Monday, July 28, 2008

something good to read ....

Hi Guys, Here is the interesting read about the myterious man...Ram Charan...
If you dont know him.....you should read this .....
If you do......you gotta read this one. ...

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2007/04/30/8405482/index.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ram_Charan



Enjoy the read ....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New Web 2.0 companies that seem interesting..

I'm back with all my explorations for past couple of days.......
I see lot of web2.0 companies coming up. Though they are not very big, but are redefining the web media.

KRONOMY

http://www.kronomy.com/ - It provides you the ability to create a timeline for your life or product's life. Its very much similar to http://ourstory.com.
See Apple Computer's timeline on Kronomy

SNAPSHOTS
http://www.snap.com/ - It gives the snapshot of the webpage connected to the hyperlink without clicking on that link. The good thing is that just by moving the mouse over the link, you can see the snapshot of the link. Its very helpful and free service to get your website or blog registered on it.

VISUALCV
http://www.visualcv.com - Perfect site to make your resume. Very professional and extremely useful to make your resume look much more informative than traditional resume.

DELVER
http://www.delver.com - very useful search engine for searching people on all social networks at a go.

ALLTOP
http://www.alltop.com - good site for collection of best sites on a particular topic.

CRITICAT
http://www.criticat.com/ - rate your workplace, your manager and anybody in the workplace.

Will keep writing as I explore something new.......



Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Does Open Source Matter ?

Does open source matter ?? does it matter to you and me or is it just for the geeks and evangelists....

Open source term originated from the mouth of geeks when some people like you and I started saying that the programming code should be open. Unlike other brick and mortar industries, software was unique in itself. You could sell software but the keep the source code to yourself. Whereas in other industries, the moment you sell a product you inadvertently sell the source too. Anybody can dismantle the product and know the source or technology. That's how the term, 'Open Source' came into limelight.

When Henry Ford made the car for the first time, he thought he would be the only one selling all the cars ever in future. He didn't realise that with the car, he was also selling the source code. Very soon, people learnt the technology and started making better cars and in many colors. Similarly in other industries, companies sell the source code without realising it. Another classic example is Coca-Cola. They knew right from the beginning, the composition of the soda water that they sold was crucial to their business. They never divulged the details of their secret formula to make coke. They did realise that sooner or later anybody can produce the same drink with same taste as the drink is a tangible product. They built a huge wall of being the world's most famous brand which was difficult to emulate.


When software industry evolved, people thought that they would be better off keeping the source code to themselves and sell the product. With the intangible nature of the product, it made sense too. Few years down the line, some people were quick to figure out that if they made the source code open, it not only led to the betterment of the product very quickly but also made it more robust and secure as more eyes could catch more bugs. With the statistics from Coverty, a software defect analysis company, the average defect in open source software is much lower than proprietary software. This way, open source made the difference to the software industry.

If we analyse other industries in the world, most of them have open source hidden in them in some form or the other. Either they are industries based on open source or very soon they would be. Now the question is how the companies have managed to keep it proprietary. What is good for everyone - proprietary or open source. Let analyse some of the industries.

Education is considered as the most noble business. Educational institutes are coveted the most. Even though the top institutions have produced so many intellectuals over centuries, education still remains one of the most protected proprietary products. The source code is not open. MIT was the first institution to make its courseware open for all. I don't see any reason why Harvard Business School should have a closed courseware. Why can't everyone benefit from what intellectuals teach at Harvard. Why HBS has to sell its case studies when it has millions of dollars in its corpus fund. Is the premier institute afraid that they would lose the competitive advantage by opening up their system. If it is so, how is it different from Microsoft.





Encylopedia may be or may be not aka Wikipedia, is another classic example of David - open source challenging closed source - Golaith. In early 1990's, Microsoft and other companies came up with a concept of selling encyclopedia in 6 cd's of voluminous data. To many, it appeared to be the most profitable idea until it was all of sudden made look silly by Wikipedia, an open source initiative. The success of wikipedia heralded a new era of open source content. The same company has also started its sister websites named Wikibooks, Wikiversity and many more. Many professors in top universities have already started putting up their classes in the form of webcasts, podcasts, wiki and e-books. Are we turning to open source in education.

Automobile Industry, one of the most popular old economy businesses, has always kept their source code open. Not because they wanted it, but because they had the limitation that they could not keep it closed. With the recent research in the hybrid and greener vehicles, Toyota spearheaded the concept of being open source evangelist in the research for greener technology for automobiles. On the other hand, Honda is betting on closed source approach by keeping their research proprietary. Only the time will tell, which approach is more beneficial for the company and the consumers.

Media industry is not too far from being affected by open source revolution. Hollywood studios which were so adept in protecting the media rights and making billions of dollars are having tough time dealing with emerging technologies. These technologies of peer-to-peer sharing, video sharing and online streaming have made it almost impossible to protect their media copyrights. The only way to fight out this threat for them is to go open source. Take out all the copyright protection elements and make it free over the net. They will have to think of newer sources of revenues other than traditional sources of revenues. Youtube is already changing the traditional way of internet surfing. Porn media houses have been shattered with video sharing websites sprawling all over the place. It has changed the way business was done.

Retail sector
is the only one that is farthest from the impact from open source. The only open source thing that touches the retail sector is ebay. It started with a great idea of providing online marketplace for the people selling and buying all over the place. It not only granted the buyers the power of buying at their quoted prices but also gave them the power to rate the sellers. It stills is far away from being open source concept.

My mind fails to see the open source future trend in retail. If anyone can see that trend, please let me know. This is the beauty of open source in blog that you can contribute to my ideas and enhance it for the next reader.

There are many more industries where open source is not very clearly visible. It, definitely, is one of the forces which is changing the economies and business.
It is changing the world, you and I see !!

I'll continue writing about open source and how does it matter .....

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Is it Exploding or Crashing ?????

Well, I would say both !!!!!!

If you are living in today's world, you should be as worried as I am or more. Living in US or India, it should be taking a toll on you. What started as one of the cyclical downturn in US, is now far more than that. As any industry booms, its destined to bust. The same happened with real estate industry in US. After dot com bust, all the money that people had to be invested somewhere. All american citizens or immigrants started investing all their money in real estate. It boomed and it busted.

What happened differently this time ? Its a sequence of events which is most disturbing.

After the sub-prime crisis, the US investment bankers are the worst hit. They are ones who run the show on wall street. Despite of all efforts by the government, the market is not recovering. The reason being the other event of abnormal surge in crude oil prices across the globe. Part of which is credited to the consortium of middle east not ready to increase the production.

What's the solution ? Can we expect something from other side of the globe - India and China. India is having the highest inflation of 13% and growing. Steel, cement and grain prices are touching the ceiling. Crude is taking its toll too. The big indian oil companies are reducing their refining capacity as they losing so much money per barrel. If the trend continues most of these companies might go bankrupt in next two years. Who bears the brunt of all these ? Government, markets and each one of us. The Indian stock market has already sinking to its two-third levels in past few months. China has the same story to tell.

Who and what will pull these markets? First guess - Investment Bankers. Most of them are going through worst of the crisis ever. Everyone knows the Bear-Sterns and Lehman story. Rest of the funds and banks are not too far away. Second guess - Growth Potential of India and China. This one looks very promising but over past few years, the biggest consumer of Chinese products and Indian services has United States which in itself is going through a bad patch.

An interesting instance of this vicious circle came to notice couple of days back. Lehman Bros' stocks are down to one-fourth of 52 week high. The company is fighting tooth and nail to save the entity. They raised the funds of $6B from middle east. Next comes the news, Lehman turns to Indian economy for growth. They plan to invest $1.5B of those funds in Unitech, a construction company in India. On the other side, with exploding inflation, Indian stock market is crashing. Indians are losing money on both sides - the stock market as well as rising commodity prices. Very soon, Indian real estate will also follow a downcycle because of these factors. By now, you would have guessed what happens to the money that Lehman invested.

The question that comes to my mind is that: There is something wrong ???

How come commodity prices are just shooting up so much all at the same time. This can't be real. Nothing changed so much in the world drastically in past four months. There is something artificial which is driving commodity prices.

How much can artificial rigged commodities affect the economies. To take a peek, lets consider living in a world six months down the line. The crude prices crossed the $250 mark last night. With rising fuel costs, people have almost stopped flying. Two US airlines went out of operation and others are bleeding. Sky rocketing steel and cement prices have made houses so much expensive, people can't afford to buy them. The real estate prices continue to fall collapsing many big construction companies. People are seeking alternative to gasoline. Commuting has drastically reduced with so many people working from home. Automobile companies are trying to keep up with new cars running on electricity. Tech companies are cutting their staff as their clients are not making money and are not ready to spend money on the IT infrasture. Banks are cutting jobs to keep themselves in shape. I went to my office this morning. Guess what. My services are no more wanted :(

Isn't that quite a scene of mayhem across the globe. Is that what they call global recession.

Can you see it coming ??? Well, looks a little bit blurred from here. Isn't it ???