Pursuing Happiness – An engaging discussion with the Dalai Lama and others

This is one podcast that I’d encourage everyone to listen to, regardless of race, religion or belief.

The DALAI LAMA of TIBET , JONATHAN SACKS , SEYYED HOSSEIN NASR and KATHARINE JEFFERTS SCHORI discuss what it means to be happy. It’s a serious discussion, but is conducted in such an engaging manner, you wouldn’t want to stop listening to it.

The edited version is about 50 minutes long and is well worth the time spent!

The Internet of Things: Are we truly ready to be connected?

connected world

A Connected World

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been building up in varying forms around us. From the connected home to tracking our health via little devices to having a traffic management system where vehicles talk to each other, the world is changing rapidly and connecting in ways never imagined before.

According to a recent Goldman Sachs report (The Internet of Things: Making sense of the next mega-trend ) the enablers for this (which were also obstacles in the past) are the cost of sensors, bandwidth and processing, along with the proliferation of smartphones, and the improvements in technology such as IPv6 and Big Data. All good stuff, but still very technical…

Having all these wonderful technology is great, but how much are we ready to share in order for this to be truly useful? Are we ready to connect with total strangers, or share our data or information with governments and corporate entities in order for better lives and an improved society?

Are you willing to share your car’s GPS & computer data with your garage or dealership so that they can alert you to any issues? Will you also be willing to share the same with authorities so that they can monitor road traffic and congestion as well as use it to plan for better infrastructure, or will you be concerned about being tracked 24×7? (more…)

12 key messages from being Off The Grid at TedxMelbourne 2014


TedxMelbourne 2014 Off The Grid

Out of all the incredible speakers who had so much to share at the TedxMelbourne 2014, the following 12 messages resonated with me enough to want to share it with you.

  1. If you have a dream or an idea, PURSUE it!
  2. If you’re not sure about something, EXPERIMENT!
  3. We all have character angels, ACKNOWLEDGE them!
  4. LOVE what you do!
  5. CREATE the conditions where you can be at your most creative!
  6. BE the change you want to see happen!
  7. Think of 10 NICE things to say about a person before you meet them!
  8. People deserve a SECOND CHANCE in life!
  9. Bravery begins with BELIEF!
  10. Life never goes to plan. ENJOY the journey anyway!
  11. Share your stories, it could SAVE a life!
  12. Everyone’s unique, VALUE who you are!

A simple solution for slow over rates in test cricket – play more!

Test Cricket

With glorious test cricket back after a glut of ODIs and T20 games, there is an ongoing debate around the slow over rates in test cricket and how the issue should be addressed. However, as a spectator I feel short changed.

Yes, let’s insist on teams bowling their minimum overs number of overs in a day. And since there is the option to extend play by up to 30 minutes extra at the end of each day, why not just make a normal day of test cricket last 30 minutes longer? It’s not as if everyone shuts shop and goes home after 6 hours of play anymore. With the exception of games in the sub-continent and in the Caribbean where spinners play a huge role, most games call for the extra time available.. so let’s just use it!

Personalisation still has a way to go, but there is progress

Having read the article “Why Websites Still Can’t Predict Exactly What You Want” by Kaiser Fung, I am inclined to agree with his conclusion that companies are looking at their data the wrong way.

Instead of looking for commonality between groups of customers and making generic offers based on that, companies should be looking at the individual’s transaction history and profile to make offers that are better suited to individuals. In this case, offers do not have to be specials or discounts in the traditional sense, but simply suggestions that might be useful in the context of the transaction.

Where to next?

As to Kaiser’s point – Is it being ignore because it’s too simple? It’s not like the data doesn’t exist to make this possible. I believe it’s simply a case of companies not looking at personalisation through the eye of the customer.

The few good examples I have come across are in the travel industry, but these customised offers are generally made via email instead of online at the time of transacting. But there are more and more companies investing in personalising offers to customers, more notably in the retail space.