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Showing posts from 2013


I like the TED talk recently given by Hetain Patel. A artist and a linguist who joined Yuyu Rau a dancer who brought a new perspective for me in delivery of an astounding idea. The talk first of all was very refreshing to see how two people from  two very different cultures (a British Indian Gujarati and a Chinese) came together to deliver this.  I love this kind of confluence. Its heart warming to see how cultures around the world are melding...even if its at a slow pace it is so cool to see this happening especially when excellence is produced. Apart from that the content of the talk was also invigorating to the fact that we learn from imitating in the context and assemblage and convergence of culture  language, heroes and identities that we surround ourselves or grow in. This begins from childhood and goes well into adulthood; in fact it may be a quest in finding our own identity. If you haven't watched it on TED here's the embedded video.  Enjoy!


Sam Kurien

Reasoning and Understanding.

From my journal entry on 09/01/2013
The story of Henry Humidor is an interesting introduction to the world of reasoning re-written here from the "The Little Blue Thinking Book" by Brandon Royal  who adapted it from a story that appeared in New York Times.

Henry Humidor purchased a box of very rare, very expensive cigars and insured them, among other
things, against fire.  Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of cigars, he filed a claim against the insurance company. In his claim, Henry stated the cigars were lost "in a series of small fires". The insurance company refused to pay citing the obvious reason: He had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion.

Henry sued and won!

In delivering the ruling, the judge agreed that the claim was frivolous. He stated the man nevertheless held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure again…

Unlearn, Unlead & Then Lead

Unlearning and un-leading (I just made that word up as I got spellcheck error) is unnatural for leaders especially C-level leadership.  Leaders are hardwired, fused with their learning/experiences of the past into their brains. The areas of business acumen, time tested management principles and process practices  they have acquired over the years are hard to let go. And it is hard to let go your experience & unlearn what you have already learnt. I believe with technology, evolution/erosion of business models and changing marketplace and design dynamics shifting rapidly its important to unlearn faster and keep a clear mind in absorbing how wisdom can show a different way. It may turn out to be a innovation or seizing a opportunity that creates a niche, or demolition and rebuilding can only come from unique insight. For CIO'/CTO's you want to be vulnerable with other business leaders inside your enterprise as well as outside to keep an open mind moving from being technology…

Vendor Management for Application Security - Best Practices

Managing enterprise risk in organizations is getting complex every day as 65% - 70% of software's used by an organization are from outside vendors. The ecosystem's of vendor-supplied software ranging from desktop applications to cloud solutions and in between all of the heterogeneous mix of applications used to manage the enterprise's network increasingly demands that CIO's  take care of Governance and Risk Compliance practices seriously. Yet the amount of man-power required and capacity in existing IT staff is less than ideal with all the stuff they are asked to do on a daily basis. We live in an age where vendor supplied applications run the operations of a business with heavy exposure for the organization towards security vulnerabilities, liabilities and risk.

A PWC study I read in 2012 said that less 1 in 5 enterprises conduct security assessment's on their vendors even when an average typical enterprise may carry 300+ vendor applications in their enterprise p…

Disrupt or Be Disrupted!

As competition in the free market increases every day - business models and business strategies continue to evolve. Innovation will drive disruption in business models from players that will disrupt the current practices of existing business's in order to create a niche in the marketplace. The challenge for existing business's is to continue to disrupt or die in this game. Famous examples of a disrupter was Netflix who with its innovative web content streaming for movies, TV shows and a robust supply chain resulted in the closing down of traditional movie rental shops like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video. However players like Amazon, Hulu, Google have entered in as disrupters in this space threatening the very disrupter (Netflix) and stopping their march of web-media delivery domination. It seems like it is a familiar pattern the disrupter comes into the market with an innovation, flys high for a while and then gets disrupted with evolving market and technological changes. As …

Three takeaway's - maybe 4!

Last night was revisiting a talk by Seth Godin on Tribes. Some important takeaways for the new year as I post this first post of 2013.

The new way of leading is about:

1. Challenge the Status quo - Why are we doing this?
2. Create a Culture (Tribe). People want you to step up and lead.
3. Commit to a philosophy in believing in people and empower them to achieve. The few strong believers you have in your (idea/philosophy/mission/vision)- they will take it forward!

Lastly - Figure out the people part and the technology gets a whole lot simpler.


Sam Kurien