Tag Archives: Experts

First Law of Hospitals

25 Oct

Mohitoz’ Law #265

Patients will come for the surgery, but stay for the complications.

Of Startups and Soccer

3 Jul

No one would dare call the Dutch football team a minnow. But nor did anyone expect five-time champions, Brazil, to get booted out in the quarters of this year’s FIFA World Cup.

To borrow an epithet from the more fashionable sport that seems to have caught most of India by the b*lls, such are the glorious uncertainties of football.

Did the Dutch play better? Did Brazil lose it when they had to send one of theirs off the field and play with a depleted team? Or was it just the foot of God yesterday which decreed that one South American team would go through to the semis while another wouldn’t?

It matters not, I say. What does strike me is that 11 well-oiled people – like the avenging Germans in their match versus England – will triumph if they play as though they have nothing to lose and everything to win in 90-odd minutes. Almost as a young startup would.

Startup? And soccer? Mohitoz is finally off his head, you say… a self-goal, you twitter.

But humour me and consider a startup as a team of footballers.

People who have come together with nothing but passion to bind them, a hunger to win and a goal in clear focus. Coached by VC-like gurus who celebrate and critique from the sidelines, pushed by established competitors who have ruled the field, egged on by a roaring crowd of prospective investors, every football team has the genes of a startup. Or so it should be vice-versa.

And like most startups, the leader can be either aggressively upfront – a centre-forward – or a goalkeeper who defends and determines the course of play from a vantage point. In the former’s case, the startup CEO is the face of the company; the marketing and sales spearhead, so to say. He’s the one who leads by example, the strategist and the tactician, rolled into one dynamic ball of energy. And, in the latter – the goalie as CEO – he’s the man who prefers to stay out of the limelight but controls the quality of the product or service, looks for niches that can drive wedges into the competitor’s gameplan and relays it up the line to the men in front. And, when attacked, he’s the one who takes the pressure head on because there will be moments when startups stare at near failure as a wounded competitor strikes back: that’s when the goalkeeper keeps his eyes only on the ball and has a split second to separate debacle from defense, shame from pride.

Football, unlike cricket, calls for men of fervor, stamina and courage. It demands that you set aside long-term pleasures for quick wins born of agility. Every move up the field towards the other goal is akin to a battle in the sales arena, but a battle from which there is no rest. Regardless of whether you score or not, the team that wins will be the one who experiments and attacks unendingly. Startups, too, need endless reservoirs of adrenalin to keep them going because investors’ funds, like minutes on the referee’s watch, are limited.

Go watch a match before you decide to take the plunge to start something on your own. Do you have it in you to chart a course and yet be flexible to swerve and tackle and fall and get up and charge again towards the goal you swore to meet?

Eleven Dutchmen did it and sent half the world into mourning yesterday. Sure, they had Lady Luck as their 12th player as well but doesn’t every successful startup have her too?

Go kick a ball or two. Even if you don’t actually start up, you won’t end up any poorer either.

Law of Laziness

13 Feb

Mohitoz’ Law #242

(Contributed by Raghu)

Laziness is the real mother of innovation.

Law of Jairam

12 Feb

Mohitoz’ Law #241

(Contributed by Ranajit Mukherjee)

Political pressures can make you look like a brinjal.

Law of Sommeliers

29 Jan

Mohitoz’ Law #225

Life is a Cabernet.

Bananas in the Republic

25 Jan

Every Republic Day, India finds itself caught at the crossroads of celebration and self-crucification.

This year’s been no different: while we’re trying to say that the world’s largest republic is still sexy at sixty, we’re also asking whether we’ve been honest to the very idea of being the republic our founding fathers wanted us to be. All in the same page of the broadsheets and in the same capsules of prime-time news. Almost predictably, the same opinion-makers appear, by turn, to be questioned by M/s Roy, Chandra, Dutt, Goswami and Sardesai.

They say the same thing but with shades of wit and vitriol that vary depending on the character of the TV channel they’re on. Split screen. Split persona.

The question, however, is not what we’ve achieved or haven’t achieved. That’s a debate done to death.

The dilemma I face is of a republic that’s at odds with the Internet.

Internet? Now, where did that come from, you ask! He’s off his clicker – or whatever they call the old rocker these days, you mutter!

But, here’s where I come from.

On a Tuesday, last week, almost 25% of advertising and marketing professionals from a range of industries and cities, in their early-mid 30s couldn’t recognise the Twitter logo. This is not hearsay but the truth: I ran the poll as part of the Advanced Program in Digital Marketing I run at NIIT Imperia which the IAMAI certifies. It amazed me at first, but then I consoled myself saying these 70 people were here to learn because they did not know. Simple.

Cut to Friday. The venue is The Shri Ram School at Vasant Vihar. The audience: approximately100 students of class 5 – age 10 or 11 years old – and a few of their teachers. Unlike the Tuesday session, my mandate here is exactly the opposite: dissuade these children from Facebook, etc and caution them of the perils of the Internet.

(If I go schizophrenic someday, you’ll know why.)

Surprise, surprise: all of the kids recognise the Twitter logo! They’re not on it – not yet anyway – but they know. (A dozen of them, however, did admit to being on Facebook and to having fudged their ages to bypass the site’s rules.)

Does this mean that people who should know a brand like Twitter don’t and those who needn’t, do?

Does it mean that obsolescence will hit this generation harder and faster? I’d like to go back to another batch of Class 5 next year and see if they’re already on Twitter.

Or does it mean that digitally-savvy kids will be self-taught and courses like the one we now run will be redundant?

You’ll say that I state the obvious. Which may be true, but parts of a nation are gearing up to show off their military might tomorrow morning and others are cursing this extravaganza that closed the foggy airspace over Delhi for days, thus delaying their delayed flights even further. Others are wondering how a former Pakistani Air Force Chief could find his way into a Government-sponsored ad while yet others are scratching their heads trying to calculate the cost of those ads and what they could’ve fetched the girl child who was meant to benefit that day (if not every day).

I am reminded of the 1999-remake of Inherit the Wind (the Jack Lemmon & George C Scott version) where Matthew Brady says: “ I do not think about things I do not think about.”

Instead, I tell myself, that there is a power up there somewhere who knows what He’s doing in collaboration with Darwin himself.

And, hopefully in our own way, we will all evolve. Eventually.

Law of Dentists

24 Jan

Mohitoz’ Law #220

A good dentist will swear to pull a lawyer’s tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth.