Aug 062005

…. is great fun.
In very many ways I am an early adopter of technologies. Except for one vital way which can help marketeers. I very rarely buy them until their costs reduce. In that sense, I am the archytypal price sensitive Indian customer.
I once – and only once – got my fingers burnt buying high. It was the Mac LC -which i had coveted from afar as a student. I paid all of GBP 999 for 4 MB of RAM and 40 MB of hard disk (this was wayback in 1994). A few months later it was obsolete and the newer model cost less than what i spent. As a student, i had worked to save up to buy this – as opposed to getting it as a gift from my folks. And it pinched – it may not have pinched so much if i hadn’t paid for it. It taught me an important lesson,which stood me in good stead through almost 15 years of professional life and 3 years in business. Never get seduced by technology enough to pay more than what you perceive its value to be 🙂

While all my friends were busy 18 months ago splurging on DVD players with a price tag of 15 -18 k, i preferred watching my films and series on the PC – on a DIVX format. Today, i finally succumbed. We went to Alfa (Irla) and picked up a snazzy DVD DIVX combo player. It is the Phillips DVD 642k (whatever that means). It cost me Rs. 4.2k. Most of the documentaries, series and non English/Hindi/Tamil films that we possess are on DIVX format. And I was looking for something that would play it.

The beauty of waiting is not just the price. It is also the functionality provided. Less, in this particular case, is more.
Today we get fully loaded laptops under 50k. I know a number of people who neither needed one nor knew how to use one – acquiring laptops at 1.5 lacs 18 months earlier because they wanted to be up there as early adopters. And todays 50k laptop offers everything that the 1.5 lac laptop did. In fact they have a few added features – wifi enabled, combo DVD drive etal.
I wonder whether the kick gained from knowing that you are an early adopter compensates for the premium that one pays for the product.
Do people really have more money than sense, or are they seduced by the hype?

Aug 062005

…. ouch a yawn.
I loved the KBC promotions. The rap featuring Bachchan – don’t lose hope is the moral of the story was entertainment at its best. If the purpose was to get audiences to tune it – it worked. It’s a pity that the show did not live up to the promise of promotions.

Last night we tuned on to Star Plus to watch the show. The opening put me off – the entire rap song with the audience was tacky and the time taken to move to the first contestant & quiz (almost 10 minutes). Dad and Mom who are great fans of AB and KBC – were figeting in their seats from the 5th minute. JD walked out to watch the Apprentice. And i took Rani for a walk – at the end of the second break.

Bachchan seemed incredibly jaded. And the slouched look with a leather jacket did no one any favours. What happened to the smart tailored look? Why does AB need to look like a aging rock star? Puneet has an interesting observation. Given that AB is a supporter of PETA and one of the questions was on PETA – what on earth possessed the stylists and the channel to go for the leather look?
At the risk of being biased – Dial One Aur Jeeto has more life, fun and variety in it.

Today, no one at home bothered to tune in. Which probably means that the show will end up with high ratings.

Aug 062005

Quotidian is an oxymoron:)

quotidian kwoh-TID-ee-uhn, adjective:
1. Occurring or returning daily; as, a quotidian fever.
2. Of an everyday character; ordinary, commonplace, trivial.

“Thus, art for Amulya Chandra Pal is inextricably bound up with ordinary life. ‘The process of skilled creation is not divided from the quotidian flow…. It belongs to the daily round of work, and even its most glorious products are meshed in commerce and destined for participatory roles in human affairs’.”
–“Quotidian Treasures: A folklorist explores the visual traditions of Bangladesh,” New York Times, March 8, 1998