There is a saying “Nothing in this world is constant except change”, on a similar lines there have been lot of changes in Bangalore; some good, some bad. However, one thing that has drastically changed is the “Public Transportation“. Remember the days when we only had blue colored BMTC buses but now with the introduction of Volvo buses, Public Transportation has gained momentum. Not to forget with the shift of the international airport to a so called remote place, the obvious choice of most of the Bangaloreans is the famous Vajra bus.

BMTC has done a great job by introducing Volvo buses for the right places and also setting the up the right frequency for the right routes e.g ITPL or Electronics City is a place which is filled with software companies and the frequency of Volvo buses is exceptionally great there !!!

Before writing this article, I interacted with a few people[who travel to ITPL] and most of them preferred BMTC over their own cars/bikes. Apart from the normal ways of generating revenue, there are many other areas where BMTC can look for more revenue:

Brand Promotion

Most of the times, there is FM being played on the radio in the bus but if BMTC manages to tie up with brands, radio can act as a great medium for marketing.It can be used to showcase offers in shopping malls, promote new brands, movies etc. Remember, there is Big Bazaar near ITPL; so this would be much useful in such cases !!!

Job Announcements

After the economy tumbled, many were laid off where some of them landed up in jobs out of no better choice. With Indian economy showing early signs of recovery, Volvo bus would make an excellent tool to showcase jobs again through radio or advertisements inside the bus. To make things better, these advertisements can be geo-targetted like buses from ITPL, Electronics City etc. would ONLY carry those ads.

OOH Advertising

Along with the convenience, the added advantage in Volvo is the additional standing space. The photograph shows the frontal view & there is definitely a big opportunity for Out Of Home advertising. There is space for 2 TVs [one in the frontal entry and other at the back entry]. With OOH growing at 20% annually , this is a big opportunity form BMTC to target the people travelling in the bus.

Photo Credit – Srinidhi Hande

To summarize, BMTC can replicate the Google Adsense model for the Volvo – RIGHT Ads Targeted for the RIGHT routes and obviously for the RIGHT customers !!!

Many of us would be travelling by BMTC buses, hence if you feel there is any other revenue generating opportunity BMTC is missing; please leave them in the comments section & it would be added to the article.

In the past, there have lot of articles mentioning useful books on Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Management etc. Today we have a look at some of the non-business books that would be useful for Entrepreneurs [or we can say for any working professional], let’s have a look at them.

[Hat tip : Amber Johnson of Online Universities]

Communication

  1. The Elements of Style: Write and communicate clearly with the help of this book.
  2. The Definitive Book of Body Language: Read this book to learn the essentials of reading and communicating with body language.
  3. Crucial Conversations: This book offers skills that can improve your communication and relationships, as well as prevent arguments and misunderstandings.
  4. You Can Read Anyone: Read this book to find out how to pick up underlying clues from others.
  5. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Learn the essentials of punctuation in this humorous book.
  6. Messages: Messages offers a book of communication skills.
  7. Line by Line: This book offers an effective guide to editing your own writing.
  8. Difficult Conversations: Thrive in difficult conversations with the help of this book.
  9. The Lost Art of the Great Speech: Read this book to learn how to write and deliver excellent speeches.
  10. The Art of Talking So That People Will Listen: This book will teach you how to get through to anyone you’re speaking with.
  11. Presentation Zen: In this book, you’ll learn how to make your presentations simple and perfect.
  12. On Speaking Well: Peggy Noonan shares advice and ideas for writing and giving effective speeches.
  13. 101 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills Instantly: Use this book to find methods for communicating more effectively.
  14. Lincoln At Gettysburg: Take a lesson from Lincoln and learn how to improve your communication skills to demand attention.
  15. Grammatically Correct: In this book, you’ll find the definitive guide to correct grammar.
  16. It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It: Follow this book’s advice for communication, presentations, speeches, and more.
  17. Getting to Yes: Read this book to improve your negotiation skills.
  18. Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln: Learn the secrets of effective speakers in history from this book.
  19. The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking: Dale Carnegie shares his knowledge and advice for effective speaking in this book.
  20. Choosing Powerful Words: Develop your eloquence and public speaking with the help of this book.
  21. 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing: Use this reference to learn how to become a better writer and communicator.
  22. Great Speeches for Better Speaking: In this book and CD, you’ll be able to listen to and learn from important speeches throughout history.
  23. Guerilla Negotiating: Learn unconventional strategies for getting what you want from this book.
  24. The World’s Great Speeches: Learn communication skills from some of the greatest speeches in the world, found in this book.
  25. Emotional Intelligence: Learn about emotional intelligence from this book and find out why it’s so important.

Leadership

  1. Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World: Get a unique view of leadership, groups, and change in this book.
  2. Developing the Leader Within You: This book offers a useful look at becoming a great leader.
  3. If It Is To Be It’s Up To Me: This book will help you develop the attitude of a true leader.
  4. Primal Leadership: Read this book to learn how you can use emotional intelligence to be a better leader.
  5. The Servant: The Servant offers a look into what’s most important in leadership.

Success

  1. Yes Man: This book will show you how just saying yes more can change your life.
  2. The Fountainhead: Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead offers themes including individual strength and the tug between good and evil.
  3. The Tipping Point: This book explains how ideas, messages, and behaviors can spread like viruses. The Greatest Secret in the World: Og Mandino shares an explanation of his Ten Greatest Scrolls of Success in this book.
  4. The Go Getter: Read this book to learn how to be a go-getter.
  5. Talent is Overrated: Read this book to find out why talent isn’t the most important factor to success.
  6. Our Iceberg is Melting: Read this book to learn how to change and succeed no matter what conditions you’re in.
  7. Think and Grow Rich: Apply the techniques revealed in this book to find lasting success.
  8. The Magic of Thinking Big: Use the methods in this book to think big and conquer your achievements.
  9. The Greatest Miracle in the World: Read Og Mandino’s story to learn secrets of happiness and success.
  10. The 80/20 Principle: The 80/20 Principle shares the secret to being successful with less.
  11. Outliers: Malcolm Gladwell explains why some people succeed, and some fall short.
  12. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: In this classic, you’ll learn how to improve your personal effectiveness.
  13. The Lorax: This book by Dr. Seuss shares the dangers of exploiting the Earth.
  14. The Power of Positive Thinking: Use this book to put the power of faith in action.
  15. The Art of Looking Sideways: Learn to deconstruct your preconceived notions with the help of this book.
  16. The Magic of Thinking Big: Use this book’s methods to get the most out of your life and your new venture.
  17. The Secret: Although criticized as unrealistic and irresponsible, this book’s message is a useful one — think positively to improve your life and work.
  18. Atlas Shrugged: Understand the philosophy of objective reasoning through this book.
  19. Influencer: This book will teach you how to change just about anything through influence.

Personal

  1. The Art of Possibility: This self improvement book will help you change your outlook on life and open yourself up to possibilities.
  2. The Da Vinci Method: Use The Da Vinci Method’s advice to learn how to break out of what hinders your greatness.
  3. Living an Extraordinary Life: Read this book to find out how you can live an extraordinary life.
  4. The Art of Happiness: Dalai Lama offers his handbook for living happily.
  5. The Four Agreements: In this book, you will learn about personal freedom.
  6. Nudge: Nudge will help you make better decisions throughout your life.
  7. Transitions: Endure and make the most of changes in life by reading this book.
  8. Awake in the Wild: Use nature as a path to self discovery with the help of this book.
  9. The Alchemist: The Alchemist tells an everyman story of the struggle to pursue your life’s dreams.

Relationships & Personality

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People: Improve your influential skills using the lessons in this classic book.
  2. Personality Plus: With this book, you’ll gain a better understanding of yourself, and other people as well.
  3. People Skills: Find out how to assert yourself and deal well with others in this book.
  4. Goodbye to Shy: Become more outgoing with the help of these “shybusters.”
  5. Groundswell: This book explains how to be successful among social technologies.
  6. The Power of Charm: Read this book, and you’ll learn how to use charm to win people over.
  7. Extraordinary Relationships: This book offers a new way of thinking about human interactions.
  8. How to Talk to Anyone: Learn these tricks to find success in your relationships.
  9. Social Media is a Cocktail Party: This book will help you learn how to make the most of social media.
  10. Crucial Confrontations: With the help of this book, you’ll learn how to make it through difficult conversations and confrontations.
  11. The Developing Mind: This book explains how relationships work to shape who we are.
  12. How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less: Read this book to learn how to instantly win people over.
  13. What to Say When You Talk to Yourself: Check out this book, and you’ll see how you can become what you tell yourself.

Psychology

  1. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion: This book explains the psychological foundations of influencing people.
  2. The Psychology of Winning: In The Psychology of Winning, you’ll get a look at the qualities of winners.
  3. Predictibly Irrational: Read this book, and you’ll get a better understanding of what is perceived to be irrational behavior.
  4. How We Decide: This book will help you understand how you and other people make decisions.
  5. The Paradox of Choice: Read this book to find out why fewer choices are better.
  6. The Drunkard’s Walk: In this book, you will learn how randomness influences our lives more than you think.
  7. On Being Certain: This book will help you learn to effectively question yourself.
  8. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Psychology: This book offers an essential look at psychology.
  9. Psychology of Achievement: In this book, you’ll learn how to develop the mindset of a top achiever.
  10. Covert Persuasion: This book shares psychological tactics and tricks for winning at persuasion.
  11. Psychology of Success: Read this book to learn about the psychology behind succeeding.
  12. The Psychology of Judgment and Decisions Making: Learn more about the thought behind judgment and decision making from this book.
  13. Animal Spirits: Animal Spirits explains how human psychology drives the economy.
  14. The Psychology of Persuasion: This book will help you learn how to use psychology in order to persuade others to your way of thinking.

Finance

  1. The Millionaire Next Door: This book will teach you the rules to becoming a millionaire while living a simple life.
  2. Rich Dad, Poor Dad: In Rich Dad, Poor Dad, you’ll learn what the rich teach their children about money.
  3. Total Money Makeover: Read this book, and you’ll find out why it’s so important to pay cash and stay out of debt.
  4. The Millionaire Mind: Read this book to make your mindset more like a millionaire’s.
  5. Freakonomics: Find out how to illuminate financial mysteries and more just by asking the right questions.
  6. Small is Beautiful: This economics book keeps people in mind.
  7. The Richest Man in Babylon: This classic book has a lot to teach about investment and finances.
  8. Think and Grow Rich: By reading this book, you’ll learn how to thrive even in economic downturns.

Strategy & Innovation

  1. The Now Habit: Read The Now Habit to create a program that will help you overcome procrastination.
  2. Eat That Frog!: In this book, you’ll find 21 effective methods for conquering procrastination.
  3. Blink: Malcolm Gladwell’s book will teach you to rely on your adaptive unconscious.
  4. I Dare You!: Read I Dare You! to become one of the daring few on the way to somewhere.
  5. The Art of War: Read this book, and you’ll learn how to gain advantage of your opponents in any situation.
  6. The Prince: Study this book to broaden your political and strategic philosophies.
  7. The Medici Effect: Read this book, and you’ll find out how innovate by approaching situations differently.

[Reproduced from Online Universities Blog]. I guess it is time for me to pick up some of these books from the nearby bookstore smile

The question which was posted on LinkedIn about Twitter – Success story through Twitter has received excellent response from guys from different geographical locations.

A gist of some interesting answers below –

Story – 1
Just to share an experience on Customer Service and Listening. I have been on twitter for 6-8 months now, I just shouted out about @cleartrip not giving out any offers on twitter. cleartrip listened to my shout out and rolled out the offer in twitter. Now that’s definitely gotta make a customer feel good.
Twitter is more about engaging with your customers, to know what they want and more importantly act on it.
Then there are companies in the b2b business finding leads through twitter. So its happening, but companies are more or less just absorbing the stuff which can be done on twitter.
Rahul Nambiar,Interactive Solutions Architect

Story – 2
Kogi bbq, a korean taco truck in Los Angeles has attributed much of its rapid and recent growth to twitter. http://twitter.com/kogibbq as has Coffee Groundz, a cafe in Houston http://twitter.com/CoffeeGroundz.
Gary Sanchez, Consumer Marketing Leader

You can check the remaining answers/contribute your success story here

Few weeks back when I started blogging, there was mention about my old online lifeline – JustDial. Most of us who are online more than half the time always rely on mediums like Wikipedia, Google Maps, JustDial etc for information. The advantage is you have ready-made information which comes free of cost & MOST of the times it is proven and might be CORRECT.

Let me start off with a terrible incident with JustDial which made a repeat customer like me to walk away from the service !!!

Before the delivery
The episode started when I called up JustDial for Packers & Movers [M&P] in Hyderabad. As soon as I hung-up the call, there was a series of calls from different small to big M&P. I got a good deal with a P&M named DG P&M, Hyderabad. Though it is a small M&P, they gave a great deal as well as promised an on-time delivery[i.e within two working days the luggage would reach Bangalore]. After I reached Bangalore, there was no trace of the luggage for more than 4 days. I spoke to close to around 4-5 guys from DG P&M & 2-3 drivers who told me that the luggage is very close to my place and it would reach in few hours.This continued for more than 5 days and finally I received the luggage[though it was not in the state in which I gave to them].

After the delivery
Once my fearful moments were over, I immediately called up JustDial and there were number of lessons learnt about JustDial[and in general the mis-information floating on the internet]

Authenticity of information
When I asked the customer care executive about the authenticity of their huge database, she had no clue about the same.In fact, even as an anonymous user, I was able to change the mobile number of the DG P&M which was a complete security breach in JustDial !!! JustDial has an interesting Terms Of Use with a special mention to it’s authentication – While every attempt has been made to ascertain the authenticity of the site content

Customer is NOT the king
JustDial would be definitely serving lot’s of people daily[considering it is a Rs 500 cr enterprise] so it would not bother about every single customer but what if the customer has called back with a grievance.Even on my narration of the complete incident, the executive completely denied to transfer the call to the right person. In fact, she told me to read the Terms of JustDial & further added that they cannot remove any company listed in their database [even if the customer says that they had a horrible experience after using their service].

Why care about Media/Social Media
After I got a bad response from one executive, I called back again after some time. After completing my narration, I informed the executive that I have decided to share this message on TV through CNBC Pahredar , she was least bothered & argued with me for a long time. Not to mention that social media tools like blogs, Facebook were not new to her but she never cared how much it would affect JustDial’s online reputation.

Is Internet just for FUN ?
Like me , many people rely heavily on the information available on the internet but this incident made me wonder – Can we trust this information [even if it comes through a reputed service like JustDial]. Or should we say- Information can be used as long as there is no serious motive attached with it [ i.e we can use it to find Theaters, Pizza corners but not if you are looking out for something which may turn your life upside-down….

If you have any such mis-incident to share, please leave them in the comments section and it would be added to the main article.

Photo Credit
Movers and Packers

Important Update
A similar complaint raised against DG Movers and Packers

Have you ever tried conversing with a small bakery owner about his expenses & his approximate savings at the end of the day ? If you haven’t than better try it out biggrin The conversation would teach how a single rupee becomes thousand rupees at the end of the day. Though small bakeries sell cold drinks, juice, other eatables; chai[aka tea] is what yields them the maximum returns[Rs . 2 profit on a single cup of Rs. 3] which shows that it is all a QUANTITY GAME !!! The current issue of Dare contains an interesting list [shown below] of things which retail for Re. 1 or less
  1. Matches
  2. Confectionaries – Toffees, Gums …
  3. A glass of water at roadside vendors
  4. Stationary – Erasers, Sharpners
  5. A phone call
  6. Kites
  7. Shampoo Sachets
  8. Vegetables – Coriander, Lemons etc.
  9. Candles
  10. Paper cups/ plates
  11. Stamps/Postcards
  12. Use of roadside weighing machines
  13. Photocopying
  14. Some medicines
  15. Waste paper
  16. Balloons
  17. Golguppas
  18. Bindis
  19. Stickers
  20. Greeting Cards
  21. Holograms when bought in bulk
  22. Screen printing in bulk
  23. White paper sheets
  24. One mosquito coil
  25. Loose flowers
  26. Small coconut pieces at roadside stalls
  27. Some crackers
  28. Rangoli/Holi Colors
  29. Thread
  30. Needles
  31. Marbles
  32. Chalk
  33. Nails/Screws
  34. Used bottles
  35. Some local cigarettes such as Rustam available in Patna
  36. Blades
  37. Ice
  38. Perfume samplers
  39. Loose beedis
  40. Paper Caps
  41. Digestive tablets
  42. Chewing tobacco
  43. Buttons
  44. Salt/Sugar sachets
  45. One impression of an ad
  46. Jam sachets
  47. Oil sachets
  48. Whistles
  49. Toothpicks/earbuds
  50. Use of public urinals
After going through the list, I easily could co-relate to the conversation that I have with the chaiwala in my locality … Definitely lot’s of things can help us build a bulk business with Re. 1 !!!

It has been almost a month since the last update on this blog. Past few weeks have been pretty bad where I had an incident which made me realize “How search agents like JustDial can lead to mis[information] instead of providing information“…More on that in a separate blog article.

Just came across an interesting audio presentation which touches on The art of evangelizing oneself , hope you find it useful too …

Sometimes, it is better to leave our normal path & do something different.You might have read lot of articles on Startups, Technology, Book reviews & some of my small achievements;but this time, ThoughtsPrevail has something different/hatke to offer smile Readers are always smarter & as you might have observed the title of the article “We have a contest !!!”

As a part of the contest, answer one/both of the following two questions[ as a comment in the article with your contact details] & win some cool goodies from Virgin Mobile-Indian Hatke League

1. Suggest a hatke name for one of the existing IPL team(s) with a valid reason for the same.
2. You have seen FakeIPLPlayer blog rise to popularity; on a similar lines, Suggest a Hatke title for the official IPL Blog.

Rush your entries before 29th May,2009.

* It is an open contest & you can compete against yourself by submitting unlimited entries.
* Creativity is the only key for being “Hatke/Different”.
* If you are one of the lucky winners, you would be contacted by either email or phone number provided in your comment.
* If you would like to spread the message of this contest, please use the following link.

Hope you guys have a Hatke time !!!

All of us know about the famous saying “Birds of a feather flock together“, needless to say that all of us are always in search of like minded people i.e. the guys with whom you can share your passion & interest;be it anything- Technology, Movies, Travel etc.The search for the very first like-minded person becomes very critical since (s)he would be backbone of the entire group a.k.a Tribe.

My current read is a short interesting book- Tribes by Seth Godin.As explained above “Tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader and connected to an idea.A group needs two things to be a tribe – shared interest and way to communicate.

The book has some great case studies on the so called Tribal Movement and focuses on “How either a Single person/Tribe or a small group of Tribes or a large group of Tribes can make a significant difference.

Every Tribe has a leader but a Tribe needs followers too.But a follower can be a person who is eagerly following[eg. every blogger would be passionately following Techcrunch since,it has changed the complete blogosphere] or is compelled to follow[eg. A person who has less interest in technology is forced to follow Techcrunch ], a single word compel makes a HUGE difference.The book had a short paragraph[quoted below] on how a single word- Compel can create a difference in an organization.

Any organization needs people who aren’t just willing to follow, but are eager to follow.It’s a mistake to believe that the best tribe recruits are the blind sheep.Folks who do nothing but mindlessly follow instructions let you down in two ways –

First, they are not going to do the local leadership required when the tribe members interact.They are going to be so busy following the playbook that they will hesitate about engaging in the interactions that make a tight tribe such a vibrant organization.People don’t engage merely to remind one another of the status quo.Instead, they eagerly engage when they want something to improve.This micro-leadership is essential to the health of your organization.

Second, they are not going to do a very good job of recruiting new members to your tribe.That’s because evangelism requires leadership. Leading someone towards giving up one worldview and embracing yours isn’t easy and it is not always comfortable, consider any vibrant group-political activities, nonprofit volunteers or brand fanatics.In each case, it’s the microleaders in the trenches and their enthusiastic followers who make the difference, not the leader who is ostensibly running the group.

Tribes are meant to make a difference but the Tribe that really MAKES a difference is the one each one of us need/create !!! To summarize, the title of the book says it all “Tribes – We need YOU to lead US