Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Time erodes quality...

The very first infotainment program I can ever remember watching was "The World This Week" on DD presented by Prannoy Roy. I used to diligently watch it every Friday (I think?) and that was my window to the world! I have since followed Prannoy Roys shows, his election coverage (along with Vinod Dua in Hindi), the lauch of NDTV, the growth of NDTV etc etc.

Since he is CEO and stuff, he no longer reads the news, at least not regularly. Tonight I happened to tune to NDTV and I was surprised to see Prannoy reading the news. The Prannoy I remember was crisp, sharp, to the point and rarely wasting time. But the Prannoy I saw tonight was so so different and super disappointing! He was talking to Montek Singh Ahluwalia about inflation and stuff and he was OK, then he took up some lame cricket controversy and talked to Gavaskar. It was super artificial, he was not "into" the news, was out of depth, and was out of words!! Some unnecessary pleasantries, lotsa backrubs and many fumbling words later he moved on to the next "item". We now had Deepika Padukone and Neil Nitin Mukesh on show to promote a film. Again, total waste of time in both talking and asking departments. The question only got more stupid! Again no attachment to the story he is trying to say or make and there you go… News@9 is over!

It is so sad to see a stalwart such as Prannoy Roy showing that he is just one of "them". Even though I knew he is just as much a part of the bad media we are all exposed to in India today, it just feels really sad to actually see it. :-(

Monday, August 09, 2010


Apple Inc is bigger than its long time rival Microsoft and friend-turned-foe Google and is in no mood to leave the throne. The iPhone 4 just cemented its position even more firmly.

But it was not all rosy, what with the gizmodo leak and steve losing the bang that he is so used to generating in his keynotes. People soon forgot all this when the real deal was released and was lapped up by enthusiasts. So much so, that people started dumping their hardly used iPhone 3G phones to get the latest fad, fashion statement, cool gizmo, the "in" thing, etc etc. Not soon after the release the problems with iPhone's signal reception issues cropped up and the blame was on its much touted antenna design. True to apples legacy, they seem to have recovered from this setback too, albeit rather lethargically. But Apple could not let go of this shame so easily, after all they had a reputation to maintain. The person who got the sack was Mark Papermaster, the HW design guru.

This lead led me to read a bit more about Mark and the first thing that hit me about him was that he was with IBM for 25 years!! I know that some in India too agree that IBM is a place you are retire at, but still 25 years, wow!! But then, even after 25 years and after all his contributions, when he left IBM to go to Apple, he was sued by IBM! Yes, that is what 25 years bought him, a law suit and 2 court certificates to prove that he hadn't leaked any "IP" to Apple.

I have always believed that, you can almost never buy loyalty. Either the employee feels it or he doesn't. And if loyalty sounds too old school, call it professionalism. But whatever you call it, "it" is hard to come by. During my early days, I have gone through bouts of this loyalty pangs and almost felt guilty when I had to quit. Did it a second time, it got better and slowly realized that there is no such thing as loyalty. Once you leave a company, the company has to keep the interests of those who are still associated with it at higher priority. This can be at the cost of friendships and unsaid remorses (in some cases 25 years of it!!).

As insensitive as it may sound, it is business, nothing more, nothing less. They companies know it, the employees seem to take some time to figure it out. :-)