My Parchment

"The secret of success is to know something nobody else knows." - Aristotle Onassis (1906-1975)

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Apple iPhone product launch hype: Breaks escape velocity!

Gadget enthusiasts or pure joblessness? People actually lined up on Monday morning outside 5th Avenue Apple store in NY for Apple’s iPhone launch on June 29th! Its unbelievable, see link below:

Apple & AT&T released service plans which seem very nominal starting at $59.99 with 200 SMS text messages for every plan. The iPhone is priced at $499.00 for the 4Gb model & $599.00 for the 8Gb model.









Data/Visual Mail/Rollover minutes/Unlimited Mobile to Mobile




Night/weekend minutes




Meanwhile a battle within myself continues,

My inner skeptic, he tries to be pragmatic!

  1. How easy is it going to be to make quick calls?
  2. While I like the idea of a do-it-all gadget, they have let me down in the past.
  3. Non replaceable battery: not a big issue, but nevertheless is one
  4. If you want to watch movies and store songs, 8GB is minimal
  5. It’s on EDGE & not even 3G
  6. Bound to AT&T for 2 more years!
  7. Too expensive! Wait & watch..

The gizmo in me, on the other hand..

  1. A dream gadget you’ve always wanted.
  2. Sleek full screen with no keypad!
  3. Unlimited music & movies through iTunes
  4. Rich & pure internet on your palm
  5. Visual voice mail
  6. That’s extreme value packed in flawless design. Don’t just be a spectator, be an early adopter!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Steve Jobs & Apple in Mutual Existence, Now presenting – iPhone!

He (Steve) draws a $1 salary, assumes a stake in the profits/performance, and provides leadership, direction and strategy to it (Apple, Inc.). It (Apple, Inc.) designs, manufactures the products, has a great history, strong management, an ardent fan following, generates profits and supplies it to him (Steve) & us. Let this mutual existence flourish for the well being of investors and propagate larger leaps in technology.

Lights on. Curtains up!

Now presenting - iPhone, a revolutionary product, designed, manufactured and marketed by Apple, Inc. The iPhone mania has touched disproportionate heights in the last few months. This is probably the most awaited and hyped product release in decades which has added so much brand equity to a product that is yet to be released! iPhone is the latest addition to Apple’s product portfolio, a sleek touch-screen smart phone that can function as an ipod, internet in the pal and other exciting services as well. The news of the iPhone has allowed Apple stocks to touch new peaks with Apple reaching a new landmark – a market cap of $100 billion. Meanwhile, entering into a billion dollar crowded market where many mammoths have established their base, Apple is venturing into unexplored territory.

Not so long ago, Apple changed its name from Apple Computer, Inc. to Apple, Inc. It was a suggestive shift from being just a computer maker to a broader consumer product maker. Apple will now operate 3 major business units – The Macintosh, ipod’s & iPhone that will generate billions in revenues for the Cupertino, California based firm. The iPhone is shrouded in extreme secrecy just like any other new Apple product, a corporate policy and means of unleashing positive anticipation in the market in a timely manner to inflate the value & demand as well as the buzz-level. Apple’s marketing strategy is sound and very different from its industry counterparts. Apple recently made a press release, that the iPhone would have a longer battery life and sport a scratch resistant glass screen instead of a plastic screen which was announced earlier resulting in a 3.81% increase in the share price. Yet another effective publicity gimmick from apple’s ingenious marketing playbook. Even the industry leaders including Nokia, Motorola and Ericsson are putting together their R&D to full motion to counteract the possible shockwave this product may cause to their businesses.

But the question still remains; will iPhone deliver the goods to the consumer? Will the patented multi-touch technology be user-friendly and react well to the finger movements? Will this cause a bleedover (or product cannibalization in marketing terms) & cut into ipod sales? Will Apple be able to bulldoze into this industry or more modestly establish its niche, opening the door to Apple’s entry into consumer electronics?

My personal opinion is that, truly basing valuation of Apple, on the iPhone is not wise even considering huge value addition. Apple’s intrinsic value is based on many other factors including the highly anticipated next generation full screen ipod lines, OS Leopard, ultra-thin flash based laptops and excellent earnings. Any guesses on Apple’s future products?

Analysts, consumers and investors eagerly await the release of iPhone on June 29th, available only at AT&T & Apple stores. So keep your calendars marked to see what the product really is all about. After all seeing is believing & sales leads to profitability!

*Wild predictions during launch*

  • Nintendo in partnership with Apple to run games on the iPhone using a digital pad
  • Several Google Apps to be incorporated into the iPhone
  • iPhone Memory upgrades
  • iPhone Price reductions
  • Cool iPhone skins (different colors?)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Apple Macworld Expo - Today (1/9/07)

All you Macheads, await Mac's biggest event - The Apple Macworld Expo

Keynote Address: CEO, Steve Jobs
Venue: San Fransisco
Time: 9:00 -11:00 am
Key Product predictions: iTv release (wireless interface between computer & TV); iPhone (they call it the 'vaporware'!)

More information.. coming soon!


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Movie Reviews that help you decide..
Visit. Read. Watch. Comment. Spread.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Search Engine Marketing -- | Branding + ROI |

This will be one of several blogs that furnishes details & updates of a particularly niche marketing industry that is growing at a rapid pace. It is called Search Engine Marketing popularly abbreviated as SEM is something that I have been very closely associated with lately.

SEM: Is the process of increasing the visibility of websites on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs: results that you see after you search using Google, Yahoo, MSN or Ask). Google returns 100's of pages for every search. Now if I had a website and my link appeared in the 54th page for instance there is a very slim chance that a consumer is going to wade through 53 pages to get to my link. Thus improving rankings on the page is crucial to gain visibility and hence leads. This marketing technique involves 3 different practices:

1. SEO (
Search Engine Optimization): The process of optimizing content, source code, architecture, keyword density, linking structure and positioning within a website to optimize rankings (popularly known as ORGANIC or NATURAL results) on Search Engine Result Pages.

2. Paid Advertising:
A means of getting sponsored listings on SERPs by buying 'keywords' (the text that you enter in the search space in Google to search for something). For example Google provides a service called 'Adwords' to manage campaigns. So lets say company 'XYZ Inc.' is a steel manufacturer. XYZ Inc. then buys/bids for Keywords (on Google Adwords) that they think is relevant and popularly searched pertaining to their busines like 'Steel Manufacturer in US', 'Popular steel companies', steel makers and so on. There could be 1000 variations. So XYZ buys/bids on all these keywords that serve their ads on the pages. The ranking of ads in the sponsored lists again depends on a particular quality score (discussed in forthcoming blogs) and maximum bid amounts. Now there are again 3 types of Paid advertising methods.
    • PPC (Paid Per Click): The advertiser/marketer pays search engines the maximum bid amount only when the consumer clicks on the ad
    • CPM (Cost Per Mill): The advertiser/marketer pays an amount to the engines when the ad receives 1000 clicks
    • CPA(Cost Per Acquisition): The advertiser/marketer pays search engines when the consumer fills out an application or completes a questionnaire or the likes. The price varies accordingly.
3. Paid Inclusion: This method guarantees inclusion in listings but is expensive and may not be efficient but is a quick fix.


Services: Google - Adwords | Yahoo - Overture | MSN - Adcenter

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Interesting article on Web Content

I read this very interesting article on web content and where the business model heading. With Wiki and the likes growing in number and content, there is'nt much influx for organizations that are solely based on selling information. This article talks about the shift, from selling content to authenticating the content which can add value to the consumer.

The link is: &


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Wikipedia: What links here, links there.

Let me take some blog space to give kudos to Wikipedia, the largest free source of information on the web. It is unbelievable to see how Wiki (as it is popularly known) has mushroomed into such a huge information warehouse. The farthest of topics seem to have been covered on Wiki, that's what surprises me. I am totally hooked to Wiki if I need some information. You can edit, add content, and everything is linked! Hats of Wiki, cause I can see it "Open Source" is finding its way into this world.

Some famed knowledge banks:

(1) Wikipedia,
(2) How Stuff Works,
(3) W3Schools,
(4) OCW (Open Course Ware), MIT, (class lecture videos, notes, assignments,etc. I also followed classes on General Relativity & Managerial Accounting!)
(5) Slashdot,

Of course there is always a concern about the authenticity of information on Wiki, but hey! you aren't going to write a technical paper with wiki as a reference, You are just acquiring knowledge free of cost.


Ford Motor Company : Under Siege

It seems like the automotive sector is taking a huge hit or let me rephrase american auto manufacturers are in deep distress. The leaders of this miserable run, as you must have already guessed - GM & Ford. Both giants are undergoing some radical restructuring to get out of their slump. The question is will that cut the chase against the very successful Japanese & German counterparts? Or do they need to go all out and beyond to quell investor fears?

Competition in this industry has always been stiff. If you are not cutting costs by capitalizing on economies of scale you need to rethink operational strategies. Toyota has become massive and is growing comfortably on this front. Their cost leadership is working very fine and revenues from sales are showing huge spikes. On the other hemisphere BMW is raking good profits with its excellent branding and product differentiation strategy. They also seem to be finding innovative ways of doing this by being both effective and efficient. Either way, both are leaders in their segment.

But Ford is the one that is seeking guidance under the mentorship of Alan Mulally from Boeing. Billions to be invested in layoffs, buyouts, buybacks, restructuring, re-engineering (BPRs) are on the cards for Ford. Like 'The McKinsey Way' describes, identifying mutually exclusive key issues to a problem and deriving a rigid hypothesis is crucial. One hypothesis might be 'Giving Ford a corporate Image makeover' or 'Repositioning Ford cars'. In the last few years the industry has seen a major shift of focus. There are more and more organizations/auto manufacturers investing on fuel efficiency, economy, reliability and environmental causes. Billions of $'s are being flushed into R&D towards this cause! At this hour, is Ford lagging on those fronts still struggling with its "high durable, rugged, pick-up truck image" when small, economy, efficiency and environment friendly is in.

Will the new Chief, Alan Mulally help pull Ford out of its slump? Personally this would be an excellent strategy management case study for a B-school!


Not until recently did I know that Ford owned volvo cars. Read more on