Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Blog Action Day - A review

David Vs. Goliath fight of environmentalists against big corporates and bigger Governments has always attracted support from various fronts. Blog Action Day - October 15th was the day for bloggers to show their support to the environmental issues. Me being a laggard in these kind of issues, I decided to wait and watch for the results. To my surprise more than 20,000 bloggers with a cumulative RSS subscrisbership of around 15 million wrote about "How to protect the environment better". Most of them are not writers and even of a lesser number are environmentalists. So there would have been thousands of perspectives and ideas flowing aound.. Hmm.. If you want to crunch more numbers, get all the required data from Blog Action Day - Statistics.

P.S: Came to know about Blog Action Day from Sreeram's Pre-Post on Blog Action Day. But he convenientely forgot to write about this issue on October 15. :D

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

PMK - Floating New Front for Next Assembly Polls - A Nice Joke

PMK(a regional - Northern Tamilnadu and a 100% casteist party), known for its specific skills to partner with the right party(or winning party) in each election has proudly proclaimed that it will float a new front for the next Assembly Polls. For a second, I believed this news on Hindu - 'PMK will float new front for next Assembly Polls, says Ramadoss' and started smiling that finally Ramadoss would come to know his true support base among the public.


Why would somebody comment this early about the Assembly elections that is four years away?
If somebody is really intent on forming a third front, they would have started their work secretly rather on the public domain.

Then all the topics that i learnt in my negotiation class came to my mind. Ramadoss is just trying to increase his leverage in the future negotiations for the number of contesting seats in the next Assembly and national elections. He is trying to show off to the future partnering parties that his best alternative to a negotiatied agreement(i.e. forming a third front) is not that bad and his party has all the capabilities to do that.

Sorry Dr. Ramadoss! I don't think J Jayalalitha or M Karunanidhi (or Stalin) would fall for such a trick. They also knew that you can never dream of forming a third front since teaming up with Vijayakanath (the present so-called third front) is next to impossible for you. And you don't have the guts for the same.
Who would like to lose his son's cabinet berth for some pipe dream???

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Microsoft Vs Google

David M Ewalt famously predicts in 'The Future', a new feature in Forbes Magaizine, that by 2017, Google will be regarded the same way as Microsoft is regarded today - bloated, monopolistic and oppressive. He also predicts that Google will be providing free internet and phone service across USA. (Read the article at David Ewalt on the Internet 2017)

On reading this, was reminded of the headlines in 2005-2006, when everybody were excited that there is somebody who is rising up as a competitor to Microsoft(Only hard core APPLE evangelists will believe that Macintosh was a competitor to Mircorsoft!). But when the quesion was put forth to Bill Gates, he famously retorted - IBM as Microsoft's Top rival.(Yeah! Microsoft has started rivalling IBM in bureaucracy in a technology company!), But the plates have reversed in a single year. Now nobody even asks that question because Google has clearly won the battle.

But interestingly, Google has done this not by some great technology(yeah. their search engine provided them a great starting point) but by intelligent management decisions - Going any length to attract best talent from competitors, Aggressive Acquistions, A Motivating vision - "To organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful". And Bill Gates is finding himself in the same position as IBM of 1980s & 1990s.

In 1980s, IBM knew that whatever stuff Microsoft did, they can do it in 2 weeks but they neither understood the business model nor their bureacy was able to react to challenge. Now, Microsoft too has the potential to do everything that Google does in 2 weeks but they too are not able to understand the business model of Google.

History Repeating itself? Disruptive Technology at Work??

Wanna Read More about the dying legacy of Microsoft???
Read from Scoble - Why doesn't Microsoft get the love

Update: It seems Google does not have to wait for 10 years to be called oppressive & bloated... Read Scoble's post deriding Google as only caring about big people - "Google Android - We want developers but"

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Banker to the Poor

When the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in 2006, some one would have surely asked what has the awardees - Mumhammad Yunus & Grameen Bank , done for World Peace. But Nobel Peace Prize committee rightly reasoned out that this Banker to the Poor has showed that alleviating poverty creates a world without conflicts - the real Peace. He showed to the world that MicroFinance or just giving access of credit to the poor could do a lot of wonders in reducing poverty. I never tried to understand "Micro finance" then because Finance was and still is out of my boundaries:). But when my intelligent peers at IIM Indore would throw questions about micro finance to all the finance company executives who visited the campus, i thought it as a business enterprise rather a social enterprise. But "Social Entrepreneurship" course, i am taking in Northeastern University not only changed my views but also made me to appreciate the efforts of this Nobel Peace Prize Winner. He has now entered the elite list of Nobel Peace Prize winners that I admire.

So when I came to know that Muhammad Yunus is in town and he is going to speak at Boston University, just rushed off today after the class to hear the man speak. One of the key things that showed up in his speech is his sincerity and his commitment to the cause that he believes in. While in India, we need Governments and Presidents to proclaim to us that by this year(as of now 2020 and i m sure in 2020 they would be saying 2030), Here is a single person proclaiming to the world that there would not be any poverty in Grameen families by 2030. Just got reminded of what I wrote in my earlier post in "In Service for Sight" about Dr.V

"Dr. V by his single-minded focus and vision has shown us what is possible for a single person to achieve individually in the land where we live in. Is it not possible the same way for us also, to do something that the world would take note of?

“Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute;
What you can do, or dream, you begin it;
Boldness hath genius, power, and magic in it,
Only engage, and then the mind grows heated.
Begin; and then the work will be completed. “

- Johann Wolfgang Goethe

1. This Social Entrepreneurship course I am taking has started to shake my well laid out plans of entering the corporate world after my PGDM degree at IIM. Now I have an idea for social entrepreneurship project/enterprise.At present needing guts(a lot of them, actually) and conviction of my sincerity to the cause to start it.

2. Me having classes during Hillary Clinton's Visit to Northeastern University(Or Campaigning at NEU) means I missed the meeting... How much times do you have the next President of United States(!) right down your street?.. Hmm.. :(

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Hampshire - Nature at its Best

The only term you could coin New Hampshire during its Fall Season is "Nature at its Best". Columbus Day, being a holiday on a week end, I joined my church friends to another trip - this time to New Hampshire. The reason stated was "Breakfast". Yeah! Food at that place was great.. Yummy.. :) But the drive through the roads was the most exciting part. When my friends in U.S. and India said that "Visit New Hampshire in Fall Season" that too not once but in all their mails. I thought it would be nice. But i never thought that it would be a place where people would be forced to shove me inside the car to ride back to Boston.

Each tree with its different fall colors combining beautifully to produce the scintillating effect. (Sorry! I am not a poet or Sajeev. So bear my words trying to describe the effects). Once has to be there to understand how nature can convince you to stand there for eternity in a single second. Hmm. I was ready to give anything for not having that feeling of numbness and disappointment that hits you on entering the Boston, the beautiful concrete jungle. But Life has to go on.

1. Was Unable to take photos because of the rains on Columbus Day.

2. Also Sorry for my inability to post 2nd annual Northeastern Underwear/Undie Run on October 13, 2007. Did not have my camera :).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Google Out'foxing' Competition

In my earlier post in August 2007 - 'Orkut Celebrates India's Independence Day', I predicted that Orkut would be losing its leadership position in Indian social networking websites to Facebook in a few years. I was convinced of this by the increasing popularity of Facebook and of the fact that Google was not reacting enough to meet Facebook challenge. But Surprise! Google is not lying down.

In the last few months(after my post), we have seen the revamping of the orkut website and now Google is getting ready to outfox(or should it be out 'open'??) Facebook. Yeah! Google is opening initially orkut and iGoogle to third party developers to take on the Facebook challenge. And from there they will slowly expand to Gmail, Google Talk and other Google services. Now, we have to wait for November 5, from when on we will start getting all the gadgets and applications we would loved to have in our orkut page but Google did not have the resources to provide it to us.

Read more about how "Google is planning to out open Facebook on November 5" in Techcrunch.

Not only that, Google is getting ready to take on "Twitter" Challenge too. Twitter (micro blogging) brought both blogging and social networking together by asking people to update regularly - "What are you doing". Now, Google has bought a Twitter- clone Jaiku to enter this new area that is getting rapidly famous. Read more about it in Jaiku's Blog - We 're joining Google.

If you are asking why does Google buying Jaiku or out opening Facebook is a major issue when they have a great & an unbeatable search engine?

Just find out which Google service has the most page views per day?

Is it search? No.
Blogger? No.
Google Maps? No.
Picasa? No.

So, what is it?


It makes sense that Google is aggressively entering social media space.