Showing posts from June, 2007

Why doesn't someone just...

I've been going round the bend trying to think of products which failed because of poor design for a work project. I googled, yahooed and hailed cubicle-mates and SLOC, to no avail. I came up with lots of information on products that failed due to lots of other reasons - misreading the consumer, mistiming the market, screwing up at the back office, but rarely were there mentions of poor design, except for a couple of Apple flops - the first laptop they came up with weighed 15 kilos! And their puckmouse apparently actually hurt your hand.

Why is that? Are there so few products out there that have poor design? Do we live in a world where most products are intuitively and brilliantly designed? I wish!

I think the real reason is that we as consumers don't protest enough. We see a poorly designed product and accept it, either 'for the time being' or because 'no one has anything better'. Come on, people, it's about time we took our consuming power with us when we g…

The customer disservice department

India's service sector has been the engine of growth for its economy over the past several years and now constitutes over 50% of the GDP. Strange then, that actual service to the customer is so poor, so mismanaged and so far from what one would expect.

I had an amazingly weird experience with American express last year. They called up and offered me a credit card, assuring me that I was pre-approved and that the card would be free for the first year. I agreed, only to find myself jumping through hoops to provide all sorts of documentation proving my income level. On what basis were they pre-approving me then? Anyway, finally got a letter saying the application was approved (!) etc. and several letters informing me of all the advantages accruing from an amex card. Strangely enough, the card never arrived at my home. I kept getting letters from the customer service department asking me to transfer my balance, informing me of offers but never the card. I also got several calls from t…

What do kids do today?

I'm scarily aware that I have started sounding like an old person, who keeps talking about how lovely things were in his or her childhood. But I do have lots of questions and issues with young kids today.

The end of fantasy - My four year old is a fairly innocent kids, for this day and age, and still believes in Santa and Mickey mouse. He watches Mickey Mouse Playhouse on TV and believes that "Mickey tells me everything'. He even believes he knows how to skate because he saw Mickey do so on the program. Shockingly, no less than three of his classmates and friends have been at him, telling him that mickey is not real. How do they know? Is that what their parents or siblings have been telling them? And why? Why take away magic and fantasy and imagination at such a young age? The realisation of what is real and what is not comes soon enough. Why take that power away from a four year old?

Boredom - I remember when I was a kid (many moons ago), we used to travel down to the sout…

Holiday Blues

Just got back from 2 weeks in Greece and Turkey and the brain just refuses to go back to frantic rat-trying-to-win-the-race mode. It's amazing how much perspective you get if you just get off the treadmill briefly. It's not even like I had time to pause and reflect deeply on the meaning of life and shallowness of the corporate world or anything like that, what with lugging two rivalrous sibling kids and coping with the outbreaks as well as the pouring rain, mopping the floor etc. (If my holiday sounds like a week at bootcamp, check out my travel blog at travelpod - indian traveler.)
But it was great to get away... to watch a sunset, to wade into cold, cold sea water with my son, to squish our feet into the black sand as we walked and collect colourful, tiny little polished stones from the shores...Little, little things. Like not having to put my daughter and watch her face crumple as I rush out the door to work. Like playing with my son on the swings. Like finishing a nice, co…