The 4 Horsemen, Kalinic and Unsubscribing Pains

A week spent in the same city – got a load of work done, and got to hang around with my fantastic team. Working with this crew and watching them grow everyday into a high performing team has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Also equally rewarding – no flights, and no hotel beds for an entire week! Oh, and a fantastic Radioheads concert last evening. What would you prefer – Karma Police or Creep as a closer?

This week’s edition is light on news on the financial and tech side – focus this week is on people and behaviors.

World Cup – The Story of Kalinic

The world cup just finished and fittingly a day after the Bastille day, the French team lifted the cup beating a spirited Croatian site. As a perennial supporter of the underdog and just knowing what that war ravaged nation has gone through, I was rooting for Croatia – but I think the better team won.

But, our viewpoint here actually covers the guy who was not there…

Nikola Kalinic – the Croatian and Milan star striker. Kalinic came into the world cup with a huge reputation and was only of the 2 strikers in the team. However, for the first game against Nigeria, he was on the bench based on the coach’s strategy.

On being asked to suit up for the last 5 minutes, he refused to go in and also did not apologize. After the event escalated – he left the team, and went on a holiday even posting pictures on social media.

Of course, what Croatia achieved after Kalinic left was nothing short of a fairy tale.  And the expected reactions followed – he has been publicly branded a villain all over the world, and been accused anything and everything under the sun.

As a manager of the team, how would you handle the situation? Even more importantly, are there any potential Kalinic situations developing in your team? On the other hand, (assuming Kalinic regrets his decision) how do we prevent having that one moment of pride, anger and madness which isolates us for a long time.

I often use what can only be referred to as the “Leave that angry, over the top, angry email in the drafts folder“.


On a lighter note….this world cup was an unpredictable one with twists and turns at every stage. But a totally forgettable one in terms of innovative celebrations – yawn!!!!

Remember the Bebeto baby celebration, or the Laudrup swimsuit model pose from previous world cups. Where have the celebrators gone?

On the right are the 2018 world cup celebrations – so passe. Guess, we will have to wait for the NFL to start.

From the underground

In one of my earlier posts – I wrote about the complexity of the airport operations. The NYC subway and the connected lines are truly a fascinating study.  And, after it took me more than an hour and a half to commute a scheduled 20 minute journey, I decided to delve deeper into the reasons for this delay – here’s an explanation. And no, as you guessed – overcrowding is not the reason….

Data Insights..

Spending significant time on the subway always gives one the opportunity to observe. The ad space in these trains are always full of interesting content given the eclectic mix of the audience, especially in a city like NYC. I found this humorous usage of pizza ordering trends by neighborhoods.


On that note – here’s the top 5 of late night pizza delivery ordering city. This data is only for orders done via Seamless – but nevertheless, an interesting data insight.

  1. Chicago
  2. NYC
  3. San Fransisco
  4. Los Angles
  5. Washington, DC


I was talking to some colleagues at our data practice and they mentioned how AI, data science, machine learning get fused together in one gigantic diaspora of jargon speak.  Coincidentally, the very next day read this article (the name “Data Science is dead” is very (intentionally) dramatic) – it brings out important differences between data science, big data, machine learning.

The World’s next Oligopoly

Readers would know that for the last couple of months – we have been closely following the developments with the Big Five (last week was the acquisition of GitHub). This week’s big news – Google has acquired Wayz.

I was recently asked by a colleague about my position on the subject of the frightful five. To clarify – I have no position bar my leanings towards going long on them on the stock market, and following the almost inevitable capture of the entire tech ecosystem.

Just ordered Scott Galloway’s book The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. Should be a fascinating read – and based on the book’s first chapter, I’m very motivated to change the tag line to the Four Horsemen of The (Tech) Apocalypse (in jest, but the story of the Big Four is worth following).


A follow up thought on the article on how data science will be dead in 5 years – how long before your job becomes commoditized? It’s a humbling thought and one worth spending time over. Your value add as a technologist, manager, consultant or any other field – how long is the shelf live for your current skills?


One of my team members – a rarity in that she is a woman in probably the most skewed profession (technology) and line (STEM) has constantly faced challenges dealing with the (lack of) gender diversity in our line of work. Make a mental note for the rest of the week.

In your everyday interaction model, was the diversity graph skewed? What are you doing to change it?


One of my earliest mentors ingrained a habit of adding everything to a calendar – it even included bill payments, introspection time and time to spend with your family and friends.

It’s now become part of my DNA –  and something I strongly recommend. Are you spending enough time on important activities rather than reactive urgent ones?

If not, I recommend create a month long calendar and following it – it may just help!


“Don’t let perfect get in the way of good” – first reaction? Is that your approach or the exact anti-thesis of that quote. How does agile thinking fit into it?

App of the week

I’m a sucker for free trials – signing up for wanton products and apps is a true vice in the digital era. After the umpteenth miss at an unwanted subscription, I finally have decided to do something about it.  I downloaded Truebill – it promises to keep track of all unwarranted subscriptions which sneak up on you. Do a run through of the credit card bill – it will have a few surprises.

Note to the CMO – In my opinion, the modern day consumer would truly respect a product which made the task of unsubscribing as easy as it’s most lucrative cousin. Introduce that link in your site – your clients may leave, but the last interaction will be a happy one.

And as always – Citius, Altius, Fortius!!


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