THE NEW GLOBAL WE.

Problems of Over-exposure

Posted in Big Thought, People by Harsha on March 14, 2009

Popularly delusional media hound, Ms. Ann Coulter is apparently losing the battle with her own hitherto success. Oops, America is starting to get it right! For a media-savvy, politically incorrect and almost-a-million-copies published, Ann is quite the bookworm!

Over exposure. Something none of us are worried about in today’s day and age.

When do you become too public for your own good?

When will Facebook’s 175 million users implode on each other because they are so tired of being so wired all the time? ESPECIALLY the gen-x segment!

With the risk of over-exposure comes the need to constantly give reason to remain in the spotlight. Even bloggers feel the pressure, hence the countless coaches and teachers on writing better blogs. Write more, say more, see more, do more.

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Bank of America Customer Service Issue – Update

Posted in Big Thought, Business, New, People, Reviews by Harsha on September 4, 2008

Someone has been listening at the Bank of America corporation.

Last night, I got a call from Tara ***** (last name blanked out to protect identity), from the Executive Relations and Office of the Chairman. She read my blog after receiving the email from the PR/Communications team and called me to profusely apologize for the issue. She said that the 0% APR reinstatement and the $39 fee are unrelated, i.e., just because the 0% was reinstated, it doesn’t mean that the $39 fee cannot be refunded. She also said that the representatives (the one that threw me off the line and the other who would only give me 1/2 fee off because he was not “authorized” to refund the whole fee) AND the manager who never called me back, will be coached. Apparently, representatives are permitted to refund this fee.

Not only did Bank of America refund the other half of the fee, but it also has extended a $50 Amazon gift card as an apology for the inconvenience. Of course, Tara also made sure that I understood that I will need to make payments after the 22nd, which believe me, I will not forget! And if I do forget and end up committing the same mistake, then shame on me.

Here are some take-aways from this situation and I think it applies to both small and large businesses:

1. People generally at the top (either as pure managers or as owner/managers) care about what others say.

2. Everything is radically transparent: Information on LinkedIn helped me contact Bank’s Communications team

3. Don’t be a brat when trying to solve a problem – remember the person at the other end is just like you.

4. The web is POWERFUL!

I say the take-aways are similar for large and small companies because I faced a similar situation a month ago. A client of my employer’s wanted us to make good on a consulting engagement that was not completed as promised. While they had approved the work after it was done, they soon realized that it was actually incomplete. Now, I could have hemmed and hawed like a colleague of mine did when she heard this news, but my focus was crystal clear – we have to do what it takes to satisfy this client because it is about the overall relationship. It is never about this one transaction so while in the short run we lost some money, in the mid to long term, we have generated extremely positive brand recognition.

So, thank you Tara for the pleasant call last night and acknowledging that there was no logic behind what transpired. You are the right person to call in such situations because you could have been nonchalant about it, but you were not. You said the right things and hopefully learned a little from this situation as well. Please feel free to send in a comment on the issue.

A hearty thank you for everyone who commented on the previous posts – I believe in the power of us.

The Power of Blogging

Posted in Business, People by Harsha on August 29, 2008

I am touched by all the supportive comments and the email messages I have received from all of you. You can’t buy this type of unity with all the money in the world and it speaks directly to the power of blogging in connecting us all.

Thank you!

Why Blogging Is Tough

Posted in Pulpit by Harsha on December 4, 2007

Not all of us are writers. Some of us can’t even construct a sentence in order. Then there is the question of battling with the WordPress or Typepad dashboards in order to get your blog up. True, it is easier than before (after all, blogs are a combination of a hosting company, that provides you a template for a website that you can update, right?). But it primarily sucks because of a little thing known as “writers bloc”. Heck, I face it on a regular basis. Then life gets in the way. Time flies and before you know it, a month has gone by without any posts.

There are plenty of stats out there about the number of new blogs, the frequency of posting and the frequency with which blogs die. And most of us are not writers. If you ask any author, newspaper writer or poet, I think their response to why blogging sucks would be that sitting down and penning thoughts on paper takes more energy than rock climbing (metaphorically speaking). It ain’t easy. It is much easier to read and even that is not a major pastime in America.

My “blog buddy” Pete Caputa writes that he “found success by splitting my ‘blogging’ time into 3 activities: 1) 1/3rd reading other people’s blogs, 1/3 commenting on other’s blogs and 1/3rd writing”. I definitely agree with him because it these are the building blocks of developing your thoughts in a cohesive manner, keeping track of things that are important to you and penning your thoughts in an educated manner.

But again, blogging sucks because you have to sit down and write. If only you could discuss your thoughts with your “personal writer” and have him/her write for you!

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RSS, Blogs, aargh!

Posted in New by Harsha on November 6, 2007

I recently whittled down my RSS list from something like 20-23 subscriptions down to 6.

Fresh Tilled Ideas (Richard Banfield’s company and blog)

Life Beyond Code (Rajesh Setty’s book and blog)

OnStartups (Dharmesh Shah’s blog)

PC4Media.com (Pete Caputa IV of WhizSpark.com)

TechCrunch (no brainer)

The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch

That is it. I like the first two because they belong to two people I know and really like. I don’t know anything about Dharmesh Shah other than the fact that he is Cambridge, MA based and runs HubSpot.com. But I’ve heard good things and some of his posts have given me ideas to write. PC4Media is run by Pete Caputa IV, someone I’ve seen from a distance, think is smart, but wonder how he is going to scale his company into the millions he probably dreamed of … TechCrunch is good to keep tabs on Silicon Valley. And I love Donny because he is such an upbeat positive guy, naive in his notion that money is the only motivator for entrepreneurs, but mostly lovable. I really really like the guy.

It got really crazy, there is TOO much being said out there. So I really don’t know what to make of it when people say that it is hard to get folks to write. I’m barely able to keep up with 0.0000000000001% of what is being said out there, so I think it will get more crazy if more of us start blogging. Sometimes, it is good to take a step back and just listen.

I wonder what is in your RSS Reader? …