Why use LinkedIn

This is more of a recollection of my learnings than anything else, people can share their learnings and I promise to grow this space.

  1. Targeted resume submissions – Find the organization you want to apply to, go find folks in your network who work for  that organization. Use their referrals to get your resume the place you want it to be.
  2. Business Visibility – Professionals talking about their organizations can act as evangelists on LinkedIn. With the integration of Twitter, the value of LinkedIn as a Social Media Platform has increased a thousandfold.
  3. Peer learning – People who work in the same industry can collaborate to discuss and resolve each other’s problems. Whereas this seems to be a generic utility of a community, I have seen this happen pretty well through the Q&A forum of LinkedIn. Since people who contribute to these are serious minded professionals vis-a-vis the casual replies of Orkut. All this for free unlike Experts-exchange, where the user has to fork out good money to get to the solution.
  4. Showcasing – This is the most obvious one, do I need to get into this :-)

Your comments are more than welcome on this one, since it will only add to this post.

Gartner Hype Cycle 2009

I first came across the Hype Cycle in 2008, immediately, I posted about it here. Back then, the Web 2.0 and SOA was considered to be a market failure. Everyone who was anyone in the web development arena was claiming to create “Web 2-point-oh” applications, without knowing what that term meant. I know about an entrepreneur who pitched the idea of a Web 2.0-based e-commerce portal to a VC. In return, the VC asked one simple question – “Do you know what Web 2.0 means?”

Hype cycles are just that, they indicate the evolution of the system and its mainstream adoption with the amount of hype it is creating among the society. They also are an indication to future market leaders – companies which are poised to take off due to the right adoption of technology.

Gartner Hype Cycle 2009

Gartner Hype Cycle 2009

So, what do you think you should invest into now? Do you think you will buy “the Kindle””? How about that power saving infrastructure? What to do with KM?

Kudos to Gartner for coming up with this framework.

Zoozoo!

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Buzz behind Zoozoos – Everyone is talking about Zoozoo these days. Even me for that matter!! And you know what this is creating my friends? Its creating a buzz … a buzz unlike any other in the market these days. People love it, people hate it … but people definitely talk about it. Vodafone has a winner here – or so one might think.

Industry situation – With mobile penetration in India going to touch around 90% by 2014 (thats 1 billion mobile phones!!!), the revenues from simply voice based services are going to trickle down. What were considered to be luxury services on mobiles (missed call alerts, caller ring back tunes, et al) are now considered necessary services. Living in a country which has multiple mobile service provider also means that all these service providers have to invest for customer acquisition. Which means even lesser charges from voice based services.

Jumping the gun – The only way voice based revenues could be increased is to increase the Value Added Services (VAS) part. Before we go any further, What do you mean by VAS?? Don’t worry, even I didn’t know about them a few months back, I worked in an IT firm making solutions for Telecom Operators and I had no clue what they meant by VAS!! Thanks to those beautiful ads, now I do!! But why will people buy these services, how can they buy them if they do not even know what they means?!? Hence the need for awareness for these VAS was recognized by Harit Nagpal (Chief Marketing Officer, Vodafone India). Ogilvy was given the charge of creating the buzz for Vodafone.

The Buzz Explained – A good buzz can be dissected to have these elements

  • Clarity of message – Each ad ends with the particular VAS feature. The message is clear.
  • Simplicity – Ogilvy’s Rajiv Rao, in charge of this promotion knew that the entire idea had to be simple and yet stupefying to cut across all ages and convey the idea. All the ads depict this minimalistic approach.
  • Stand out – The egg shaped head; it stands out. The cute shape of those zoozoos; it stands out.
  • Variety – A single idea can also cause a buzz, but over a period of time it dies down, simply because people cannot keep on talking about the same thing again and again. e.g – pink chaddi campaign. You need fodder for people to talk during train journeys!!
  • Right time, Right medium – IPL for TV, Youtube for online.  Zoozoo is everywhere. An nice article by Sushrut Bidwai can be found here.

It’s a great campaign, and I would not be surprised if this turns out to be a case study in a few years. As I finish this post, a question still remains in my head – what will happen if the Zoozoo’s buzz transcends Vodafone VAS and moves on to something totally different (e.g I saw a political ad with the zoozoo theme)?

What does he do for a living?

Since the day I got into an engineering college, my mother has been proudly saying “Majha mulga computer engineer ahe!” . I used to get amused by her pride, and it still makes me smile that she is happy for me (love you Aai :-) ). As days went by and I graduated to become a software developer, the “Computer engineer ahe” line was still there. Even when I got admission into one of the better known b-schools in the country, Aai would still tag me with Computer engineer.

The point is that sometimes you feel stereo-typed with the tag. People still ask me to troubleshoot their Windows. I dont mind doing that, but to expect me to visit their place at Borivali just because something is wrong with their Internet Explorer?? Sometimes I think I need a tag which defines my work and competency space better than “Computer Engineer”.

When I started working in a start-up, explaining to my family what I do became slightly more difficult. I was in charge of handling and building the technology on an entire organization. A lot of work which required a considerable bandwidth of know-how across the tech domain – a CTO in a nutshell. Whenever someone would ask, prompt would come the reply “Majha mulga computer engineer ahe!” . I kind of prefer IIM grad, but I dont think many people know about them – with people I mean the old aunty types, who ask your mother (in a nasal twang) “Kaay karto tumcha mulga?” The ones that sometimes do know about then quip “Oohh! Ahemadabad hoy?”, mother then simply says “To computer engineer ahe!!”” . Then I would butt in to say – “I sell shirts” rather than the oft repeated computer engineer tag.

These days I am working in a knowledge lab. We work on designing knowledge interventions and designing models which can change communities to become more productive and human oriented. I hope I got it right in this one line. My specific job entails a mini-CTO who is in charge of taking care of all technology details. Now what?!? I think “Majha mulga computer engineer ahe!”  is there to stay :-)