Kiruba is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, podcaster and a farmer.

Looking for a Versatile Video Person

I’m looking for a professional who will incubate and build a new video division in my firm. Someone who understands the modalities of directing, producing and editing kick-arse videos.   Its a great chance to work together on some really fascinating new projects for big companies and in-house projects.

You combine a creative eye with respect for deadlines, content requirements and graphic guidelines.

You will be responsible for assembling various audiovisual materials into a finished product with a production quality that’s of international standard.  You create a finished video that is highly professional and to the point, starting from graphics, photography, dialogue, raw camera footage, sound effects and other special effects.

You also have the opportunity to play a leadership role in hiring more people and running the video team as we expand the division.

The position is preferably full time.  However, I’m also open for exploring part-time option.  The position is based in Chennai.  If you are in and around Virugambakkam, Vadapalani, Saligramam, Porur, it would save on travel time.

Please help spread the word around. Know a good video person among your friends? Do ask them call me at 9841597744 or email at Kiruba @ Kiruba.com. Thank you.


The Best and the Worst Seats in Aircrafts

Years of flying has taught me which seats to pick and which ones to avoid. Its helped me make my journeys better and figured it might be useful to you too.

The following advice is intended for aircrafts like Boeing 737-800 ( Jet Airways, SpiceJet ) and Airbus A320 (GoAir, IndiGo, KingFisher and Indian Airlines) but may be applicable to many others.

The Best Seat:  Want to get an Economy Class seat with as much legroom as a Business Class seat?  Then use these three magic words when you check-in.  ‘Emergency Reclining Aisle‘.  Now Repeat that 10 times loudly.

Don’t just ask for Emergency seat, ask for Emergency Reclining. This is the second row of emergency seats that not only has the leg room but its also reclining.

As a bonus, a good looking air-hostess will come to you to read out the emergency exit instructions.

The Worst Seat:  Its the row just before the emergency seats. Not only is the leg space cramped, the reclining is disabled as well. So is with the seats in the very last row. To make it worse, you have two toilets to deal with. Now you know what to avoid.

Trust that was useful. Do you have any aircraft tips to share?


Dig Your Well Before You Get Thirsty

I had invited a job candidate home for lunch. I prefer doing some of the interviews over lunch because it helps break ice faster. I get to read the person much better when the conversation is casual.

During the conversation, the candidate asked me about our competitors in business. She specifically wanted to know about our USP and how we differentiate ourselves from the competition.

Typically, my answer would have been the 17 years I have spent in the digital space and how it continues to hold my fancy. But there’s something else that I value even more. Its Building Relationships.  Its the trait I have learned from people who I respect.

Almost 100% of my business have come from people that I have known earlier. Some for many years and some for few months. But one thing that’s commons is that when we started knowing each other, business was never part of the discussion.  When you remove any motive or business intention, its amazing how trust and comfort sets in.  Ironically enough, these two are the most important factors for a business relationship!

So, when I read this post by Rajesh Setty about the importance of building relationship by giving without expecting anything back, I dug every line.

I remember when I stayed at Rajesh’s home in Sunnyvale, he gifted me his Snowball Professional Microphone. I initially refused but he insisted. He said he rarely uses it and that it will be put to better use because I do  podcasting. Now every time, I record a podcast I think of Rajesh’s gesture and invariably talk about him with the achiever that I interview.  In my opinion, Rajesh dug his well one shovel deeper.

The reason why I found the article interesting is because it has an insightful real life incident by Mukund Mohan, a passionate and successful serial entrepreneur.    It tells the story of how a simple gesture of his started a relationship that resulted in his first ever business deal 3 years later. Recommended read.


Why Do People Jump onto the Aisle as Soon as the Aircraft Lands?

I have always been flummoxed by this behavior.   After the aircraft lands and the Milli-second after the seat belt sign goes off, people get off their seats as if its an emergency evacuation.  They grab their luggage and stand uncomfortably in the aisle.

Everyone who stands in the aisle know that the doors don’t open for another 10 minutes. So why bother?

There’s no time advantage either.  At best, they save 2 minutes but that immediately gets evened out when they are made to wait in the transfer bus and even more so at the luggage carousel.

I’ve seen this habit mostly in India and wanted to figure out the reasons behind this behavior.  Here’s what I could come up with.

1) Wanting to stretch their legs after sitting for long.

2) Having a false sense of saving time.

3) Herd mentality. When you see others standing up, you do too so as not not lose any competitive edge.

But by far the best explanation I heard  is from a fellow passenger who traveled with me in yesterday’s flight. He’s a Mumbaikar who now stays in Bangkok.  He says its a habit that we have acquired from our days of traveling in Buses and Trains.

We usually get up from our seats much before our destination comes because we have to weave and squeeze our way through the standing crowd to edge closer to the exit door.  Its a mentality that has sunk deep into us. He says we involuntarily do that even in flights.

Its the strangest answer I heard but it makes good sense.

What do you think are the reasons?

 


Why I’m Unsubscribing My Newspaper!

We have been subscribing to  at least one newspaper at our home right from my Grandfather days.We have  had ‘The Hindu’ for the longest but also dabbled with Times of India and Deccan Chronicle. We still continue to get newspapers to this day. But that’s going to change now. I have asked the Newspaper Agent to stop my subscriptions from March 31.

Reading newspaper in the morning is a habit that has been ingrained in me. I’m 38 years old. That’s 14,157 days since the day I was born. For almost every single day of my life, a newspaper has plonked on our door step every morning. My Dad had encouraged me to read newspapers early in life. As I grew up, waking up in the morning and reaching out for the paper has become an involuntary habit.

So, why am I discontinuing a habit I have grown up with? Here are my reasons.

It’s a Productivity Killer: When you wake up in the moring, your mind and body is fresh from a good night’s sleep. The first hour after you wake up is the most fertile hour of the day. Just the perfect condition to produce things of value. Author a book chapter, Write a blog post, Plan for the day…anything that makes you create. (Read my post: Be a Producer. Not a Consumer.)  Unfortunately, when we pick up a newspaper, we become a passive consumer. Not an efficient way to spend the fertile hour.

I Don’t Find 90% of News Useful: The only two sections I read are the front page and the sports section. I really don’t give a damn about politics which occupies the chunk of the paper. Buying a newspaper is like buying a whole music album when all you like is just one song.

Its Convenient Reading News Online:  With my iPad, the newspaper comes along with me and I get to catch up on news whenever I have free time. And I get to pick the news section that I’m interested in and ignoring the rest.

Why Pay for the Ads?:  While ads are important for the newspaper, they add no value to me. I can’t think of any ad that has profoundly impacted my life.  I totally understand that ads are how newspapers make their money but its time they revisited their business model.

Save the Trees: Really! If I’m given two options to consume news, I’d rather choose the more sustainable one. Lets spare the trees if we can help it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against news. I strongly believe that one will have to keep oneself updated. I’m only against the medium of delivery. I find consuming news on mobile and iPad not just convenient but also sensible.

In my opinion, while the physical newspapers will die a slow definite death, the job of newsmaking will continue to prosper. There is and will continue to be demand for news. Journalism as an occupation will continue to be an evergreen field.

Giving up a newspaper is far easier than you’d think. Especially when you have another way to get your news fix. The easiest way to get out of a habit, is to get it off your eyesight. Hence the unsubscription. When the newspaper no longer comes to your home, how can you be distracted by it!

Think of how we sent our letters 20 years ago. Didn’t we seamlessly move to emails. The same will happen to news consumption as well.

So, what do you think of the decision? Stupid? Sensible?  I would love to hear your opinion.



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