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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Success in current day high-tech startup...

Wanted to voice my views about what I see happening in the high-tech space now. Success is built in multiple layers. All phases have to be successful in order to record a business success.
First, something new should be shown by the founders. These are classically the entrepreneurs, some lone range warriors, who want to change how things happen. Better user interface is the biggest focus making the trend alter in high-tech software products life cycle. Simplicity in getting things done is another driver. Lots of work is done in this space, take a look at most if not all YCombinator start-ups; that is the mantra. Programming languages and implementation strategy driven around interpretive realm have suddenly caught a lot of attention. Look at the absurd growth in JavaScript, Ruby-on-Rails, PHP, Python, etc. (Old school Java is also making moves in this space). They are easy to learn and quick to mock up. That is what most investors want now. Spend less, build quickly. If it has to fail then fail fast.
So the first phase of success is measured by showing something working. It don't matter if it is really relevant or not but show something working is key.
The second phase is the set of team-members who will build or at-least try to build the real business. This is where big money and serious commitments are required. Also, this is where real experience is required for success to materialize. Let me tell you that this is where lots and lots of money is required. Look at Twitter, Zynga, Linkedin, Facebook and I can go on and on and on. Between phase one and two most of the so called angels trade out of the market (Their are a few brave-hearts to hang onto their ownership, but the scare of getting diluted by the bigger investors are always the main worry). Angels are more like opportunistic stock traders, if you will.
The third and the most important phase is the exit. Two choices exists, IPO or buy-out. The last few years have shown us that IPO is extremely tough it his economy. You have show strong growth, multiple quarters and sometimes multiple years of profitability with demonstrations of gains in top-line as well as bottom-line revenues. So you have to be bought out. If you don't get bought out traditional investors don't get their returns.
A significant percentage of the entrepreneurs and their businesses die in second phase for a few reasons, the most important being their lack of experience and eal business know-how. Many have difficulties detaching themselves from the business and inviting more experienced doers. Doing a startup is like betting in Las Vegas most of the times. Their is only so many combination available to win. You don't hit the slot at the right movement, you lose.
Times are different and so we have to adapt and adjust to this model. Interesting times and interesting plays around for all of us.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Skype's move to the Web

Skype is finally moving to the Web. The following link discusses these moves from Skype. The funny part is that Linkedin is supposedly in talks with Skype to integrate VoIP over Web. The funny part is that your's truly was trying to do the same with Linkedin in 2008 when I was heading Products and Engineering of a VoIP software startup. Linkedin's VP of Engineering then and CTO as well as then CEO Reid did not seem to get it then.
Hope they get it now.

Sounds like Facebook also is excited about this integration with Skype

Wow, may be we were a little early then. The likes of Twilio will get it now and more importantly go beyond the minute arbitrage.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Novell bought out by private equity firm

Thus ends the era for Novell, sadden by the way the deal was done but I believe Novell needed a new face. Being an ex-Novellian and a strong well wisher for the company, I am unhappy to see the outcome. I do think a proper plan before the push-out would have been better received than what went through.

Also am hearing rumors of Novell selling off the Suse unit to VMWare. Why would a virtualization company need an Operating System? VMWare is a pure play; Microsoft is clouded (literally) with its bias from its own Operating System on its virtualization play.

So nontheless, no rants but a list of questions on what will happen with Novell's bits and pieces. Novell lost the IP battle a long time ago. It is a company where the sum of the pieces are not greater than the while entity. Novell's corp-dev would have done better justice if they had done a deal with IBM or Oracle (in either case it would have been a very good exit and a future for the existing Novell folks).

I will I had a deeper association with a large PE/Equity firm to make good on this deal.

My thoughts

Monday, September 6, 2010

Seamless and Persasive Reach-ability

Connectivity and reach-ability is still limited today. Prime case and point; We have been spending the last couple days are Disneyland and I frequently find my cell phone running out of battery due to the emails that my devices keeps on polling and downloading. My wife has her cell phone and either her cellular device has better battery or she does not have an email over-load problem that I have. In either case she does not have so many emails to worry about.
I don't have any way to setup a control over my cellular system to transiently setup a reroute of my cell calls to her phone and it would be better if a selective reroute could be done while I am waiting in the queue for my Bob-sled ride.
I still need to have a secondary system that would reroute my call like Google Voice and then try to find the horrendous interface to easily help me set my reroute. Without so many location-based crap that multi-million dollars have invested upon people have still not identified that these would be more useful and of higher utility than telling people that I checked into a Winchill's Donut shop in Santa Monica Boulevard.
Communication and connectivity for business utility is still at its infancy.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tiered Internet Access

This debate has just surfaced. Can't understand why people making a living doing work using the Internet get it. When businesses have a need to send data faster than others data they should have the capability of paying more to get a better bandwidth consumption. Period.
Postal service has been doing this for ever and we have used it for a very long time. QoS of service within the network is happening, albeit in a very limited fashion and to some extent in a very poor implemented ways, but it has been a reality for over a decade.
Wake up. The question is not about Net neutrality, it is about letting the capitalistic cosmopolitan actually survive and grow for better services to be possible.
Tiered Internet is a need and we can't just kill this effort.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Telephony: The best human invented social networking tool...

Phone is the most effective social networking mechanism invented by man kind. Second to in-person interaction, of course.
The social networking businesses have not yet been in the position to incorporate that amount of effectiveness in social communication platforms built by the likes of Facebook or Twitter.
I like both of them (although don't know what utility I draw out of either of them) but I still cherished the opportunity that I had to build an effective solution out of the VoIP capabilities. Albeit, I was trying to do this a few years ago and software capability and communicative modes has really evolved in the last three years. I also had the handicap of not being in control of my own destiny then.
Postings like the following "Phone Numbers Are Dead, They Just Don’t Know It Yet"/ make me laugh and wonder whether we have really evolved technically in the right direction. Predictions of phone disappearing is an urban myth. However, I do see that the reachability and connectivity is becoming more and more pervasive. Capability of talking would appear on devices that we don't consider today.
My iPad, iPhone, laptop, wrist-watch, etc will all be enabled and more importantly all of them would know how and when I can be reached. That is the most effective point hear that many may not get yet.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Click 2 Call is back baby...

I could resist but write about this new startup from Germany called C2Call, funded by DFJ. What an idea; Web based VoIP calling, not download clients, no bloat-ware, can be integrated to any web site. Check this out

This was done in 2006/2007. I was their doing it. Market did not get it.
Sounds like market will finally get it....


Collaborative Technologies for the Enterprise: II

Following on to my previous blog post, the train of thoughts in the next generation collaboration of technologies for business consumers to gain is not going to come from the likes of Cisco, Microsoft or even Google for that matter. It is the small, new and the innovative startups that will seek new ways to merge pieces of technology components to come up with communicative methods to collaborate.

Email has already been stretched quite a bit in many areas and I strongly believe more will come. (Just connected with a new startup called Rapportive who are building a nice little plugin to Gmail and believe that they have plans to go to email software. They replace the Gmail ads with the social activities of the your contact. I think their is a lot of improvements and enhancements that they have to do to actually show value but they are on a good path ;-)). And their are many more ...

Presence has not been proliferated constructively and creatively yet. I think their are a whole bunch of applications that will benefit from them and probably another 5-7 startups that can be formed building applications in those areas.

Voice and Video are obvious ones and have been penetrated to a certain extent. Although the light and the obvious (with very less value) ones have been accomplished. More can be and will be done in the voice and video space.

Presence with voice is a key area where businesses will benefit a lot more and those areas still have a void. Lethargic companies like Oracle, NEC, Microsoft and even Google to some extent will not do much in that space beyond the obvious ones.

Another player that I feel very strongly about simply because they sit squarely in the middle of the business-consumer space is Amazon. They can do a whole lot although they don't do much. They are going after the mass market an mature segment only. (Jeff you were an innovator, what happened ???). Rackspace and GoGrid have just stopped doing anything innovative. Just email hosting and cloud-based server and storage hosting is not going to make you folks richer. Very soon cost differentials and the supposedly optimizations in operations is going to catch on and you folks will be one of the few hundred thousands out their.

Some of these players have potentials but either have slowed down due to the fears of the slow down in the economy or just can't figure out what next innovative and disruptive solution should be.

Chime in later for more data from yours truely.

Everybody likes to offer their 2 cents, I offer the remaining 98 cents to even out a dollar ;-)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Collaborative technologies for the Enterprise....

The new rise of collaborative needs within the enterprise has awakened the creativity in me once again. I had sort of given up hope in the area's of unified communication and collaboration but it seems like a renewed interest has arrived. The opportunities and needs within an enterprise is even more now. I see more and more room to innovate in this area and build solutions that are needed for businesses. I strongly feel that the consumer networking or social networking has failed to develop as a business other than advertisement (Not the discredit what the likes of Facebook and Linkedin are doing with sheer ad based revenues but the sustainability of these businesses apart from advertisement just does not exist). The social/consumer networking segment is an effective but only a channel for advertisement. Difficult to build up a case of another advertisement based channel in this day and age.

Small, Medium and Large enterprise is where money and opportunity always existed and will always exist. Just different delivery mechanism is required and such is the need today.