Tuesday, July 28, 2009


So here is another excellent example of a theoretical framework applied to our day-to-day life. I hereby present the Lewin-Schien’s change theory and their unfreezing-change-refreeze model.


According to this model, for any organization to go through a change, it first has to unfreeze (stop doing what it is accustomed to doing), then change (that is actually go through the change implementation process) and finally refreeze (get accustomed to the new way of doing things). To understand better, you may read the theory here.

My school has taken this model to heart. Presumably, when we all decided to go through this process of doing an MBA, everyone of us got unfrozen. (How else do you explain this sudden urge of quitting my happy life and coming to this place?). The change in us is being brought about by all the courses we are taking, and also by the amazing professors and their insights into the business world.

According to the theory, the only thing we are left to do is – refreeze. The administrative department of our school is desperately trying to help us there. So every lecture room of ours is like being on the south-pole. The moment you enter the classrooms you start shivering and by the time the class gets over, we all waddle out like penguins.


Despite several complains to the admin, the temperatures are hardly ever changed. Now I know the noble cause behind why they keep the temperature so low. This is your first lesson for today – don’t get angry with people unless you understand the motive behind them doing something insane.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Economics of love

Disclaimer: Its not recommended to take advice on love and economics from a moron who's only idea of a romantic conversation is following a celebrity and her dog's tweets.

So we were given this almost 2 month break in our MBA to get *practical* experience of whatever we learnt in the past year or so in our MBA. Being the very serious student that I am ;) I decided to use that to understand my barren and lonely life.

Economics talks about a monopolistic competitive market. In such a market there are many sellers each with a slightly differentiated product. The market permits free entry and exit of sellers until an equilibrium is reached (that is all the products that the sellers have to offer, have a buyer). Any more information you need, I recommend reading Mankiw’s book on economics.

The market for love in this capitalist world of ours, follows a similar trend. Guys in living beings are the sellers and women are buyers (I don’t want any arguments on this considering that in every species the guys have to go and woo the gals while they sit pretty and enjoy the show!).

Now I classify this market as a monopolistic competition because not every guy is exactly the same. Everyone of us is unique in someway or the other (not necessarily good!). So when you go after your target buyer (in this case a girl) you as a product have to appeal to the gal that you are selling yourself to.

The first lesson that any guy in this market has to understand is that there is no first mover advantage. The fact that you noticed the gal who you are going after means that she has already been approached by a million other sellers like you. So for her to show interest in you, you need something called your “competitive advantage”. Something that you can or have different than your nearest competition. That leads us to SWOT analysis of yourself. So before you even think of going after a gal, you have to identify your competitors and do a competitor analysis  and then find your strengths!

If you walk, talk and look like a melodramatic gorilla on steroids and try to be Mr. Nice Guy; you don’t have much of a competitive edge over the nearest Tom, Dick or Harry. This brings us to the other concept of a marginal seller. A marginal seller is the first guy to quit the market because he is already operating at the margin (in this case he has nothing to impress the gal!). So my advice to such people is – if you have nothing to market about yourself – stop praying for divine intervention and exit the market. You might as well channel your energy and your time to chase gorillas.

Finally – my take on monopoly in the market. These are guys who look like Greek Gods and are just too good to be true. You can act pricy and choose the buyers, cause in your case the buyers don’t really have a choice.

So I hope you took my advice seriously. This also brings me to the point that I tried to combine my learning in Strategy, Finance, Economics and Marketing in one single post. My next blog post is going to be on how to *sound* like an MBA while you are bull$hitting :) !!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Run from the cloud

The world is hyped-up about cloud computing. Everything seems to be magically transformed from sitting happily on your desktop, to be hosted somewhere in the "cloud". I know its kinda cool.

Everything, mind you, everything is going into the cloud. Just for simplicity sake look at "my things" (yeah, egomaniac I am) hosted in the cloud:

  1. My address book
  2. My calendar
  3. My resume
  4. My friends
  5. My chats
  6. My photos
  7. My hobbies
  8. My bank accounts
  9. My SMSes (yeah equivalent to that)
  10. My thoughts
  11. Things that I read everyday
  12. Things that I search
  13. Places that I visit
  14. Things that I buy
  15. Absolutely every bit of music that I listen to

Well most of these things were already lurking out there. However two of my most personal things were securely stored in my computer till this month. My address data (in my Palm) and my bank account details (in Microsoft Money). But my Palm died last month and Microsoft decided it does not need to produce Money any more. That means the last two bits of privacy I had, are now hosted in the cloud too.

What does this all mean? Well, my dear friends, I have no privacy left. Everything about me is in the cloud now. That means, some sweet little intern sitting on a computer in a cubicle somewhere in this big bad world, can actually write a simple SQL query and dig a LOT of information about me.

The worst part is, along with my information, I am also posting your information in the cloud (My address book - with YOUR phone number, date of birth, address and place of work).

Its time my dear friend, to be scared, VERY scared :) !! Your personal data is no longer controlled or owned by you! And how easy is it, you say, for anyone to get this information? Well, dear, its just a stupid 6 character password away, which could very well be my dog's name that I use for every account that I mentioned above.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Priority Seating

The local train service (MRT) has something called as the "Priority Seat". Its meant to be voluntarily offered to old/disabled/pregnant women at your discretion if you are sitting on that seat.

Priority seat

All frequent travelers on the MRT know that priority seats are the last ones left empty on a train. The station that I get on to the train generally has only priority seats left empty, if in the first place there are any empty seats left at all. Now comes the funny part. Not giving up the priority seat to the people in need is not a crime. So you are expected to "judge" if a person is in need and give it up accordingly.

There is where the problem starts. So the moment you get up and offer your seat to a person standing in front of you, it automatically means that you consider that person to be either old or pregnant. (Chivalrous behavior is not expected! You are not expected to give your seat to the pretty lady or the fat aunty standing next to you.)

Now lets take the hypothetical case of a 70 year old man. He can beat the hell out of you in running, can do 20 push-ups and 30 pull-ups in the time you can do one. He looks old  though, and imagine offering the seat to such a person. Not only will he be feel insulted but he would prove to you that he isn't as old as he looks.

The second case - pregnant women. In my entire life, I have never been able to figure out if a woman is pregnant till like she is about to give birth to a baby. I know most of you will frown at this statement of  mine. But how do you actually figure out if a woman is really pregnant or she just had a lot of kaya toast for breakfast? And imagine a 20 something standing in front of you who is just fat, and you get up and offer your seat to her. The rest, they say, is history!

So after a lot of deliberation and conscience pricking, I decided that even if I occupy the priority seat, I would get up the moment *I think* that the person standing next to me is either old or pregnant. But then since I think so, I don't *offer* them the seat, but I just casually get up pretending that I don't need the seat anymore; presuming that if the person is really old or pregnant, he/she will get the signal and sit down. If not, they will ignore my gracious offer and then I can stroll back to my seat as if it was the wrong station and I wasn’t supposed to get down there!

I tried that a couple of times this month and I figured the moment I do that, a guy or gal much younger to me actually occupies the seat and there goes my chivalry and courtesy down the drain. Now I get to stand beside the old/pregnant person who gives me a smirk which screams - "Idiot".