Thoughts ridden by kash Jun 7, 2009

Business and traffic habits - Part 1

Driving my car. It’s a passion that I pursue passionately. Whether it is driving on the escarpments or on a straight road, it is always a pleasure for me. The vvvroooommmm of the engine, hiss of air conditioning, squealing tyres, shifting from low to high gear are some of things that make driving a passion for me. Long drives, with my wife sitting besides me, is my idea of a romantic drive.

On the other side, business drives the passion inside me to think beyond. It excites my mind to go out and do something different. It drives me to increase my confidence, take calculated risks and of course, earn a lot of money.

Coming to main idea behind the post, it’s interesting how your driving behavior can be compared to your business behavior. In a series of posts, I will attempt to make some comparison between everyday human behavior in traffic and similar trends in business.

For simplicity of explanation, I am not including two-wheelers, cycles, bullock carts or for that matter, anything smaller than an autorickshaw. The idea of this post was conceived some days ago when I was driving home from office in the evening. The traffic had increased beyond its normal density which allowed me to slow down my car and think about some idea to blog about. That’s when I had this brainstorm or maybe call it a revelation, which I thought would be interesting. So here it goes.

Anyone and everyone into a job or a business know about competitive environments and how to cope with it. In a professional job, one would look for advancement in career, a coveted promotion, much needed or desired hike in compensation, an increase in more responsibility and power etc. In a business, one would look for higher profits and revenue, expansion of business, race ahead of rival businesses, to become leader in innovation etc. By careful thought and analysis of these wants, you can infer that be it business or a professional job, you want to go ahead, race ahead, be the first. And that is exactly what you do when you are driving in a city. You always try to go ahead of the car in front of you. You accelerate and overtake the car ahead by careful examination of the oncoming traffic. In effect, you are going ahead, racing ahead.

To describe it clearly, I will take up each of the traffic habits and compare it to those of business.


Traffic Behaviour (TB) : As I mentioned earlier, when you try to overtake, you are essentially trying to get ahead of some car or vehicle blocking your way. When you decide overtake the vehicle(V) ahead, you take some points into consideration. You check whether there are any oncoming vehicles, you check for space on either side of V, you flick your headlights or honk your horn to let V know that you want to go ahead, you shift your gears accordingly if necessary etc. These points are something that let you prepare to go ahead of V. And then you make the move.

Business Behaviour (BB) : First let me describe what going ahead in business. Increase in profits, revenue, headcount, products, customers etc can be considered as going ahead. When you go ahead of a rival business, you are becoming bigger, better and more successful. When you go ahead, your business is growing and running well. So when you overtake someone in a car, you can compare that to overtaking a rival business in profits, revenue etc.

Businesswise, when you overtake someone, you grow big. So when you overtake a car, your car should turn into a SUV (You wish!) or a luxury sedan or a truck. Hypothetically, it increases in size and practically, it does not. But you do get the point, don’t you?

More on other habits of traffic and their relation to business in the coming posts.

Till then adieu.


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