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September 29, 2005

China Factor

So my friend lost a half a million dollar worth  deal to some Chinese textile supplier.  Naturally he  is not happy about it and thats not because he has anything against Chinese.  In fact he is all mad against the buyer - supposedly some upscale French department store.  Point is where do you draw the line on the low cost graph.  You can always find someone willing to cut prices in half to build their reference account !

Low cost argument works only so far as the margins can be protected. Margins need volume. So the theory goes.  In a commodity market invariably volume players dominate.  In the software sector India can maintain it's low cost position because of good supply of developers and same applies for Chinese manufacturing strength.  More hands,  more volume and hence more resilience in the discounting game.

So what do you suggest to a friend who is not THAT big yet.  He is a successful small business player and now feeling the low cost pinch.  Only way out is to innovate and get out of the low cost game. Easier said than done in the slow moving garment manufacturing sector.  At least software still allows garage level tinkering !

While listening to his stories I couldn't stop comparing it with whats happening in the software sector.  Where every now and then some new consulting company shows up and is willing to deeply discount the deal.

September 29, 2005 in Dismal science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sun's open source database project !

Sun hiring engineers for an open source database project !

Senior engineer with expertise in relational database systems, Java, JDBC, and ODBC, to design and write software for an open source database project and to be a resident expert on database technology for Sun groups requiring advice on database technology for their customers or products

In the past they dropped many hints on this but so far they never came out with clear database strategy.

September 29, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 28, 2005


PR profession needs training on how to handle slashdotters.  Check this comment from one of the poster talking about SSH marketing chief challenging OpenSSH open source project -

We no longer just accept that corporations tell lies to the public. Now we also expect it...

September 28, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 22, 2005

Last Man Standing

Anna Lappe has something which is very relevant in the Indian political context -

Courage is saying, "Maybe what I'm doing isn't working; maybe I should try something else."


There is one political segment in India which is more stinking rotten than anything you have ever imagined (or smelled !). And that is Communist party of India. So it's coming in as a fresh air  that  at least one member of this party has decided to show his balls.

Bloomberg reports that chief minister of West Bengal is soliciting Indonesian firm for investment in his state.

Buddhadev Bhattacharya, the Marxist chief minister of India's West Bengal province, badly wants Indonesian tycoon Anthony Salim's $10 billion industrial township project to come to his province.

If only other communist party members understand the economics 101 then lot of policy issues can be resolved without going to the streets on every issue.

At least one man is willing to break from the past and past which has earned Calcutta this bad reference -

City is full of Bannerjees, Chatterjees, Mukherjees but very little energy !

Time to show some energy.


September 22, 2005 in Random Thoughts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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

September 08, 2005

Long road ahead

Blogging had been slow lately.  Blogging time is replaced by the travel time. 

This evening while returning from the customer site in this small New York town called Pearl River, taxi radio was playing this wonderful Neil Young song-

Its a long road behind me
Its a long road ahead
If you follow every dream
You might get lost
If you follow every dream
You might get lost

I guess we all have to pick our dreams. Its a long road ahead.

September 8, 2005 in Random Thoughts | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 01, 2005

Work From Home

Tragedies like Katrina bring out all sorts of  extreme emotions.  We are seeing really bad behavior in the form of gasoline price gouging and looting.  Looting could be  a sign of desperation but price gouging is insane and criminal.

I have a suggestion to get back to these gougers.  Companies in California (or maybe in the whole nation) should declare mandatory work-from-home for a week, it will have a huge pressure on the demand side. California has close to 23million vehicles and if even 2% of them are not on the road for a week it will  have a tremendous impact on the demand for gasoline.

Money saved by employees can be donated to the rebuilding efforts and employers can help deflate energy prices which should economy from sliding into recession (again !).

Let stay-off-the-road be a new slogan for helping people in distress.  Global warming, Iraq war and so many other issues are linked to oil so why not start a private sector driven process to lower the consumption.

Work from home and stay-off-the-road for a week. You will be helping Katrina affected people rebuild their house, society and pretty much life from the scratch.

September 1, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack