Don’t run after money ! Really ?

“[My aspiration is] to change the world,” said Dennis Crowley, cofounder of Foursquare.  “If this turns out to be an amazingly big business at the same time, well, that’s an added bonus.”  This is hardly what you would expect to hear from a founder who raised $20 million in a Series A from all stars including Andreessen Horowitz.  Aren’t these guys supposed to be razor focused on monetization?  In a quixotic way, many founders of revolutionary internet companies begin with visions that have no component on monetization.  How can we explain this irony: some of the “best” and “most innovative” internet companies–and therefore those with the highest valuations–are often founded by visionaries who are supposedly indifferent to–you might even say disinterested in–monetization.

Consider Crowley, a dreamer who was fascinated by the idea of bringing a gaming layer to the physical world.  Indeed he even wrote his NYU thesis on the subject.  And it was this nearly-academic curiosity that shaped his vision for the company.  “We just want to get all these things built… and to put as many pieces in place as possible.  After we do that, then we’ll try to monetize,” he explained.  “And if we can’t monetize, at least we will have pushed the world forward a little.  We taught people about check-ins.  We taught them about location services and about life as a game,” he offered.  For Crowley, monetization is literally an afterthought.  It is secondary in sequence and importance to product and impact.  To understand Crowley and founders like him, it is critical to understand his personal motivations.  He values teaching society about a concept.  He values helping people build better relationships.  And he values pioneering sociological concepts that enable future companies to realize his vision.  His passion reminds me of Ronald Reagan’s line: “It is amazing how much you can get done if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

Yet this attitude–indifference to ownership and IP, a disinterest in monetization–would seem a poor fit for the model of venture-backed s-corps that nearly all of these companies pursue.  How do we make sense of the essentially communitarian, visionary disposition of innovative founders in the context of venture-backed companies with billion dollar valuations?  Would Martin Luther King have built a megachurch and charged for attendance?  Would Karl Marx have required a subscription for his podcast?  Would Mother Teresa have billed $500 an hour for a hospital visit?  Probably not.

Mr. Chris Cox, VP of Product for facebook, helped answer this question.  He said that in certain ways facebook should be a non-profit.  Facebook’s mission–“to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected”–sounds like it could be the mission of the Reporters Without Borders or the Berkman Center.  So why not run facebook as a nonprofit?  They ran into a little problem: in order to realize the mission, they needed a few hundred of the smartest engineers, pedabytes of data storage, and world class infrastructure.  And to have this, they needed money.  And lots of it.

The essential tension is this: in order to realize revolutionary impact from innovative new technology products–even ones with social, communitarian purposes–the business must have a way to monetize so that it can finance the development, roll out, and support of the product.  Thus for facebook, monetization became a tactic to help realize the vision of the product–monetization was not an end in itself.

We might even go as far as to say that the success of revolutionary internet companies is partly explained by the absence of monetization strategies at their founding.  Monetization ought to emerge—but only as a supporting mechanism to realizing the vision.

IBM’s entrepreneurship

For a person seeking  career in business, he has to indulge himself into a lot of articles, policy makers’ writings, industry chief’s opinions, etc to gain a vague dimension of what and how it is to build a company from scratch to a strong and sustainable structure.Like others, I had a share of my reading too. But my whole understanding of entrepreneurship has changed for a better cause radically.One comes across terms like fellowships, venture capitalism, sustainable business model, etc.A not so good thinker would obviously follow and try to have a close association of them without a clear understanding of what it takes to approach them.It is a simple four lettered word “IDEA”!

All the terminologies in entrepreneurial world would be a tyranny if one doesn’t know what to do, if he doesn’t have an idea.And with idea i mean business idea which would be worth undertaking (after being processed through rigorous market analysis and surveys) and which would be “innovative”. Though this is not the case with fellowships. One can interact with fellows just for the sake of exposure and their approach and understanding. This is followed by a business model.And if the business is multi-dimensional, one must learn to establish connections among different business models.

IBM’s idea was simple –  to create a “Smarter Planet”.What is smarter planet ? It is all about deploying intelligence in data management. This is internet’s age and a consistent change(increase) in information,data is constant. Every company is facing with overwhelming increament in it. So there have to be new insights, new analytics, new intelligence to deal with this explosion of data.And with this data management,  it is passionate about bringing fundamental changes in varied sectors like transportation, power, finance, communications, water, healthcare, cities, etc. As much as it is committed to optimize them in their outputs, it is equally focussed to do it in a “Greener” way. For it is most dominant theme for next generation’s customer solutions.

THE BUSINESS MODEL

Factually, IBM was not so cool company in early 1990-2000’s. It was little late in recognizing the “dot-com” trend. While other companies caught up. But IBM ddidn’t want to repeat the failed mondays. So it reckoned the collaboration with small companies mostly bootstrapping ones. IBM did so because it was successful in realizing the potential of growth of start-ups and consequently came up  with “Global Entrepreneurship Initiative” GEI. This was a collaboration programme devised to identify innovation hot-pots across the globe with an aim to cultivate sustainable relationship. IBM wanted itself to be more accessible to the smaller companies. The start-ups worth filling the void and which matched IBM’s ideology for innovation propagation had their share.

Once a start-up earns this tag, it cannot define the value of benefits it gets. IBM makes sure it has access to every genre of research and talent pool it possesses. To broaden this perspective, IBM has tied with universities and incubators across the world. And since India has the largest number of student start-ups, IBM has spearheaded with SmartCamp here. SmartCamp is all about intensifying and high pitching the value of the collaboration. A senseful and state of the art mentoring is provided to the earners. “Rely on mentors, ask questions rather than making statements, learn to establish connection among different business models….”, they say.

But there is a very important part of the strategy to be understood. If IBM finds a company’s offerings is used again and again, acquisition is immediately the next step. So owning the assets is rule of the game, unlike TCS .Whereas Microsoft has the legacy of its softwares, it has failed in venture programmes. Cisco on the other hand, let the companies build their product and eventually come out with customization like a careless mother.And if the association fails due to erroneous, fading energy of the starters, it is gulped down by $ 100 billion revenue company.

All in all, IBM’s entrepreneurship has good business model, idea and composition. It is all about taking care of a baby from start to end with whole head, heart and mind. It has been yielding tangible results but impactful transitions are yet to be seen.

(The views expressed are writer’s own.There has been considerable amount of expenditure of brains, brawn, time, capital, energy, analytic and intellectual power.Feel free to oppose or comply. )

Helping get float:center in CSS

Ok now you have known that float property for center does not exist.It is just for the left and right.So how do we make a block look in center.Well it might be a nightmare for young designers and beginners.The CSS theory of floating is not as complex as it looks.The problem,however,lies in the interpretation of the theory.Enough of bugging,here is the solution-

#container

{width:1000px; height:300px;margin:0 auto;background-color:red;margin-top:0px; }

This is the containing block that is the outer layout of the box.In this box,three sub boxes have to be filled of equal length.Two boxes have to be assigned the float property of left.The elements on their own will get to their sides with the right edge of the second one touching the left edge of the former.Though looks confusing,it is easier to implement.Take a look-

#footer1  {     float:left;  width:32%;  margin:0 auto;  height:350px;  background-color:#eee;  margin-top:0px;  border-bottom-width:0px; }

#footer2  {  float:left;  width:32%;  height:350px;  margin:0 auto;  background-color:#eee;  margin-top:0px;  border-bottom-width:0px;   }

#footer3 { float:left; width:32%; height:350px; margin:0 auto; background-color:#eee; margin-top:0px; border-bottom-width:0px;  }

 

Evidently,two sub=boxes have been assigned the same float property of left.Hence the remaining one obviously has to be assigned the right value of the float property.As simplistic as it is.Cheers beginners!!!

 

2010-the year of mixed experiences

Humans were welcomed to this new year with a 7.0 Richter Scale horrendous earthquake in Haiti,a Caribbean country damaging the human spirit and infrastructure.The center of magnitude was Port-au-Prince with concrete pieces and bodies spread everywhere as if they were scattered like flowers.The Mother Earth again showcased her fury and anger against the growing human exploitation on the nature.The plea and cries for humanitarian needs were recognized by numerous countries and medical,financial aids were dispatched accordingly.

Then it was Mexican gulf oil spill caused by the explosion of the oil rigs causing huge damage to the hue of beautiful aquatic resources and life.The third largest energy company headquartered in London came into lime-light and was imposed with  $ 20 billion dollar fine for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.The Gulf of Mexico was affected with oil and its derivatives for straight three months.The explosion while drilling the rig caused 56 crores litres of crude oil to flow in the ocean.The samples of tar balls and oil were found at a distance as long as 230 kms.

The most widely followed sport on the planet captured the year by its mid life.South Africa was selected over Egypt and Morocco to become the first African nation to host the finals of the World Cup.An ecstatic period of one month,Spain earned the name of the fame with a goal in 116th minute of the final game against Netherlands,three time finalists.Paul,the octopus, who later retired after the tournament and died,made seven correct predictions in the tournament.A legacy to be unfolded like every time,it boosted the sport spirit and brought many cults and cultures together to envisage the oneness and integrity of humans and eliminate the evilness from the Mother Planet.

17 days straight were spent in a coal and gold mine by 33 workers in Chile.The mental and physical mettle of the workers were tested by the depth of more than half a kilometer.A constant supply of food,water and oxygen was arranged through a shaft.But before that,a note was carried to the ground saying”all 33 of us are fine in asylum” thus triggering a ecstatic wave among families of miners.

Finally,a shaft was lowered down to rescue all of them.While the operation being successful,the concerns over safety norms of mining were raised and made stronger.The miners were accoladed for their valor and mettle.

The year that was of disclosing secret cables,the year that was of opening Governments,the year that was of “Wikileaks”.A non-profit organization relying on the secret sources worldwide to publish material of political,ethical and historical significance.The Times magazine quoted that Wikileaks could become as important a journalistic tool as Right to Information Act.Julian Assange,founder of the entity which was targeted by many Governments and public institutions,was trialled in court of London on the allegations of Swedish national of sexual assault on two women.

It has released around 1.2 million documents from it year of launch 2006.Lately,the companies which withdrew their support to Wikileaks have been the target of hackers and furious supporters of the organization.Their sites were victims of Distributed Denial Of Services(DDoS) which is a way of making a website crippled through large number of requests of its web-pages.It has been into limelight for its disclosure of Afghanistan war related cables.Since then,many Govt. have been opened.Consequently,its infrastructure has been constantly targeted and founder threatened.On which,the website’s blogspot noted that any one who sent out threat emails will be tracked down and trialled upon.Actually,it has been the strongest forces of the year.

With consistent rise of tensions between Pyongyang and Seoul,the issue was mostly on the head page of the newspapers in the late life of the year.The clashes and warships dating back to 1999 and 2002,North Korea has been focussing on nuclear warheads.The North Korea’s leader Kim Jong II has been sick and his heir Kim Jong un is believed to be establishing his reputation as a leader.The rising tensions and conflicts around nuclear ambitions of North Korea has been a major cause of South Korea panicking and making it think that its northern geopolitical frontier is set to have a war close in the future.The countries have been noted as saying to be prepared for the war and the ambition of crushing down the other seems no poor.Many foreign help has been sought with China,Russia,US trying to calm the issue in vain.The human wrath is not seeming to end among each other.

While it is only the rule of the nature that evil if overflown from the bottle of earth,has to be emptied a bit to maintain the balance of the stability.And that is where the earthquakes,tsunamis,human clashes,tensions over nuclear warship take place.The quality of human life has to find its way for  a cleaner and greener earth.But for that quality,it is never gonna be a cake walk because egoism continues to be the covering of the human psyche.Hence,nothing can be perfect,to make things perfect is the ultimate goal of the life,to succeed,to prosper,to be happy and good.With this hope,we welcome the year 2011 with great aspirations to make things perfect,the way they are wanted.Because it is what you leave behind for the next generation and if that is not the case,wont you be called selfish?

Why R&D is important?

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. and Bharat Electronics Ltd. are top two PSU’s(public sector undertaking) which top this year’s 100 most spenders in R&D. BHEL at No.2 and latter at 11.The concept can be compared to the saying “a stitch in time saves nine”.

Statistics have shown that the increment in revenues are tremendous while investing in research and development.These companies follow the tagline “Spend Today,Earn Tomorrow”.Indeed its true,they have bagged orders worth crores of rupees and even they have been exporting the technologies earned through R&D.While it is only recently that many companies are realizing the importance of it,the Govt. run companies have recognized this years earlier.Leave aside the pharmaceutical companies because the sector itself is research driven.

BHEL

It was established in 1956 with the collaboration of Soviet-Union technology,they would export it and the firm would develop it as per the Indian markets.Post-liberalization era in Indian economy,when all the customs were lifted in power sector,firms like GE(General Electric),Siemens refused to collaborate for their own-profits.This was the time when BHEL recognized that it needs its own calibre in R&D.

The figures have shown that copyrights and patents have been filed per day.With R&D facilities attached at all its 14 centers,it has spent 2.4% of its revenues in it.6723 crores were earned when 829 crores were infused in research.Some key achievements of BHEL in context of R&D are-

  • coal gasification technology allows thermal plants to generate electricity with 40% more efficiency.
  • permanent magnet motors to reduce the size of submarines to help better mobility.
  • insulated-gate bipolar transistor based inverter for rail locomotives to consume power with more efficiency.It helped BHEL bag 400 crore deal from Indian Railways.

Bharat Electronics Ltd.

When we talk of defence technology,we talk of BEL.The firm is largest supplier of equipments to defence sector of the country leaving giants like Wipro,TCS behind.It has invested around 5.4% of its revenues in R&D.A huge revenue stream is generated by constantly investing into research arena.Some key highlights are –

  • BEL is awaiting the order from Indian Govt. of coast surveillance system guarding 7600 km coastline of Indian sub-continent.It uses electro-optic sensors.The project has already been developed keeping in mind the safety post Mumbai terror attacks.
  • Stars V mark II radio is an advanced radio which lets users to change the frequencies to prevent the interception from the enemies.It uses frequency hopping algorithm developed by BEL.
  • BEL wrote algorithms for EVM’s(electronic voting machines) which are widely being used across the country by voters.This technology is now being demoed to countries like Uganda,South Africa,Philippines,Honduras….

It is evident that one who has edge on technology stays ahead irrespective of the field one is in.Innovation drives businesses.Whether it is product or service oriented,creativity and differentness is the punchline.For these all,research and development are very crucial.


Mumbai-city that never sleeps

I had been to this giant city during rainy days and everyone has to agree that it is at its beauty best when drops pour down.But this time it was experience enhanced as if chewing down the whole living experience to the fullest.JUST TWO DAYS!

One thing that is worth describing is people very very busy in the work and their day-to-day carrying on. There is one song in Munnabhai M.B.B.S which goes “kitne sikke jode sab ko yeh chinta hai,jeevan hai ek bank pal pal Govind hai”(everyone is worried about piling up money that life has become a bank). I witnessed a moment at Chatrapathi Shivaji Terminus(the main station of Mumbai) where a local train destined stopped and people getting off,was like an army of ants moving randomly.People even if their legs hurt dont care,they simply carry on for there is a fight for everything-for space,for food,for living and even for loos.

The infrastructure is elegant.One simply looks at space with an awe trying to figure out how the heck these mega structure were built.The hospitality of the people is at par with any other thing comparable.They offer seats to senior citizens and women.The elegant most thing i liked is the lane traffic system.

It indeed is gonna become the “New York City” of India in next sets of decades.Watch out,there is more cut-throat competition……

Trip to Bhopal

They were the best of my buddies…the end of semester,the craving of partying and a break were fueling our needs.We didnt want it but needed it.The break,long awaited.So it was “City Of Lakes”.

Though I was to this place a dozen of times,my route was directly to the rail station after kicking the bus out.The fact that made me hate Bhopal was the old part of the city with barbarians and unorganized creeps.But this time was a whole new image I got to  see infrastructure,shopping malls,etc.The Dainik Bhaskar City (DBC) is the biggest mall in Madhya Pradesh.It is so elegantly designed that it can even leave all the malls in Hyderabad behind…..way behind that you cannot even imagine them in competition.So I learned a  thing – never believe of make a judgement unless you have learned a thing completely.Simultaneously,it was so embarrassing on my part as if I was swugging in.

The day started with the coolest personality that I might have seen ever.She is Amrita Kanjani,200% extrovert and extremely public friendly.The words seem to roll down her tongue with great ease.The “masti” seems to be her habit,no extra efforts to bring it out.The fact that Devansh Rahtogi accompanied us was icing on the cake.Everything was perfect,if you seem to take out a person or thing,it would crumble down to boredom.And of course the person that made us feel like home was Manas Gupta.Extremely approaching and had a blast with him.The city being known by him and a automobile were his Jacks.

The movie was appreciated filled with fun and romance was a sign of good omen.As I said,everything was going perfect.A shot of rum was like beating the cold with clean sweep.

The memorable moments that I could recall of  are two.One was a long drive on “Lake View” with the car driven at 100kmph.The next being all four of us in hookah lounge.That was as if the life being enjoyed to the core and peak.Indeed,it was.

My facebook update said”had a blast…..thanks to @Manas,@Amrita along with @Duck(Devansh) ….inexplicably awesome hosts….u ppl rockk ” . Evidently it was a “kk”.The moments match the magnitude of feelings being tried to express up here.

Eminem – Not Afraid

I am in love with this song.Earlier it was Eminem who was a jerk with all the slim shadies craps.But time matures and changes everything,well I may be wrong at it but it works.It goes-
You can try and read my lyrics off of this paper before I lay ’emBut you won’t take this thing out these words before I say ’emCause ain’t no way I’m let you stop me from causing mayhemWhen I say ’em or do something I do it, I don’t give a damnWhat you think, I’m doing this for me, so f*** the worldFeed it beans, it’s gassed up, if a thing’s stopping meI’mma be what I set out to be, without a doubt undoubtedlyAnd all those who look down on me I’m tearing down your balconyNo if ands or buts don’t try to ask him why or how can heFrom Infinite down to the last Relapse album he’s still shit’nWhether he’s on salary, paid hourly.

a rush of adrenaline for sure!!!!Until he bows out or he shit’s his bowels out of him

 

The choice

Its our choices which show what we truly are…far more than our abilities – J.K.Rowling

so true! The choice has to be made at every junction,divergence to fetch the best out of results.The choice has to be made in order to make this life happy and filled with a smile.The choice has to be made to provide the parents and elders with what they have been expecting.ITS ALL ABOUT THE CHOICE!

The intellect of the man is forced to choose,
Perfection of the life,or of the work,
If it take,the second must refuse
A heavenly mansion,raging in the dark.

When all the story’s finished,whats the news?
In luck or toil has left its mark:
That old perplexity an empty purse,
or day’s vanity,night’s remorse.

-William Butler Yeats (The Choice)

If you smoke,shows you made a choice of being weak.If you drink,proves you made a choice of being in unconscious and not acting.If you abuse your parents,you made a choice of failure.If you dont work,you made a choice of spending your life in toil.

After all,this life is just nothing but way of filling smiles to your loved ones by finding meaningful work with a purpose.And that has to be chosen.The status of present us shows the quality of choices that we have been making.

choose wisely !

logics and feelings

i had been walking the streets of city today,appreciating the integrity and humblesness of the people living in here.Some in relationships,some housemakers,some care-takers,some children ……The fact that made me write this blog was the initative to think that so many people involved in this world are craving or fighting for success,that they have been failing ……or some of them at really succesful posts.But why majority of people fail and very few succeed?this point is applicable to every sector you peep into.this is the fact which is universal truth and undeniable,unavoidable.The answer was just what i learnt.

We all find inspirational lines saying perservance,hard work,determination leads to……..But i ask what do you need to get all the above?Is it the amusement?fascination to do things?getting carried away?These are the stepping stones but to build a strong foundation requires strong radicals,very concrete fundamentals in your thinking. This has nothings to do with any inspirational book that i recently read.NO.This is what i have learnt in past month.TO GIVE LOGICAL ENDS TO YOUR FEELINGS.

i remember me doing things that i liked with no serious thinking on the forecasted consequences.Here are few examples-

1 choosing Engineering field->although the benefits i derived are incredible but through professional perception and interception,i feel that it is no longer useful to me as my very interest has grounded to ZERO.It was a decesion with no head or tail but made just through fascination of living away from home.

2 Radical thinking ->it involves all the acts i undertake…..

3 choosing fascination over pragmatism.

but it also reminds me of the fat that “lets be practical,realistic” is “lets be pessimistic”. yes the challenge is to accept and complete orbit shifting acts and not just have ideas,being proud on them. NO NO.