Category Archives: Misc

Hridaynath Mangeshkar in Los Angeles

Had the pleasure of attending the live concert of Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar (Feb 21, 2009). It was a blast - with Panditjee's rendition of the memorable songs that he has composed and sung (in some cases). There were around 400 people attending and still it had a feel of a private mehfil with Panditjee responding to farmaish for most of the concert. He also broke into the background stories of each of the songs and the people behind the magic of them. He also showed his typical tricks like making plenty of fun of the Marathi Mandal's secretary and testing the local singer by starting out the opening lines of the duets in different scales :-)

Here is a list of all the songs in sequence: (The video links are not the videos from the program, but just links to youtube videos of the same song)

  1. Gagan Sadan Tejomay - गगन सदन तेजोमय (Video)
  2. Tu tevha tashi - तू तेव्हा तशी (Video)
  3. Sarja Raja - सर्जा राजा (Video)
  4. Sunya Sunya Maifilit majhya - सुन्या सुन्या मैफ़िलीत माझ्या (Video)
  5. Ti Geli Tevvha Rimjhim - ती गेली तेव्हा रिमझिम पाऊस निनादत होता (Video)
  6. Jambhul Piklya Zada khali - जांभुळ पिकल्या झाडाखाली (Video)
  7. Yaara Seeli Seeli - यारा सीली सीली (Video)
  8. Gorya Dehavarati Kanti - गोर्‍या देहावरती कांती (Audio)
  9. Ne Majasi Ne Parat Matrubhumila - ने मजसी ने परत मात्रुभुमीला (Video)
  10. Valhav Re Nakhava - वल्हव रे नाखवा (Video)
  11. Daya Ghana - दया घना (Video)
  12. Runu Jhunu Re Bhramara - रूणू झूणू रूणू झूणू रे भ्रमरा (Video)
  13. Sarnar kadhi raN Prabho - सरणार कधी रण प्रभो Video
  14. Shur amhi sardar - शूर आम्ही सरदार आम्हाला Video
  15. Vedat marathe veer doudale saat - बेडात मराठे वीर दौडले सात Video
  16. kevha tari pahate - केव्हा तरी पहाटे (Video)
  17. malavoon taak deep - मालवून टाक दीप (Video)
  18. chandanyat phiratana - चांदण्यात फिरताना (Video)
  19. Mee maj harapun basale - मी मज हरपून बसले (Video)
  20. Jivalagaa - जिवलगा (Video)

Sony Bravia Internet Link Unofficial API

Some notes from experimenting with my new toy!

The device (DMX) plugs into HDMI port of the TV and has its own HDMI input allowing pass-through. The control of DMX is done from a USB cable which is attached from the TV to DMX (Wonder why they do not use the HDMI for that!). DMX has an ethernet port which can get autoconfigured using DHCP (or can also be configured for manual settings from the TV). Sony has licensed a lot of content providers (slacker for radio and tons of other video providers like youtube, Amazon, Yahoo, Blip.tv). They have a portal (http://internet.sony.tv/) which allows you to add your own video links and some browser extensions which allow you to link your favorite videos which the DMX can then play for you. The firefox extension unfortunately requires older (2.X) version of firefox and does not work with newer versions (3.X). I tweaked that extension and it now works okay without significant changes. Here is a link to it. This extension adds a context menu to firefox and you can use it to direct the DMx to start playing the linked video, bookmark it etc. The caveats are that the link needs to be a raw video file (mp4, mov, avi, divx etc.) and not HTML file or any other kind.

Here is what I learned from reverse engineering the extension code.

The DMX runs a primitive web browser on port 9784. The server is reportedly called "Callisto Debug Server v0.2". There is a php script running which responds to URLs like the following
Send commands using the following REST API:

http://192.168.0.101:9784/renderer.php?method=play&url={encoded URL}

The firefox and internet explorer generates these URL's.

Here is what I gathered from the extension code about the API:

Available commands and arguments:

  • play (url => encoded URL to mp4, AVI, MOV file to play)
  • pause
  • stop
  • addbookmark (title=> encoded bookmark title, description=>encoded description, icon => ???, source =>encoded URL)

It seems to play the mp4 files quite well (I had good success with HD mp4 links from youtube and dailymotion websites which have a lot of bollywood movies). The streaming is very smooth and video quality is acceptable. You can use a website like http://keepvid.com/ to see the hidden video links. These links are then directly playable by DMX. I will experiment with AVI, MOV, DIVX files next...

Next step for me is to create a simple webservice which does all of these steps and posts the link to the DMX! Can't wait till I can manage to do that...

आसमाँ के पार (Aasamaan ke paar – Rockford)

A beautiful song composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and sung by Shankar Mahadevan.
Lyrics by Gulzar

सन सना ता रा रे रारा सन सना

आसमाँ के पार शायद और कोई और आसमाँ होगा
बादलों के परबतों पर कोई बारिश का मकाँ होगा

ओ... मैं हवा के परों पे कहाँ जा रहा हूँ कहाँ
कभी उडता हुवा कभी मुडता हुवा मेरा रास्ता चला
ओ हो हो हो
ओ... मैं हवा के परों पे कहाँ जा रहा हूँ कहाँ

मेरे पाँव के तले की ये ज़मीन चल रही हैँ

कहीं धूप ठंडी ठंडी कहीं छाँव जल रही हैँ

इस ज़मीं का और कोई आसमाँ होगा

होगा... आसमाँ ...

हो आसमाँ होगा

मैं हवा के परों पे कहाँ जा रहा हूँ कहाँ

इन लम्बे रास्तोँ पर सब तेज़ चलते होंगे

Copy के पन्नों जैसे यहाँ दिन पलटते होंगे

शाम को भी सुबह जैसा क्या समा होगा

होगा.... क्या समा....
हो.. क्या समा होगा

मैं हवा के परों पे कहाँ जा रहा हूँ कहाँ

Rescuing hosed server

This post describes the steps that I took to restore an old server which had died some months back.

I had a linux server running debian pretty reliably. It had failed because of a hardware problems (broken power supply). I replaced the power supply and proceeded to make it current with security fixes. But as it happens when you update after a long time, (or it could also be due to my own itch to remove old kernels), I hosed the system. By that I mean that the system was running but somehow all the kernels had been removed (including the current one that I was running!). Anyway, in summary, the system would not boot because there was no kernel to do so.

Step 1: Okay, I thought I will just reinstall it with Ubuntu (which BTW is my new favorite distribution). But the problem was that the machine was using LVM and Ubuntu installer did not recognize the LVM volumes (even though it is documented to do so).

Step 2: So next stop was latest and greatest Knoppix which recognizes LVM. When I booted knoppix, I was able to see all the old partitions and data (70 gigs of legal *cough* songs, audio books and movies). Success!

Step 3: Next step was to chroot into the old root partition and use apt-get to get the kernel package installed back again. I confirmed that there was no kernel-image-* package installed! apt-get update would fail, because procfs was not mounted, so from out of the chroot, mounted the procfs. After that I was able to update the packages, but the install scripts failed because of errors. The specific error was /dev/null: Permission Denied. I was stumped. The device looked okay and the permissions also were okay (the script runs as root afterall). Upon some search I found out that it is because the default mounts in knoppix do not mount devices (nodev option). Once I fixed that, all things fell right in place.

Religious Stotra – काही धार्मिक स्तोत्रे ध्वनीरूपामध्ये

Update: For those looking for the lyrics of Mahishasura mardini shloka, here is a link.

Update: There have been many requests for Shivaleelamrut (Shivleelamrut). Here is one link to the complete text in devanagari: - श्री शिवलीलामृत

Update: Click here to listen to Complete Ganesh Pooja.

I keep getting a lot of hits on some of the old posts (Ram Raksha Stotra and Hanuman Chalisa) with visitors asking for audio versions of the stotra. Here is a page where I will keep collecting the audio versions of various stotras.

To Play: If you have javascript enabled, you can click on the small arrow before each link to play the file.
To Download: Right click the link and select "Save Link As" or “Save Target As”.

श्री शिवलीलामृत - ११ वा अध्याय (अपूर्ण) (Shivaleelamrut - 11th Chapter (Incomplete))

RamRaksha Stotra - श्री रामरक्षा स्तोत्र

Ganapati Atharvasheersh - श्री गणपत्यथर्वशीर्ष words and English Meaning
Ganapati Stotra - गणपती स्तोत्र (words and English Meaning)

Guru Mantra - गुरू मंत्र
Another version of Guru Mantra (Guru Stotram) by Swami Atmananda.
Guru Stotram गुरू स्तोत्रम Text
Shiva Tandav Stotra - शिव तांडव स्तोत्र

Shiv Mahimna Stotra. Lyrics / शब्द

Vishnu Sahastranam - श्री विष्णुसहस्रनाम

Beej Mantra - बीज मंत्र
Maha Mrutyunjay Mantra - महा म्रुत्युंजय मंत्र
Shivoham
Kailas Rana Shiva Chandramouli - कैलास राणा शिव चंद्रमौळी
Mantra Pushpanjali - मंत्र पुष्पांजली

Bhimarupi Maharudra (Hanuman Stotra) - भीमरूपी महारुद्रा - शब्द

Mahishasur Mardini Stotra - महिषासुर मर्दिनी स्तोत्र -

Pasayadan - पसायदान शब्द
Purush Sukta (with meaning in English) - पुरूष सुक्त (इंग्रजी अनुवादासहित)
Chandika Devi Kavach - चंडिका देवी कवच
Durga Kavach 1 - दुर्गा कवच १
Durga Kavach 2 Anuradha Paudwal- दुर्गा कवच (अनुराधा पौडवाला)
Hanuman Kavach - हनुमान कवच
Shree Sukta - श्री सुक्त (Script and Meaning)
- Thanks to Abhijeet V. Wajpe for this
जय अंबे माता Jaya Ambe Maata
Jai Jai Hanuman - जय जय हनुमान:
Shree Hanuman Chalisa (Anup Jalota) श्री हनुमान चालिसा (अनुप जलोटा)
Hanuman Austak - हनुमान अष्टक
Hanuman Stavan - हनुमान स्तवन
Chhand - छंद
Jiske Man Main Base Shreeramji - जिसके मनमें बसे श्रीरामजी
Jai Jai Jai Hanuman Ki - जय जय हनुमान की
Kab Loge Hamari Khabariya - कब लोगे हमारी खबरियाँ
Shree Hanuman Aarti - श्री हनुमान आरती
जय जगदीश हरे जय जगदीश हरे - Jay Jagadeesh Hare (words)

Credits:

Song from animation film Hanuman

Mahabali maharudra beautifully sung by Vijay Prakash, Sonu Nigam, Shaan, Palash Sen, Kailash Kher, Madhushree, Sneha Pant, music by Tapas Relia and lyrics by Satish Mutatkar.

Lyrics in itrans ascii:
(jaya hanumaan gyaan guNa saagar
jaya kapiis tihu lok ujaagar
raamadoot atulit bal dhaamaa
a.njanee putra pavanasoot naamaa)

paraakram se gu.nje tribhuvan
dharatii paataal,duShTa bhanjan
jal saagar kare paraajay kra.ndan
trikaal nira.ntar lok va.ndan

mahaabali mahaarudraa mahaavajraa
shauryavaan veer hanumaan......

chehare se chhalakatii namrataa
aankho.n me.n shaa.nt chit kii chhaayaa
mukhapara hai.n subaha kii laalii
vishaal si.ndoor lipii kaayaa

(mahaabeer bikram bajara.ngii
kumatii nivaar sumatii ke sa.ngii
ka.nchan baran biraaj shubhesaa
kaanan ku.nDal ku.nchit kesaa
haat vajra aur dhvajaa biraje
khaa.nde moo.nj janeu saage
sha.nkar suvanaa kesarii na.ndan
tej prataap mahaa jag va.ndan)

bikaT samay nikaT jo aaye
pratham vahii smaraN aa jaaye
har vipadaa vo door kare
sa.nkaT mochan tabhii kahalaaye

shaktii kii nayii paribhaaShaa
viraaT vikramii roop anokhaa
laaye uThaaye droNagirii
aur jag dekhe leelaa nyaarii

Devanagari:
(जय हनुमान ग्यान गुण सागर
जय कपीस तिहु लोक उजागर
रामदूत अतुलित बल धामा
अंजनी पुत्र पवनसूत नामा)

पराक्रम से गुंजे त्रिभुवन
धरती पाताल,दुष्ट भन्जन
जल सागर करे पराजय क्रंदन
त्रिकाल निरंतर लोक वंदन

महाबलि महारुद्रा महावज्रा
शौर्यवान वीर हनुमान......

चेहरे से छलकती नम्रता
आन्खों में शांत चित की छाया
मुखपर हैं सुबह की लाली
विशाल सिंदूर लिपी काया

(महाबीर बिक्रम बजरंगी
कुमती निवार सुमती के संगी
कंचन बरन बिराज शुभेसा
कानन कुंडल कुंचित केसा
हात वज्र और ध्वजा बिरजे
खांदे मूंज जनेउ सागे
शंकर सुवना केसरी नंदन
तेज प्रताप महा जग वंदन)

बिकट समय निकट जो आये
प्रथम वही स्मरण आ जाये
हर विपदा वो दूर करे
संकट मोचन तभी कहलाये

शक्ती की नयी परिभाषा
विराट विक्रमी रूप अनोखा
लाये उठाये द्रोणगिरी
और जग देखे लीला न्यारी

wordpress themes

Interesting wordpress themes from www.alexking.org
:

Clasikue
Connections
Dark Maple
Elvgren
Fasttrack
Greenwood
Head (3 column layout)
Jakarta (Cool javascript hacks for align, smaller/bigger font etc.)
Neuron (Collapsible menus)
rdc*Theme
Red Train
Rin
Sharepoint Like

Skin Adobe Reader…

How to use liposuction to repair Adobe Reader 6

Install Adobe Reader 6 :)
From the Start->Run windows menu, Open the "x:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 6.0\Reader" folder, where x is the right drive letter.
Find the plug_ins folder and rename it plug_ins_disabled
Create a new folder named plug_ins
Copy the following files from "plug_ins_disabled" to "plug_ins": EWH32.api, printme.api, and search.api

Of course this will limit the functionality to viewing non-encrypted pdf files, but that's exactly what I want Acrobat ^B^B^B^B^B Adobe Reader for, 99.9% of the time. You might want to experiment leaving some of the fat in, I mean, .API files, like reflow.api and search5.api (if it's there), and see how it affects functionality and load times.

With the files listed, you get half the load time on low-end systems, and a 2-sec load time on high-end ones. Still, you might want to prefer using Acrobat Reader 4.05 on old systems, since it loads in just seven seconds instead of 20.

Your mileage might vary. Liposuction is a dangerous clinical procedure. Consult your doctor. All lawsuits and claims should go not to me, but to our editor and our reader Kelly. ;).

Update: 2005/11/20
I had some problems when opening pdf links in the browser. I found another great utility to automate skinning the adobe reader. It's called pdfsu (for pdf speedup!).
Get it from here
They also have other pdf freeware to make pdf files from anything (create a printer device which creates pdf files)

Dnyaneshwari – English transliteration and translation!

Dnyaneshwari - Bhaavarth Diipikaa: a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita

English translation of philosophical part of Dnyneshwari (1290 AD). Dnyaneshwari is a commentary on Gita, written 700 years ago by Saint Dnyneshwar (Jnanesvara or Gnanadeva) (1274-1297). It brings Vedanta and other spiritual philosophies to common man. It explains the various paths a person can take for spiritual progress and ultimate liberation.

Apart from mythical stories, not much is known about the life of Dnyaneshwar and his brothers. Judging purely by their writings, they lead a hard life. In 1296 AD, Dnyaneshwara, aged 25, walked into a stone-walled room in Alandi near Pune. He had it closed and passed away in samadhi (a state of spiritual liberation). The room has not been opened since then and Alandi has been a revered place. None of his siblings were to enjoy a long worldly life either and passed away within months of Dnyaneshwar's samadhi.

Ram raksha Stotra!

Update: (2006-12-19) I added a new page to collect audio versions of different stotras. Here is the link: http://amit.chakradeo.net/2006/12/19/religious-stotra/

Amazing what you can find on the web!

Here is another link

Ram Raksha Stotra

Viniyogah:

Aasya Shriramrakshastrotamantrasya budhkaushik hrishi:

ShriSitaramcandro devta anushtup Chanda: Sita shakti:

Shriman hanuman keelkam ShriRamcandapreetyeRthe

Ramrakshastotrajape vinyOgah:

Dhyaaedaajaanu baahum dhyaanam dhrit shar
dhanusham badhhpadmaasanastham

Peetam vaaso vasaanam navkamaldalspardhinetram prasannam .

Vamaankaarooddh sita mukhkamal milallochanam neerdaabham
naanaalankaar deeptam dadhat murujataamandalam Ramchandram .

STOTRAM

Charitam Raghunaathasya shut koti pravistaram I

Ekaikam aksharam punsaam mahaa paatak naashanam II 1 II

Dhyaatvaa nilotpal shyaamam Ramam rajeev lochanam I

Jaanaki lakshmanopetam jataa mukut manditam II 2 II

Saasitoor dhanurbaan paanim naktam charaantakam I

Swalilayaa jagat traatumaavirbhuntam ajam vibhum II 3 II

Ram rakshaam patthet praagyaha paapaghaneem sarv kaamdam I

Shiro may Raaghavah paatu bhaalam Dasharathaatmjah II 4 II

Kausalyeyo Drishau Paatu Vishvaamitra priyah shrutee I

Ghraanam paatu makha traataa mukham saumitrivatsala II 5 II

Jihvaam vidyaa nidhih paatu kanttham bharat vanditah .

Skandhau divyaayudhah paatu bhujau bhagnesh kaarmukah II6II

Karau seetapatih paatu hridayam jaamadagnyajit I

Madhyam paatu khara dhwansi naabhim jaambvadaashrayah II7II

Sugriveshah katee paatu sakthini hanumat prabhuh I

Uru Raghoot tamah paatu rakshakul vinaashkrit II 8 II

Jaahnuni Setukrit Paatu janghey dasha mukhaantakah I

Paadau vibhishan shreedah paatu Ramokhilam vapuh II 9 II

Etaam Ram balopetaam rakshaam yah sukriti patthet I

Sa chiraayuh sukheeputri vijayi vinayi bhavet II 10 II

Paataal bhutalavyom chaari nash chadmchaarinah I

Na drashtumapi shaktaaste rakshitam ramnaambhih II 11 II

Rameti Rambhadreti Ramchandreti vaa smaran I

Naro na lipyate paapeir bhuktim muktim chavindati II 12 II

Jagat jaitreik mantrein Ram naam naabhi rakshitam I

Yah kantthe dhaareytasya karasthaah sarv siddhyah II 13 II

Vajra panjar naamedam yo Ramkavacham smaret I

Avyaa hataagyah sarvatra labhate jai mangalam II 14 II

Aadisht vaan yathaa swapne Ram rakshaimaam harah I

Tathaa likhit vaan praatah prabu dho budh kaushikah II 15 II

Aaraamah kalpa vrikshaanam viraamah sakalaapadaam I

Abhiraam strilokaanam Ramahi Shrimaansah nah prabhuh II 16 II

Tarunau roop sampannau sukumaarau mahaa balau I

Pundreek vishaalaakshau cheerkrishnaa jinaambarau II 17 II

Fala moolaa shinau daantau taapasau brahma chaarinau I

putrau dashrathasyetau bhraatarau Ram Lakshmanau II 18 II

Sharanyau sarv satvaanaam shreshtthau sarv dhanush mataam I

Rakshah kul nihantaarau traayetaam no raghuttamau II 19 II

Aattasajjadhanushaa vishusprishaa vakshyaashug nishang sanginau I

Rakshnaaya mum Ram lakshmanaa vagratah pathi sadaiv gachhtaam II 20 II

Sannadah kavachi khadagi chaap baan dharo yuvaa I

Gachhan manorathaa nashch Ramah paatu salakshmanah II 21 II

Ramo daashraltih shooro lakshmanaaru charo balee I

Kaakutsthah purushah purnah kausalyeyo raghuttmah II 22 II

Vedaant vedyo yagneshah puraan puru shottamah I

Jaanaki vallabhah shrimaan prameya paraakramah !! 23 II

Ityetaani japan nityam madabhaktah shraddhyaan vitah I

Ashvamedhaadhikam punyam sampraapnoti na sanshayah II24II

Ramam doorvaadal shyaamam padmaaksham peet vaasasam I

Stuvanti naambhirdivyern te sansaarino naraah II 25 II

Ramam Lakshman poorvajam raghuvaram sitapatim sundaram I

Kaakutstham karunarnvam gunnidhim viprapriyam dhaarmikam II 26 II

Raajendram satyasandham Dashrath tanayam shyaamalam shaantmurtium

Vande Lokaabhiraamam Raghukultilakam Raghavam Raavanaarim I

Ramaay Rambhadraay Ramchandraay Vedhasey

Raghunaathaay naathaay sitayah paataye namah II 27 II

Shri Ram Ram Raghunandan Ram Ram

Shri Ram Ram Bharataagraj Ram Ram

Shri Ram Ram Runkarkash Ram Ram

Shri Ram Ram Sharanam bhav Ram Ram II 28 II

Shri Ram Chandra Charan

Shri Ram Chandra Charanau manasaa smaraami

Shri Ram Chandra Charanau vachasaa grinaami

Shri Ram Chandra Charanau Shirasaa namaami

Shri Ram Chandra Charanau Sharanam prapadye II 29 II

Maataa Ramo Matpitaa. Ram Chandrah

Swaami Ramo matsakhaa Ram Chandrah

Sarvasvam may Ram Chandra Dayaalur

Naanyam jaane naive jaane na jaane II 30 II

Dakshiney Lakshmano yasya vaame cha janakaatmajaa I

Purato marutir yasya tama vande Raghunandanam II 31 II

Lokaabhi Ramam rana rangdheeram

Rajeev netram Raghuvansh naatham

Kaarunya roopam karunaa karantam

Shri Ram Chandram Sharanam prapadye II 32 II

Manojavam maarut tulya vegam

Jitendriyam buddhi mataam varishttham

Vaataatmjam vaanar youth mukhyam

Shri Ram dootam Sharanam prapadye II 33 II

Koojantam Ram raameti madhuram madhuraaksharam I

Aaruhya Kavitaa Shakhaam vande Vaalmikilokilam II 34 II

Aapdaampahar taaram daataaram sarvsampdaam I

Lokaabhiramam Shri Ramam bhooyo bhooyo namaamya hum II 35 II

Bharjanam bhav beejaanaam arjanam sukh sampdaam I

Tarjanam yum dootaanaam Ram Rameti garjanam II 36 II

Ramo Rajmani sadaa vijayate Ramam Ramesham bhaje

Ramenaa bhihtaa nishaacharchamoo Ramaay tasmai namah

Ramannaasti paraayanam partaram Ramasya daasosmyaham

Rame Chittalayah sadaa bhavtu me bho Ram maamudhhar II 37 II

Ram Rameti Rameti Ramey Rame manoramey I

Sahastra naam tatulyam Ram naam varaananey II 38 II

.. श्रीरामरक्षास्तोत्र ..
              .. ॐ श्रीगणेशाय नमः ..

अस्य श्रीरामरक्षास्तोत्रमंत्रस्य . बुधकौशिक ऋषिः .
श्रीसीतारामचंद्रो देवता . अनुष्टुप् छंदः .
सीता शक्तिः . श्रीमद् हनुमान कीलकम् .
श्रीरामचंद्रप्रीत्यर्थे रामरक्षास्तोत्रजपे विनियोगः ..
    .. अथ ध्यानम् ..
ध्यायेदाजानुबाहुं धृतशरधनुषं बद्धपद्मासनस्थम् .
पीतं वासो वसानं नवकमलदलस्पर्धिनेत्रं प्रसन्नम् .
वामांकारूढ सीतामुखकमलमिलल्लोचनं नीरदाभम् .
नानालंकारदीप्तं दधतमुरुजटामंडनं रामचंद्रम् ..
    .. इति ध्यानम् ..
चरितं रघुनाथस्य शतकोटि प्रविस्तरम् .
एकैकमक्षरं पुंसां महापातकनाशनम् .. १..
ध्यात्वा नीलोत्पलश्यामं रामं राजीवलोचनम् .
जानकीलक्ष्मणोपेतं जटामुकुटमंडितम् .. २..
सासितूणधनुर्बाणपाणिं नक्तंचरान्तकम् .
स्वलीलया जगत्रातुं आविर्भूतं अजं विभुम् .. ३..
रामरक्षां पठेत्प्राज्ञः पापघ्नीं सर्वकामदाम् .
शिरोमे राघवः पातु भालं दशरथात्मजः .. ४..
कौसल्येयो दृशौ पातु विश्वामित्रप्रियश्रुती .
घ्राणं पातु मखत्राता मुखं सौमित्रिवत्सलः .. ५..
जिव्हां विद्यानिधिः पातु कंठं भरतवंदितः .
स्कंधौ दिव्यायुधः पातु भुजौ भग्नेशकार्मुकः .. ६..
करौ सीतापतिः पातु हृदयं जामदग्न्यजित् .
मध्यं पातु खरध्वंसी नाभिं जाम्बवदाश्रयः .. ७..
सुग्रीवेशः कटी पातु सक्थिनी हनुमत्प्रभुः .
ऊरू रघूत्तमः पातु रक्षःकुलविनाशकृत् .. ८..
जानुनी सेतुकृत्पातु जंघे दशमुखान्तकः .
पादौ बिभीषणश्रीदः पातु रामोखिलं वपुः .. ९..
एतां रामबलोपेतां रक्षां यः सुकृती पठेत् .
स चिरायुः सुखी पुत्री विजयी विनयी भवेत् .. १०..
पातालभूतलव्योमचारिणश्छद्मचारिणः .
न द्रष्टुमपि शक्तास्ते रक्षितं रामनामभिः .. ११..
रामेति रामभद्रेति रामचंद्रेति वा स्मरन् .
नरो न लिप्यते पापैः भुक्तिं मुक्तिं च विन्दति .. १२..
जगजैत्रैकमंत्रेण रामनाम्नाभिरक्षितम् .
यः कंठे धारयेत्तस्य करस्थाः सर्वसिद्धयः .. १३..
वज्रपंजरनामेदं यो रामकवचं स्मरेत् .
अव्याहताज्ञः सर्वत्र लभते जयमंगलम् .. १४..
आदिष्टवान् यथा स्वप्ने रामरक्षांमिमां हरः .
तथा लिखितवान् प्रातः प्रभुद्धो बुधकौशिकः .. १५..
आरामः कल्पवृक्षाणां विरामः सकलापदाम् .
अभिरामस्त्रिलोकानां रामः श्रीमान् स नः प्रभुः .. १६..
तरुणौ रूपसंपन्नौ सुकुमारौ महाबलौ .
पुंडरीकविशालाक्षौ चीरकृष्णाजिनाम्बरौ .. १७..
फलमूलाशिनौ दान्तौ तापसौ ब्रह्मचारिणौ .
पुत्रौ दशरथस्यैतौ भ्रातरौ रामलक्ष्मणौ .. १८..
शरण्यौ सर्वसत्त्वानां श्रेष्ठौ सर्वधनुष्मताम् .
रक्षः कुलनिहंतारौ त्रायेतां नो रघूत्तमौ .. १९..
आत्तसज्जधनुषाविषुस्पृशावक्षयाशुगनिषंगसंगिनौ .
रक्षणाय मम रामलक्ष्मणावग्रतः पथि सदैव गच्छताम् .. २०..
सन्नद्धः कवची खड्गी चापबाणधरो युवा .
गच्छन्मनोरथोस्माकं रामः पातु सलक्ष्मणः .. २१..
रामो दाशरथिः शूरो लक्ष्मणानुचरो बली .
काकुत्स्थः पुरुषः पूर्णः कौसल्येयो रघुत्तमः .. २२..
वेदान्तवेद्यो यज्ञेशः पुराणपुरुषोत्तमः .
जानकीवल्लभः श्रीमान् अप्रमेय पराक्रमः .. २३..
इत्येतानि जपन्नित्यं मद्भक्तः श्रद्धयान्वितः .
अश्वमेधाधिकं पुण्यं संप्राप्नोति न संशयः .. २४..
रामं दुर्वादलश्यामं पद्माक्षं पीतवाससम् .
स्तुवंति नामभिर्दिव्यैः न ते संसारिणो नरः .. २५..
रामं लक्ष्मणपूर्वजं रघुवरं सीतापतिं सुंदरम् .
काकुत्स्थं करुणार्णवं गुणनिधिं विप्रप्रियं धार्मिकम् .
राजेंद्रं सत्यसंधं दशरथतनयं श्यामलं शांतमूर्तिम् .
वंदे लोकाभिरामं रघुकुलतिलकं राघवं रावणारिम् .. २६..
रामाय रामभद्राय रामचंद्राय वेधसे .
रघुनाथाय नाथाय सीतायाः पतये नमः .. २७..
श्रीराम राम रघुनंदन राम राम .
श्रीराम राम भरताग्रज राम राम .
श्रीराम राम रणकर्कश राम राम .
श्रीराम राम शरणं भव राम राम .. २८..
श्रीरामचंद्रचरणौ मनसा स्मरामि .
श्रीरामचंद्रचरणौ वचसा गृणामि .
श्रीरामचंद्रचरणौ शिरसा नमामि .
श्रीरामचंद्रचरणौ शरणं प्रपद्ये .. २९..
माता रामो मत्पिता रामचंद्रः .
स्वामी रामो मत्सखा रामचंद्रः .
सर्वस्वं मे रामचंद्रो दयालुः .
नान्यं जाने नैव जाने न जाने .. ३०..
दक्षिणे लक्ष्मणो यस्य वामे तु जनकात्मजा .
पुरतो मारुतिर्यस्य तं वंदे रघुनंदनम् .. ३१..
लोकाभिरामं रणरंगधीरम् .
राजीवनेत्रं रघुवंशनाथम् .
कारुण्यरूपं करुणाकरं तम् .
श्रीरामचंद्रम् शरणं प्रपद्ये .. ३२..
मनोजवं मारुततुल्यवेगम् .
जितेन्द्रियं बुद्धिमतां वरिष्ठम् .
वातात्मजं वानरयूथमुख्यम् .
श्रीरामदूतं शरणं प्रपद्ये .. ३३..
कूजंतं राम रामेति मधुरं मधुराक्षरम् .
आरुह्य कविताशाखां वंदे वाल्मीकिकोकिलम् .. ३४..
आपदां अपहर्तारं दातारं सर्वसंपदाम् .
लोकाभिरामं श्रीरामं भूयो भूयो नमाम्यहम् .. ३५..
भर्जनं भवबीजानां अर्जनं सुखसम्पदाम् .
तर्जनं यमदूतानां राम रामेति गर्जनम् .. ३६..
रामो राजमणिः सदा विजयते रामं रमेशं भजे .
रामेणाभिहता निशाचरचमू रामाय तस्मै नमः .
रामान्नास्ति परायणं परतरं रामस्य दासोस्म्यहम् .
रामे चित्तलयः सदा भवतु मे भो राम मामुद्धर .. ३७..
राम रामेति रामेति रमे रामे मनोरमे .
सहस्रनाम तत्तुल्यं रामनाम वरानने .. ३८..
इति श्रीबुधकौशिकविरचितं श्रीरामरक्षास्तोत्रं संपूर्णम् ..
    .. श्रीसीतारामचंद्रार्पणमस्तु ..

Stotra in Devanagari script (Image)

Built-To Flip

Built to Flip

Built to Flip

A battle is under way for the new economy. Which side are you on?

From: Issue 32 March 2000, Page 131
By: Jim Collins
Illustrations by: Gerald Scarfe
URL: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/32/builttoflip.html

"I developed our business model on the idea of creating an enduring, great company -- just as you taught us to do at Stanford -- and the VCs looked at me as if I were crazy. Then one of them pointed his finger at me and said, 'We're not interested in enduring, great companies. Come back with an idea that you can do quickly and that you can take public or get acquired within 12 to 18 months.' "

A former student was reporting to me on her recent experiences with the Silicon Valley investment community. As an MBA student at Stanford, she had taken my course on building enduring, great companies. She had come up with a superb concept that involved doing just that. But when she took the idea to Silicon Valley, she quickly got the message: Built to Last is out. Built to Flip is in.

Built to Flip. An intriguing idea: No need to build a company, much less one with enduring value. Today, it's enough to pull together a good story, to implement the rough draft of an idea, and -- presto! -- instant wealth. No need to bother with the time-honored method of most self-made millionaires: to create substantial value by working diligently over an extended period. In the built-to-flip world, the notion of investing persistent effort in order to build a great company seems, well, quaint, unnecessary -- even stupid.

The built-to-flip mind-set views entrepreneurs like Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, cofounders of Hewlett-Packard, and Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, as if they were ancient history, artifacts of a bygone era: They were well-meaning and right for their times, but today they look like total anachronisms. Imagine Hewlett and Packard sitting in their garage, sipping lattes, and saying to each other, "If we do this right, we can sell this thing off and cash out in 12 months." Now that's an altogether different version of the HP Way! Or picture Walton collecting a wheelbarrow full of cash from flipping his first store after 18 months, rather than building a company whose annual revenues now exceed $130 billion. These entrepreneurs and others like them -- Walt Disney, Henry Ford, George Merck, William Boeing, Paul Galvin of Motorola, Gordon Moore of Intel -- were pedestrian plodders by today's built-to-flip standards. They worked hard to create a superb management team, to develop a sustainable economic engine, to cultivate a culture that could withstand adversity and change, and to be the best in the world at what they did. But not to worry! In the built-to-flip economy, you can get rich without any of those mundane fundamentals.

We have arrived at a unique moment in history: the intersection of an unprecedented abundance of capital and an explosion of Internet-related business ideas. But, for all of the incredible opportunities unleashed by this combination, there is one monumental problem: The entrepreneurial mind-set has degenerated from one of risk, contribution, and reward to one of wealth entitlement. We all have friends and colleagues -- often mediocre friends and colleagues at that -- who have struck gold after 18 or 12 or 6 months of work in a built-to-flip company. And we have all entertained the thought "I deserve that too." Here's another thought: When I and a lot of other people began talking and writing about the new economy in the early 1980s, little did we know that it would engender what we most despised about the old economy -- an entitlement culture in which the mediocre flourish.

Worse, the creative drive behind the new economy at its best has been superseded by a way of thinking that recalls the 1980s at its worst: a Wall Street-like culture that celebrates the twin propositions that "greed is good" and that "more is better." The hard truth is that we're dangerously close to killing the soul of the new economy. Even worse, we're in danger of becoming the very thing that we defined ourselves in opposition to. Those who kindled the spirit of the new economy rejected the notion of working just for money; today, we seem to think that it's fine to work just for money -- as long as it's a lot of money.

Have we labored to build something better than what members of previous generations built -- only to find their faces staring back at us in the mirror? Is the biggest flip of all the flip that transforms the once-promising spirit of the new economy back into the tired skin of the old economy?
Invasion of the Mind Snatchers

"Built to Last" appeared in 1994, and I was more surprised than anyone when the book took off and became both widely read and highly influential. After all, what my co-author, Jerry I. Porras, and I had produced was a huge analytic study of the underlying principles that could yield enduring, great companies. In the book, we drew examples from such 20th-century icons as Disney, General Electric, HP, IBM, and Wal-Mart. These were not hot companies -- nor was this a sexy topic.

And yet the book hit a chord, generating more than 70 printings, translations into 17 languages, and best-seller status (including 55 months on the "Business Week" best-seller list). That wasn't planned; we were lucky. The book appeared just as the whole reengineering, everything-is-change-and-chaos wave crashed down -- just as people were beginning to ask themselves, "Is nothing sacred? Is nothing timeless? Is nothing sustainable?"

In retrospect, I think that "Built to Last" gave people three perspectives that they desperately craved. First, it said, "Yes, there are some timeless fundamentals. They apply today, and we need them now more than ever." Second, the book affirmed that the essence of greatness does not lie in cost cutting, restructuring, or the pure profit motive. It lies in people's dedication to building companies around a sense of purpose -- around core values that infuse work with the kind of meaning that goes beyond just making money. Third, the book tapped into powerful, albeit latent, human emotions: Readers were inspired by the notion of building something bigger and more lasting than themselves. In quiet moments, we all wonder what our lives will amount to, what we're going to leave behind when we die. "Built to Last" pointed people toward a path that they could follow if they wanted to leave behind a legacy. The book also rooted its answers in rigorous research, lending hard-nosed credibility to principles that people knew in their gut were true but that they could neither prove nor precisely articulate. It gave voice to their inner sense of what must be right, and it backed up that intuition with empirical evidence and clear, logical thinking.

Finally, there is one other reason why "Built to Last" struck a chord, and it is the most important reason of all: The book spoke not only of success but also of greatness. Despite its title, "Built to Last" was not about building something that would simply last. It was about building something worthy of lasting -- about building a company of such intrinsic excellence that the world would lose something important if that organization ceased to exist.

Implicit on every page of "Built to Last" was a simple question: Why on Earth would you settle for creating something mediocre that does little more than make money, when you could create something outstanding that makes a lasting contribution as well? And the clincher, of course, lay in evidence showing that those who opt to make a lasting contribution also make more money in the end.

That was the state of play in 1994, when the book hit the market and captured the public's imagination. Then, on August 9, 1995, Netscape Communications went public and captured the market's imagination. Netscape stock more than doubled in price within less than 24 hours. This was the first of a wave of Internet-related IPOs that saw the value of shares double, triple, quadruple -- or increase by an even greater margin -- during the first days of trading.

The gold rush had begun. The Netscape IPO was followed by IPOs for such high-profile enterprises as eBay, E*Trade, and priceline.com. Companies with no significant products, profits, or prospects scrambled to position themselves in the "Internet space." The point of this new game was impermanence: Startups flip their stock to underwriters, who flip the stock to individual buyers, who flip the stock to other individual buyers -- with everyone looking for a quick, huge financial gain.

In some cases, the results were mind-boggling. When the financial Web site MarketWatch.com went public, on January 15, 1999 (with a quarterly net profit margin of -168%), its basket of public shares flipped over not once, not twice, but three times within the first 24 hours, driving the opening-day price up nearly 475%. The flipping continued to escalate, creating a slew of stunning debuts: From November 1998 to November 1999, 10 companies had first-day price increases that exceeded 300%, despite minimal or no profitability. As Anthony B. Perkins and Michael C. Perkins calculate in their superb book, "The Internet Bubble" (HarperBusiness, 1999), less than 20% of the top 133 "flip" IPOs showed any profits as of mid-1999. In fact, their current market valuations would be justified only if revenues for the entire portfolio of companies grew by 80% per year for the next five years -- a rate considerably faster than that achieved by either Microsoft or Dell within the first five years of their IPOs.

Fueling the built-to-flip model has been a nearly unprecedented rise in venture-capital investment: From a steady state of about $6 billion per year for the 10-year period from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, venture-capital investment exploded, reaching more than $17 billion in 1998. Simultaneously, a flight of angel investors began looking for a piece of the next big flip. As my former student found out, if you have a flippable idea, you won't have much trouble finding capital. It doesn't matter whether the idea is a good one -- whether the idea can be built into a profitable business, or a sustainable organization, or indeed a great company. All that matters is that the idea be flippable: Get in, get out, and get on to the next idea before the bubble bursts.

All of this happened overnight, at the blinding pace of change known as "Net speed." One day, I was teaching eager students, entrepreneurs, and businesspeople how to build enduring, great companies. The next day, that goal had become passé -- an amusing anachronism. Not long ago, I gave a seminar to a group of 20 entrepreneurial CEOs who had gathered at my Boulder, Colorado management lab to learn about my most recent research. I tried to begin with a quick review of "Built to Last" findings, but almost immediately a chorus of objections rang out from the group: "What does 'building to last' have to do with what we face today?"

Scenes from the science-fiction classic "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" ran through my head. I went to bed one night in my familiar world and woke up the next morning to discover that my students had been taken over by aliens.
Built Not to Last

I believe as strongly as ever in the fundamental concepts that came from the "Built to Last" research. I also know that building to last is not for everyone or for every company -- nor should it be. In fact, there are at least two categories of companies that should not be built to last.

The first category is "the company as disposable injection device." In this model, the company is simply a throwaway vessel, a means of developing and injecting a new product or an innovative technology into the world. Most biotechnology and medical-device ventures fall into this category. They function as a highly decentralized form of large company R&D -- in effect, serving as external labs for one or another of the large, powerful pharmaceutical companies that dominate the world market. With most such ventures, the only question is which large company will end up owning a given technology. One example: Cardiometrics Inc., a Mountain View, California company that set itself up in 1985 for the purpose of developing a device that could gather data on the actual extent of coronary disease in a patient. (The goal was to reduce the number of people who undergo unnecessary bypass surgery.) Cardiometrics was not built to last, and in 1997 it was acquired by EndoSonics Corp., a heart-catheter company in Rancho Cordova, California that has a distribution network capable of reaching millions of patients. In this case, acquisition by another company made perfect sense -- economically, organizationally, strategically, entrepreneurially. And the acquisition in no way demeaned the contribution that the founders and employees of Cardiometrics had made in developing a vital new technology. For companies like this one, it is eminently reasonable to do the hard work of creating a product that can make a distinctive contribution -- and then to sell the product to a company that can leverage it faster, cheaper, and better.

In retrospect, we can all point to companies that should have viewed themselves as "built not to last." Confronting that reality would have helped them understand that they were never more than a project, a product, or a technology. Lotus, VisiCorp, Netscape, Syntex, Coleco -- all of these companies would have served themselves and the world better if they had accepted their limited purpose from the outset. Ultimately, they squandered time and resources that might have been applied more efficiently elsewhere.

The second category is "the company as platform for a genius." In this model, the company is a tool for magnifying and extending the creative drive of one remarkable individual -- a visionary who has immense talent but lacks the temperament required to build an enduring, great company. Once that person is gone, so is the company's reason for being. The best historical example is Thomas Edison's R&D laboratory. The purpose of that enterprise was to leverage Edison's creative genius: Edison would spin his ideas and then flip them out to people who could build companies around them. That's what he did with the lightbulb, and that's how General Electric came into being. When Edison died, his R&D laboratory died with him -- as indeed it should have.

Recent adaptations of the genius model include Polaroid (Edwin Land) and DEC (Ken Olsen). And the jury is still out on what may prove to be the most successful and powerful genius platform of all time -- Microsoft. Despite the company's profitability and stature, there is no moral or business-logic reason why Microsoft must outlast the guiding presence of Bill Gates.
Not New, Not Even Improved

Like many aspects of the new economy that we celebrate as revolutionary, Built to Flip has been around for a long time. For three decades, entrepreneurs have followed a Silicon Valley paradigm -- a set of assumptions about how to handle a startup. The model isn't all that complicated: Develop a good idea, raise venture capital, grow rapidly, and then go public or sell out -- but, above all, do it fast. Even 20 years ago, there was an ethic of impatience: A company that hadn't made it big within 7 to 10 years was deemed a failure. There was also an ethic of impermanence: The expectation that a company would be built to last was largely absent from Silicon Valley business culture. Remember Ashton-Tate? Osborne Computers? Businessland? Rolm? Today, none of those outfits exist as stand-alone great companies -- but each was a successful example of the Silicon Valley paradigm.

My first encounter with the Silicon Valley built-to-flip mentality came in 1982. While completing my graduate studies, I did a research project on entrepreneurship in the Valley. My target of study was a workstation startup called Fortune Systems. As I explored the internal workings of the company, what struck me wasn't its technology, its business model, or its culture. No, what struck me was what I perceived to be its founders' utter lack of interest in building a great company. Fortune Systems was built to flip from the get-go. Workstations were hot, capital was plentiful, and the stock market was starting to look good for IPOs. I remember asking a member of the management team about plans for building the company after the IPO, and he just looked at me: Clearly, I didn't get it. The point of it all, I concluded, was simply to go public as fast as possible. Even the company's name -- Fortune Systems -- was a none-too-subtle tip-off to its underlying purpose.

That was almost 20 years ago. Today, we've arrived at a whole new level of flippability. In the old Silicon Valley paradigm, "fast" meant flipping a company within 7 to 10 years. By today's standards, that time frame seems preposterously glacial. Fortune Systems aside, most people operating within the old Silicon Valley paradigm at least gave lip service to the idea of creating a great company -- of inventing products that make a significant contribution and then building a sustainable economic engine around those products. People are now proselytizing the bizarre notion that it's better not to have profits: Today's upside-down logic says that a company will get a better valuation if it has nothing but upside potential -- because the casino players care about nothing else. In a recent column in the "New York Times," technology writer Denise Caruso described the phenomenon: "The desire to cash out big is not a new motivating force in the technology industry. But what is striking about today's Internet economy is how much of that money lust is focused on selling business plans for their own sake, rather than planning viable businesses."
The High Cost of the Pursuit of Money

The great irony of all this is that we now enjoy the best opportunity in 100 years to build great companies that fundamentally change the world in which we live. Somewhere out there, a small group of people are laying the foundation for the great, enduring companies of the 21st century. They will be for us what Henry Ford, George Merck, and Gordon Moore were for our predecessors. They will fashion organizations that will dominate the economic landscape and the business conversation for the next 50 years. And 50 years from now, most of today's built-to-flip companies and their founders will be as relevant to the world as the gold diggers who flocked to California 150 years ago. That doesn't mean that those who build to flip won't get rich. Many will -- perhaps more people than at any time in modern history. In fact, amassing unlimited personal wealth may well be the defining goal of our era. At no time in history has it been easier to reallocate capital without creating lasting value. Of course, in doing so, we run the risk of missing the best opportunity in decades to create something great.

But so what? What's wrong with Built to Flip run rampant?

If Built to Flip were to become the dominant entrepreneurial model of the new economy, one almost-inevitable outgrowth would be a rise in social instability. At the heart of the American commitment to democratic capitalism is a shared ideal: From the Industrial Revolution to the Information Revolution, Americans at all levels of society, in all walks of life, and in all occupations have bought into the proposition that the United States offers economic opportunity for all. What we've already seen, even in this relatively early phase of Built to Flip, is a growing socioeconomic disparity -- and, perhaps most troubling, a perceived decoupling of wealth from contribution. Not only is there an increasing sense that the social fabric is fraying, as the nation's wealth engine operates for a favored few; there is also a gnawing concern that those who are reaping more and more of today's newly created wealth are doing less and less to "earn" it.

But here's the good news: Built to Flip can't last. Ultimately, it cannot become the dominant model. Markets are remarkably efficient: In the long run, they reward actual contribution, even though short-run market bubbles can divert excess capital to noncontributors. Over time, the marketplace will crush any model that does not produce real results. Its self-correcting mechanisms will ensure the brutal fairness on which our social stability rests.

The most significant consequence of the Built to Flip model isn't socioeconomic, however. It is personal. When it emerged in the early 1980s, the new-economy culture rested on three primary tenets: freedom and self-direction in your work; purpose and contribution through your work; and wealth creation by your work. Central to that culture was the belief that work is our primary activity and that through work we can achieve the sense of meaning that we are looking for in life. Driving the new economy were immensely talented, highly energetic people who sought a practical answer to a fundamental question: How can I create work that I'm passionate about, that makes a contribution, and that makes money? By fostering a culture of entitlement, Built to Flip debases the very concept of meaningful work. And, as is always the case with any form of entitlement, it ultimately debases the person who feels entitled.

Even for those with exceptional talent and drive, money seems to have become the central point of it all. The poster children of the new new economy are people like Jim Clark, the founding genius of Netscape, who is vividly portrayed in Michael Lewis's riveting book "The New New Thing" (W.W. Norton, 1999). Despite his impressive résumé, Clark comes across as a man who is stuck on a monetary treadmill: He seems addicted to running after more and more, and then more still, without ever stopping to ask why. Late in the book, Lewis describes a scene in which he presses Clark on this very issue. Earlier, Clark had said that he would retire after he became "a real after-tax billionaire." Now he was worth $3 billion. What about his plans for retiring? "I just want to have more money than Larry Ellison," he says. "I don't know why. But once I have more money than Larry Ellison, I'll be satisfied."

But Lewis pressed further. In about six months, Clark would surpass Ellison in terms of net worth. Then what? Did Clark want more money than, say, Bill Gates? Lewis writes, " 'Oh, no,' Clark said, waving my question to the side of the room where the ridiculous ideas gather to commiserate with each other. 'That'll never happen.' A few minutes later, after the conversation had turned to other matters, he came clean. 'You know,' he said, 'just for one moment, I would kind of like to have the most. Just for one tiny moment.' " In the biggest flip of all, by running aimlessly on the new-wealth treadmill, we have come to resemble previous generations. In the old economy, our parents got jobs not because of the work itself but because of the pay. In the new economy, we got jobs not just for the pay but also for the chance to do meaningful work. In the new new economy, we've come full circle. This time, though, the drive for money is not about putting bread on the table (in other words, achieving comfort and security); it's about getting a bigger table. It's about keeping up with the Ellisons.

Comparison, a great teacher once told me, is the cardinal sin of modern life. It traps us in a game that we can't win. Once we define ourselves in terms of others, we lose the freedom to shape our own lives. The great irony of the Built to Flip culture is that its proponents see themselves as freethinking people in search of the Holy Grail. And yet, when they do one successful flip, they invariably discover that it isn't enough. So they go off in pursuit of bigger numbers -- not one set of options but a whole portfolio of options -- in an escalating, never-ending game. If the Holy Grail isn't $10 million, then maybe it's $50 million. And if it's not $50 million, then surely it's $100 million ... Meanwhile, those who don't play Built to Flip view their "no better than me, but luckier" colleagues with seething envy -- a form of self-imprisonment that's even uglier than greed. The Holy Grail will forever elude those who imprison themselves, no matter how gilded the prison. As Joseph Campbell pointed out, the Holy Grail can be found only by those who lead their own lives.
Built to Work

So which are you striving for: Built to Last or Built to Flip? In fact, that's the wrong question. Some companies will be built to last; some won't. Some should be; others shouldn't. Ultimately, that's an artificial distinction.

The real question, the essential question is this: Is your company built to work? The answer rests on three criteria: excellence, contribution, and meaning. Again, consider Cardiometrics. The company may not have been built to last, but in all of its activities, it adhered to the highest possible standards: Instead of relying on expedient studies and marketing hype, it conducted rigorous, costly clinical trials in order to demonstrate the value of its technology. And the company clearly made a significant contribution -- to the market, to its investors, and to the lives of patients all over the world. Finally, the people of Cardiometrics found their work to be intrinsically meaningful: They worked with colleagues whom they respected and even loved, and they pursued a worthy aim to the best of their ability. Built to Flip? Built to Last? Cardiometrics embodies neither of these models: It was built to work.

If the new economy is to regain its soul, we need to ask ourselves some tough questions: Are we committed to doing our work with unadulterated excellence, no matter how arduous the task or how long the road? Is our work likely to make a contribution that we can be proud of? Does our work provide us with a sense of purpose and meaning that goes beyond just making money?

If we cannot answer yes to those questions, then we're failing, no matter how much money we make. But if we can answer yes, then we're likely not only to attain financial success but also to gain that rarest of all achievements: a life that works.

Jim Collins (jcc512@aol.com) is coauthor of "Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies" (HarperBusiness, 1994). Formerly a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, he jettisoned a traditional academic career in order to chart his own path. Today, he operates a management-research laboratory in Boulder, Colorado.
Copyright 2003 Gruner + Jahr USA Publishing. All rights reserved.
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Confessions of a car salesman

What really goes on in the back rooms of car dealerships across America?

What does the car salesman do when he leaves you sitting in a sales office and goes to talk with his boss?

What are the tricks salespeople use to increase their profit and how can consumers protect themselves from overpaying?

To answer these questions, edmunds.com hired a guy to go to car dealerships and work for them and write back his experiences.

Long but interesting reading:

http://edmunds.com/advice/buying/articles/42962/article.html?tid=edmunds.a.landing.buying..4.*