« March 2004 | Main | May 2004 »

April 18, 2004

Nowhere cont..

Om Malik responded about my post on this topic. I wonder if there is any formal study on this topic and also if there is any informal (read light-weight - wouldn't mind a sequel of Inscrutable Americans ) compilation of experiences like these.

Topic for this lighthearted research could be - "Studies in the qwest of core audience , causality of Geosocial influences and dichotomy of the heart and the mind."

Though serious tone of this whole thread begs a sequel from Anurag Mathur.

April 18, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Stupidity of Nation-State based hegemony

Former Statesmen editor dreaming a scenario of China-India-Japan axis. This whole axis oriented thinking is so outdated. Which world they live-in ?, they need to realize the growing importance of market-state in guiiding the realpolitik. If it was a joint venture between Reliance, Huawei and Matsushita (randomly taken names !) to take on the world then probably this theory will generate more interest.

Like India, China also chafes against the notion of the world being forced into a US-made straitjacket. But it is Japan's support, howsoever discreetly expressed, that could really translate a knee-jerk Asian reaction into strategic reality and a viable Asian security system.

If Diplomats were lying for their country during the era of Nation-States , who will do that job in the era of Market-State ? Marcomats !

April 18, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 17, 2004

Making blogs make money

New industry is about to get started and its about monetizing trust and contextual knowledge. Who knows in 5 years time this could be the first billion dollar industry driven by Web Services.

Wouldnt be surprised if VCs and Analysts start revising their whats-hot slides after reviewing the exciting developments at this bloggerCon.

Making money from blog is about selling trust. Here is a short list of ways you can get closer to making money -

Sell advertising (Doubleclick etc wake up, beat up your product managers , here is a good opportunity)
Become a media property (Another reason why in future sites like GigaOm will be more trusted sites than the link jungles like business2.0 - finally an opportunity for doctor to be more relevant than the HMO !)
Sell products - indirectly
Sell products - directly
Blog for hire
Blog to benefit your core business
Sell services
Ask for contributions from readers
Ask for contributions from rich people
Sell your content
Sell premium memberships
Bring people together
Service provider to blogsphere
Odd ideas (My idea to this list - Real-time casestudy oriented training blog - all paid, I would love to pay $25/month to get Christensen or Geoffrey Moore to answer all my strategy related queries on a daily basis. Its different from Google Answers, its more interactive, involves group dynamics, and allows honest dialog)

All this is not going to come easy, first we need to develop the whole infrastructure layer -

Statistical and tracking tools
Ad serving
Trust , liability and privacy ( just one example of non-stop cut-n-paste from premium sites like Economist is bound to raise some legal issue down the road, who decides where is the line when it comes to referencing external sites AND CONTENT )
Network formation

April 17, 2004 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 14, 2004

Nowhere Men

Long time back during college days I read Pritish Nandy's poem Nowhere Man (isn't this an amazing fact that an average Joe does most of the right things only during college-days, once out of college its just about injecting slow reality in the imagination factory !)

I have travelled all the lonely highways in the autumn and watched all the lonesome cities pale at dust. I have held all those tired strangers in my waves, and whispered stranger secrets now forgotten. This gypsy satchel carries all my sorrows, this fatigued evening carries all my songs.

This thought about Nowhere Man came from a post by Om Malik. I love his posts on Broadband industry, his research and news on industry movers/shakers are worth reading. Om is nowadays in India doing his job, which is mostly reporting on the new India. His post on outsourcing has invoked some strong emotions from readers. This led me to think about the different perspective all displaced Indians have about India's growth. By displaced I mean those who left India for better future - in economic and social sense. Their loyalty and aspirations are as foggy as their Friedman's lense through which they see new India.

There were many Nowhere Men before as well - Nirad C Choudhary and V.S. Naipaul stand out from that crowd. Whatever they wrote Indians never liked , it was too obvious to their taste and too painful as well. Its an ironic and painful fact that Indians in India dont like any Non-resident Indian picking on them, now if its Thomas Friedmann or somebody from Economist then its fine. It gets front page attention and all the desi blogger's attention as well.

Expat Indians are not allowed to pick on anything Indian - Om Malik broke that rule. I guess its fine by him as well, his audience is different.

April 14, 2004 in Social angle | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 13, 2004

Of Baseball and Cricket

Two landmarks in two sports which are as different as they are similar,

Brian Lara, captain of West Indian cricket team became first cricketer ever to score 400 runs in a test cricket. This is huge !


While in Baseball, Giant's slugger Barry Bonds has tied the record of maximum home runs held by his godfather Willie Mays.

April 13, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Open source imagination - running surface-to-air

Power of open-source imagination, no surprises that Google failed to capture it

Unfortunately, since Google does not seem to shed much light on the subject

April 13, 2004 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

CRM meets BPM

Onyx bought an early stage BPM company

Onyx plans to incorporate the acquired Business Process Management technology into Onyx CRM to allow non-technical users to design and modify end-to-end business processes using graphical workflow and business rule design tools. The technology is designed to significantly reduce the need for IT support - as well as the associated delay and expense - while creating more cost-effective business agility for the enterprise. This powerful new technology can be applied to support long-running, multi-user workflows that in some cases extend beyond the walls of the organization, to partners and suppliers

Very soon every CRM vendors would be adding BPM module to their suite. There has always been a product management struggle inside CRM companies to decide on which direction to take while planning expansion. One direction is to work on automating all CRM business processes(hence this deal) or another is to dive deeper into automating downstream CRM processes such as those involved in the demand chain.

Stubborn sector, consolidating very slowly.

April 13, 2004 in Enterprise software | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 09, 2004

Product Innovation Faltering

PDMA report suggesting that the overall product innovation is slipping.

AMR Research VP Kevin O'Marah pointed to a landmark study by the Product Development Management Association (PDMA) which found a marked drop in more innovative new products (versus incremental enhancements) between 1995 and 2003. This has resulted in many more fast follower companies than new niche developers

benchmark cycle times for "new-to-the-world" products have fallen 40 percent, and many more companies have processes and strategies in place for product development. "I think it comes down to people being chicken," O'Marah says. "In a way everyone is trying to do what someone else has already proven works, rather than be truly innovative."

Part of the problem is risk aversion

many more fast followers than niche developers ! Now that reads like a point straight from Carr's book.

April 9, 2004 in Economics of IT | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

IT Doesn't Matter - now in hardbound edition !

Economist did a revisit to the "IT Doesnt Matter" issue, looks like Nicholas Carr is expanding on his theory in his new book .
It sure is an existentialist debate and one which is ruffling many feathers on the mighty trillion dollar information-technology industry -

Though there are pros and cons to this whole debate and I am not able to avoid drawing connections from Nicholas Carr's point to the one made by Shai Agassi.

This is Carr's point -

Computer hardware and software, Mr Carr argues, have been following the same progression from proprietary technology to infrastructure. In the past, American Airlines, for example, gained a strategic advantage for a decade or two after it rolled out a proprietary computerized reservation system in 1962, called Sabre. In time, however, its rivals replicated the system, or even leap-frogged to better ones. Today, the edge that a computer system can give a firm is fleeting at best. IT, in other words, has now joined history's other revolutionary technologies by becoming an infrastructure, not a differentiator. In that sense, and from the point of view of individual firms, “IT no longer matters.”

This is Agassi's example as to why we need to manage by time -

Whirlpool—they can finish a design and the R&D of a product, and it takes them a year to get the product on the market. You know what happens during that year? All the Koreans get to the market before them. Why? Because they copy their designs—they see them in a show, on the floor, and they copy them—and they have a three-month time to market.

Same thing happened to Philips. Philips invented all the key innovations in the consumer electronics space, and they always were three months behind Sony. Even on stuff they invented, DVDs, they came in after. Manage that time to change, and you become Dell. You don't manage it, you become dealt.

Eventually it will come down to time, NOT THE COST as that will eventually level out due to the technology commoditization. This time factor will reflect in how companies manage their competitive advantage period (CAP), if your company doesnt mind its CAP then probably IT doesnt matter in your case, Otherwise you are busy Dell-ifying your processes and extracting every IT-enabled efficiency as possible.

April 9, 2004 in Economics of IT | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 07, 2004

Biocon's billion dollar homerun

Hats off to Kiran Mazumdar (in many respects she's been like Narayan Murthy of India's emerging biotech industry). IPO made her the richest women in India.

Three things standout in this success -

Biotech success story in India
First time enterpreuner
100-odd patents

Good story overall.

April 7, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack