Friday, May 30, 2008

Interesting Quote: Core business of a media company
Recently read this quote from Cory Doctorow in Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirkey
Conversation is king. Content is just something to talk about.
Every media company tries to create content that people will talk about. Great media companies create content that millions talk about. Brilliant!
@ D6 Conference: Microsoft
Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer opened the conference. Here are my takeaways:
  • Microsoft is demonstrating withdrawal symptoms as Bill Gates gets ready to leave. They sound very nostalgic of an era of monopoly
  • Steve Ballmer is very passionate and aggressive - he just might mange mange to wake-up the giant
  • Microsoft continues to have their head in the sand regarding the colossal failure of Windows Vista. Steve was unable to convince anyone that it was a success as they had manged to ram 150 million copies down user's throats. The truth is, in the enterprise everyone is buying vista and running XP. Microsoft needs to accept their mistake, extend XP support and go back to list and fix the issues with Vista. Microsoft is very used to being a monopoly that does not care enough about customer feedback. No wonder they have trouble executing in most areas they enter in a competitive situation.
  • Windows 7 (expected to release in 2nd half of 2009) has a multi-touch experience. (Here is a Datamation article Kevin sent me). Looked V Cool. Looked cool!
  • Microsoft feels proud about Windows Mobile and its success. It is v poor when compared to the iPhone and even other phones.
  • Microsoft badly wants to compete with Google on Search and Advertising. My bet: Microsoft will end up buying Yahoo and not manage to make a dent in Google's leadership position. Ironically, Microsoft complains about Google's Monopoly position in search advertising. How quickly they forget that they themselves are the biggest monopoly in the technology industry.
Google and Apple will win against Microsoft!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Elastra - On Demand Applications in the cloud
One of my VC friends pointed me to Elastra. I think the idea of creating scripts to provision entire servers built up to the application tier in the cloud is v cool.

6 years ago, I used bladelogic (recently acquired by BMC) to manage server configurations. Elastra offers similar features in cloud computing. It makes cloud computing more accessible.

Here is review of Elastra on GigiOM.

UPDATE: I also like Rightscale - they compete with Elastra. Rightscale on GigaOM.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

More "Walled Gardens"
Read this article by by Rich Karpinski about the how "open" strategies from each of the major social networks are really an attempt to create a large walled garden - a la telcos. They are all creating gated communities!

In my mind, one of the key reasons we are so far behind the rest of the world in mobile technologies is the walled gardens the telcos have created. Governments have a great opportunity to ensure that social networks collaborate (at least at some level) and gain a real competitive advantage. After all, it is the user's identity and personal information and user's should have control on how service providers get access to it. Also, standard interfaces should allow portability of my information.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Aster Database
Came across an article in Infoworld about a new data base product from Aster Data Systems that allows analysis of very large databases. Data is processed on commodity hardware that can be scaled with great ease as the data and processing requirements grow. It is built on a multi-tiered architecture and the tiers can be independently scaled. Another blog posting with some additional technical information.

MySpace is using the database to analyze Weblog data. It has been a while since I read about a cool new DBMS.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Beyond 2d Codes - atom tag
Came across this interesting technology from Daem Interactive that can solve some of the most difficult issues related to the logistics for 2dCodes. Here is an interesting interview of there CTO.

Interesting blog-posts on featuring the company.
Social Network Features on your Website
Google, Facebook and MySpace are all vying for an opportunity to add social features to your website.
Will look for an opportunity to give these features a spin.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Blackberry iPhone (oops Bold)
Saw this great review of the features on Wired. It has 3G and some other very interesting features. The pictures look great.

There are now a whole slew of very cool devices (Nokia, N96, Sony Ericsson X1, etc.) that I need to try. We will be doing more an more work on our mobile devices.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Software Marketplaces
Saw two announcements today from IBM and Intel about establishing software marketplaces. Links to Infoworld articles on the Intel's Business Exchange and IBM's Global Application Marketplace.

I am very bullish on these ideas. About a year ago, I had floated an idea of creating an ERP Customizations Exchange to Oracle and to some of my peers. The fact is that, all of us have created some very sophisticated non-strategic bolt-ons to ERPs that we would be happy to license to others at about 10 -15% of the development cost. Here is an overview of how I thought it would work for PeopleSoft:

The ERP Exchange is a subscription-based website that provides the ability for PeopleSoft clients and customers to trade code or other client-paid customizations that may be of interest to other PeopleSoft customers. ERP Exchange doesn’t own any of the code being sold on the site but simply acts as a broker between two entities that wish to exchange custom PeopleSoft functionality.

The ERP Exchange website allows subscribers to search for specific PeopleSoft customizations that they may be interested in acquiring. A brief one- paragraph description of the customization gives the buyer an overview of its features and functionality. Should the subscriber be interested in obtaining more information on a customization package (pricing, documentation available, etc.), she can click on the link. It is also possible to send subscribers email requesting additional information about a package.

I am happy to see that a couple of vendors are picking up on this idea, albeit for SMBs. This could significantly reduce the TCO for ERPs.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Bio-materials in Electronics
Cool article in BusinessWeek on the potential use of biomatrials in electronic devices. It is about time that we start seeing some malleability in the rigid "blocky" forms of our computing devices. Should allow for some interesting innovation in User Experience. Am not sure if any these concepts will see the light of day in anytime soon.

Pic: A Nokia Eco Sensor concept phone that senses your environment. The design does look cool but not that malleable.