The Keyhole To Success

Ashish Vaidya
Published on: January 2012

We become more powerful when we empower others.

I'll reveal the aspect of this statement from a 'technical' vantage point as you relish this serving of tech soup in the New Year edition.

But first, here's a no-brainer for you:
a. Ability to manipulate minds/objects
b. Super speed
c. Incredible strength
If you could opt for one of these superpowers, which one would it be? If your answer is A, your frequency matches with most of the intellectuals out there. We, the humans, have this inherent desire to take control. A tendency is always there to do or make something "my way". Isn't changing the wallpaper or settings to suit your "taste" among the first things you would do when you get to lay hands on your new computer or mobile device?

Capitalizing on this innate propensity, the easiest way to "empower" someone is by encouraging him/her in such course of expression. And what would you gain from this awesome act of kindness?
Hint - Revisit the base. The companies or products which have deliberately or otherwise complied well with this simple principle of empowering others have and continue to taste phenomenal success. The word used to describe this is customiza-tion or personalization - It is not just providing functionality to change look and feel but grant user an ability to transform the use of product the way he/she likes, without losing the element of originality.

Sounds baffling? Let me help you understand this with some examples:

Windows revolutionized the Personal Computer by making it truly "personal". The Computer no longer had an impression of a freaky complex box of circuits designed to sequentially and automatically carry out a row of arithmetic or logical operations. Just with few clicks, even a technologically challenged per-son could now turn it into a gaming console, a data store, an entertainment gadget, an intelligent computing device, an instrument to access internet and what not.
Along with bringing the ease of self-intuitive Graphical User Interface, making it a platform where anyone could easily create or use software for the desired purpose was the act of empowering others that Microsoft did. Windows platform would probably have most number of third Party software written for. Consequently, in spite of many good competitors in the market, Windows still continues to enjoy more than 85% of Operating System market share.

Consider the example of Android. In a short span it has outgrown firmly established com-petitors. How? Well, it allows manufacturers to create their own devices and simply use it without much fuss. For end users, it provides millions of apps to personalize the gizmo. Moreover, if you cannot find an app to meet your requirements, you can always write one if you know programming.
Facebook - Just a social networking website? Think again. People just don't find friends or acquaintances; it's used extensively as social media, marketing and promotional platform, an entertainment portal, a dias to showcase talent, way to earn money and so on. 2011 Egyptian Revolution, Election Campaigns, Product Launches are recent examples where its unforeseen uses were discovered. You may easily find out about many more ways its usage is being customized by billions of users and that's what fuels its popularity and success.

The list of such examples is endless but I mention here only the most popular ones in the interest of space. When such products were conceived, even their inventors would never have estimated the extent to which these would grow. So, don't limit yourself when you are empowering others for they may help you go beyond limits.

Hope you liked the article. Making a tradition of what I've said in the previous edition, I hope to leave you with a smile. I am open to and waiting for all your comments & compliments.
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