Friday, July 29, 2011

Priceless Moments

If you haven't taken a vacation since long time then I urge you to take one.  It's an amazing feeling.  Even if you can't take a vacation, then go to some place in your town or city which is quiet and peaceful.  Go alone or with your loved ones.  Go out there, take a deep breath and just let your feelings come out.  It will bring freshness to your life.  I think this is a form of meditation.  Everyday people spent time in front of bright television listening and watching not so bright news about world.  You might not remember every episode of "Lost" series but these moments will stay in your memory lanes forever.  In a not so happening city like Toledo, you can still enjoy such moments.  I think there is lot more to explore and enjoy in this world.  These moments are priceless and you have to create them.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We Are Going Through A Cultural Revolution

I first realized this through Fred Wilson's blog(A VC).  In this post, I am trying to describe why I think that we are going through a cultural revolution.

More power to People
Prior to social media and the internet, the world population was disconnected. People could not share or communicate crucial information to different parts of the world.  People now have a voice through social media.  And they can share anything to world in just a matter of seconds.  They have more power than ever before.  We have witnessed Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Watch this interactive timeline from guardian for more on Arab revolution.

First time like poles attract each other
With increasing internet connectivity and more people joining twitter and Facebook more people are sharing.  And sharing is likely to increase exponentially.  As a result of this, more like minded people are able to connect with each other.  So if you believe in something then you don't have to restrict or inhibit yourself from sharing what you believe in.  Instead you can find an online community which has people like you.  And as a result, you will be more happier than ever before.  StackExchange is network of  57 sites of highly engaged audience contributing knowledge to millions of users everyday.  Such forum like sites are sprouting everywhere.

Better communication and collaboration
We are getting better at collaborating with each other over challenging tasks, which are impossible for a single individual to do.  This power is used around the world in both constructive (solve world problems) and destructive (hacking websites) ways.  

It's an open and transparent world.  You cannot hide something from the people.  Why hide people's information from them? Why should people guess on what is happening with the community?  Why hold on to all the power?  Let's give people the power over their destiny.  India will be the biggest country in the world to tackle corruption in a meaningful way.  Thanks to all the responsible citizens who acted this time.  World governments are bound to become transparent as a result of such a cultural revolution.

This will open flood gates for innovation around the world.  And like minded people collaborating with each other to solve world problems will be a key trend in this cultural revolution.  

I would like to quote what Fred Wilson wrote,
The Internet is not controlled by anyone or anything. It is a highly distributed global network that has at its core the concepts of free speech and individual liberty. This ethos, which includes but is not limited to hacker culture, is in many ways at odds with big companies, institutions, and governments which seek to control, regulate, and "civilize" the Internet.

1. A VC: Investing in a cultural revolution
2. Wikileaks Articles
3. India fights corruption
4. USA Open Data
5. NYC opening up its data for entrepreneurs to innovate.
6. See this Google trend on word Hackedhttp://www.google.com/trends?q=Hacked
7. See this guarding article on Arab world timeline.
8. Hundreds of sites getting hacked.

I am sure you can find hundreds of articles on governments, big corporations in trouble and lots of companies innovating.  Cultural revolution will increase innovation and business opportunities.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bad Bosses

There are bad bosses.  And there are good bosses.  You can't escape them until you quit you job or change positions within your company.  It depends on your perspective about your boss too because in reality that boss might be doing his or her job.  The problem for most people is that they keep thinking about their bosses and what they are doing to them and how unfairly they treat them.  And that's the trick that will put people in a never ending thinking loop until they find another job.  Such a waste of emotional energy.  Just not worth it.

If you feel your day with your boss was not good then for a second put yourself in your boss's shoes and think how his or her typical day might look like.  How would you have reacted if you were in that place?  Would you make similar choices?  The moment we switch places, our perspectives changes.  For the most part, I believe it is the communication problem that keeps the other side thinking wrong stuff that they are not suppose to think in the first place.  For example, if a boss can just tell the employee that today is just not a good day please bear with me.

Most of our life is spent working.  We have to deal with bosses more frequently than we meet and talk with even our family sometimes.  And it can be very hard to survive and deal everyday if one has a bad boss.  Our personal life can be affected by this.  It is very important for us to gel well with our boss.  It is highly unlikely that your boss behavior might change overnight if he/she has been treating you unfairly or any other misappropriate way.  However, you can do few things to overcome a bad boss and I tried to cover just five of them below.  Read at your own risk though as I am no expert on it.

1. Consult different people over this situation and be honest.  If you are honest then people will tell you the truth and advise you over the right thing to do.

2. Be open and think wisely.  You can just ignore and keep doing awesome job and hope things might improve.  Sometimes a highly unrelated situation might force you to think different stuff about your boss which might not be good.  Just ignore it.

3.  Don't judge your boss based upon someone else's opinion or thinking.  This is quite prevalent in many work places.  Rumors and gossip just amplifies things which they might not be true in the first place.  Judge based upon first hand information.

4. Talk things out with your boss.  Clear cut communication with your boss will help you sort things out.  Be persistent and communicate often.  If it does not work out, then you know that the place is not right for you.

5.  Listen to everybody but do what is right for you based  upon your situation.  Like every disease has its own prescription, do what is right for you.  So don't take AIDS prescription for a minor fever.

Note: This blog post in no way reflects my opinions about my current employment or my boss.  This are my observations in general and my research during my MBA studies.  Finally, these are my opinions and please assess your situation independently and act at your own risk. 

Friday, July 08, 2011

Preserving Our Local Languages

With globalization reaching its new high, English language is becoming more and more ubiquitous.  Preference for sending kids to English medium schools is on the rise.  Our cultural values are diminishing and merging more towards a global culture.  It is difficult to measure culture and argue on numbers but it is happening.

So are we about to loose our cultural heritage and integrity?  What should we do to create awareness about local culture among everyone?   Who will teach Gujarati(regional language for Gujarat state in India) and who will do marvelous poetry that we used to learn in schools?  And most important of all will anybody care for it? Shouldn't we preserve our rich culture of local language?  In different countries they have still preserved their languages.  In fact in many countries they have computer key boards in their languages.

In a world of globalization it is very important that we learn a universal language but an equal effort should be placed in promoting and preserving our own language strictly speaking other than English.  With the advent of English medium schools and now international schools it is becoming a status symbol for middle class in India.  Well it is all good but at the same time equal emphasis should put on teaching our kids the prevalent local language.

I don't say that we should send every one to Gujarati medium schools but we should keep more Gujarati courses available in universities and colleges. And why not, for Free.  We should create platform which provides motivation, incentives, and recognition to upcoming talent in local languages around the world.  In U.S. universities have couple of courses on foreign languages and people take those courses as a sign of prestige and it represents that they are intellectual.  Why same can't be done elsewhere in the world?  It is of prime importance that we acknowledge the need to preserve them.

The problem is more prevalent if you think of people who can understand and speak in their languages but cannot write or read.  This is a common case with immigrant children or children whose parents were immigrants.  What if those parents are willing to teach their children their mother tongue?  I mean in all aspects, reading, writing and speaking fluently.  And why would they even want to care for it?  Is there any incentive for their kids in a global society?  Those who don't find any answers will give up teaching to their kids.

Evangelism about local languages and local culture should be done by all responsible citizens of 21st century.  We are living in a more responsive society and I believe that we can achieve such goals.  At the same time our moves should not be counter productive either.  We should not make it harder for those who speak global language to live.  If you ever visit a country or a region with strong presence of local culture, then sometimes it is so hard to get things done even though if you know English.  "Think Global, Act Local" slogan best fits here.  We should not only embrace globalization but also keep a strong focus on localization.  At least that's what is the mantra going forward with technology companies.

So if you are still with me then suggest some ways we could address this issue in the comments sections.