Friday, November 30, 2007

Winds Of Change...!

For some people tradition begins at home - a special dinner with loved ones, a precious gift by someone special, a fun gathering; for others, tradition manifests itself in different ways - like a trip to the nearest Movie Theater or a Mall...! Now, amidst all my friends, I am a little less adventurous of the lot and given a choice - prefer to stay back home, pick up some bestseller, grab a Coke, switch on some music and believe me weekend just passes by :) About 3 Weeks back, on one fine Saturday morning, when my friends made a plan to go Bowling @ Rip Van Winkle Lanes nearby, my first reaction was "Oh dear! What Kinda trouble..?" But then the idea somehow intrigued my consciousness since I had never been to a Bowling Alley before... and I thus decided to Go Bowling...!

I was pretty amazed upon enterring the bowling arena (it was huge...!) for it had all the trappings of an upscale entertainment-made-to-order cocktails(we had mock tails :)) , snack bar food to delier made-to-order casual dining choices & tempting appetizers, colossal Plasma Displays, a state-of-the-art sound system blasting latest music tracks and an array of lanes to keep everyone occupied. Observing the frenetic pace of everyone inside- their rhythmic walking & swinging of arms was remarkable indeed. Now, I couldn't help myself taking a note of few things in there:
  • Appeal - The Bowling experience is designed to work for everyone - an office team building event, a special birthday party, a super special date, a family get together or just a hangout destination for friends.
  • Patience - The excitement is always on as one waits for his/her next turn to bowl for everyone tries to do better than erstwhile attempt. The lead time is best for munching some snacks.
  • Speed - The game goes way too faster than one anticipates and as a result everyone wishes to play games after games.
  • Music - Pulsating Sound tracks coupled with intense desire to hit a strike adds special effect indeed.
  • Etiquette - Bowlers next to you proceed with their next chance even though you are about to take your shot & at times they even pick your favorite bowling ball. But then the good part is egos are kept aside & it all somehow works fine.
  • Shoes - I wonder whose idea was it to make it mandatory for everyone to wear bowling shoes provided by folks running the alley, but may be the concept appeals to some.
  • Work-Out - Owing to balanced & co-ordinated body movements, bowling serves as a nice way to shed off those extra calories indeed.
  • Customizations - Bowling Balls come in varying degrees of hardness, weight and colors - and one gets to cherry pick the ball from a stack of multitude of balls in alley thus giving an illusion of customization (Mac Experience).
All in all, thanks to my friends it was a wonderful experience which helped in breaking my status quo for the weekend ;-)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Halloween Effect...!

Yale is an institution known far and wide for its love of tradition. My visit to Woosley Hall to attend Yale Symphony Orchestra’s during Halloween made me realize that Halloween means much more than exhibit of Creative Costumes...! For most of us (me in particular) Halloween conjures up vivid images of ghosts, flying witches, grinning pumpkins, youngsters roaming around in caparisoned experience and the most striking of all oodles of party time...! This being my first Halloween in US, I was pretty excited and learnt about this concert which is popularly known as Yale Symphony Orchestra. The special part of this concert is the tradition of presenting a Yale-themed comedic silent film which is prepared by Yalies - embodying the spirit of Halloween.

This time the silent-film was was based on "Harry Potter" theme and circumvented around life of a new student who joins Yale. The film was accompanied by orchestral music and the multimedia extravaganza was an amazing thing to watch 'n' experience. Sporty Halloween Costumes adorned by performers, outrageous pranks performed by film actors & the "jugalbandi" add more fun to the coherent event. Yet again, "Yale" University with its majestic buildings, towers, lawns, courtyards, walkways, gates, and arches with architectural styles ranging from New England Colonial to High Victorian Gothic amazed me on Halloween Night. I must say (based on inputs I received from some students & pamphlets) that in addition to providing students the opportunity to perform & audiences (New Haven residents in particular) the opportunity to enjoy, the Yale Symphony Orchestra also inspires several smaller orchestral ensembles in and around New Haven. (Hope my friends will accompany me in the next YSO concert :))

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Fragments of the Self...!

I often wonder about this whole marketing stuff - after all everyone around seems to be somehow associated with it. Human Nature according to me always seeks to pursue the best. An example is - we hunt for nice deals online (or visit nearest Walmart) while buying normal utility good; however the whole equation simply changes when we are buying say our first Car or Laptop or Phone (I know iPhone is amazing :)) or say a house. Ain't we all are ready to shell out a little extra money to settle in for the best - well thats what human psyche is all about. Some of my learned friends tell me "Dude, thats called Branding in business world" and in order to achieve success, companies today apply lots of efforts towards making the presence of their brand felt in this busy world. Well, I totally agree - if you ask me Why... here are the pointers my mind would look at before giving a nicely composed answer:
  • Attention Spans in the world around us are getting incredibly shorter thanks to ever increasing clutter of products across the globe.
  • Since Information is universally accessible now (Thanks to Google), anyone is capable of achieving breakthroughs provided one is focussed, positive and has a concrete idea to work upon. Which means that even a great product needs an audience...!
  • Our Mind looks for pictures / sensory experiences first than plain facts / figures while looking for information in our Indexed memories. Which means you have to develop a visual aid (Logo) so that people can connect with you instantly. Seth has an interesting post on a logo's worth.
  • We all love Storytelling - my friends who own iPhone/a Macbook speak volumes about the amazing aesthetic experience Apple Products provide; ever wondered anyone who returns from a Disney Park keep sharing the memories of his visit to a Theme Park for weeks. Which means that a product must generate ripples amidst our humdrum existence and should be something which people love talking about.
Well, that should be enough Food for thought for now. Let me try designing a logo / visual repr. for my sketches over this weekend. As Seth says - one should keep trying if one has a dream. And yes, I did try this one out - writing the goals does makes you slip an inch closer to achieving them.

By the way, the best brand till date I feel is of "Bond". All we need to hear is....
"My name is Bond, James Bond....!"