote is to deliberately take time out each day to notice what’s going right, and to feel grateful for what you’ve got. It’s probably a lot.

3. Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.

4. Never seek your value at the expense of someone else’s. When we’re feeling devalued, our reactive instinct is to do anything to restore what we’ve lost. Devaluing the person who made you feel bad will only prompt more of the same in return.

To read the remaining go here!

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