Wouldn't it be nice to get to know a little more about new AR CEO Nikesh Parekh? Anytime a company has new direction, management and oversight people, including me, tend to ask questions, become concerned and even uncomfortable. Change is inevitable and AR is a business.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to be understood, welcomed and heard. Yesterday evening Niki gave me a rang and discussed some of his thoughts about how he hopes to make Activerain a better place as the days and months pass.
My suggestion to him was to allow the members of AR to get to know who he is. Niki welcomed the idea and went as far to suggest I give him a list of questions that he'd gladly answer. So here we go...
1. Did you cry when you saw the movie E.T.? Do you believe extraterrestrials have visited our planet?
"No. I was 9 years old in 1982 when ET came out. I was more scared than anything else (not cool for a 9 year old boy to admit). The scenes with government infiltrating Elliot's house to kidnap ET haunt me today.
I do believe in extraterrestrials. The universe is too big and too amazing for other life not to exist. Did they visit our planet? I like to think so. Believing in the impossible makes life a lot more interesting."
2. What scares you?
"Falling. I had a really bad dream when I was little about an infinite fall (like falling into a black hole). I still remember the dream pretty vividly."
3. What's the most embarrassing thing you've ever witnessed?
"Here's the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me: When I was ten, I played left field for my Little League baseball team in Pittsfield, MA. Imagine our uniforms: bright red Tank Shop uniforms, bleached white pants, red stirrups, black Mizuno cleats - I was stylish. We headed into the dug-out. I took my seat on the bench. Little did I know, the previous team had left a humungous wad of Big League Chew bubble gum on the bench. I sat right in it. It wouldn't come off. It was our turn to take the field. I had to go out to left field with this massive wad of bubblegum spread across my butt. I was right next to the fan bleachers. A bunch of "fans" yelled out to me, "Hey Now Bubblegum Butt!" I lived through the game, but it was painful."
4. Do you eat fast food? If so, what's your favorite?
"Absolutely. I am vegetarian. My wife, kids, and I love Taco Bell. Three soft tacos, beans no meat, fresco style. The best $3 meal on the planet."
5. Have you ever been in a fist fight?
"Yes. I was cub scout and an rabid fan of professional wrestling when I was growing up (Jimmy Superfly Snuka, anyone?) We got into lots of fights. Boys will be boys.
Since I just told you one embarrassing story, here is another one related to fighting. When I was in kindergarten at Williams School in Pittsfield, MA, I was picked on and beaten up by two bullies who were twin girls in like second or third grade. I am not sure why this sticks out in my mind."
6. If you could pick one sport to be a stud at, which would it be and why?
"Sport I currently play: Volleyball. I love volleyball have played pretty competitively (back in the day).
Sport I wished I played: Jai alai Why? I am not exactly sure. It seems like fast and semi-dangerous sport. I am more thinking about the bar conversations when you tell people you are professional Jai alai player. I bet that never gets old."
7. You've heard about Activerain addiction. Can you see yourself becoming an addict as well?
"You should ask my wife. It's 11pm and I am still on ActiveRain. Have you seen your husband recently? My wife and I generally have our laptops out and the TV on (We love television and have no problem admitting it. Don't tell our kids). She has been amused or befuddled by the amount of time I am spending on ActiveRain in the community either blogging, draft blogging, commenting, or talking to her about other people's comments. We are always toting a digital camera, since we have kids. Recently, I have started taking random pictures and videos, because "they will look good on my blog." Someday. I don't know how many others on ActiveRain have a folder of full of pictures that are just waiting for a blog to accompany them."
8. Besides work & family what are you most passionate about?
"Again, this may sound odd. I am very active with my college fraternity Sigma Chi. Other than my wife and kids, many of the great things in my life have been somehow related to the friendships I have developed through my college fraternity. Advice from my fraternity brothers encouraged me to go to India after college to work in urban slums and try to save the world. My first jobs and adventures in Seattle came from fraternity referral. My fraternity brothers coached me on my business school applications. Some of my most memorable trips around the world have been with my fraternity brothers (remind me to tell you about the great jewelry con in Jaipur over beers in Dallas). I am on the alumni board and house corporation for our fraternity. My goal is to just give back a little bit to the organization which has meant so much and given so much to me."