Archive for August, 2004

Why do we compete?

The other day there was no power in the hostel and i had nothing to do (since my computer hibernated). So, i started thinking weird things. Suddenly a question came to my mind – “What is the difference between successful people and those who are not”? What maks them successful? What is lacking in others that they don’t succeed? Well, ofcourse, if everyone will succeed, then there will be no successful person ofcourse! But i was trying to find out the extra think they posess which makes them successful.

I remembered that once i was sitting with a good friend of mine and discussing about something. He was again and again saying the words “peer pressure”. Yes! thats it! thats what it is! Here it goes…


What is different in successful people?

We are seldom alone in our professional life. In school, we study with our classmates, in college with our batchmates and when we work, we have co workers. So, we always have peers. Now what happens when we are in the company of our peers? We are under pressure to outperform them. Be it school, college or work – we always try to compete with them. Everyone says that healthy competition is good. It might be, but here goes my viewpoint…


Why do we compete?

Well, its human nature. Also, folks. How many times has it happened that you took your grade card to your folks and they didn’t compare your performance with another one in your class? With me, never. And i always gave explanations(and still give) that they never understood.

What is the problem in competing?

As such, people may think that there is no problem in competing, and some may say that it is good to compete. But have you ever given a deep thought to this? Consider the following case:

There is a peer of yours with whom you compete. Now your exam syllabus is 11 out of 15 chapters of your book. The book is considered to be the bible of that subject. Now your peer always outperforms you as he/she reads all the chapters thouroughly and you don’t. This time you decide to beat him by reading the chapters more carefully. You succeed. Congratulations! But you’ve missed something! You see, what you do is read the 11 chapters and stop. Because you think that its enough to outperform that stupid. And it is. But its not enough for gaining deep knowledge in the subject. A book which is considered the bible of that subject. How can you afford to leave 4 whole chapters from that?? And then say that i have studied that subject well, look ma i got an A+. I would also like to add that such teachers are stupids who leave out chapters from bibles. But again, its us who have to suffer the loss in the future.

Such type of study is called marks oriented study. And believe me, it might keep you a hero for some time, but you will eventually become a zero.

Now consider the following case:

Google is the best search engine in the world. How? Why isn’t that Y!, MSN, and others are able to reach even close to Google’s hit count? Here’s the reason(as per me):
Google tries to make the best possible use of its resources and deliver the best it can to the people. It doesn’t compete with any other search engine. If Google has developed something new, others will develop a similar thing, stop and wait for Google to develop more. This hinders their innovative thinking. Its not that they can’t, but they don’t. If they try to develop the best they can, they will definitly reach at par with Google(but not outperform it as i m a big fan of Google personally. I don’t want it to be defeated ;-)).

Similar is the case with Windows and Linux. Linux developers always try to compete with windows. If there is a Winamp for windows, there is xmms for Linux with the same look and feel.

Today Google and Microsoft are at the top positions in their fields. Because they have a vision. A mission to extract the best of what they have and develop the best they can.

Similar should be our attitute. As a student, if you want to learn a subject, never ever leave a chapter from the bible of that subject. Marks oriented study leads to nowhere. This is the difference i was talking about in the first paragraph. Successful people have a vision, and they stick to it. No matter what happens.

Suddenly my thought cycle met with an accident. My computer speakers started blowing like hell. Power was restored in the hostel. My computer was back to its previous state with songs playing at high volume.

I think its enough for today. Did i mention that the good friend of mine in the 2nd paragraph was Partha? I have learnt many good things from Partha. Will discuss them some other day.


The great Indian telecom battle

A few days back i had gone to my paternal uncle’s home in Meerut. He told me that he is shifting from Airtel to BSNL. Upon enquiring why, he said that BSNL call rates are cheaper than Airtel and it also provides cheap and wider roaming. I couldn’t say anything as both of his points were valid.

I went to the market to get a few things for him. Suddenly i remembered that i have sliped one of the items off my mind! Not to worry! when will the flappy mobile phone in my pocket be used? This is the perfect situation! I asked the shopkeeper to wait and very proudly removing my phone from the pocket, dialled his mobile number.

A long engage tone. Redial 1nce, 2wice, 3rice, no hope. The shopkeeper slowly pushed his DOT phone in front of me. I called my uncle and bought the choke for his 20 watts tube rod.

Desperate and irritated and angry, i called up the customer care. Sorry sir, the system says “Roaming customers in Meerut may face problems in calling some or all BSNL customers”. The problem will be solved as soon as possible. Firstly, Reliance and BSNL customers cannot send SMS to each other and now this! My uncle knew a GM in BSNL. I asked him about the SMS thing. He said there is no problem from BSNL’s side, only Reliance has to do some software or hardware upgrade. I dropped a mail to the Relliance Infocomm’s CEO thru their website regarding the same subject. Out came the expected reply – “Everything is fine at Reliance’s end, only BSNL has to do some software or hardware upgrade”.

After returning back, i went to a Reliance web world. I told the customer care girl that i am unable to make calls to BSNL customers while roaming. She litrally cut my sentence and told me very proudly that i must have gone to Meerut! And the problem is expected to sustain for some time more. I wondered if everyone knows the problem, then why aren’t they solving it?

Yes! thats it! i got it!


The million dollar question is – What is the problem?

The problem is not that BSNL or Reliance or any 3rd company has to do some hardware or software upgrade, instead the problem is despite knowing the bottleneck, they are not trying to remove it. The SMS problem is pertaining since the launch of Reliance Infocomm’s services. But still, it seems nobody is trying to solve it.


When will they solve it?

God only knows. Customer care people always say – “Sir, this problem will be solved within a month”.


Why aren’t they solving the problem?

Probably because both are the biggest contender to each other.


Where do we find ourselves?

Being crushed at the bottom.

I thought deeply about the “What” problem.Then i analyzed that people in India are, by default, lazy. They will let things go wrong, unless it affects them.

Why don’t we understand that if everyone will take care of others, no one will
have to take care of one’s own self!

The future holds great things for all of us.
And BTW, did i mention that got a 40W choke for my uncle’s 20W tube rod and it burnt!