Baba ka dhaba and the curse of virality

I’m very happy for Baba Ka Dhaba and that its proprietor was able to get his small business back on track because of the power of social media virality.   I’m also thinking about how much his business would have increased due to the viral effects, both in short and long term. I’m afraid, not very much. We saw a huge queue of enthusiastic foodies at his shop, but most of them had to return because they ran out of food pretty quickly. Why was that? Because there probably weren’t sufficient cash flows to acquire raw material, there wasn’t enough labour to meet the demand and there probably wasn’t a credit line either.  Now people are trying to make other such dhabas viral, but those efforts likely won’t reach that critical mass. That’s the curse of virality. It becomes a victim of its own halo effect. Even if these effects do become viral, it will again lead back to a similar situation like Baba ka dhaba where there will be unmet consumer surplus.  Social impact entrepreneurs must think

Jiomeets, low switching costs and the next billion anti-Chinese users

There’s a lot of talk about how JioMeets has blatantly copied Zoom’s UI. Well, imitation is the best form of flattery, isn’t it? But I’m wagering that there’s a smarter move behind it. It’s called switching costs. I argue that Jio has not copied the UI, but the UX of zoom. Why? For the simple reason that it wants current zoom users to seamlessly be able to move to their platform. Earlier, Zoom had dropped the requirement of users being ‘signed in’ to zoom in order to join a meeting. What that meant was that zoom removed the network effects (possibly to reduce switching costs of MS Teams and Google Meets users). Well, Jio just one-upped them at their own game.  Jio’s strength has been its distribution. When you combine the power of distribution with low switching costs for users, after raising 10 rounds of funds, with one sided support from the government, against a chinese company, in a country of the next billion users having a generally negative Chinese sentiment at peak, you’ve figu

Thoughts about meditation

Meditation is your personal space. It’s your personal sandbox and there is no need to follow any specific template for meditation Each of us has a different experience in meditation. Your experience of meditating can, will and should be different than mine. So it makes no sense for me to tell what to expect from meditation. You can completely disagree with what I'm saying and we both will be right. The best way to learn the practise of meditation is to ask someone who meditates every day to do it with you daily for a couple of weeks. It greatly helps to meditate with someone in the initial few months. I meditate twice everyday; once alone and once with a group of people. But remember that in the long run, meditation is a single player game. If you’re dependent on someone for your meditation, you will likely not be able to master it yourself. In simplest terms, meditation is a stress release process. The stress can be in form of thoughts, emotions, physical stress etc. When you get