Saturday, June 28, 2008

Is the wired touch more important than the human touch?

Increasingly it is becoming more important to be "connected" than actually talking and touching people. We feel being under a compulsion to check mails, poke on Facebook, and look for any scraps left for us on Orkut. Amidst all this "being connected" mania, we tend to overlook the real connectivity - face to face.

All communication systems are designed keeping in mind the people who are expected to use the technology. The driving factor for all the social networking sites, video conferencing techniques (that reminds me of a wonderful 3D hologram projection technique) - is that people want to feel as close to the person talking/chatting with as a person sitting next door. But somehow, this net addiction has got on to us. We have more interaction with people on the net than in real life

Net is a great facilitator for contact with other humans. But, the difference between real people than their virtual persona has become so blurred that we tend to overlook the difference. It all boils down to this, do we have a virtual life because we have a real life ?or vice-versa?

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, June 27, 2008

Ways of market endorsement

Every time you buy something, you endorse the way the company does its business.

When we buy a product or service from a particular company, we are promoting the company, its policies, its business model, its work culture - everything. As long as a company is doing good, (by good I mean achieving its target sales and revenue) it wont feel the need to drastically change its model. Ultimately, its the signals from the market that the company responds to.

Of course its products will follow its own life cycle, question marks will turn into stars, if proper sales push is effected. The cash cows will remain so until competition forces pushes it to the dogs status.

As long as there is high growth in a particular segment and the company is having a high market share, the company will never change its policies. Let's say, if the company is heavy on environment pollution, but its products do not find any difficulty in the market, it wont bother much about self regulating the pollution. But once customers start drifting away from the company, then the company will need to change its stance. It will try to bring in regulation and more efficiency, so that its products can regain lost ground.

Likewise,let's say a chip manufacturer brings in faster chips but with poor power dissipation. That is, the comp would get heated up easily.If people are willing to live with the higher heat, the company will continue trying to produce faster chips without caring much about the heat dissipation systems. But once the customers find the heat too annoying or the increased speed not worth bearing with the heat or an alternative product that generates lesser heat, the company will feel the impact (Or if their market research people are savvy enough, and see it coming) and they will devote more effort towards reducing the heat.

Markets are the deciding factor for all business decisions.As long as it keeps the markets happy , the company is doing good.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Theory Vs Data - "All models are wrong, and increasingly you can succeed without them." ?

I am not claiming that I am competent enough to have a deciding say in the newest (and the HOTTEST) debate doing rounds on the web right now.But as a technology follower and leader-to-be, I feel obliged to add my own comments on this.

".......Scientists are trained to recognize that correlation is not causation, that no conclusions should be drawn simply on the basis of correlation between X and Y (it could just be a coincidence). Instead, you must understand the underlying mechanisms that connect the two. Once you have a model, you can connect the data sets with confidence. Data without a model is just noise. But faced with massive data, this approach to science — hypothesize, model, test — is becoming obsolete.........."

".......There is now a better way. Petabytes allow us to say: "Correlation is enough." We can stop looking for models. We can analyze the data without hypotheses about what it might show. We can throw the numbers into the biggest computing clusters the world has ever seen and let statistical algorithms find patterns where science cannot......"

I dont think that data can ever replace models. True, that Mr. Venter has done a lot of good for modern biology, But he is building on the knowledge of genes and replicating mechanisms discovered earlier, using the scientific methods of observation-hypothesis-validation.

Data is good only up to the limits we already have the theory ready for. It certainly is a great help in fully comprehending the implications and applications of the theoretical background we already have. But it in no means can generate new theory to do the future testing. It can only provide us with what something is but not why it is so.

PS - I love statistics , so please dont cite my short-handedness for stats as the reason why I sided with theory.

Stumble Upon Toolbar