Sunday, July 27, 2008

temple economy

it is interesting to note how the lines between commerce / economy, religion - or rather religious sentiments are being exploited by vested interests.

i noticed a few new constructions coming up in my neighborhood.
one is a big arch at the entrance of a narrow side road - leading to a small temple. the arch has been growing steadily and now stands as a tall concrete structure with painted figurines on the pillars.
another is an empty [again concrete] shell coming up on a storm water drain! yes standing on a narrow stretch between the drain and a compountd wall, the structure extends over the drain as well.

i am sure that this will become a very popular temple and soon encroach upon as much of land in the neighborhood as possible.

this is not the first such example. i have seen at least two other such 'enterprises' that have occupied space in playgrounds.

all these in areas where there are already many small temples very close. in one of the large land grabbing cases nearby, along with the hutments, two temples also came up.

wonder where the money for all this comes from.
with even a portion of that spent towards improving the storm water drain [which is always clogged during the monsoon] or the street surface, life would be much better for the local residents.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

toothbrushes - the ultimate frontier in innovation?

i have always been amazed at how the toothbrush industry has been innovating to keep growing.
recently, when i had some time to kill - at a grocery store - while waiting for the shopping to complete - i was near the tooth brush shelf.
the variety of the toothbrushes was at least equal to - if not more than - the variety in tooth pastes.
while i could understand the variations in tooth pastes - such as flavors, colors, packaging and claiming ingredients that would give one a good feeling, i had wondered what distinguishes one brush from another.
the innovations are not just product design innovations, but also in packaging and positoning.
looking at the claims by the brushes, one wonders why nobody has found the ultimate toothbrush yet.
from the curved ones to the zig zags, from sensitive to strong, from ones with bells for kids to motors for mechanized brushing.
from brushes with changeable handles to caps for the brush heads, from brushes with specially shaped bristles to brushes with specially arranged gum massagers - the combinations and variations seem to be infinite.
wonder how we kept our teeth clean when tooth brushes were much simpler.. or when we uses tooth powder?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

legal density

first a disclaimer:
i have a lot of admiration and respect for the legal profession and i also have a few good friends who are lawyers..
now the story for this post:
i was recently invited to witness a worldwide simulcast of an 'IP auction', that was being conducted in Europe.
intrigued, i went to the event - where there were some discussions on what is needed for an ecosystem to create more IPs and another discussion on the role of collaboration between industry, academia and government.
unfortunately, i could not connect with many of the speakers, as they all seemed to be more interested in establishing their credentials and track record more than address the topic.
with the exception of a couple of others, it appeared that the event was full of lawyers.
probably there were more lawyers per square inch than vehicles during peak hour traffic in Bangalore.
anyway - coming to the auction - it looked like an attempt to create a secondary market - along the lines of the stock market.
i have never understood the stock market [or the financial services in the secondary and tertiary markets, though i have been providing some technology solutions in that space]. as it all appears unreal and removed from the real value being created by manufacturing or services industries.
in a way, it is probably good because this created revenue opportunities for others, than just the inventor.
one day, when my ideas are patented, this might also help me realize more value for those..
till then, i choose to remain a sceptic.