#Airtel4G – G for Gadbad or Gratifying Speed? #OnePlus2 SpeedTest Results – Thanks @Olacabs + OnePlus2

When I saw the #Airtel4G ad on TV about the speed challenge, I already owned the Airtel’s 4G LTE SIM Card and I know that G is not for Gadbad but for Gratifying speed. I converted my Reliance connection to a Airtel 4G SIM card as well as upgraded the Airtel 3G SIM to 4G SIM card. I was getting fantastic speed of upwards of 20 Mbps. This made Airtel the first telecom operator to roll out 4G services across 296 cities. This is a big achievement as compared to Reliance, where they kept talking about 4G and did nothing about it. The Reliance Jio just remained a dream for many.














Speed Test Results on iPhone6+ and OnePlus2 as on 20th August 2015.

However, the day Airtel launched the India wide campaign and rolled out their 4G services, their speeds actually dropped in my area and I tweeted about the same. While I understand that it’s not easy to deliver services at such a scale and systems do face hiccups, I was hoping that it’s just a hiccup and not going to be a repeat phenomenon. In-fact it was not.

This Gadbad didn’t last long. I checked the speeds in the past 3-4 days and the speed seems to have restored back to previous level. And I tweeted about the same today.

In-fact, I upgraded from OnePlus One phone to OnePlus2 invite courtsey @Olacabs

I got an invite through a contest that I participated. #OlaOnePlus2 with the tweet below got me an invite to One Plus 2. See my winning tweet below.

I did a video recording of the speed test results on my One Plus 2 phone using my iPhone 6+. See the video below:


I was able to download songs using Gaana.com app at a lightening fast speed. Also, youtube videos stream super fast on my LTE connection both on my iPhone 6+ and the OnePlus2.


I have tried tethering this connection with my laptop and it gives a decent 17 Mbps speed.

4G SIM on tweet and Pricing

By the way, I also liked your tweet based SIM ordering service #GetAirtel4G hash tag. Seems like its getting popular with a lot of people. Especially the pricing is much better than 3G. I used to pay around Rs. 2000 and now I am paying only Rs. 1500 and I get awesome speed. The free delivery of SIM card to home is another fantastic initiative. I really appreciate how Airtel has launched their 4G service this time. Very well thought through and good execution. Continue the good work #Airtel4G!

I seriously hope that Airtel continues to maintain this high speed 4G service and don’t let it go down like the 3G. The Prime Minister’s digital India initiative needs us to build information high ways this infrastructure is the back-bone for such ambitions projects to take flight and see the light of the day.

The Big AlphaBet

If the hubbub on Twitter is any indication, then Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have won the Internet with their announcement that Google will transition to a new holding company structure. The new company is called Alphabet. We should think of its as the Berkshire Hathaway for the Burning Man crowd — where instead of good, old fashioned value investments, the management is betting big on the future possibilities. And every single one of those efforts if done right could be Google sized companies in their own right.


Alphabet is a holding company for Google’s investment & growth projects. Classic Google, Google Fiber, Nest, Calico, Google Life Sciences, Google Ventures, Google Capital, and Google X are the components of Alphabet. It will be run by Larry Page as CEO, Sergey Brin as President, Eric Schmidt as Executive Chairman, and Ruth Porat as CFO. Stock tickers for Alphabet will be GOOG & GOOGL. In Q4 2015, Alphabet will report results under new structure and these businesses are going to have separate management from the classic Google businesses. That should satisfy Wall Street, which has not been shy to makes its unhappiness known, so much so that Larry and Sergey had to go out an defend their moonshots in an letter to the investors.

“Just as advancements in miniaturization and power consumption have made the contact lens possible, it was similar progress in computing power and cost that allowed us to create comprehensive search, and make it accessible to anyone with an internet connection,” Sergey Brin wrote in this letter. “The increasing power of computation extends well beyond the internet. One example close to my heart is our self-driving car project. This project and others like it are very challenging, and the outcomes are far from certain. But, just like when we started nearly two decades ago, it is possible to create the technology that allows people to lead healthier, happier lives. And, along with our incredibly passionate employees, I am humbled and excited to try.”

It will be some time before we see the complete impact of taking this direction, I think it is a timely move for a company that has been getting fat and bloated. Google of today is not even a faint outline of a plucky upstart that wanted to simplify the web search. If in corporate America, “too big to fail,” might be a badge of honor, but here in Silicon Alley as someone rightfully said on Twitter, there is such a thing called too big to innovate.

Banking might not be a business that changes that often, the swift currents of change destroy the most majestic of edifices. Remember Silicon Graphics or Sun Microsystems? I didn’t think so. No matter how amazing and technically savvy and inventive they were in their time, today they are mere footnotes in the history of technology.


The big question on my mind is why this move and why now. For one, the company has been under some pressure from Wall Street, something Larry Page acknowledged in a in a blog post: “Our company is operating well today, but we think we can make it cleaner and more accountable.” Of course, there have been looming dark clouds — European regulators are hostile towards Google and view its growing footprint as a threat to European ideas and local business interests.

I don’t necessarily agree with the European policy makers. Their motives and arguments don’t pass the smell test, however I like how Europeans approach data collection. Like many I have often wondered when will the regulators start putting some check-and-balances around the rampant data collection by Google.

The invasiveness of Nest to Google Car to Google OS(es) into our lives gives them perhaps a deeper data treasure trove than the government. Perhaps the regulators when approving this new holding company structure should ask for citizen centric concessions such as various Google owned entities will not share data with each other.

For me the most exciting and perhaps the illuminating part of Page’s blog post was one around investments, founders, and the longterm. Towards the end of his post, Page writes:

We liked the name Alphabet because it means a collection of letters that represent language, one of humanity’s most important innovations, and is the core of how we index with Google search! We also like that it means alpha‑bet (Alpha is investment return above benchmark), which we strive for! I should add that we are not intending for this to be a big consumer brand with related products—the whole point is that Alphabet companies should have independence and develop their own brands.

To me that that is clear indication that Alphabet is about to make some substantial and interesting bets on companies without regulatory scrutiny. Just like Berkshire Hathaway, Alphabet can contemplate betting for the long term, either by controlling the companies or having substantial stakes, that allow them to also skirt the regulatory limitations. In his blog post, Page said Alphabet is about “businesses prospering through strong leaders and independence. In general, our model is to have a strong CEO who runs each business, with Sergey and me in service to them as needed.”

Nest could become a smart home company and be spun-off as a public company when it reaches maturity? Could Google CarOS become a standalone company? I don’t think why not. Alphabet would, for example, make an ideal Tesla investor. Remember Google founders and Elon Musk are close and Google came close to buying Tesla. Now, it can become large enough investor in the car company and keep Musk in-charge: best of both worlds.

Bottom lines is that Google can buy large enough share of a company like Spotify or Tesla or Twitter and act as a counterweight to short-term quarter-to-quarter approach favored by Wall Street investors. Like Page noted, that they were excited about “Empowering great entrepreneurs and companies to flourish.” Notably, Google Ventures and Google Capital are part of Alphabet.


If you take away the distractions of the non-related businesses, what is left is the classic Google: search, ads, maps, apps, YouTube and Android and the related technical infrastructure. It is going to be run by Sundar Pichai, who is now the CEO of the classic Google. This is the money spigot that essentially created an unending stream of cash that is deployed into other non-core adventures such as Calico and Life sciences.

Google, despite spinning up a handful of billion dollar operations here and there, is still really a one-trick pony. It is too reliant on their core bread-and-butter business: search and advertising. Just as the arrival of broadband Internet allowed Google to usurp Microsoft, the rise of mobile has allowed Facebook to surge ahead of Google. Microsoft controlled our attention and thus as able to parlay it into opportunities in desktop applications, developer tools and platforms and of course, in the browser business.

Microsoft didn’t really know how to respond to the twin tsunami of open source software and the internet, which ultimately led to the rise of Google. The search engine became the center of our attention. It slowly started to launch a series of Internet services by leveraging that attention. However, just as Microsoft failed to grasp the magnitude of the Internet, Google failed to understand the power of social.

Google has failed at social and it can hardly be given a bronze medal for its work in mobile. It might seem counterintuitive — after all, they own Android — the company has lost control of its own creation. Sometime you get a feeling that there is more confusion in Android landscape than there is in a conclave of blind monkeys. It acquired companies to become a big player in the mobile advertising market, but has ceded ground to Facebook that has figured out to keep us addicted to its service — an average American spends over 20 minutes a day on Facebook.

As om Malik have said in the past,

In the past, companies that have owned the attention of consumers have been able to diversify into new verticals. For instance, Turner Broadcasting could leverage CNN into other TV networks. Yahoo did well to take the attention from its directory and search services to email, news and sports related products. Google went from search to Gmail and Android. Facebook is following this much treaded path — except for one difference — Facebook has a lot more users and is sitting on a bigger treasure trove of data, much of it behavioral data that can allow it to make smart guesses on where to focus its development efforts.

On the surface, Google’s classic search and advertising business might look unshakeable right now, there is increasing pressure coming from Facebook, which is making us rethink what is search and how advertising in the future should work. The Facebook threat is very real and it is way bigger than most people realize. And same goes for Google’s other forays. Google Cloud, for instance, is a distant contender when compared to Amazon Web Services. YouTube too is under attack from Facebook. Google might be a leviathan, but it has fleas that might be unseen, but are real and can cause long term issues.

I don’t envy Sundar, who has his hands full. And yet I find it comforting that Google is in the right hands. If anyone can figure out the path forward, it would be him.

Now, let’s grab the popcorn!

A fantastic Analysis by Om Malik.

19 Brands You Have Been Pronouncing Incorrectly All Your Life!


I have mispronounced atleast 5 of them :P

Originally posted on Mad Over Marketing:

Russel Peters made it very clear that Louis Vuitton is not only hard for us to spell, but even harder to pronounce. Elite Daily made these illustrations with the correct pronunciations, and you will be shocked at how incorrectly you have been pronouncing these brand names.


2. 107

3. 127

4. 128

5. 136

6. 145

7. 156

8. 165

9. 173

10. 183

11. 193

12. 202

13. 217

14. 316

15. 416

16. 517

17. 614


19. 812

We’re sure you will now be bringing these brands into your conversations just for the heck of saying it right.


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Why Amazon Has No Profits (And Why It Works)


18 Charts that explain Why Amazon has no profits? The real meaning of long term and opportunity explained.

Originally posted on Andreessen Horowitz:

Amazon has a tendency to polarize people. On one hand, there is the ruthless, relentless, ferociously efficient company that’s building the Sears Roebuck of the 21st Century. But on the other, there is the fact that almost 20 years after it was launched, it has yet to report a meaningful profit. This chart captures the contradiction pretty well – massive revenue growth, no profits, or so it would seem. But actually, neither of these lines gives you a good sense of what’s really going on.

1 Source: a16z

Amazon discloses revenue in three segments – Media, Electronics & General Merchandise (‘EGM’) and ‘Other’, which is mostly AWS. As this chart shows, these look very different (this and most of the following ones use ’TTM’ – trailing 12 months, which smooths out the seasonal fluctuations and makes it easier to see the underlying trends). The media business is still growing, but it’s…

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5 Point Formula for A Perfect Headline that Generates Guaranteed Revenue!

How to write a perfect headlinePerfect Headline Formula Cloud
This is an outcome of hundreds of A/B tests run across millions of emails sent as part of these campaigns.
Number + Adjective + Keyword + Promise + Rationale = A Winning Headline.
Formula For Perfect Headline
Here’s an example of it in action that I came up with:
5 Point Formula for A Perfect Headline that Generates Guaranteed Revenue!
  • 5 Point – Number
  • Perfect – Adjective
  • Formula that generates revenue – Rationale
  • Guaranteed revenue – Promise
  • how to write a Perfect headline – Keyword

Your thoughts and suggestions?

Top Funnel, Inverted Funnel OR the Hour Glass

I track the links that I share on Social media through many tools. I was reviewing how my youtube video shares are doing and this is what I saw:

Funnel-AIB-KnockOut-Roast Marketing Content Funnel

Funnel-AIB-KnockOut-Roast Marketing Content Funnel

This screenshot shows the AIB Knockout Roast video shares in my bitly account showed a declining count of clicks. Like how a funnel would work. One can argue that people didn’t see all three tweets / FB newsfeed elements together and hence a declining click count.

However, the broad point being, Content marketing works like a funnel. While the people who traverse the funnel till the bottom might be lower, their interest and engagement is way higher. However, one if the biggest issue in today’s time is that people miss out the bigger picture sometimes. The Hour Glass view. While your investments upfront leads to a funnel like view and we look at cost per action, we miss the subsequent inverted funnel. For any business to grow and have a holistic view of a business, one needs to look at the whole hour glass view.


The subsequent conversions that one produces from loyalty and advocacy. And this build the organic traffic as well as the word of mouth traffic and measuring these channels and co-relating the growth of this with the spends that one has done on paid channels is extremely important.

While an Hourglass is a future looking metric, though I wonder, how do entrepreneurs and investors think of the future value generated by such an hourglass view? Would they invest based on the future value? Do they look at the retention rates and life time value and future revenue through the social actions?

Social Media and Digital Marketing events are F@#$%^& up in India!

I attended the Social Media Week Mumbai last month. It was a five-day event where people who were interested in #Socialmedia gathered to learn and share knowledge. The expectations in general were to learn how to leverage social channels to achieve various business goals whether they are engagement related goals or someone’s ego related goals. Many people were hoping to see that the experts will help in explaining how #SocialMedia can be helpful to grow businesses and build personal brands.

My hope with the event was to gain some consumer insights. Also, I was looking forward to learning about how companies have effectively used social media to connect with their audiences. I was hoping that some *big brands* will showcase how they have been able to use such channels in an effective way that it ties with their business goals. Unfortunately, many sessions were disappointing, to say the least, many of the sessions were like “Woo-Woo”.

The so-called ‘social media influencers’, which in my opinion are “population gatherers” as India has abundance of people, came on stage and grossly mis-guided the ‘social media enthusiasts’ or someone who mockingly said during conversations: ‘social media evangelists’.

Many of the panelists and other attendees that I met were grossly ignorant of any scientific methodologies of experimentation in digital media. And maybe I am making a wrong assumption here as they might be aware of it and might be practicing the same, however, they chose to stay silent on the same and not disclose it with the audiences. They aptly mis-“guided” the naive audience with more “Woo-Woo”. The audiences clapped for this “woo-woo” and took away “great learning” back with them and then vomited it out on social media with #Tags and blog entries and likes.

I rarely attend Indian digital marketing events. As most of these events are like mass scale “pitch” sessions by digital agencies, social media agencies, SEO agencies or companies offering solutions for small, medium and large enterprises. While, it is okay for companies to make pitches, however, the funnel is broken here, and they do not practice what they preach themselves.

Let me explain briefly:

1) Hypocrisy – While you will read and learn from many content marketing experts that ‘Content is King’ and ‘Structure your Content for the channel’ and ‘customize content to your audiences’. These agencies conveniently borrow these statements for their tweets and blogs and presentations. However, they forget to implement these in their ‘mass pitches’. Without providing valuable case studies or data on why something works or why it doesn’t, such pitches are meaningless.

2) Borken Funnel – The mass pitch funnel is broken. The target audience is so diverse that the mass pitch is not catering to any of the target audience. There are no polls done to understand who are the attendees? There is no pre-qualification done on the same. All attendees irrespective of their interest in the event is clubbed together in the same room.

  • Decision maker is bored with the pitch as it’s not talking about numbers.
  • The influencer is not interested as it’s not talking about what’s in it for them to influence the decision
  • The execution person is not interested as it’s not helping them to understand how it will make their job better, easier.

And all we hear is “we are the best agency” stories. Where are the case-studies of your clients? Where are the objective statements and measurable results?

Some of the points I wanted to write about from the sessions I attended.

Mis-leading Sessions – Winners have product strategy and losers a marketing strategy. This session talked about how companies should have a Product Strategy and Marketing strategy is such a losing proposition. While, I agree that Product strategy is paramount, however, a communication strategy that works in tandem with product strategy is equally important. The speakers conveniently chose to hide marketing and communications inside the product strategy and mis-lead the audiences.

Let me explain, if I build a product strategy that has awesome experiences and has hooks built into it that prompts user to act and share of certain achievements or good experiences with product on social media channels, is a great example of Product strategy plugged with Communication strategy. Just by encompassing the communication strategy as part of product strategy is a mis-leading proposition.

What about Experimentation Strategy? – If such re-structuring of terms is being done, then why not also separate the experimentation strategy? Testing which message gives a higher referral, what points of product journey to prompt users is again an example of bringing product and marketing together. Unfortunately, the session didn’t talk about that, why?

The marketing strategy works (it does, happy to explain a model to anyone who wants to learn), a combination of SEO, Social Sharing, Friend Referrals, Search Ads, Display Ads, Video ads and so one. Building a measurable structure and determining Acquisition costs with attributions, Retention Rates and Life-time value. Why is there no mention of that in the entire discussion?

Unprepared Panel Discussions – While the topics used for many other sessions were very catchy, however, the content just didn’t live up to its expectations. Why? I can only speculate that very few panelists seem to have prepared for the presentations. It was like a 15-minute call done by the panelists a day before, and they all landed on the stage. Nothing of value came out of so many panels. Very few panels had something of value to add, and I tweeted about some of the learning that I got out of these sessions.

Poor Quality Workshops – Example of Misleading poor quality workshop – Advanced DoubleClick Marketing Session – I am a user of Google DFA in India. I attended this session in the hope that I will learn some insights on optimization of DFA campaigns. Unfortunately, this session was a disaster. It was more like a quiz where they were trying to figure out how many clients can we get at the end of the session. Pathetic and poor. No content hand-out and nothing of value shared or discussed.

Poor methodology – I used to work for a company called Naseba. Where I used to help in organizing focused events for CXO audiences in Europe, Middle East, APAC. These events were structured in a way that there was pre-qualification done based on the requirements of the people attending the events. Very structured personalized agendas were served to people attending. The sponsors used to generate high ROI while at the event as they used to close deals. However, digital events here in India are so poorly structured that the decision makers, the influences, the execution people and strategists all are sitting together getting completely confused and gaining no valuable insights. Events should be tailored in a way that it adds value from the perspective of the audience, and there should be segmentation. Unfortunately, nothing of that sorts happen and we see utter chaos.

The Good things: While I shared some of the points of extreme discontent, there were some good sessions too. In these sessions, people genuinely shared some consumer insight. Some people shared methodologies of how to approach consumer communication, experiments and deriving insights. Some of the good sessions were: Stand-up comedy in india: online viral, offline houseful!, Product MVP DesignEarned traffic and authority by Jeff BullasBuzzfeed Session, Dharavi goes social, Bollywood trolling was good entertainment.

I have attended few events outside of India, for example, I attended an A/B testing event in London by a seemingly less known site Whichtestwon.com. These guys talked about 100s of case-studies from multiple companies from many parts of the world. Such an event added a ton of information and insights about consumer behavior and the scientific method of conducting tests and learning instead of just harping about how great their agency was. They gave booklets with 100s of case-studies as the accompanying conference material instead of “sales brochures” from the sponsors. Every single time, I train my brain to overlook the past (pathetic events in India) and go for such events, all I get is disappointment.

Digital marketing is a new and upcoming field in India. It’s been around for less than 15 years in India. While people are getting excited and their career choices are getting influenced based on what they see and hear in such events, the speakers, organizers, panels and attendees have a responsibility to improve the overall outcome of such events. I hope the agencies that are going to host digital marketing events in the future, read this and spend some time in thinking before producing the digital marketing events.

Thank you for reading (if you did). I am always open to criticism and critique. Leave a comment or tweet if you disagree or have a point to add / subtract.


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