September 15, 2005

Business with China

It's amazing to see how scared executives are about the growth of China.  Carol  Bartz of Autodesk has this to add -

"I think China is going to be very difficult to do business with in the next decade. India, with its emerging middle class, will be more amenable to global and American business"

I dont understand what data points are pointing her to this conclusion ? I think the real deal is that the business itself is going to be tough in the next decade.

And on the open source comment, atleast boardrooms have started taking note of the open source potential.

September 15, 2005 in Emerging Technologies, Open source | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 29, 2005

Ease of use

John Boddie at HBS talks about Apple's strategy of new product introduction-

Apple smartly surveyed the marketplace and discerned that any competitive software platforms would win or lose based on ease of use.

Ease of use is a big deal. It's all about playing to the user's emotions and empowerment.

August 29, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 24, 2005

It's Google's Turn

It's heartening to see NYT validating (SiliconBeat has some comments as well) what I have been bitching about when it comes to Google's corporate practices.

As I said hat's off to their brilliant execution and having courage to do things their way but they could never convincingly define the bounds of  "Do no evil" and most importantly what exactly is their roadmap of staying away from the temptation to do evil things !

PS: Nothing wrong in bad ass capitalistic pursuits but don't go to the townhall screaming about the holier-than-thou virtues.

August 24, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 20, 2005

MenWay like SafeWay

There are very few chores as boring  as weekend grocery shopping.  I always wondered why there is no strong focus on solving this problem which is very specific to middle age men (if I can start calling myself that).

Retailers spend so much money designing fancy aisles, putting NCR  self-checkout machines and nowadays in creating sensory good-luck-to-your-privacy ambience.  I wonder what it will take to make grocery shopping experience more like a trip to Starbucks or to Fry's. Why can't they pull me in versus me dragging myself !

I am sure there will some crazy and smart entrepreneur who will go out and create a niche retail business model  targeting 30 to 40 year old male demographics and his value proposition will be totally experiential.  I am envisioning aisles loaded with  iPods, Broccoli, USB Flash drives and sharing floor space with DVDPlay, Car wash drive-ins among other things.

August 20, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 15, 2005

Today's special - make your own movie

Istudio1

This belongs to the cars-will-be-free kind of business model thinking. How about free hotel stay but you just have to pay for the data center and IT services ! Not exactly that but Hotel Tribeca GrandHotel in New York is going close to that vision.

Brilliant move by Tribeca Grandhotel in New York by making a case that you dont have to carry around your little data center with you all the time.  When you check into their hotels you get  fully equipped Apple machines.  iStudio comes fully equipped with all the gadgets you need to make your own tour movie.

I think this idea will eventually get  copied and lot of  hotels will be stuffing their rooms with software and hardware relevant to the conferences happening in their town. It makes sense. (Atleast we can avoid doing bluetoothing sitting in the breakfast lobby just to share that minor tweak in the sales presentation.)

If customers spend more time in their rooms they will be consuming more add-on services.  Cost of software and hardware will payoff in the long run.

Neat idea.

August 15, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 08, 2005

AttentionTrust

Understanding Attention related issues requires attention. Lots of it. Explanation of the need to manage attention properly should not require lot of attention.

I would say Andrew Teman is not off-the-mark in asking for more details on the AttentionTrust project (or company).  Rather abrasive comment was this which I think is broadly applicable to lot of things happening on the blogosphere -

I honestly believe that if someone like Seth Goldstein farted in a mic, recorded it as a .fart file, call it fartcasting, within 5 minutes, everyone on the open media 100 would be hailing it as world changing in a semi co-ordinated cyber circle jerk complete with sloppy track-backs.

Main point is about the purpose of AttentionTrust project. I signed up for this and my "site got approved" (I am still wondering what that means!).  I have no idea what this means. Hopefully I will get to know more about it as this project evolves.

       Verified Member of the AttentionTrust

I signed up because I want to understand how Attention is managed in the conversational threads and what sort of protocols, filters, meme etc play into managing that.  One of our customer is a specialty medical consulting firm based out of Boston. They are getting loads of "healthy patients" looking for guidance on managing attention. Though those are mostly ADD situations.

Why is attention a big problem ? On average a women looses $10000 a year due to attention related productivity issues and women executives close to $40k a year (I dont have stats for men but I would say it should be similar).  This doesnt include cost of relationship damages.
As our society evolves and we technology folks attach  RFID, Sensors, Tags, URLs, Wifi and add-your-favorite-jargon etc to every imaginable piece of matter. 

Perception and cognitive abilities will be pushed severely and will be required  to be managed in parallel. Our biological limitations will be exposed and we will be investing more and more of our resources into future Modofinils.

About AttentionTrust, I will be waiting for more details.

ps: I was distracted 4 times while writing this post.  I distracted myself from other task to write this post !

August 8, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 02, 2005

How about user driven commerce !

Fred Wilson has a good post on the big changes happening due to the advent of user generated content.  According to him -

Until you get user generated content, you don’t get the Internet

I have in the past bitched about how Google is not encouraging this phenomena at all and how Yahoo is learning to open up by getting this thing.

This whole space is in a very formative stage from understanding and business opportunity point of view.  Posting, subscribing and posting are critical rules of engagement but the domains are just getting expanded. We havent added a big market in this yet which is about commerce!

Is adding a product to third party catalog a blog post ?
Taking RSS feed of manufacturer's catalog by distributor a subscription ?
What if all customers start tagging the product pricing and discounts ? Do we need specialized pricing engines in that case?
Can I compare products by aggregating RSS feeds of the catalogs ?

I think user driven commerce has lot of potential and it will be an eventual progression of user driven content.

Those who think blogging is just another fancy form of web publishing are missing a big cultural shift taking place right now.

Read the complete  post here.

August 2, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 28, 2005

Why blog?

My father-in-law is here and we used this opportunity to have fun with all the recent tools and gadgets. He is on iBook and happily missing all the problems related to Windows machine.

Today he is playing with Skype and blogger.com. While collecting links on role of blogging in education I came across this good blog. Picked above image from that blog. I like this T-shirt.

July 28, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 26, 2005

Learning language can be fun

Try this if you are not convinced.

It's not just the language specific features which excite me about Ruby but also the type of projects and community which is building around this language.

July 26, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 24, 2005

Ninjam

Om Malik points to a very interesting software called  "Ninjam" developed by Justin Frankel, same guy who wrote Winamp and Gnutella.

It's a software which allows people to compose real music over the Internet. Creating music over the Internet is like touching the limits of collaboration itself.  If such a nuanced activity  as music can be created over the wire then pretty much everything is up for grabs. How this software accomplishes this amazing feat?

Since the inherent latency of the Internet prevents true realtime synchronization of the jam2, and playing with latency is weird (and often uncomfortable), NINJAM provides a solution by making latency (and the weirdness) much longer.

This line also caught my attention on their site in the context of artists agreeing to donate a sample music under CC license -

since they agreed to CC license their parts when they connected

This section  "their parts when they connected" is very interesting. In case of open source you step on the legal train when you commit but when you are creating your music over the Internet it's the moment your music connects with others which matters.

Neat stuff.

July 24, 2005 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack