How My Media Aversion Has Helped Me!

It was a hard thought decision but something I should have done long back to be a much STRONGER & MORE CONFIDENT Human Being! Yes You Heard It, Long Back!!

I stopped quite a lot of Media Inflows towards me (my ears, eyes, most importantly Mind), in order to do that I did the following :

  • Stopped Reading All the Media websites & Apps (TOI was banned long back, NDTV, IndiaToday, IBN, etc.)
  • Removed TV Subscription (Best Decision Ever)
  • Shortened Facebook time to <5mins/week & diverting the remaining time to reading, linkedin, twitter, medium on filtered interests/subjects.
  • Forming my Viewpoints towards everything based on my own Research (well judged resources + Authentic sources) rather than word services of others
  • Adjudging the Media, Film world, Cricketers in my life what they are – PRESSTITUTES!
  • Avoiding all so called friends/influencers who promoted the Above or spoke mostly about the same

This happened as a result of above :

  • The filtered content was self approved & self adjudged
  • Got more time to do my research & form my own opinions based on topics that I was curious about, which is much better than being involuntarily educated at topics of no interest or motivation
  • Found & Relied on much informed company of intellectuals & common believers
  • I could only focus on what I WANTED FROM MYSELF !! I COULD SEE MYSELF AS A CLEAN SLATE & JUDGE MY BREATHE, MY ACTIONS, MY WAVES, RAYS, ENERGY IN A COMPLETE IMPARTIAL LIGHT
  • PM, Startups, Tech, VCs, Design, Statistics, World Politics & Trade, Travel, Clicking, Values, Ethics, History, Human Psychology, Sports (Quality), Social Entrepreneur – these are subjects that I know am not going to leave till the end of my breath! So happy to have discovered them as interests, serious hobbies, passions.
  • I can see my Vision & Dreams alot more clearly & am much more determined than ever to achieve them by building small blocks & gathering people around.

Hope it helps others as well!! Peace for All, Amen.

 

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ZINGOGRAPHY : Tech/Product/UX/Startup Update # 9

AB Testing is a Cultural & Personal Choice

Ittakes a lot number of weeks of research into white papers of statistics, informative articles on application, Live blogs for examples hunting, speaking to relevant stakeholders in competition & outside companies to discuss & link it with your current situation & problem statements to finally conform on your Approach.

I did the same with AB Testing!

And in all fairness, I have to admit that this has to be one of the most Surreal experiences since I realised there was a missing piece I was not including in the whole Picture/Frame/Painting of Product Design Thought Process.

AB Testing is critical to make your Product/Campaigns/Analytics/ Development Decision making simple & obvious decision making come out with an astounding clarity once AB Testing is conducted.
Plus how important it is to be persistent & have patience with the tests (design, conducting, results) — to know when to stop & when to start again.

There are two places where conducting AB Testing is a MUST :

  • Once when the prototypes of your App Key Pages are ready & you must know the initial response to them from your target consumer personas.
  • Second, before doing the campaigns & scaling the features/products — knowing the intricacies details in the form of headline, text, image, theme, colour palette, etc.

A few things must have technical :

  • AB Testing tool —

for beginners : VWO/Optimisely like SaaS tool ;

for mature organisations : Building the capability from scratch

for organisations in between who wish advanced readymade tool — I would recommend the hybrid way by using an open platform like Wasabi which can be customised to your requirements.

  • Good Quality Team with understanding of Statistics, SaaS Tools, Consumer Behavioural Analysis
  • Data Mart/Warehouse with access to Transactional Data as well as Online Behavioural Data with necessary cuts for segmentation basis Business Intelligence

A Few things in terms of Soft Power :

  • Open Mind — ready to question obvious right answers (infact more if they are obvious)
  • Capability to deep dive & look at intrinsic details
  • Collaborate with different teams/people to check if the findings or the direction of the findings are correct — this in my understanding is the most POTENT!

Organisations must insist their people to only come to leaders once they have collaborative evidences to move in a certain direction.

It may so happen that after spending significant time also — you may not come to an conclusive evidence & one should be open & amiable about the same & not push for an evidence for the sake of it.

I must thank quite a few people for the same but most of all Booking.com to highlight that there is something missing in my thought process — the webinar by Lukas was really helpful!

ZINGOGRAPHY : Tech/Product/UX/Startup Update # 8

Today I wish to compare the startup spaces in Indian & European Context. Those who read this should know that I share this majorly for my own clarity & perspective and if it helps others then great!

Recently, I have been focussing on 3 main things apart from my daily work & travel :

  • Reading a lot about new skill sets essential for PM especially like Deep Learning, Data Mining
  • Linking it with my current Work & Profile as well as Future Roles that I wish to do
  • Collaborating it with other PMs in different sectors/industries/companies

And there are some Key Insights regarding Different Geographical Consumer Tech companies that I have concluded :

  • Focus in Indian Companies (Startups as well as Big Ones) is to scale
  • Focus in European Companies is to understand the consumer behaviour first & sync all departments of technology, data, customer service towards that ONE Customer Proposition/their USP which will help them Succeed while focussing less or almost nothing on others
  • In US Companies, they go for massive funding & their aim is that – once establishing a prototype (more or less that with a short term vision)
  • SEA are replicating Chinese models more or less in terms of consumer personas as well as Tech Propositions
  • MENA regions are going like Indian Conglomerates – slow & cautious for the models that are already well proven for success

Let me also talk about a few skills which are becoming redundant as in they are understood that you will have when you apply for Product Roles :

  • Digital Marketing
  • Product Design & Strategy
  • KPI Metrics Management
  • Project Management
  • P&L Ownership
  • Business Development
  • Hiring & Training

These are the new skills towards which you need to show inclination & an aptitude for – please remember that though these may seem new worlds, their nuances are based in subjects well introduced to us. So let me give the picture complete for better understanding :

  • Machine Learning/AI/Deep Learning : Maths, Statistics, Computer Science for Coding
  • Blockchain : Telecom, Communications, System/Server Integration
  • AR/VR : Electronics, Robotics, Graphic Designing
  • 3D Printing : Biotechnology, Engineering Drawing

Personally I enjoy first 3 a lot & keep looking how it can be valuable in my current scope of work!

Some Life Changing Moments

Writing some Life Changing Moments, Good & Bad :

  • Apart from coming into the Earth – being born in India, in an educated middle class family, in Northern Part of India, living in a thriving industrial engineers colony with families of different backgrounds, kids from different schools, different aspirations, mindsets
  • Since it was a partially Joint Family – so influence on my GrandMom & relatives being stronger
  • Admission into a Convent & adapting to its requirements – English speaking, strictness for discipline, competition for appreciation, emphasis on being a Leader
  • Playing with more boys in the colony -> resulting into being easily exploited & for no fault of mine
  • Exposure into Badminton Coaching & Theatre Classes – Perhaps the best aspect apart from being Convent Educated
  • Having some great friends like Nishu & Sweta Di for the reasons of mutual appreciation & good quality discussions Only
  • Not being allowed to pursue Badminton on an advanced Level made me quite sad
  • Some great trips to my Maternal Grandparents house – huge bungalow & amazing fruits to enjoy with loads of cousins
  • Moving to Ahmedabad – adapting to new school & friends circle (Uff! – toughness was a new feeling more so for emotional baggage)
  • Tough studies days – exposure to a bigger & developed city life!
  • 10th & 12th Board exams – > BTech admissions (you get exposed to systems & start disliking it there & then)
  • Some new set of people you come across & thinking about your career ahead! (Again UFFF! – This was perhaps one of the Darkest phases 🙂 since I felt everything I have done so far is a waste of everything)
  • Being Introduced to CAT ! <Yippee – 1> Discovered something great! & Totally fell in Love with it & was convinced to do it more & more!
  • XLRI admission & 2 years campus experience – It played a strong role in being who I am & what I hold dear to myself
  • JJMI Internship – Short & Lovely 🙂
  • Tata Stint – was not excited about going there but I think it turned out better than expected! <Travel, Click & Social Circle were found here>
  • Airtel & Snapdeal – They came & went like Firecrackers which shaped my profile for sure but also gave me some unasked pain! Its ok, No Pain so No Gain 🙂
  • Discovering a Permanent Friend in Krishna & Buddha -> Watching Mahabharat & Reading Gita is a natural healing process
  • Current Role Profile – No comments till I move to next role but I will always be thankful for it to give me a chance to build my Product Profile
  • Product Management & UX Discovery – Definitely Yippee -2 Moment as it has given me so much that I wanted to be & do in terms of professional space! I know this will be the path I want to be on & will take me towards my Ultimate Dream Realisations from here!
  • Much of my Travel + Click + Sports (Playing & Watching) + Social Entrepreneurship Moments have given me the Small Joys & Reaffirmations required at different turns of my life! Much Grateful for them
  • How my dependence on my Friends & others has reduced is amazing 🙂 Much more Thankful for that since I know I won’t allow anyone to hurt me emotionally or take advantage of me. How I have learnt to SelfCare & SelfLove & depend on my own instincts gives me the much required strength.
  • concert-768722_1920-1024x683

My Own Thing.. Stamped MS

I just want my own things….. I don’t wish to compare or discuss or envy or even boast!

I just wish things to happen the way they should for me….

At Work : Create some great Products with Great Funny & Intellectual Beings… Grow Gradually without any conflict & envy…. Significant enough to be noticed as an achiever & a Happy Good one!

In Family : A happy, motivated Soul with a sense of Objectiveness! Small Loving & Supporting Family who Love doing their own things & still enjoy look forward to doing things together! Everyone is Proud of each other & themselves.. Comes across as Pvt & still Social to Others around. Very Much at Peace

Husband : Someone Loving, Caring who believes in Simple things & is an old soul yet Fun in contemporary times! Passionate about his own things & supportive of mine. Patience to be a virtue, Smile to die for!

House : A small cozy yet Modern abode which loves to welcome one & all – smells of warmth & bondings!

Hobbies : Hasn’t Travel & Click become too cliche` .. Still they do form my very strong Pillars along with Reading, writing! & Yes Sports

Passion : To create & execute Product Ideas for different use case bases

My Own Ventures : Agency + Dream Realization + Product Startup + SHG + VC + Startup Cell in own alma mater!

I just things to be stamped with my own individuality! AM YES!

That VISION For Me!

Till I don’t achieve it!

Till I don’t remove everything that’s blocking me from achieving it…

Till I don’t make every change in my life to make that VISION a reality…

I won’t give it up…!

And achieving it while not letting your values dilute – is most essential!

That vision is me at peace, calm, happy, smiling, dressed in pastel shade indian clothes or loose western clothes with no fear, concern – just satisfied & positive for life ahead!

  • Global Product Role
  • Executive MBA
  • Healthy Lifestyle + Amazing Wardrobe
  • Financial Strength + Savings Build
  • Dream Realization
  • Product Initiative
  • SHGs Series
  • Agency MakeUp
  • CEO of Consumer Tech/ Product company
  • Family – small & happy, loving
  • Parents Travel + Bungalow
  • Dikku’s Lifestyle
  • Startup Cell in XLRI + Societies in SMC
  • Tourism Experience Transformation for true appreciation of history, heritage, culture, people, values, etc.

 

Future Push – Tech & Innovation!

Today I laid my hands on an article by HBR which am sharing here :

https://t.co/ISLUeum30c

Its matrix described gave me a lot of confidence & clarity on how to think for products & future roadmaps for yourself or company or society. Again Sharing here :

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 11.38.23 AM

Most of us (94%) are doing “Basic research” in this space especially at the middle & lower management level.

Some of us (5.9%) are doing “Sustaining Innovation” as Product Managers, Leaders & even in space which is not so well defined from problem statement or domain per se but we assume that this is the solution or expected world so lets go for it.

Very Few of us (0.1%) are trying to do Disruptive or Breakthrough Innovation. Elon Musk for sure lies in the Breakthrough space and so are some of the esteemed scientists in the technology, literature, economics, art, media, etc. spaces.
Breakthrough is really difficult to achieve of all – requires huge research, money, persistence, sharp focus, dedication, sacrifice @ personal, health, etc. level
Disruptive is still achievable if one has fair control on various variables like talent, opportunity, business model, money, knowledge.

So if I have to rate the various models in chronological order, I will say Basic Research + Sustaining Innovation are “all right to have” like the Must Have but not sufficient.
Disruptive is achievable while Breakthrough is really tough but yet possible 🙂
Anyone wanting to excel in any sphere/industry/role should have first two for sure as a constant practice like eating, breathing and achieve disruptive time & again (like 5 – 10 in lifetime) while keep aiming for Breakthrough as it will be extremely rare – one, if you are very lucky then two.

If you have achieved one break- through, then remaining three still are important but your job is done – that’s the AIM ! Great brands, companies, products are known for that one discovery. E.g. Infosys by NRN, Disney by Walk, Apple by Jobs amongst many others.

Some people achieve disruptive time & again e.g. Actors going for 100Mn then 200Mn, etc. marks for box office returns. Or great PMs able to fish out great products time & again, can’t call any names right now 🙂 E.g. Google as a company maybe

So here’s the mantra – keep adding to yourself with the first 3 & make yourself a Break through as a person or create a Break through company or work on a Break Through Product. Mostly in my case, first & last are more probable while middle one is a distant dream 🙂 Amen to all though !

Zingography : Tech/Product/UX/StartUp Update # 7

Today, let us discuss the importance of “Art of Organising” to be relevant in today’s Management Space.

The Optimum Art of Organising & Planning to ensure efficiency however not causing too much delay & redundancy is a difficult Art to Manage.
It requires attention to detail, understanding of situations + people, right amount of patience to hold your horses or speak at the most opportune time. Above all it required alot of maturity, analytical skills & calmness to manage all the situations.

In my understanding, this is quite the skillset a qualified MBA is supposed to have to be an effective manager & leader. In same breath let me mention the subjects of MBA course in my understanding prove to be most critical for a leader in due course of their professional careers :

  • Organisational Behaviour : Though its difficult for young MBA minds to absorb & estimate the impact of all the topics in a class of 20+ hours, it is the subject which cuts across all students & is applicable throughout the careers every single moment
  • Game Theory : If one subject can teach the outcome probability best then it is this subject – one should always be prepared & calculating to know the best outcome possible in every situation/event for themselves or colleagues or business, etc. Its quite the lovely topic
  • Operational Research : This subject teaches the art of balancing different sets, values, variables, constants to ultimately reach your optimum goal of efficient results.

There are other subjects worth mentioning though matter a lot on how they are taught – Managerial Skills, Leadership Skills, Strategy, Accounting, etc.

My efforts of mentioning all this in my Tech/Product Blog is that how relevant they prove in giving me a grip & edge for doing Product Management on daily basis. Phase Gate, Optimisations, Filtering, Detailing, Deep diving should become more of a habit that comes naturally while thinking, talking, acting, deciding on things for future growth/Leadership roles.

A word of caution – please do not even think of becoming “Monica” for the same! Phew, that’s OCD.

StartUp Advantages – Found My Solace of Split Personalities!

Startups can be almost like On-ground Battles where warriors (I hope am in this category), soldiers, Army Generals come out with their weapons & unleash their true powers, diplomacies, tactics, strategies to simply come out Winning!

buddha-war

Everyone has a personality, a background, a history, her/his own talents + pursuits + motivations! Its exciting hence to come out a winner in a place where everyone is not fake!

Personally for me, its extremely acceptable environment because I get to be myself & not pretend to be constrained in chains which is the case with big Corporate Houses so Thank God for Startups for coming in our lives!

I know now some things clearly about myself which I will never compromise for anything/anyone :

  • Am extremely High Energy & Enthusiasm, I thrive in it
  • Am ‘almost’ passionate about my Work – I love living for it if I see a purpose in it else I love focussing on my health, family, friends, travel, photography, shopping, movies, music, etc.
  • I love being clear headed for myself + my loved ones & having simple, clarity oriented people around me who speak well, high, progressive & modern
  • I love being around self motivated, energetic & idea oriented people
  • I love new ideas, new projects
  • I have my own ways of managing things, people & situations and I like keeping it that way – Open to learnings from People I appreciate & Like but should be careful about the latter to not do it too much as well
  • I can’t take bullshit & not very good with managing that – got to working on defining the boundaries again & ensuring both parties honour it fairly
  • I tend to get self critical about my short term goals, long term purpose, even people which at best be avoided – Just #AvoidSocialism at personal level to push a greater purpose

I have also realised post working in StartUps & Corporate world for 7+ years now that the Game is all about Managing People & Yourself Basically. Deliverables, Results & Negotiation Skills, Achievements, KPIs, Projects, Ideas, Success become very subjective & actually more of a result if You manage the former Well !

One more of my recent sure shot finding are about top B-schools in the country having such different cultures of people (and the recent batches have really diluted the value) :

  • XL + IIMC have cooler & people oriented people
  • IIMA have too hard task master oriented people
  • IIMB are too serious, thorough, professional – almost similar breed to ISB
  • Rest are almost similarly inconsequential 😉

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