Dec 30, 2008

Why, I don't like to go back to Kardan?

It's been three days, I do not attend Kardan classes anymore. It's clear, because I want to move to AUAf. But why? This piece by Seth could be an answer, in some way.

Dec 29, 2008

Changing frequently or sticking to one organization?

Willing or planning to apply to any world-top MBA program, you've got to meet some requirements to being admitted in such business schools. Meaning, you must start from now; for example, for myself, which currently attending courses, in the second year of the BBA.

One of these requirements is job experience, which different b-schools have a need of typically five years experiences, very much preferably in the field of administration.

But, a question, has been a few weeks with me:
Which one is more desirable?
  • Having variety of job experiences i.e. having been worked in different positions and in different organizations; or,
  • Sticking to one organization and passing a long time on it.
assuming, in both, conditions are the same, regarding salary, job environment, promotion, etc.
The same way, I raised the question on B-School Forum. Up to now, it got one response (thanks to tomino), as follows (any update would be possible):
Soroush, I'd probably prefer sticking to one (or two) organization(s) for a while, instead of changing jobs too frequently. If you have 4 different jobs in 4 years it could indicate that you can't adapt to any environment and are a difficult person who doesn't really know what he/she wants.

To see the complete discussion, click here.

Update (Thanks to deldotto):
It's best to have as few company shifts as possible, and show continued growth (i.e. promotion/raise). If you switch companies, make sure you have a good reason, such as accelerated promotion/title/pay, or something like your company had a major layoff. Switching just to switch with no sound basis will only work against you. Migrating positions (work type) probably won't really work out all too well, as B Schools are looking for people with a vision. If the work shifts help you reach your goal/vision, it's great, but if t hey don' might be a tough explanation.

As for years of experience, 2+ is likely preferred. This is the basis of Harvard's 2+2 program...they basically say you can apply while in undergrad, but they expect you to go work for 2 years before you start the MBA program. Moreover, Harvard is the program that is currently leading the push towards younger applicants, so clearly they see some value in experience.


Dec 28, 2008

First meet with AUAf

I just went to the AUAf. They said I've got to pass TOEFL with minimum 500 scores, and also, I have to pass a 12-credit semester in there. If my results are satisfactory, I am going to be allowed to transfer my credits from Kardan, otherwise, I have to start from the beginning.

Even in that case, I would not give up. I am pretty sure, I am not going back to Kardan, again.

Do you prefere competing or being protected against that?

Is it really good to have a safe haven for your business with no person competing with you? Seth says, NO:
You can pretend that you are unique, that you have no competition and never will. Inevitably, this will create an attitude that, while fun for a while, will probably harm you later.
OK, THIS is certainly, like it or not, a reality, that you have to compete. So, is competition, in essence, a good thing, if you have the option not to choose that?

Read In search of competition, by Seth Godin.

Getting beaten only for a pair of gloves?!

Last Sunday, I bought a pair of gloves from Roshan plaza. But the gloves got torn off after just two days. I am a student, and I had planned to wear them for very many years! But however, just a two days was not fair.

Anyway, I returned to that shop to change those gloves. The shopkeeper accepted to get them back and change them with other ones. But I wondered the new ones' life was only two hours! Comparing with the previous ones, better I'd not have changed them!

I, again, turned them back to the shop, this time certainly for a refund. The shopkeeper refused to refund and paying back my money. We were almost starting fighting that I gave up and said, "OK, accept the money and the gloves both as a Christmas gift"! And, went away. What could I do more?!

You know, it's good to fight to get your right, but at that time, I felt I would being behaved discourteously more, if I continue that.

All the thing, I was thinking about, during those arguments between me and the shopkeeper, was all things I was being said and taught in my Sales management and Marketing courses. Alas! I forgot about my money, but what about the shop and its reputation, if any?

Dec 27, 2008

Wait until tomorrow

Back to work, and damn feeling not so enthusiastic about things around! But why?

Last Thursday, I went to a friend of mine who is in AUAF, to talk about my possible opportunity to be admitted in there. He made me very much hopeful about that. He said, I would better go personally and ask the admission office, but he said, I have a chance to transfer my credits, and also, as far as I counted roughly, I don't have to pay so much, as tuition fees and like that.

Today is off, tomorrow, I am going to AUAF. You keep stand by. Let's see what will happen...

Dec 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Not so much to say, just Merry Christmas, and very much happy holidays with your families and friends.

I have come to work, today, in a holiday. Everything is damn shut down!

Also, last night, I thought, I'd better to move to the AUAF, as I already said, but the time is so tough, and financial issues, too. In addition, I've got to pass a few tests and exams, I don't hope, it'll be a good time for them.

Another question is whether or not I'd better finish this semester. I am even not sure the AUAF would accept the transfer or not.

OK, let's see what's coming.

Dec 23, 2008

Social networking--living in a virtual world

TechCrunch yesterday, Monday Dec. 22, published a post on I’m Sorry Robert, But It’s Time For A Friendfeed Intervention, by Micheal Arrington which brings an attention, again (by Robin Wauters), on "addiction" to some social networking Web sites such as, Twitter and FriendFeed. And, this time the subject is Robert Scoble, the author of the Famous Web log, Robert, himself, has responded to the post by another post in his scobleizer, which both are worthy to review, particularly, if you are too, a networking addict!

I, myself, a couple of months ago, was spending 5 hours on FriendFeed, on average, a day. Now, I am not. At that time, I was passing a depression period, which somehow I was being relieved by spending time on FriendFeed and chatting with other guys, on there. I don't know, I am not a psychologist or something, but it, itself, could have been the cause to getting into depression in my case. I am saying this, because, last night I, also, read a post on What Online Community? by Keith Whitworth, on Business Week. It pays attention to reactive behaviors in teenagers' "lives of the so-called Millennials, who were born between 1982 and 2003 and grew up on the Web and mobile technology".

Definitely, social networking has brought us very many facilities, no need to mention again, but, what about these all negative reactions caused by living in a virtual environment such as the Internet?

Virul Marketing--something I need

I knew it has been so unprofessional, but I have been keeping doing that! I don't know, myself, why! I am talking about marketing for TUC. It's really strange--at least for myself. Since, I am a business student, why haven't I been looking for a better way to market for my Web log? Couldn't be there any other possible method of marketing?

What have I done, then?--the way I have chosen yet to market my Web log has been sending an email manually to each and every other students at Kardan Institute of Higher Education, to inform them that, yeah, I am updated! Don't you think it is the most unprofessional, inappropriate, stupid, selfish way of marketing? So what about all those things I have learned there, at my marketing courses?

How have I now gotten to the point?--today, while scrolling on G.R., I reached to, again,, which has gotten to the list of my favorite Web logs, since only less than a week. Seth Monday Dec. 22, has published a piece on What is viral marketing? Shortly explaining two kinds of "Viral Marketing" as:
The original classic sort in which the marketing is the product and which a self-amplifying cycle occurs. Hotmail, for example, or YouTube. The more people use them, the more people see them. The more people see them, the more people use them...

A second kind has evolved over the last few years, and that's a marketing campaign that spreads but isn't the product itself. Shepard Fairey's poster of Barack Obama was everywhere, because people chose to spread it...

He also has provided a link to his book on Unleashing the Ideavirus, which "the book itself is an example of viral marketing", as:

  1. I posted the PDF for free. Three thousand people downloaded it on day one.
  2. The file is small enough to email to your friends. I encouraged people to do just that.
  3. Some people mailed it to fifty or a hundred people. It spread.
  4. ...
This is really how a person, a genius one, markets himself without even you know it or feel it! Actually even now, I have marketed his product here. So no need to add that, I recommend you very highly this post to have a look, and also download the book.

P.S.: I must find a way (like the one) to market TUC. Anyone having an idea?

Dec 22, 2008

Etisalat's CRBT-- getting shocked while making phone call

From the very beginning of the Afghanistan Interim Government, one of the flourishing industry in the country has been the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) technology, since after a few decades of war in Afghanistan, there was no possibility to establish other means of telecommunication, regarding infrastructures and so on.

Etisalat Afghanistan, a U.A.E.-based telecommunication corporation, is one of these providers of GSM technology. In May 2006, it signed an agreement with Afghan authorities in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. to operate a GSM network across Afghanistan and become the fourth GSM operator in the country. The company is completely owned by Etisalat U.A.E. and it's the "sixth largest company in the Middle East".

One of the services the company provides, in Afghanistan, is CRBT, or Coloring Ring Back Tone, which provides "your caller with your favorite songs, before you pick up the phone [...] instead of the dial tone".

To activate the service, one having the Etisalat SIM card must subscribe to the service which it charges 100.00 afs. The other charges for the maintaining the service include Rental Charges and Usage Charges, for selection or changing the ring tone, you would like your caller to have a good moment with while calling you by listening that.

The problem exactly is hear. Imagine the case when somebody, for instance, an important person, was calling you, what would he/she be thinking about you, then?! That's good, to some extend, using it among your friends, but I don't think it could be so appropriate for official use-- the CRBT and the Etisalat SIM card then. OK, this is definitely MY taste, as a potential customer for Etisalat. What do you think?

Being funny (!), it could have another use: using it to shock your callers!

Dec 21, 2008

And Steve--this is the third

This is the third (as far as I have been keeping the track of those I love) who leaves the Silicon Valley--Steve Jobs. This was the first and this one the second. Of course not yet, maybe soon. We heard some rumors regarding his heart attack, though it was rejected. But something's clear. He will leave.

Probably, you have ever touched one of the Apple products; whether it is iPod, iPhone, or iMac; and you certainly have felt how wonderful it is to hold in your hands and work with that. That's the miracle of a company once Steve Jobs brought into this world.

Steve Jobs, "the most powerful person in the business", founded Apple in April 1976, a company which is the 1st in the "Top 20 Most Admired Companies". The products Apple have designed and produced ever are:
  • Apple TV
  • MobileMe
  • OS X
  • iPhone
  • iPhone 3G
  • iPhone App Store
  • iPod + iTunes
Steve leaves Apple very soon, but, what about Apple itself. Is it going to fall down? If Steve leave the company, does it mean we won't have anymore the opportunity to have such wonderful products as iPhone or iPod?

Kevin Kelleher have published a piece on GigaOm as, Apple Will Be Just Fine Without Steve Jobs. He says,
I’m one of those in the lonely camp that doesn’t believe Jobs is Apple and Apple is Jobs. Or that when he disengages from Apple the wheels must necessarily fall off.
Undoubtedly, we love Steve, but love more Apple. And, we don't want Apple to be shut down, after Steve; something, I suppose, Steve does not want it, neither.

Dec 20, 2008

Want to join us in BW B-School Forum?

Just a minutes ago, I added a feature on my sidebar titled "BW Business School Q&A" (just under "Twitter Updates") which includes questions on everything regarding getting MBA. It's a community in Business Week called B-School Forum, among MBA students and other professional people with useful ideas and advices, to which you can join and post your own questions and get answers for them.

I think it'll be very much useful, especially for us to get better familiarized with the field we are supposed to study further, and find a clearer concept about it, to choose a better way.

Move to AUAF or what?

I am really chill, at the same time, I have a huge energy these days, to read, to study, to learn, to participate in courses, meetings, seminars, totally to activize myself, as much as facilities allow; and even not allow! But, when I take a look at all things all around, I found almost nothing to get myself enthusiastic about. Kardan which is almost idle and even I don't know what we have these days in our schedule, is completely disappointing.

There has been a few days I have a plan to move to American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) which I belive, as far as I know about, is much more active and disciplined than here--both the University and the students. I am not willing to humiliate anybody in here, but THIS is a fact.

Dec 18, 2008

Creative Advertisement--something all we need

Oh, please God, what if could someday, Afghan marketers reach such an insight!
Traditional advertising is inherently selfish. It interrupts in order to generate money (part of which pays for more interruptions). That approach doesn't work at a cocktail party, or at a funeral or in a social network.
Read it all in here.

Criticize me as much as you can

A few days ago, I wrote a short piece on Roshan's newly-launched M-paisa, in which, I had criticized the TV ad of the service, containing a negative promotion about education. It was, about the same, followed up by no considerable reflections from my fellows. OK, I am not criticizing anybody, since, my blogs could be very unprofessionally and unskillfully written, and so, they may not be so good to gain so much attraction. But anyway, I am a student, and I am not supposed to do so much at this time. One of the reason I am blogging here, is the exercise of writing, and as a business student, getting deep into the business events, all in order to be remained updated. Also, I am sincerely inviting, as I have been always doing (here, here, here, here, and here), all my fellows to take part, by either commenting on my blogs or publishing themselves, to promote their knowledge.

However, one of my dear friends responded to the aforementioned post and said that how much I am criticizing "which is easy". First of all, I appreciate my friend for his kind attention to my blog, and secondly, I must say that (as I said before) being critical about things is neither an easy task, nor something worthless. In order to be critical about things, we first of all should open our minds as much as possible, to see things better, or better to say, not to prejudice things. And, this openness itself is not an easy thing. I, myself, try as much as possible to reach that openness.

Being critical, though it seems these days something worthless, especially because of some the TV shows, is not so. Even, I consider those very unprofessional TV shows, useful, to some extend; arising such an imagination. They, however, put assumptions, analyses, opinions, etc. forward to have the issues opened for all. But there is still the opportunity to have a better critical view on them.

This is all we need: to criticize, to criticize, and to criticize. And, never let anybody get asleep and be always an "alarm-bell" for them.

Dec 17, 2008

Have you ever seen Google advertising?!

I was just reading a post by Jeff Jervis in the famous blog, BuzzMachine, titled Try life without Google, France. It was a nice post; though I missed that all! Why? Because, while reading the post, there was a paragraph as,
This anti-Google attitude comes from an apparent sense of entitlement that we see clearly in France but also elsewhere: Google owes us. We are losing money from advertising and Google is making money from advertising...
And, though, I read completely the post, but I was thinking entirely that why doesn't Google advertise for itself? I have never thought about it before, all businesses throughout the world, do advertise for their products, but not Google, or actually, I have never seen an advertisement, for example for Gmail, GoogleMap, GoogleDoc, YouTube, Blogger, etc. But why?

TechCrunch--a leading role in the new generation of mass-media technology

Technology Web logs, just as the technology itself, are very much rapid in posting news, analyses, and opinions on launches of latest technologies, developments, events, start-ups, etc. The authors of these Web logs are completely professional and earn money through advertisement being placed on their Web logs. Some of these Web logs are managed internationally and updated from all over the world. They have to be stand-by and sharp enough their e-nose and e-ears, almost 24-hourly, to capture the news, before other bloggers exceed. Some of these bloggers "complain of weight loss or gain, sleep disorders, exhaustion and other maladies born of the nonstop strain of producing for a news and information cycle that is as always-on as the Internet". This issue even causes some arguments about the potential deaths in this new profession.

One of these Web logs is TechCrunch which is managed and updated by several authors internationally. TechCrunch has been founded on June 11, 2005 by Micheal Arrington. It is “a Web log dedicated to obsessively profiling and reviewing new Internet products and companies”. TechCrunch is co-edited by Michael Arrington and Erick Schonfeld.

TechCrunch has received the following coverage:

Heather Harde (CEO)

Heather Harde, is the CEO of TechCrunch and she regards that as “a wonderful new adventure”. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Harvard Business School, and has spent the last ten years working within News Corporation, such as, Fox Interactive Media, News America Marketing, TVGuide and ASkyB.

Micheal Arrington
(Founder, Co-Editor)
Micheal Arrington is, if not the most prominent, but one of the most distinguished tech-bloggers in the World, such that he has becomes number 2 in the Forbes’s Top 25 Web Celebrities and also one of the 25 most influential people on the Web by Business Week. He educated in economics and law at Stanford.

Also noteworthy to say that, TechCrunch according to Twingly, the social blog search engine, on Tuesday, December 16, is “the most important Web log” both in “All languages” and also in “English”. (Review the post of TechCrunch on that in here)

Dec 16, 2008

Want to sell your ideas?

In a rapidly changing environment in business, as we all so many times hear from our teachers, and read in the books, notes, etc. one thing is very important, that is, how to best utilize resources in order to make costs reduce, grow productivity, and totally keep up with tough competitors. These are all about how to take advantage of new ideas just around you. But, most of the time, they are ignored. There must be some people nuzzling and finding these ideas; the ones who have a special vision to see them.

Also sometime, it may has happened to you that you expresses an idea you have, nobody first pays attention, but after sometime, you observe that someone has stolen that and takes the most advantage of. But, what about if your ideas could be sold? Why not?

ember 15, in his famous Web log, has published a post on Selling ideas to a big company. He writes:
Two things have to happen before a big company buys your idea:

1. They have to be in the business of buying ideas.

A company that likes buying ideas has a process. They make it relatively straightforward and they have no upside in stealing from you. A company that isn't in that business puts up barriers. They troll around trade shows looking for ideas to take (and there's nothing legally or morally wrong with that, imho).

2. They have to trust you

The reason that big companies don't want to hear from you is that they don't trust you. They don't trust you to understand their industry, or to understand implementation. They don't trust your judgment about whether it's a good idea. They don't trust you won't flake out, or sue them, or sell your ideas to multiple parties.

I strongly recommend you having a look at this article.

Dec 15, 2008

To waste time, or not to waste time!

Techcrunch has released a post, Sunday December 14, on "...How Much Time Do You Waste On Twitter?" by Robin Wauters. I do not so much worry about it, my time is already wasted on blogging!

Dec 13, 2008

Roshan’s social irresponsibility

Alas! Whenever you turn on the TV (of course, if we had electricity, at all!), you are forced to watch commercial advertisements, which are forced into between the programs, without any sense. The advertisements which are supposed to be commercial which it doesn't look so very much, and also are considered being advertisement, but advertising what?! Totally saying, they are free of creativity and artistry. On the other hand not only lack of creativity outcries in these advertisements, but also they promote sometimes socially irresponsible scenes, I am wondered while watching them.

One of these incredible advertisements is of Roshan telecommunication. This company has been established in the very beginning of President Karzai's government, by the Telecom Development Company (TDCA) GSM license, commercially launched on July 27, 2003 and manifests itself as:
The word "Roshan" means "light" in both of the national Afghan languages, Dari and Pashto. The name Roshan was given by the people of Afghanistan as Roshan brings a promise of hope, development, and a brighter future for Afghanistan.
Roshan is the GSM cellular service provider in Afghanistan, with coverage in over 222 major cities and towns and over 2.6 million subscribers. The company is privately-held corporation which has been very much successful through providing relatively high-quality communication facilities.

Roshan has recently launched a service named “M-Paisa” as a way to transfer money anywhere in Afghanistan using mobile phone. As it says “It’s an innovative mobile payment solution ideal for people who don’t have a bank account”.

I do not have so much knowledge about telecom technology so I am not talking from a professional point-of-view or something. Only as a customer, I did not find this facility very much interesting.

But the issue I want to open that, in here, is the TV advertisement of the service which has a part (a sentence and a reaction) that does not look and sound very much responsible. The person who does not informed about the M-Paisa is going (Saray-i-Shahzada, maybe) to transfer money to his children who are students at Herat University. The man talks with a tune and a mode of voice which says incidentally, “Hey! What a damn work to do!” (Sending money for children for paying their tuition fees).

One of the obligations of any business is acting through socially responsible ways. At the time that all the people in Afghanistan, including businesses, need to promote education, I wonder why the marketing in-charges of Roshan could not find any other way to advertise their service other than this way.

Dec 3, 2008

Why do we love Google?

How much I love Google! This may be all about the revolution the company has brought to the Internet world. And, could be because of placing always the first-tenth in the rankings: the Fortune's 1st in "Best Companies to Work for"; the Fortune's 4th in "the Most Admired Companies"; the Forbes's1st in "America's 25 Fastest-Growing Tech Companies"; one of the 10 names on"BusinessWeek's list of the World's Most Influential Companies", etc. I love so much Google and make so many examples in the class of Google, that the teachers and others students have nicknamed me sometime "Google"! I love even this name!

Google first created on 4 September 1998, and through only 10 years now has more than 20,000 employees and 67 branches around the world. Even some big names in Silicon Valley as Microsoft and Yahoo afraid of such a teenager, who is nothing but innovation.

But how and why Google has reached this today's position? These all questions are answered by the "34-slide presentation on Google prepared by FaberNovel, a french consulting firm". The questions such as:
I am inviting you to take a look at this presentation and find reasons for your all wonders.

: The link to download the complete PDF version is in here.

Dec 2, 2008

Greetings and salutations in the global business

In any culture, among any people, of any race, color, language, religion, there is definitely a way to start communicating while two people reaching each other. And certainly, this is the right time whether or not to begin a successful afterward communication. This is also true in the business world. But, in this one, the task is much more important and complicated, especially when it got globally. There could be no difficulty starting communication with a person of your own family, town, language, country, etc. But imagine, how one businessman should start communication with a person belonged to thousands of miles away, then, to make a successful bargain with him/her?

Definitely, there are considerable differences between the ways people salute with each other, throughout the world—one shakes the hands, one bow, one kisses the hand, one kisses the face, one hugs, etc. what should WE do, before carrying out a transaction with a Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, whoever?

Humans, though, may have been originated from a single point they now have huge differences with each other. These all diversities are imperative, and also essential to build communication in the international arena.

The differences in them could have a million of reasons: weather, history, neighbors, and very much more. Differences always there are; even, despite of all endeavors to establish a global village and remove all cultural barriers to better communicate. Most of the time trying people to understand why they believe in something is an unfruitful task, as they themselves have never asked such questions before. For example, you all know that respecting family, patriarchs, religion, tribe, etc. are unhesitating. But have you ever asked yourself, WHY? Similarly, when you ask an American person, why he/she believes in freedom or individualism, you, most of the time, may not receive a proper feedback.

The scope of these diversities in culture also covers the ways people, around the world, salute with each other, i.e. “say hello”. For example, each country has its own common way of shaking hands. In the United States people shake hand very firmly, but in U.K. very softly. Most of the Asian countries consider hand-shaking very uncomfortable (not recently); on the other hand, Koreans are exception. The Japanese, for instance, though hand-shaking has become common among them, prefers bowing. Arabs hold each other.(1) In Afghanistan we also hold and touch the other person’s cheek with our cheek only once; in Iran, however, it is thrice! Muslim people while dealing with women do not often like shaking hands, but in Western societies that is a common thing.

Being informed about all these is going to certainly arise the necessity that if one would like to start business internationally should understand these problems and make himself/herself ready to deal with them. When I worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as it most of the time deals with foreigners, so sometime it happens to open introduction and speaking with a woman, and sometime a lady. The instruction we were told to follow was, bowing slightly, and rising her hand at the same time, but not too much, and kissing it. Though, it may not acceptable for you reading this, but it is sometime imperative. You never must forget this that, this is YOU who is willing to build a communication, and certainly a successful one, with the other person. Therefore, you have to observe this point.

Another example for my argument could be Taliban. You may all be informed about the competition between Unocal and Bridas for the Afghanistan Pipeline. Bridas representatives met Taliban for first time, in August 1995. The assumption I am certain about it, is, they were already equipped with their adviser’s advises on how to face and greet with Talibs. But, what do YOU think?

(1) R. M. Hodgetss, F. Luthans, and J. P. Doh, International Management (Culture, Strategy, and Behavior), Six Edition, p. 94.