Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Taking credibility of earlier success

Taking credibility of earlier success

Taking credibility of earlier success,
to promote new produce is natural tendency,
towards ease of optimizing efforts,
required to setup new identity.

Using credibility is a wrong strategy in long run.

Good Product companies like P&G and other many deliberate to associate product as a independent brand. Avoiding to put their name as part of product name. Using common suffix can show a certain creed of products definitely. But still using company name on each product as credible maker of the product does not work in long run.

One of bad marketing efforts recently seen on Indian Markets is, Tata Motors.
What is Tata "........."? it is "Nano" these days. Earlier it was "Sumo". Since Tata is associated with more than one product it creates problem to both products when they try to associate themselves with word "Tata".

Nano is product innovation, thus Sumo was. What made them success was being a first of its kind of offering that aligned with consumer needs.

Before Sumo there were jeep variants in many forms for passenger and transpiration. Sumo was perceived to be focused more thin, for passenger. it was right product in the market. Importantly first product to be so better aligned with consumer needs.

Nano, focused on consumer needs. After Maruti 800, it is using "generation gap" to use same "entry level car for mass" concept. It is product innovation in Indian small car segment, in fact innovating extra cheap small car segment. For next product innovation to try same concept may need to wait 30 years more. Else they will be perceived as only the followers of recent product innovator.

In long run, Sumo business will decline. There are most confusion offerings made by Tata Motors, to extend the Sumo offerings. Non such offerings made it grand success as Sumo did after launch. In fact there are multiple version offerings of "Sumo" making it even diluted. 
Nano is also competing for key phrase "Tata ....." taking it away from Sumo. Nano and Sumo only compete for association with prefix Tata. 

Tata Motors is using "credibility" of Tata in all their products. Same for their other car series too.

Another mistake Tata Motors trying to satisfy the cheapest end of car segment and the most expensive SUV segment. Trying to cover too many market segments. In long run ...danger.

The other thinking at Tata Motors is to use "intel inside" concept. The new Fiat Linea with "tjet"! Does anyone buy an expensive sedan which is also properly a "long sedan" in the market, since it has turbo jet fuel injection system, in its engine? I think NO. Same mistake with Sumo varients and other cars. Only confusing customers. Consumers converse... "So you bought 'Qudra Jet' engine car?" NO. Customers generally do not think so. What is critical thing in PC, is processor. What is critical thing in Sedan, Engine? Fuel Injection? ... may be status, style, pride, being expensive, more horse power... differentiating it as a class apart.

Both Nano and Sumo could have registered well in consumer mind without prefix Tata. Tata Motors as all other Tata products from salt to chemicals use their name prefixed on each product. This stems from use of "credibility". In more matured markets such concepts in long run does not stand well.

What is case for Tata Motors is same for all industries. Movies, Chemicals, Retail stores, Construction, everywhere. In software products things are little different where standards compliance are also important.

Reputation is build over time with consistent performance. Market will reward this with business, without even need to know who builds it.

Credibility is like earned wealth, capitalizing on it will only consume it. In long run you might exhaust it, when used unwisely.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010



Wikipedia is success
It is a strong brand

Should the wiki replicate it's success?
Do you think “Yes”?

Isn’t wiki concept worked for them?
Banking on similar offering and type?
By creating other related wikis?
They are already doing it with wikibooks, wikiquotes, wikisearch,..

Will these be equally successful as Wikipedia is?

These offerings are based on the idea,
“as it is Wikipedia, similar for books, quotes, search,… now”

“similar” points out to repeat satisfaction as in case of Wikipedia

Isn’t wiki concept worked for them? Why not repeat same?
This does not replicate success,
but defocuses Wikimedia organization.

What worked in one type of contents may not work with same Avtar called “wiki”.
There are video, photo, presentation, document... content publish and share sites.
These are big brands in their own territory.
These are not “wiki”, but they are their own types.
There are user shared contents through video, blogs through video,...
but these are not same As “wiki”,
these are forms of content delivery under category “online video”.

What leaders do? once they become “Leaders”, recognized well for their success?
They put their hand on replication gear.
A common mistake, out of self confidence or self satisfying success needs.

A manager successful in one division soon gets bored of his success in the division and wants to take on to another division.

A CEO after done well with one segment of products, want to start another Product line.

An actor good with one type of role, want to take another type.

An entrepreneur successful in one idea, want to take another soon after the success of earlier.

Replication is common human desire
If I can do this, I shall be able to other as well.

This thinking is common.
This is trying to be successful over all pockets.
This is not diversion mind but the drive for completeness.

“Not just this but other as well” sounds going to 2nd grade after passing 1st.

I can
Basic human tendency, drives need to prove “I can”.
That’s good, motivation to keep taking challenges and repeat.

It makes sense,
as we acquire any skill first time,
we want to be sure to be able to repeat again, equally or better.

“Acquired the ability” is a big sense one can feel.
But for that one shall attempt again to prove it works for next incidence.

Often, once you create a success,
often through "first to conceptualize" something,
you have same thing tight bound to you as identity.

The success replication attempts after do not materialize,
with the same identity.

Do not loose your identity,
to let you try second, third and more replication attempts.

As you loose identity,
you loose success too, almost instantly.

What should Wikimedia do?
So shall Wikimedia keep all line extensions?
Only if, to support their main character the “Wikipedia”!

If it is, to make the single choice from many,
all other options compete each other.

To avoid that all other options must be chosen carefully,
to not to compete each other,
or must cater a distinct needs to avoid competition,
or all other options must deliberated to lower grade to make the single option out stand visibly.

But all wiki extensions do not compete each other.
They are all alternate offerings for totally different types of contents.

These still compete each other,
to get energy and attention of the Wikimedia,
which is limited.

as people regard different respect to each offering,
the ROI on each is not same,
highest for Wikipedia.

So in limited energy condition,
which single choice should Wikimedia pursue,
if Wikipedia is going to stay for very long and well established too.

Thursday, September 30, 2010



Operate to your discomfort zone else you will become loafing
- (a candidate)
Tuesday, 6 Jun, 2010, during interview

Operate to your discomfort level
Getting to comfort zone will make you relaxed and fade you soon

Discomfort is unavoidable
Choose it often
Extinguish the fire when it is small, take yourself to discomfort

Good leaders
choose discomfort zone as it gives them challenge and chance to raise their competency

Degree of discomfort can be chosen
Capacity to take up higher discomfort can be raised
Capacity to expose longer to discomfort can be built
Only by taking onto discomfort

Raise the bar each time and attempt is frequently

Competency raising will always demand working on edge to enter the discomfort zone

Under survival competition
Operate to comfort zone, as it is time to deliver
Too much discomfort and more you exposed to the risk

Good leaders
raise their capacity to handle high degree of discomfort
specially when there is no competition

Good leaders
often choose to toggle from comfort to discomfort as needed
Discomfort can strain you, when exposed elongated
You must raise habit of exposing to discomfort
and sustain  longer

Discomfort becomes ease as your competency is built soon,
as you conqueror limitations of yourself, things get to ease for you

Why discomfort zone operation is required?
to raise you competency

Remember, shark in the tank!
challenge keep your competency shined

There are many choices to choose discomfort
Carefully choose discomfort that will take you to the right goal
Choose the goal first, every thing else is a means
Do not get married to the means, but to the goal

Revisit you goal often to detail it more, refine it further

Remember focused action will take you there

Friday, August 6, 2010

Glorification is mother of all scope creep

Glorification is mother of all scope creep

Why things are glorified?
  • Mental, the way we are
  • Environment, the way we grow up

It is innate desire to create esteem that we are doing something really worth, complex (not so easy) and big (vast scope) that not any one can do easily

It also gives satisfaction of achieving intellect

Need of glorification stems from our mental needs of being valuable, having self esteem of being valuable and doing valuable

We are humans, the creatures of emotion

Smart things are complex than the thing being related as reference

That is what we learn since our childhood
Our ability to model complexity is also limited at that time which evolves over a period

But as we learn to model (or understand) complex enough things to our ability
We learn an important lesson,
A degree of additional smartness requires additional consideration
As we keep adding smartness and interdependence, complexity keeps growing
Progressively challenging our complexity modeling ability at that age

This is first thing we get learned early on and continued for long

What is the obvious thing we register?
Things are not simple as they look.

But if we take look at same thing after a long time, we find it simpler.
With our learning of common patterns of interdependency and various forms of structural relationships in systems, we are able to understand better and handle more complex things further

Most difficult to perceive thing is “Simple”
This is because our mindset built so
Things must be complex enough to build extra smartness

Complexity and Smartness have correlation
Because the complex system can handle more situations

Can simple be Smarter?
Does it handles more and higher interdependent cases than reference being related? NO.

Simpler can also be smarter
by making it to its original simple form, not by being simple

Smarter is the process

Reducing things to further irreducible form

Simple is not Obvious

What gets embossed on to our mind during those early days of analytical competence development is
Things “must” be complex though it looks simple
Fact that things “can” be complex

However simple things can be,
our beliefs, creativity and selective perceiving treats them as Complex

This makes most obvious and simple things (like common sense) are missed by miles

Saturday, July 31, 2010

As we think

As we think, work reduces

As we think, work reduces.
Why don’t we think?
Because we have to complete the work,
We can do that by doing it, and not by thinking.

Thinking process validates,
Why something needs to be done.
5 times? good practice.

What is appropriate,
to achieve the “intent” behind the work?

What is conflict in needs,
that skewed the requirements,
making main goal de-focused.

Deep inside business requirements are simple.
The derived means to attend requirements are skewed at every hop.

Time commitment stops us thinking. 
Pressure makes it worst.

Left Brain
Systematic thinking shall deduce the things to its simple form.
If not, non productive emotions dominate,
confusion, blankness suspends further analytical process.

Unanswered “How to?”, “Why did”, “What is”...
are analytical paralysis triggers.

Unanswered questions due to unresolved logical consistency,
block the brain.

Mind can only recover with strong emotions, often negative,
still can not solve the problem further.

Right Brain
Creative options provide multiple simple solutions.
Under constraints, creativity shines,
if not, negative emotions take over,
locking left brain further.

Why don’t we face similar problems while playing video games?
Why don’t we fail blocked?
Because we enjoy.

The critical thing about problem solving and work is to enjoy,
as if you are playing a Video Game.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Regarding COST and Schedule

Regarding COST and Schedule
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How do we make products 
competitive, better, cheaper and in short period?


How do we do build products in reasonable time?

As a person joins an organization, his senses of cost and time ($ + T) evaporate.

Simply because,
it is his Job to do his “Job”,
sadly “Job” definition does not cover the clause “in the required budget”.

When same person has to get things done for himself, 
out of his pocket and time,
all of a sudden he becomes rational about $ and Time.

Why it takes time to build products?
Because scope inflate.

Minor reasons also exists.

Why scope inflates?
Because there is poor self disciplinary intention.

Our natural intension of “being in safer situation” is stronger.
Adding more buffers in the plan and demanding further more resources.
Both Time and Resource inflate $ cost.

How to control scope inflation?
You have to force,
to make it in time, 
with available resources, 
with good quality and 
with less rework.

Two places scope inflates, 
  • Product Management / Analysts and 
  • Engg. the development part

The Product Delivery Head

Product Delivery Head must build,
complete and quality product in a defined $ + T budget.

We (the organization) must buy the product 
from Product Delivery Head 
as if it is internal outsourcing organization.

We must buy not as a user, 
but as a buyer who is business maker,
buying it to make profit out of it.

In my experience with various organizations,
Having Product Manager or a Analyst as the Product Delivery Head,
takes organization down turn and 
Engg becomes a common target,
for not being able to deliver the killer ideas to product.

Having Engg Head as the Product Delivery Head,
takes organization down turn and 
Analysts becomes a common target,
for not being able to understand the killer technical aspects that builds the product.

It is required that,
Product Delivery Head is one who understands the business.

Essence of making money out of the work
got done from various skills and people types.

The Product Delivery Head, 
must be responsible for both Product Management and Engg functions together.

Making Product Management responsible for $+T,
will cause bad relations with Engg and same if Engg made responsible.

In absences of Product Delivery Head,
best could be both Product Management and Engg made responsible together

Making Product Manager know per day $ burning cost and budget left can significantly force individuals to look for better, smarter and cheaper alternatives.

It will force to be careful and design before building.
It will force to be careful on requirements before hesitantly building.
It will force to make resources utilized effectively.

This is an effective approach.

Business owners often wonder 
why employees do not have focus on delivery 
and rather inclined to grand things

Ownership forces $ + T dimension referenced all the time.

Employees do not “own”, nor can you make them to have same sense of “ownership” as you have.

Whats the way out? 
By tracking per day $ burnt and budget remaining.

Product development has two phases,
  • Building the product and
  • Maintaining the product

Maintaining the product shall take 5% of costs rate of building the product.
Maintaining the product can never end. Every day burning cost shall be reduced significantly over a period.

Building cost can be considered for cost till making the product available to market with its first two GA releases.