Pop music stars described in one sentence

Pretty much.

I naturally tend to summarize things in my head: make lists, use bullets and as few words as possible to capture the essence of what I’m trying to say. So to challenge this skill to its limit, I would like to describe the music of some music artists by summarizing them into one succinct sentence. Feel free to disagree with me or make up your own summaries 🙂


Neverending White Lights: Soft, blue and cold music.

Franz Ferdinand: Music to get up on a bar and dance like a fool to.

The XX: Hauntingly naked music, stripped down and left vulnerable.

Placebo: Listen to Placebo when you want to make fun of your own angst.

Eric Clapton: Timeless blues

Muse: The soundtrack to the epic moments in your life.

Kyo: Les chansons pour quand je veux sentir plus comme une jeune francaise.

Shakira: Sway those hips like you’re proud of it!

Katy Perry: Giving drunk people anthems since her debut.

Lana del Rey: Sultry hipster pop.

Marketing tangent: She is my favourite popstar, and not just because I like her songs. Her songs match her persona, fashion, lyrics, the music videos…she sends such a clear, cohesive image that touches the perfect nerve on the correct target market. 

Maroon 5: Songs for jane album only – Drips sex.

Coldplay: Space and water scapes.

Alicia Keys: Hot chocolate on a winter’s day.

Pink Martini: Entertaining the guests at your cocktail parties and living the yuppie life.

Jamiroquai: Complete satisfaction while you’re smoking hookah.

Rock on, kitty. Rock on.


Happy listening!

– Shiv 😉


Hidden gems of Vancouver – Les Faux Bourgeois

One of my favourite aspects of travelling is wandering and discovering new, delightful local places. But why not explore our own backyard once in a while? Having recently moved from one corner of the city to another, my first step in settling down was…unpacking the boxes. And then walking around the neighbourhood to get oriented and connected to my new place! As soon as I passed by this restaurant, it went on my list of places I have to go to.

Les Faux Bourgeois, on the corner of Kingsway and 15th Ave.

Les Faux Bourgeois, on the corner of Kingsway and 15th Ave.

Les Faux Bourgeois. Amazing food. Impeccable service. Romantic and simple, this tiny French restaurant in the middle of nowhere is by far my favourite place to eat in Vancouver.

From the menu, I recommend…

The Boudin Noir to start, and i had no idea what I was in for. Two dark, delicious cutlets were presented beautifully with sauces and puree, and it was to die for. It’s the chefs take on traditional French blood pudding. Delicate, creamy, and savoury, it only made me want more.

Canard confit was the main dish of my choice. Described on the menu as “Confit duck on a warm salad of Sarlandaise potatoes, goat cheese, arugula and port jus,” this was the perfect marriage of flavours on one warm dish. The duck was crispy and tender, just salty enough. I had no idea what Sarlandaise potatoes were, but I found its main ingredients: potatoes, garlic and fat. Yum. The tartness from the arugula and goat cheese lifted the heavy potatoes and duck and balanced the plate nicely.

And finally, creme brulee for dessert. It was simple, elegant and light on the tongue.

I would honestly order the exact same meal every day if I could.

Who to bring?

This is a food descriptive post, but it doesn’t even do the food justice. If you’re looking for a great place to take a date you need to impress, your in-laws from out of town or schmooze a client, this is a sure bet.

Who else thinks Les Faux Bourgeois is great?

Urban Spoon currently ranks Les Faux Bourgeois as Vancouver’s #1 French Restaurant (2014). And I honestly couldn’t agree more.

Happy feasting!

– Shiv

5 career tips for the clueless student – Interview with successful BCIT Grad Kemp Edmonds

Kemp Edmonds, Sales Engineer and overall awesome guy who works at Hootsuite (@HootKemp), graced us BCIT students with his presence and delivered an insightful presentation full of tips for clueless students.

It was great to hear from a fellow BCIT graduate who achieved professional success so soon after his graduation. But more importantly, he told us how he did it. His insider tips were so useful that I decided to interview him myself to get some concrete, actionable tips all students can use to get that dream job after graduation (or at least get closer to it).

1. Use the ‘student’ status to network and get to know professionals

Being a student in the eyes of a working professional means that you have the “I’m just here to learn” protection, and are not another job-hungry post-grad. It is paramount to recognize that this is a power that all students possess and need to fully leverage. Email people who work in positions you want to get to someday, and ask them for career advice. Actually apply their advice and mine them for more information. Follow up with them and show how you are actually applying their advice, and they will remember you the next time an opening comes up!

2. Learn about what you want from life, and get work experience in that field



One of the most common career challenges people face is not knowing what they want from life. Take the time to experiment and get to know your strengths, weaknesses, and what makes you happy. If you can get paid to use your strengths and do something that makes you happy, do it!

3. Teach yourself when school doesn’t cut it

Self-learning should be an ongoing process, and you should expect that school will not teach you everything you need to know. Absolutely great ways I personally teach myself outside of school are through Ted Talks and the Khan Academy for business topics. Forbes.com is another great resource. But a tangible example of self-learning is to just start up a blog and try stuff out with it! You can easily put ‘Familiar with WordPress/Blogger’ on your resume, and hey, that’s an in-demand skill.

4. Say ‘yes’ to opportunities that come up through friends. Eg. “Hey I’m going to this thing … want to come with?”

You will not only have the best adventures if you say yes to this question, but you will get to know a lot of different people and heck, maybe even learn a skill or two. Best of all, saying yes to spontaneous questions like this show that you are an open-minded person who fits into lots of different scenarios, and people might be more willing to ask you to do things/refer you to other people 🙂

5. Create content and get it published.

Start a blog, tweet, write for the local newspaper, and get your name published! Or even better, do some preliminary project work for some companies you really want to work at, and contact them with the work you did – maybe land yourself an internship with your initiative! It’s already tough to stand out from your colleagues with the exact same education as you. Creating content differentiates you from the crowd, and shows that you are an engaged individual who is curious about what’s happening around you.

Some food for thought: There are few who would say formalized post-secondary education is a bad idea, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to think about why we do what we do every once in a while. I encourage you to watch this video and redefine education 🙂

Why I Hate School But Love Education || Spoken Word (Youtube)

Good luck!

Shiv 🙂

Paris for Students – Where to eat (for cheap)

Cheap eats in Paris

A typical meal out at a nice French restaurant will cost around 15€. This is pretty steep. But if you really want that typical French restaurant experience..

1. I recommend eating lunch out and staying in for dinner – lunch menus are generally cheaper than dinner. Plus it is usually less crowded!

2. Eating in the restaurant will cost more than getting things to go, too – unlike in North America, Parisian restaurants charge a premium for people to eat in, even in places like MacDonald’s. I think it makes sense, since there is limited space in the city but this is a good-to-know fact so you don’t get mad when you see the price difference.


Vous allez…(Are you going to)
Manger sur place – Eat here?
Prendre à porter – Take it to go?

3. My friend took me to the Vietnamese district around Place d’Italie (Metro stop: Place d’Italie, Line 5,6 and 7), on Avenue d’Ivry, which you get to after walking down Avenue de Choisy and passing the Parc de Choisy. If you are looking for an amazing pho place, I highly recommend Le Lotus on Avenue d’Ivry. A bowl of pho will be around 8€. And in case you were looking for some hard-to-find ingredients there are also a lot of Asian grocery stores in the the area.

Yummy beef noodle soup!

4. I’ve heard 13e arrondissement is China Town, but I never got around to exploring the neighbourhood. It’s the area around Place d’Italie, but it seemed more like a mini-Vietnam than a Chinatown.

Bonus Tangent!

French people don’t seem to know the difference between types of Asian people yet, so you see a lot of ‘Asian’ restaurants which are, upon closer inspection, not Chinese but Vietnamese. I’m not complaining because I love Vietnamese food, but after growing up in Vancouver, a very Asian influenced city, I know and appreciate the difference between Asian foods and don’t like to see them grouped together: Sushi ≠ Korean BBQ ≠ Pho ≠ Pad Thai ≠ Chow Mein, and should therefore NOT be generalized.

6. And if you’re starving near the Louvre, get some ramen at the mini-mini Japanese district on Rue Sainte-Anne (Metro stop: Pyramides, Line 7 and 14). I went to Sapporo Ramen, and it wasn’t too bad but it definitely wasn’t as good as anything I could get in Vancouver. Not bad for around 9€ though.

There’s usually a line going around the corner, but it goes fast!

7. If Asian food’s not your thing, shawarma/donair and crepe places are almost everywhere.

Oh crepe nutella, how I miss you so.

8. And finally, if you want French baked goods on the go, the popular bakery franchises that sell baguette sandwiches are Paul, Brioche d’Oree, and Pomme de Pain and they are always decently priced – around 4€ for a baguette sandwich. If you wanna be spectacularly French, eat that baguette while on the Metro gawking at gorgeous Parisians – t’es trop cool.

Went to this one at Charles de Gaulle everytime I got back from a weekend trip. Good sandwiches. Good times.


Bonus tangent: A little known fact: All European students can get into most museums in France for free! It worked with a one year international HEC Paris student card, anyway 🙂 You’ll read all over the internet that all the museums are free on the first Sunday of every month, but they will also be VERY crowded – and with a student discount, museums are usually between 5-15 euros. So skip the crowds and enjoy them properly!

Happy eating!

Shiv 🙂

Augmented Reality and the Indian mobile consumer

There are two things that every Indian loves: Cricket and Bollywood, but I’d like to comment on Bollywood‘s power today. Bollywood is so powerful that it has made Switzerland a top destination for Indian tourists just because some of the mega-hit movies featured a couple of mountain-top singing and dancing scenes. Bollywood is SO POWERFUL that the tourism authority of Spain, Turespana, invested over $600,000 in the movie Zindagi na Milegi Dobara in 2011.

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (soundtrack)

The entire movie was shot in Spain and ran like a full marketing promotion of the country’s tourism. Turespana’s investment paid off big-time: a whopping 65% increase in Indian tourists in just one year after the movie’s release.

Ok, ok, so what does this have to do with augmented reality?

As far as I can tell, nothing yet. But there is big opportunity if we fit the pieces together!

Fact: Bollywood has huge sway in a country’s tourism.

Fact: Indian consumers take to mobile technology like ducks take to water. Just check out Google’s video on the Indian Mobile Consumer. 97% of urban citizens of India have a mobile device, and 23% of them are already smartphone users. That is a LOT of people, and it’s growing.

Fact: There is such thing as an Augmented Reality Cinema App, that allows people to see the scenes of their favourite movies play out  right in front of them. Check out this video to actually see what I’m talking about.

Augmented Reality cinema

MOST IMPORTANT FACT: I cannot find a single mention of a smartphone App that does this for Bollywood movies…EVEN THOUGH Bollywood Tourism is so huge! This App would be so wildly popular with Indian tourists who go to Switzerland to relive those cheesy song-dance moments in the Alps from DDLJ!

Someone better get on this. Quick.

“Youtube’s days are numbered” according to post from 2007. LOL.

It’s so funny how times change, hey? I found this doomsday article written in 2007 that predicted that Youtube would fizzle out very soon.

The key reasons that the post says that Youtube’s days are numbered are:

  • Traditional media has figured out that it’s time to put video on the Internet and tack some ads onto it. They’re doing just that, and doing it well with sites like Hulu and The Daily Show.
  • Many of the best video podcasters and vloggers are staying away from YouTube, because they want to keep control of their content. That means even more competition for YouTube.
  • While YouTube is going to have to compete against more and more great video sites, it’s going to have to do it with a lot less content.
  • Viral videos like the Leave Britney Alone guy are going to get some serious competition from the freakshows of daily commercial television.

Oh, how wrong you were! I think the main reason user-generated content is so popular is because it’s not crap. Normal, regular people can offer interesting points of view, tips, and hilarious comedy. Look at panacea81‘s wildly popular, super low-tech makeup tutorials, or communitychannel‘s views every time she posts a 3 minute hilarious rant on life to see that we value good quality content, and you don’t necessarily need millions of dollars to make it.

I’m not a huge fan of 100% processed-by-a-media-machine content that makes what it thinks we will like. I like me some organic, wholesome content 🙂 How about you?

Organically yours,

Shiv 🙂

Mobile Marketing – Smartphones vs. Computers

I recently stumbled across the Youtube channel for Google Mobile Ads, and it is mind-blowing how much we use our smartphones! Some of the more shocking stats of 2011 include:

  • 33% of smart phone users use smartphones while watching TV
  • 1 in 3 people would give up chocolate in order to keep their smartphone
  • 39% of users use it while going to the bathroom
We are seriously obsessed.
smart phone mobile marketing

It's time to turn off your phone now.

It is an undisputed fact that smartphones are the newest competitor vying for our screen time, which means e-marketers are paying much more attention to it.

Featured as an exemplary case study on Google’s instructional mobile marketing website How to Go Mo, Ticketmaster’s subsidiary TicketsNow saw an opportunity for growth when it saw that 25% of ticket sales take place on a mobile device. But they made the conscious decision to build a mobile-device friendly website rather than an App. It seems like everyone has an App today. But TicketsNow recognized that although everyone is jumping on the mobile device bandwagon, internet and PC browsing isn’t dead yet and it generates a lot more sales than mobile devices right now. I will be shocked to see the day when we no longer use computers and do everything on our smart phone. TicketsNow did a smart thing by accomodating the early technology adopters rather than catering to only them. We can’t all keep up with the digital leaps, now, can we?

On that note: Will the evolution of the smart phone mean the death of the computer? 

Ponderingly yours,

Shiv 🙂