Photobucket had recently changed their policy and now all the images from my 650+ blog posts are disabled. I am slowly editing them by moving my images to my own server at AWS, but it will take time. In case there is a particular old post you want to see the images of, kindly drop me a mail at and I'll keep that at a high priority. Thank you.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Chp 412. To pirate or not to pirate: iOS vs Android

When Angry Bird launched on iOS, people paid just under a dollar for the game. But when they launched their Android version, it was completely free because those Rovio guys were smart. They knew that most Android users were just going to download pirated versions of the game on our rooted droids.

So they gave the game to Android for free, WITH advertising on the game screen. I personally didn't bother to download a cracked version that had no advertising as it wasn't a big issue for me, and so didn't most Android users too. The end result? Rovio reaped in almost the same amount of revenue from Android users (via ad clicks) that they made from iOS users who paid for the app. A win-win-win situation for everyone (Rovio got the moolah, Android users didn’t pay any moolah, and iPhone users didn’t give a $hit about 1 dollar).

I know there had been a lot of discussions about how developers prefer iOS over Android because most Android users expect free games or end up pirating or downloading a cracked version of the .apk file blah blah blah, so the developers don't make enough money...  Flurry reported that - “For every dollar of iOS revenue, developers only get 24 cents from Android.” Fair enough. I may be a pirate sometimes (we all are, deep down inside), but working in the creative field, I totally understand how much it sucks not to get credited or paid for an idea I came up with or something I really worked my ass off for.

Peter Farago, VP of Marketing at Flurry even stated the reasons why Android developers don't get paid and how that is killing the platform. And that is true because today, there are still more apps for iOS than Android, definitely better apps, in spite of the fact that Android overtook iOS in Apps Download in UK, Germany and Russia in Feb, 2012, and  soon followed by USA where Android bagged 50% of the US Smartphone market while iOS was reduced to just 30% in April 2012.

Yet, developers still prefer iOS. In fact, according to Flurry Analytics, the first quarter of 2012, 69% of app projects were started on iOS, while Android saw 31% of apps start life on its platform.

But if one really needs to develop a successful Android app, I honestly feel it's important to accept the Android situation instead of avoiding the Platform altogether and do what Rovio did, or what TinyCo did by developing a gaming model that tackled this situation. TinyCo cleverly customized the gameplay of their Android-iOS game “Tiny Village” by targeting players with special offers and incentives at the times they were most statistically likely to drop off. The end result? Android retention and average revenue per paying user was 25 to 40 percent higher than on iOS! [source]

TinyCo’s revenue sheet puts a dent to the popular “myth” that Android users are less likely to pay for in-game features than iOS users. Yes, Android users will definitely pay too if we feel it is really worth it. TinyCo’s monetization method was so effective that Google highlighted TinyCo’s practices in two of their I/O sessions this month and encouraged other developers to follow TinyCo’s lead.

See? TinyCo didn’t complain about how Android users end up pirating their games. They knew about this fact. That is why when I read articles like the one below, I just go, "Seriously? You really didn't see this coming????"
Madfinger: Android piracy forced Dead Trigger to go from paid to free model

Developer Madfinger Games explained today that its game Dead Trigger recently went from $0.99 to free because of the “unbelievably high piracy” it had encountered on Android.

Madfinger explained that they didn’t launch the game as free to play because they don’t have experience with that model, but that the piracy rates were so high even at $0.99 that they finally decided to give Dead Trigger away for free.

We all know Piracy is like the Greek mythology Hydra. You cut off one head, two will grow in its place. Nobody can stop it. Not SOPA, not PIPA, not ACTA, Megaupload will be back and running soon. As Kim dotCom wrote in his famous letter to Hollywood, instead of fighting the system, maybe its high time people realize they have to adjust to the system. I still believe the future of Android games is about how smart the developer becomes and how he can tackle this piracy issue, instead of just avoiding the platform altogether.

Debates and bricks and bats welcome :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Chp 411. Wanna see The Dark Knight Rise? :)

Reached Mumbai two days ago from Delhi, only to find out my friends weren’t able to “pre-book” tickets for “The Dark Knight Rises” as all tickets in Mumbai at every Movie theater had been pre-booked till next Thursday!!!

 Man, talk about advance booking.

And so, as the Dark Knight Rises released today, I’m one of the many people sulking at home, trying to ignore the FB status messages and tweets of all my friends who saw it today, talking about how awesome the movie was… Grrrr…

Anyway, for the ladies… I made this pic especially for this occasion. In fact I bought this boxer solely with the intention of taking this exact pic. I already posted it on my Facebook wall and it got 50+ likes so I’m assuming its ok to put it here too, hehehe….

Yeah I know, I had to blur out my face because I know how some of you guys are going to turn this around at me one day :P

By the way, today there was a tragic incident of a gunman opening fire at The Dark Knight premiere in Colorado. Around 14 people died so far. Truly a tragedy.

Batman US cinema shooting: 12 dead in Colorado
At least 12 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a shooting at a midnight cinema showing of the new Batman film near Denver, Colorado.

Witnesses said a man wearing a gas mask opened fire after tossing a tear gas canister in the auditorium as movie-goers watched The Dark Knight Rises.

Right now, every site you go online is talking about the shooting incident and the victims… May their souls rest in peace. :(

To  end this short post and cheer you up a bit, here is my favorite scene from Batman… nopes, not any of the latest Batman series… I’m talking about the 1960’s *KAPOW*, *BAMMM* Batman. This is one of my favorite scenes, about the AWESOME deduction power of Batman, Robin and the rest. It will surely crack you up…

…and here’s another one I just can’t stop laughing to. Batman having a conversation with Bruce Wayne :)

Cheers and a happy weekend :)

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Chp 410. Yes, I am F.I.N.E (almost)

I kept my word and went for a full body checkup yesterday at Lilavati Hospital, Bandra.

The place was truly awesome. As I mentioned before, this was my first health checkup, and also the first time I was inside Lilavati hospital. The place was crawling with private security guards everywhere, after all, it is THE place where Bollywood’s top stars, P3 celebs and other famous Mumbaikars like Amitabh  Bachchan, Lara Dutta, Bal Thackeray and Salman Khan rush to, whenever they have a serious case of the hiccups.

There were all sorts of hospital staff in different uniforms roaming everywhere, like clockwork. In fact I think there were more employees than sick people.

When I reported myself at the health check-up division on the second floor, I was immediately assigned a very cute and charming assistant “M”, who took me from one test section to the other seamlessly. Whenever I came out from a test lab, she was always there near the door smiling at me and ready to take me to my next test, making sure I didn’t get lost in that huge maze of a hospital.

I was given this badge to wear the entire day…

After submitting my stool and urine samples (Don’t ask me how I finally got them! I am strictly following the US military policy here – “Don’t ask, don’t tell”), one of the docs extracted around five test tubes of blood from me.

After all the post-fast tests were done, I could finally break my 12+ hours fasting and “M” took me to the special breakfast buffet room meant only for health check-up patients.

Hehe, I ate like there was no tomorrow. I never expected such soft idlis to be served in a hospital “canteen”. The idli, dipped in awesome coconut chutney, literally melted in my mouth. It was far better than the ones we get at popular South Indian restaurants like Banana Leaf or CafĂ© Madras.

Overall, the treatment and service I got was definitely 5 star.

Today, I went to collect my report. Yes my heart was pumping a bit more than usual, as I tried to convince myself that I was ready to expect the worst…

The doctor grinded me for a few minutes. I truthfully told her about my current lifestyle, and I could sense a hint of disdain in her tone…

And so here are my results – My lungs, kidneys, heart and liver are perfectly fine!!! Wooohoooooooo! My liver’s SGOT and SGPT readings were 27 and 31 respectively, well within the same zone, which completely shocked my cousin Dr. Mash. :)

The BAD NEWS though is, I have high BP – 140/100, which is probably because of my incessant smoking and heavy alcohol intake. And I also have slightly high cholesterol and blood sugar level (I’m almost near the borderline between normal and high, but fortunately on the normal side).

She recommended me to take three more tests whenever I’m free – PPBS, B12 and D3, to check for diabetes (though she assured me it may not be), but first and foremost, she told me to quit smoking. I am really thinking about doing this.

So apart from all that, she prescribed medicines only for my High BP, which I’m gonna start taking from today itself, and to monitor my BP daily. Also, I have to start doing something physical as she said the only reason why my body hasn’t suffered more is because I used to be physically very active for a long time.

I am really glad I took this test (which I’ve been dreading for a very long time) and it feels like a huge burden has been lifted off my back. Tonight, we party to celebrate this!!! Well, just tonight, after that, I swear I’m gonna go easy on the partying and alcohol. I hope all of you take a complete health check too.

The only song playing in my head right now is this…

Yeah, time to celebrate!!! :)

And oh, on a parting note… you wanna know what the most difficult task in the whole wide world is?


Cheers :)

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Chp 409. Woohoo… Four years in Webchutney!

My my… it feels just like yesterday when I wrote my “Just completed three years at Webchutney” post this same time last year!

And with a few senior people (in terms of duration) leaving last year, I am now in the Top 10-15 list of employees who have worked the longest here at Webchutney, India’s leading digital agency. In fact, in our Mumbai office, only five people have worked longer than me. And trust me, in our highly competitive industry, people move on (or asked to move on) from one company to the other very quickly.

I don’t know about people working in other digital ad agencies, but for me, these past four years had been magical. I joined this company in 2008. That year, we were adjudged the number 1 digital agency in India! Then in 2009 we retained our title again, becoming the undisputed number 1 digital agency again.

But we could see our competitors drawing closer and closer. In 2010, we were knocked down to third position! That was indeed a dark time for many of us.

In 2011, the year when I blogged about completing three years here, we pulled up our sockets and worked extra hard, fought for bigger pitches and slept more nights in office trying to meet crazy deadlines that truly mind-fucked us.

Two months ago, the verdict came out, and YES we retained our title and were declared the number 1 digital agency in India for 2011!!!

And yes, party we did! Me being the shameless creative trailblazer, I was present in both the Delhi Office party and the Mumbai Office Party. Hehehe…

This year had been especially awesome for me because, apart from working on many new accounts and coming up with awesome ideas and campaigns (the usual things that we always do), I discovered that I was a bit more versatile than I thought I was :)

For the first time, I worked on a digital + TV production house campaign for one of my clients! It was a totally new experience for me as we’re not a mainline ad agency and the only TV shoot experience I had before was as a copywriter where I was more of a spectator, not getting involved in the scripting or directing. But I believed I could pull this one off, and I had a lot of moral support from my awesome bosses. And so I spent weeks in the brain-storming room and Studio with the clients and production crew, planning for the shots that we required for the digital campaign.

Plus the client was awesome. More than an agency-client relationship, we became friends through the course of the project. And the best part was, the director was very open to my suggestions. Telling the extremely cute model “K” what to do and how to act or move got me high a bit, lolz. The director knew very well that when it comes to TV shots, that is his expertise, but I know how things will pan out and how consumers will react when it comes to the digital world because that is my domain.

I can’t mention the name of the client (or model) yet because the campaign hasn’t officially launch yet. Until then, I’ll leave these photos taken on that day.

The other big project not related to digital advertising that I’m currently working on for the past two months is mobile gaming! Other than that I cannot say anything else for now as things are not “officially official” yet.

Yup, that’s the reason why I’ve been going up to Delhi and back at least 20 times the past two months.

I am itching to blog about all my experiences, but don’t want to until things are confirmed. Will be in Delhi again next week, so hoping to catch up with all my Delhi friends again then, except, it’s awesomely 27°C here in Mumbai while it’s freaking 43°C in Delhi! Aaaarghhh.

Anyhoo, this is my rant for today about completing four years in this awesome place. Now you see how this is related to my previous post? Yup, these past four years had taken a heavy toll on my health. Will be going for my medical check-up this week. Until then, take care y’all.