What is News Worthy

  • Malone's Magic shines on Pandora!
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  • Can MSNBC shake the Liberal media under Comcast and take over?
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  • Not another investigation!
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  • Did May deal a good hand to Merkel?
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  • Bill Gross: without German Umbrella just another Economist trying to get attention?
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  • Qatar and $12B in orders after Saudi Mega deals in Defense Spend: A new business Model?

Re-inventing America!

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Silicon Valley Vibes!

  • Elon Musk Line: Car mover underground in Hollywood!
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  • Would you allow Siri to drive you around?
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  • Google Ventures : the hidden gold mine? From curing death to scissoring and splicing genes?
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  • GS Warriors : Is Oakland ready to be part of High Tech bubble?
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  • Did Ford Make a big mistake by changing their tradional CEO?
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  • Killing Uber Management: Is it a Mistake which will burst the bubble?

FANG News:

  • What ever happened to House of Cards: Its not even 7 seasons
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  • Mother of all AI? Lets Fix SIRI before leaping too high!
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  • Under steady Republican policies - will American Advertising spend go down?
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  • If Waymo is $70 Billion should Uber be $200B?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Cars! Cars !! Cars!!!

Recent rage in automotive market is how Toyota is beating every American manufacturer- targeted mainly towards GM. I strongly believe that Automovtive Industry has been and will always be the most important economic driver for any economy. Looking at the most advanced and deveoped economies- USA, Germany, Japan, Italy, UK, France- all have a dominant role in the automotive segment. Even the emerging economies like China and India are developing a strong blue print in the automotive segment.

I have been loyal to Japanese manufacturers for a more than a decade and still feel most of the JD Power and other reports are worth reading and believing. Having said that I started looking deeper into those studies and the market perception over the last several quarters after the troubles in GM spiraled out of control- spreading meaninglessly into the parts suppliers as well.

Every one said GM is gone to dogs and will eventually be bankrupt. Then came a little excitement with Mr Kerkorian and Mr York's entry. High stakes game and a couple of quarters later the downward momentum accelerated - making GM worth less than 10% of Toyota and every one was ready to pull the rug out of GM - ! Things have changed a bit the last few months with GM going through several changes and the stock stabilising a bit.

In trying to put the whole thing in perspective I started digging deeper into the whole GM situation and I was amazed to see what I learned in the process-

- As of today GM is still the number one car company in the World which they have never lost since they were founded!

- Over the last several decades GM has dominated several industries and have even been instrumental in creating many of those, outside car-

- Information Technology (EDS)
- Finance (GMAC)
- Aerospace ( GM was the largest supplier for WWII )
- Transportation
- Satellite communications
- Car Rental
- Electronics

- Probably the only car company that has a good chance of Rolling out the Billionth car soon!!

- Has several brands that invokes passion and excitement from teen agers to retires alike-

- No other car company has a brand mentioned in so many songs

The more I read about the company the more I find it fascinating. Once I even got the courage to rent a GMC Yukon to see how it feels! After a week-end of driving I was convinced that I wanted it. Yet I was very reluctant to trade in my Lexus. So went a few more weeks of research- started reading more about the new models - Pontiac Solstice, H2 and H3 ( as the original Hummer was too radical, decided to ignore it!), Cadillacs and even Buick Lucerne- I was amazed to see what variety and what feelings each one of those cars evoked. Started reading more into the cars - pricing , capability and quality. Started checking with people around- every one talked about Quality being a problem! And GM cars are very expensive and bland!

I figured there has to be some truth to them - so I started comparing prices - I was amazed to see an entry level Corolla or a Civic going for 17k or more and a Camry or an Accord north of 24k- if you want a meaningful configuration. Started looking at Lexus and Acura - 40k-90k Some of the models had eerie similarity to their poor cousins. After doing the math - I figured that I could get a comparable GM model for 60% or less. So it can not be the price- may be Quality?? Started comparing JP Power reports on initial quality and Consumer reports obout life time cost- they all have GM ranked lower- but only MARGINALLY. But RANK is a RANK!!

I decided to start asking co-workers and friends who drive GM cars about their maintenance history. I was amazed to find one thing that was common with GM car owners- all they did to their car was change oil - mostly by themselves or at best go to a Jiffy Lube or another drive through joint! No dealer or manufacturer recommended service routines. Not much different in troubles from their cars.

While I was going through this exercise - my wife's Accord - Dealer serviced and garage maintained - with less than 65k miles developed ABS problem - $1700.00 later that problem was complimented by another $800 brake drum job! I am sure it was an exception.

After talking to more people - found that most of the Japanese or German car owners are also like me- dutifully take it to the Dealer for services!!

When I started counting the dollars spent on services and the initial premium on the car - I realized that even if the GM car drives only 75k miles trouble free- I can still save a lot as I can buy a new car with the money saved.

When my wife started complaining about the mileage on the Accord - I was convinced that it was time for me to trade in and buy a GM car! After some more research I settled for Buick Lucerne- so one day deided to walk into a Buick dealer to see the car- on a week day around 4 PM - I was the only person the lot. not a soul - not even the sales lobby! looked around and was very impressed with the new batch of Buicks. 35k fully loaded and very comfortable - a full 15k cheaper than a comparable Lexus or an Acura ( dont even want to go to BMW or Mercedes!!).

Came home looked at the GM website to see if there was any sale! Unfortunately as GM was staying firm on pricing to boost its margin there was only a $500 rebate on the model I was looking at. I used that as an excuse to delay the decision and still waiting for the year end clearance sale to buy them.
Slowing to Smell....!

After going through several blogs I came to the conclusion that it is very difficult to write about your day to day life!

Fascinating to see how creative people are and how so many people around the world are able to choose a variety of topic and pour their heart out and paint something so wonderful- full of life and color!

Need Humor! Need Depth and more than anything need perspective! I found it is easy to write about something substantial in which a person is well versed in. It made me think - I went around the last few days looking around and paying attention to everything from nature to relationships!

Now curiosity started posing a question - what is more important to writing? Chosing a topic or having the patience to research and articulate about the impressions that every day events brings to a person?

I thought I will try this every day! For 30 Days!

Impulsive and spontaneous
!

No research - just type as the feelings flow and as the words can portray! Thanks to the Blackberry - now I can try doing that the moment the urge happens without waiting!

As I was deciding on this I found myself in a shop - decided to pull my Blackberry and type what I saw around me...so begins my first piece.

PS. Since Blog has major restricitons on how many posting and what kind of flexibility one can have using the standard template I will try to find a work around using a couple of gadgets to display a couple of days posting at any given time till I figure out a way to display the history!

To avoid dilution of this site I have moved the experiment to another blog under

http://dailylifesigns.blogspot.com

The following is a sample on content with no photos- the Daily Life Signs posting will be more of a pictorial experience!






Walking around a woman's shop!

Looking at the colors in a woman's shop is like peeking into a kaleidoscope. However, one doesn't have to change to feel the vibrant mood.

Amazing styles and fascinating fashion! Trying to coordinate gives the several option that is needed to meet the day to day lifestyles of varying moods and differing ages.

Age appropriate colors! Shades for fading moods!

Bold red!

Sober red!

Flashy red!

Bland red!

Blood Red!

Romantic Red!

Decisions! Decisions! and Decisions!

Deciding the color at the time of shopping gives the option to choose and refine to the various rainbow moods that a person possibly can go through in a fast paced connected world!

Sizes and fits to match every form and need.

Having a choice helps in refinement!

And helps!

In Decisions! Decisions and Decisions!

Startup Wisdom!

May be there is a reason they want a Money Man to run the venture- but the following tip will save a buck or two! This will list a couple of grey hairs to keep!

  • Success is contageous- start it immediately!
  • Share the Vision but not Leadership!
  • Smart money is great - but Lucky Money is even better. Get some!
  • Being passionate is essential - but only after motivation to make money.
  • Establish the TRUE Pecking Order!
  • Let Sales be part of your core strategy- everything else can be bought!
  • If you havent done Selling START DOING IT NOW!

Building your 2nd Million!

Skip the first million and go straight to the second- as the first one is the most difficult one to bring home! The second one can be as tough as the first one but is never tougher than the first one! You can make money - working - investing in stocks/etc - real-estate - starting a business - others Choose your area of interest first as this will help you identify the opportunity and make you easily motivated to work on the 2nd million!

Not in any particular Order!

  • First lets know the facts: 1) Your work life is 40 something years (even at conservative estimate) so lets make sure we plan that Properly
  • 2) Lets identify opportunity to make money with out too much effort- living for Today is Good but lets not lose today's free money in the process like - benefits, tax breaks, sale,coupons,etc
  • 3) Lets not try to make ALL THE MONEY in the same way! Lets break the objective into smaller chunks and assign different ways to make them individually
  • 4) Put the 1st Million in Auto-pilot and set a 10 Years plus Time table
  • Convince yourself that you need the Money
  • Set a time line to achieve the goal.

Relationships - Learning to enjoy them!

Do we retain relationships? Expectations out of frienships vary from society to society & age group to age group. How long do we carry them? Some of them bring fond memories- and some not so pleasant! Here you can expect to see nuggets from my experiences and analysis!

Family & Friends: We spend less time with family than with friends- yet we feel more comfortable with family than friends- Why? Is it because we dont have expectations with family members but we have some on friends?

Allowing the other person to finish their train of thought builds a very long lasting relationship - as it makes you understand the other persons point of view fully & also to respond being aware making even an opposing point of view reasonable.


  • Cherry Pick your arguments - Left or Right Brained!
  • Make every encounter a transaction - this will make leaving baggages behind easy!
  • Qualify the type of relationship - however strange it might be
  • Chasing friendship is not always helpful as it leads to compromise.
  • Family circles - define it and accept it whether you like it or not!
  • Its ok to do different activities with different people!
Prof Dr Peik A Monie's Corner

  • if being number two is not enough go to a lower market
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  • proceeds from a street dog dont bark
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  • shooting the papparazi dont break cameras

DIGITAL IRIS - An inexcusable view of the photograpic world!

Let me see if I can add a few lines every week highlighting my 2 cents on photography- my experiences and desires

Things that make good photos -

- excellent and expensive set of lenses; in this digital era spend less on the body and keep investing in the high end lenses as the lenses will not lose value and the body is still under construction!

- accessories and the right tripod; never underestimate your advantage with a tripod

- plan & choose the subject and the location

- know your subject well!

- look and follow the calendars; simple things like a night with a Full moon- we dont realise that it does not happen every day - if you narrow it to the summer when the sky is still blue - I guess it becomes a couple of times a year- and if you factor n the location and your availability at that location and time...so Knowing the calendar and season helps for a good but not so common picture

- Take some luck with you!

  • Print and Enlarge Some Too
  • Delete Bad Pictures from Storage
  • Isolate Subject's color
  • Assess various profile
  • Add a subject to the frame
  • Take Nature after rain - they look better
  • Transparent Objects like flowers have creative effect with light behind them
  • If you want to enjoy the trip - leave the camera behind!
  • Define the subject for the shoot out trip
  • Take a survey trip before the real shoot out
  • Learn & Buy the Best Tripod
  • Always take a handy utility camera
  • Use Multiple exposure & shots in action oriented moments- this will help you pick the ideal snap - as even a fraction of a second makes a HUGE difference in photos.
  • Know your camers settings!
  • Understand Shutter Lag
  • Understand the camera shakes

AfterMarket Pulse- The boring Services Industry!

Keeping it inefficient is good for every one- A success story and why it will be restricted to a handful in the services Industry- A serious look at the Service Industry and my views on improving them. As a society we have accepted that everything breaks down and needs periodic maintenance. We are willing to pay both money and time to accomodate such services. What we have not done is define what is the service level that is needed for every such incident. From household appliances to industrial equipments we are forced to accept the cost and quality that the market offers. In such a sellers market room for mediocracy is enormous- giving way for opportunities. Yes predicatability is not always easy when it comes to failure or repair - or for that matter to identify what is wrong once the item is broke as it is not always possible to run the equipment ot see what is going wrong! And there are companies that can afford stupidity & those that cannot- if you want to change choose wisely!

  • Three steps: 1) Localize Failure 2) Response to Events 3) Time to Life
  • Inter-dependency at a higer level accelerates return
  • Resposiveness is rewarding - even if it is just to show on site of event!
  • Failure Prevention is difficult - yet possible
  • Know your Industry problems: Inventory, Turn time, Forecasting Failure, Estimating Cost, Finding Talent, Automation tools
  • Know your industry Practices- Swapping parts, using refurbished items, penalty
  • Define Quality of service
  • Attract talent - as service industry does not attract fresh talents
  • Innovote service packages

About Me

Seen me go through cycles driven by Age, Money, Deception, Affection, Success, Failure, Fear- etc. The current cycle puts me in a middle aged bucket with sculpted bitterness trying to tame it to embrace the sweet crime of success and affection.