Archive for the ‘Places’ Category

A Final Embrace. #Bangladesh #Cheaplabor #Life

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My wife sent me this article this afternoon from the manufacturing wreckage that has been happening in Bangladesh this past week.  It is a horrific reminder that ‘cheap labor’ in developing countries are also people who have lives, who have love, who have dreams.  I hope we can think about that the next time we wear our Nikes, A&F, and other brands that are really commodities that support indentured service.  Ignorance is bliss.  Life is not cheap.



Written by Sid Shah

May 17, 2013 at 12:01 am

Books I read and recommend in 2012

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One of the reasons I love the Kindle app is because I can easily see what books I read and when. Looking at the themes this year, it was apparent I was heavily into WWII, Big Hollywood Entertainment, the World Economy, Mafia, and Spy stories (fiction and non-fiction).

All of them were pretty good books. I gave a little commentary if they were exceptional.

Trying to go from most recent by category:


  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and hope in a Mumbai slum – Katherine Boo
  • Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World – Michael Lewis (Amazing explanation of what went wrong in Greece, Iceland, Ireland, and US municipalities.  A very easy read that sums up very complicated problems in a very simple way)
  • Confidential: The Life and Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon – Joseph Gelman, Meir Doron (Crazy book about an ex-Mossad spy who was responsible for arming Israel with the nuclear bomb who turned out to be one of the biggest Hollywood movie producers)
  • Disney War: James Stewart (This extremely long book reads like a fiction that you will not be able to put down.  If you like Hollywood, dealmakers, big deals, and the movie business – this is a must read)
  • Dongri to Dubai: Six Decades of the Mumbai Mafia – Hussain Zaidi
  • The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA – Antonio Mendez (great story of a real CIA spy and how he was involved in things that have become popular stories and movies now)
  • Supermob: How Sidney Korshak and His Criminal Associates Became America’s Hidden Power Brokers – Gus Russo
  • The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called Dreamworks – Nicole LaPorte (Another great, behind-the-scenes looks at some of Hollywood’s biggest figures and what really happens when egos, money, and pride get in the way)
  • Seven Days from Sunday – M.H. Sargent
  • Churchill – Paul Johnson (probably the best biography of Churchill)
  • Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con – Matt Taibbi

Fiction (I am a huge fan of Ken Follet and Leon Uris, and love history based fiction, primarily in WWII, so didn’t give individual comments):

  • The Tehran Initiative – Joel Rosenberg
  • Berlin Noir – Phillip Kerr
  • Morning Spy, Evening Spy – Colin Mackinnon
  • The Last Supper (Paul Christopher) – Charles McCarry
  • The Old Boys – Charles McCarry
  • Tears of Autumn – Charles McCarry
  • Lie Down with Lions – Ken Follet
  • Jackdraws – Ken Follet
  • Eye of the Needle – Ken Follet
  • The Key to Rebecca – Ken Follet
  • The Cardinal of the Kremlin (Jack Ryan) – Tom Clancy
  • Triple – Ken Follet
  • Red Storm Rising – Tom Clancy
  • War and Remembrance – Herman Wouk
  • Topaz – Leon Uris
  • Mila 18 – Leon Uris
  • Armageddon: A Novel of Berlin – Leon Uris


  • Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands (great read if you are into big brands and the evolution of how a brand can go from a commodity to a lovemark)
  • Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space – Chan Kim, Renee Maubornge (one of my favorite all-time business books, a must-read if you are an entrepreneur)
  • The Score Takes Care of Itself: My Philosophy of Leadership

Would love to hear if you picked up any of the books I recommend….

Amazing – Mission 26 of the Space Shuttle Endeavour in Los Angeles (Timelapse)

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Wish I could have been a part of this….judging from what I saw on FB and twitter, there was major pride during this journey through LA

Written by Sid Shah

October 18, 2012 at 4:06 am

Compelling short on Slum Golf in India by ESPN

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Mumbai Golf – ESPN E:60 from Evolve IMG Films Ltd. on Vimeo.

Summary of Video:
Last week, sports channel ESPN posted a short video on golf caddies in Mumbai who practice by playing around the slum they live in. Despite the stilted narration—by a millionaire venture capitalist called Ashish Kacholia who helps his caddie with his pro-golf playing dreams—the short is compelling to see how the game can be played even without fancy irons and golf balls.

Written by Sid Shah

April 21, 2011 at 3:01 am

Posted in People, Places

Infographic on Japan’s quake ripple through the pacific

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Here is an interesting infographic that demonstrates the sheer power and magnitude of this earthquake put together by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Written by Sid Shah

March 13, 2011 at 4:41 am

My travel essentials

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I have traveled about 80% of my professional career, never really working where I live. Whether that is weekly or bi-weekly flights, or longer international trips, I have learned through experience what is absolutely needed for a successful business trip.

1) Tumi Garmet Bag – I have been through so many carry on bags, semi-garment bags, larger bags – and none of them have ever been able to correctly support my travel lifestyle, infact, most of them have been broken within a few months because of the rigor I put the bags through. Not true for this piece of modern baggage. Not only, can it comfortable carry 2 pairs of shoes, numerous belts, tie case, 5-6 suits, and 5-6 shirts — it is also a bag that can be carried on. It also comes in a roll-on version. Trust me when I say this will be the best baggage decision you make, especially if you roll with multiple suits, shirts, jackets on a business trip.

2) Bose Noise Canceling Headphones – Whether you like listening to music or watch movies, nothing works better than these noise canceling headphones, you are actually at peace during the whole flight because you don’t hear the constant roar of the engines or the wind. It even comes with multiple jacks so that it can fit any plane headphone input situation. I did initially think it was a pain to carry such big headphones because I like to travel light and simple, but the benefits of carrying this in my carry-on laptop bag outweigh any of the cons.

3) Shoe Trees – this is an absolute must if you travel and want to take care of your dress shoes. I prefer the plastic ones (as opposed to the cedar ones) because they are light weight. You will add years on to your shoes if you pop these in there.

4) Amazon Kindle – I love to read and read multiple books when on the road, so this is perfect because it is so light and easy to carry and download. I have opted for this because I want to read, and only read, I don’t want the distractions of different games and apps that are in your face with the iPad.

5) Ponds face wipes – because cleanliness is next to Godliness, especially in high humidity places. You can keep these in your laptop bag and do a quick wipe multiple times a day. This is huge if you want to look and feel fresh while out on the road all day.

Well, these are the travel essentials that have changed my traveling experience. Trust me, they will change yours to.

Written by Sid Shah

January 9, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Ordering Indian food in Hindi…. via Google

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My friend posted this earlier on twitter…..this is just too awesome not to have on my blog.

Written by Sid Shah

January 6, 2011 at 11:53 pm