ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a classic viral marketing example that has to be studied by any one interested in marketing.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge involves dumping a bucket of ice on yourself to show your support to the spread the awareness about ALS. ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neuro-degenerative disease that affects the brain cells.

Here is a video of taking this challenge by technology genius, Bill Gates, showing his skills in creativity while taking the challenge.

 

There are quite a few reasons why I think ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a classic viral marketing technique that has to be studied in depth by any one interested in marketing.

SMART Goals

The most important fact is that ALS Ice Bucket Challenge follows the classic SMART goals used in Project Management at various levels.
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Just came back after watching Tamil Movie, Anjaan, the latest Suriya movie at City Centre. What a waste of three hours of my life! Here is my review of Anjaan movie – in a single sentence – I wish I had not gone for this.

As I have a personal faith in Suriya’s acting, happened to go for the 9am show on a Sunday! What a disappointment.

Anjaan_Poster

Anjaan is the story of a Bombay don, Raju Bhai – as it is a movie taken in Tamil, his name is spelt as ‘Raju Bai’ (like in Meera Bai!). Raju Bai also has a close friend, who looks too cute to be a gangster. There is more chemistry between Raju Bai and his friend, than between Raju Bai and his girl friend.

The story goes like this:
The first scene of original Don movie, then the fourth scene of Nayagan movie, then the sixth scene of Don 2, then the eleventh scene of Vijay’s Pokkiri movie, with the core concept, that Raju Bai can always beat up 100 people at any given time, retained intact throughout the movie. In every scene you are left guessing with one consistent thought: I have watched this scene in some movie before!

Suriya has acted quite well and has always lived up to the expectations. Wish he picked a better movie to act in!

Samantha looks wierd – she used to look very cute – something is wierd about her in the movie – not sure what it is.

There is also a new commissioner of police who started rounding up bad guys, but then felt too bored to be in the movie after the first half and so disappeared in the second half. By the way, there is also the daughter of the old man who disappears and Samantha takes her place – dont ask where she went – no idea.

Then there is a supposed to be comedian taxi driver who comes in the first scene and a few scenes in between and finally in the last scene. I really wish he was funny!

The songs have a speciality in this movie – they have been taken in such a way that they can be inserted in the movie in between any scenes of your choice. Since the director had the option to decide, he inserted them wherever he liked. Kudos for making them so flexible!

The last scene of the movie had a good twist – slightly unexpected and the villian was dealt with in a smart way – but other than that, we were all waiting to run away from the theatre.

I am taking a break from Suriya movies until 2016. Lets see how it goes at that time, but definitely not before that.

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Many people have become blind to child labour in India just because of the way we have been brought up. We did not have the awareness that child labour is a key factor for a country’s lack of growth.

We happen to come across child labour in many forms

  • The boy assisting the guy who takes care of the laundry.
  • The girl who helps in taking care of little babies and kids.
  • The boy who helps in the mechanic shed.
  • The boy who brings tea/coffee in tea stalls.
  • The girl who washes the dishes and assists with cleaning the house.
  • And many more

It is just that due to lack of awareness we tend to ignore this injustice.

Here is an amazing video that was created to promote this awareness.

If you do not support child labour and want to see a better India, do the following the next time you see a child employed as a labourer:

  • Take a stand and raise your voice objecting to this act. (Will you keep quiet if it was your relative who was doing the same job?)
  • Report the issue to the authorities. The number to call to report child labour is 1098 (Or you can also call 2652 0601)

Together, lets build a more efficient India ūüôā

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When I had enquired with my friends for recommendations on books to read as the next steps, I got quite a few recommendations to read “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho.

the-alchemist-by-paulo-coelho

The Alchemist is unlikely the other self help books that I have read in the past.

Some of my favorite sections from the book are given below:

1. When you set out to accomplish something, the whole universe conspires to support you to accomplish your goal.
This is so true – you should try to observe the next time when you set a new goal. It is an amazing feeling when you realize that you have no clue how it is going to be done, but when you put your heart out, you realize the universe adjusts itself to help you reach your goal.

2. Difference between a horse and a camel
While a camel is known for travelling quite fast in the desert, the only issue with a camel is that you never know when it is going to drop down dead in the middle of the desert. On the contrary, a horse does not reach the speed of a camel in the desert, but will clearly provide good signs much before it slows down. This helps you plan ahead of time and minimize the risks involved.
It made me immediately think about the resource management issues we some times have where some super smart team members join us but quit within a few months to join a top software services organization and compare them with some average performance producing team members who are guaranteed to stick around for a long time, thus providing with huge support in planning for long term projects.

3. Listen to your heart all the time and go after your dreams
The way I interpret it is simple. You live once, why compromise? Do everything that your heart says and just have fun all the way – this way, you can look back in the future and enjoy the journey you have enjoyed all the way.

A big thanks to everyone who recommended The Alchemist and I also recommend it to any one who is ready to read self help books.

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Raping everyday?

July 21st, 2014 · Politics

What is wrong with us Indian men? Why do we get in the news every day for raping?

Is it because Indian men have become more desperate or is it that it has always been this way and just that the news is coming out in the open more often now-a-days than before?

stop-rape-now

I do see the hue and cry about ‘death penalty’ for rapists. Are we trying to fix the effect and forgetting to fix the source? (Now stop getting sentimental and say ‘if it happens to your daughter you will know’).

We all agree the system in India is broken. While it is broken, what is the point in trying to convince ourselves that death penalty is sufficient?

Scare tactics have always worked to allow people to find ways to work around it. Eg. Driving at speed limits. Especially in India, with sufficient corruption and muscle power around, scare tactics can only go to an extent.

How have the other democratic countries handled this issue? (Forget the ones where they cut parts of your body depending on which part committed the crime!)

Why cant we learn from it? Why cant we make an attempt to work actively for a solution.

Is it using technology, working closely with the police force, introducing a offender database that is shared all over the country? I dont know.

We dont have all the answers, but we the men of this country should take it as a personal challenge and work towards eradicating this evil collectively. This will be the best gift we give the women of this country.

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Can India win a gold medal in Badminton in CWG 2014?

While my heart says yes, my brain says NO.

Here are the reasons why:

1. Saina Nehwal is not playing

saina-nehwal
Saina Nehwal was the winner of the singles event in Women’s and with her recent victory in the Australian Open, there was a lot of buzz around how she could potentially win a big medal for India at the Common Wealth Games. With her injury worries, she has decided it is better to pull out of it and so is a big blow to Badminton India’s gold medal chances in this event.

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The Four Hour Work Week is a very interesting book by Tim Ferris, where he helps the readers understand the details of how we can switch to a four hour work week using some of the tactics he used in life.

the-four-hour-work-week-tim-ferris

Tim Ferris uses a few unconventional approaches, which help us to look at life differently and based on his experience has come up with this book to guide the readers on some of the alternate options available in life to be ‘Rich’ (which he calls as New Rich)

Not sure if we can end up with a ‘Four Hour Work Week’, like the title suggests, but this book surely has many useful tips that can be used by everyone in their day to day life.

Tim Ferris groups the process into four steps:

  • Definition: This is a classic one as it helps us understand the new definition of ‘Rich’ which is directly tied to wants – goals, etc. He brings out very well the difference between absolute income and relative income with numerous examples.
  • Elimination: This is revolutionary. He helps the reader think really hard about what is required and what is not required in life and take some concrete actions around eliminating the unnecessary things in life (According to Tim, keeping up to date with daily news is also unnecessary – in that case, think of what he would say about those who spend hours on Facebook and Whatsapp!
  • Automation: This is another master class. He explains various ways in which we can automate the business and take ourselves out of the critical path of the working of the business. (As some people say, he helps the readers understand how to be on the business and not in the business).
  • Liberation: This section contains some cool tips on how to free yourself up from many ‘man made’ boundaries in the society – both at work as well as in our lifestyle.

In fact Tim suggests that we should approach this as DELA and not necessarily DEAL approach, but overall, this book is a must for all entrepreneurs, not necessarily looking for a life style like Tim, but also for those looking to optimize and enhance the productivity of their current setup.

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Got a chance to watch Queen, with Kangana Ranaut in the lead role.

The thing that impressed me about the movie was the positive angle with which the entire movie has been taken. Even in serious scenes, the director has found a way to bring in a touch of humour and that is amazing.

queen-kangana

Queen is all about how a young girl from a conservative family gets to explore the world and learns about really being happy.

She goes to Europe, makes new friends, and realizes what it is to live for yourself. This experience gives her the courage to come back to India and give back to the ex-fiance and his family what role they deserve to play in her life.

The last time I saw Kangana Ranaut was in the movie Fashion. I am 100% convinced that Kangana has amazing talent and it has just been under utilized in the industry.

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It was a moment of relief when we learnt the news that the flight with the 46 Indian nurses have taken off safely from Erbil airport in Iraq and they are going straight to Kochi in Kerala.

The Indian Government have used their political connections and handled the situation well. Imagine the difficulty in negotiating between two groups that are at war with each other, and then making sure we sneak in one of our planes into their airport and take off with the people who are stranded. It is quite easier to do a rescue operation using force like the way the US does most of the time (if they want to), but it is extremely difficult to do so without using force. Kudos to the team that made it happen.

youknowwho-indian-nurses-come-back-from-iraq

Positive events like these are rare in India and we should appreciate the fact that some people went out of their way to make sure this is done right. (I know in many parts of the world, but in India it is rare).

No matter what the differences are between political parties, we should make use of such good events to congratulate the ones in the Government who made it happen.

Thank you, Indian Government, for making this happen.

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There has been a huge cry over the fact that Maria Sharapova mentioned that she did not know who Sachin Tendulkar was. Immediately her FB profile was trolled by a million Sachin fans. What nonsense is this?

Sachin Tendulkar

If you are a real Sachin Tendulkar fan, think like how Sachin will think – just think of those days when the opponents used to try sledging on the pitch while he is about to bat and how he responded.

Lets try it this way:

  • Do you know who Peyton Manning is?
  • Do you know who LeBron James is?
  • Do you know who Quade Cooper is?

Answer: Peyton Manning and LeBron James won the Most Valuable Player award in 2013 for their respective sports in NFL and NBA. Quade Cooper is one of the best Rugby players of our time.

It is ok for people not to know a few things that are considered important by a few others. It is ok for Maria Sharapova not to know Sachin¬†– you dont have to act like everyone should know Sachin. If Sachin is God to us, he need not be God to others too. We claim to have ‘Unity in Diversity’, ‘Religious Tolerance’, blah, blah, blah..Show it in action. Not in words on FB.

sharapova-tendulkar

While it is ok to have fun about such statements made by celebrities like Sharapova (I liked this one I found on FB), please let us not do anything that will make Sachin feel ashamed of our action.

 

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