Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Here is what I think the future holds!

Years ago, back in 2010, I had the good fortune for working on a trend forecasting project for a proper-proper blue chip company. Our job was to predict the future five years down the line, so that the company would be well prepared to get its pipeline of products in tune for the needs of its customers for the future. 

It was the first time, I came across a company which had vision. 

And the project and the predictions or in market speak, the trends that we forecasted have played themselves out enough for me to thump my chest like a Neanderthal calling out to Jane, the proverbial virgin. 

Time has elapsed, and I seek the same rush of predicting future trends. 

So, here are my trend forecasts for the next 5 years (2017 - 2022)

  • Prime/Select/Premium subscriptions will enlist a human component and not just rely on an algorithm. 
    • This includes media subscriptions such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime etc. 
      • These services will be charged on top of the services you are already paying for as a special service. 
  • There is going to be a massive shuffle up in the conventional media set-up. 
    • The print/digital debate is going to be replaced with facts vs alternative facts. 
  • Print/Digital debate is going to be replaced by cord cutter Vs cable
  • People are going to pay a premium for catered, customised services.
  • Consumption of media is going to get lot more fractured and the concept of "bubbles" and its scope is going to be get lot more smaller. 
  • Market disruptions are going to go the physics way - In the sense that they are going to get far and few. 
    • The focus of innovation is now going to shift from one of providing convenience to one of providing control to the users. 
    • There is going to be an increased demand for storage spaces especially in urban markets. [remote garages sort of thing] 
  • Recycling things in a profitable manner is going to be new "it" thing in tech space. 
  • Even more niche hobbies are going to turn lucrative
    • Organic farming, homemade accessories and handicrafts are already making their forays.
    • Hobbyist photography, writing and other endeavours are already reaching market saturation, both from supply and demand side
  •  Immersive entertainment is going to take a massive step and change the way people consume audio visual stories. 
  • Indian movies are going to turn lot more political as the right wing will remain in power for another 5 years as lack of leadership in opposition will remain static. 
  • The selfie culture of trying to promote one's life being awesome is going to mutate and take another form. [edit: 6Mar 1757hrs]

Will update this or refine this till 31st May, 2017 and then freeze it. 

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Insecurity

I have a confession to make. No! Confession is definitely not the word. I have an unuttered acknowledgement to make. Something I should have acknowledged long back but haven’t had the cajones to come out and say it out aloud. I am an insecure man. Depending on ones’ leanings, one might label it as ‘self-doubt’, ‘lack of self-esteem’, ‘loss of confidence’. I call it being insecure.

What am I insecure about?

Everything I suppose. Not being part of something. That I don’t belong. That I would be found as a fraud. That I am not as smart or cool or great at things I think I am. That I don’t think I deserve anything that I have or seek. That maybe I am delusional about my skills and my self-worth. That the people I consider friends would disown me if they really knew that who I am.
I acknowledge that I am insecure. Which I suppose by any managerial or psycho-therapeutic text might be considered as a solid first step. They say first step is the hardest. Standing on it, I can tell that it is most definitely not. It is the not the easiest step because you are immediately pummeled with the question, ‘now what?’, ‘What next?’, ‘What is step 2?’ and ‘How do I get to step 2?’.
There are these other questions which I am currently grappling with: Does insecurity also breed impatience? And short temper as a result of impatience? I know insecurity lends itself to being primitive about defense mechanisms. One adopts offense is the best defense as a way of interacting with people, only to bring about a spotlight on ones’ own tryst with insecurity.  
I have always battled insecurity, my defense mechanism constantly changing because the perceived threats were unpredictable. When I was being a brash, arrogant teen and I made friends, I chose humor because picking up a fight every single cricket playing evening was turning out to be complete strain and seclusion had already been ruled out as an ineffective measure by me as a young kid. So I laughed at anything and everything. I laughed at things which would have otherwise shattered any sane man.
I turned older and I realized that humor was at best a flimsy deceptive veil. Easily shredded with a simple question, ‘what is so funny?’. It was the turn of the century and people were hailing it to be the information era. So I started reading. On anything and everything my eyes could lay siege upon.
Time has gone by like it always does. Like an unheard albeit meaningful song being played on the radio, whose music lilts your heart, whose words find echo in the chambers of your conscience. You wish for more and yet the voice of the RJ declares that is all there is to it.

So, here I am. Acknowledging my insecurity. People say it is the first step. I search for these people who say things. People, tell me what is the next step. What does one do now?

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Chapter 16 - The Man with No Name

A tight slap across the girl’s soft cheek stopped her from screaming for help.
Where can I find him?’ Vishwa Anna questioned the girl, his fingers grabbed the girl’s hair, pulling it from its roots.
Fear seeped through the girl’s jeans, wetting the car seat.
The man you were fucking last night! Where is he?’ Vishwa Anna expounded his question, as he shifted in his seat, his eyes languidly straying over the girl’s contours.
I don’t know! I don’t even know his name! Please let me go!’ The girl screamed.
Take the car to the lake’ Vishwa Anna tapped the driver on his shoulder from behind as he gave the direction.
Eh! Give the newspaper’ Vishwa Anna yelled to the guy seated behind him. Vishwa Anna handed the newspaper to the girl, ‘Here! Sit on this. Stop pissing in my car.’ Vishwa Anna waved his hand. Two pairs of hands reached out from behind pulling the girl to the very back of the car where they proceeded to pull apart her clothes and rape her. Her screams ignored as the lights on Vishwa Anna’s car blared down the outer ring road, warning other vehicles to make way.
#
The man ignored the school bus and trained his eyes on the traffic signal when he heard a familiar voice calling out to him in the din of the idling motor engines.
He smiled as he saw Shivu waving out to him with Dr. Sinha looking on. He waved back.
‘Do you want pizzaaa? We are going to have pizza for dinner!’ Shivu yelled as Dr. Sinha grabbed the little boy’s shoulder, admonishing him for sticking his head out the window.
 The man chuckled at the absurdity of it all. Here he was running around trying to get back the last connection he had with his family, and there was a young boy gleefully sharing his dinner plans with him. The man caught the signal changing from the corner of his eyes.
‘I will see you!’ The man yelled before he sped away.
‘Shivu! Get back inside!’ Dr. Sinha commanded as she shifted gears.
#
     ‘So Mr. Chakravarthy…’ The IB officer stubbed his cigarette atop the table, ‘Where can I find Inspector Hemant Gowda?
Chakravarthy immediately jerked to reach for the phone in his pocket. The sudden move had made one of the trigger happy armed commando twitch.
Zzfftt!
The bullet lodged itself firmly between Chakravarthy’s eyebrows. Chakravarthy died immediately, his hands stuck in his pocket.
Shankar Vaidyanathan groaned aloud as he shook his head. He leaned forward to pull the dead man’s hand out of his pocket and found his cellphone. The IB officer continued to shake his head in dismay as he unlocked the phone screen and scrolled through the call log.
‘Wipe the scene and for fuck sake follow protocol’ Shankar mumbled as he stared down at the commando who had pulled the prematurely pulled the trigger.
Shankar walked out of the room as he swiftly dialed the Inspector’s number from the dead man’s phone.
‘Hello? Inspector Gowda?’ Shankar smiled as he spoke into the phone.