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July 30, 2004

Mathematics Of The Future Business Models

For the geeks their good time is coming again and again. Their revenge ride is on ( ever since those pen-carrying shirt pockets conquered the payroll processing, starting with the mainframes off course). Any ways I am digressing here little bit but the point of this post is the inherent strength and early-age creativity of the geeks which will continue to shake one industry after the other. You hear talks like this and similar ones for music industry. Probably media industry is next in line with DIY culture coming there as well.


Is pervasive geekiness a new fad of our time? As Watts Wacker puts it - "paradox is a trend of our time" and we should get used to it (explains why low carb diets are hot, at the same time cooking is hot).

I am putting this post under the category of "emerging technologies" but it should ideally go to the category which captures the behavioral aspects of new technology driven lifestyle. Something which should capture our new age (or maybe the new new age) on craziness such as why people prefer to sleep with iPod and why Tivo gets treated in the same way as one of the pet animals.

Check this if you want to become a great gladiator of this new geek-infested techno-Roman empire.

July 30, 2004 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 28, 2004

New Politics ?

Watched Democratic Convention speeches with lot of interest. All the rhetoric and populism aside, for me two events from the last two day's activity gave lot of hope and optimism.

Big discovery was Barak Obama. American success story. This guy could be America's first black president. Great speech.

Speeches make a big difference, though not his usual charming self but Edwards did a great job delivering optimism and hope. His slogan of "Hope is on the way" was very catchy if not totally original.

Given a choice 9 out of 10 times I will go with the party latching onto hope and optimism. Even if that party's act is just superficial.

Optimism matters to me. Optimism is a force multiplier and represents true moral courage. Hope rejuvenates and it creates more options for better politics.

July 28, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 27, 2004

Bangalore numbers

Bangalore is slowly moving ahead in terms of the software professional numbers.

- Almost a quarter of the 10,000-12,000 foreigners employed in the Silicon Capital of India are part of the IT industry
- Bangalore has 1,60,000 professionals working in the technology sector and the number is the largest in one place on the planet.
- While about 1,00,000 professionals work in IT companies, the remaining 60,000 are working in the ITES-BPO sector

- During 2003-04, the city attracted 168 new software exporting companies and 5 new electronic hardware exporting companies
- It's been projected that 40000 professionals will be added to the Bangalore city in next one year.

Why Bangalore is winning against other cities ?, I think the answer lies in the rapidly maturing eco-system and the weather.

July 27, 2004 in Silicon Valley | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Induced by stupidity

If DMCA was bad wait till you get to know more about the Induce Act. In legalese terms it reads like this -

`(g)(1) In this subsection, the term `intentionally induces' means intentionally aids, abets, induces, or procures, and intent may be shown by acts from which a reasonable person would find intent to induce infringement based upon all relevant information about such acts then reasonably available to the actor, including whether the activity relies on infringement for its commercial viability.

`(2) Whoever intentionally induces any violation identified in subsection (a) shall be liable as an infringer.

`(3) Nothing in this subsection shall enlarge or diminish the doctrines of vicarious and contributory liability for copyright infringement or require any court to unjustly withhold or impose any secondary liability for copyright infringement.'.

In translation it means that the law would hold tech companies responsible for creating devices that could be used to pirate digital content.

With so much emphasis on the word "intent" once implemented this will cause a major chaos in the industry. Lawyers will have a field day that's for sure. Rumour has it that it will pass without hearing in the Congress.

July 27, 2004 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 26, 2004

Data over instant messaging

Bill Burnham talks about the exploitation of IM infrastructure for data messaging.

Why send data over IM? One reason is that IM infrastructures have solved a lot of tough technical problems such as firewall traversal, multi-protocol transformation, and real-time presence management. Sending messages over these networks allows applications to leverage the investments made to solve these tough problems. Another reason is that many companies already have IM “friendly” infrastructures which means that all the necessary firewall ports are open, the clients are already certified and installed, and operations infrastructure like logging, back-up, and even high-availability are already in place. Thus by using IM for computer-to-computer communication, developers are able to “hijack” all the valuable investment made in IM and use it for a purpose that its creators likely never intended.

He is selling his portfolio company CastBridge here but the idea is worth a look. Since it leverages something which is usually the most painful aspect of messaging - messaging infrastructure itself ! Though in some ways it reminds me of KnowNow.

July 26, 2004 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

DVDs influencing grocery market ?

At least in the Indian community out here in the South Bay. After doing rounds of nosy questioning I found the real reason why people are switching their pet grocery store every now and then. Trick is the incentive model of these new stores, which are methodically meant to steal customers from the existing grocery stores. Perfectly legitimate business tactic. So what's the catch ?

Answer lies in DVD rentals and a good collection of Indian language movies! It's interesting to observe the important role DVDs play in deciding where to shop and how much to shop. With free rentals thrown in at a certain level of shopping and also flexible return policy to match our laziness, it's turning out to be a decent business development strategy resulting in profitability.

I wonder what other businesses can exploit this weakness for Bollywood movies and free DVD rentals ! NRI market is a big market in terms of purchasing power.

July 26, 2004 in Silicon Valley | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 23, 2004

Open source - beyond software industry

This will be fun to listen to. Thomas Goetze , article editor in Wired Magazine will talk about the impact of open source movement beyond the software industry -

While open source collaboration is a known phenomenon in software, there are some surprising non-commercial projects in other areas that are yielding great results. You've probably heard of Project Gutenberg putting books online for free, and you know that a lot of science is done in an open fashion - and now open collaborative projects are solving crimes, mapping Mars, and responding to challenges in many other industries.

Will have to wait till this shows up on IT Conversations. Great site for listening to the interviews.

July 23, 2004 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Open source incivility?

Analyst firm Illuminata has this interesting comment on the geek arrogance and flame culture inherent in the open source community sites.

Some of the most influential members of the Open Source community have always been belligerent. Those questioning the purity and superiority of Open Source are commonly abused by the movement's alpha geeks, causing many who admired their accomplishments to deplore their behavior. Sure, plenty of other developers speak their mind without much sugar-coating; many are eccentric, acerbic, or anti-social; that's the way of the clan. But for the most part, discussions remain in the realm of reason, rather than invective (notwithstanding often abrupt responses to "stupid" newbie questions, or even the occasional Usenet "flame war"). ...

Sure it makes life easy if you know who is your external enemy and also your internal power hierarchy. It conserves energy. First it was Microsoft, then SCO, then Sun (where is open source Java ?) and now Redhat.

Also checkout Jonathan Schwartz's defense of Solaris, aptly titled - Competing Against A Social Movement . He should have this part of the business plan reviewed by Mr Innovator's Cure (aka Christensen). Unfortunately Solaris is caught on the wrong side of the movement. History is full of examples like that and who was that fellow who said - History repeats itself !

July 23, 2004 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 22, 2004

Mr Powell and the definition of a blogger !

It's quite funny and sad at the same time to see two journalists quibble over the definition of a "blogger". Checkout Tony Perkin and Om Malik's work out with their point counter point.

Reading this from the safety of my own blog I would go with Om on the point that we need to be clear on the definition of who is a blogger and what is a blog. Not so much to attach any vanity to the term but to make it's purpose and style distinct from other terms such as webmaster, newsmaster, author, journalist, marcom specialist, PR, copywriter, interviewer etc.

July 22, 2004 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 21, 2004


If only Noam Chomsky had access to this Wiki tool when he was writing Manufacturing Consent his job would have been much easier.

July 21, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack