Narain is the founder & CEO for 360 Degree Interactive, a web services firm based in Chennai, India. This blog is about his personal views on Web 2.0, RoR, Social networking,Digital media, interactive advertising, SaaS, Service Oriented Architecture, India Inc, rural education, Web standards, mobile 2.0 and more.

Wednesday, April 27

Creativity - how can i get some?

Harward Business School's Working Knowledge Series has came out with this article called "Creativity - how can i get some?" Very interesting read. Almost everybody in the panel, unanimously accepted that Creativity is the lifeline of an organisation.

"Creativity needs to be in the DNA of a company"
- said Barney Waters, VP Marketing of PUMA

"The hardest thing for creatives to do is to get an idea through to people who don't understand its potential" - says Kevin Moehlenkamp, Hill Holidays

The whole article drives a single point that Creativity is the only way to succeed in the competing marketplace. If your organisation is not creative, you will be soon out of the race.

Read the Article

Saturday, April 23

Interactive Marketing Guide 2005

B-to-B Online is a magazine for marketing strategists. Justifying its name, B-to-B continuously providing worldwide digital marketing strategies & tactics to a wide audience. They have just came out with their Interactive Markeing Guide for 2005. This guide is a PDF document sponsored by A 40 Page detailed document addresses every aspect of digital interactive marketing and its ingredients. This neatly done document consists of valuable benchmarking data, trends in interactive marketing & internet spending, email spam lawas, benchmarks, search marketing, online events, online ad benchmarking and other relevant details.

Moreover, they run a print publication called Media Business which tours the media habits of technology companies, which is also a worth read.

Download the Interactive Marketing Guide 2005 (6.5 MB)

Friday, April 22

Return of the Rising Sun

Japan, the land of Rising Sun is seemingly back in the Global business. Japan was a powerhouse in 1980s. Miniaturaisation was the name. Bon-sai was the rage. Sayanora becomes english. The short, shrewed Japanese executives, without even a single english word, were riding the world with their customary welcome note. Whenever they bend their heads, somewhere in the world, they finished the deal. Then came the fall.

The stock market crashed in 1989. The country went haywire. Japanese companies started searching their foot outside Japan. Sony is Americanised. Toyata tyremarked Europe & America. Panasonic went middle east. Sanyo joined with BPL. Japanese workers over worked, stretched their physical abilities to their extreme limits. Karoshi started. Tokyo's concrete jungle is full of single executives of men & women. Death rate went exceptionally low. The country struggled with an alarming aging population growing at a steady rate. Economy continuously in red. Prime ministers have frequently changed like the routine earthquakes. Corruption entered with double bang. Things went awry. Kimono shuts down deep down inside, struggling to find a feet in the changed global trade.

In the meanwhile, the world has hit upon the Information Technology Revolution. Dot com boomed & busted. New Asian Tigers India & China have roared. Jobs are moving a plenty to these countries. When Indian engineers busy writing billions of lines of code for the world, their chinese counterparts busy replicating hardware worldwide. Slowly & steadily, Japan is sliping from the business memory of the world trade. New masters have entered and dictated terms. Is that is the death of the Kimono?

No said the Japanese. Like a tiger waiting for its prey, Japanese companies are slowly building their business clandestinely. The Kimono now started roaring again. Wharton School of Management studied the Japanese market and claims the former Powerhouse is back in business. The trade they enjoyed with China alone in last year is $400 billion. (BBC News Report) Yahoo! outbids eBay inside Japan. The world leader in Auction is struggling at a mere 3% marketshare. (Wharton Report) Yahoo! broadband is very successful. Harley-Davidson rides luxury bikes comfortably. Japanese companies have come a long way. From their grand days of kai-san, now they adopt global management practices.

This was the time of the Asian currency crisis, the Russian debt crisis, the implosion of both US-based hedge fund LTCM and Japanese bank LTCB. The whole Japanese banking system seemed to be teetering on the edge of the abyss. But it never quite fell - the government launched its long-delayed bank-restructuring programme and corporate Japan finally began its long haul back to respectability.
The Japanese Yen is appreciating against US Dollar, the currency is becoming stronger and Japan competes FTA regulations with Australia. Surely, the land of Rising Sun is started Shining brightly.

Read the Wharton's Report - The Return of Japan Inc?

Thursday, April 21

Search Patterns

It is increasingly tough to move along with the web. Every other day, somewhere a new technique, new technology, a hit song, a controversy is grooming. How do you keep pace with the cosntantly changing search queries? The answer lies in Google & Yahoo itself.

Google has a separate page which talks about search patterns, weekly top 10 queries etc at this place called "Zeitgeist" Yahoo! on the other hand uses "Buzz" to keep track of the search queries. If you are a SEO and would like to analyse the search queries, WordTracker will be an ideal counterpart. WordTracker's review is available at ExcessVoice

Why we need to keep track of the search queries? You got to. Since, that gives you an idea in terms of what people are searching. This is a very valuable matrix for e-commerce stores & etailers, whose businesses squarly centered around what people are intended to buy. This also gives us the idea of the socio, political waves running across the globe.

Keep tracking.

Tuesday, April 12

Dollar Dreams

The US Dollar is crumbling. In the month ending March 2005, the US Dollar has been on a continuous roller coaster ride downwards. 3 years in the falling, the US Dollar has fallen more than 50% against the Euro and 25% against the Japanese Yen. But, howcome, US is going stronger with a falling currency. The reason is Asia. Asian countries invested almost $400 Billion in the US, mostly in Government. The Chinese, Japanese governments putting their excess national savings in US Government bonds.

It's now time for India to wake up to the new reality on ground, that Euro is going stronger as a world currency. Newyorker has a detailed article on this and worth a read!

Monday, April 11

Free Advice for the new HP CEO

No. not me. I can't give him advices but Wharton School of Management can. Yes. for low-profile Hurd, the newly elected CEO of HP, after the debacle of the now infamous Carly Fiorina. The best advice for Hurd is to sell their PC operations and concentrate on the Printer business. Well, not from a man on the street, but from the professors of the leading management institute in the world.

From a broader perspective, i think it make sense to get out of the PC business, since Dell is hitting the lower end of the market, whereas, IBM captured the highend market. Moreover, in PC population growing countries like India, China, Brazil & Russia, local manufacturers are providing tough competition for MNCs like HP. In India, apart from PCS, HCL, Wipro, Zenith, there are local players now competing vigoursly for the PC market.

The way for HP is to integrate their Printing business & digital entertainment accessories. There is a huge market for portable HDDs (Data Disks) or Printing parlours and digital cameras. Like Motorola, HP probably can tie-up with Apple or IKEA or Nike (design oriented organisations) for providing wearable devices, where the market is huge and competition is less.

How hard will Hurd go on these advices?

Sunday, April 10

Interaction Design Destinations

Going thru the GUUUI website post, these two websites immediately struck me. One is an encyclopedia of Interaction-Design run by and the other one is an initiative from UsabilityFirst on providing a glossary of Usability terms

Wednesday, April 6

"Wikification" for inter-office communication

Blogging went commercial. Business blogs are the rage for the year 2005. Silently, there is another storm taking place in collaborative communication. In the years to come, i seriously doubt on the efficacy of intranet systems, since web-based wiki's are the preferred choice for various groups.

One such company is SocialText. It offers enterprise level social communication softwares for organisations. It makes a lot of sense, since you dont have to exchange 300 mails to your group everyday. With a single page you can add,edit,delete,comment,note things that concerns you inside the organisation. SocialText is kind enough to give us their open source wiki product called "kwiki" for non-techies.

The installation seems to be simpler and you can go ahead wiki-fied in minutes with this server installation. The days are counted seriously for desk based applications, as I see, more and more applications takes the online path for global distribution & working. You can download "kwiki" from this location

Friday, April 1

Gmail now comes with 2GB space

Everytime Google surprised me with their offerings on the Fools' Day. Exactly a year before they said "Google is arrived" in a manner unmistakeable by anyone in the email industry. Gmail born exactly a year ago, with 1 GB of data space. It turns 1 now to celebrate, Google gives you a surprise gift, 1 GB more ... that's 2GB of space, watch out , one day, if Google goes like this, you dont need a hard disk in your machine.

Long live Google!