Real state performance for housing market

Posted in Analytics, Data visualization, Ideas

The Economist published a study on appreciation of house-price in last few years. The data for most developed countries is available from 1975 but for India it is available from 2011 year onward.

So, if you are invested in property market in India recently or are interested in knowing how you property has appreciated in recent times, I have prepared a quick summary –

1. The nominal increase in house price in India is 25% since 2011.

2. Not surprisingly, inflation has eater away much of the gains resulting in just 2.4% price appreciation in real terms.

3. Year 2013 is significantly bad in India with 7% yearly decrease in first three quarters. However, housing price in US has actually grown by 7% during the same time.

house price

This measurement is in real terms meaning it takes into account the effects of inflation on purchasing power.The city wise data drill down is available for USA but not other countries. I guess, India is not really as thorough in collecting house-price data as other important indicators like price against rents (to gauge return on real state investment) and price against average income (to measure affordability) are missing.

Here is the direct link to the charts.


From BYOD to BYOS – A new service model for enterprise

Posted in Hot, Ideas, People & Culture, Technology

These days it is not uncommon for you to access your official mails on your personal Blackberry or Android or iPhone. This is exactly what a BYOD or bring-your-own-device model is. It is quite a challenge for enterprise IT teams to ensure security of network and corporate data every time an employee accesses sales report or downloads sensitive information on his own device.


The adoption of BYOD is on rise and a recent poll by market researcher IDC shows that more than half the polled companies support employees using their own device. It is also shown that there exists a positive link between usage of employee own device and employee satisfaction. This is a great news as it can help reduce cost as well as boost employee performance.


As more employees start to use BYOD model, the boundary is getting pushed beyond devices to include software and services that employees want to use directly. Today 77% of online adults in US use at least one personal cloud service such as Dropbox (a file sharing service). This consumerization of IT is leading to a shift towards more personal choice and ability to personally select the tools that employees want to use. Many products are moving away from perpetual to subscription based model and offering SAAS (software-as-a-service). So, employees are increasingly selecting what is available. Well, if you represent enterprise IT, there are many challenges that you have to deal with.

This is probably the biggest issue to deal with in a BYOS model. Similar to BYOD, organizations need to worry about if these BYOS services meet their security requirements. Moreover concern around providing access to sensitive data has to be solved before the integration can work.

Though this is somewhat related to security but organizations need to consider any additional cost of hardware and software that these services might need and how requirements across multiple groups can be managed together.

Just like any service model is built with standard SLA, BYOS is no different. It is important to understand them and know the quality of support should things go wrong.

Future proof
Are the services customization and extensible? It is important that BYOS remains compatible with other IT systems and integration points where they are used.

Just like the forces of BYOD models are prevailing, BYOS is here to stay. We better get in front of it!

Let’s Do Nothing!

Posted in Hot, Ideas

Now the title may sound like a pessimistic advice but there is a case for doing less and not more.

The below is cover page of one of the favorite books that I enjoy reading to my kids. They love it. The idea of two kids – Frankie and Sal, trying not to do anything and ending up spending time thinking and pretending is hilarious to kids and something for all to think about.


In our work life, we are slowly and surely getting slaved by the following 4 M’s

1. Mindless web surfing – This is increasingly taking away lot more time than most people realize. Aimlesslely surfing internet or social web sites and reading articles of no value and not aligned to what you are trying to do in short or long term wastes time.

2. Meetings – A lot has been written about it. Jeff Weiner, CEO of Linkedin wrote a great article on how to eliminate useless meetings.

3. Mail – Checking e- Mails at the dinner table is no longer cool. Many folks can’t go to bed without checking their inbox. Work is routinely carried back home. The problem and solution is widely known – lack of discipline and commitment to generate lesser mail traffic is required.

4. Managing operations – This is the most important one that hurts organizations. Many top minds and executives time is better spend thinking about strategy. Operations help execution of plans but does not prepare company for future. Strategic thinking requires some uncluttered time. When Jack Welch was at GE, he used to spend an hour a day “doing nothing”!

How can we be like Frankie and Sal and do nothing, even for few minutes?

Can you really measure people’s performance in your organization?

Posted in Ideas, People & Culture

Can you really measure people’s performance in your organization? If you are people manager, a quick answer would probably be “yes”.

Rethink about it!

If your answer is still “yes”, there are high chances that you are either managing a very small group and most likely working in a start up. In such situations, market measurement of your company or group is quick and high – you either succeed or fail and hence attribution to performance is easy. The second reason being, everyone is constantly performing. Or maybe  you are a sports organization!

If you have worked in large organizations and gone through multiple assessment cycles, you know how difficult the job is. Most managers are not sure if they exactly know both the performance and potential of their employees. It’s no wonder large organizations have huge budget to train their managers on people performance and managing peak performance. There are several tools and techniques that managers use, including 360 reviews and gut feelings. But are employees happy? Are they performing to their peak potential? Is it an issue about manager’s capability or tools/processes that are available to measure performance?


And the bigger question really is, how does this impact your organization’s performance? Just imagine what a small improvement in employee performance can do for the company.

Now I see few opportunities here – If you can’t measure, you can’t improve. There is a big opportunity in creating tools for performance measurement. Tools that work. Tools that can include the process around the performance measurements.

One of the things, I have noticed is that generally people have good sense on how someone else is performing if they are around that person. Managers can miss “how” part of completed task but peers have a good idea on how someone completed a task. 360 works to some extent but it fails during comparative analysis or depends on reviewer’s personality.

Is there a way to capture this sense and build a tool?

The second opportunity lies with the fact that a small improvement in employees performance can improve organization’s performance. But most managers at best can connect it implicitly. What are those parameters that can be influenced and measured? Remember, can’t measure leads to can’t improve!

Is there a way to associate employee’s performance to company performance in a more direct, action-oriented way?

Small business marketing – what opportunities lies ahead?

Posted in Hot, Ideas, Marketing & SoMe

A recent survey conducted by Constant Contact polled 917 decision makers and reports that the primary concerns of running a small business have largely remained unchanged in five years.

small business

The report also describes about increased usage of marketing tools and challenges around finding new customers and retaining them. For example, there is almost equal split between businesses who find it easier, same or harder to find new customers.

One would have expected that adoption of new tools around email marketing and social media marketing (SoMe) will actually bring down these concerns. Or at least make it easier to address these concerns. However, customers are increasingly paying less attention to marketing and the competition is always increasing. On a positive side, customers are actually spending more money despite higher expectations.

I see this report as a huge opportunity for anyone focusing on small businesses. The core concerns of doing a business will always remain the same – new customers,  retain existing customers. The opportunity lies in finding ways to make it easier for these businesses to find new customers. What can you do as an online marketer to solve issues with customer paying lesser attention to marketing? Is it because the marketing efforts are not reaching the right audience? Is it because wrong tools are being used? How can you reduce time and money to do marketing? How can marketing for these business be done with a philosophy of “making hard things easy”?

You can find a better visualization of the report from MarketingProfs infographics.

Please share your thoughts and what challenges and opportunities you see as you go through the data.

How would such a report look like five years from now?


Pen is getting mightier than sword, again!

Posted in Hot, Ideas

Adobe sneaked project Mighty and project Napoleon at Adobe Max yesterday. A nice slick video is available on YouTube here.


I am very impressed by the thought leadership that Adobe has exhibited here. This opens up tremendous opportunity for kind of applications that can be possible. And not just that, it opens up market for lot more people to get into the creative world.

Last year I was working on my own fun project called Stook (Story Book) and it originated from a simple request from my daughter to help her understand what gravity is all about. I realize if I can draw few pictures, perhaps her favorite toys and explain her the concept in an easy to visualize way. This surely opens up avenues for many such capabilities.

You can sign up for more information on the projects here.