Friday, May 14, 2010


Power Point

There was a time when a CEO or G.M. production would walk in briskly into the conference room of an ornate building and address the gathering. Sometimes a microphone/whiteboard or slide would be used to build up the excitement. The senior executives would be suited while technical personnel would always be in shirtsleeves. They would then talk about producing a product or service that would transform the society and discuss pros and cons or the launch, publicity and pricing while the vanguard would nod or clap at appropriate pauses. Sometimes hand outs were distributed sometimes not, there would be a lot of introspection during lunch or dinner and everyone would be enthusiastic.
Well the actual business life for most people hasn’t changed much since then, yet there has been a violent change in the way presentations are made.
At the epicenter of this cataclysm is the ubiquitous laptop and projector which is the holy grail of modern MBA executives. The high drama type of conference replete with Kodak slides (moments) have been relegated to the dinosaur Jurassic park graveyard and now enters the new “PowerPoint” presentation which is statutory even for sales calls.
All those who work in factories,offices,banks, defence or sales no longer carry files or documents, shirt sleeves have given way to gray twill suits, ties, or slacks/T-shirts on weekends but everyone must carry laptops loaded with multimedia power point, excel spreadsheets for presentations. Anybody who cannot make a PowerPoint presentation will be punished and cannot remain employed after such a failure and ignominy, sometimes investments in a laptop and projector are more than the compensation meted out annually to the poor soul, terrific isn’t it? This is good for Companies who want to retrench /downsize people and cut the flab, spreadsheets and laptops is what keeps you tethered to your jobs. To hell with talent and creativity, or skilled electrical, mechanical engineers that’s a distorted idea of capability, in some small enterprises acquisition of these gadgets have wiped out every penny of profit, but the slide show must go on.

Now with a Powerpoint presentation you don’t require a great personality or persuasive powers and can climb the top slot in any Corporation. You are a digital executive with access to all the information in the world including porn sites. Finance professionals can now invent whole new creative ways to hide or express debt legally; boost Company’s and shareholders value and hope some big Corporation will eventually acquire the company.
All the old style executives who worked hard day and night to reach senior positions should be issued pink slips to improve the bottom line , and only adolescents who spend every waking hour on internet and face book should be hired. Only soft skilled/software skilled generation can save the Industry/Nation, no one needs any profound knowledge as the average interest span is only 2 minutes, so you need killer applications to shoehorn the old business into software models or modules. Content need not be king, if it’s a new online version everyone can co-generate it and stand on their own two feet and display genuine infantile ego when the laptop hangs “and therein hangs a tale” as all the memory and artificial intelligence is in the laptop memory and the presenter has no clue. After all this hard work he has earned a well deserved holiday in Bangkok as he believes that is where the “Big Bang” theory began.
I think my liver is finally packing up after years of entertaining clients and conducting business in the old way, as there is a temptation to hold onto the old business model where periods of low inflation and stable growth were the norms. It’s a shame I missed the internet wave and a whole new business opportunity, though I tried to study the reams of data spewing forth from the net to figure out how the software world works in market oriented economies like ours, but then the recession hit the ceiling.
I am 60 years old now and I don’t want to die surfing the internet with a host of new fangled toys like
I-Pod, Tablets, Droid or Kindle or take a last bite of the Apple as the killer application called browser weaves its web on my tomb site.
End of slide show

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