31 Jul 2011

Cometh The Future, Cometh Google+ !!

So I’ve spent more than a month on Google+. And I already feel that this site is much better than Facebook. I know I have done a lot of Social Network bashing on this blog, but I just had to try this one out. Well, I can attribute that desire to 2 facts; 1.) I am a huge Android fan. I like (& trust) them so much that my 1st (and only) smart phone so far has an Android OS & 2.) the hype they created around the site and then delayed people joining up was a masterstroke. Now they may indeed have overloaded servers in ß – testing, etc. but it successfully managed to arouse interest and excitement in a lot of people (including yours sincerely) to sign up and check out what it is all about.
I am not going to post the regular Facebook (FB) v/s Google+ review here. Yes, I will talk a little about how + is generically better than other sites and features and advantages over the others. But then I think I’ll touch up on some more points in this article also.

The overall interface of Google+ is pleasing and accommodates more than just the regular social networking options. Google has a lot of features we use like Gmail, Orkut (well, that’s passé now), Search Engine, Picasa, Google Docs, Youtube, Translator (sometimes), Blogger and much more. Google has their hand in nearly everything online and we know how much we depend on the California – based company. We see hyperlinks to all these sites on the top left of the home screen, thus making all these sites easily accessible to us. No more URL typing, no more visiting Favourites to open these tabs; it’s all right there once we log into Google+. Plus, it allows one to connect all her/his links/sites on the profile page (Twitter, FB, Blogger, LinkedIn, Flickr, etc.; anything you want can be linked right onto your profile page so others can reach you on those locations also). Features like "Circles" and "Hangout" are very innovative. You do not need to share all information with all your contacts here, plus you can add one contact to more than one circle. The amazing sensory function in "Hangout" which almost always accurately brings the person talking on the centre screen is simply genius. Plus, one can start a Youtube video and have the other members on the Hangout view it alongside – simply awesome. You don’t even need an Xbox avatar to chat with many people located at different places; + lets you see all the others in flesh and bone.

With all this happening, Google+ still does not seem to be picking up pace as fast as expected. Many attribute FB’s still all powerful account base to this. Some skeptics are not even sure if + will hold on to its own because Orkut and Buzz were flops. But I don’t think we should call Orkut a flop. It was the 1st ever genuine social networking site and a super hit for well over 2 years. Google then learnt some more lessons through a couple of failed ventures and have now come out with this ingenious all – in – 1 portal. Michael Dell already proposes to use Google+ for customer service also to make life easier for his company’s customers. Many more will follow suit and try to device methods in which they can use this site for business (clients and vendors alike). Plus, Google+ has sorted a lot of safety concerns which were rampant on FB and taken care of a lot of loopholes lurking on FB.

When Orkut was introduced, people jumped onto the wagon like there was no tomorrow. They took time to move onto FB, but have been hooked onto the latter ever since like a fish. History will most probably repeat itself and people will inevitably transition over to Google+. Orkut was the SN of the past, Facebook is of the present, while Google+ is the SN of the future. I used to wonder what the SN sites of the future would have to offer. Google, ladies and gentlemen, has all the answers!

5 Jul 2011

Existing For Our Customers!

These are excerpts from Gurcharan Das' book 'The Elephant Paradigm'. An increasing number of businesses are focussing on other aspects and losing sight of what their core is. This article aptly addresses all those pointers:

"The only job of a business, I believe, is to create and retain customers. A successful manager has to be obsessed with satisfying customer needs. The irony is that all the money a company makes is made outside the company, and almost all the time company people spend is inside the company. Time is usually spent inside the company battling over turf, whereas spending time in the field makes one realize that the real battles are fought outside, against your competitors and winning the hearts of your customers.

Why is this so? I reason, I think, is that most of us don’t see customers when we work. We see only other employees and we get busy building empires or arguing over whose department is more important or whose office is bigger. One must ensure he/she meets the customers of the organization at least once a month. This reminds one not only who pays him/her the salary, but more payoffs are gained in terms of good ideas to improve products and services.

The greatest benefit of this belief in staying close to customers comes in R&D. When scientists regularly visit the bazaar they realize that they are not working for science but to improve the lives of ordinary people. When R&D becomes customer focussed, the rewards come in very rapidly. Little improvement in some areas – even in packaging – have a major impact in customer satisfaction and on the bottom line. Ultimately you succeed in business because you sell a product that is better than your competitor’s. If your efforts are directed at making a product better, and doing so constantly, you will win. No matter how much advertising or good marketing you may do, if your product does not deliver what it promises, you will not succeed. This very simple idea begins with the belief that we all exist for our customers."

Thus, however big one is, he always has customers somewhere. And he survives and sustains because of them. It is very important to keep that in mind and work towards better customer satisfaction. That leads to a sustainable business model and a chance to grow (in revenue, customers and customer loyalty).
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