Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Get Twitter

Enterprise 2.0 Adam Carson mentioned Confused Of Calcutta a long time ago as someone really passionate about Web 2.0. I took note. Recently I had an email conversation with Confused. We went back and forth. It was nice. Somewhere along the way I realized he is huge on Twitter. As in, he tweets.

Then I read up on him. I came across this list where Google CEO Eric Schmidt is number six and Confused is number 11. I was impressed. He is a CIO with British Telecom which has a presence in over 173 countries.

Somewhere along the way I decided to tweet as well. Open an account, and let it hang. I had no plans to be active. This despite Confused's very recent post where he is all gaga about Twitter.
Yesterday I spent some time talking about how I viewed Twitter now
Thinking about Twitter: a submarine in the ocean of the Web Finding the sea of green: More on Twitter is My Submarine
I had misconceptions. I feared Twitter is about creating an online Leoned Breznev diary towards the end of that guy's life. He would put down mundane details. I ate. I had coffee. I went to sleep. I ate. I drank coffee. Sleep came upon me. I had lunch.

It also felt like a basketball pro is being asked to go to college basketball. As an avid blogger, I thought in terms of full page posts. A phrase or two? That is lowball, I thought. At my blogs I discuss ideas and concepts. Big minds discuss ideas. Twitters must talk about themselves. I ate. I had coffee.

And I am a laptop guy. I spend so much time online, when I am offline, I like to be offline, take in the city, the people, the street scenes, the subway filth. Twitter looked like a mobile concept. You can't experience the internet on a handheld, the way the internet is meant to be experienced.

So I admired Confused more than ever, and aren't young people supposed to get tech fashion first? I am in my mid 30s. Confused is in the mid 50s. I was not enamored about getting fashion sense from Confused.

Then one day I quietly signed on. It will not hurt to get an account. It does not have to stay active. Noone will notice. My second post said I did not think I was so newsworthy as to be twitting. That was my Declaration Of Independence.

But very soon I got it. I think it was only yesterday that I started, and I am already an addict. You tweet. You blog. You email. You search. You face the book. Tweet is fundamental to the internet experience.

My first Direct Message was to Confused. You got me on Twitter, I said. I had not said thank you, I had not said I was excited. I might as well have meant you added to my chores. Welcome, says Confused, in the tone of an evangelist. As far as he was concerned, there were no negative connotations to Twitter. It was all good.

I joined Twitter. Not long after Demi Moore joined Twitter. We both joined the same day. But for some reason she has way many more followers than do I. I am going to think she is a little bit more better looking. Or maybe a lot better looking.

It is nothing to do with star quality. I am Barackface. I have a thing or two going on for me. Hey.

And then the discoveries began. Wait a minute, I might have signed on not yesterday, but the day before. Anyways, it was the same day as Demi. Kevin Rose, the second most followed person on Twitter, brought Demi to my attention. Kevin and I are close like that. That is the Twitter way.

There are so many good reasons to tweet. You blog, you tweet. You send out emails. You add friends and updates on Facebook. It is basic.

If I can tweet once or twice a day, and if I can read a few news items on Google Reader most every day, I am an active blogger without any new blog posts at my new number one blog: Tech N Biz. I have not become lazy as a blogger, I have gone high tech. This way all the personal talk gets zapped by Twitter, all my urge to read the news gets zapped by Google Reader. And so the blog posts are posts that I just have to go ahead with, not chores, as in, oh no, I have not blogged in a while, my blog is going stale, let me go blog.

Then yesterday I learned to hit reply and join conversations. Suddenly I feel like an insider.

I have rediscovered pals like Scott and Upendra from the New York tech scene.

Democracy For Nepal used to be my primary blog. Then Barackface became my primary blog. Now I am trying to get Tech N Biz to become my primary blog. Twitter and Google Reader have been a huge help in bringing about that shift. Confused Of Calcutta got me on Twitter, Enterprise 2.0 got me on Google Reader. Enterprise 2.0 got me to Confused Of Calcutta. Confused Of Calcutta got me on Twitter where I met Demi. Demi Moore. And also the Digg guy Kevin Rose. But then Confused has a star quality of his own. I mean, to be on that list.

Talk about star quality, with his goatee, I think Confused looks like a rock star.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Indra Nooyi: Power Woman

She is a woman, she is also Indian. That is a double whammy, as far as I am concerned.

She has been on the list for a few years now, but now she is number one. That is amazing.

I thought the least I could do to celebrate was put out a blog post. How about that?

She is an inspiration. I have heard her name before, but today is the first time I am reading up on her.

In The News

50 Most Powerful Women in Business Fortune .... 1 Indra Nooyi PepsiCo

Indra Nooyi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Indra Nooyi - The 2008 TIME 100 - TIME sharp strategic mind, tremendous market insight ....... PepsiCo's international business grew 22% last year, and she is showing the way for American companies trying to do well overseas. (These days, that's everybody.) Indra, 52, was also way ahead of her competitors in moving the company toward healthier products. ....... She welcomes hearing from people who disagree with her, but she is single-minded about following the path she believes is best for her company and its shareholders.

50 Most Powerful Women in Business 2006: Indra Nooyi | FORTUNE
#5 Indra K. Nooyi -
America's Best Leaders: Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo CEO - US News and ...
Indra Nooyi's Graduation Remarks
Two Lessons From Indra Nooyi's Success - Sepia Mutiny you can get ahead in the American corporate environment without sacrificing who you are culturally. ....... the difficulty some women face in dating and/or marrying men who are less powerful or successful than they are ........ Have you had your snack? Ok, go play. Momma has to go acquire a multinational or two and pacify the Indian media regarding the recent pesticide allegations. ...... you don’t have to sell yourself out and tell everyone your name is “Bob” if it’s really Balwinder ...... getting her first job in the U.S. after completing her Master’s at Yale ....... determined girl, who while studying in Connecticut, worked as a receptionist from midnight to sunrise to earn money and struggled to put together US$50 to buy herself a western suit for her first job interview out of Yale ....... She lives with her husband and two daughters in Fairfax county, Connecticut ..... Nooyi attends PepsiCo board meetings in a sari ..... There’s no reason to be defensive about being a vegetarian, or preferring mango lassi to martinis, or cricket to baseball… and on and on.
Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo CEO on Mentors, Meritocracy and Maternity ... some work/life balance issues and the hard realities women face when they reduce time spent in the office ....... “If women don’t help other women then who will?” asked Indra
Duke varsity to honour Indra Nooyi, Oprah Winfrey

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Yahoo: The Original Dot Com

Before there was Google, there was Yahoo. Before there was MSN, there was Yahoo. The starry-eyed Google founders did make a serious attempt to sell off to Yahoo back in the days. But Yahoo was not interested. Yahoo already had a search box, and search was thought of only one of many things netizens wish to do. The action was elsewhere. Search was nowhere close to a central function that it is thought of today. Back then AltaVista was the search king, and Yahoo was good enough.

A few years after Google tried to get sold off to Yahoo, Sergei Brin would go on dates, and he noticed there were not too many second dates. I don't know if this story is true, but Larry Page said it somewhere. This was in 2000 when dot coms were crashing left and right, especially dot coms that did not have any revenue whatsoever, like Google at the time.

Bill Gates did make an attempt to buy Google. Buy it "at any price," he ordered his lieutenants. This was perhaps a year or two before they went public, or maybe even right after. This time around the Google founders knew better than to sell.

But search just kept getting bigger and bigger. Google became the sexy company, always in news. In a scramble Microsoft made an attempt to buy Yahoo. What actually happened after that offer was made is murky story. Jerry Yang has been hammered with the story that he refused an offer he should not have refused, especially with where Yahoo stands today in the market. Jerry says he did mean to take it, but when he went for it, Microsoft was no longer interested. Then they came back saying they just want Yahoo's search business. Yahoo minus its search would not be a Yahoo no more. A portal like Yahoo without a search engine?

Google is search king. The competition is not arithmetic where if MSN search and Yahoo search were to get together they would eat away Google's market share. Challening Google search is an innovation challenge. But at this point Google's search business is so capital intensive, it is hard to imagine a startup that will come at it from behind.

Google might not get challenged by another search startup, more likely it will get challenged by a startup that finds another central internet application. Facebook comes to mind. Facebook is not search, it is not email, it is not shopping, it is a new application. I am not saying Facebook will grow bigger than Google. Search will stay a central application online. And I expect Google to keep innovating in that search space.

The next sexy company might not even be a dot com. It might not be a 2D company, a rectangle on a screen. Maybe all the key internet applications have already been found. Now you can just keep making it better and better and better. But perhaps there is no fundamental discovery to be made. I'd love to be proven wrong.

Jerry's two big career mistakes. He should have bought Google. He should have sold off to Microsoft. Ha.

In The News

Microsoft and Yahoo: Deal or no deal? Fortune

Laptop Modem Demand to Drive Early WiMAX Device Shipments As Mobile WiMAX devices begin to hit the market, the bulk of early product shipments will be external USB modems and WiMAX cards built into portable computers ....... In-Stat expects annual WiMAX device shipments to break the 10 million mark in 2010
WiMAX: The next-gen net connectivity Merinews higher quality and almost no wiring. WiMAX has already found it space in Indian market ans is growing rapidly. ..... Presently, WiMAX technology is being used by Tata Communications Internet Services Ltd ( TCISL ) at several Metro cities to its broadband customers. Customers also have enthusiastic response towards its performance as they are not facing problem of interruption in service due to cable cut/damage problem.
When a Rock Star CEO Leaves the Stage
Washington Post Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976 but was ousted in a power struggle in 1985. ..... In late 1997, Jobs returned. ...... hitting nearly $200 per share in December 2007, from about $3 in 1997, adjusted for splits and dividends
Quantum, Runcom Technologies Team to Develop Low Cost WiMAX Handsets
Quantum Telecom has entered into an exclusive agreement with Runcom Technologies for the development, manufacturing and selling of ultra low cost (ULC) WiMAX (News - Alert) fixed and mobile handsets. ....... Recently, Runcom signed a framework agreement with ChinaTel for WiMAX deployment in 29 major cities across China, covering area of 300 million people.
Sprint’s WiMAX Deployments – Uphill Battle Gerson Lehrman Group, New York
Possible DTV Delay Roils Mobile Operators PC World Faster wireless broadband in the U.S. may be held hostage to the already lengthy transition to digital TV if the deadline for shutting down analog broadcasts is pushed back ........ TV stations are required to move all their programming to digital channels after Feb. 17 as part of a process in which valuable frequencies in the 700MHz band will be turned over to mobile broadband providers. ....... The nation's two biggest mobile operators, Verizon Wireless and AT&T, both plan to use 700MHz spectrum for the next generation of mobile broadband, based on LTE (Long-Term Evolution) technology. ...... AT&T is using HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access), which can deliver as much as 48Mb per second in the same size band ....... Before Sprint Nextel launched its first commercial WiMax network in Baltimore at the end of September 2008, it spent months building and testing the networks in its initial target cities. Sprint WiMax networks in two of those cities, Chicago and Washington, D.C., still aren't open for business.
Wireless: The Outlook Gets Murkier for Clearwire BusinessWeek Last May some of the biggest names in the technology and media business, including Intel (INTC), Google (GOOG), Sprint (S), and Comcast (CMCSA), teamed up to invest $3.2 billion in the startup Clearwire (CLWR). ...... founded by entrepreneur Craig McCaw had high hopes of shaking up the wireless industry ...... Billions more in losses are projected for the coming years as Clearwire invests heavily to roll out its network. ......... the credit crunch could crimp Clearwire's ambitions. ....... The company needs to raise an additional $2 billion to $2.3 billion to reach its target of offering wireless broadband service in most of the top 100 U.S. markets by the end of 2010.
Recession Comes to the PC Makers The fastest-growing segment of the market is so-called netbooks—stripped-down notebooks that cost $300 to $500 and deliver far less profit than standard notebooks. ........ Microsoft is said to get about $13 per copy for the Windows version that goes in netbooks, vs. more than $50 for those that go into standard PCs. ...... Acer operates with a super-lean Taiwanese cost structure that allows it to price its products aggressively. Apple seems content to stick with making ever-more-powerful PCs for premium prices. ..... Big Blue sidestepped the tumult by selling its PC business to Lenovo four years ago.
IBM: Outsourcing at Home the U.S. economic downturn has already claimed more than 60,000 tech jobs in the past three months alone ........ With 200,000 service employees worldwide and nearly 80,000 in India, IBM ....... Dubuque and Iowa offered IBM an enticing package of incentives worth $55 million over 10 years. They include a loan of $11.7 million that will be forgiven if IBM fulfills its hiring pledge.
Broadband Bill Disappoints Nearly Everyone $6 billion is not going to get you to ubiquitous broadband ...... pegged the cost of creating universal broadband in the tens of billions of dollars ........ $44 billion over three years. ...... "advanced" broadband will be defined as service of 45 megabits per second or higher, while "basic" broadband will be considered 5 Mbps
Comstar Soft Launches WiMAX Network in Moscow WELT ONLINE, Germany

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Craig Silverstein

Paramendra Bhagat: Dolphin

Microsoft, Google, Facebook: NY Tech MeetUp Has Arrived
Money For Yahoo And Money For Google
Search: Much Is Lacking
Google Books: Primitive
Google Audio, Google Office
Google Video
Google: Free, Wireless Internet Access, Pay Per View Video
Yahoo Phone, Google Office, Google Finance
Google's To Do List Keeps Growing
In Defense Of Google Digitizing Books
Google's Corporate Transparency
Google And Languages
Google Again
Google Video Has Hit The Docks
Google And Browsers And More
Google: Poised To Be The Number One Software Company In The World

On The Web

Craig Silverstein's Home Page
Google's man behind the curtain - CNET News the search company is poised to raise $2.7 billion in one of the hottest tech initial public offerings since 2000. ....... The company recently renewed an exclusive PageRank license from Stanford that's valid through 2011. ....... understanding language is kind of the last frontier in artificial intelligence ..... In terms of timing, I typically say about 200 to 300 years. ...... Our algorithms do scale, and if, you know, the size of the Web doubles, and the machines double, then we are keeping pace. ...... I used to know everyone in the company, and now I do not, and it makes me sad.
Craig Silverstein grew a decade with Google When he started work, Silverstein figured he would last four or five years at Google before burning out. Or perhaps the company would evolve to the point where he wouldn't feel welcome anymore. ....... or be a stay-at-home dad. But he still believes that search needs significant improvement and that it might take 100 years to realize.
Video results for Craig Silverstein
Craig Silverstein lost in admiration for Google’s unexpected ... Only one man has been with Google since the beginning, apart from Larry Page and Sergey Brin ...... for Mr Silverstein, from the inside, it was not until Playboy published a big story about Google in early 1999 that he realised how things might go. ....... “I always imagined we were going to be an 80 to 100-person company,” Mr Silverstein, 35, told The Times. Google has about 19,000 staff around the world.
UNC Media Advisory -- Google Technology Director Craig Silverstein..
First Impression: Meeting Google´s Craig Silverstein - Ralf's... Google´s director of technology and first employee of Google - or Google´s man behind the curtain

In The News

Expect lower temperatures, bigger ball at Times Square celebration CNN
61-Second Minute Takes World into 2009
One Microsoft Way's top 10 of 2008
Ars Technica
Windows 7 Leaked To The Internet InformationWeek
Facebook faces ire of 85000 mums
Straits Times
Next from Apple: A Large-Screen iPod Touch? PC World
New Year's Eve to be cold, windy in NYC United Press International
FCC's Martin Drops Porn Filtering Idea BusinessWeek
iWork may become a Web Application at Macworld? SlashGear
Interview: Pytey of the iPhone Dev Team
Washington Post

US STOCKS-Wall St closes out worst year since Depression Reuters
Russia Says It Will Halt Delivery of Natural Gas to Ukraine
Washington Post
Citigroup CEO Pandit, Chairman Bischoff Forgo Bonuses
Jobless claims data paint bleak picture for 2009
The Associated Press
Dell Turnaround Hits Bump With Reorganization Woes
Merrill Lynch Settles Discrimination Suit
New York Times
Slovaks adopt euro
Montana Investors Lost $18 Million With Madoff, Regulator Says


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