[ To Express, To Reflect, To Give Back ]

Next Match: RedBox vs. NetFlix

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Few years ago, we started off with a BlockBuster service to get DVDs by mail and also pick up a couple of in-store free rentals. I liked the in-store deal because I could rent newer movies which usually have a long wait for home delivery.

And then, NetFlix came, conquered BlockBuster with streaming movies and TV shows in addition to the mailed DVDs. They really nailed the deal for me when they streamed via my Wii console, for no additional charge. When the BlockBuster store around where we live closed, we gladly cut the cord from my BlockBuster and switched to NetFlix. Too bad, BlockBuster didn’t copy NetFlix’s strategies even if they couldn’t creatively compete. The rest of the market voted just as I did and blockbuster is limping its way to RIP.

After using NetFlix service for a while, we noticed we were streaming movies more frequently than we were watching the DVDs. Despite the lack of good selection and low-quality streaming video (on 56′ TV), we preferred to pick and chose to watch whatever and whenever we want. Laziness chimed in too, NetFlix DVDs would lie around our entertainment center for days before we got to it. Over time, I figured we weren’t watching more than two movies a month through mailed DVDs. Besides, NetFlix had same queuing issue when it comes to newer movies available for immediate shipping.

Redbox One Billion Movie Rentals!

Around this same time, we finally bought a Samsung Blu-Ray player. Not wanting to wait for NetFlix shipping, I tried renting over night Blu-Ray rentals from RedBox. Blu-ray is spectacular – if you haven’t tried it, run, not walk, to check it out soon, RedBox solved the one problem I had with both BlockBuster and NetFlix: instant access to newer movies. So the combination of RedBox + Blu-Ray, I was royally sold.

We have since discontinued NetFlix DVD mailing service, but staying with streaming, though its usage has gone down even while NetFlix is beefing up its digital catalog. I have written about NetFlix before and I continue to use them as lessons on strategic thinking.

First, RedBox is available in locations that are practically a shout away from where we live. This one idea in itself might be a big winner. It’s ironic that the fast-disappearing BlockBuster stores could have easily stayed to do this cheap, over-night rental thing! In any case, until the other guys can provide Blu-Ray quality streaming and newer movies, RedBox neighborhood kiosks will continue to be prosper. I won’t be surprised if other companies soon flood the market with Kiosk-based services. CoinStar, which owns RedBox, had long established strategic partnership with retail establishments that helped introduce this potentially golden-goose innovation.

Second, by virtue of overnight rental, RedBox is eliminating a typical lazy consumer behavior. At the risk of paying more, I am forced to watch the movies overnight and return them, opening up more revenue for RedBox from the same DVD. Not only that, I am now more inclined to rent (even more revenue!) another newer movie from RedBox sooner than later. What used to be BlockBuster and NetFlix’s proposition, “Keep the DVDs as long you want”, is now wasted asset which otherwise should be making money! So RedBox is re-defining the a strategy which NetFlix previously re-defined which BlockBuster had previously defined. May be RedBox didn’t do this consciously, but at least a good strategy is emerging. This is classic business strategy at work.

Third, RedBox is aggressive about promoting the newer movies, in spite of the studios forcing delay between the day home video is released and the day kiosk rental is available. Nothing beats the joy of watching a good new movie late at night in your own cozy family room, that too on blu-ray and 56′ wide-screen home theater. Add to that the magic number of a $1 rental ($1.50 for Blu-ray) – I think we have a wholesome deal as sweet as mass-market American deals are supposed to be.

While NetFlix and the dozen or so aggressive competitors are vying for the online streaming business, RedBox, in my opinion, is firing on all guns around American neighborhoods. Especially around communities where internet streaming may not as popular as urban centers.

And don’t forget an important, but somewhat subtle proposition: RedBox is silently gaining brand awareness through well-designed, well-placed kiosks across high-traffic locations. If the same spots were to go for advertising, I bet they cost a boat load. Just take Wal-Mart alone; Millions of Americans who walk in and out of Wal-Mart everyday bestow their eye balls on a RedBox kiosks. More and more of these by-standers will be tempted by the site of people queuing up in front of attractive kiosks. Within America, RedBox may soon be as recognizable as Wal-Mart or McDonald. In the marketing world, that awareness is priceless.

Blu-Ray quality streaming may come soon but the idea of renting discs will stay at least for another few years. That is a compelling reason for RedBox’s to keep a watchful eye on the streaming technology as well as consumer wants and behavior choices. If CoinStar can could keep up with both, I am certain they can become the smartest innovator in the self-service segment converging convenience, retail and entertainment.

Next Match: RedBox vs. NetFlix

PS: There is one competition that usually goes unmentioned: Local libraries. They rent free rentals (mostly DVDs, very few offer Blu-ray) but they have the same queueing problem as NetFlix, especially since library rentals are usually for a week. Perhaps, RedBox will soon hit the queueing issue as more folks start embracing it.

One Innovation’s Long Journey to Rest Rooms across America

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Waterfree Urinals

Over the last few weeks, the rest rooms around the floor where I work have been renovated along with brand-new installation of sparkling beauty – water-free urinal wall fixtures.

Their curvy finish and mac-ish design make you want to use them, except there is no handle to flush. You are left to admire it from 12 inches away never having to touch it. Which is a good thing if you are apprehensive about germs spreading through the flush handles. I have used these urinals on and off in recent past, but it feels little different to use them every day. I have to get used to keeping my arms from reaching out for the flush handle!

Over the years, innovation in the toilet segment has tremendously saved water consumption. I have seen toilets with two flush handles at the top – one on each side for urinal (less gallons) flush and other for non-urinal (more gallons) use. The ultimate urinal is one with absolutely no water needed, saving millions of gallons of water per urinal per year. This is indeed an environmentalists’ dream invention. Besides, these innovators have the once popular kodak-formula for business model too. Once the urinal is installed, it will need annual replacement trap-cartridges – a container with special liquid that traps the urinal and sewage gases out of the ceramic fixture.

What I did not realize was how long and how hard it was to bring this innovation to the market. From this Wired article, “Pissing Match: Is the World Ready for the Waterless Urinal?” it likely took a decade for this innovation to reach the building I work at. Apparently, the water-free technology has been commercially available since 1991! I didn’t have a clue that plumbers, of all the people, would pose a huge threat in bringing this technology out to the masses. Apparently, plumbers felt they all would soon go out of business. That’s unlikely – the need to move water to/from every building will keep the plumbing as a profitable business for a long time to come.

One thing I am not entirely not sure is the odor. I have this awkward feeling that if you don’t flush down with water, the odor from the ceramic walls will eventually add up. It is entirely possible that ceramic will not retain any fluid traces, but who knows. Of course, time will tell soon as I use these daily.

Nevertheless, a decade and billions of water later, hip water-less urinals are finally going to adorn rest rooms across America.

Khan way of Transforming Learning

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Listen, you want a glimpse of the future of education? How about Bill Gates vouching for it?

Even If you already know of Khan Academy, still take a few minutes to watch this latest TED Presentation. If you are patient enough, Bill Gates will join Sal Khan on stage around the 18th minute.

I stumbled upon Khan Academy last year, and since that time, he has gone from “somebody” to “the man”. His vision is rather unbelievable – educate the world for free on every topic! His story and rise to limelight is a worth a short film.

This story has been inspiring to me in many fronts. For one, he is making things happen for real. When million others are simply dreaming or talking about just ideas, he is out changing the face of learning, still one day or one video at a time. The realization of his vision in just the last few months is really commendable. They have create an innovative software to facilitate a non-invasive, individualized learning – augmented by the thousands of tutoring videos. Not only that, behind the screen, the software captures tremendous data for the teachers & tutors to evaluate a student’s performance and to have a constructive, thoughtful discussion for further learning and improvement. The best of today’s teachers are manually collating these type of data which takes away the time from focusing on their only goal of positively influencing the development of the students.

When most innovators are behind the startup wagon with a hope of making it big in an IPO, Sal is running this as a non-profit, a social enterprise as I like to think of it. I am certain money is never going to be an issue – even if Gates and Google don’t care for them, scores of philanthropists will line up to write a check for some who is truly impacting the lives of so many people across the world.

Let’s not forget, next to the gift of life, the second best gift to give anyone is education. If he can do that in a simple, easy way that anyone across the globe can use – I salute he is indeed “the man”.

Khan Academy already has a pilot program with Los Altos school district that is showing great promise. Now that he has assembled a fantastic team (I wish I could be part of this team and their mission!!), they are all set to fundamentally transform the way learning will happen in classrooms. No other company, including Microsoft, has been able to introduce this type of transformation. Which is likely why Bill Gates is backing Sal’s vision, besides using it himself to teach math to her daughter.

We need all the other dreamers to take Khan Academy truly global across languages and villages on a mission to educate the masses. Any takers from India?

I want to live for a million years

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Yury Liftshits (what a unique name?) has compiled a comprehensive list of online resources that are transforming education today.[via Mashable]

100+ Online Resources That Are Transforming Education

While Internet is still not pervasive in many parts of the world, it will, sooner than later. The online resources listed on the article above are paving the foundation for what appears to be a tectonic shift in the way learning will happen in the future. This GOOD Magazine (I highly recommend) article posits that in future we will know everything we wish to know. I am questioning when was the last time we wanted to know something and couldn’t find googling it. Probably rare. So internet and explosion of every imaginable content, has brought any learning to just a few clicks away.  If curiosity is your game, internet is your arena, go hit some home runs everyday.

Technology is transforming education as we know it.

Undoubtedly, Apple has been spearheading this revolution with iPhone and iPad. It seems there is no end what we can do with these two.  Thanks to Yury Liftshits again, I saw the YouTube demo of this innovative and practically valuable translation app called WordLens [check the demo here]. On a personal note, our neighbor vouches for iPad, after they have seem tremendous progress with her autistic child’s skill development.

Tablet and App Explosion!

With what’s possible through the digital revolution that is unveiling, I am super excited about the prospects for future. There is so much to learn. So much to do. For the goodness of fellow children of Mother Earth.

I am ready to live a million years.

Twitter’s brilliant sweetspot!

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

I was late to sign up on Twitter but am now convinced it is truly a brilliant idea. It allows me to stay connected and follow anyone who I care about. It doesn’t have to be a person, it could be a firm or brand or whatever meaningful entity that deserves even one person’s attention! It doesn’t matter if that other person doesn’t know me – in most cases they don’t know me, but what matters is I am now as close to them as I virtually can.

In the pre-Twitter days, there wasn’t an easy-quick-and-dirty way to accomplish this – besides visiting websites and subscribing to blogs and news feeds etc. It was even worse in pre-Internet era! All I could wish for was to hope that Esquire magazine would publish an article about Cory Booker for me to know what he is up to. Today? Cory Booker goes above and beyond to keep me informed of what he is doing and thinking. All I had to do is just to follow him on Twitter…How insanely cool is that, especially if he is one of those people who inspires me everyday? He does, for ONE MILLION followers, like me.

Strolling across one of the isles in Barnes & Nobles the other day, I stumbled upon a book called “Procrastination Equation” by Piers Steel. Impressed with some of the ideas he espoused, I wondered if the author is on Twitter so I could stay connected with what’s on his mind. Not surprisingly, he was on and active on Twitter, and in seconds, I was set to keep track of him. Practically speaking, I am all set to stay abreast from one of the best minds on subject of Procrastination. Just a few years ago, that act would have meant writing long letters across the continent! And, no doubt, I would have procrastinated the hell out of writing a letter. Twitter simply eliminated the impulsiveness & the delay in Procrastination. Woh Woh? Hold on. Not clear on that last statement? Here is the Procrastination Equation that Piers writes about:

Procrastination Equation by Piers Steel

Piers thoughtfully clarified the formula (in a footnote in the book) by adding “+1” to the denominator so the division doesn’t go nuts. Motivation=(Expectancy x Value)/[(Impulsiveness x Delay)+1]

With that formula in front of you, now feel free to cogitate on that statement again: Twitter simply eliminated the impulsiveness & the delay in Procrastinating the action of connecting with the book’s author.

Where Twitter becomes a Himalayan challenge is when I start following a lot of people (a lot is say 50 people, at least for me). At that point, I should let go of any intention to “keep up” with everything coming in from everyone I follow. If I try to keep up, I am doomed! I realized Twitter becomes a shallow stream of universal consciousness and all I should and can do is to be content with occasional dips in the stream. I can always selectively dig deeper for particular topics or people – but the stream itself only goes as deep as few days! The world rightfully loses and doesn’t care about last week’s or last month’s or for that matter, yesterday’s state of universal consciousness – tweets!

Even if I am simply using Twitter to just follow – I get so much out of it. When I start tweeting or even better, retweeting some of what I follow, the power and quality of stream multiplies by as many followers as I have and as many people I follow. When everyone start doing the same, this power becomes unbelievably exponential! Not only what I say is heard by some (if not all followers), but I also act as a catalyst in passing every information that needs to be heard! As we have seen in the news lately, that exponential power of Twitter is precisely what is driving social revolutions left and right of Middle East. It first revolutionized the digital world, now it is doing the same for the real world – where revolutions matter the most! So what country is up next? In the universal scheme of tweet-consciousness, nobody knows! Time of course will tell.

Twitter, perhaps unintentionally, ended up in a perfect, irreplaceable sweet spot between one-to-many (radio/tv) and one-to-one (phone/text/IM) and many-to-one (newspaper/magazine) and many-to-many(websites/blogs) communication streams. I am trying hard to imagine what would be next – short of a gift of telepathy for all.

Twitter's sweet spot in (information) revolution

Prezi – True creativity in presentations

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

I have been using Powerpoint for a good portion of my corporate life. It’s just another tool to communicate. With Powerpoint 2007 (and now Powerpoint 2010), you could be more creative than ever before in better communicating whatever you want. But Prezi is redefining the paradigm of presentations.

Think no more as slides and bullets. Start with a large blank white paper and draw your content out wherever you want. Take it in any direction you want and present ideas in any order, as long as they have some relationship and meaning.

Linear movement across content is pretty standard in most visual communication mediums – including books and movies. However, Our mind doesn’t not think or operate linearly – most often we jump not sequentially but tangentially. Experimental movies (nonlinear narrative) such as “Memento” will bore an average person, but will inspire others who have an appetite for defying logic. “Lateral thinking“, a well known concept in creative thinking circles, emphasizes non-linear approach to creativity. Which is exactly why Prezi has gotten all the attention and evangelical fellowship. Prezi will enable the presenter to present the information visually as close to how the information is perceived and possibly registered in our memory. The hope is that presenting information using tools such as Prezi will increase your success – be it influencing your audience or helping them learn something new.

We are so attuned to expecting things linearly that your first exposure to Prezi will not ring much bells. Although the fundamental concepts such as non-linear movement within content and zoom in/out will initially grab your attention more to the medium than the message, Prezi is redefining how communications will happen in the future.

Of course, no great presentation tool will make up for poor thinking and lack of creativity. In the end, it’s still you, who will make a great presentation – where it’s with a napkin or prezi.

Here is one Great Prezi by Kevin McAllister that I am really impressed – and hoping to use it as basis for my own Prezis.

Another good Prezi – Sweet Recipe to Solving Problems

Will an Indian compete in Snowboarding in Olympics?

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

I am not surprised about lack of attention to India’s representation in the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Most Indians aren’t interested in winter games and even amongst those who follow it, there is lesser people who actually play winter sports themselves.

Personally, I actually snowboard. Yep. Many of my Indian friends and family think, it isn’t much different from skiing. But it is not. I never skied so I wouldn’t know which one is harder or better. However, It did take a long time for me be a decent snowboarder, especially since I had not seen snow until I was 21 and started learning snowboarding only when I was about 25 or 26. I can come down the hill in most trails with no issue, but my speed and aesthetics still sucks in steeper trails.

Let me tell you my secret – just do it and don’t give up. Most newbie give up after the first day on snowboard. But the truth is you can really get a hang of it within the 3rd day of learning and rest is just showing up and mastering it.

I have been hitting the slopes at least 2 or 3 times a year for many years now though I only frequent ski resorts in NY area. I have tried out resorts in Colorado, Vermont, and Candada too (Tremblant!). There is no comparison to the quality of snow and the overall boarding experience in Vermont or Canada. The local resorts here are just easier to access but not for great snow.

In all these years, I have seen many people from India in the slopes. Almost all of them ski. However, I am yet to meet another Indian (1st generation Indian like me) who snowboards. I am sure there are many out there, it’s just that I haven’t had a way to connect with them. I continue to go all by myself, year after year. Its a great meditative feeling to snowboard down a long hill all by yourself.

Since the day I picked up boarding, I always wondered if an Indian will ever compete in Snowboarding in Winter Olympics. May be, who knows, someone might be training today for it.

Shiva Keshavan thinks we can do something about winter sports and India. From India’s standpoint, he is a veteran winter Olympian even though he is only in late 20s. He has been participating in Luge, representing India for three Olympics now. While I know nothing about Luge beyond being a spectator, I got to imagine its just as hard as any sport and at least, he finished at a decent spot, unlike his two other counterparts who literally ended up at the bottom of all participants. Sad as it is, I applaud their courage to participate (against the usual odds) and hold India’s flag in Winter Olympics. Let’s not forget that we got to start somewhere to get to the top!

I found just a few blogs or news items on Shiva Keshavan :

A Chance Interview with Indian Olympian Shiva Keshavan (btw, he speaks genuinely and very sensibly)

Kamala Bhatt (who also runs a popular Internet radio show) blogged about Shiva.

Lakshmi Gandhi pieced the ten facts about Shiva’s sojourn to Vancouver.

CNNGoAsia cribs about the beaten Indian team

Comments are closed since I couldn’t keep up with deleting spam. You can reach me at my yahoo at skchary.

Channel 19 – a Stern venture

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

If you have been my regular reader, you know my interests in using film for social change. I pointed out at Echoing Green yesterday, and now I like to drag your attention to Channel 19, a community production program (also available online) that produces ‘Video News Magazines” to drive social change. Channel 19 provides a voice for the common people, when mass media can’t/won’t. Currently, Channel 19 is operating from India through six Community Video Units (CVUS), but I see the concept just as good for any country or society that needs a social voice through media!

An obvious next question (that my wife asked when we first talked about it) is how does the videos reach the “mass”. This is indeed a challenge to not only meet the supply side of it, but also the demand side of community videos (who wants to watch community media in India, when the Zee, Sony and Sun TVs flooding the mass with “drooling” reality shows and Saas-Bahu c(rap)onspiracies?) While Ch19.org also hosts all the videos online, the primary distribution is through screening the videos on a regular basis in the slums and villages, creating awareness across the affected society. It may not reach the “mass” but it reaches the locals and perhaps, will reach the district and state next and eventually the mass media. The videos not only highlight a social issue but also present solutions to issues these communities want to or should take action on. It is a tall order to make a meaningful impact, but absolutely a start. So I wholeheartedly support them!

Another thing I am proud of Channel 19 is, it is a Video Volunteers product. And Video Volunteers is a NYU Stern 2007 business plan competition winner!

Tech star…tup

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Boulder is a city that I really liked though I have only visited it twice during my almost a year of weekly commuting to Denver in 2003. It is also a city high in entrepreneurial spirit, thanks to a vibrant university and the loads of venture capitalists around, and of course, a community that cherishes life and nature (and snow!).

Techstars is a boulder’s way of embracing startups and venture capitalism around the area. Through Techstars, local entrepreneurs are joining together to promote entrepreneurial activity, one summer at a time.

The website claims 80% of last years participants have now received additional venture/angel funding and thats a good statistics proving their selection criteria (10 out of 300+ applicants!) was pretty good. Most of the companies appear to be online, social media types

Now, bootcamps are not new. They have been around for a long time around Silicon Valley. Techstars differentiates in some ways, the best of which I liked was that they don’t want to see your business plan (at least thats what their website says!). So they do want you to pitch your idea but just that is enough. I think this in itself would be a boost for a lot of people to take the plunge. While ideas are dozen a dime, good ideas are still running into millions! Of course, you got to have an idea and a way to create something, so fancy ones aren’t going to make the cut. You probably need an idea that can be built into something over a few boulder summer weeks, with nothing more than a laptop, food and a bunch of mentors and perhaps, lawyers! I guess, if you can program it, you are halfway in!

If you truly have an software-based idea, look to spend your next summer in Boulder. The mentors are mostly local (previously successful & experienced?) entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, so you ought to get something out of those few weeks!

Internet booms

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

The data from the recently published 2008 Quarter two report of venture capital investments has an interesting hightligh in the new venture space : 238 Internet-based companies got an funding of around $1.5 billion! Thats just in one quarter! This quarterly figure in fact represents the highest since 2001. Are we seeing a surge in the dot com business?

On a side note, US venture capitalists sent about $473 million in India’s way.

streaming our lives

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Heard life streaming? Then you are not as much wired yet.

[source : readwriteweb]

Its the myspacefacebooktwitter economy. Take that to next level, you are hit with life streaming. Do you want to spend your life recording your life? or living? you decide. But if you decide to record, you will be lifestreaming instead of living. So that explains it, isn’t it? Should you do it? Some folks try to convince you, so read it for yourself here.

Google believes lifestreaming in various forms is likely to going to be big…check OpenSocial. A good social app is TypeRacer. I type like crazy (with auto spelling correction ofcourse!) so I am addicted to it TypeRacer style apps.


Saturday, June 21st, 2008

Note: Since writing the post below, I have changed my opinion about twitter. See my latest post here Twitter’s Brilliant Sweetspot. After you read my opinion below and my recent observation of Twitter, you will obviously see how ignorant (and rude too!) I was back then.

A friend of mine asked me if I twitter. I don’t. I have come across a while ago but neither did I find any need to twitter nor a need to “follow” other twitters. I actually don’t know who else I know twitters. Even if they did, I am not sure if I care to “follow” them. An email or a phone call or even a stop at their blog once a in a while would be sufficient.

info overlaod

I am a big fan of social software and there are ways to channel its power. But honestly, I think twitter is a noise in the social software arena. Apparently, its creating so much noise (causing scalability issues with its recursive messaging infrastructure!) that its founder says “We will continue hiring systems engineers, operators, and architects, as well as consultants, scientists, and other professionals to help us realize our vision”. Twitter is simply a glorified broadcast instant messaging. Or to put it in a more crude way, its a formalized version of virus that people voluntarily subscribe to! And to even suggest that people should pay $5 as service fee to use twitter makes me laugh. OK, I know I am overly critical. I know many smart investors and hardworking programmers are behind twitter (sorry dudes!). All I am saying is it has no inherent value beyond exponentially magnifying the always-connected networked zombies!

Internet’s Bleeding-edge…Web 2.0

Thursday, October 6th, 2005

I have heard the term “bleeding-edge” being used occasionally to refer to something thats far better than “cutting-edge” which sounds better than “high-tech”. When I started working for L-Cube, programming image processing software in C++, there was a good friend and colleague of mine who was exploring a new programming language called ‘Java’. He kept insisting that it was cutting-edge technology to ‘write once, run anywhere’. Rest turned out to be history.

If there is something that is getting a lot of buzz in the internet tech industry today, its ‘Web 2.0’. I need to say nothing nor link to anything (a.k.a google it yourself!). If you work in anything related to internet tech industry and haven’t heard of “web 2.0” (and know something!) then consider yourself as staying a little bit behind the edge 🙂 But if you want to take a clear, deeper look over the edge, look no further (and save one hit at Google) than this article by Tim O’Reilly “What is Web 2.0”. A lengthy article, but you better skim it now, before some techie tosses those buzzwords on your face only to see you blink.

Oh, as for that friend who was always over the edge back in L-Cube, he quickly got a pet name, indeed, as “Java”. We still call him ‘Java’ and I still have his phone number stored in my cell phone as ‘Java’ and almost all of us forgot how his original name sounds!

Writing code in america

Tuesday, October 4th, 2005

A title that I recently came across.


Though it sounds surcastic, it is indeed an optimistic approach to what a software developer in America can do about it. Interestingly, the author has worked in India to set up an offshore center. I am guessing he must have used his perspectives from that experience to come up with few (at least) good tips in the book. I niether read it nor asking anyone to read/buy it. Since I have a vested interest in the subject of the title, I thought it was intriguing.

A morning with Grady Booch

Wednesday, June 8th, 2005

I will be in manhattan to listen to Grady Booch (his blog) speak on ‘Evolution and Innovation in IT’. The IBM sales guy I knew gave a chance to get in there and I grabbed it without a second thought. I have never met anyone of his caliber before and I hope the very least to shake hands with him if not more.

The concepts of design and architecture were terms exclusively used by the construction engineers until Grady introduced them to world of software development. Most of what I studied in college and in my early years as a software engineer is all what he had written. So it pays to go and see someone who in a way is largely responsible for how the software industry has turned out to be today. He continues to be a visionary thought leader at IBM and one of his jobs is simply go around the world and talk!

If nothing else, I will get to see what it takes to be a visionary. My guess is it might not be that much!

If you are technology savvy check the wiki updates from the recent Emerging Technology Conference. As close as you can get to ‘HOT’ technology.

Email – Once upon a time?

Tuesday, March 29th, 2005

Emails as we know it today may be gone sooner than we all can imagine. According to three respected people in the information technology industry, Email has grown way over its intended purpose and its killing itself out of existence into an eternal death!

Ray Ozzie, who originally kick started the email revolution with Lotus Notes believes “Workspaces” (Groove, Sharepoint) is the new collabaration technology. Ray bases his thoughts on Gelernter’s fantastic article on why email is a curse (read this in full if you can) and what Hornik predicts as “death of eMail”.

Their predictions are old though ( from 2003 ) but it kind of reverberates with my thoughts lately around how clumsy email has become, especially at work. Day starts with Email, ends with Email and there is efficiency, structure and organization around what,how, when and where things get done. Perhaps, its time for next workplace collabaration technology. Not surprising that Ray Ozzie is the founder of Groove.

Sodayplay to Moovl

Saturday, January 22nd, 2005

Long ago, I met Sodaplay and was instantly fascinated. I still yawn for spending a day to create my own soda. The creators of Sodaplay have already gone far ahead and invented yet another new gizmo, Moovl.

If you want to take a drive into the creative frontiers of your mind, take a look at Moovl and if you havent, check out Sodaplay.

Some of the best sodaplays are here and my best is below.

[Click on the image, it will open the sodaplayer. Be sure to play with the g, f, k levels on the left bottom. Use your mouse to move them up and down and watch the effects]

Enterprise Architecture Blog

Saturday, November 27th, 2004

Firms are focusing on architecture at enterprise level. Application level architecture has always been a focus every since software development existed, but a macro level architecture concepts and a special focus on it by an independent team has gained momentum only in the last few years.

While there are tons of books to read on this topic, this blog “Thought Leadership from an Enterprise Architect” by James McGovern, an enterprise architect at Hartford Financial, is a worthy read if your related to any type of software architecture.

A Billionaire writes

Wednesday, April 28th, 2004


Everyday writings of Rajesh Jain. If you wondering who he is, just enough to know that he sold his web site to sathyam, before it became sify.com. He just sold it for a little over 300 crores. Yep, crores, no typo!.

Harini always tells me this, ‘Try Try Touch the Sky’. Thats what I can think of, between myself and Mr. Jain!

Service Oriented Architecture

Thursday, April 22nd, 2004

I have been keeping my weblogs personal so far, but thought I should start writing random thoughts on technology as well, so a new category from today!
even if i dont write anything worth, I atleast intend to collect useful links here.

If you work in IT, I bet you must have heard of this, unless you work at the root level, churning out code based on no design. This is the “happening” thing in enterprise software development. Every major corporate’s IT department has either a person or perhaps an entire team of people work on SOA initiatives.

There are tons of material available online on SOA and I dont intend to write another one here ( not that I know a lot about it! ) …I found these interesting blogs from the architects at Microsoft discussing their SOA thoughts…



A indian guy – http://blogs.msdn.com/ramkoth/

if you wanted a brief intro http://searchwebservices.techtarget.com/tip/1,289483,sid26_gci899457,00.html