Date archives "November 2006"

Bored of the Rings? Not me!

Just read an article where the author fiendishly attacks the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Star Wars and various Steven Spielburg films.

You can read the article here

While the article is quite humourous, the part I like the most is this bit…

“What Jackson is essentially pandering to…is his audience’s adolescent reluctance to engage with the real world. A grand quest to save Middle-earth from the forces of evil is an ideal escape from the more prosaic realities of finding a job and paying the rent, while forming a cosy boy’s club with your hairy-toed mates can’t help but appeal compared to the thorny practicalities of flesh-and-blood relationships”

Man! I love LOTR and other escapist stuff like Star Wars, Back to the Future and the cool Discworld novels. There’s nothing like escaping the real world for a few hours and become immersed in a battle between good and evil.

I’m not sure how I’m going to pay the rent this month though…oh, and I don’t have a ‘proper’ job. Looks like the author hit the nail on the head 😀

Wooden Bookcase Murders Woman

In what must surely be a prime candidate for a darwin award, a woman from Florida has been killed by her bookcase.

More on the story here.

The family searched high and low for the missing woman as the mother explains here…

“I’m sleeping in the same house as her for 11 days, looking for her. And she’s right in the bedroom”

The family “had noticed a strange smell from her room but had blamed it on rats.”

Only in America!

My first thought is who is going to be sued in this case? The bookcase maker for not putting a warning sign on the furniture saying “don’t reach behind the bookcase”?!

Speaking & Learning Tamil

I know it’s everyone’s life mission to learn to speak Tamil, a language spoken in the south eastern part of India, Sri Lanka and parts of Singapore and Malaysia.

Since everyone I know is wanting to learn this language (particularly Aravind!), I’ve created a quick cheat sheet on some of the most common words and phrases that I’ve picked up and are useful.

vanakkam – welcome

nandri – thanks

ama – yes

po – go

sikiram vanga – come soon

ponga – go (formal version)

toppie – tummy

pasi – hunger

pasikidu- i am hungry

naan sapida pooren ayya – I am going to eat, sir

thanni – water

aravind yendhiri – Aravind, Get Up!!!

vanga – Come

siri – smile,laugh

sapadu – Meals

kaalai(morining) vanakkam

Thappu – wrong

edhu thappu – this is wrong

kollathe – don’t kill me!

naan alugirean – Iam crying!

The words in bold are my most used phrases as I have to tell the freshers what’s going wrong and wake Aravind up in the morning.

Hope this helps you on your way to becoming fluent in Tamil like me 😀

Shiney Object Syndrome!

I’m about to mention a major weakness that I have. But I acknowledge this weakness, and really wish I could prevent it.

The weakness is: Shiney Object Syndrome

It is the process of starting one project, seeing a new, shiney object (in my case, the shiney object is usually a new business idea or opportunity), leaving what you are doing and starting doing something else and never completing a project.

I will start many different projects, or websites and never actually get around to finish them because a shiney object has caught my attention and I’ve wondered off to go and investigate it. Hence I have dozens of unfinished websites and projects.

The problem stems from the fact that I can see something and think of a 101 ways to improve the business opportunity, software, service. I will then go ahead and do a half project before getting distracted again. The problem is also compounded by the length of time the project takes to complete. If it only took a week to complete, shiney object syndrome probably wouldn’t be a problem. But my ideas get too complex and intricate that after a few weeks I lose interest.

So…now the problem has been identified, how do I go about solving it.

First thing I’m doing is trying my hardest to reduce the project lead time. This means maybe not launching with a fantastic product which takes weeks, maybe months, but with a simple product that can be improved over time, but only takes a week or two to get out on the market.

Next thing I’m trying desperately hard to do is focus and not wonder off too look at the newest shiney object. This involves looking at my core skills and only focusing on projects that utilize these skills…this is much easier said than done!

Finally, I’ve stopped looking at all the internet marketing products out there and stopped buying the latest packages or products. Part of my problem was information overload, I didn’t know where to go or what to do next. This has now stopped and I’m not buying any more marketing products – sorry folks!

Hopefully these measures I’m putting into place will stop me getting distracted and allow me to focus on my core businesses and developing businesses that complement each other and use my strengths.

Will it be successful? I will let you know early January. Between now and then, I hope to have 3 or 4 new products released.

Nothing Much Going On

I hate posts about not much. But this is what this post is about…nothing much.

At the moment I’ve got my Freshers writing a new content management script which could lay the framework for a script that I’ve been wanting for a while now.

I was also looking at developing a ‘paid to read’ script but after doing some market research I found that the ‘PTR’ industry is a dying industry so that plan got shelved.

Instead, on the advice of my good friend, Aravind I’ve decided to develop a Yahoo Answers clone script. For those of you that don’t know, Yahoo Answers allows you to ask any question you want on virtually any subject you want and loads of people will attempt to provide the best answers for you.

Loads of people are looking for a script to put on their site – it’s particularly useful for building niche communities rather than aiming it at the mass market.

Since it’s a relatively simple script, I hope to have it developed within three weeks or so. Should be pretty good and I can add a new product to my catalogue.

Back to School

This week feels like I’ve gone back to school and am in a Business Studies class.

My Indian cold has finally cleared up, and fingers crossed it won’t come back, so it’s been back to business.

So how is it that I’m back in a business studies class?

Well a few weeks ago I alluded to a new online/offline business that I was working on with Aravind and Anand.

It turns out that we had massively underestimated the cost of gathering a certain type of data. An underestimate that was ‘out’ by about £60,000! The only alternative is to look for outside investors who are willing to inject the cash into the business upfront so that we can really begin.

Unfortunately, investors need graphs, forecasts, profit & loss accounts, SWOT analysis, expenditure break downs, marketing strategies and a whole host of other things before they’ll even give you the time of day.

So my job for the week has been to create a substantial business proposal with all the above information collated into one report.

I’ve been using all the old skills learnt during my business studies courses when I was 18, but had to go back and research it and brush up my skills (and remember what the difference is between a profit and loss sheet and a balance sheet).

I’m pretty sure it’s going to be worth it though because this type of business exists in the UK and the leading company makes £100m+ per year, but the business model doesn’t exist anywhere, in any form, in India. Crazy!

Feeling Really Ucky

And for any purists out there…yes, on peterclaridge.com, ucky is a real word!

After reporting having a cold a few days ago, I thought I had gone into remission and by Wednesday was feeling not too bad. But on Thursday I felt worse than ever and was confined to bed for two days. I think India colds are bigger and better than UK colds. It’s a proper head cold causing my eyes, ears, nose and throat to really hurt along with a really painful headache. Infact, after some consideration, I established that the only part of me that didn’t hurt or ache was my back.

So now it’s Sunday evening and I’ve finally been able to eat something after a few days. The cold is showing signs of abating, but it’s had the side affect of whenever I cough, sneeze or breath (which is approximately once every 30 seconds at the moment), it brings up lots of yucky phlegm.

Since I’m always one to find out more about stuff (and probably highlighted by the fact that I’m bored stupid as I’m unable to concentrate on work for more than 5 minutes), I decided to find out more about the stuff being coughed and sneezed out of my body.

Yes, I know it’s a pretty disgusting subject, but let’s face it, everyone suffers from colds at least once or twice a year and everyone has experienced the discomfort it brings. So here are some trivial facts that you can use to amaze your friends when they are next suffering from a cold…

  • Phlegm is a type of mucus which is basically a water-based gel consisting in glycoproteins, immunoglobulins, lipids, etc
  • In medieval times, phlegm was said to be responsible for apathetic and sluggish behavior. Hence the word phlegmatic to describe a lazy and apathetic person
  • Healthy phlegm is normally clear or white
  • Yellow phlegm is normally a sign of an infection, or a case of the common cold. The initial state of the common flu when the phlegm is yet clear, is the most infectious period. When the phlegm turns into yellow, the body is already taking care of the infection.

See, reading this blog is an education. Now you can analyze your friends phlegm and accurately determine if they are in the middle of the infection or at the end. Just another public service announcement brought to you by me.

It’s strange how when things are going really well the last thing on your mind is going home, but lying in bed, feeling like crap, the urge to pack your bags and catch the next flight back to the UK is very powerful! Hopefully I’ll continue to get better over the week and this feeling will receed 🙂