Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why Does History Repeat Itself?

We blame the history for repeating itself but the more we see the fundamental behaviour of humans, the more we shall find that the phenomenon of history being able to repeat is primarily the reason why it can repeat. Confused??? Its fine... I was too, till I gave more thought to it... And what is worse, still am....

Let us look at the judicial system: A precedent is something that can hardly be ignored, unless the case facts have altered beyond a point. The precedent, then, is taken as the judgement to be made. If the case facts are similar, the culprit must be the same – is what we believe. Why don’t we question the judgement of the judge who set that precedent? How many amendments do we know of which sought to repeal previously held judgements. Most amendments are actually “appendment”s. So effectively, if in a dubious case the wrong guy is hanged to death, the precedence will be held true for all cases in future too – and repeatedly, the wrong guy will be dead. And undoubtedly, we’ll claim, “History Repeats Itself”.

The second instance is what I got interested in today – Technical Analysis of stocks. The chartists claim that trends are similar across times – that trends themselves have a trend!!! But where they cement the phenomenon is their belief that the trend cannot change, that if the prices went down this day in history, they will do so today!!! So the next time I recognise a trend, I know what will happen and thus will follow the trend... Thus I, inadvertently, become a part of self-fulfilling prophecy. I recognise the trend that prices will fall and start selling my stock. Everyone else also does the same. When it reaches a certain level and I realise that the historical trend predicts an increase now, I start to buy stock. Everyone else does too. Is it a wonder that the prices actually fall and rise “as predicted by Technical Analysis”? The chartists believe that market psyche remains constant to market stimuli, why they discount the human mental evolution is something I’m yet to understand. Probably a chartist or behavioural finance specialist can explain.


P.S.: I'm neither a Lawyer nor a Chartist. More importantly, I do not claim to be one. The above are simply ramblings which I hope will be answered over time.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Of negligence, dereliction and corruption

It was just one of those things that can get me started. I hate inefficiencies but not being the most efficient performer (despite my concentrated and hopefully dedicated efforts) myself, I try not to complain too...!!! I might crib about it but forget it soon enough. More often than not, I end up praising for perpetuator of inefficiency for the work done... (Remember my praises of mess food;))

It was a simple expression of anger on the inefficiency of a government-run body. The perpetuator of inefficiency (and may be dereliction too) was an employee of the govt. And it got me started... I’ll paste the chat that followed (me v/s XXX)

me: But its a big vicious circle..
and initially u feel angry against the perpetuator..
but if u analyse it, u cant blame him..
jungle hai... sher deer se dosti karega to khayega kya..!!

XXX: kya pata yar
deer kaun sher kaun
sab hi sher ho rakhe hain
me: initially we also thot the same..
but then i talked to the perpetuator
thn realised.. he cant really help it..
and his job is really his side business.. they provide jobs to many other families through other things they do. basically ek haath se 150/- dete hain aur doosre haath se 100/- lete hain..

XXX: kya pata yaar
me: hmm... not sayin sab doodh ke dhule hain..
XXX: perpetuator ke part pe bad job ka justification samajh nahi aata
me: hmm.. but yeah.. they are not so wrong also... one thin i realised on my village trip was tht we, with all the resources, can afford to think of idealism..
they cant..

XXX: probably true
me: just think.. 100/- pm se kitna kamata hoga.. aint tht amount u spend on treats and bisuda..
me: coz in engg coll days i wanted to teach the kids of the roadside labour..
but realised.. i cud do it coz i knew it was not somethin i was doing for eternity or a living..

XXX: hmm
ye bhi hai

me: if it was for a living.. then i'd not be teachin them beyond a point whr they stop dependin on me...
and if they doubt.. i'd ensure one of my friends takes the tuition and i teach in "school"
so in essence i'll safeguard my source of income if tht was so..

XXX: :(
me: corruption can and should be analysed from the point of view of the perpetuator..
XXX: hmm
me: just imagine.. how many times - almost daily - do we involve ourselves in corruption - how many times do we not do our duty - and then we complain of negligence, dereliction and mal-intention..
me: ok, wat is ur duty?
u knw ur capacity is infinite..

XXX: alag alag role mei alag hai
me: yups.. hv u performed everyone of them?
if u say no, i'll say.. "see"
if u say yes, i'll add two more things tht u cud and shud hv done..
so really u dont hv an answer..


P.S. @XXX: I really hope, ur anonymity is well preserved and this post is in no way offensive to you or your beliefs

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Did Nokia borrow my idea???

“Business leaders do not spring from a classroom, they are born of THE COLOSSEUM.”
Thus says my T-shirt. Are ideas also born of THE COLOSSEUM? They sure seem to...

I had talked about how Nokia publicised its N97 through the B-School competition, THE COLOSSEUM some months back. But now that I think of it, it was not just publicity. The event was really a cradle of ideas – ideas that Nokia could use for not just N97 but also its other future products.

Think of it... The event was participated in by the most brilliant minds of the country. The suggestions came out after a detailed market analysis and touch-point study of the target consumers. What came out of the competition had to be top-notch. All that would be required after these ideas were generated would be communication of these ideas to few creative people who would then look for consumer target icons and use them to create super brands.

With an industry which keeps changing so fast, it really can be expensive to hire a top-notch ad agency to create advertising and marketing campaigns month after month. It would be very expensive to hire consultants for brand positioning and value propositioning. Going to B-Schools thus becomes an easy source of innovation (in terms of promotion strategies and not products). With the technology backing, all a marketing giant needs to do is float such competitions in the best B-Schools and the best design schools. One such competition would give them enough fodder to feed a few of their future products. At cost that would not even equal a single product launch, it sure is a very beneficial form of outsourcing.


P.S. Case in point: My introduction to the idea was this (not same but similar to Nokia 7610's "Its not just a phone, Its who we are."):

"My first phone was a Nokia 3310. It solved my communication needs. Then I bought a Nokia 6360. Not just did it solve my communication needs but connected me to real-life through its colours. Then I bought a Nokia 6670. That connected me to my computer and I could read documents and listen to music. Then I bought an NGage. That kept me connected to my first love – games. Then I purchased a N72 – which with GPRS, Good Music, FM radio, Camera and decent video – changed the whole concept of a phone. I was now connected to the whole world. But my world was limited by the capacity of the phone. Then came the N95 which with its huge memory ensured I had a bigger repository of songs than I could ever listen to in one sitting, that stayed connected to my memories through the images and videos I could store. What next? Has Nokia transcended all boundaries and connected me to everything I ever wanted to be connected to? Now I need something that not just connects me to the world but is also an extension of myself. Thus it is not a phone but my virtual self."

Our Team: Karan, Angshu, Me