Monthly Archives: June 2008

Why some people never fail?

These days I have few new hobbies, writing the book, writing educative emails to clients, making clients earn more money and my new passion, PPC. There are many posts in drafts, will be rolling out soon. Today’s post is that why many people never fail, its a feeling, its an effective feeling.

I have always appreciated failure:

Sometimes failures do discourage you. Recently, I was working on the servers and I messed up the mysql servers as some common libraries got modified. It took my one day, pressure from all sides as many are working on it. What to do? One moment, I was about to decide not to try that again but wait, the next day, I had a solution. I copied the data-dir to my local machine, installed a mysql server on local machine and gave access to all. Now everyone was happy and I will have more time to fix the servers. It does give a smile at the end of the day. I end up learning more :) .

But how do you take care of the momentary hit back? Here is the trick, don’t term it a failure. Read on to keep yourself motivated when you eliminate the ways that will not work:

Why Thomas edison never failed?

After Edison’s 700th unsuccessful attempt to invent the electric light, he was asked by a New York Times reporter, “How does it feel to have failed 700 times?” The great inventor responded, “I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”

Enjoy life!

Indian Firefox gang – Lets be #1 firefox fan

Are you still living with Internet Explorers. Try firefox fellows, lets get firefox 3, a new generation all together. I just got an invitation for firefox download day on June 17, 2008. Are you ready. Indians are far behind.

Go ahead and pledge.

Total pledges so far

  • Total – 1,082,445
  • US – 178,972 – 16%
  • India19277- 1.7%

For more detailed stat, click here

Firefox download day

Indian fans, lets do our part, lets invite our friends and lets be the #1 firefox fans. I have already pledged for it and forwarded to all my friends.

Continue reading

here goes my 1000th post at WMW – WebMasterWorld.com

I have populated (sometimes polluted too) a lot forums which included highrankings (did not go well because of one post :) , was part of a marketing campaign, I still cherish it), WPW (caught up on a promoting foot once, same marketing campaign, it was fun as well), many more with various names due to official obligations. I have cherished WMW forum the most due to the authentic help that I received there. They are far more professional than any other forum I participated in, amazingly professional.

Web Master World - WMW logo
I have got more help than what I offered. Today I completed my 1000th at WMW. A long journey, I must say. Read http://www.webmasterworld.com/foo/3668571.htm for more details :) . Good night, I will complete my next post tomorrow.

How do you test knowledge? A simple trick

I had been interviewing people for last 3 to 4 years. There are various qualities that you look for but sometimes for an experienced position you look for some good knowledge. This is a simple trick that has worked for me. This will work as this is scientific :) . Say if you are interviewing a person for SEO expert position:

You: Give me the top 3 tough areas from Search Engine Marketing/Search Engine optimization that you feel you have mastered it.
Candidate:
Ok, it tough but let me get some,

  1. Trust rank.
  2. Canonicalization.
  3. Link Building.

Now ask him to explain trust rank to a layman. If he is able to explain it in simpler terms then you can be sure of his understanding but if he tries to complex it with Google complex algorithm, then call the next candidate. Generally a good candidate will start from the basics of rankings (in very short sentences) and will try to fit in the role of trust rank in it. Why it was needed? How it is helping Google to achieve the goal etc will be a part of his explanation.

Two good posts – Working more vs working less and meet robert scoble

As a leader/manager/head you always have to solve this odd equation, how much work is enough? How much profit is desired? More profits certainly means more work. More work may not mean more profits though.

I was reading some of my favorite blogs and stumbled upon two interesting pages, one is a post at Harvard business publication. It is a very different post than what you read, it supports working less by taking an example of 37signals. Not an easy thing to achieve, I must say they did not follow this practice but have achieved this result through organization. Read on and building your own opinion about the equation.

Harvard logo

“When you’re competing against companies that have so much more, the only answer is to do less … do less than your competitors to beat them. Instead of one-upping other companies, one-down them. Instead of out-doing other products, under-do them.”

It recently switched to a four-day work week to keep employees fresh and focused.

read on “Work Less, Give Your Customers Less… and Succeed Like 37Signals” ….

The other page is a wikipedia page.
Robert scoble

Robert Scoble joined Microsoft in May 2003. Scoble was part of the Channel 9 MSDN Video team, where he produced videos that showcased Microsoft employees and products.

Although Scoble often promoted Microsoft products like Tablet PCs and Windows Vista, he also frequently criticized his own employer and praised its competitors (such as Apple Computer and Google). He was unusual in the level of access he offered to his users, which included publishing his cell phone number on his blog and urging people to contact him directly with issues, as well as accepting comments on his blog. His support for Microsoft in his blog, however, drew controversy and in February 2005, he became the first person to earn the newly coined moniker of “spokesblogger.”

The Economist described Robert Scoble’s influence in its February 15, 2005 edition:[10]
“ He has become a minor celebrity among geeks worldwide, who read his blog religiously. Impressively, he has also succeeded where small armies of more conventional public-relations types have been failing abjectly for years: he has made Microsoft, with its history of monopolistic bullying, appear marginally but noticeably less evil to the outside world, and especially to the independent software developers that are his core audience

I just wanted to introduce Robert Scoble, read on …. You may also want to visit his blog at http://scobleizer.com/

Happy weekend!

How to handle undeserved high positions

The world is surely biased, you will see politician’s sons becoming ministers, boss’s brothers/sisters/relatives becoming bosses/managers, superstar’s son is gets a better break and someone’s friend jumping high in position. All this is a part of the game. Also in corporate world this happens that family members are joining to a very undeserving position. Some of the companies are very strict about it, eg: Infy

On the broader blood relations issue Nilekani says that “family members of the founders can’t work here.” Murthy told me that neither his son nor daughter, now both in their 20s, will join the company.

read more ….

The case with wipro is different

That must be a relief, given the dynasty that is beginning to emerge at Wipro, one of India’s other top IT giants. Azim Premji, the 62-year old chairman, controls over 80% of the stock and his 30-year old son, Rishad, is joining at the end of this month from the London consultancy office of Bain & Co, to work initially on financial services.

read more ….

getting an undeserved high position
(getting a undeserved position is ok, if one knows how to handle it)

That is a part of game and many of the relatives study really hard to take care of their responsibilities but sometimes you are made the leader without enough skill sets and knowledge. Company can take a very different turn if you don’t know how to drive it properly. This post will help you handle undeserved high positions. This post is for me as well as I get (and got) many undeserving positions because of various reasons. (I need to push to office and need to finalize somethings before 12 noon, will complete it from office :) , so keep reading)

Update (6 June, 2008) – Continues …..

As promised, I am going to continue my post, couldn’t do that yesterday (and a day before yesterday). It’s true that all of us can get into an undeserved high positions but how do we handle it will decide our success. So here are some of the tips:

  1. It’s ok to be wrong. Nobody is expecting you to be correct all the time but they certainly expect you to realize the mistake when it happens and will appreciate your loud confession.
  2. Being in a high position doesn’t necessarily mean your involvement at work level. You generally have to get involve in decision making and (generalized) directing. Even I will suggest you getting away from making strategy yourself (read Why CEOs Shouldn’t Set Strategy, just remember that they assumed that CEO doesn’t know the subject well. If CEO knows the subject, do get involve) , you can just be a critics to strategies and offer you suggestions. Let’s take an example: Say I am head of operations for web marketing department and we have a PPC department and link department, one day both the PPC head and Link head leaves the department. What should I do here? I will try to see if someone else fit into the position. Assuming that no one fits in the position (which is horrible situation as you alway keep building backups for every team member), what will you do? I have good knowledge about Links and very less knowledge about PPC. I will ask both the teams to prepare a strategy. Though I will help the link team in building one. With PPC team, I will listen to their suggestions and strategies, will try to understand as much as possible. If that seems logical to me, I will ring the go bell. Also I will let the team know that I don’t have much knowledge about PPC, so they need to be on their toes to run it properly.

    The core of the point is that being on a high position doesn’t mean you need to get involve in day to day work, just build people who will do that for you. You deal with heads, and direct them to direct the work force.

I have another interesting topic (Web – Personal branding Vs Corporate branding) in mind, so want to abort this one here :) . Some of the qualities that will help you handle any position, be it deserved or undeserved:

  1. Good learning ability: If you can learn any field with ease, it helps you fit into various positions. As our professors used to say, “Stay student as long as possible, if possible forever”.
  2. Good upbringing or adopting good values: I remember the guy from aditya birla group (he was some head, one of the top, I forgot his name), he emphasized a lot on kitchen learning. There are few things that you learn from your families. I call them life values, like respecting others, setting right priorities in life, being honest etc. It is very difficult to learn these values later in life.
  3. Ability to change: You can’t play baseball with cricket bat. You are uniquely designed and you may fit into something but in order to help other sections you will have to bend a little, you will have to take a lower/back seat. The Ability to change is a very handy one in handling high positions.
  4. Keep an open door policy: “What the %^%$$ is it?” should be allowed for both the parties to build a good team. If the senior never allows criticisms then better he himself don’t criticize anyone. Let people express their viewpoint and assure them an honest ear. You being approachable is a great strength.
  5. Understanding your team: They are not like you, don’t expect them to be like you. Understand their strength and weakness and use them accordingly.
  6. Being Candor: Oh! How much I loved it and Oh! How much some of them hated it. I always tried to say the truth and feeling as it is, so that we can remain on equal terms. No hidden policies. Many had tough time accepting it and had all the bad words against me. Many did improve and they still thank me for that. Being Candor is not enough, you also need to make sure that you don’t develop perception towards anything or anyone.
  7. Good speaking/writing abilities: One needs to give pep up talks, one will have to write and respond to mails to keep the things moving in high energetic zones.

Wait for my next post, will be up very soon!

Digital Avenues (web dept) recruiting for some positions

Last one month had been a great experience. From “Test your leader” session to recent whole day meetings, I enjoyed every bit of it. I am still handling a lot of products, a mix of products and services is making it even more fun. Now a lot of things are organized and we (the web department) are ready to expand. We will go for bigger expansion after 3 months, this month we want to put the pillars in place.

Current openings are:

  1. Link Leader: We want to develop a good team focused on building links for our clients. One who will put the best practices and will train the new members.
  2. Content head: We want to redefine how most of Indian companies design/write content on an outsourcing contract. We will offer the best services. Our content head will put the practices and process in place.
  3. Tech Leader: Automating most of the non-intellectual repetitive and developing some cool plugins and tools for web world. As usual, innovation will continue.
  4. Link Developers: We need few link developers as well.

I will get the complete profile from HR and will post it here. If you are interested in joining us, please forward your CVs to aji.issac(att)digitalavenues.com. We will surely have a lot of fun.

Update (june 05):

Thanks for all of your emails. I have tried to answer as many emails as possible, will try to answer others. I am almost done for tech leader, content head and link head. Also got some CVs for Link developers. I will only be recruiting new people for link developers as I want to experiment something here. After 3 months, we will go a bigger recruitment wave, keep watching.