THE NEW GLOBAL WE.

Another One Bites The Dust

Posted in New by Harsha on August 25, 2008

The TechCrunch Deadpool is a great read. This one is about TripHub. Doesn’t their blog post sound just like stuff we heard from Web 1.0???

“Certainly we made mistakes, and unfortunately we were impacted by factors beyond our control including the current economic environment and state of the travel industry. We came close to realizing a different outcome for our venture but, as the saying goes, close doesn’t count. At the end of the day, despite a well-received, market-leading product and early success with strategic partners such as Orbitz and Alaska Airlines, we simply ran out of money to continue executing on our vision.”

(quote from TechCrunch).

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How to Answer a Question Correctly

Posted in New by Harsha on August 23, 2008

Trey Hollingsworth of Hollingsworth Capital Partners shows his smarts in his response to Inc Magazine’s question in their Inc 5000 special issue, to entrepreneurs about their biggest mistake in business.

While many others copped to big time screw ups, Trey says:

I am sure my biggest mistake is yet to come

Starbucks

Posted in Big Thought, Business, New by Harsha on August 19, 2008

Here is an article about the coffee giant’s latest investor-related woes. I had written about some ideas for ‘bucks here.

The Joker

Posted in New by Harsha on August 6, 2008

Here is a piece on BusinessWeek.com about Facebook’s valuation.

I think deal meister Bruce Jaffe (ex-Microsoft) had put together this really stupid deal together among others.

Come on!! I don’t think the idea of Facebook is unworthy of much money, but the monetization of it is what is impossible. I agree with the vision that say in 20 or 50 years from now, ideas like this will be commonplace in our lives like utilities and cars are today (read “The Big Switch”).

But I am skeptical on how money is going to be made. Now you can argue if Google is being smart by putting to work its one trick pony for the millions of things they invest in like Docs, Blogger, Youtube.com etc. I think at the face of it, they’ve gotten into so many things, changed the game in so many ways that they may be able to develop new revenue models in the future. Unfortunately another side of me thinks they are going to fizzle out in 10 years. Who knows? Do you????

Facebook is a one trick pony when it comes to the idea – that is the crucial difference between them and Google. Facebook does not have a revenue stream, forget those ad deals, they are measely. Its like Youtube.com – a money suck and fund-able only by a giant parent company.

I think anyone with a bit of common sense would have figured that Facebook will implode sometime soon. I forget, what’s that age-old saying about common sense?

Indian Free Speech Costs Career

Posted in New by Harsha on May 21, 2008

I recently read about Rahul Vaid’s arrest because he created an “I hate Sonia Gandhi” group on his Orkut profile and used profanity to express his opinions about the lady of Italian descent. Many people have blogged and commented about how Google was wrong in providing the cops his IP address, which doesn’t sound particularly unfair to me. Google was just adhering to a request from the enforcers of the law, thats all.

What is SHOCKING to me are the scare tactics that the Indian police and judiciary are using on folks who have every right to express their thoughts. Heck, if that were possible, then most of the Indian and international blogosphere will have to be eliminated because they express opinions of people and many a times, those opinions are not exactly positive!

This is definitely an attack against free speech. I know a thing or two about it. While the Indian police force has a hundred other things to do, they choose to spend their time going after one individual who had something negative to say about another person. Would they have gone after Rahul if he had written smut about you or I?

I think we both know the answer.

Here is a link to the story.

Here is a discussion board on the topic.

Here is a blog post on this issue.

Innovation – Update

Posted in New by Harsha on May 12, 2008

My apologies to reader Geoff for the delayed response to his really great comments. I hope to be able to write in soon.

Thank you!

Applying American Ideas to Indian Situations Experiment

Posted in Business, New, People by Harsha on April 9, 2008

This is really simple. It just does not work.

By the way, if you’re looking for any ideas with serious dotbomb potential, look at SearchMyCampus.com. How would I know? Well, I’ve had a dotbomb of my own back in the day, albeit wiping only a small portion of my family’s savings. Here are some snippets that might help:

Hello world! Our First Attempt at Blogging
Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Brief recap: SearchMyCampus as you can see in the About Us section, is an online campus noticeboard for students across various campuses. The idea for this just happened to hit Peyush (founder and CEO) while he was wandering the streets of Montreal, Canada looking for a place to stay during his time at university (a couple of nights sleeping on a park bench with only some stray dogs for company does that to a guy).

We’re getting good feedback (coz, well, all said and done, it is a pretty brilliant idea) and some criticism too which we’re trying to incorporate in our future development

The Program Manager/CEO’s first post is just precious, as is the title for his post – “Share it and I bet you will find it!”.

Here is another quote:

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from. (Wasn’t there a Backstreet Boys song that went something like that? Hmm) We’re pretty flexible about timings and hours too. What we’re looking for are people who are just as passionate about the site as we are, and committed to taking it to the next level.

The ultimate objective of SearchMyCampus.com is to enable students in colleges to mutually fulfill their needs, without the need for intermediaries.

(well, isn’t the site an intermediary in itself? And is this a business or a charity for local students, who live with their parents – yes, that’s how it is in India)

Despite your growing cynicism from reading this post, you should know that the intentions of the CEO are pure. However, just because one slept on a parkbench in cold Canada because one couldn’t quickly find a place to live (this is rhetoric because NO Canadian university worth its salt would allow an international student in harm’s way), it does not mean that the same problem exists in India.

One problem that is directly, immediately and financially worth addressing for students in India, is test preparation. Competition is rife in this space but therein lies the opportunity, right? If so many players are in the market, then it could mean that the opportunity is huge. It could also mean, and this is especially true of India where customer service concepts don’t exist (at least for Indians serving Indians) that customer needs are not being met satisfactorily, and hence you can set out to develop a better service. Think about it Peyush. “Build it and they will come” is a fool’s dream. Of course, I have been dead wrong in the past.

Quotes taken from these posts.

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Blue Ocean Strategy Update

Posted in Business, New, People by Harsha on April 8, 2008

A lot of you have been searching for Blue Ocean, so I wanted to publish an update to my previous post. I came across this interesting link of another blogger who has made a career out of this, a la “Balanced Scorecard”.

Enjoy.

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City Level Experiment

Posted in Business, New by Harsha on April 7, 2008

One-hit wonder Bhatia is also on the board of Nanocity and is a founder of this idea. It is set near Delhi (a la Gurgaon). From http://www.nanocity.in/

Nanocity spans 11138 acres of flatland located just beyond
the foothills of the Himalayas. It is less than 25 kms east of
Chandigarh and just over 200 kms north of Delhi. Two
seasonal rivers form the eastern and western borders of the
city and two streams trickle within its boundaries. It is well
connected by National highway- 73 ( NH-73 ) and State
highway-1 ( SW-1). It is a public/private partnership between
Sabeer Bhatia Group and the Haryana State Government.

Does Bhatia really think that KP Singh of DLF is going to let him get away with this ambitious project? More importantly, with the millions of square feet in today’s burgeoning “Software IT Parks” business in India, is there not enough space that we now need a whole CITY?

What do you think?

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Microfinance

Posted in New by Harsha on April 4, 2008

Microfinacing is a great way for people like me who don’t have a lot of money, to spend small amounts and help people be productive. Kiva.org is a great example and CNN has a nice story on it. While lifting someone out of poverty is a great thing, my primary motive to help would be to enable some be productive and entrepreneurial as I have a need for both myself.

On the website, there is a way to promote entrepreneurs thru a link that can be emailed around or posted. I figured this person, Chingul Fathulloeva of Yavan who has raised only 5% of the total money she needs to “purchase supplies for her work (beads, thread and material)” could be a start.

Feel free to reach out to Kiva directly and here is the CNN article.