Akash Sharma

The Info-Cidal Bungee Jump

In Out Of The Box on November 7, 2011 at 8:17 am

It all begins with a promise.

Bone-chilling heights promise to drive the vibes of fear that even Freddy can’t match.

At the same time.

The to and fro movement that causes you to touch the edge and come back again & again.

Provides an adrenaline rush that opens your nerve ends wide open.

The courage to do this comes from the re-assuring fact that the elastic rope will definitely help you go back plus this experience will let you break your soul-numbing daily routine.

Now, Picture this.

If there is nothing pulling you back again, once the energy in the rope is gone, oscillations will stop automatically.

No more touching the edge. No more fun.

You’ve got something big to plan out.

Everything else would depend upon whether you go back or not.

Even if you are Bear Grylls , you have an uphill task ahead.

This is something that we all have experienced, not in the literal bungee jumping sense.

But with the ongoing digital content revolution.

Which has poured in so much content in every form you could ever imagine.

If you are willing to make a dent in your industry, Disrupt convention.

Acquiring knowledge on a subject is the way to go.

We dive in the vast pool of information to learn something new so that we can come back and implement it.

With so many ignited minds around, it is indeed an amazing dive with its own sense of energy.

Somehow though, getting back with the elastic rope is not so easy because you have to do it on your own with boat load of How-Tos in our head.

As we easily start comparing results that other people get, neglecting the fact that they have earned it with even more struggle.

The return journey would be tough as you have to travel on your foot with one step at a time without any common means of transport available.

So the only solution is to start.

Get going.

Hold tight even if  a stone beneath your feet slips away.

How do you get the discipline to do something everyday?

It is difficult. But if you tell yourself that there is no other option like the bunjee-freaking Jump situation, you will trek back, you will push yourself.

You might find out many errors in this post, as this is a come back post.

I did not want to save this post as another draft because it was not good enough.

In this case, Hitting publish was the way to get going.

Please share your thoughts on getting back from such a situation, I am sure you’ve tried and succeeded.

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The Three Amigos of Marketing, Business and Life

In Marketing on July 23, 2010 at 5:00 pm

What are the building blocks or pillars of doing awesome things consistently?

We have come along through many stories of evolution in the past century, every single decade, every single year from Man-Powered factories to Super-costly & celebs struck print advertising to Memes of brand related definitions in the boardrooms and now social media buzzing almost everyone.

It has been difficult to grade something good or bad on the basis of our assumptions which are directly or indirectly linked to prevailing trends and not exactly the inside stuff. Brands which are a cut above the rest have been there in the past and in fact in most cases not with the right kind of dollars to spend on ads and technology, they invested on human assets of relationship & service and delivered.

It is quite intriguing to understand what stays and what doesn’t in marketing, business or life. As everything might come with a perfect starter manifesto kicked-in but a not so relevant execution plan & results and vice versa.

As a student we get imparted with a lot of knowledge but very few of us learn about its application in the real world for example the value proposition models that are taught in business schools are rarely implemented to get the best results as most of the times there is a lack of home work.

I completely understand that the path to success cannot be scripted in a blog post as it at least wants a book from a great visionary. But the three amigos will make the message clear and easy for you to find out what’s under the hood.

Yeah, so here are the three amigos and they form a formidable team, watch out. »

♦INSPIRATION:

“A bird inspires a photographer to display nature with the fullest potential, dangerous animals like snakes and tigers have inspired martial artists all over the world to develop few of the most lethal moves and the most common one ; some songs always inspire us to definite mood swings.”

Inspiration can be derived from any source, we just need to have the right frame of mind while observing things, as most successful businesses are inspired from the very nature of the cause or the need that they support. It is something that drives us to accelerate the paddle shafts of our lives in the worst situations and helps us in recovering from vital falls as well.

For an instance if marketing is not inspired from consumers, it fails to deliver at both ends and is considered as spam (and that sucks because you made efforts but not in the right direction).

To be in a business it is inevitable to inspire your employees with the culture, your stakeholders with a vision of long-term future and inevitably your customers with your products and services.

Practo (To DO) Stuff -

- No matter what your situation is, keep looking for something inspiring as when it reacts with your hard work, we get the best solutions ever.

- As children we always remain excited about one or the other thing but as we grow, things that inspired us become childish for rest of the world and for us. Go fetch them again, if Super-hero comics inspire you get them, if classic Disney toons get you kickin!! Go get them.

- Feed your head with some really inspirational content and because of some uber-generous people it’s easy to find, start by watching this gentlemen here.

So inspiration acts as the fuel for everything ( Journey and the Goals ) and making it all the more exciting.

♦COMMUNITY:

“A team of 11 Maradonas or Peles cannot account for a world cup triumph even if they were the most eclectic players to sizzle the football grounds ever, Why? Because a team is a team, it is formed by different styles merging into one phenomenon.”

Our Families, All-time cool school and college gangs or colleagues at the work-place, we are surrounded by people of our community since the time we enter the world.

The process of sharing experiences becomes the best learning ground to understand some really important values of life. We recognize some teams and some kind of act as back-room heroes in shaping our story, so it’s never really about you but about them.

Talking about business and marketing, nurturing a community is the best way to let your message free flow and also the feedback to free flow, knowing where your customers are is just the start but understanding the reason for their prevalence at a particular place is rather important aspect of successful businesses.

For an example, a software firm can form developer communities not just for the heck of it but to provide them with a platform to work upon & share ideas thus ultimately driving them with the velocity of vision to achieve a mutual end goal.

Practo (To DO) Stuff –

- Sharing and Caring was a moral science lesson in school, but this is something to follow, being part of a community we should share (selflessly) as much info as we can which can help other members.

- Listen, whether you are a leader or a follower listening to your fellas is important — Consider it a cool dealio.

- Don’t make buzz generation your  prime affair, because it’s no more than fizz coming out of a soda bottle, to make your service taste well is what matters big time and creates a lasting relationship.

Love your people, It is an art in itself and it takes time to perfect and you can learn it from someone like Gary Vaynerchuk.

♦INTELLECT:

“Bone chilling cold, no Starbucks or Dominos, no Facebook or Twitter and places where air with oxygen is considered an oxymoron are the ones where you get the coolest heads(The Monks) on earth when it comes to peace of mind, Why is it so? They almost have nothing tangible but are satisfied and happier than most of us, they have attained intellect and they know it is greater than knowledge.”

Now don’t for a second think that the only way to attain such state is to meditate single-legedly, It is rather simple or not that simple.

This is how to get on with it – It’s nothing like wrestling a Guerrilla in your mind, Just try doing some extra bit of work while your mind intakes knowledge, start questioning the input and think about the application of output and you are getting closer.

This is the reason why the world today has millions of engineers but just a few handful who create path-breaking inventions, millions of  doctors but just a few standout with lifesaving work. You can see the difference easily now, dig deeper inside yourself and try to touch base with your inner self.

Marketers can get to the crux of things so easily for there clients, solving a strategic question would become simpler as we can lock up a lot of clues in our mind’s library if we achieve such state of mind.

Practo (To DO) Stuff –

- Make five new buddies (How, Why, When, What,Who) on every project as they will make you hit the final mile.

- Think beyond your computer desk, go out and make your body rejuvenated as this will make your work more efficient.

- Do a good deed a day, In my opinion nothing can’t be more fulfilling then helping someone who is in a need.

So it’s kind of recipe with some definite proportions of all the three amigos which makes it awesome, while wrapping up I’d like to hear your thoughts on the same, as always comment section is all yours.

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Marketing Uncluttered: Clearing The Clouded Skies

In Marketing on May 24, 2010 at 8:38 pm

How does an artist create a fabulous sculpture?

It’s simple, Take a stone or a wooden block and remove everything unwanted and what you get is called a masterpiece, the greatness though depends on the approach of finishing being pursued.

The most successful brand managers and marketers understand this very fact that the way they market things is an art in itself and what makes it great is the simple representation of the motive. Simple here does not means using a pencil to design things but it means to remove superficial claims, the boring factoids of new & free and not shedding the brand image in consumer’s mind by absolutely different messages, CAN YOU GET A BRIGHTER SKY.

I’ll start with breaking everything into steps which can help us remove what is ignored by consumers. Selling things in a market place where a lot of other brands are there filled with many speculative consumers looking for an ideal deal is kind of tough job { With the internet empowerment it has got even tougher }, because every body has a different message to convey about the same product and the best way to stand out is to have a remarkable product and spreading the right word for it in the market without joining the spammer breed.

Everyone has admitted to the fact that no matter how good the product is, getting the word out for it should be initiated at some level because that’s what forms the foundation of the first part of making a category in consumer minds.

If we can learn how to design better buttons for websites, better garnishing for food so why can’t we understand to do better marketing by observing things.

Ingenuity{Innovation + Application } is the key and you don’t have to be super-creative, just do some research work and carve out something better as this great quote says -

Innovation is trying to figure out a way to do something better than it’s ever been done before. ~ David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue

I am not going to disclose a secret here nor any new rules but just a simple idea that we can keep the minimalistic skills of selling in our mind by doing some brainstorming on conventional wisdom and break loose of it without being over the limit.

This is just one thought road of travelling, The focus would be on connecting our strategies to common sense and how we can use it more often than usual and thus utilize the customer touch points without being invisible.

• All of us have learnt about the five senses which tell us how people perceive things, here is a reminder –

Eyes – Sight

Ears – Sound

Nose – Smell

Tongue – Taste

Touch – Feel

As every single brand message, which is elegantly designed for consumers is focused on touching the customer on one of the above senses so that a particular consideration and then a particular intent is generated. Another important fact to be noted is that it’s not just the perception but also the old page about the product or service  stored in our mind’s library that affects our decisions.

To explain this further here are two simple rumblings from random observations – { Each point below is sponsored by the Human senses. }

- Why we need something different to taste on weekend?, Why most of our favorite songs or movies keep on changing? because we get bored.

Lesson - Don’t reply on trends and rules which have stood since a long time, make innovation a rule as one of the most common reasons for ignorance of a brand message is that people get bored with things which have been there in the same way for years,

- Our eyes get hurt when we see flash light, tongue hurts when we eat spicy food, skin hurts when subjected to something too cold or too hot.

Lesson - Being extreme is not the solution, messages should be carved out without flashy yet irrelevant colors, promotional stunts should have some substance so that they generate more intent the buzz.

Do some home-work on what you have just read and try experimenting the same on yourself, it will definitely give you many such take-aways.

So the bottom line is that everyone has a different set of these sensing tools and thus the sense of your message can be perceived differently as well, So it’s very important to get the message right thus getting the right people and also being super humble to them in the process, so that they never feel that they are interacting with a company but with a human, that’s where the first part of loyal business chain begins and after earning the first follower it just goes on and on if you have the ability to offer a great product/service.

As I mentioned this was one way of doing it, so let your thoughts flow.

How can you carve out a masterpiece from your marketing ?

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