Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

The attached picture explains one of the most coveted concept of Economics – the concept of Opportunity cost:

 

So the next time you think saving a little money here is cheap, also consider what else you might be giving up for that saving.

Learn to Say No

One of the important management lessons is to learn to say no. It’s not about being rude, it’s not even about being selfish and it’s definitely not about lack of initiative. Time is an important resource and for most of the people, it seems to regularly fall short of the required mark – quite often it is because of the fact that you take so many things on us that we are not supposed to take up.

Saying No when needed is a Management Need

Saying no politely is not that difficult. It’s about understanding the requirements and putting those against prior commitments to assess if its doable without significantly hurting other things on the plate. It’s not as difficult as it might look in the beginning, but the key is to do this gracefully and accept that some people will not like this change in you, whenever you begin.

Thoughts become your Destiny

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“Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits build your character. Your character determines your destiny.”

The Rise of the Cloud

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Cloud Computing - the next frontier
Cloud Computing - the next frontier

What ‘Network’ was for the decade of 90’s, ‘Cloud’ will be for the coming decade. Increasingly, more than ever, there are talks about leveraging grid computing at server level, eliminating the need for unnecessarily heavy personal systems and deepening systems on the cloud.

Now, the terms Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and Infrastructure-as-a-Service are becoming the game-changing models – as we enter the year 2012 and move on, the cloud and computing domain will keep taking precedence over currently existing conventional systems. This would obviously also have interesting implications for business models of traditional software makers – again, new industries will quickly evolve and replace some currently-common products and approaches.

Happy New Year and some thoughts…

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As I sit in front of my system slowly sipping through my mug of tea and reflecting on something written on it – “Trust brings out the best in a relationship,” I decide to write a small post on these reflections.

What is trust? Trust is a belief, a feeling, some faith that one has on someone else. It’s fragile and it gets broken everyday – someone you believe in, someone you rely on and someone you think you can trust breaks it and things are never the same again. Few people don’t realize trust is an asset – a very valuable asset, not to be played around with all the time, everywhere. Forget about them, these people don’t matter anyway. What brings together this “trust” in the first place btw?

I think honesty and open communication are two things that are at the heart of a relationship – yes, you have to earn trust through these two things and yes, it’s a long process. No short-cuts there.

On this note, my best wishes to everyone reading it here for an awesome, fantastic, wonderful, joyous new year; May the new year bring lots of happiness, prosperity, success, peace, and fulfillment in your lives and give you all the time to share your joys and rejuvenation with friends, family and loved ones! Stay blessed and Keep Smiling!!

 

The Abundance Mentality

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Have you heard this term before? It was coined by Stephen Covey and the concept is a belief that there are ample resources and success to share with others. Contrasting to Scarcity mindset, this kind of thinking focuses on bringing win-win solutions and nurtures in an environment where there is a sense of high self-worth and security in individuals.

I find we can extend this to organizations as well. Win-win solutions don’t come as a co-incidence, but as a consequence of conscious thinking.

The Value of Life

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Ever wonder how precious life is? If you’re confused, go ask a mother. We’re always just too busy to keep wondering all the time, isn’t it?

Think about this. When you face a situation where you have no more a shelter on your head, no more an income to look to as your only income source has gone, you have not had anything for the last 2 days, one of your child seems to have fallen sick and there’s no medicine around and no doctors either, your entire family seems to be surrounded by water, flooded lands, misery, hopelessness, fear, sickness, feeling of being left alone, being left desolate and all of a sudden, you start hearing the hue and cry from a neighbourhood woman – her youngest son just couldn’t keep up anymore and is no more amongst us.

That is the moment when the only reality in life becomes survival – to get that next loaf of bread for yourself, but more importantly, for your family. Then, the only reality becomes what you will do if you won’t find anything to eat, and whether someone will be able to come to the rescue. What if no one comes? When the most likely option seems to be to sit and wait for some miracle to happen – this is the condition people in these disaster-stricken areas in Sindh, Pakistan face right now, each day, each hour of the day – how does it feel thinking about this? Not good, yes? Now, consider this: this is their reality!

Also, know that these people cannot post on websites about their condition, don’t access facebook to tell about how pathetic it feels not having eaten anything for 2 days, and can’t even tweet that the child in the neighbourhood just died because they couldn’t find food! If you are reading this post, chances are you’re better off enough that you likely do not even consider these things as luxuries anymore. This is your reality!

As we were preparing for the relief efforts few days ago and our team members were deliberating on ideas for things needed to be included in standard ration kits, we received an email from one of our coordinators from near the affected areas. He told us that some of these areas have been so badly flooded that there is practically no dry land around to cook food. As I started wondering how we should channelize our energies to come up with a solution, I kept reading on. So this coordinator offers a solution in the next paragraph, and says it’s something that has been tried-and-tested in another area last year. My heart starts pumping faster thinking what it could be and my eyes start to shine brighter. Do you want to know what that successful, tried-and-tested alternative was? He was suggesting we should distribute ‘tandoori rotis – a locally prepared bread’ with ‘pickles’ so that these people can at least stay alive. He also told us these breads are usable (note, ‘usable’ is not ‘fresh’) for 2 days, and it meant we had a lead time of 2 days to execute that plan from start to end there.

Now, as you’re reading this, sit back and ask your heart how you would feel putting down your throat this two-day old bread with pickles? Not excellent, yes? Well, the thing is that it’s an amazing blessing for them. This is their reality – staying alive, remember?

I hope after imagining this and knowing this, at least some of you would feel the same kind of weight on your heart and have moist eyes as I have writing it. My idea is not to make you feel burdened, but it is to share a reality. That’s it.

I hope this answers why relief work is also important right after such disasters. And in case, it still doesn’t answer our question, I have a more important question: are we really living? or just staying alive.