Sunday, June 26, 2011

Really Fast Food...

My wife was preparing some wonderful Indian Foods yesterday. Preparing good Indian food takes a lot of effort, estimation skill( and some amount of luck) and time - you need to put all spices at the right time, fry or boil ingredients based on quantity of food being prepared etc. She spent almost her full day preparing different foods and it took just 15 minutes to eat all these good stuff. We started at finished - it seemed to be over in no time. That is frustrating for me (and I hope some of my readers think in the same line) - we should improve on this to save time on cooking.

Make no mistake, I am not suggesting that we stop experimenting with food, try new things to create exotic dishes but once we figure out the recipe we should be able to automate it and the cook can just set instructions and forget about it. It will be ready in five minutes without any supervision.

Preparing food is nothing but some chemical and physical reactions done at controlled environments. I think we have not done good research on these processes and chemical reactions - if there is a way to expedite the process through some catalysts etc. So instead of having an detail instruction of the procedure the recipe of future will just have the ingredients and the Names of Chemical reactions(which can be set into a universal 'Fast Cooker').  Probably there is way to reach same final state much more quickly and one day we can have Chicken Biriyani within 15 minutes instead of hours.

Think about it. Everyone(even people like us who can't cook) should get a chance to eat tasty

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Where should I park my car?

I am not sure if somebody has already thought about it(I could not find any patents). It is a pain to just move around searching for a parking place in a big parking area(I feel whenever I enter office late).

Why can't we have a Imaging/Recognition system which can scan and inform motorists of any parking space in a big parking area? I can just check and go straight to park my car?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Are your People Over Communicating?

Communication overhead is a major pain for large companies. Effective communication and right amount of Information sharing is required but what happens is too many people is trying to convey too many items to too many people in too many ways(email, phone calls, meeting, memos, Town halls). All these noise(people don’t care to what the others are saying) decreases company focus, wastes the most important resource of employees which is time and increases operational(including Technical cost).

Companies need major culture change – follow minimalist philosophy. But before that they need to do some surveys and number crunching – How many man-hours of meetings happen in the company, How many emails are sent and received(check how many emails were sent on same topic because of gap in communication), how many minutes of phone calls are made etc. and then get a pulse from employees – how frustrated they are with communication overhead and how they think this can be reduced.

This should then be benchmarked with companies of similar nature and statistics of best performing companies. Do you have any other thoughts on this?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fix my Stuff

In United States or other advanced countries there is generally no concept of fixing stuff - be it shoes, Electronics, or any other stuff. We purchase, use for some day and when some small things go wrong we just throw them out. This is because cost or time needed to fix them do not justify fixing it - it is much more easier to buy a new one. The reason is price of a new item is generally less due to scalable factory operation procedure but generally the process of fixing stuff is unorganized and not scalable increasing the per item cost.

Not fixing and just throwing them out is a very bad solution from environment and resource utilization perspective. We could have saved a lot of natural resources, energy, effort, money and pollution(waste) if we could fix things in a more scalable manner.

Why can't we have a scalable business to fix stuff in a more scalable fashion reducing the cost to a level which will encourage people to fix things rather than buy a new one. This should ideally be a factory with a high concentration of specialists as a part of gating process. They will receive a defective item - understand what needs to be fixed and channel to the right channel. Then the fixing process can be should be routinized and low cost affair providing the advantage of scale. Initially it will have entry barrier - but with time it will become much more scalable.