Excellent Talks that I have heard over the internet – October Edition

Leading at Google: Tony Hsieh on Delivering Happiness

Truly MUST-HEAR for every entrepreneur, marketing, customer-care and HR department. Tony Hsieh, retells his heartwarming journey on how he took Zappos, once this unknown company, to become the darling of the American Shoe Shoppers. When Tony joined Zappos, it was a sinking company with sales of a grand total of $0. Over 10 years he turned it around for it to earn $1 Billion in 2008. Subsequently, Zappos was acquired by Amazon for $1.2 Billion. The best part is how he did it. It was not by hammering advertising down customers throats. It was instead by focussing on the Culture of the Company, the Employees and Staying True to it’s mission of providing Outstanding Customer Service.

There were several take backs that I got from this talk some of which I remember are:


– The Vision, Mision, Values (you know the stuff you find in lobbies of Companies) are not as important as the commitment and dedication to living up to them. Don’t spend eons and oodles of money on retreats to come up with grandiouse mission statements. A simple one off the internet would do just fine, as long as you believe in it and are committed and dedicated to live up to it.

– Encourage employees to spend more time on the phone with customers, not less. They don’t have written scripts nor fixed time during which to complete a call. A complete opposite of the Call Centre Culture.

– Long term happiness is obtained by being part of a movement that is larger than yourself. Focus on that first and then top it up with the other forms of happiness such as the Flow experience and Momentary Pleasures.


Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers

Wow. What A Brilliant Play. Infact I have a good mind to hear it all over again. The play is on Washinton’s Post decision to publish excerpts of The Pentagon Papers, a top-secret document about the Vietnam war, which “demonstrated, among other things, that the Johnson Administration had systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress, about a subject of transcendent national interest and significance”.

The play beautifully brings out issues of how much freedom of press should there be in a democracy and how responsible should they be. Very timely in today’s era.






Twelve Angry Men

Court Room dramas don’t get more exciting than this. I highly recommend clicking the link and hearing the sample audio available. I did. I was hooked and bought this audio drama. Boy, was it well worth it. I later bought the DVD and watched it all over again. A brilliant court-room drama that exercises one critical thinking and questioning skills. How do you look at a situation impartially. Devoid of emotion, prejudices and give your view completely based on facts. You think you can do that? Would you test your theory/view before airing it? Hear this play to know where you stand.


The play is about a boy who is convicted of killing his father based on overwhelming evidence. The jury battle out their views over the course of this play till the reach a conclusion.

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