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About me [archive]

[Bio from my old blog @thesunrising.com]

Hey there...thanks for stopping by. These days I'm working to shift demands towards sustainable consumption with blissmoSign up today for discounts up to 50% on the best in sustainable & organic.
Previously, I've been: 
- a co-founder at The Extraordinaries(micro-volunteering platform)

- a co-founder at richrelevance(personalized recommendations)

- Mktg Director at Kiva.org (platform for peer-to-peer microfinance) 

I'm was also an actor, though uhh...am currently on "sabbatical" :) For more about my background, check out my LinkedIn page.

Am no longer blogging here…

[Originally published @thesunrising.com on November 3, 2010] …but thanks for visiting!  Am spending most of my time these days working to shift demand towards sustainable consumption with blissmo.  Sign up to save up to 50% on the best in organic & sustainable!   For more on me, check out my LinkedIn profile or Facebook profile, or follow me on Twitter.  If I do start blogging again, it’ll be at sundeepahuja.com. Again, thanks for stopping by!

Book review: “Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion”

[Originally published @thesunrising.com on November 21, 2008] Book: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion Summary:  This book can’t be summarized.  It can only be very, very strongly recommended. Recommended? YES. Buy it now if you haven’t read it. Table of contents:
1 Weapons of Influence
2 Reciprocation: The Old Give and Take…and Take
3 Commitment and Consistency: Hobgoblins of the Mind
4 Social Proof: Truths Are Us
5 Liking: The Friendly Thief
6 Authority: Directed Deference
7 Scarcity: The Rule of the Few Notes:
Below are my key takeaways and some interesting points, but I’m telling you.  Buy it.  Read it. Trust me. Expensive implies quality. Example: gems in a jewel case that weren’t selling were marked up and then sold at a “discount” to the markup (a price higher than the original price), and they sold like hotcakes.Power of contrast. Example: If you go into a men’s store they’ll try and sell you an expensive suit before the sell you the expensive sweater, because the contrast makes the sw…

Book review: “Brand Simple”

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[Originally published @thesunrising.com on November 5, 2008] Book: BrandSimple: How the Best Brands Keep it Simple and Succeed Summary:  To build a great brand, pick something different and important about your product, create a simple branding message around it that generates an emotional response, and then stick to it!
Recommended? Eh, not really…you’ll get the gist in this blog post (you’re welcome).

Key takeaways:
What is a brand? “A brand is what your product or service stands for in people’s minds; it might be an image or, perhaps, a feeling. Branding is the process of executing and managing the things that make people feel the way they do about your brand.”A brand is a “promise that links a product or service to a consumer.”“A brand simplifies choice. ‘Let’s go to Subway’”What makes a strong brand? “It has been proven time after time that the strongest brands are built on simple, compelling ideas that grab people by signaling that something is different from what they’ve heard and see…

Book review: “Hey Whipple, Squeeze This”

[Originally published @thesunrising.com on September 19, 2008] Book: Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads, Second Edition Summary:  Of the parts I did read (I skipped the chapters on creating radio and TV ads), this book can be summarized by saying: the best ad creative is simple, clever, honest, and evokes an emotional response (easier said than done!). 
Recommended? Nope. Unless you’re in the ad business, as this book is really for folks who create ads for a living, not for folks looking to get a few tips on marketing or brand building (go figure).

Key takeaways:
Know the product, inside, outside, and upside down. How does it feel to use it?It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it (duh). Example: Imagine an ad for tennis balls with the words reading back and forth across the page like watching a tennis match. Another example: Imagine an ad for flowers titled “Exactly how mad is she?” with three different bouquet sizes pictured (genius!).Position yourself against so…

Vote with your dollar

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[Originally published @thesunrising.com on January 6, 2008]

In early 2006 I started a blog called Change Your World, with the sub-title “Little, everyday things you can do to make your world a better place”. I then wrote a whopping six posts before running out to things to talk about (read: getting lazy). The goal of the blog was not to be another (annoying) voice cheerleading “Yeeeay recycling! Yeeeay organic!” to “save the world”, but to point out that doing things like recycling and eating organic is better for YOU; believe it or not, it’s usually the selfish thing to do. Further, it was an effort to get folks (including myself) thinking about the “net impact” of a product/service; about all the externalities associated with production, raw materials, transport, and so on. My opening postargued that buying recycled, eco-friendly toilet paper reduced cancer risk (possible dioxins and formaldehyde in regular tp!) while improving children’s health, preserving the environment, and savi…

A quick note on Manav Sadhna (amazing non-profit operating in India)

[Originally published @thesunrising.com on December 18, 2007] When several of your closest friends (whom you also happen to deeply admire as people, not the drinking buddies) (no offense dudes!) get involved with a non-profit (I hate the word ‘charity’), it says something powerful about the organization. Two of these friends, Seema Patel and Premal Shah, actually went to India at recent points in their lives and spent several months on location working with the organization, Manav Sadhna, which “is comprised of a young group of dedicated individuals working for the upliftment of poor and needy children.” Last week, Seema and my buddy Dev hosted a fundraiser for Manav Sadhna in LA and were able to raise over $3,500. Here was the reply from the Uncle that Dev sent the check to (for my non-Indian peeps, ‘Uncle’ is a word used in respect for older fathers…call a younger father an Uncle at your own risk): For sure this funds will go long ways and help many kids and mothers for our 32 on goi…