Facebook and The Five Stages of Grief

Facebook, as we know it today, is so integral in our daily lives that we spend more time on it than we do on reading a newspaper or a book, eating, exercising or listening to music in a day. We are certainly addicted. We love to read news stories shared by our friends. Facebook also helps by keeping us updated about our friends’ whereabouts and things they are up to via means of photos, posts, videos and various other activities on connected apps. So now we know what episode a friend just watched and what movie a friend is longing to watch. We also know what kind of music they listen to and what kind of food they like. Certainly, not everyone do share all these activities but they eventually subscribe to some friends who push constant feed of updates on Facebook. I am the latter one. Whether or not my friends consume whatever I share, I still use Facebook to push in ‘almost’ every other activity I do & deem it shareable. On the contrary, I use it as an online journal which is also shared with friends enabling me to have connected experiences wherever necessary.
In this new age of Facebook & sharing, people end up consuming the information shared. Consumption may occur by means of viewing the information shared, liking a post, re-sharing it or commenting on it to create a complete social experience. In this experience, people end up setting expectations of engagement, expecting that friends will like, re-share or comment on their posts. And as we all know it, this does not happen most of the time. Considering that many of your friends are online on Facebook for most part of the day, your post will probably never go unnoticed but you will still fetch a very few likes or comments, sometimes none. What is the reason for this? No real reason. It’s just the human nature. Possibly this is one of the reasons we call humans, “Social Animals”. But there are sincere side effects to this. People experience grief. This is also one reason why people reduces use of Facebook overtime and some eventually drop out of the service. Don’t trust me? Read on and you will concur.

Sadistic Indian Internet

Silicon Valley is abuzz with Internet startups, millions in funding and billions in acquisitions or IPO’s. It’s even referred to as dot com boom of this decade. These startups are amped up in technology, design, simplicity and user experience. In the parallel world, Internet veterans like Yahoo, ebay, Amazon etc are continuously evolving to match with these startups. Even non-internet based companies in industries like retail, whole foods, banks, finance, healthcare etc have caught up in this arena and all of them have very good functional websites doing the job just right or even better, year on year. Most of these companies use outsourcing to build and develop their applications. Many of them also have iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone etc apps. Most of this is outsourced to countries like India and China for cost effective application development.

On other hand, Indian IT companies, large and small, are busy running software sweat shops for American and European businesses. A very few of them have their own software products out in the market. Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, ebay and soon Amazon are all bringing in great products to the Indian Internet and making things prettier. Also, a couple of startups like Flipkart, Snapdeal, Mojostreet, iXigo, BookmyShow, RedBus, IRCTC (not a startup though) etc are bringing in world class products to the Indian Internet. All of them are pretty good at technology, design, simplicity and user experience. However, there is another part of the Indian Internet and yes it is pathetic at the best. To name a few – ICICI Bank, Rediff,  MakeMyTrip, Way2SMS, Airtel, Croma Retail etc. Continue reading “Sadistic Indian Internet”

Is Hype natural for Google?

We all know that Google was trying to get a pie in the online social world since ages now. It started off with Orkut which is (was) popular in India and Brazil but didn’t really take off in the United States. Following that the Big G tried taking over twitter with Buzz and also tried with something as different as Google Wave. All those services were hyped when they started but now we all know, what’s on and what’s off.

Google recently introduced +1, which was an answer to Facebook’s very own Like button. And to second that, Google is out with a totally fresh social network called Google +. Coming out of the stables of Google, the whole internet world was shocked and awed learning about this service. Everyone on the internet was abuzz requesting invites to the service. Google finally had to stop onboarding new users until they were sure to handle the high volume. But I am so very tired of people claiming Google’s victory over Facebook and Twitter. And I am tired of seeing Google + related feeds cluttering my Twitter timeline and Facebook wall. This post is for all who think that this is the end of Facebook and Twitter. This post is for all who think that what the Big G does is right and all others will fail at its mercy. Continue reading “Is Hype natural for Google?”

Poor Startups, Stolen Ideas

While the Silicon Valley is abuzz with billion dollars in funding, (yeah you read it right, its billion) multi million dollar acquisitions and billion dollar IPO’s world is still looking at India as one of the next innovation centers and a place which could create billion dollar startups. This is a fact and we all are very well aware of the potential. India, these days, is also a crowded space when we talk about business ideas and startups. You think of any business idea and search it up online and I bet you will find someone doing it already. All kinds of business from upscale coffee bars & sports bars to online tshirt shops are making their mark in India. Many have achieved economies of scale while many have fallen to cash crunch. But is it all so rosy and achievable for the wannapreneurs out there in the wild?

Normally, first time entrepreneurs struggle hard to make a point with their business ideas and corresponding models. They spend months and years developing a product or a service and introducing it to probable customers and clients. Some achieve success and eventually attract customers and inventors. Until and unless real revenues are shown, investors are reluctant to even consider a startup for a round of funding. This is changing these days but it is not so very commonplace yet. One of the biggest problem for these startups is that their idea is open in the market for prying minds and also big-wiggies who are always in search of showing some innovation in their rather dull portfolios. A classic example would be corporations like Airtel copying VAS ideas from small startups. Continue reading “Poor Startups, Stolen Ideas”

Desi Idiot Box

I have always been a fan of the idiot box. Right from the days of Zee TV till the DTH and HD age, I have always spent my time at home with the TV on. Agree or not, I spend an average of 6-8 hours in front of a TV almost each day, not necessarily just watching it without multitasking though. But one thing is for sure, I am addicted!

Currently, we have got the right amount of competition in India around the DTH Satellite TV space. Each service provider is trying to capture more and more subscribers by means of lowering hardware prices, showcasing features like DVR, roping in filmstars, counting HD channels etc. And these may be many of the reasons why people are moving away from local cablewallahs and adopting one of these service providers. But are we leveraging the technology to the fullest? Are we bringing in more value to the consumer as well as the channels? Continue reading “Desi Idiot Box”

New World Order?

Obama! Obama! Obama! These days we don’t find anything more than Obama in newspapers. From front page to editorials and also on business pages, Obama has overshadowed even the dirty Indian political drama these days. But what’s in store for the world with the first black president in the history of United States. Btw, why do media need to call him black? He can be easily referred to as an African-American. All these days newspapers are having articles about what all Obama can do for the world and so called individual economies. IT companies are getting curious about the outcomes of Obama implementing a new outsourcing policy. Others are getting joyous by learning that Obama shall declare the end of war with Iraq and Afghanistan. Indian masterminds still contemplating that the 44th president shall atleast help us with the Kashmir issue and finally Pakistan shall be termed a terrorist state. All these notions overwhelm me in many ways.

Continue reading “New World Order?”