How can Apple Passbook Coupons be a big boon to small business

Apple Passbook is a feature released as part of iOS 6. Passbook act as a kind of digital wallet that helps in storing tickets, movie passes, loyalty cards and coupons into a single app. Every pass stored in the Passbook can have information about validity date , location etc so that once you are at a specific location , the pass will load automatically. A simple how to video on passbook will get you a clear idea about what passbook can do.

Source:TechCrunch

Passbook Coupons can be a big boon to small business. General myth is that to add a passbook coupon , you need an app. But it is very easy to add a passbook coupon and there are passbook coupon startups offering few options that can help small business expand their business easily .

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Welcoming Open Data Movement to India

Count the number of times you may have  heard or read about the Indian Government working towards e-governance with a focus on transparency. Although few areas of government offices have been enabled with IT systems for faster and quicker operations like Passport Offices , Income tax Computation(CPC) etc , most of the government  offices do not do anything other than merely uploading some data in their respective web sites in the name of transparency. The data uploaded is  one time event and is not even reflecting the most recent information.

Emergence of RTI – Right to Information Act 

As Govt. has kept transparency and e Governance on the backseat, the emergence of law like RTI is getting more and more relevant .

 RTI is the only option left to common citizens or media watch dogs to petition for info on various government offices  and seek understanding on how tax payers’ money is being spent.

There are  some good RTI based journalism in the recent past  that has brought key issues out in the open that paved way for debate on the efficiency, transparency and corruption in various government offices.Though RTI is a great weapon for bringing some form of accountability , government officers have  been cribbing about the time spent by officials in collecting data for RTI petitions. The more time an office spends on collecting data, it is obvious that the data is not properly recorded or maintained to be served to RTI petitioner’s in easily consumable form.

Source:Ghana News Agency

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Recent Trends in Publishing Industry

Of late, you might have read news about a lot of book stores closing down through out the world and in India as well. Thanks to cut throat competition from e-commerce bell weather Amazon and local poster boy Flipkart, the price of books have spiralled down that made book stores business non-viable.

But it does not  stop here. It is not that Amazon is giving competition to just book stores by offering books delivered home at cheap prices, but publishers as well. Majors publications are really facing yet another challenge from Amazon in the form of e-book. Gone are the days when publisher’s used to price their products. Amazon has shaken the whole publishing industry with pricing even best sellers at cheaper prices that the sale of paper backs has slowed down substantially over the last few years.

Source:Leeds UK

Amazon’s Kindle, the e-book reader is a break through innovation that brought all the book stores that sold books literally on to their knees. Kindle offered readers with various features and flexibility of carrying a mini library all the time helping a lot of people to choose e-books.Amazon is growing at a neck-break speed offering a lot of options like lending your e-books and enabling people to read book from any platform be it Kindle or Apple or Google based tablets or mobiles.

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Future of Call Taxi Industry in India

Ever hired a Call Taxi in India ? It is a pretty strange situation. 50-60% of the time , bookings made for Call Taxi will arrive on time or even few minutes before and  on that particular day , you may not have any time bound commitment .You begin to build a trust with the services offered.

Source:UdaipurTimes

‘Will be there in few mins’  false promises 

So next time ,you book the same taxi service for a time bound appointment like catching train or attending a function. The panic attack will slowly build its momentum when you  do not get any call from cab driver  even 10 mins before  your requested departure time.

When you reach the call center to get an explanation ,you will have to run through  the whole details once again – your pick up point ,destination etc and they promise to call back soon. At this point they do not give you the taxi details or driver’s number .This is when you can smell some thing is fishy. But still over the trust you built with the service during your past , you hope the taxi will reach on time.

But still  there is no taxi coming to you . Worse is that there is no update from the call center. You will have call up once again and they give you the template response :  ‘Taxi is coming on the way’.

15 mins later , still there is no sign of taxi.

25 mins later , you get a call from the cab driver asking for landmarks and other details on how to reach your pick up point. But irony is that  the driver would be quite far from your pick up point that it would take even more time for him to reach your pick up point  and then drop you at destination.

Source :MyBankTracker

And in most scenarios , you need to plan alternate options or be prepared to wait for the taxi and miss your train .

So this is the problem with many of the call taxi service in India – they screw up when you are depending on them the most . Try to provide your feedback on the bad taxi experience , nobody  gives  a damn about it .

Irony is that , next time when you book a taxi , you book it some 15-20 mins before the time you actually wanted to leave. And on that particular day , the taxi will reach 20 mins well in advance there by leading to a situation where in you reach a party that is scheduled for 7 by 6:30 itself.

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The iPhone5 Disappointment Hypothesis

The Apple Keynote yesterday was like watching a movie knowing the story and screenplay, for there was little surprise to enjoy when every bit of information was already leaked in some form or the other.As soon the new iPhone was introduced ,some section of the  people primarily tech enthusiasts, journalists, bloggers were  disappointed with the new iPhone 5 . I was a little underwhelmed and hence pondered to understand the reason behind.

But as I started thinking , I could not come to terms with what would have amused me – I was not sure what I wanted in a new iPhone that would make me say WOW. You have to remember history repeats itself but not every year. Google has been there for quite some time. They amazed us with their search, maps and after that a period of lull. Again they surprised everybody with Google Glass and Google Car after quite a few years .I’m not mentioning Android for obvious reasons. It was not path breaking. It carried the torch that Apple started . Now I’m not sure how soon I would be  wowed by Google.

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Understanding the Technology Hype Cycle

There are situations in your work life where  you are in a meeting – your boss will always talk  about cutting edge technologies and throw in few technology jargons like Cloud Computing , Social Media etc and will  stress about how the company need to build competency in areas surrounding that.

But the question is how does your boss get to know abt these upcoming trends and start pushing the organisation in a direction so as to plan and leverage these technology in business ?

That is where companies like Gartner come into picture with their technology and consulting skills. Gartner’s Hype Cycle is basically an analysis and detailed study of how new technologies are emerging – its evolution,how it gains acceptance from early adopters,progress through various ups and down before gaining mass adoption and be accepted widely .

A simple graph explaining how this Hype Cycle works

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