Batman vs Superman – From the eyes of a Product Manager

bvs

The movie recently released to high expectations. I noticed some heavy Twitter campaigns as well. For the record, I have been a huge fan of Nolan’s Dark Knight series and cannot envision any other Batman other than Christian Bale.

None the less, the concept of the two superheroes going all out against each other is a plot line (product idea), that holds enormous potential. Additionally,based on the reasoning provided by the production house, I felt that the decision to cast Ben Affleck was actually a good one. Without wasting further time on dilly dallying, let’s dissect the product –

Development of modules (scenes) that were not needed.

Clients usually demand a full suite of features without actually going after a specific target problem or target user base. This leads to the creation of a bulky product with multiple features which may not address the core problem. Even if the problem is taken care off, it might create a negative impact on the actual target category of users. This generally occurs because a user might tend to feel bombarded with multiple features.

In this case, the initial half an hour of the movie was utilized to establish the beginning of Batman and a bit of Superman. This was completely unnecessary as the target audience mostly comprised of users who were aware as to how Batman “began his career”.

Spent a ton on user interface (CGI) without defining a user experience strategy (core offering for the user)

When I conduct initial meetings with stakeholders, I try to extradite the ideas sitting in their heads. Along with that, I also try and study their psychology. This helps in understanding the vision that they have for the product. Which in turn, helps me in extrapolating and defining the true vision of the product to be built.

In this case, multiple resources (time and money) were heavily invested on the UI of the product. The resultant effects produced, were visually stunning, but lacked the connect. In order to reflect the darkness within the characters, the movie itself was shot in a very dark frame.

This tends to reflect the reality of many a product out there! A lack of clarity on the UX tends to overflow into the UI as well, leading to a domino effect on the entire product.

Villain was a repackaged dude seen before (lack of innovation)

With a plethora of mobile apps and web apps on offer, competition is extremely stiff is an understatement to make! It has become really hard to capture the attention spans of users.

Jesse Eisenberg was delightful as the disturbed villain, Lex Luthor. But, his creation, Doomsday, snatched the fun out of the game. The go to story line for almost all superhero movies these days, has been about varied forms of aliens; bursting on to the scene with an intent to either conquer or destroy the citizens of Earth. From a personal perspective, I really do not mind this sort of a story line. But, when the product looks like an imitation of other successful products on the market, I tend to draw the line there.

Which is what happens in today’s world! Even non technical users are increasingly becoming aware of the kind of apps they use. And that is where imitation becomes less of an art and more of a disaster.

Product manager (director) trying to handle 5-6 advanced features (theories) in a single product (movie)

Without a doubt, I have to give due credit to the director for helming this film. It takes courage to direct such a plot line when people have seen really great Superman movies and have savored the Dark Knight trilogy respectively.

But as a product manager, it goes without saying that one has to walk a tight rope, between balancing the vision of the product and the demands of the stakeholders. Especially, if the demands point towards high end features that take time to build. More importantly, features that might not be needed in the current iteration.

I believe that if there is a strong use case for such features to be integrated, then the details should be ironed out thoroughly. Such an approach helps in

  • Clear reasons to actually move ahead with the implementation, thereby helping in defining clear flows within the product. Some data might definitely help. Or in the case of this movie, some more feedback could have been gathered while scripting (user story mapping)
  • Seamless integration while implementation
  • Frictionless experience for the end user.

End Product – Disengagement of end users, Negative effect on the branding of the entire DC universe.

Well, as a product based company, your product defines who you are. And is the lifeline for revenues. In this case, the impact of the product went south. This was touted to be a product that would get users engaged into its plot. It was supposed to have a great emotional connect with the audience. Thereby, leading to the launch of further related products (Justice of League movies).

Instead, it has affected the entire DC brand of comics. Warner Bros. is trying to reinvent the wheel from what Disney Studios has already achieved through the Marvel universe.

With so much at stake, surely the executives will have to be a lot more careful; before they can boomerang into the production of further movies.

The Facial Conundrum – Phase 1

How it all Started?

Staying in 8 different cities, including 3 abroad, I have come across various facets of people. I was fortunate enough to interact with foreigners from different countries. I also observed various cultures across India, right from the North to the South.

This experience truly broadened my horizons when it came to understanding the diversification of the human race. It generated more and more queries in me –

Why do people prefer a subset of facial features over others? If they do, then is the definition of beauty even accurate?

The likes of such questions kept meandering like small rivers across the landscape of my mind.

The Push to Shove

The push came when I came across a face. This particular face forced me to aggressively find out the answers.

A couple of weeks passed, as I grappled with the questions in my mind. I tried to clear the chaos out and filter it down to a few questions.

It led me to wonder –

  1. Why are people attracted to this face?
  2. If they are attracted to this face, then how do I prove that this is indeed an attraction?
  3. Was this just a layer of physical allure under the pretense of actual magnetism?
  4. Would there be a way to quantify and negate this reaction?
  5. If it’s based only on aesthetic beauty, then can I draw conclusions to prove a relation! The relation would be between
  • the beauty people saw using their eyes,
  • the attraction that processed through their mind and,
  • the emotions they felt through their heart

6. Could a formula/algorithm be generated for it? Subsequently, can it be converted into a product based on images and the algorithms?

As I explored further, the question kept growing like a climber plant against my mind.

The final motivation to get an answer came from a most unexpected source, that is, the subject itself!

And this gave birth to this new case study, The Facial Conundrum.

The Path

A couple of occurrences guided me to the approach I undertook –

  1. A newly minted friend of mine mentioned Biotechnology as her interest. This mention threw me back by almost 9 years to my school life in class 12th. In the quest to understand the IT ecosystem and explore start ups, I had completely forgotten this aspect of mine! I remembered that I felt alive and excited when I studied that particular subject. That was because of the growing interest I had in it. I was also a school topper in it. I was the only one to have built the virtual simulation of a hardware equipment called the fermentor. I have never been a geek but my interest towards the subject helped me in making big achievements.
  2. I had recently been involved in a conversation with a senior product manager. Over coffee, we ended up discussing over the various elements of a particular problem he had come across. He challenged me to use geometry to solve that generic problem. Now, I have never really been a fan of Maths. But, that discussion opened my mind to the beauty of maths and geometry.

In basic terminology, Biotechnology is an amalgamation of Maths and Biology. When my friend mentioned this subject, I had a Eureka moment as I realized as to why did I not think about it before! Hence, I decided to return to this school interest of mine and in turn go through the basics of geometry.

The Theory

I began researching Biotechnology. It led me to theoretical biology. Which in turn led me to bio statistics. And this led me to an equation called the golden ratio. It’s been stated that the likes of Leonardo da Vinci used this ratio to build masterpieces.

It has been a subject of huge contention between scientists. But, I found the concept interesting enough to at least start my exploration.

The Subject

As a product guy, a part of my job is to simplify decision making with few resources at hand. That entails utilizing data as well. But, the data could be limited or there could be no data at all!

I faced the classic case of utilizing my instinct and analytical brain with limited access to the subject.

The Control

I will be using my own face as the control for this study.

Before a techie, I deem myself as an artist. In order to visualize and build things, an artist can get inspired from the simplest of things in mother nature. Or can take motivation from random strangers in the world.

The famous Indian painter, Mr. M. F. Hussain, was supposed to have considered the successful actress Madhuri Dixit, as his muse.

In similar fashion, I had my own muse for this particular case study. The face that made me ask such questions, belonged to my above mentioned friend.

The Control
The Control

The Picture

The control’s picture had to match the subject’s available picture. The match was based on the following criterion –

  1. Zoom level
  2. Tilt angle of head
  3. Similarity in expression

The Implementation

 Step 1 – Measure the length and width of the face. Then, divide the length by the width.

Subject – Length =  3 CM, Width = 1.5 CM, Ratio = 1.5

Control – Length =  22 CM, Width = 12.5 CM, Ratio = 1.76

Factor – Scaling factor of 8 has been considered between the picture and the actual face.

 

Step 2 – Measure three segments of the face –

Subject

From the forehead hairline to a spot between the eyes = 1 CM

From between the eyes to the bottom of the nose = 1 CM

From the bottom of the nose to the bottom of the chin = 1 CM

Control

From the forehead hairline to a spot between the eyes = 6.5 CM

From between the eyes to the bottom of the nose = 3.5 CM

From the bottom of the nose to the bottom of the chin = 7.3 CM

Factor – Scaling factor of approx 7 has been considered between the picture and the actual face.

 

Step 3 –  Measure symmetry and proportion

Subject

Length of an ear is equal to the length the nose = 0.8 CM each

Width of an eye is equal to the distance between the eyes = 0.5 CM each

Control

Length of an ear is equal to the length the nose = 5 CM each

Width of an eye is equal to the distance between the eyes = 5 CM each

Factor – Scaling factor of 5 has been considered between the picture and the actual face.

 Conclusion

This study requires subsequent growth phases. It requires

  • heavy additional work on averaging the above calculations.
  • a deep dive into the concept behind golden ratio formula and it’s implementation.

The Product

Once greater clarity is achieved on the concept, a product roadmap can be mapped out to build a well functioning app out of this.

The Questions

None the less,  I can still try to answer a couple of the above mentioned questions.

1. Why are people attracted to this face?

2. If they are attracted to it, then how do I prove that this is indeed an attraction?

The subject’s face does seem to match the golden ratio closely. But, this is just a bare basic calculation.

In terms of symmetry, the subject’s face has almost equivalent numbers. It satisfies this equation as well.

Hence, the aforementioned attraction.

3. Was this just a layer of physical allure under the pretense of actual magnetism?

Probably yes. But new metrics will be required to differentiate between infatuation and affection.

*Note

1. The identity of the subject has been withheld in order to protect their privacy.

2. The above study in no way discriminates between people on the basis of looks or aesthetics. It is the author’s private opinion. Any reactions to this article are subjective based on the readers mindset and experiences.

3. The author reserves the right to publish his opinions as the owner of this domain and platform.

The Coffee Mug Paradigm

The humble coffee mug has become the new hot chick in town for food tech start ups. I noticed 3 startups in my office area utilizing this product in their marketing. It got me wondering! What was so special about it?

Was it the strategy? Was there something about the product itself? Or, was it the cost differentiation?

Data leads to liberation from hypothesis. – Me

Hence, I decided to carry out a quick data analysis to unravel this mystery.

 

Brands Dineout Swiggy TinyOwl
Factors
Staff at Stall 3-5 5-7 3-5
Stall Locations 2 different locations 2 different locations 1 location
Number of Days 2 2 1
Cashback Rs 100 per customer NA 100%  up to Rs 150
Mugs Handed Out 420 84
Stall Decoration Minimalist Grand Ultra
Orders Achieved NA 84 NA

So, let’s take it on a company to company basis.

The Common Factors

Peak Time to interact with Consumers = 3 categories

  • 9.30 – 11.30 AM
  • 12.30 – 3.00 PM
  • 5.00 – 6.30 PM

Total Minutes to Interact = 420 Mins

 

Dineout

Business Case = Install the app -> enter a code -> get Rs 100 cash on account -> get a mug free

Amount paid for rent for 2 days = Rs 28000

How it worked for me? = Installed the app in under 2 mins owing to network issues.

Segregation

Rent

Rs 14000 for a day per building.

Rs 28000 for 2 days.

Installs

Observation =

  1. Network issues
  2. People’s inability to respond quickly (Staff helping them out for installation)
  3. Time taken to register details with staff

Assumption 1 = 2 mins time for installation, code redemption and registering details with the staff.

Assumption 2 = Breakfast time is less crowded but the lunch time compensates for the loss in that period.

Maximum Number of Installs = 210 per day (420 in this case)

Mugs 

Assumption = Procurement cost of Mugs on bulk order = Rs 50 per mug (Max price)

Cost on Mugs = 50 * 420 = Rs 21000

Staff at Stall

I would have done either of the following –

  1. Utilized the existing delivery boys by imparting them basic training.
  2. Hired staff on a day basis.

Why the second scenario is  better?

  1. Day basis staff would not bee motivated.
  2. Delivery guys would feel empowered by being part of the sales team.
  3. Already being a part of the delivery team, they would subsidize the cost of training on the product and the brand.
  4. I would convince them on a lower salary as a leverage for the sales opportunity.

Assumption = Scenario 2

Payscale = 1000 per day plus additional commission on the total number of users captured.

Cost  = 1000 * 5 + 2500 = 7500

Stall Decoration

It’s a one time investment.

Observation = The stall was a pretty minimalist one. A normal background board with tables in the front.

Assumption = Cost spent on stall making and installation = Rs 4000

Cashback

Cost  = 100 * 420 = Rs 42000

Swiggy

Business Case = Install the app -> order for a min amount of Rs 50 -> get a mug free

Amount paid for rent for 2 days = Rs 28000

How it worked for me? = Installed the app in under 2 mins owing to network issues. But I did not place an order.

Segregation

Rent

Rs 14000 for a day per building.

Rs 28000 for 2 days.

Installs

Observation =

  1. Network issues.
  2. People’s inability to respond quickly (Staff helping them out for installation).
  3. Time taken to place order.
  4. Less number of people due to the cost involved.

Assumption 1 = 4-5 mins time for installation, placing an order and collecting mug from the staff.

Assumption 2 = Breakfast time is less crowded but the lunch time compensates for the loss in that period.

Maximum Number of Installs = 84 per day (168 in this case)

Mugs 

Assumption = Procurement cost of Mugs on bulk order = Rs 50 per mug (Max price)

Cost on Mugs = 50 * 168 = Rs 8400

Staff at Stall

Assumption = Scenario 2 (Similar to Dineout)

Payscale = 1000 per day plus additional commission on the total number of users captured.

Cost  = 1000 * 7 + 2500 = 7500

Stall Decoration

It’s a one time investment.

Observation = The stall was a grand one. Background board with an LCD TV. And tables with 3D Swiggy logo.

Assumption = Cost spent on stall making and installation = Rs 10,000

Cashback

NA

TinyOwl

Business Case =

  1. Get coupon worth 100% cashback up to Rs 150
  2. Play a dart game with a limit of 5 chances. Get cashback up to Rs 300 depending on the amount the user hits. And also get a mug.

Amount paid for rent for 1 day = Rs 14000

How it worked for me? = Simply took the coupon from Scenario 1.

Segregation

Rent

Rs 14000 for a day per building.

Installs

Observation =

  1. Network issues
  2. Time spent on playing the game.

Assumption 1 = 3 mins time for playing game, code redemption and registering details with the staff.

Assumption 2 = Breakfast time is not included here.

Assumption 3 = All players win a minimum cashback of Rs 100.

Maximum Number of Installs =

300 minutes available / 3 minutes per player = 100 installs

Mugs 

Assumption = Procurement cost of Mugs on bulk order = Rs 50 per mug (Max price)

Cost on Mugs = 50 * 420 = Rs 21000

Staff at Stall

I would have done either of the following –

  1. Utilized the existing delivery boys by imparting them basic training.
  2. Hired staff on a day basis.

Why the second scenario is  better?

  1. Day basis staff would not bee motivated.
  2. Delivery guys would feel empowered by being part of the sales team.
  3. Already being a part of the delivery team, they would subsidize the cost of training on the product and the brand.
  4. I would convince them on a lower salary as a leverage for the sales opportunity.

Assumption = Scenario 2

Payscale = 1000 per day plus additional commission on the total number of users captured.

Cost  = 1000 * 5 + 2500 = 7500

Stall Decoration

It’s a one time investment.

Observation = The stall was a pretty minimalist one. A normal background board with tables in the front.

Assumption = Cost spent on stall making and installation = Rs 4000

Cashback

  1. 100% up to Rs 150. On checking the minimum order that can be placed is at Rs 100. Assuming, all people use their coupons for the basic order, TinyOwl saves up on the Rs 50 per order. So, the company pays a minimum of 300 *100 = Rs 30,000 for the coupons distributed.
  2. Assuming all players win a minimum cashback of Rs 100.Cashback = 100 * 100 = Rs 10,000
  3. Total = Rs 40,000

Business Justification

Let’s pool in all the calculations and draw out a basic cost analysis of the Marketing campaigns

Brands Dineout Swiggy TinyOwl
Tangible Factors
Staff at Stall 7500 10000 7500
Rent 28000 28000 14000
Cashback 42000 NA 40,000
Mugs Cost 21000 8400 5000
Stall Decoration 5000 10000 12000
Orders Achieved NA Rs 8400 NA
Total Rs 61,500 Rs 64,800 Rs 78,500
Non tangible Factors
Stall Attraction Moderate High Ultra
Customer Profitability Ultra Moderate High

* All values in Indian Rupees (INR)

Conclusion

Paradigm Winner Runner Up
Customer is King Dineout TinyOwl
Overall Balanced  Market Strategy Swiggy Dineout
WOW Factor TinyOwl Swiggy

 

Note

*TinyOwl’s method of the dart game will involve the use of probability to determine the cost of customers acquisition.

*Market Strategy and Wow Factor ratings are subjective.

*Staff Cost might vary but the factors contributing to their salary will remain the same.

I am working on a more detailed analysis and will soon be publishing it.

Why I did this Case Study?

For the Love of Start Ups.

Why I am eligible to work at Startups / Product Based Environments?

    • Have always dreamed about growing along with the company I work for.
    • Have the ability to spot opportunities, build respective strategies and execute plans in different scenarios.
    • In the 10 months of my start up journey, I performed the following roles –
        1. Developer
        2. Business Development
        3. Product Guy
        4. Pre-Sales
        5. Digital Marketer
        6. Recruiter
        7. Branding
        8. Content Writer / Blogger
        9. Recruiter
        10. Tech Analyst

Why I belong to such Environments?

Engineer making an airplane…Boring!

Engineer making a mobile…Boring!

MBA winning an investment case competition Twice…Boring!

But an MCA who has done all of the above…

I am sure you wanna hear more…

Airplane
Airplane
« 1 of 3 »

I strongly believe that there is always scope for people like me who have –

    1. Been on the ground.
    2. Love working for the growth of the organization along with their own.
    3. Invest time even after the sale has been done in giving their utmost to the client.
    4. Focused on the greater vision in mind.
    5. Look for opportunities in all scenarios, and build strategies to capitalize on them.

Where would I fit in?

I would be an asset to the following roles –

    • Product Management
    • Digital Marketing
    • Analytics
    • Business Development

 

I also realize that there are many talented people willing to try it out at such companies.

But, I believe I can give them an equal, if not greater, competition.

And if still nothing works out, I am a big fan of chai (tea) and nimbu paani (lemon water).

I would not mind refreshing everybody around me with such beverages. 🙂 😀

* I can be reached at hello@nitishgulati.com

 

Hola Ola!

Introduction

I have had the Ola App installed since a pretty long time. On the contrary, I am a frequent Uber user since the past couple of months. I have tried Ola thrice (5 months ago, 4 weeks ago, and last night). But I am yet to carry out a successful trip with them.

Three Strikes and You are Out – Bill Clinton

5 months ago

Time – 11 PM.

Start – One of the city’s main IT SEZ areas, Hyderabad

Destination – My House in a busy area, Hyd

KM – 9

Details – Tried booking a cab from the app but it regularly failed with different errors. Took to booking on phone. But no cabs were available. Which was annoying since –

  1. My route involved one of the city’s main IT SEZ areas.
  2. The distance to be covered was only 9 KM.

4 weeks ago. (Where this case study started!)

Time – 4 AM.

Start – Charminar, Hyderabad

Destination – My House in a busy area, Hyd

KM – 15

Details – My friend tried Uber but there were no cabs available. I thus decided to try out their competitor one more time.

Last Night

Time – 7.30 PM.

Start – Madhapur, Hyderabad

Destination – Banjara Hills, Hyd

KM – 10

Details – Uber was available as usual. But my friend wanted Ola owing to the cheaper rates. But there were no cabs available.

Turns out there is a reason Ola finds it difficult to counteract Uber when it comes to service.

The User Story of the Second Incident

I was willing to sit out the 20 mins wait for the cab. Post booking, I received an automatic generated call. My mind ventured a thought about it being a promotional call. I was unsure as to why the hell would they disturb me with such marketing, especially since I am already a customer now. None the less, I went ahead and received it. But, it got dropped due to some network issue in the area.

A few seconds later, I received a message that the call was regarding a confirmation and that the cab had been cancelled by me! I was pretty surprised and began wondering about the need to go with such a process for confirmations. This was pretty irritating.

I checked out Uber again, only to notice that there were no cabs yet. After a few minutes of deliberation, I decided to try one last time on Ola. A mini was nearby with a wait time of 18 minutes. I gingerly went ahead with the booking. After a couple of minutes, I received a cancellation message. This time it was because the cab driver had cancelled it.

The User Impression

While my friend went ahead to bargain with nearby autos, the following points swirled around in my head –

  1. Why are drivers allowed to cancel bookings? If they are, it should be subject to certain restrictions.
  2. What is the need of a calling process for confirmation? And if there is, why did I not receive a call, post the second booking?
  3.  As can be seen from the screenshot, there are 6 different options like Mini, Sedan, etc. Why in the whole wide world are there so many options? Or should I say, by including such numbers of options, what is the necessity to turn the app UI so complex?
  4. Why would I order food and other such stuff from you? Ola’s core mission is to satisfy logistics issues. Not the hunger pangs of customers!
  5. Why are technical terms involved in the app?
Ola Q1
Ola Q1
« 1 of 5 »

What I would Do as a Product Manager?

The Data Story

As a product manager, the end user’s satisfaction is my mission. I contemplated on finding out if my opinion was in sync with other users’. I also took under my umbrella, their arch rival, Uber.

Let’s begin with a basic Twitter Analysis.

Influence –

Ola Influence
Ola Influence
« 1 of 2 »

Analysis – Ola is influential in foodies and entrepreneurs. The foodie part is a good stat for the ancillary revenue. Also, Indian entrepreneurs do have an emotional string attached since it’s an Indian start up. Hence, the greater influence!

Summary  – On the flip side to Ola, I tend to think, that the communities that Uber influences seem to be more in alignment with their core goal.

Product Changes – Deliver push notifications with offers to other communities like Marketing, Music, etc.

 

Responsiveness –

OlaGeneral
OlaGeneral
BFF- Conversed with 1367 people
« 1 of 4 »

 Analysis – One really cannot compare the responsiveness since Uber’s worldwide presence will highly skew the ratio against Ola.

Summary – I cooked up another solution for this –

 

Demographics –

Uber Demographics
Uber Demographics
« 1 of 3 »

Analysis –  I hammered out demographic clues from 3 hashtags – @Olacabs, @Uber, and @Uber_india.

Eye opening facts –

  • Uber openly announces India as their second most important market, yet they don’t have any Indian city in their top rankings to boast off.
  • On comparing the 2 general hashtags, both are neck to neck when it comes to top tier Indian cities.
  • An upcoming IT hub like Hyderabad is nowhere to be seen on Ola’s list.

Summary

Ola can play catch up with Uber!

Product Changes – This statistic leave open many doors to capture customers. I have suggested changes in “The Answers” section below.

 

Hash Cloud –

Ola Hash Cloud
Ola Hash Cloud
« 1 of 2 »

Analysis

Top five hashtags:

Uber: #uberlove, #ubericecream, #uberon, #ubereverywhere, #uberdata.

Ola: #olamatchday, #chaloniklo, #nowinten, #olaluxury, #accesstorussell.

Summary

Ola has a lot many contests embroiled into the entire hastag cloud. Which in turn are tied to multiple twitter handles.

Contests are definitely a great way to woo customers. But, Ola has bombarded with one too many! The point is contentious but a slightly better balance between constant hammering and occasional contests can be maintained.

Uber too has many hashtags in its scope. They do not have any hashtag contests running for the Indian subcontinent.

But they have been able to capture customers on the basis of free rides and best in class service.

Product Changes – This statistic pinpoints to improvements on the existing app, namely 3 features that I recall –

  • Error ratio of call drops
  • Cab servicing time
  • Cancellation facilities

Tweet Cloud –

Ola Tweet Cloud
Ola Tweet Cloud
« 1 of 2 »

Analysis

Top five words:

Uber: sorry, hear, send, happy, note.

Ola: rt, ola, crn, app, share.

On going through the mined tweets, one clearly notices the frequency of occurrence of the words – “CRN + Share + Plz” together. This pinpoints to multiple Ola requests failing and Ola having to respond to them.

In comparison, Uber has “sorry + hear + note” together. Again, the replies are mostly on the complaints received.

Summary

Here’s the catch –

The words “hear + note” have been mentioned in an equal number of positive tweets!

The Answers

So let’s get to the questions raised by me –

1 – Why are drivers allowed to cancel bookings? If they are, it should be subject to certain restrictions.

Being Positive and Practical

A driver may or may not be able to take up the booking due to unforeseen circumstances like the following –

  • Sudden health issue
  • Overwhelmed by a sudden bout of sleep
  • Unpredictable breakdown of the vehicle

A provision for cancellation of rides should definitely be there. The conditions could be as follows –

  1. A maximum of 3 times of cancellation per month without any questions asked. After 2 months of it as a regular feature, it could be brought down to 1 or 2 times.
  2. Along with the above, the Cancel Button could redirect to a list of options like –
    1. Issue with Rider
    2. Technical Issue
    3. Others (with a Feedback box that accepts inputted text in different languages, and converts it to English while submission).

The app is the face of Ola Cabs to the world. It is a key brand ambassadors of the company. If people are satisfied with the object that they are interfacing with, this in turn will lead to incremental end consumer satisfaction.

2 – What is the need of a calling process for confirmation? And if there is, why did I not receive a call, post the second booking?

Making tough calls with minimal information

I remember experiencing this feature in a radio cab service. And I believe it is irrelevant. The confirmation call is a good to have feature, but can be done without.

There is a scenario where it could be utilized –

It should be generated after 5 minutes of placing the order. This would give both the driver and the consumer sufficient time to dwell on their booking and cancel if the need arises.

Also, if it is going to be a definitive feature, the regularity and punctuality of the call should be ensured. Ola as a company cannot afford to loose customers on simple features like technical issues with calls.

3 – As can be seen from the screenshot, there are 6 different options like Mini, Sedan, etc. Why in the whole wide world are there so many options? Or should I say, by including such numbers of options, what is the necessity to turn the app UI so complex?

Making Product Trade offs

I think the competition has fared far better when it comes to this portion of the app. They have reduced the options to a maximum of 3. And the options are pretty easy to select from.

I believe that as an end consumer, the greater issue that I had was that so many options proved futile to me. In any case, I had to end up bargaining my way with an auto rickshaw.

So, I would have brought down the options to Mini, Sedan, Prime, Auto.

Sedan or Prime can be integrated into TFS instead of being the owner of a separate real estate on the screen. This would retain TFS’s brand name and still enable the provision of higher quality services.

4 – Why would I order menu and other such stuff from you? Ola’s core mission is to satisfy logistics issues. Not the hunger pangs of customers!

Being a tech start up in an ever competitive environment, I can understand the need to quickly diversify into different verticals. And this diversification is basically following in Uber’s footsteps. But in parallel, it is equally if not more, important to take care of sticking to the core offering of the product.

My primary need of a taxi, for which Ola has positioned itself in the market, was not satisfied. Being an end consumer, I have many other apps for food ordering. And for now, I would stick with them.

As a Product guy, I would hold on to the generation of ancillary revenues for a little while more. And focus my resources (time, money and people) in strengthening the core offering. That would be a three fold approach –

  1. Facilitate cross functional teamwork  – Sit with the development team in testing the core technical issues.
  2. Push for more traction of users on the app
  3. Talk to users and make a note of their satisfaction levels.
  4. Keep a track of their satisfaction levels, through analytics.
  5. Take up the mystery shopping approach in order to understand the true conversion of the defined user stories in the real world.

5- Why are technical terms used in the app?

With prior experience in Digital Marketing and Pre Sales for completely non tech users, I honed my skills in explaining tech stuff in a boiled down manner to such end users.

For the non tech users, it is difficult to understand even simple terms like “servers”. Instead of the message mentioned, simpler messages can be utilized like –

“Oops, Something went Wrong…Please try again” or “Please recheck your network connection”.

In the back end, specific error messages in parallel with such front end messages can be built into the code which would get submitted into a separate error log. This would enable developers to debug the issue easily.

Conclusion

Uber wins hands down in the sentiment analysis.

Considering the Demographic analysis, Ola has a definite chance to play catch up and beat Uber at its own game!

 

Why I am eligible to work at Startups / Product Based Environments?

    • Have always dreamed about growing along with the company I work for.
    • Have the ability to spot opportunities, build respective strategies and execute plans in different scenarios.
    • In the 10 months of my start up journey, I performed the following roles –
        1. Developer
        2. Business Development
        3. Product Guy
        4. Pre-Sales
        5. Digital Marketer
        6. Recruiter
        7. Branding
        8. Content Writer / Blogger
        9. Recruiter
        10. Tech Analyst

Why I belong to such Environments?

Engineer making an airplane…Boring!

Engineer making a mobile…Boring!

MBA winning an investment case competition Twice…Boring!

But an MCA who has done all of the above…

I am sure you wanna hear more…

Airplane
Airplane
« 1 of 3 »

I strongly believe that there is always scope for people like me who have –

    1. Been on the ground.
    2. Love working for the growth of the organization along with their own.
    3. Invest time even after the sale has been done in giving their utmost to the client.
    4. Focused on the greater vision in mind.
    5. Look for opportunities in all scenarios, and build strategies to capitalize on them.

Where would I fit in?

I would be an asset to the following roles –

    • Product Management
    • Digital Marketing
    • Analytics
    • Business Development

 

I also realize that there are many talented people willing to try it out at such companies.

But, I believe I can give them an equal, if not greater, competition.

And if still nothing works out, I am a big fan of chai (tea) and nimbu paani (lemon water).

I would not mind refreshing everybody around me with such beverages. 🙂 😀

* I can be reached at hello@nitishgulati.com

Note about data declaration

All Images and Data has been sourced from klear.com and simplymeasured.com

Coca Cola’s assault!

This 30 second advertisement from Coca-Cola seems to press all the right buttons.

It’s a direct assault on all the senses of vision, smell, taste, sound and touch.

Sound – The music titillates the senses with parallel sensuality and thrill.

Vision – The way the bubbles prance around the bottle and within the cola itself can make even the strictest diet control plan go haywire.

To top it off, Alia and Sidharth fighting over it is a delight to watch.

Touch / Smell / Taste – The above three collude in attacking the consumer’s mind. They nourish the desire of actually having the bottle in one’s hands.

Great advertisement! Cheers to Coca Cola!

https://youtu.be/aQ3uhnByS1k