September 28, 2008

Mental Lock - The ASLAN phenomenon

This weekend, I picked up an interesting book titled "The Smart Crow Never Goes Thirsty" by Moid Siddiqui.It is a very short book which stresses on some of the finer points of creativity [starting from the initial period of Childhood , where parents have the maximum chance to unlock their child's locked potential].

One of the interesting lines in the book is "Ask your child not only to think WISE but also think OTHERWISE biggrin" The book than talks about the corporate culture, the changes that can be made and the effects of those changes.... In few words, it is a book which talks about "INNOVATIVE Culture Building". One of the interesting topic's in the book is "The Mental Lock" and for most of us,the reason is closely related to The Aslan Phenomenon.

Below are some of the excerpts from the book :

The Aslan Phenomenon:
If we don't challenge the existing practice, there is every likelihood of two potential dangers.The first is that you get locked in one approach, method or strategy without noticing the other approaches that might be more appropriate.As a result, you may tailor your problems to the preconceptions you hold and which enable you to solve them in your own way.The fact that rules should be challenged is called the Aslan Phenomenon ,which runs as follows:
  • We make rules based on the reasons that make a lot of sense.
  • We follow the rules religiously.
  • Time passes and times change.
  • The original reasons for the generation of these rules may no longer exist , but because the rules are still in practice, we continue to follow them rolleyes
A person liked to jog every morning.He had many different routes he could take but he invariably took the longest route as his friend used to stay in the neighbourhood where he used to stop and gossip.His name was Aslan.So, stopping at Aslan's house became a rule for having some fun.One day, Aslan moved out of the neighbourhood but the man continued taking the same long route to stop at the same place even though Aslan no longer lived there.

This is what happens to most of us and since that time, the name Aslan became a phenomenon.

As many say : The best ideas strike ,when you think the weirdest kind of things smile

The QWERTYUIOP configuration of the keyboard is just one of the examples that aroused because of the so called Ani-Aslan thinking.In 1870's , Sholes & Company, a leading manufacturer of typewriters received many complaints from users about typewriter keys sticking together if the operator keyed too fast.The solution was to slow down the typists.

The result was an inefficient keyboard configuration and the most commonly used letters 'A', 'I' and 'O' were positioned in such a way that the relatively weaker fingers were used to depress them.Since then, the QWERTY logic has been used in all the keyboards !!!

The bottom-line is :
Many organizational practices are a result of the Aslan Principle.There are many business practices that are obsolete or dead or being followed for many years.Once a rule is used in practice, it is very difficult to be eliminated even though the original reason for its coming into force has disappeared.Creative thinking involves not only generating new ideas, but escaping from the obsolete ones as well.

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September 24, 2008

Hubert Chang , Google's third Co-Founder ?

All of us know about Larry Page and Sergey Brin but what if , after ten years of incorporation of Google ; a guy comes out and claims to be the third co-founder rolleyes A guy named Hubert Chang claims to be the third co-founder of Google. Thanks to Guy Kawasaki's tweet for this information. Check out the shocking videos below where Chang explains how the Google journey began...

You can check out this article [which has an interesting tag:"If you liked this post please spread it"] for the shocking information.It would be interesting to keep a watch on Washington Post for updated information where they claim to have mailed Professor Rajeev Motwani of Stanford University for more details.

On the lighter side , this makes me wonder :
Q. What might be Google's immediate move ???
A. Ban Hubert Chang from Google search lol, just like John Chow [check out here]

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September 21, 2008

Updates on ThoughtsPrevail ...

While we are on any blog, it is always difficult to search for a particular article without opening the blog.I also faced a similar problem a few days back, when I was searching for an article on my blog, so either I used to Google it or search on my blog.I am sure that all of us face this issue with many blogs and hence, there are three things which can at least make your blog search/reading efficient and easy smile These are some small yet useful updates for this blog...

1. Firefox Search Plugin :
Firefox search plugin always comes in very handy when you are searching on some of your favourite websites like Google, LinkedIn, Yahoo etc. Just as it is cool & faster to use it for websites, it would be even better to use it for your favourite blogs !!!

You can find the code of ThoughtsPrevail's Firefox Plugin here.Below is a small snapshot of the source code

ThoughtsPrevail Search pluginIf you have to use this code for your blog or any of your favourite blogs , just change the code in the box with the "Search Format" used by the Search Engine used on that blog.You can use 16*16 Icon for your Blog as well.A small snapshot for the search in action with Firefox

How to use:
  • Download ThoughtsPrevail.xml from here.Copy it into "..\..\Mozilla Firefox\searchplugins\" folder [in case of Windows] and into "/home/user-name/.mozilla/firefox/q11f7htt.default/searchplugins/" [in case of UBuntu]
  • Restart Firefox and you are done.
2. Thoughtsprevail Toolbar :
Techcrunch toolbar has been quite helpful and it was a nice experience to use the same.Hence, I have used the same FREE service named Conduit to create the ThoughtsPrevail toolbar.Below is a snapshot of the toolbar:

3. ThoughtsPrevail Mobile Version :
Though it is too late to create a mobile version of the blog [after 3.5 years of blogging] , but finally ThoughtsPrevail has a mobile version wink You can check out ThoughtsPrevail mobile version here.There are other websites like Mofuse and you can check out it's mobile version here and the I-Phone version here.Some interesting techniques to make your blog mobile can be found here

Do let me know, if there are any other ways you can make your blog search/read faster so that I can add the same on ThoughtsPrevail.Now I can definitely expect more people checking out ThoughtsPrevail from their BlackBerry or I-Phone wink

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September 15, 2008

GreaseMetal : GreaseMonkey for Chrome

Last few days, I have been trying lot of things with the Chrome especially Blogging.For me, Firefox changes the entire blogging experience with it's two addons - Web Developer Toolbar and Greasemonkey. Though Scribefire and other offline blogging tools namely Live Writer make life simpler but nothing matches the experience of blogging like the good old Firefox biggrin

As you might see , Smileys add a lot of visual effect to any article and hence, Greasemonkey was a must addon for Chrome !!! A Japanese company named Cybozu Labs has come up with version of Greasemonkey for Chome called Greasemetal. Though, still in it's initial phase, Greasemetal still solves the purpose and since, I had some initial problems while setting up; hence thought it would be nice to list the steps here:
  1. Download Greasemetal from here and install it in your system.
  2. Once installed , copy the required Javascript file which you want to use for e.g Emoctions for Blogger in my case to ..\..\Program Files\Greasemetal\userjs [i.e. Javascript folder of GreaseMetal].Make the required changes to your Blogger template as mentioned here
  3. Close Chrome and start Greasemetal [it is not loaded automatically like Greasemonkey] from the Start Menu and you would see a confirmation screen as shown below:
  4. Open your Blogger account and your Blogger Smileys are on their way !!!
You can also find an alternate solution to setting up Greasemetal here .Hope you have a nice Blogging experience with Chrome [& in the meanwhile let's wait for some more Chrome addons smile]

Reader's Contribution:
Rob - Use GreaseMonkey scripts with Chrome

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September 8, 2008

GMDesk : Browserless Google services ...

While browsing through some of the links on Google Chrome, I stumbled upon an interesting Adobe AIR application. The application is called GMDesk and is a must have for avid users of Google Apps namely Gmail, Docs, Maps, Picasa etc.

As mentioned on the GMDesk official website:
GMDesk is an application that lets you run Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Maps as a stand-alone application to do all your mail handling, calendar event reading etc with. No need to open it up in a web browser, or have it clutter your workspace.
The best part is being an App, the CPU is free to do the other important work[which is not the case with browsers] but on the downside since it is just an App[and being an AIR app, it is browserless], you may miss the Spell Check functionality of the browser while composing important emails sad I am quite addicted to this App and am using it to the fullest !!!

To use this App, you need to download the latest version of Adobe AIR from here and you can download GMDesk from here.The creator of GMDesk, Robert Nyman has an interesting article on his Blog as to what made him develop GMDesk.

Though I am nowhere related to Adobe Flex , after checking this App; it seems to have entered my list of Must Learn technology smile

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September 3, 2008

The SHO(W)lay remake !!!

To start with, it has been close to 20 days that I have been out from the Blogosphere and blame it on my bad health condition [a serious problem sad] that was the root cause of it all !!! With things looking somewhat better , I decided to again get back on track biggrin

Many times when we project our service/product, it becomes very important that we convey the PAIN-POINT and how ONLY after using YOUR service/product , it might be solved !!! This would make the other person realize that "If I am not using THIS product, I am missing something".

In this age of Web 2.0 Marketing, we see lot's of videos that demonstrate the useage of a product/service, customer interviews etc but how about a small animated movie [based on an all time hit movie] that would handsomely demonstrate everything !!!

Have a look at this interesting remake of the Bollywood blockbuster Sholay , which has the Problem answered in a Funny and Interesting way !!!

Video Source : Joke Cricket

The END of the movie says it ALL -
If you are not using MonsterIndia, you are MISSING something

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