The Haja Sheriff Blog

Classic STOP Smoking Ad

Posted by in Ads


Stop Smoking Ads are so completely bland, that I don’t think there is anyone in the world who takes them seriously anymore.  And who can blame the Ad Agencies for not wanting to spend time & their creative juices trying to come up with something that needs to be unique – where the target audience just does not care!

So when I came across this Brazilian ad targeted at creating awareness in a truly unique way, I was super impressed.  Creative, catches the imagination & gets the message across in a very powerful way!

I found this very innovative and a great way of using the world as it is today (thanks-Ex-Prez Bush), that it arrests the eye and thought, and gets the message across in a simple,effective and powerful way. 

Adesf: War, 1

Now the Zillion dollar question… If you are a smoker- will it stop you?


Does your email have a life of its own? GTD Methodology to get control of your email

Posted by in Personal Effectiveness


email is the preferred mode of communication today and most of us get more to-do’s (or Go-do’s, if from the boss or bosses boss) by email than by any other mode.  With many such delegations coming our way, and with our own sets of goals, it becomes a task by itself to manage all these activities effectively –without dropping the ball. 

Getting Things Done is one pioneering effort in helping folks come to terms with how to work the email system to get a control of your life! Actually, his book is more to do with life in general, but the software version is designed for working with Outlook- which makes it a super effective way of keeping track of your actionable mails.  My good friend Ganesan gave me the first peek into a mailbox which was well and truly empty- which meant that he had taken care of all his emails – either responded or put it in a way by which he could get back to it later.  I was super impressed, and tried various ways to get to that position- but was not very successful. 

Browsing the net got me to David Allen’s book and the software (from Netcentrics), which has helped me immensely.  Reading the book first will give a lot more clarity on the working principles, that applies to one’s time management skills in general.

Here is a brief write-up of the methodology – and the links are further down (in case you decide to pick it up).

A basic premise for David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology is to define the next action that must be taken with any item (stuff) that arrives in your inbox. The action should drive whatever you are trying to accomplish to successful completion. Once you have defined the next action, you put the item into a trusted system—a system that keeps the item off your mind and allows/prompts you to access the item when you need it. At the appropriate time, you can take action on the item and get it done.


Courtesy: David Allen: Getting Things Done

So, when an item arrives in your inbox (be it physical or electronic), you must first decide if it is actionable.

If you cannot take action, you have three choices:

  1. Delete it
  2. Incubate it, saving it to act on at someday in the future (e.g., take that landscaping class) or 
  3. File it for reference in a system where you know you can easily access it whenever it may be useful

If you can take action on the item, then

-  Are there multiple steps that must be taken to achieve a successful outcome?

  • If so, define a project—the result of several individual next actions that need to happen to achieve a successful outcome—or put the item within a current project. When you go to work on that project, break the item into individual next actions that you can take. Process them as indicated for single step items below.
  • If not, process as indicated below.

Do it, if it takes less than 2 minutes. If it takes more than 2 minutes,

Delegate it. Hand it off to someone else and Create a Waiting For task that lets you know you are waiting for someone else to accomplish the task and allows you to track progress.

Defer it

  • To a specific day and time (e.g., Friday at 1 PM).
  • To a specific day (e.g., sometime on Thursday)
  • To as soon as I can get to it—add it to your next actions so when you have available time, energy, and are in the proper place, you see it as an option of something you need to work on.

For the book – and completely worth the money!


For the Software version – the Outlook add-in here is the link-

Try the trial version… you have nothing to lose.


Goals! By Keith Ferrazzi

Posted by in Goals


I can teach

anybody how to

get what they want

out of life.  The

problem is that I

can’t find anybody

who can tell me

what they want.

– Mark Twain



How true is this? This is a great article from Keith Ferrazzi’s blog and I would be doing disservice to the writer, if I used my interpretation on top of that! So here is the article verbatim.

Part I: Look inside

1. Get your mind ready for a deep self-assessment. Some people pray. Others meditate or read. Some exercise. A few seek long periods of solitude.

2. Shift your mindset. Throw away the usual constraints you put around possibility – the doubts, fears, and expectations of what you “should” be doing. You have to be able to set aside the obstacles of time, money, and obligation.  (For some thoughts on whether following your passion will lead to better financial rewards, check out this post at The Art of Nonconformity.)

3. Create a list of dreams and goals. Some will be preposterous; others overly pragmatic. Don’t edit yourself at all right now. Next to that first list, write down in a second column all the things that bring you joy and pleasure: the achievements, people, and things that move you. The clues can be found in the hobbies you pursue and the magazines, movies, and books you enjoy. Which activities excite you the most, where you don’t even notice the hours that pass?

4. Start to connect these two lists. Looki for intersections, that sense of direction or purpose. It’s a simple exercise, but the results can be profound.

Part II: Look outside

1. Call on advisors and friends.

Ask the people who know you best what they think your greatest strengths and weaknesses are. Ask them what they admire about you and what areas you may need help in.

2. Discuss your self-assessment with them. Ask them to be candid about their reactions.

3. Make decisions. Use the information from your own review and what you got back from others to establish a mission statement and plan of action. For help in setting goals, see my earlier post

Click here for the link-


Netbooks – Primer and Pricing Trends

Posted by in Netbook, Ultra Low Cost PC's

Netbooks – 18 months ago, one did not even know about this word – let alone having this as a family of laptops!  Today, this is the fastest growing market segment within the PC Industry.  Players who shunned this market, are making a beeline for this segment and get a slice of the pie – before it is too late!

Super quick primer-

Netbooks are for –

  1. users who are looking for their Nth PC  – chances are he is scouting around for a “low cost” entry Level Laptop!
  2. a user for who is looking at a PC with basic features- and a “mobile” home notebook.
  3. a user who does not want to spend another $1000 for a laptop- which gets outdated the next day!

Netbooks do not come with any fancy gadgets or tools… they are more positioned as a really “personalized” notebooks at a super affordable costs.

– Atom processors from Intel are the defacto drivers of this product.

– More than 90% of the Netbooks sold run on Windows XP – and no- I am NOT making this up.  Data (shown below for you non-believers) show that the cost of a Netbook with XP is actually cheaper than that of a Netbook with some version of Linux.  And one is not talking of the ubiquitous “Cost of Ownership” that has been killed by most companies!

Netbooks are the future of computing- and in my personal opinion (Intel and Microsoft have made this possible).  Intel with their Atom Processor that created a new market altogether (this has to rate as one of the biggest marketing case studies). Microsoft with their adaptation of the OS – which is now the default in most Netbooks.

Here is some information that I found that is pretty interesting!


DealWatch: Price trends on Netbooks –

Compare the price with the Linux devices (though the pricing is not an apple to apple- the HDD option with XP actually gives a much better customer satisfaction with storage space than that of the SSD users. (Solid State Device).


DealWatch: Price trends on Netbooks – –

Food for thought… How is it impacting some companies? Here is a nice article on what is happening to HP…an article from Bloomberg!



Gartner’s Hype Cycle of Emerging Technologies Special Reports

Posted by in Technology


Gartner’s 2009 Hype Cycle of Emerging Technologies was recently announced. 

If you were like me (or I suspect a significant majority of the folks out there in www), chances are you have not heard of this… here is a 1 paragraph primer on what this is –

Gartner introduced the idea of the Hype Cycle in 1995 as a commentary on the common pattern of human response to technology. Since then, the use of Hype Cycles has expanded both within Gartner and by its clients, as a graphical way to track multiple technologies within an IT domain or technology portfolio. Gartner’s Hype Cycle characterizes the typical progression of an emerging technology, from over enthusiasm through a period of disillusionment to an eventual understanding of the technology’s relevance and role in a market or domain. Each phase is characterized by distinct indicators of market, investment and adoption activities.

The 2009 Hype Cycle looks like this –


Figure 1Gartner’s 2009 Hype Cycle Special Report Evaluates Maturity of 1,650 Technologies –

Some interesting thoughts that occurred to me while reading this (and going through the past views)-

  1. I think this is a great way of keeping track of what happens in the technology world. It also gives individuals (it is without a doubt super useful to tech companies & their customers), an idea of the things happening in the technology world- and possible ideas on what to expect, what to focus on, and where to move (from an employment point of view)
  2. The assumption that every new technology will follow the steps – (Technology trigger > Peak of inflated expectations > Trough of disillusionment > Slope of enlightenment > Plateau of Productivity ), in my opinion is flawed.   There are products that go through the Technology Trigger, Peak & move directly to a Plateau of productivity- example Solid state devices (which was in a downward slope from the peak (which I find it difficult to believe) – which has now moved directly to a Plateau of productivity (or possibly a Slope of enlightenment). Similarly, Smartphones. 
  3. Then there are products that literally drop off through the Trough of disillusionment.  (Example- Virtual assistants).  Not all technologies that start off the blocks live through the cycles.
  4. There are Stars and then there are Followers – Some of them bigger ideas need to be followed more closely than the majority of the ideas. 
  5. Confusing a Company for a Technology- Microblogging for example is seen as Twitter. But there are other microblogging sites coming up- which could lead the revolution.  And Twitter’s success (or failure) need not be the Technologies success or failure.

Nett of it, this is a great view to the users.  However, keep your ideas at a higher level & use your judgment on some of these views. Not flawed, I know the level of study that Gartner does, but still always to be on the side of doing some ground work as well.

Here are the other views that could be useful to put this story together. I pulled together a couple of the earlier versions of the Hype Cycle – and below are 2 years – 2008 (Figure 2)  and 2006 (Figure 3).  That may help you piece together your own thoughts as well.


Figure 2 – 2008 Hype Cycle – Where Are We In The Hype Cycle?


Figure 3 – The Gartner Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle 2006 –

In case you are wondering, figure 3 is not deliberately out of focus…. 😉

Happy Hyping 🙂