Monday, August 27, 2012

Gmail & Me

My initial thought "Jus' b'cos it offers more space it does not have to be good". It was jus' another mail account, the only difference "1GB"! [the marketing team of Google has got my attention :-)]. I Started using gmail with some initial reluctance, as the loading time was much similar to yahoo. The user interface :-( was not catchy enough, to get the attention of first time usres.
The "speed" was something that caught my attention first. These guys seemed to offer the service over a scalable grid. I did not see anything new there!. Then the labels feature was something hmmm hmm... it kind of aroused my interest. Still I was apprehensive whether it would scale with 10,000 mails.
After this, I started to play with it, enabled the stars, applied the labels etc. The user interface response was very good! The threading of mails as tabs was also good! Now,these guys seem to be serious about what they are doing. The archiving of mails was quite Ok! but I was not completely impressed. The provision to revert back from archive was very thoughtful.
Here is a list of features, I felt was useful:
* Automatic additions to contacts.
* Auto storing of sent mails was good. ( In yahoo you need to check a dumb checkbox!)
* Messages when no mails are there, are amusing "Hooray, no spam here!" etc...
* Automatic search results when we create filters was impressive. 8-)
* Keyboard short cuts are cool!
* Delete account info is thoughtful,this is something I have cursed some mail providers for not having! Having it just gives you that sense of freedom,to break free from something :-)
* Actual message along with the subject is pretty useful
Some drawbacks:
* Initial loading time is slow
* No support for draft mails ( now they are supporting drafts of mails)
* Delete options is hidden under more options (two costly web clicks... yuk!)
* Some javascript errors (harmless, I guess, as all the actions performed seemed to work)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Think the Unthinkable

What the people in business think they know about customer and market is more likely to be wrong than right. There is only one person who really knows: the customer. In his book "Managing for results" Peter F Drucker has pinpoint very justifiable who is the king of market. Brand managers and owner think themselves the leader of market. They let them think that they decide the fate of market and they can carry their leadership in one segment to another segment easily with there brand name. Many have jump into this rat race.
When Xerox saw a big opportunity in PC market they planned to jump into this market with the brand name 'Xerox'. They let themselves in thinking that both are of same kind of product. Customer will buy in their thinking and they will buy Xerox name in PC. But to their surprise and million of dollar write off, they realized that customer take PC a very apart product from the photocopier business. To them, Xerox represent photocopier. Xerox means photocopier.
Business people think that they know their customer genes. But customer's genes are not hard and fast stable jeans like human genes. They keep changing. 'Our engineers had to suspend the law of nature to make this or that possible. "But customer has a very unique and different way of mind set. They can , very much possible, think that if it so much difficult, there may be a big chances that it will not work at all. End result would falter of the product. Peter Drucker states, "No one company and brand is important to market". Market defines rules for the game. A lot of play the game and efficient player in all the department become the leader. But she is the leader not the market itself. If an organization goes down it can at most affect it employees, owners, shareholders and the government. But not at all the customer. Customer has a vast option to decide on. He will switch his vendor, Simple and straight as bamboo.
But brand owner has a very unique way of market view. They see themselves not as leader of market but the leader of customers. They themselves decide that customer will buy anything that they produce given the following in one segment of market. While deciding on these strategies, they ignore the huge amount of data and facts available to them and fancy themselves with speculations.
Billions of dollars has gone under drain only due to defocusing and fancy mind of mindless CEOs of big boys of corporate world. And to my best of knowledge, these so called intelligent guys are not learning fast enough.

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Hottest KISS

The word 'KISS' sent a tingling sensation down under your heart. Frankly, I wake up everyday in my life in search of a KISS. And where I find it daily from two guys, all the way down to Silicon Valley. It is called the 'Google'.
Can you imagine, if the KISS is so hot and most wanted, why most of business executives and CEOs keep running away from it? Well, all the management Guru are still to find and I am certainly not running away from a KISS.
What is KISS? It is "Keep it Simple, Stupid". It is a business idea which has done wonder in numerous businesses but still strategist and planner keep running away from KISS.
Simplicity in life goes a long way. Perfect example of this is Google home page, with a search box and very limited text here and there. I do not have to tell you, who are the cool guys from Google. They kept it as simple as it could be. But believe me; they had to think this "Out of box". Is it very difficult and complex to stay simple?
There is an old saying that, "tougher than recognizing the merits of simplicity is sticking with it." Logical business thinking loves and admires simplicity but why executive do not like it. They buy into the idea of jazzy and sassy words. Most of executives give in these trying time of their convention. But few resisted and become star Kisser.
When AOL launch it version for window they kept it as simple as it could be. Steve Case, then CEO, said, "We always said that we viewed AOL as being about the Internet and a whole lot more and less about the technology and more about the user experience". But people mocked and criticized him for his simplicity. Nerds from Silicon Valley called his company useless and non-technical.
But Steve Case was not a person get moved by them. Many people use to give in face of these criticisms and loose their leading edge. Let me make it simpler, with a quotation from jack Welch, "We are in one of simplest profession. After all business is not the rocket science".
Can I ask a simple question would you like to kiss your girl friend through a video conference? Huuh! I will never.