This post owes its origin to my friend of 25 years – Pradipta – an IT veteran of India and also a student of Vedic Literature.
In my last post, I discussed the woes of Infosys and how time does not spare the titans or icons. Time is rather the most efficient iconoclast.
Today, I paid a visit to Microsoft Museum in Building 92 – a short walk from my current habitat at Bellevue with my two sons – 9 years and 3+ years old.
For me, the visit reminded me of final year of engineering in Malabar in 1995 when Deepak – a nerd announced with a priest like solemn tone : Windows 95 is going to be released today. It was a moment of history and moment in history. Of technology and also of things outside technology.
The effect on my elder son has been very different. He looked around – even the time separated photo of the founders did not arouse his curiosity. Even the remnants of flower generation – the beard, the glasses and long hair all gone – Paul Allen who looked closer to a habitant of Greenwich Village looked a very efficient and crisp business magnate which he really is.
The bad news for Microsoft – the young fellow did not seem very impressed by the array of devices in the ‘modern’ side of the room. Neither Kinect, nor Bing, nor Xbox seemed to have impressed him. The reason is very mysterious but significant.
Many analysts here I heard are of the opinion that the icon has ceased to delight generations – emerged and upcoming. Generation means nothing but biological devices separated in time.
As I am now with my 9 year old son, he asks me questions and thinks that I have many interesting things to tell him. As a father figure, he has many such listening posts. He gets impressed now and then by the owners or distributors of these listening posts.
Twenty years hence, it is not uncommon for sons and daughters – dangerously close to an age of 25/26 calling those ‘father figures’ by dual objectives – one is correct grammatically but the second is heartbreaking, if consider correct semantically – old fools
There are some analysts here who consider the icon is not well aware as what the new generation wants. This, they reason lie at the root of the icon not able to delight them. They find Microsoft like an ancient mariner with the hallowed ship but the sea is different and so is the time.
Nobody knows the answer and there are calls to change leadership. This call has materialized already for Infosys – another icon of a land where the following philosophy originated.
The Perennial Business Strategy
The trouble lies, fundamentally with time and the effects it brings. Consider (read this just as Tom Hagen, the consigliori tries to pacify the headstrong Sonny Coreleone in The Godfather) a technology product which works such a way in addition to doing its function, it modulates the ‘components’ in us by which we respond to time and change. Like we exert our choices. The brute method by which this is achieved is in monopolies or in those economies, where you have infinite choices as long as the colour of the car is black. In absence of such brute monopoly, the product has to ‘de-activate’ exertion of choice.
Do we have such products ? Or is there possibility of having such man-made products ?
The Philosophy Perennius concludes that anything made of material stuff will sooner or later succumb to the onslaught of time. There is nothing material which can suppress or modulate choice and its exertion for an indefinite time.
Variety, Choice and its exertion all of these are eternal and indestructible aspects of a Conscious Being.
A conscious being cannot be created by material stuff anywhere in the universe. Nothing material can satisfy a conscious being for all the time.
Even if that particular being (an individual – a die-hard fan, a fanatic regarding certain product), it is only a few decade that the all powerful time will sweep the individual from the manifested time – we call this death.
The perennial business strategy teaches us that to search for a best business model and remaining permanently in a certain favourable position is an impossibility – not in the nature of things and so is the sadness in its passing.
The product, the maker, the beholder, the user, the critique and the visitor – all are in the conveyor belt of time.