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August 31, 2004

Firester ?

Friendster is about to get a very bad publicity with this firing. This wont go well on blogosphere that's for sure.

August 31, 2004 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 29, 2004

Hyper-linked Olympics

Out of curiosity I went ahead and tried to read Athens Olympics TOC for hyperlinking their site. Check this -

For your protection and ours we have established a procedure for parties wishing to introduce a link to the ATHENS 2004 website on their site

We all know that few commercial entities exploit this kind of thing but how hard it is to come up with a free linking policy for non-commercial purpose ? Some sort of creative commons. After all Olympics were supposed to be for the commons and by the commons. ( Maybe not if you are part of the IOC and NBC camp )

August 29, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 26, 2004

Importance of 20-something

Mike Moritz of Sequoia Capital on why betting on 20-something pays off in the long run -

Imagine every day in your life working with 25, 26, 27-year-olds who've got a fabulous idea, who see no boundaries, see no limits, see no obstacle that they can't hurdle—it is the most stimulating environment that you can ever be in.
And you know full well that tomorrow—or next week or a month from now, or a quarter from now, or a year from now—there'll be more exciting, incredibly exciting adventurous people. Like Steve Jobs, age 19, many, many years ago. Jerry Yang and David Filo age 25, 26. A couple of guys we backed recently, where I told somebody 'Boy, we just founded a company that's got three people in it, and the total age of the company is 64 years old.' That's what sort of gets our collective blood gushing. It is just an incredibly stimulating place to be, and the moment you think you've seen it all, or you think you've heard all the good ideas is the moment you begin to go out of business.

Google CEO has an interesting prescription -

What you want is the people who are very low paid, working themselves to death, and all the right things happen.

In a way it boils down to the age-old rule that the younger you are higher the probability of focusing all your energy in a particular area. Less dispersion of that energy.
No wonder all great physicists and scientists had their best work in the age group of 20 to 30. They simply work their ass off. Linus wrote most of the Linux Kernel in that age group.

Read the complete interview here.

August 26, 2004 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 24, 2004

Blogging goes to Sand hill road

Om Malik gathers all the news and scoops on VC excitement over micro-content based business models. As he rightly says current generation of investments will go to tool builders.

Just wait till you see the hyping up of all this in next 3 to 6 months. How many times we have seen this movie? Starbucks are busy and prototypes flying all around. It's good to see mini-bubble coming in the Web2.0 form.

I hope more and more founder's take cue from Sifry's deliberate attempt to play down the importance of funding event. Let's stay focused on the problems to solve, changes to introduce and the joy of raising a start-up.

August 24, 2004 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 19, 2004


Wonderful story of Strangeberry and how it's going to save Tivo. If successful this will change the way we watch TV (or work with PC whichever way you look at it)

August 19, 2004 in Emerging Technologies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 18, 2004

Middleware round

If the spread of Open Source is a 4 round boxing match then we are into it's third round - call it the Middleware round.

Initial two rounds were obviously OS (Linux/BSD) and Database (MySQL/PostgreSQL). Like boxing, as you go further along the rounds, excitement grows and there is more probability of competitors getting knocked out. Those who gained in the first two rounds are eager to play one-up in the next round. Redhat's move to undermine JBoss on support revenue by bundling ObjectWeb's app server is a step in that direction.

Novell (now fully se***-up) after the Suse acquisition is now aiming to plug all the middleware holes and ready to sing a better complete-stack story against Redhat. Joint announcement with JBoss is meant to undermine Redhat ambitions. IBM is surely in a peculiar position where much of IBM GS charm is riding on the websphere based services. With HP ( and now Novell) pushing their weight behind JBoss it would be interesting to see which way customers put their weight on the middleware choice. Here is a quick equation -

White box + [ OS + Database + Middleware + Applications ] = Services Revenue

So far in first two rounds, it was the OS and Database which was getting heavily subsidized. Now we are into the middleware round and the battle for services revenue is in full swing.

Expect flurry of activities in coming months around this space. Vendors who are short on Linux story (Sun, HP, Oracle, CA and others - where Sun and HP are suddenly looking stupid for not buying Suse when the weather was fine ) may go for some disruptive (read desperate) partnership initiatives.

There is a similar desperation going on in the music world.

August 18, 2004 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 17, 2004

Infosys guiding principles

Rediff compiles the guiding thoughts as listed in Infosys's annual shareholder report for the last four years. Infosys is still continuing to play the thought leadership role .

Annual Report 2000-01: 'The future depends on what we do in the present.' - Mahatma Gandhi

Annual Report 2001-02: 'Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.' - Horace

Annual Report 2002-03: 'I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.' - Golda Meir

Annual Report 2003-04: 'One cannot manage change. One can only be ahead of it.' - Peter Drucker

What's next. Innovation ?

August 17, 2004 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 14, 2004

How To Climb Everest

This old article form Observer is equally applicable to the challenges and highs of doing a startup -

Don't rush your build-up
Understand it won't be easy
Be prepared for lots of 'down-time'
Accept that you won't be mentally alert on the mountain
Be ready for hallucinations
Picture yourself on the mountain, succeeding

It has been two years since I ran marathon in Hawaii. There is a huge high in doing something physically challenging. It's more than just the joy of athleticism, its the idea of pushing the envelope.
As in the start-up life, now "pushing the envelope" is becoming a way of life. Applying this everyday in every aspect of life, be it spiritual, intellectual, physical or financial.

In a way its about conditioning and hardening the inner self. On the personal note, my next stop is New York City Triathlon in June 2005. Training starts from yesterday.

August 14, 2004 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 12, 2004

Yin-and-yang of no from a VC

Tim Oren writes how VCs pass cool technology based plans, which usually leaves entrepreneurs in a baffled state of mind. Its great to see somebody from the venture community taking pains to elaborate on their thought processes.

Though it would be nice to get similar analysis by taking enterprise software application market as an example. There I have heard reverse argument that given unique understanding of the market problem anybody can write a software ! How long can you keep your unique insight under the wraps ? There good understanding of the business problem and initial interest from prospects is not enough one needs to have a defensible (read cool) technology as well.

Net of it is that you got to have both - good business model(how to make money) and a cool technology (unique defensible offering).

And while you are watching market cycles to make a perfect entry also pray that your market sector has a possibility of getting lucky (as those who are in compliance, security etc are finding now).

August 12, 2004 in Silicon Valley | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 10, 2004

Open source in the media business

Marc Canter is assembling all the fragments required for open source driven open media initiative.
Good initiative since it builds on top of CC.

August 10, 2004 in Media | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack