Many innovations are the result of chance discovery and customer need

In 1879, the Proctor and Gamble company’s best seller was candles. But Thomas Edison had just patented the electric light
bulb. Within a short space of time, the market for candles had collapsed and the company were in trouble.
However, destiny turned their fortunes around. At their factory in Cincinatti, a forgetful employee had one day gone to lunch and forgotten to turn the candle-making machine off. When he returned, he found a mass of frothing lather filled with air bubbles. Rather than discard the batch, he decided to turn it into soap. To his surprise, he found that the soap floated.

At that time, many people still bathed in the Ohio river. The idea of a soap that floated and never got lost appealed to them. Thus Ivory soap was born and became the mainstay of the Proctor and Gamble company for many years to come.

Moral: Many innovations are the result of chance discovery and customer need.

16 Tips to Simplify Your Life (and Increase Your Productivity)

Simplify your life

Someone once said “it takes a genius to live a simple life” and I totally agree with that.

In this world of “dramatic distraction” and information overload it is too easy to become overwhelmed, lose focus and be swept away from the things that matter most.

Here are 16 tips that I have learnt form other leaders, blogs (tombasson) and books, and have been trying to apply in my life to de-clutter, un-complicate and become more intentional about how I spend my time…

1. Turn off all technology for 60 minutes a day and focus on doing your most important work.

2. Don’t check your email first thing in the morning. (This one in particular has been life-changing for me!)

3. Start your day with exercise. (or even better, learn how to surf – no better way to start the day!)

4. Be obedient to the sabbath! (That means learning how to really rest and refuel – taking one full day a week as a complete recovery day.)

5. Learn to say no.

6. Plan your week ahead. (I spend 10 minutes every Sunday evening looking at my diary for the upcoming week and planning spaces for work, rest, exercise, relational meetings etc. It helps me to stay focused on that which is important and gives me permission to say no to that which isn’t.)

7. Don’t answer your phone every time it rings.

8. Get up early.

9. Go to bed early.

10. Eat a big healthy breakfast.

11. Clean out your closets. Get rid of things you never wear or don’t use anymore.

12. Stop watching TV. Or at least cutback to no more than 1hr per day. (Jess and Tom haven’t had a TV for the nearly 6 years they’ve been married. When you don’t have it, you simply don’t miss it.)

13. Make sure you plan a decent holiday break once a year. (I find it should be at least 10 days for it to become truly regenerative.)

14. Learn to protect your time. The data says workers are interrupted every 11 minutes. Distractions destroy productivity and complicate your life.

15. Do your banking online.

16. Use Evernote. Seriously, it’s an amazing piece of software.

In the end, it’s about priority. About deciding what really matters and, as Stephen Covey says, “putting first things first”! And so, as you simplify your life, may it increase your productivity and grant you a greater sense of purpose, and may it bring you great freedom and peace.

Thanks to tombasson

Never be sure of what future holds for you

The Sultan of Persia had sentenced two men to death.One of the men, knowing how much the sultan liked his stallion, offered to teach the horse to fly within a year if the sultan would spare him his life. The sultan, fancying himself as the rider of the only flying horse in the world, agreed. “You’re mad,” said the other prisoner. “You know that horses can’t fly. You’re only putting off the inevitable.” “Not so,” said the first prisoner. “I have four chances of escaping my sentence. First, the sultan might die. Secondly, I might die. Thirdly, the horse might die. And fourth…I might teach the horse to fly.”

Moral: Never be too certain of what the future holds.

Becoming More Skype Savvy via Recording Apps

I conduct most of the meetings over phone. I love meetings over phone because it allows me talk to the client according to their time. Due to time difference and distance, phone comes very handy to me for meetings and talks.

However I’m not happy with the technology I’ve been using to conduct these interviews. Sometimes the recording turns out fine. Other times, the person with whom I’m speaking is on a cell phone or has bad reception and the audio comes out fuzzy, making it difficult to transcribe. It’s also an incredibly lengthy process to transcribe the interviews.

I’m a huge fan of Skype but I dislike that Skype lacks a built-in recording capability. In order to record Skype conversations, you must use an outside recording application and here are the best ones I’ve found so far:


Pamela is a Skype-certified app that records both audio and video calls through Skype. Pamela is free for up to 15 minutes of recording. For around $25, you receive unlimited call recording, as well as blogging and podcast support.

MP3 Skype Recorder

MP3 Skype Recorder is a free audio recording app. It stores the recorded audio into convenient MP3 files, which can be easily played on iTunes.


VodBurner allows the user to create a final video of the entire conversation. This would be perfect for adding my interviews to YouTube. VodBurner records the video for both conversations at the same time and allows the user to edit the conversation into one video. After a 14-day trial, VodBurner costs about $100 for a license, but you can get around that if both computers are using VodBurner as it is completely free for calls between VodBurner users.


HotRecorder is a Voice Over IP (VoIP) recording tool. However, it only works for versions up to Skype 1.4. On the upside, HotRecorder provides voicemail for VoIP services. On the downside, the trial version only allows two minutes worth of recording, which is disappointing. I do like that HotRecorder also works with Google Talk and other VoIP services.

While all of these are Windows compatible, the same may not be true for the Mac. However, there are Mac apps out there with the same functionality. I’d love to hear about the Mac apps you’ve used for this.

I really wish these apps had automatic transcription services, as well. I do a lot of writing and, while it’s useful that I can make videos of my interviews with VodBurner, I’m really looking for a tool that automatically transcribes the audio. I want an all-in-one tool that Skypes, records the audio and video, and transcribes the conversation to text. Know of anything like this? Which Skype recording app do you find most useful?

One Bedroom Flat – A Bitter Reality


… As the dream of most parents I had acquired a degree in Software Engineering and joined a company based in USA, the
land of braves and opportunity. When I arrived in the USA, it was as if a dream had come true. Here at last I was in the place where I want to be. I decided I would be staying in this country for about Five years in which time I would have earned enough money to settle down in India.

My father was a government employee and after his retirement, the only asset he could acquire was a decent one bedroom flat.

I wanted to do some thing more than him. I started feeling homesick and lonely as the time passed. I used to call home and speak to my parents every week using cheap international phone cards. Two years passed, two years of Burgers at McDonald’s and pizzas and discos and 2 years watching the foreign exchange rate getting happy whenever the Rupee value went down. Finally I decided to get married. Told my parents that I have only 10 days of holidays and everything must be done within these 10 days. I got my ticket booked in the cheapest flight. Was jubilant and was actually enjoying hopping for gifts for all my friends back home. If I miss anyone then there will be talks. After reaching home I spent home one week going through all the photographs of girls and as the time was getting shorter I was forced to select one  candidate.

In-laws told me, to my surprise, that I would have to get married in 2-3 days, as I will not get anymore holidays. After
the marriage, it was time to return to USA, after giving some money to my parents and telling the neighbors to look after
them, we returned to USA. My wife enjoyed this country for about two months and then she started feeling lonely. The frequency of calling India increased to twice in a week sometimes 3 times a week. Our savings started diminishing.

After two more years we started to have kids. Two lovely kids, a boy and a girl, were gifted to us by the almighty. Every time I spoke to my parents, they asked me to come to India so that they can see their grand-children. Every year I decide to go to India… But part work part monetary conditions prevented it. Years went by and visiting India was a distant dream. Then suddenly one day I got a message that my parents were seriously sick. I tried but I couldn’t get any holidays and thus could not go to India … The next message I got was my parents had passed away and as there was no one to do the last rights the society members had done whatever they could. I was depressed. My parents had passed away without seeing their grand children.

After couple more years passed away, much to my children’s dislike and my wife’s joy we returned to India to settle down.
I started to look for a suitable property, but to my dismay my savings were short and the property prices had gone up during all these years. I had to return to the USA… My wife refused to come back with me and my children refused to stay in India… My 2 children and I returned to USA after promising my wife I would be back for good after two years. Time passed by, my daughter decided to get married to an American and my son was happy living in USA… I decided that had enough and wound-up every thing and returned to India… I had just enough money to buy a decent 02 bedroom flat in a well-developed locality.

Now I am 60 years old and the only time I go out of the flat is for the routine visit to the nearby temple. My faithful wife has also left me and gone to the holy abode. Sometimes I wondered was it worth all this? My father, even after staying in India, Had a house to his name and I too have the same nothing more. I lost my parents and children for just ONE EXTRA BEDROOM. Looking out from the window I see a lot of children dancing. This damned cable TV has spoiled our new generation and these children are losing their values and culture because of it. I get occasional cards from my children asking I am alright. Well at least they remember me. Now perhaps after I die it will be the neighbors again who  will be performing my last rights, God Bless them.

But the question still remains ‘was all this worth it?’ I am still searching for an answer……………..!!!




Know your two wheeler

A two wheeler is generally operated by a 2- stroke spark ignition internal combustion engine

which supplies power to the wheels. The efficiency of which depends mainly on the compression

ratio and speed of rotation.

The Development of two wheeled scooters, motor cycles, mopeds and 3-wheelers equipped

with-2 stroke cycle engine is the outcome of research for a low cost mode of travel. These vehicles

are easy to drive and have good maneoeuvrability.

There has been a steady growth in the population of the/ three wheelers in our country. In March,

1996 the total population of two/tree-wheelers in the country was estimated at 24 million vehicles.

Stroke Engine

The Indian two-wheelers are mostly fitted with conventional 2- stroke engines. However, a few

manufacturers have introduced 4- stroke engine, the 4-strock engine has higher fuel efficiency, better

volumetric efficiency, complete fuel combustion and minimum air pollution. The engine is provided

with a separate oil tank to supply lubrication oil through the oil pump. At low speed and low load

extra oil is not supplied to the engine. This minimizes oil consumption and maximizes the interval

between de-carbonisation and thereby minimizes air pollution

Circulate free in public interest by P.C.R.A.


The oil companies have developed superior 2T oils specially for use in 2 stroke engines as

lubricating oil to be mixed with fuel in the recommended dosage at the time of filling.

The benefits of using superior 2T oils in the right proportion are: –

a) Excellent lubrication of engines at all operating temperatures and under the most adverse conditions.

b) Reduced spark plug fouling which also reduces maintenance cost.

c) Deposits formation in combustion chamber, exhaust port and the muffler is reduced,

thereby extending the periods between decarbonisation and leading to reduced power


d) Reduced wear of piston rings, cylinder, cylinder liners and associated components

thereby lengthening of the life of the engine.

e) Optimum performance of the engine.


1. Drive steadily and at the optimum speed :- Drive at an optimum speed of 30-40 kmph.

You will be surprised to find that your travel time does not increase significantly. Sudden

starts and ‘stop-and-ago’ driving waste fuel. Research shows that fat and rash driving can

increase fuel consumption substantially.

2. Use brakes sparingly :– A good driver anticipates stops. When you slam on the brakes, you

waste a lot of useful energy. Anticipate corner- you will be able to negotiate them without


3. Let go of your clutch: – Unnecessary use of the clutch leads to loss of power.

4. Clean air filter regularly:- Dust leads to rapid wear of engine components and increases

fuel combustion. Choked exhaust ports & Silencer make your engine struggle to breathe,

causing poor combustion.

5. Watch your tyre pressure: – Under inflated tyres increase rolling resistance and petrol

consumption. Tests show that under inflation of tyres by 25 % causes a 5 % increase in fuel

consumption and a 25% decrease in tyre life.

6. Stop fuel leaks :– Check your fuel tank, carburetor, and fuel lines daily for sings of leaking

fuel. Loss of one drop of fuel per second amounts to nearly 2000 litres per year.

7. Stop the engine if you stop for more than 2 minuets :- Idling can cost money- and fuel.

Stop your engine at long waits, for example, at railway crossings.

8. Keep your engine in good condition :– Tests on a large number of vehicles show that you

can save over 6% fuel by regular tuning. If your engine emits smoke of has poor pulling

power, have it checked immediately at a reputed garage.

9. Use superior 2T oils for lubrication :– Mix superior 2T oil conforming to international

API/TC specifications in recommended dosage to derive various benefits.


Different gears are provide to use the power of the engine to suit the work it has to do. In a

low gear, the engine revolution is faster, and so it consumes more fuel than it normally would

at the same road speed in a higher gear. For maximum fuel economy, gear changes must be

made at the right moment, that is when the speed you have reached in a low gear can be

maintained without increase acceleration in the next higher gear, or when you change down

without causing noisy, racing surge in the engine speed. Please follow the speed limits in the

engine speed. Please follow the speed limits for economical gear shifting as recommended by

the manufacturer.


Developed by Ministry of Industry Government of Indian

on the basis of trials carried out at Automotive Research

Association of India ( ARA) and Vehicle Research &

Development establishment ( VRDE).

Engine Capacity Kms/ litre of gasoline (min)

Less than 35 C.C. 95

35 C.C. to 75 C.C. 87

( Variable transmission)

35 C.C. to 75 C.C. 83

( Fixed transmission)

75 C.C. to 200 C.C. 60

Greater than 200 cc 55


Cause Remedy

1. Spark plug defects – Adjust gap and clean the plug point, Replace if


2. Fuel system Carburettor clogged/dirty – Check for, fuel leaks & rectify

Clean fuel, tank fuel tube, jet & carburetor body.

3. Air cleaner choked/dirty – Remove and clean it with air petrol and blow dry

with air.

4. Choke value sticking in closed position – Lubricate the choke control lever and keep it in

open position.

5. Hard to start due to over flow of the engine – Check points 1 to 4 given above while parking keep

fuel value in closed position and park at a paper

ground level.

6. Silencer outlet pipe choked – Clean .

7. Vehicle drag on the road – Check tyre pressure and fill air, if necessary.

8. Poor braking – Adjust brake pedal lever free play.

9. Poor pick-up – Check spark plug for correct fitment in the cylinder

head. Check points 1 to 8 given above.

10. Lack of power – Contact authorized service, station.



1. By owner Clean Adjust Lubricate Replace Frequency

i) Spark Plug ™ ™ ™ Monthly 8,000 kms

ii) Air filter ™ – – – Monthly

iii) Gear Oil – – – ™ As recommended by mfrs.

iv) Petrol strainer ™ – – ™ Refill

v) Fuel lines ™ ™ – – Monthly

vi) Carburettor ™ ™ – – Monthly

vii) Tyre pressure – ™ – – Refill

II- By authorized mechanic

i) Carburettor ™ ™ – – 4,000 Kms.

ii) Air filter ™ – – – 5,000 Kms.

iii) Throttle Operation – ™ ™ – 2,000 Kms.

iv) Front & rear Brake controls – ™ ™ – 4,000 Kms.

v) Clutch & gear levers – ™ ™ – -dovi)

Flywheel magneto ™ ™ – – -dovii)

De- carbonizing cylinder,

piston head & silencer

™ – – -doviii)

Other fitments – ™ ™ -do



“Aakash” Not The Cheapest Tablet in the World

The world’s “cheapest” tablet, dubbed Aakash, was launched today. But, there is one catch. It is not the cheapest tablet in the world. The Aakash is being supplied to the government by Canada-based Datawind at Rs 2276 or about USD 46 per tablet. However, a quick search on the Internet shows that there are cheaper and better tablets available for as low as USD 39.

For instance, a 7″ tablet running Android 2.2 OS, sporting a 800 MHZ Cortex-A8 processor with 256 MB RAM and 2GB Hard drive with a built-in camera and supporting 3G and Wi-Fi is available for USD 39.71.

Compared to that the USD 46 Aakash runs on a 366 MHz processor with 256MB RAM and 2GB of internal memory and doesn’t come with a built-in camera.

Similarly, there are scores of Chinese manufacturers offering tablets running various versions of Android with different processor speeds between USD 40 and USD 50. Compared to them, the Aakash seems a bit underpowered and overpriced.


Steve Jobs – A visionary artist of world of Innovation

Steve Jobs was born in San Francisco, California on February 24, 1955. His biological parents were unwed college graduates Joanne Simpson and Abdulfattah Jandali and had him adopted by a couple from south of the Bay Area, Paul and Clara Jobs. Paul and Clara called their son Steven Paul. While Steve was still a toddler, the couple moved to the Santa Clara county, later to be known as Silicon Valley. They adopted another baby, a girl called Patti, three years later in 1958.

Jobs attended Cupertino Junior High and Homestead High School in Cupertino, California. He frequented after-school lectures at the Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto, California, and was later hired there, working with Steve Wozniak as a summer employee. Following high school graduation in 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Although he dropped out after only one semester, he continued auditing classes at Reed.

Founding of Apple Computer

In 1974, Jobs took a position as a video game designer with Atari. Several months later he left Atari to find spiritual enlightenment in India, traveling the country and experimenting with psychedelic drugs. In 1976, when Jobs was just 21, he and Steve Wozniak started Apple Computers. The duo started in the Jobs family garage, and funded their entrepreneurial venture after Jobs sold his Volkswagen bus and Wozniak sold his beloved scientific calculator.

In 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, with funding from a then-semi-retired Intel product-marketing manager and engineer A.C. "Mike" Markkula Jr., founded Apple. Jobs and Wozniak had been friends for several years, having met in 1971, when their mutual friend, Bill Fernandez, introduced 21-year-old Wozniak to 16-year-old Jobs. Steve Jobs managed to interest Wozniak in assembling a computer and selling it. The first personal computer was sold for $666.66. By 1980, Apple had already released three improved versions of the personal computer. It had a wildly successful IPO, which made both founders millionaires many times over.

Jobs was among the first computer engineers to recognize the appeal of the mouse and the graphical interface, which let users operate computers by clicking on images instead of writing text. Apple’s pioneering Macintosh computer launched in early 1984 with a now-iconic, Orwellian-themed Super Bowl ad.


Apple’s first year in business consisted of assembling the boards in Steve’s garage and driving to local computer stores to try and sell them. Meanwhile, Woz worked on a new, much improved computer, the Apple II, which he basically finished in 1977. The Apple II soon became the symbol of the personal computing revolution worldwide. It crushed all competition both because of its breakthrough hardware features (including its color graphics) and its very large supply of compatible software. The key to Apple II’s success was actually VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet program ever brought to market. Thousands of people bought Apple IIs just to use it. As a result, the company grew at a very fast rate, and went public after just four years of existence, in December 1980. Steve Jobs’ net worth passed the $200 million mark on that day — he was only 25.

At Apple’s annual shareholders meeting on January 24, 1984, emotional Jobs introduced the Macintosh to a wildly enthusiastic audience; Andy Hertzfeld described the scene as "pandemonium". The Macintosh became the first commercially successful small computer with a graphical user interface. The development of the Mac was started by Jef Raskin, and eventually taken over by Jobs.

Jobs got the pink slip

While Jobs was a persuasive and charismatic director for Apple, some of his employees from that time had described him as an erratic and temperamental manager. An industry-wide sales slump towards the end of 1984 caused a deterioration in Jobs’ working relationship with Sculley, and at the end of May 1985 – following an internal power struggle and an announcement of significant layoffs because of disappointing sales at the time – Sculley relieved Jobs of his duties as head of the Macintosh division. Jobs later claimed that being fired from Apple was the best thing that could happen to him. "The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life."

Success outside Apple

Then came a 10-year hiatus during which he founded NeXT Computer, whose pricey, cube-shaped computer workstations never caught on with consumers.

Jobs had more success when he bought Pixar Animation Studios from George Lucas before the company made it big with "Toy Story." Jobs brought the same marketing skill to Pixar that he became known for at Apple. His brief but emotional pitch for "Finding Nemo," for example, was a masterful bit of succinct storytelling.

Steve Jobs

Return to Apple Computers

In 1996, Apple bought NeXT, returning Jobs to the then-struggling company he had co-founded. Within a year, he was running Apple again — older and perhaps wiser but no less of a perfectionist. And in 2001, he took the stage to introduce the original iPod, the little white device that transformed portable music and kick-started Apple’s furious comeback.

In 2002, the company entered the high-end server market with the XServe. They also fought hard to catch up with the speed performances of the Wintel platform, and in June 2003, they unveiled the G5, a new chip they had developed with IBM that they claimed was the fastest in the world.

“Apple is strong”

But the biggest move was announced in June 2005, at Apple’s annual developers’ conference, WWDC. The company had just finished its complete transition to OS X after the release of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, which was adopted by a very large majority of Mac users. That day, Steve Jobs came on stage and announced to a stunned audience that Apple was going to switch away from IBM to using Intel processors in their Macs.

The move to Intel was decisive in Apple’s fight against the Windows supremacy. Given his company’s growing momentum, Steve appropriately concluded his WWDC keynote address with the words: “Apple is strong”.

Fight with Cancer

In 2003, Jobs discovered he had a neuroendocrine tumor, a rare but operable form of pancreatic cancer. Instead of immediately opting for surgery, Jobs chose to alter his pescovegetarian diet while weighing Eastern treatment options. For nine months Jobs postponed surgery, making Apple’s board of directors nervous. Executives feared that shareholders would pull their stocks if word got out that their CEO was ill. But in the end, Job’s confidentiality took precedence over shareholder disclosure. In 2004, he had a successful surgery to remove the pancreatic tumor. True to form, in subsequent years Jobs has disclosed little about his health.

The birth of ‘I’

With the introduction of the iPod portable music player, iTunes digital music software, and the iTunes Store, the company made forays into consumer electronics and music distribution. On June 29, 2007, Apple entered the cellular phone business with the introduction of the iPhone, a multi-touch display cell phone, which also included the features of an iPod and, with its own mobile browser, revolutionized the mobile browsing scene. While stimulating innovation, Jobs also reminded his employees that "real artists ship", by which he meant that delivering working products on time is as important as innovation and attractive design.

The biggest of all was undeniably on January 27, when Steve Jobs finally introduced iPad, Apple’s much-anticipated tablet. There were rumors on an Apple tablet even before there were rumors on an Apple phone, and for good reasons: the labs of Cupertino started working on a tablet years before they worked on iPhone. Then, on January 27, Steve Jobs finally took the stage and unveiled iPad to the world. The presentation was bare, almost simplistic, with Steve sitting on a couch and demoing the device for most of his keynote.


In August 2011, Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple, but remained at the company as chairman of the company’s board. Hours after the announcement, Apple Inc. (AAPL) shares dropped 5% in after-hour trading. The relatively small drop, when considering the importance of Jobs to Apple, was associated with the fact that Jobs’ health had been in the news for several years, and he was on medical leave since January 2011. It was believed, according to Forbes, that the impact would be felt in a negative way beyond Apple, including at The Walt Disney Company where Jobs served as director. In after-hour trading on the day of the announcement, Walt Disney Co. (DIS) shares dropped 1.5%.

Jobs was both admired and criticized for his consummate skill at persuasion and salesmanship, which has been dubbed the "reality distortion field" and was particularly evident during his keynote speeches (colloquially known as "Stevenotes") at Macworld Expos and at Apple’s own Worldwide Developers Conferences.

He also built a reputation as a hard-driving, mercurial and sometimes difficult boss who oversaw almost every detail of Apple’s products and rejected prototypes that didn’t meet his exacting standards.

Jobs’ Legacy

Jobs’ climb to the top was complete in summer 2011, when Apple listed more cash reserves than the U.S. Treasury and even briefly surpassed Exxon Mobil as the world’s most valuable company.

Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple on August 24, 2011 and subsequently assumed the role of Chairman of the Board. He was succeeded by Tim Cook as the next Chief Executive Officer of Apple.

On October 5, 2011, Jobs passed away.