Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Whiteboard Markers

As a part of my job, I get to meet people and convince them how our software can best solve their business problem. So besides spending time to prepare for that very short hour that I get to meet them, I also need to be prepared for all eventualities so that I can walk out of the meeting room at the end of the hour with a convinced customer.

While the regular presentations and live-demonstrations have their needed impact, I have realized that drawing things on a whiteboard when a customer asks a question has it's own charm. Not only does it help to visualize complex problems easier, but also it adds a certain level of interactivity that presentation slides lack. Now, over the last several years, I have been to countless meeting rooms and seen thousands of whiteboards. If there is one consistent thing that I have always noticed is - the white board markers never ever work.

I can safely make it into a corollary - "A randomly kept whiteboard marker next to a whiteboard in a meeting room will never work".

So, if you are in a job like mine, always carry a working whiteboard marker with you. Trust me, it will make you look good and well prepared to do your perfect presentation!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Pens of India

There is this particular brand of ballpoint pens that I have been using for the last 10 over years. Every time I do an India trip, one of the items that I stock up on - are these pens. They just work without any hassle, and are very very cheap. Somehow, inflation in India doesn't seem to have affected their prices and as far as I can remember it has always been Rs. 5 (The Lexi 5n Variety).

Lexi Pen

Now before you judge me, I have to remind you that I have given other pens a very reasonable try.  From the very expensive Watermans and Sheffields of the world, to the Lamys, Parkers, Pilots and Uni-balls I have tried them all.While those pens look incredible beautiful and are a pleasure to show-off, when the pedal hits the metal (or when the tip meets the paper!), I find that the paper qualities that I use to write on are not upto their standard. The most common problem I have is - they blot/ smudge on the paper.

I also toyed around using classy ink (nib-tip) pens. They write beautifully but they are a nightmare to carry around. Especially in an aircraft, the ink tends to come out because of the low cabin pressure. And then carrying around the ink everywhere is kind of a hassle.

As for these pens from India, they just write! Smoothly, without any issues. Any kind of notebook or paper I buy, they work. I am running out of my last pen in my current stock, and I thought I write about them. Why? Well cause they help me plan my day every day!.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Get up and go

So Pokemon Go was released in Singapore yesterday. I bumped into a lot of people walking around with their phones out hunting Pokemons in the mall next to my house yesterday. I can see the frenzy catching up instantly. Now it will be another round of national pastime until something else comes along. Angry Birds and Candy crush, you have been now one-upped.

Anyway, social evil or not, I believe this game will go down in history as the first game that made people come out of their houses out in the open and explore their neighborhood albeit through Augmented Reality. What Geocaching, most fitness bands and health tracking devices couldn't do, Pokemon Go achieved it. Period.

This is what Gamification is all about. Challenging friends on Fitbit never helped if they were as unmotivated and lazy as you were. And if you had a really fit friend, most of the times they were far far ahead of you and you had no motivation to compete. Thank you Pokemon Go for making the world a healthy place again, I hope you figure out how to keep people out of danger while they are zapping away monsters with their phones out in the open. And I hope you can monetize all that information you gather from our Pokemon habits to creep us out further.