33

All the threes. Knocking knees. Two little fleas. (yeah, I love Tambola!)

I turned 33 last weekend. I remember I was just 19 when I landed in this city. For some reason, it doesn’t feel so long. It’s been an awesome ride and I have the memories fresh on my mind — of the good, bad, and ugly.

I stumbled on this fantastic piece by Justin. If you’re into something that makes you feel out of place, or if you’re thinking of starting up, you must read it. It feels so serendipitous!

This article reminds me of the fact that most people do better when they do something that they love. Here’s how I’d picture it in a line;

Nothing is certain, but doing what you love gives you better stakes.

I’ve always believed that it’s not just about giving your 100%. It’s also about what is it that you’re giving it to. Unless you’re doing something you really enjoy doing, it’s quite likely that you won’t be able to give your best. Sometimes, it takes a while to figure that out. Back in 2008, when I was taking a plunge to start something of my own, I knew just one thing — this is where I belong. No, I didn’t know where exactly it would take me (who knows that anyway?) but I knew I would enjoy doing this. And I did it all through the years, until after I stopped loving it.

But it was completely worth it. I made some amazing friends, learned how businesses work, and carved out the first steps of a career path for myself that was based on what I love doing, not on my credentials. What else do you want from life, early on?

I want to take a moment and thank everyone who’s helped me come this far. It wouldn’t have been possible without my parents, friends, and dear ones. Thank you, one and all.

Until next time.

 

 

Happy Diwali!

I miss the 90s.

Not for the dial-up connection that took minutes just to log me in, but for the overall pace at which things moved back then. Following an online trend, responding to a tweet, or commenting on Facebook posts — none of these were possible. It was even OK to not reply to an email the same day (though email was the ZMOT for many of us!) Did I say no mobile phones?

But I could hang out with friends and loved ones for as long I was not done. Without interruptions. Without notifications.

Fast forward to 2016 – here I am, in my hyperconnected avatar, with a pair of ANC earphones plugged-in to cancel out the near-zero noise around me, with technology that’s competing to outbid itself, every year. (Have you upgraded to the iPhone 7, yet?) With 57 tabs on my browser, on my lighter than the Macbook Air laptop, I have 12 “spaces” – 6 on each of the two screens. Yes, the setup screams productivity. Or so we think.

There’s only one thing right now that takes me back to the 90s. This playlist I am hooked on to, this week. OK, I’ll be honest – there are two of them. 🙂

The 90s remind me of Kumar Sanu’s voice and Raveena Tandon running around the trees with someone. (And yes, Twinkle Khanna in Barsaat). Back then, the only sources of Bollywood music were the audio cassettes and sometimes, VHS tapes. I grew up in a town that didn’t have a movie theater. It still doesn’t have one. Imagine!

But, if I could go back, all I’d ask for is to be able to slow down and get some fresh air. I miss both. Oh and hours of sweating on the Tennis court — without checking notifications on my phone from people and groups I couldn’t care less about. But that’s evolution, right?

It’s Diwali today. Just like one of the many I’ve witnessed in the last decade. Honestly, what excites me more is the long weekend — good music, lying on the couch, sipping coffee, reading stuff … you get the picture. I wish I could tell you a different story, but for that, I should have stuck to the thought of spending this one in the hills and not here. :/

Have a good one, you all!

Until next time.

Photo credit

 

Closing down Media Redefined – Why? and What’s next?

Earlier this month, we declared Media Redefined as closed. This post is for those of you who’ve asked me – Why? and What’s next?

What started as a gig in college with 2 friends I made on Twitter, one would have never thought we’d come this far. From bringing on new business on board and delivering value, working with our favorite brands across domains, hiring & nurturing some of the best talent in the social media space, making friends and having so much fun – it was a magical and challenging journey for almost 4 years at Media Redefined.

But, just as they say – All good things come to an end.

I am grateful to a lot of people (I can’t even mention all of them here), but they all know it. Of course, Gaurav and Honey deserve a special mention.

Starting the business out of a garage and bunking college to mark my attendance at work, was not so funny. Deciding to let go the job offer I secured at the college campus placement to become a businessman gives you a high. On that note, if you’re a student and if you are getting carried away by this post, you should read this post.

So, why did we decide to close it?

  1. I stopped seeing longevity in the business. We were clocking similar revenues for the last 2 years and it did not seem to change for good in the near future. The cost of entry to this business was getting lower every year and the ticket value going down. We failed to innovate. Or let’s just say, our innovation didn’t really come out that well.
  2. In India, social media continues to be just the icing on the cake when it comes to marketing, which I was always interested in. There are more talks about integrated social media acts than actual substance – both with brands and agencies.
  3. I wasn’t convinced that I want to be doing something that’s getting monotonous and more often than not, executes in a silo. Integrated marketing, social web innovation, influencer relations, etc. continue to be buzzwords and only a few brands believe wholeheartedly in them. Most brands are afraid to ‘be’ social. Instead, they spend money to ‘do’ social media.
  4. For many, it’s just about publishing content on social networks and sharing weekly / monthly reports on engagement. It’s challenging for a social media agency to showcase the power of social media across all functions – marketing, sales, customer service, segmentation, influencer relations, etc.
  5. We were strong at technology and measurement. That’s when we decided to build a social media analytics product. We released it internally and used it with our clients for quite some time. However, we couldn’t launch it for public yet. Bandwidth, conviction, focus – all of it. For us, it became difficult to ensure profitability in a services business and alongside, ship a product.

What’s next?

I’ve been enjoying unemployment for nearly a month, while speaking with people who’re in the product space to understand the kind of role I would want to take up, next.

This was more like rejuvenation before I get into a new role. I am hopeful that it would be as interesting and challenging enough to keep me happy.

No matter what, I would miss all the fun and learning I had at Media Redefined.

For those of you who’re curious about the assets associated with Media Redefined, we were contacted by a few buyers to buy the name and assets associated with Media Redefined. We decided to go ahead with an offer from a known internet entrepreneur in the U.S. who prefers not to be named as of now. Media Redefined and some of the associated digital assets are now sold. Most physical assets were either given away or retained by us for our personal use.

Update: After exploring & evaluating a few opportunities, I’ve decided to join Zoho.com in a Product / Marketing role. I’ll be helping a team build a social product and shall be telecommuting from Delhi.

 

Facetime Conversations

Beyond the window of social networks, there is a mirror which I often see and smile. Not because it has started to show me my grey hairs, but for the reason that it reminds me of the time when meaningful conversations were often in person, or so called, real facetime. 🙂

Today, the Skypes, BBMs and emails of the world have inhibited avenues of meetups to a large extent. No wonder how much a tweetup or a photo-walk tries to dissolve this gap, it is an ever increasing phenomenon in the digital age.

A lot goes to the increase in traffic, the underlying urge to perform better and make money or the very desire of staying busy and looking out for simplicity in a life that’s otherwise chaotic out of no sane reason. Sigh.

With broadband and mobile penetration, things are only going to get worse with time.

However, are there still enough ways where one can have a good conversation without a face-time and yet expect a near similar experience? I immediately ponder about some of the most amazing people I met, conversed and made friends with – all on the web. Not just that, an online connect often works as a catalyst to an offline meeting.

At the same time, the abundance of communities which claim to have ‘like minded’ people lead to a large noise/ signal ratio. Beyond a limit, one needs to prune his ‘available for’ list. For each one, his own.

How do you manage your meaningful conversations? How important are offline meetings for you?

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

 

The Chase

Jungle Chase

“Every morning in Africa, a deer wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest deer or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter you are a lion or a deer, what matters is, when the Sun comes up you’d better be running.” ~ Unknown

Image Courtesy: timsnell

 

Plant a tree, right now :)

Immersed in the perils of procrastination, I often wondered when is the right time to get done with these open tabs on my web browser. When is the best time to revert to someone who would have possibly lost all hopes for a response to his email towards the start of this year. When am I good enough to call a friend whom I have not spoken to, for a long time, for no good/ bad reasons whatsoever. You get it.

This is not an uncommon pattern. I know a lot people around me, suffering from such an ailment.

The answer to this lies within short proverbs like these;

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the next best time is right now. ~ Unknown

Now you may relate it to your choice of salads – starting a business, quit smoke, starting exercising, changing your life, et al.

The key here is to start small, always. Thinking big or not is a personal discretion.:)

Plant a tree, now :)

So what are you planting next? Not on the farmville, for sure. 🙂

Image Credits: Cawood

 

My first Mac!

It’s been a week since I got a Macbook White!

It’s been a wonderful week with the new machine. I have been having an iPhone 3GS for almost 6 months now and getting a mac has just added to the charm.

After getting hold of few basic apps like office, adium, evernote, dropbox, etc. I happened to install ecto, today. The proclaimed desktop blogging client for mac. It’s not even close to the more civilized WLW on a PC.

While I shall figure out alternatives or possible ways to run WLW here, I would still say, this is one of the best investments one would ever do. Thanks to the 10 hour battery life and the crisp graphics.

More, later.