Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Seven Day Weekend

Started 'The Seven Day Weekend' today after a recommendation from an American consultant and an Indian CEO.
Opening thoughts: Semler transformed Semco using the power of 'why?'
Ask (anyone) one question and you get a pre-pondered answer. Ask a second and they'll give you another thought out answer. Ask a third and a fourth relentlessly and you start probing the walls of assumptions that most of us build our lives around.
How often do we question why we assume something. Why we think something is possible and something else isn't. Why we do things in a particular way.
The models and paradigms we build, simplify our lives but often can lead to automatic responses and blocked opportunities.
Semler suggests an almost anarchic way of running a company by questioning everything.
The only 'tenets' I came across so far:
* only enter a business if it has a high 'complexity' entry barrier. Why? If its easy to do it'll probably turn out a rat-race.
* be a 'premium' player. Provide the extra for which the customer is willing to stretch his pocket.
*

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Usability

Got a 19'' wide-aspect LCD monitor night 'n eagerly unpacked and set it up.
Darn thing didn't even power on. I looked around for a power button on the LCD body but there was none.
Since turning the mains on did not make the lone LED blink, I presumed it was defective and took it back to the store this morning.
Apparently in the night-light I failed to notice the feather-touch LCD controls inscribed in a faint grey at the base of the frame.
They're so faint they're virtually invisible - especially when the monitor is switched on. I had to use a pen -torch to adjust the contrast ratio once I did get the monitor working.
In the effort of designing a sleek looking LCD, Samsung has completely missed the concept of usability!

A side-track on usability:
Wore a batch memorabilia tee today. Has an overly boastful piece of (pseudo-) software code at the back (written by one of the smart-asses in the batch).
Was standing at a photocopier shop waiting for my job to complete when one of the staff walked in.
Bear in mind, the setting I'm talking about, typically employs uneducated adults with very rural antecedents.
He obviously noticed the code fragment on my Tee and wasted no time in asking me: 'Do you know computers?'
Apparently another staff member had inadvertently shifted the Windows taskbar from its customary location and resized it so it occupied half the screen on the right causing great distress to one & all :)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

love is...

what we make of it.

its not a big fuss.
not a peacock dance.
but a feeling.
you could bask in its warm glow
or roast in its fiery flames,

it could wing you to the heights of heaven,
or damn you to the depths of hell.

you don't need no quartet playing love songs
ringing inside your head.
when you're in love.
you just know it.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A Story: An Ending...

Couldn't get any work done yesterday as I was filled with thoughts of her. Sat up at midnight for an hour studying a wiki for tips. Resolved to do what I could...

Woke up real late today & that eventually messed my plan. But as things turned out, I was more at ease. Two tips stuck:
- be comfortable in your own skin (its hard to get someone to like you if you are uncomfortable with yourself and the best way to achieve this is to know who you are - valid for success in any social setting).
- actively take an interest in social activities and in other people.

Knowing who I am... a long time ago I used to be more at peace with myself. Could relate with others (esp. younger folks) remarkably easily. People would open up in friendship, as if I had a gift of bonding. I think I took interest in people more. Or maybe I was more approachable because I didn't brood.
Met a lad in a lift while running an errand this morning. We were headed the same way. Chatted, took an interest in him, and it was surprising how easily we struck a bond. Like reliving younger days.
Realized once again that bonding with others and being at peace with oneself have a common thread: both need you to understand who you are inside of yourself and for you to accept yourself (warts and all) -- something which of late I have had increasing reluctance in doing and which has in no small measure added to my agony in life.

Back at my station, dug up a mail eliciting cooperation for a project. Reached out with a suggestion--an idea that excited me--and realised once again, the more you withdraw into a shell the heavier you make of life's burdens.
The simple pleasures of interacting joyfully or intellectually with a few like-minded souls far outweigh any excuse for distancing yourself from the real world. As someone once said, man is a social animal. Starve yourself of that, and you slowly choke...

A third tip that stuck: if after all the initiatives you still get a no-go, means its 'just friends' and you should accept it and move on. And as I could observe from her demeanor, that does appear to be the case. And so my story ends. I feel sad at losing what could have been a good thing. She seemed perfect - crazy yet warm and loving.
As they say, 'Get over it!', and sooner than later so will I ;)

Yesterday

The day before you walked up and asked if I was upset.
You said it felt so.
I denied, but it was true.
you could sense it:
the way i stayed away, and my eyes refused to connect with yours,
where till now my gaze had always seemed to lock
like a ship in search of a beacon!

its funny, i was angry, suspicious, nay I believed,
that this constant companion of yours was now more
than a friend. that you chose him over me. i couldn't
confront you, for i had never told you i loved you,
in words or in deeds (though i fancy my eyes betrayed me often).

yet i always longed for your love, and before my jealous fears
conquered me, my eyes always searched for you bright sunshine.
perhaps i was a fool:
to not say how i felt,
or to not know my feelings well. ( Aye, at times
to me that seems my greatest failing, whence I cannot
fathom an answer to the questions: Who Am I? What do I want? )

For by when I decided to let you know, you seemed far gone.
Was it the missed chance to frolic in the sands of beauty,
to let the swaying fronds bear testimony to the growing winds of love.
A costly miss, a lost kiss. Alas. But nothing stands on the quicksand of regret.
And so perchance it sucked me under.

And then you walked up the day before, and asked if i was upset.
it certainly felt so. i denied it but it was true.

and yet by even time i was quaking with feelings for you.
i resolved to tell you the next morning that I loved you.

i often think i don't know who i am. but i seem to know my shortcomings all too well.
they handicap me. they seem to have grown larger than life in my thoughts, rendering my
self-image tamed and torn. i don't believe i know how to tame lady love. nay i never have.

yet i resolved to tell you the next morning that I loved you.

the day came, but always the moment seemed inopportune.
too many people around, no space to talk, you running off into meetings.

I gazed at you but I sensed that my gaze had started to offend you,
maybe i was a fool to not say it for so long, maybe you saw my gaze of love
as an invasion of your space. who's to tell. but i could sense its too late.

Even your smile is not the warm smile it used to be,
replaced now with a artificial one, as if my sight irritates you.

ah but it seems i lost you.
its funny, how it seems like you are the one, how my day was spent in trepidation of the thought of
losing you. I was driven to desperation, wanting to grab the chance to catch you and tell you right then. But that would have been pointless too.

For i can see from your eyes that you no longer favour me.
A lost cause.

Found anew, and lost in the space of one day.
yesterday!