Sunday, October 10, 2010

Becoming Whole With The Mobile Web

It is said we live in an era when people will have not a few different jobs over a lifetime but a few different careers. The one job for life thing went out the window a long time ago. It has been so very true for me.

The immigration humiliation of the past two plus years has been a major blow to self esteem. You show up for enough tech events in town and you leave the impression you are one of those people whose startup never took off. The truth is I am about a year from my green card, and the startup thing will have to wait until then.

What to do has been no minor struggle.

A lot of people who know me think of me as a politician, and I have done some political work, sure, some pretty cutting edge stuff, I would like to believe. But I am who I am. I am a Third World guy. I don't think I have ever seriously contemplated running for office locally. I can get excited about microfinance, but affordable housing? I am not so sure. I am glad plenty get excited about that, and the people are well served, but I am not in that rat race personally.

It is not just a demand issue. It is not just about what the world wants. It is also a supply issue. In politics what excites me is the executive. The US presidency I find fascinating. But I could not say the same about the legislative branch. And that tells me I am cut for tech entrepreneurship. That fits into my personality type. I need much action.

Minus the web I am a fragmented person. I was born in India, grew up in Nepal, now live in America. America is not one country to me. There is the rest of America. And there is New York City. I try to think of New York City as a country on its own. I make a point not to step outside the city boundaries. And I am someone who has been to all parts of America. No one who ran for president of this country has seen as much of America as I have.

It is through my three blogs that I become whole: Democracy For Nepal, Barackface, Netizen.

Larry Ellison takes his sailing pretty seriously. I take my politics pretty seriously. But I don't see myself in politics. I don't even see me doing the Bloomberg thing. I am perhaps too global. It is a mindset, it is a world view. In my case, it is just who I am.

I set out to raise 100K for my startup in 2008, and I did. I put the bank account in my business partner's name. ("Are you sure you want to trust me with all this money!") The Democratic primary over, I was going to focus on the startup like a laser beam. The McCain thing was not going to be much of a contest. I did not think so.

Back then it was about getting into the ISP space that I had started to call Web 3.0. How do you bring another five billion people online? By now I am much more interested in the mobile web. Looks like the mobile web has already engulfed much of humanity. Well, it is Mini Me for much of the world, but it is a start. Being able to do mobile phone banking is nothing less than revolutionary.

I have yet to buy my first smartphone. I have been pretty much broke during these two plus years of immigration humiliation. But I also look down upon that screen size. The goal has to be big screen wireless broadband for everybody. Third World people are not Mini Me people. And I spend so much time online everyday already that when I am offline I like being offline, untethered. You have to smell the roses, or in the case of New York City, the foul smell of the subway. I think that is also important.

When I do my startup in a year, right now it looks like it is going to be something in the mobile web space. I have a few ideas. I am going to learn some coding in the mean time, enough to lead teams.

In the mean time I will do pro blogging, social media consulting, I have coders who will work for you, I give them their pay and take my cut: let me know if you need some cheap, remote coding done. I am open to getting a job. I am about to put my profile up on a modeling site. I believe I could handle that on the side. I did get a call. I need to call back. I am open to more.

I could use some help with the pro blogging. Every startup worth its salt has a social media presence. This is like outsourcing some of the blogging. You let me do a post or two or three. On your part that would require you giving me an hour or two of your time, in person or on the phone, in person preferred, when you tell me your full story, your full story, and your startup's full story. And by full, I mean full. And you let me talk to the key people on your team. And you email me all the pictures you want to go with the posts. And I would spend hours on the posts. And after the posts come out, you should want to link to them from your site. If you get the full story out, that helps with your hard core users, they feel more included, and become more loyal, and it helps with the press. If they can do all the background research on you with little effort, they are more likely to do stories on you. And more stories the better. Every article written about you is so much free advertising. And it helps with your future investors. I don't have space issues like the mainstream media. I can give as much space to you as needed.

The attraction of the mobile web is that you are working with a pool of five billion people. There has to be an app for that. It is about becoming whole as a person. To me it is. I have a mobile web app in mind that grows to also end up with a big screen web presence. But one year is a long time in tech entrepreneurship. Maybe I will go back to my original idea. Maybe I will set up shop in Queens. But software speaks more to my butterfly effect instincts.

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