Monday, April 28, 2008

Finding ways to lose customers

Here is my attempt at a Seth Godin-esque blog post:

I made a few calls earlier yesterday to inquire if any of the toy stores in my neighborhood in NJ have Rubik's' Cube. A couple of Toysrus outlets mentioned they don't have it. Then I remembered the last time I bought a Cube was at the K B Toys store in Manhattan mall.

Googled to get the contact number for one K B Toys store near Bridgewater, NJ. On calling the 908 number I got, an automated message informed me that the number has changed to a toll free 888 number. I was appreciative of the fact that K B Toys - a nation-wide chain store was switching to a common toll free number instead of one local number for every store.

The 888 number took me through a tedious Q & A session before asking me if I wanted to switch to the local store. I said yes, and the line was switched .... and I was back to hearing the "This number has been changed to a toll free 888 number" message

Had no patience to pursue it further in any other K B Toys. On a hunch that WalMart has everything, I drove over to the local WalMart, picked up a couple of Rubik's Cubes and went happily to visit my friend.

Pick up that trash

Yes, pick up that piece of garbage off the street and put it in a Garbage can. What better way is there to immediately contribute to a better world.

On one of the days I was in Bangalore and was visiting the Jayaprakash Narayan Park, I started picking up glass bottles, plastic covers and other trash dumped in the park - collect them in a bag and threw the bag into a garbage can. Kumar's 5 year old daughter Bhavana accompanied me on this adventure repeating what I said once : "People don't have sense", and picking up stuff herself and pointing me to other pieces of trash. At the end of half and hour, we had quite a collection.

More than the physical items we collected, what really impressed me was how quickly Bhavana got it, and got into the game. It is no surprise kids are much easier to transform.

With the intention of raising awareness about keeping the park clean and taking pride in doing so, we are organizing a Namma Park JP Park Run (Our Park JP Park Run) on Sunday May 4th. Along with a Kids dash and a 1K walk / run for the elderly people, we will have a cleanliness drive, where people will go around the park with a bag in hand collecting trash items.

I am pained to see the same kind of apathy and lack of pride in our surroundings pervading the area where I live in Jersey City.

Now whenever I see a piece of garbage while walking in my neighborhood, I pick that piece of garbage off the road and move it to where it belongs - a trash can. Hopefully that will inspire others to clean up after them as well and make it to a cleaner neighborhood.

I wonder if there is an easier way to contribute to a better world.

Monday, April 7, 2008

RunWalkIndia takes off with first event in JP Park

My first Entrepreneurial venture takes flight!

Register yourself by calling the phone numbers in the flier.

Tell your friends. Tell your neighbors. Tell your family.

Get all of them to register.

Run in the 5K race.

Register your kids, and let them have fun in the kids' dash.

Let the entire family participate in a fitness oriented fun event, and help in making the community healthier and fitter!