Thursday, September 08, 2005

8000 and counting and the Google killer!

52 weeks ago, the Indian stock markets stood at 5250 points (or thereabouts), a year later the Markets closed the day today at a absolutely stunning 8052 points. In the last one year alone, the Indian stock markets have appreciated by a stunning 53.3 per cent. In a year. And while corporate results in 2004-05 were great, results in 2005-06 are not showing the same signs of prosperity. Oil is also flirting with new highs, the oil companies in India are bleeding while the government is trying to implement one of the most disasterous employment programs in its history (while spending $100 million buying new Boeing Business Jets - imagine that!) and the markets don't care. Bombay collapses, ONGC oil platforms blow up, an American city is wiped off the map, yet the markets keep on climbing. While I work for an organisation which embraces capitalism, the current trends are a bit disturbing. The problem is that such exurberance is not sustainable and when things start going wrong, as they might do soon, shit will fly all over.
In the course of my job I have met and interviewed all sorts of people, some of them are very important/influental people too. For example, the man who redefined direct marketing - Lester Wunderman. I have also intervied Scott Bedbury - the man who along with Phil Knight coined Let's Do It. But, in November last year I interviewed a man who once went jumping around stage at a company function saying 'I love this company'. He was in the news recently for wanting to 'F***ing kill Google'. When I met Steve Ballmer for a very controlled interview, MSN had just recently relaunched its search, which is still bringing on average of 50 people a day to this site who typed in this term. I still have no clue why.
Anyway, we did talk about Google and Microsoft, and I just thought I'ld post excerpts of that interview on the blog!

Do you think the media is wrong to give you a bad rap when it constantly talks about business practices and security flaws?
No, I don't think anybody is wrong, I am just saying that the bar is higher for us. You can never tell your customers, 'No you're wrong. You are wrong to expect more, better, more, better, more, better...'.

The search service that you have launched to take on Google is a major part of your future strategy. But, honestly, don't you think it's a bit late?
Google was late. Google is what, the third big search phenomenon. Yahoo was once big. Now Google is hot and Google can get cold too. Google didn't invent search.

Now, while we are giving them the respect, it does not mean that we cannot change the game again, just like they changed the game on the guys who came before them.

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