22 June 2009

PLC Theory

Well I'm back in my school marm super hero disguise and ready to continue to (mis)educate you. I'm going to give you a very abridged marketing lesson (you guys should really start paying me for all this wisdom...I take AmEx, Mastercard, and InterSwitch payments although cash is preferable, what with all this bad credit going around!)
Anyway to the lesson at hand...the PLC, for laymen the Product Life Cycle. Every product has a life cycle, pretty much like a person's. The conception stage (R & D phase), the growth stage, the maturity stage, and the death or retirement stage.
First, some bright chaps in marketing come up with a product to serve a particular need or to improve upon an existing product. After spending mucho dinera on research, market surveys and branding etc the new product enters the scene.
It goes through a growth stage where product loyalty is developed and sales figures increase as more people become aware of the product. The maturity stage is when optimum usage or sales are reached. People are buying, word of mouth is good and everybody's happy...buyers feel their getting value for money and the producers are laughing to the bank (hopefully).
Then, comes decline. The market is saturated, product usefulness has run its course, imitators have arrived, market share and sales figures start to fall and eventually the product gets phased out. Now if the makers have their act together they can reinvent the product, discover new uses for the product, make entry into the market difficult for new contenders, engage in product diversification or modification etc during the maturity stage and extend the life cycle, but eventually the cycle must end.Now the same PLC theory exists in relationships. The conception stage of the relationship begins when Mr. A desires the hot new product, Ms. B.. Extensive research ensues...where does she hang out, what does she like, how does she roll? etc. Much capital and other resources are spent, surveys conducted and strategic planning engaged in to ensure smooth market entry.
Now depending on the desire of the man, the product maybe invested in as a prototype or beta test pending the release of the final product (Ms. F., G., H. or Z. Or if he's really in to Excel he could product test till Ms. IJ256!), or he might see Ms. B as the finished product.
The relationship progresses tentatively (the growth stage), everybody on their best behaviour and the market share of Ms. B increases as Mr. A begins to "buy" her way, and her uses are discovered.
All things being equal, we progress to the maturity stage. Ms. B's been accepted and her market share has reached its peak, and the issue of competing products arises and new entrants flood the market.
How does Ms. B maintain her market dominance?
A smart business person might choose to:
  • re-brand the product along with an extensive new marketing strategy showcasing the product's alternate uses; (she flips the script and shows him other sides of her)
  • engage in product adaptation or modification to meet the changing demands of the buyer (she attunes to his changing needs and grows with him);
  • introduce of a supplementary product to increase the usefulness of and spark desire for the initial product (in this case fast forward 9 months); or
  • simply find ways to remind the buyer why he was loyal to the product initially (she keeps giving that 'good good').
Now if Ms. B has been successful in warding off the competition she should be married, and only retired by death (usually Mr. A's).
However, as we sadly know, not all products are successful in the open market, it could be that:
  • the product was a mismatch for the buyer (she wasn't the girl for him),
  • the product's entry into the market was ill timed (he wasn't ready to settle down or she was too emotionally immature to settle down),
  • the product failed to deliver (she wasn't who she said she was),
  • the product maker failed to fully understand the market thus failing to adapt to changing user requirements (she got too comfortable, and forgot to pay attention and research his changing needs) or
  • it was simply a bad market (he was just the wrong guy)
Whatever the case or cause, the product failed to satisfy the end user (Mr. A).A smart business person, if they decide to reintroduce the product, will analyse the reasons for the initial failure, reassess the target market demographics (make sure she's looking at the right type of man), align the product for market compatibility (make sure she's the right woman) and work out the kinks before relaunch (check bad attitudes, develop emotional maturity etc). Likewise in a failed relationship, a wise woman should assess, reevaluate and workout her lapses (if any) in the previous relationship, and then reintroduce herself appropriately repackaged for her new target market.
Originally Posted: 26 April 09

DISCLAIMER: All thoughts and opinions expressed here are all mine (crazy as they might seem). All works here are my original work (unless otherwise stated)

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I Can't Tell You Why (...or Maybe I Can)

I'm really bored...hence the note blitz! As referenced in one of my prior notes (RE: My Current Playlist) the song with the subject title is one of my favorites. It's a song done in the late 70s by The Eagles the group that gave us classics like Hotel California, Love Will Keep Us Alive and Tequila Sunrise. It's an oldie no doubt, but its essence remains true, and most likely will centuries to come. It tells of a lover who is constantly drawn back to his partner. Despite the fights, the arguements, heart breaks and disappointments he constantly stops short at the door. Thankfully, he doesn't label his stupidity under the moniker of love.

I know...I constantly come across as a relationship cynic, maybe I am to an extent but I do seriously believe that God had good purpose when he made us male and female then told us to hook up. My problem with this however is rooted in Genesis 6 v 6 (Man by nature is wicked and constantly plans evil)...so many bad people with so many bad plans...but that asides, back to my topic.

My reservations regarding lust, like and love (and whether a fundamental difference actually exists between them) on the back burner momentarily, I find myself in a relationship quandary and have to ask...is love really enough? Love is so esoteric in nature...a mythical camelot, the yogi's nirvana...searched for, but the map showing its location lost in transit. It is not based on reality the way we talk it up, it is an ideal...and misplaced idealism is dangerous!

Love and all its promised peace have (and will continue to) driven many a soul crashing to the rocks just like the singin siren of folklore. Love is nice in concept, but I wonder whether the search for it hasn't somewhat eroded our God-given sense of practicality!

I love you...you (says you) love me, but somehow we can't seem to make it work! Why? Do we really have the right idea or are we simply pursuing a set of impossible totally unSMART goals? As I constantly preach, saying it and actually doing it are very different things. How can you claim to love me when you don't need me?

Love breeds need! The need for validation, the need to be needed. The need to feel like the other person's life would be incomplete without YOU! The need to feel like you count in the person's eyes. That they seek your validation too, that they lean on you, confide in you and can be weak in your presence. That your views count to them, that they can't live without you, that you are special. Selfishness at its best. I've recently discovered that I am selfish...I WANT to be truly needed, not just wanted, which goes contrary to my belief that love is about choice not necessity i.e you choice to be with the person you're with and are not compelled by forces beyond your control to be there.

There are times in a relationship that it feels like one of those 'never-ending' tv dramas where halfway through they keep replacing the soap star that plays your favorite character with someone else. Some relationships are just like that...you discover that you are f**king expendable...in YOUR OWN bloody movie (like some over-the-hill scarlet in Hollywood). Either your 'celebrity' status is so low that they could put in a new actor and your beau wouldn't even realise that he was kissing someone else, or worse still you get killed off in the script without a warning notice!

My new philosophy is that we do not seek love but need. Unfortunately we tend towards people who don't need us or who need us a bit too much (read this as co-dependant clingy, psycho a la Fatal Attraction (actually Glenn Close used them as a case study) with nada self-esteem). The issue now becomes an issue of striking a suitable need balance.

However women tend to be drawn to men who don't really need them (self included). By our very nature (most of us anyway) we are drawn towards 'MEN'. By this I refer to men who are driven, focused, goal getting, successful, take charge, cock of the coop men; not mealy mouthed mama's boys. Men who make things like walking on water, devising a workable plan for global peace and bringing an end to global warming seem like a walk in the park...all in a day's work (:-)), real kickass alpha males. The thing is...such men tend to be loners, packless wolves...never truly needing anyone, and find all they need within.

So what's a girl to do? Basically one thing...deal with it! Either accept the fact that he'll never truly need you in a Jordan Sparks' and C. B 'No Air' kinda way and be okay with that, or bounce and look for lesser mortals. Cynic? Or just a realist? I'd like to think I'm the latter.All said and done, I think I've told you why I remain where I'm not needed. Maybe it's love (or something like it) (yeah...right!!!)?

Originally Posted: 07 May 09

DISCLAIMER: All thoughts and opinions expressed here are all mine (crazy as they might seem). All works here are my original work (unless otherwise stated)

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Caveats Abound

Permit me a moment of your time. I'm here again spreading my particular brand of reality (well...so says me anyway...you are totally free to disagree). Today I look at duality. The duality of love.

Many people believe that love is unconditional, that it is without strings, without boundaries, without limitations and without caveats. Hmmm! I really feel sorry for such poor foolish folk. It is this belief that causes so much unnecessary drama, trauma and distress in life. There is no such thing as unconditional in this game called love. And that's exactly how I view it...a game, where victory goes to those that hold a better hand.

Even the love that exists between mother and child is filled with conditionality. Every mother has her favorite child and all the others just have to suck up and bear it. It might not always be so obvious but something always gives it away.

Even in the affairs of couples there is no unconditionality in love. We love with condition, otherwise there would be no breakups, no messy divorces, no custody disputes, no visitation hearings. We'd love unreservedly till death and beyond. But we don't.

Love, like good has it's mirror image. Love and hate go together, just like good and evil. Without one can the other exist. How else would we appreciate good in all its ramifications if evil did not exist to highlight it? Likewise love! We are constantly taught that love harbours no negativity and that once we love we can not feel resentment towards our partners, or outright hatred on some choice days. We are made to believe that love is all warm and fuzzy, all sugar and spice and all things nice. All the movies always portray love as kinda stupid and moronic!

The truth is, love is not all about cuddles and hugs, midnight walks and such romantic hogwash...it's about conditions. We love because we expect to be loved in return, we take it to be a right. If I love him or her 50% then they should love me in exactly the same ratio. If I make x, y sacrifices then they should make a comparative sacrifice. Does that really sound like unconditional love to you? To make it worse a lot of us take our expectations one step further and say if I do 50 he or she should go 50 more just to prove they love me. Haba! What selfishness!Very few (self inclusive) can love in a vacuum. By this I mean, love without receiving love in reciprocation. Ask yourself in total honesty could you love the person you're with if they gave you no love in return? If you were the only one doing all the work to sustain the love, would you still stay? Would you willingly sacrifice all you are and will be, even unto death...for the one you love knowing categorically that they wouldn't do the same? I don't judge you if you say no to every question asked, because I truly, can not say yes!

DISCLAIMER: All thoughts and opinions expressed here are all mine (crazy as they might seem). All works here are my original work (unless otherwise stated)

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My Talk with God

Recently I had a talk with God. It'd been awhile, so long that I'm even ashamed to put a date on it. Anyway...as usual it was a bit of a one-sided conversation with me doing all the talking and getting nothing in way of a reply...not even one of those moments of clarity, or a dream to say 'OK! I hear you already!!!'. Nada! Niente!!!

Notwithstanding I continued on my ethereal 20 Questions and prayed that answers would come somehow in the physical. I said a prayer for my family, even managed a few for my nation and state of birth. I didn't pray for world peace because I'm not so sure of my state of Grace to be so eager for God to come down and Armageddon to begin. Yeah, yeah...selfish I agree, but at least I'm honest about it! I put my friends in the mix, said a prayer for my enemies (again I'm being honest...I have enemies and don't front about it, but I did ask God to give me a renewed heart where they're concerned).

30 hours later I rose from my sanctuary none the wiser, with no enlightenment of any sort but a lightening of my soul all the same from bending God's ear and purging myself of all the thoughts I can't say in public for fear of being locked up in the psycho ward. However I was left with a simple realization. God no longer speaks from Sinai to instruct, He no longer sends manna from the heavens. No, but he gives you a vision in your heart of what is (and could be) in your grasp and has given you all you need to fulfil it.

Not quite the word I wanted, not exactly what I wanted to hear! He left the responsibility for my success or failure squarely with me. So if in life's journey I fail or fall, I can not blame anyone but myself seeing as I refused to do the work (as Paul said faith without work is dead) and closed my eyes to the tools He has given me to fulfil my task and destiny. However, even if I fail and fall a thousand times, the true sin would be to never get up and try again. Or to give up just when the dawn is about to break.

Many of us fall to achieve our true potential, not because of the people in the village or enemies at the gates, but because we either fail to truly harness our gifts or bug out just cause the going gets hard. We instead take the easy route of conformity to Man's rules, eagerly accepting what people say is reality, what is normal, what is achievable. The greats whose words we quote on the daily were in their day nonconformists. They realized what seed was in their hands and against society's expectations and suggestion strove to achieve the impossible and the improbable.

Thomas Edison, Theodore Roosevelt, Johannes Sebastien Bach, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela to name just a few. Adversity shapes a man and makes him strong. If it came to us easy we'd never truly appreciate our blessings. The only thing that seperates us from those that have succeeded is time and dedication. One year, 5 years, 10 years seems a long time, but on God's calendar it's just a blink of the eyes, and as they say...patience is a virtue!

We all have been given talent, irrespective of our beginnings, irrespective of who our daddies are, irrespective of our gender, disabilities, creed or state of origin. And each talent left to lay fallow, left unharvested and left to rot is an abominable sin. Discover what it is God gave you, groom it, grow it and channel it positively and as He said by the fruits of your labours you shall be made wealthy.

Originally Posted: 13 May 09

DISCLAIMER: All thoughts and opinions expressed here are all mine (crazy as they might seem). All works here are my original work (unless otherwise stated)

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Taken by Force

Yes I know...I'm quite topical. I 'talk' about whatever enters my thoughts at a given time, and the discussions aren't always de riguer or socially polite or acceptable topics, and honestly come to think of it...I'm not so socially appropriate either. I talk about sex a little too much and a little too graphically for the liking of some (and trust me I really, REALLY...do try tone it down). However if all was nice and proper it really wouldn't be me, n'est pas?
Anyway the topic today is one that people rarely talk about and constantly shy away from. Rape! It's a topic that brings with it a lot of stigma and blame directed at the wrong person...the victim.
A victim of rape never really recovers from the attack...her scars may heal, and all physical reminders may disappear, but the emotional scars remain and her precious ability to trust without reservation is crushed. The physical assault is just the crux of the matter, the continued emotional assault is the kicker. Now if you are brave enough to report the rape you are once more raped by those that should aid you. The police (especially in Nigeria) take the line of reasoning that you most probably asked for it and compound your woes by asking you to describe how exactly your attacker did the thing and whether you enjoyed it. Even if you never report the case you become a laughing stock as your rapist gleefully spreads the tale of how he gave it to you and how you begged for more, leaving you tagged for life as easy and down for whatever and the prey for other like minded 'men'. Even confiding your disgrace to your nearest and dearest might not give you the needed solace as they might either blame you for your woes or advice you to forget the ugly incident as if you did something to be ashamed of...and further adding to your victimization.
The sad fact is women aren't safe even from those they know. Statistics show that most cases of rape are perpetuated by those close to the victims...the so-called acquaintance rape accounting for near 60 percent of reported cases. Those that you trust and let your guard down with become the enemy within. Not just friends and colleagues, but uncles, caregivers and fathers. So sad that in no place is a woman truly safe.
However rape is far more than physical violation. Even emotional and verbal assault are rape. Having worked in an all male environment I have been a victim of inappropriate conduct and touches, lewd and decidedly sexual talk and jokes. Put in a position that I feel violated mentally and emotionally but with little or no defence. The word for this is sexual harassment and in no way less than rape.
Wht leads a man to rape? What leads a man to forcibly take what is not given freely...especially when you all know that on a pound for pound, blow for blow basis she's no match for you (weaker vessel and all that). What kind of man derives satisfaction from hearing her screams, fighting, tears and pleading? It really beats me! And that crazy talk about 'I thought she really meant Yes and really wanted it' should be confined to the trash can, where it rightly belongs. Unless she's tearing off your clothes and nearly raping you...don't even go there. Take N. O. to be just that...NO!!!. Even if she's all mellow and drunk out of her wits, don't take advantage of what looks like a golden opportunity. She might not be so pleased with you when she comes to. In my view sex should be consensual...and should be between two consenting adults (emphasis on adult...a twelve year old, no matter how stacked, is not an adult and statutory rape is real believe it, but that a lecture for another day.)
Women are constantly victimized and those brave enough to shout out are further raped by the society that should protect them. In rape trials the victim is questioned about their sexual past, about their relationship with their attacker and their life is put under a microscope and their integrity put on trial. And the man in question only needs to maintain an argument of He said, She said.
Don't get me wrong...some women do play for the gallery and shout rape at the slightest provocation, sometimes as a sympathy ploy, or as a revenge tactic to get even with a man that they feel treated them badly. Even at that, we should not lose track of the fact that real victims exist, and it is our duty as a society to defend to rights of the innocent (and not so innocent).

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Climbing on My Soapbox...Again!!!

Today I climb back on my little soapbox and prepare to tutor to our collective psyche! Today...I did my part in creating a change. I didn't march on the senate, neither did I barricade an oil company. I didn't kidnap an expatriate, or a 2 year old child. I didn't even blow up an oil pipeline (and contribute my part to further environmental degradation and what not).

No...I did none of the things my people (Niger Deltans) and generation (Gen X, abi na Gen Y or Z) have become famous for. I simply encouraged a young man. A young man who decided not to be one of the crowd, but to be a standard. He decided not to wait for government to improve society or his lot, nor did he wait for you or I, but in his own way and with his own voice decided to make his own path. I am a youth (though I think I saw a grey hair or two a couple of days ago) and am also a product of the Niger Delta! Before people start talking about my foreign education and all that, I might have spent the formative years in another man's land, but my life experiences and my understanding of life began here...in the Niger Delta.

I too have watched the land of my birth move from one low to the next seemingly impossible low, I too...have watched young girls, future wives and mothers, sell themselves to the highest bidder because that seems to be the only way left to make ends meet. I too...have seen the promising young man turn to crime, and be cut down by a policeman's bullet. I too...have looked down the barrel of a gun...while watching all I have worked for carted off by the 'original' owners. I too...have been wrongfully arrested and suffered police exploitation and oppression. I too...have struggled certificate in hand, under the boiling sun and downcast skies, looking for my daily bread. But I have chosen to make my own way, with no allegiance to any man, only God!

As is the recurrent theme in all my 'soapbox' confessionals (or rants as some have deemed fit to call them) I say 'ask not what your nation should be doing for you, but what you can do to turn things around'. I ask you not to put the blame for your stagnation on anyone's shoulders but your own. I ask you to take RESPONSIBILITY! Our government is useless...agreed, but isn't the government made up of people like you and I, two legs, two hands, and a head and eyes.

Not everyone we revere today had a godfather, not every face you see in our social events magazines was born with a silver (gold or platinum as the case maybe) spoon stuck firmly in their gobs. Some had no mother, no father, no joy, but lots of pride. Pride and faith...in themselves, in their abilities, in their ideas and dreams.

I seriously believe the Niger Delta is marginalised...but not by the fat cats in agbada in Aso, nor by the political class, but by the people themselves. Development can never come in the midst of war. And never to a people divided amongst themselves.
It isn't the agbada cartel eating our money, hoarding fuel to sell on the black market, or spending money for roads, hospitals and schools on foreign trips, mistresses and cars...it is our governors, and contractors who'd rather ride that new jeep, than build the good road he was paid to build. It is our very own people. As T. I said in his song 'Live Your Life' we are 'piss poor morally', so morally bankrupt and so wrapped up in self interest, that even with millions we willingly die for N1 (one naira).

The true meaning of militant and militancy has been hijacked by armed robbers, hostage takers and now murderers. The murderers of the 11 year old girl in Port Harcourt or the 23 year old undergraduate in Akwa Ibom (after collecting the 10 million naira ransom no less) should not claim to be fighting for any rights of yours and mine!

Are we like the foolish servant who buried his talents instead of multiplying them, because he did not want his master to profit? The Niger Delta is not just the engine room of the nation's foreign earning machine, but has a far greater source of income that is so highly under utilized...its human capital. Nigeria's got talent...Niger Delta's got talent! We have our Timi Dakolos and Timayas. Our Dokubos, Benemisias and Henshaws. Our Okaras and Amadis. We have our business leaders, our young entrepreneurs busy counting paper without government assistance. We have our talented inventors, our poets, our artists. So much potential...so grossly overlooked.

Nothing in life is easy, only dying...and we have no say with regard that, but regarding our life and how we live it...we have choices. Taking the path of least resistance and wasting your God given ability and potential is a sin! As someone remarked today 'anyone who says he's jobless has no vision'. We have all been endowed with gifts, but are too damn lazy to grow them. As it goes 'gold is tested by fire!'. The only true form of marginalization is self imposed. They may frustrate you, they may ridicule you, they may hate, but once you know your potential, you...like a rock...will not be moved!

So...to Vincent Nwilo (an intellectual militant)...author of Stories from Bori, I doff my hat, you are an inspiration to myself and others who strive to make a change.

Originally Posted:02 May 09

DISCLAIMER: All thoughts and opinions expressed here are all mine (crazy as they might seem). All works here are my original work (unless otherwise stated)

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The Reaper

The road long, The journey short
The destination of no consequence of any sort
The fate...the same awaits the coward, the strong, the brave
The eternal rest, the never sated always open grave
Be king, be pauper, be star, be locked in a constant pose to pray
Be saint, be sinner, be rich, be you what you may
When the time arrives, to the hungry earth we will all allegiance pledge
The only democracy where your vote must be counted no party playin for an edge
Where the constitution is but a one liner "You live then you die, so kiss your life goodbye."
No poetry, no prose, no tears, no lie
Money won't save you death don't care to know your name
The Grim Reaper doesn't care if you ruled your game
So wtf you are a celebrity? Or simply one called nondescript
Meet the director, the guy who cut you outta the script!
The race is to none and victory belongs to only one...The Reaper!
The one who makes grown men cry when he comes calling, the one who turns mother to weeper.
Acquire like a magpie, fill your nest with bling, cars, rings,
Buy your mansions, jets and trivial things.
All left behind to slackers to loot, squander and lose the things that became your life blood and steady goal
The things that twisted, eroded and finally enfolded your now condemned soul!
Or maybe we'll dig your grave wide and deep to put you and your mountain of things!

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11 June 2009

Robert Lindsey

Ok...I'm relatively easy going and believe in freedom of expression, but where I draw the line is when people expose their colossal ignorance, bigotry and unabated racism and talk utter bullshit from a 'dem say' point of view without having valid first hand knowledge. Today I read one of the most asinine and ignorant pieces I've read in a long while, and the author of this drivel is 'allegedly' a Masters holder (from which University I wonder) and thus should know the importance of adequate unbias research. I also took time to read other blog posts by this same anti-semitic, african hating **** (think colorfully...like a drunk sailor in a bar and fill in the blanks) and have concluded that the man has major MAJOR issues (padded room and straight jacket written in his horoscope...if he doesn't do a 'Columbine' and slaughter a bus load of immigrants first that is!).
For those that wish to read the offensive article that got me spewing expletives before my meditation, the link is Robert "highly racist, anti-semitic bigot" Lindsey.
Now I won't dispute some of the points he raised (even though his statistics were heavily skewered and exceedingly bias) but his manner and tone was beneath civilized, his statements were derogatory and smacked of personal angst. If he had approached the issues from an unbiased view point Nigerians and others would have responded in a more supportive manner, but his aggression started from the title itself and continued throughout his slightly psychotic ravings.
Below is the comment I wrote in response to his inane rantings recorded here in case he decides not to publish it.

Dear Mr. Lindsey,
I was initially ticked off (putting it very very mildly) when I read your blog post, but after taking time to engage in deep breathing techniques my clarity returned and I found myself overcome with great pity for you! What else can I have for someone who wears his prejudices and bigotry so proudly on his chest as if it were a bronze star and exhibits his gross stupidity, myopia, racism and illiteracy (education consists of more than acquiring degrees).
I've been fortunate to have travelled to a few of the places you so caustically disparaged (most recent being Manilla, as well as having the (mis)fortune of a 1st World (says you!) upbringing) and although some issues do exist it is nowhere near as bad as you erroneously claim.
With regard the Nigerian scam artistry issue get your facts right. Nigeria is yet to produce an scammer with as much skill as say umm...America's own Madoff! Neither have we attempted to sell off the London Bridge or the White House as some of your fellow citizens have. And usually people that get scammed are either greedy, naive or just plain dumb. And pleeeeease who is so so lame as to have to resort to internet dating...don't have women in your own country?
We don't have cases of serial killers, or people waking up in the mornin hating self and humanity and going on senseless killing sprees for the heck of it like you crazed and deranged whiteys.
You should speak from experience not hearsay for your rantings to be taken moderately seriously or maybe this is like Candid Camera and we'll find out that you're just jossin with us and this is just a big joke and you really aren't this retarded.

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