Narain is the founder & CEO for 360 Degree Interactive, a web services firm based in Chennai, India. This blog is about his personal views on Web 2.0, RoR, Social networking,Digital media, interactive advertising, SaaS, Service Oriented Architecture, India Inc, rural education, Web standards, mobile 2.0 and more.

Thursday, April 20

Firefox ahoy!

And that's called f**king up IE :)

Sunday, April 16

Innovator's world - Apple, Google all the way

Businessweek's cover story talks about 100 most innovative companies in the world. It is no surprise to me, that their survey in 3 continents [Asia, Europe, North America ] puts Apple in the first place and Google in the second place. They have done an extensive survey in 3 continents and a slide show detailing the order.

Innovation is in heart of Apple from late 90's as Steve Jobs has taken the top chair in its garage company. Going by different reads about Steve Jobs on books, news article he is a compulsive manic in perfection & industrial design for his products. On the other hand, Google, surprisingly lead by two "geeks" has brought in tremendous changes in the way people search, communicate and work in recent years. The heart of innovation of Google lies in its simple presentation of complex algorithms & search results to a laymen. Innovation need not be creating a new line of activity or product but packaging an ever useful thing the way people like it. The iPod & Gmail are classic example of how a 'commodity product' can be made into a cult product. The other surprise in the list is that the Asian and Europeans think, Microsoft is an innnovative company and providing the 4th rank [Incidently, the Europeans prefer their finnish major Nokia in third place, and Asians put 3M in third place] whereas the Americans put Microsoft into a distant 9th position for their ranking. The only Indian company toping the list is Infosys by Asian listing. My list probably goes like this going thru the survey:
  1. Apple
  2. Google
  3. Nokia
  4. Toyata
  5. Intel
  6. Southwest Airlines
  7. IBM
  8. Sony [Surprising North America dont even list Sony]
  9. Technorati [Although this is not a traditional company, these guys will revolutinise the way online works in coming years]
  10. IDEA

Thursday, April 13

Patents Vs. Products

Patents are to me, the life blood of American Economy. For every small thing, they do patenting it and indeed, sue large organisations for adhering to the patent. I am all for inventors, creators who works hard to file a patent. But, as Sramana Mitra's article rightly points out that it is not just the patent which matters, it is the execution & market availability of the patent to conceive a product/service really matters. In his article, Mitra looks at the counter argument by Bruce Sewell, Intel’s General Counsel, who argues about why RIM needs to win and why NTP should be paid less - Troll Call [Subscription Req]:

Some excerpts from Sewell’s piece:

RIM, the company that brings BlackBerry service to four million subscribers, finally caved in to the threat of losing its business. It paid NTP, a small patent holding company reputedly comprised of just one inventor and one patent lawyer, $615 million to settle a four-year patent dispute. For NTP it was like winning the lottery, but for the rest of us, and for business in particular, it stinks.

NTP doesn’t have a competitive product. It isn’t even in the business of making products. It’s one of a large number of companies known as patent trolls. Trolls acquire and use patents just to sue companies that actually make products and generate revenue. A patent without a product isn’t worth much, whereas a patent tied to a revenue stream, particularly someone else’s, is a whole different matter. RIM was the best thing that ever happened to NTP, because by last Friday the only question left was how much of RIM’s pie NTP could get.

The distressing part of this picture is that RIM’s contribution of complementary technologies, business acumen, product R&D and marketing is what “enabled” the NTP invention to achieve commercial relevance.

I am completely with Sramana Mitra on somebody who takes pain in evengelising, educating the market place to create commercial establishment out of the "patent" filed by somebody. As an innovator and marketing Web 2.0 products, I am all for market capitalization than just for filing one patent and dont do anything on that. Marketability is the key in creating, sustaining the leverage of any patent. At the end of the day, People really matters in terms of accepting the technology than the patent saints.

Tuesday, April 11

Why the big CTO's need to know about Web 2.0?

Adam Green on the CTO's guide to Web 2.0;
The most common form of XML currently in use is RSS, but OPML is on the rise, and RDF based standards, such as Atom, are also gaining ground. In the long run, some form of global database resembling the Semantic Web will materialize. The key to all of this use of XML is the availability of a company's data outside the corporate database. While much is made of the emergence of APIs, it is the XML data that is available from these APIs that will cause the real changes in technological architectures. Just as Web 1.0 was built on loosely joined websites connected through HTTP and HTML, Web 2.0 will be built on loosely joined data structures based on data produced by many sources. So instead of a CTO building an application on a tightly controlled proprietary database schema, it will be necessary to plan for dependencies on data over which there is no control.

Sunday, April 9

Day 2 - Mobile Computing beyond PCs by Atul Chitnis

Atul Chitnis has started with the "Grandfather's Clock" to talk about what is computing and how we misrepresent "computing". His presentation opened the eyes of many about the possibilities of a small screen interaction and why iPod, Palm OS, Treo are rewriting the rules of the game in the smaller screen. I have requeseted a copy of the presentation to be uploaded to the wiki, and you will get it in couple of days.

Bar Camp Chennai - Day 2 - 10.15 - 10.55

Sorry for the Day 1 goof up. I was running around organising it and din't time to sit and blog about it. The Day 2 is started with Pratul, explaining about the next generation of Windows Office, codenamed something which i dont' remember. Office 2007 is demoed with a developer built by Pratul. It's a presentation with its own set of pro & anti-microsoft people of the bar camp crowd. Overall, Pratul did manage a good job in explaining some of the cool features of the upcoming Office. The presentation started with a video of Microsoft Office 2007. Guys, ask Microsoft interactive agency to look at Apple's videos, much before attempting to build one.

Friday, April 7

Covering Software 2006

Software 2006 - the business strategy for software executives is covering Enterprise architecture, the future of software, offshoring, innovation dilema and more over there at US. Sadagopan is doing a brilliant job of providing synposis of much attended presentations incl. Ray Lane, Vanessa Colella, Dave Dewalt, Shai Agassi, C.K. Prahalad and more. Incidentally, i am currently reading C.K.Prahalad's one of the best sellers along with his peer Gary Hamel's "Competing for the Future" and his presentation seems to press the importance of emergence of India as an innovation hub. It is really encouraging to people like us, who still feel, about developing "Products" or "Applications" over here in India, than working on "per hr/dollar services".

Going thru the agenda, I am eagarly waiting for his blog post on Simon Witts (Microsoft), Andreas Kluth (The Economist), Adam Lashinsky (Fortune), Richard Sherlund (Goldman Sachs), Toby Redshaw (Motorola) and our beloved Ramadorai (TCS). Over to you Sadagopan! :)

Wednesday, April 5

Are Indian markets over-valued?

The sensex in India is orgasmic. No, I am not joking, look at the numbers, 11,300 - 11,500 - 11,700, it's in a mood to party. Great, every person i meet is talking about sensex and the "power of India" in the global markets by saying, "We are arrived". Anand Sridharan has raised some valid points in the valuation of the Indian market.How long will be our "bullride honeymoon"?

Monday, April 3

The State of Web 2.0

Over there at Web Services Journal, Dion dissects
The State of Web 2.0

I also wrote a review of the year's best Web 2.0 explanations a while back and it goes into these elements in more detail if you want it. But there's a lot more to Web 2.0 than these high level elements would indicate. A key aspect not mentioned here, though I cover it in Sixteen Ways to Think in Web 2.0, is the importance of user ownership of data. The centrality of the user as both a source of mass attention (over a hundred million people, probably 2 or 3 times that many, are online right now) and an irreplaceable source of highly valuable data, generally encourages that the user be handed control of the data they generate. If control over their own attention data is denied them, they will just go to those who will give them that control. This gives some insight into the implications of Web 2.0 concepts, which were mostly gathered by examining prevailing trends on the Web.

Key Aspects of Web 2.0

- The Web and all its connected devices as one global platform of reusable services and data
- Data consumption and remixing from all sources, particularly user generated data
- Continuous and seamless update of software and data, often very rapidly
- Rich and interactive user interfaces
- Architecture of participation that encourages user contribution

Sunday, April 2

Everyware : The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing

Adam Greenfield's new book [Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing] explores the ubiqutiousness of technology & computing for the next generation. Everyware attempts to explains the details of "information processing embedded in the objects and surfaces of everyday life". Design and function embeds naturally in lot of things we encounter daily with.

To give an excerpt from Kamala Bhatt:
And with the coming of the IPV6,, the next generation Internet, Adam thinks that every grain of sand in the world could have an IP address. Every device at that point could have multiple IP addresses. Currenlty, we are using the older IPV4 technology, where we are running out of IP addresses for these rapidly proliferating devices. The fact that every object in the world could potentially have an IP address is partly what worries Adam.
Jeffery Zeldman & TadSpot [Everyware live - part 1, part 2 ] covers this in detail.