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Showing posts from June, 2008

When I say 'Innovation' - I mean this! ... contd.

Continuing my previous   post I encoutered another example of "innovation"  ... Like IKEA , a giant Swedish furniture-maker, Kunskapsskolan gets its customers to do much of the work themselves. The vital tool, though, is not an Allen key but the Kunskapsporten ("Knowledge Portal"), a website containing the entire syllabus. Youngsters spend 15 minutes each week with a tutor, reviewing the past week's progress and agreeing on goals and a timetable for the next one. This will include classes and lectures, but also a great deal of independent or small-group study. The Kunskapsporten allows each student to work at his own level, and spend less or more time on each subject, depending on his strengths and weakness. Each subject is divided into 35 steps. Students who reach step 25 graduate with a pass; those who make it to step 30 or 35 gain, respectively, a merit or distinction. Again like IKEA , no money is wasted on fancy surroundings. Kunskapsskolan Enskede,

Trip Over - lets do a recon ...

As I prepare to leave Norwich tomorrow and the UK the day after, just trying to reconcile if I met all my personal goals (as they would call in corporate lingo) :-) I couldn't visit London as often as I had planned, partly because I got busy with work and partly because I kinda liked staying in Norwich. Norwich is a small town and staying here felt like going back to my childhood days at BHEL township in Bhopal. So anyway, not having time in London I could not meet a lot of people there. However, I did manage to steal a visit to Stonehenge , Windsor and Bath with Piyush. Then instead of spending a day at the St. James park reading a book - I did the same at the local park in Norwich. I spent almost two weekends in the park reading books - finished The World is Flat and Shantaram - would soon post a review of Shantaram. Finally, I did spend a day at the Borders book store but not the one on Bond Street-London, but the one at Chapelfield-Norwich. Though, my day was not very succe

Online Habits

Responding to Shubham's Tag ... My 5 Favorite Websites:- Wikipedia LinkedIn SlideShare bloozle IMdb Two more sites which I don't use that often (because they are services and used only when needed), but I like a lot are , IRCTC . Favorite Browser:- Firefox 3.0 :-) Google Tools and Services I use (apart from Search):- GMail and Gmail on Mobile Blogger Docs and Spreadsheets Bookmarks & Web History Calendar Google Groups Picassa Maps Alert Adsense

Cities - for humans or machines?

I wrote this post about an year ago, and it has remained a 'draft' since. Got round to completing it today - however, it can also be read as a continuation of posts I made a few days ago . I once travelled about 35 odd kilometres within Mumbai at a time. Started from Powai for Nerul via Ghatkopar-Mankhurd-Vashi and back to Powai via Kharghar-Aeroli-Mulund and then went to Vile Parle and came back. Click to see on Google Maps It was a good bike ride - the roads have improved - yet back breaking. During the bike ride, travelling through Mumbai, I somehow remembered my visit to Switzerland and started comparing cities in India to cities in Switzerland. Below is what I could theorize .... As per the wikipedia , "cities formed as central places of trade for the benefit of the members living [in them]". The keywords here are - 'trade' and 'benefit'. I think cities even today can be classified into those which are built with the intent of enhancing &

Culinary Adventure

Here are some more photos of what I have been eating (and cooking) ... Got bored of Eating Subway sandwiches, so tried something different; cooked "Aloo Sabji" (the one which you get in a Masala Dosa). Then ate it along with a Veggie Delite subway wrap - the wrap can be had like Roti. After my success in making the Aloo Sabji, I became a bit bolder - made that kind of a thing again ... Wet some bread...and made a cutlet like package of bread and Alloo sabji, but instead of frying (which I could not), I toasted it on the frying pan. Finally ate it along with Baked Beans .. And this is what I had yesterday - a McDonald's burger with Mayonnaise in it and some Khichdi with Mayonnaise on it! .

When I say 'Innovation' - I mean this!

Continued from: Wasn't Entreprenueship About Innovation After Mohammad Yunus received his Nobel for microcredit - so many people have thought of starting up a micro-finance institution - its a simple idea, with minimal risk (if you know how to manage money) and what's more it in line with social justice. But as I have discussed with some of you - no point entering a field unless you can bring in some innovation to it - could be technology, process or scale. And boy! there could not be a better example than this to illustrate my point ... Kiva! Source: Kiva: Improving People's Lives Like a social networking site, Kiva posts profiles of potential borrowers. Lenders then peruse the profiles and make loans to people whom they find appealing. Once a lender makes a loan, Kiva sends the money to a microfinance institution, or MFI, in the borrower's home country. The MFI disburses the funds and works with the borrower to ensure timely repayment. In the language of the banking

Wasn't entreprenueship about Innovation?

Given the economically charged environment in India - lots of people are planning to start new ventures or planning to get involved with startups - and everyone from your uncle to your cousin's friend's elder brother has an idea! And with orkut/facebook/ linkedIn - it is so much more easy to link to other people who have similar ideas and hatch business plans. However, while the story might start there, it doesn't quite end, so many 'in-progress' ventures never make it to fruition and of those which do, few survive. Why? My personal answer is - we are all too fixated with making money and too less with making a difference. Daman [fictional] works for a bank as a financial consultant, he interacts with clients day in day out and sees how he is solving their problems using a bit of Google and a bit of Bloomberg. And the next thing he realises is that, he doesn't need his company - why not join hands with his Jijaji who runs a software company, get the software whi