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50 Distruptive Idea Companies in 2013

Link  —  Posted: September 24, 2013 in Internet

Creative Ad Idea…

Creating a Speedometer in Excel

Posted: March 30, 2013 in Excel
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A Speedometer can be used to visually represent a single data point in Excel.

The radial display of a speedometer, with each segment representing a range, is an easy and efficient method to provide a quick status update.

Speedometer in Excel

Speedometer in Excel

How to Make the Speedometer:

The Speedometer consists of two components: The Dial and the Needle.

Data in Excel

Speedometer Data

  1. First insert Data in Excel as above. Ignore the scroll bar at the moment.
  2. For Cells B3 and B5 put formula as below:
    B3: =((180/100)*C3)-1
    B5: =360-SUM(B2:B4)
  3. Put a random value between 0 to 95 in the Orange cell C3.

To Create the Dial:

Creating the Dial

Creating the Dial

  1. Insert a Doughnut Chart using the Data in the range A2:A5
  2. Change the Angle of the slice to 90.
    Format Data Series > Series Options > Angle of First Slice
  3. Select the slice representing the number 180, and make it transparent:
    Format Data Series > Fill > No Fill

To Create the Needle:

  1. Insert a Pie Chart using the Data in the range B2:B5.
  2. Except the slice representing the data in cell B4, make all the other slices transparent. The only visible slice is the needle of the Speedometer.
  3. Align the Needle over the Dial

Now change the value in cell C3 to move the needle over the dial. Your Speedometer is ready.

  • To change the size of slices in the dial, just change the data in the range A3:A5.
  • Always the sum of both the columns, i.e. Column A and Column B should be 360.
  • You can use Text boxes to put labels to the various zones in the Dial.
  • You can also insert a Scroll Bar from the ActiveX Controls. In the Scroll bar properties, put the Max value as 95. Insert the below code in the worksheet to link the scroll bar with the Speedometer.

Private Sub ScrollBar1_Change()
Sheet1.Cells(3, 3).Value = ScrollBar1.Value
End Sub

You may download the Speedometer here.

Image showing a blog post with a negative comment

Responding to Negative Comments

How an organization reacts to negative comments on the social media tells volumes on how the organization is going to fare in the near future, at least on its marketing front. What hours of expensive TV advertisements can achieve can be lost by just a few ignorant missteps on the social media. This is very important as the all empowering social media now a days to a great extent decides on the buying habits of prospective customers. When was the last time you bought a mobile phone, or a LCD TV or a Tablet PC without consulting on some social media site or the other, on what users think of that product. How many times we change our mind, just by reading few negative comments on the web. We easily discard loads of appreciations from loyal customers, as a marketing gimmick, but even a single negative comment on a message board is enough to sow the seeds of suspicion in our minds. Then in such a situation, is it prudent for any organization to ignore negative comments on the social media.

The adjoining image from a popular online retail store’s blog shows a comment from a disgruntled customer. Although over ten days have passed since the comment was posted, the organization has not cared to respond back. May be, they have done so, privately. But the damage is already done. By ignoring the comment, the organization is passively responding back by saying “we don’t care what you think!”.

Image showing Negative Criticism on a Blog Post

Negative Criticism on a Blog Post

At-least they did not delete the negative post. We should be thankful on that. But lot of organizations do just that. “If its not there, then it did not happen!” But what if the harried customer goes out and starts posting on some other blog or social media site, that is not controlled by the organization. Even worse, what if he goes and opens site in protest.

Instead of trying to remove, ignore or respond with hollow apologies, organizations have to accept that negative criticism is unavoidable. Social Media is like a double edged sword, if used wisely it will bring rewards of loyal satisfied customers, but if misused, it will bleed the hand that wields it.

Organizations have to embrace negative comments with open arms.

A possible list of Action Items to deal with Negative Criticism:

  • Follow the Do Not Delete approach. Never delete a comment, unless its obscene, profane or illegal.
  • Always Respond, and respond swiftly.
  • Empathize with the customer, apologize without admitting any wrongdoing, as nothing can be ascertained without thorough analysis of the issue. But assure that the issue will be taken up on highest priority.
  • Take up the issue privately with the customer.

These simple steps will ensure that organization’s image is safeguarded and it projects a caring customer focused organization.


Screenshot of Single Column Data

Single Column Data

Some times while importing a table from Non Excel formats to excel, we face a situation, where all the data gets imported in a single long column. In a situation like this, how to reformat the data so that it is again aligned in multiple columns, as it was in the original.

For example, in the adjoining image we have data in a single column: every four rows forming a single record. So instead of a single column, we would like to put the data in four different columns. Excel has a nifty inbuilt formula for this purpose: Indirect. In simple terms what Indirect does is simply return the data from a specific address in the excel sheet.

In this case just by putting the below formula in the cell B1 and then copying the same across the range B1 to E6 will bring the entire column in column ‘A’ in the correct format.


Data in Multiple columns

Data put across multiple columns using the Indirect function

One exception to remember, is that though Indirect can pick data from multiple sheets, but it does not work in case the workbook from where data is to be picked, is closed.

Also in Office 2007 and above the address need not be given in quotes, as in the above example. For the excel sheet using the same formula click Indirect Function.

Square - Jack Dorsey's new invention all poised to sweep the world

This mobile, card reader can connect to any iPhone or android. Can be a boon to small vendors in India

Image  —  Posted: December 9, 2012 in Internet, Online
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Be Loud On Twitter Or Don’t Bother Trying .

An Ad less billboard

No Ads !!

Its been long since I last watched a movie on TV. Not that good movies stopped being screened, or I suddenly lost interest in them. Its just that the ad breaks are becoming longer and longer by the day,and its difficult to sustain interest in the movie or any program for that matter for that long.

Recently the new approach used by TV Channels is even more disgusting. In the duration of the movie, the initial breaks would be shorter and more far apart than the ad breaks that come at the end of the movie. The reason is simple, by that time if you had watched the movie, then probably you are hooked to it, and would not mind a longer advertisement session in between, and will watch the movie right till the end.

But all this is fast changing. Now we have the ultimate weapon in our hands – the Remote Control. Do we really want to sit and watch all those ads. No way !! The Marketers have to think of new approaches to send across their messages. The disruptive marketing strategies, be it through phone calls, pop ups on the internet or annoying advertisements on TV are no longer working.

Gone are the days, when people would love to go to a movie theater a good 30 minutes early just to watch the advertisements. Or the days when we will not mind watching the advertisements, as being only at the mercy of the state run Doordarshan channel, more often than not the advertisements turned out to be more interesting than the program itself.

People no longer appreciate the brands that would barge in during their quality entertainment time and try to grab their attention.

Some ways to bypass the constant deluge of advertisements to which we are constantly subjected to:

Use the DVR (Digital Video Recorder): Tata Sky, Airtel, Reliance to name a few have come up with DVR’s that can record TV programs while you are utilizing your time something more constructive. Once the recording is done, you can watch it at your leisure zipping pas all the lousy ads  using the fast forward button. Watching TV was never better. What more, you also have options to switch on the DVR remotely using your phone or computer, and thus record while you are away.

Adblockers for internet: No need to endure the annoying ad pop-ups or those banner ads whenever you are browsing on your favorite website. All latest browsers like IE, Chrome, Safari come with plugins that you can install to stop those annoying ads from showing up:

NO Call Registry: Some useful links to prevent our phone becoming an ad spewing machine:

Open a Sucks site: If all the above methods do not work to stop the marketers from pestering you, then the ultimate recourse is to open an anti brand site. Some common anti brand (sucks) sites:


Blend Test

Posted: November 27, 2012 in Internet, Marketing, Online
Tags: ,

Whenever in a cricket match we see an ace batsman gently nick a speeding ball and place it between two fielders and let the pace of the ball do the rest, we are left completely mesmerized. This is because we all love it when we see a clever use of resources to ones own advantage, especially when the resource in question was meant for some entirely different purpose. In this case, the pace of the ball !

Will it Blend, the viral marketing campaign by Blendtec founder Tom Dickson very much uses the same concept. All he does is to put a phone or a tablet of rival companies in two blenders, and then, just blend them to a carcinogenic mixture of plastic and battery fluid. You will wonder what exactly he wants to prove! Is he Mad?

Well, if we type on Google something like iPad Mini Vs Google Nexus, at least a few hundred sites listings will show up. What this clever marketer has done is to use this to his advantage by using the same heading for showing a complety different type of comparison. Ultimately after the end of the little ‘experiment’ the viewer clearly is neither impressed by any of the two tablets, but instead on the blender, which as it clearly shows, can blend just about anything ! Tom has used the extensive marketing of Apple and Google for their products, to his own advantage. This is real clever, and it has worked, just because till last month, the Blendtec series of videos had collected a total of 204,352,346 views on YouTube !