misc nature photography travel

Time Lapse Video – Russia

Just fantastic. Stumbled across this in vimeo. Some beautiful sceneries and ofcourse moving clouds. But my favourite (and for all rail fans out there), skip to about 04:20.

[vimeo 4946316]


And yes, for max-effect, watch in full screen. (right click on video -> view on full screen)



Secret City of London

Did you know that there exists a City within the City of London.


(via CGPGrey)

art humour



This just goes to show how a cartoon need not be long nor complicated, to be funny. This is just hilarious.

misc Opinion

Flipkart, Amazon, Forbes ….

Just read a piece on the slate, which states that Amazon is trying to make same delivery of goods possible. The piece also states that, how this has been the utopia of internet retailers, and several have failed. It also states that AMZN is now investing Billions into this, to make this possible.

Spin the globe a bit, and look at our own home turf – Flipkart. These guys have been on the motto that, customer service is #1, whatever be the cost. They have not quite given the guarantee of same delivery, but they have been attempting to do this for a while now. And, get this, they have not really charged anything extra for the same day delivery.

I am now thinking about the Forbes dirt slinging article on Flipkart, which clearly states that, this obsession on the customer service is going to cost Flipkart, and it is a mistake and so on … Well, all of us know that AMZN has been the “King” of internet retail for a while now. And to some extent, I think if they do something, they are doing it after thinking about it, and they are mostly right about it. Well, now, Mr. Forbes article writers and editors, tell me, if Flipkart has it right or wrong?

And no, I don’t really care about what happens within the company, or which hostel allegiance that the founders and management folks turn to. It is a culture within the company. And I think it is wrong to go and dissect a company culture from outside. There are reasons why there are some things that happen a certain way.  If these were wrong, Flipkart would have faced flak a long while ago. Well, they are still going strong. So they must be doing something right.

Flipkart, I am a big fan of yours. Please do continue your obsession towards customer service. This is why we revere you. God Speed.

And no, I don’t work for Flipkart, for those inquisitive over-enthu investigative journalists.


GMail Important Mail

Sometimes (just sometimes), this is why GMail psyches me. Look at this screenshot. It read the words in my email and is trying to tell me why this email is important. Well, there is more. If you dont think so, it is asking you to teach GMail why it is not so important.

Not only is it analyzing my emails, and also trying to figure what is important and what is not to me.

Having been part of the Online Advertising business for a brief while, I can see why this is super important for Google. It helps in better targetting ads for me. But it still creeps me out.


Gladiator Elysium Quote

There are some quotes that just move you. And this Gladiator movie quote is one of them. It  just brings to mind the scene so vivid and so clear. I just had to search for this image and overlay the quote. Just had to.

(Click for full size)

misc Restaurant Review

Wow’ing the customer

(Image courtesy: tristangage)

I had the good fortune of being wow’ed with customer service and quality yesterday.

Yesterday, I had agreed to meet with a prospective new-hire for breakfast. He had some questions, I had some info to give him before he joined us. We wanted to meet some place, where we could sit and chat over breakfast and a good coffee.

We had initially decided on Cafe Coffee Day. The website had said 7AM and we wanted to meet at 830AM. So it was perfect. Both of us reached the venue. Wham ! We were hit with a brick wall, and I had never seen this wall before. Apparently they open at 7AM, but do not serve anything until 9AM. In the words of the one employee who was cleaning up the place, “you could sit and chat until then”. Hmm. Ok. That did not seem quite right. This specific shop was a “Lounge” category shop, and he  suggested us to try another coffee day, ” a regular one” – about half a km away. And there we went. Same rule ! Whoa. And it was already 9AM, and still the staff had not come. Yes, you heard that right.

By this time, I was a tad bit irritated. I knew there was a Costa Coffee a block away, and we decided to try our luck there.

There was just one person who was manning the shop – a bright and cheerful lady. The shop was brightly lit. A welcoming aroma of coffee. A cheery “Good morning” from the lady. We asked for the choice of vegetarian sandwiches available. She made a good recommendation. We ordered our sandwiches and coffee, and went and sat at a table facing the road.

In just a few minutes, the nice and hot sandwiches made their appearance. And the awesome cappucinos along with them. Beautiful chocolate and cinnamon sprinkles on top. Heaven. On the initial sighting of the cappucino along with the food, I was a little apprehensive though. Coffee shops tend not to give hot coffee in India, but are only mildly hot (bordering on not hot at all) for immediate drinking ease. But the lady had beautiful heated up the coffee just right.

In a single word – “Wow”. Well three more words- “New found respect”.

What did Costa do, that Coffee Day did not ?

  • Opened their stores on time.
  • Realize the full potential of the market. There are folks who would want to come in for breakfast and a coffee.
  • Cheerful customer service.
  • Luring the customer in.

And yep, Costa did it right. Good going guys. You guys just got a regular customer.


Happy 4th

Wishing all my American readers a very happy 4th of July.

Image posted under creative commons from here