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Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Offshoring: The Argument Rages On Via Fortune

The so-called ‘jobless recovery’ has little to do with sending jobs overseas. What we have is a hiring crisis, not a firing one says David KirkpatrickCompanies are pushed hard both by the market and by Wall Street to continually lower their costs. If one company in an industry shaves expenses by sending work offshore, its competitors have little alternative but to follow. If they don’t, their profits will fall, and in turn, their stock price. It’s that or fire all their people when the company goes out of business because its prices are too high and it can’t compete.The reason we have a so-called "jobless recovery" has little to do with offshoring. The number of jobs offshored to India so far remains minuscule—in the low hundreds of thousands at most. What’s causing much more pain is that employers are reluctant to hire. As several have pointed out, we don’t have a firing crisis, but a hiring one. And the reason companies can get away with not hiring is that they’re getting extraordinary productivity gains from their existing employees. David Kirkpatrick's lovely article.


"Reality Mining" the Organization Via MIT technology journal

Data mining is a start, but it misses the critical pieces of information that are transmitted by word of mouth. Social networking systems can foster collaboration The article says that the data infrastructure for mining real-world interactions is already in place. Most working professionals already carry microphones (cell phones), and many also carry PDAs with ample computational horsepower. This foundation of mobile communications and processing power will support an exciting new suite of business applications: reality mining.

Marc Andreessen: "Linux Has Matured" Via Businessweek

The Web pioneer says big corporate customers tell him that by going to the open-source software, "they're saving a lot of money" Marc andreeessen says - Linux itself matured. Ten years ago it was a toy. Five years ago you could make it sit up and jump and do various things, but it wasn't ready for a database. In the last two years, Linux has matured to become comparable to almost every other commercial operating systems. There's very little it can't do that companies need. The second thing that has happened, which is equally or more important, is that Intel's server hardware has gotten extremely sophisticated and powerful. You can buy a $2,000 server from Dell, and it's just as powerful as a $200,000 server from Sun was five years ago. As far as I am concerned in respect of business applications, sometimes i wonder whether we are chasing a mirage - will the world really mover fast enough to dislodge windows - am waiting fir the day this would happen - but I do not see it happening in the next three years. This is ahuge development and the sheer magnitude and determination required to push this transition after a decision is taken would be an unimaginable stretch. I agrre that Linux is taking over in server software and in embedded software and has the potential to gain substantial growth.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Via Senthil :A Hard Landing For Software product companies - Forbes

Software vendors are turning into service companies. They are migrating from the lucrative business of selling software licenses into the much less lucrative business of supplying programmers and consultants to business customers. Software product companies are going through major pains as the industry is trying to consolidate and the companies struggle to show good revenue run rates - shortage of talent, poor product engineering and revenue allure make product companies look at revenues through professional services - but these have gone to alarming levels - high enough for investors to be concerend and important enough to be a factor in bringing down P/E ratio of product companies. Think of these - BEA service revenue is 48%(61% GPM), Oracle 66%(70% GPM),Peoplesoft 70%(54% GPM),Siebel 64%(44%GPM). The article highlights thaht GPM in services for product companies are less than the GPM in product sales and hence bring down the earnings. I was also wondering which professional service organisation in the world, including offshore companies can boast of a GPM of 60%? Interesting figures to watch and signs that big changes shall happen in the software product company space in the next 18 months.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

The raw material mindset by Subroto Bagchi Via Bworld

India has the golden chance to present itself as designer of monuments, not supplier of granite Indian business needs to consciusly move into providing higher vaue added business and this shall happen only by making right choices and shall not be a historical evolution. The article quotes Yves Doz, the world-renowned professor at INSEAD, France as saying that by doing something well, you do not automatically graduate to the next levelSubroto asks the question - which I believe requests deliberation by everyone - despite india being a well known name in areas like species, silk - why there are no equivalents of Versace, Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Yves St Laurent and Mccormick? Definitely worth pondering.

Marc Andreessen on American Strengths

Marc Andressen brings out the best in America and argues that American leadership in global business ecosystem is bound to continueNo sense being pessimistic - a very well articulated piece.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

More Bang From The Bubble via Bweek

"Sonofusion" may one day outshine other nuclear methods in generating energyFusion power is the holy grail of energy research. By emulating the reactions that cause the sun to shine, fusion would create cheap and virtually limitless electrical power -- and produce far less radiation than today's nuclear power plants.sonofusion,works by bombarding a liquid with sound waves to create tiny bubbles. The bubbles mushroom in size and then collapse so violently that they generate a flash of light and enormous heat. A very interesting and emerging area of research with high promise. Developing countries should focus on futuristic research areas like this.

After May 1, East Europe's 'Haves' May Have More via NYTimes

As Europe expands in a quest for prosperity and elusive unity, many among its new members in the East fear that hundreds of thousands of people may be left behind in a new underclass, throwbacks to the lost era of command economies and state control.The European Union has always known its relative disparities, and to create a unified whole it has over the decades self-consciously transferred wealth from richer countries like Germany and Luxembourg to poorer ones like Portugal, Greece and Ireland.But never before has the union invited into its well-padded ranks the kind of economic malaise to be found in rural Poland, the eastern reaches of Slovakia and Hungary and the countryside of the Baltics.The phenomenon observed in this article has a lot of relevance to China & India - as the giant wheel begins to rotate as more and more of india and china integrate into the global economy.


Thursday, March 25, 2004

Are web companies tech or media?

Google's own CEO has stated that Google is a media company, maybe it's worth observing whether the world's most successful Internet companies are media companies or technology companiesit's not an either/or choice, and all the biggest dot-coms are both by nature, and there's no real way to measure which industry reflects an Internet company's "true" nature.

US Jobs Disappearing? Blame the Economy, Stupid

The American Electronics Association has downplayed the threat to US workers from offshore outsourcing, and put the loss of US jobs in recent years down to a weak economy and productivity improvementsThe AEA said that while the scale of offshore outsourcing was unknown, offshoring was just one element in the rapidly changing, increasingly competitive world economy.It said that outsourcing was not the major cause of the loss of US jobs in recent years, and that other changes in the international marketplace posed greater challenges to the US. Ome more source confirms this after several prestigious magazines like Businessweek, Economist , Fortune said as much in the last eight weeks.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

After Centuries, the Vegetarian Feast of India Finally Arrives Via NYTimes

India has the most varied vegetarian cooking in the world, and it has been thousands of years in the making. Now, finally, it is also widely available and authentically prepared in restaurants across New York City Very good coverage about Vegetarian restaurants in NYcity.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Entropy in the global economy by Chetan Parikh Via Bworld

A perspective of worsening economic situation with the economy leader plunging into more and more debtA US economy drunk on credit and feasting on low interest rates has developed an appetite of which its budget and current account deficits are a burpy symptom. An Asia which believes that the emperor can't be without clothes is experiencing an artificial stimulus, and financing the profligate behaviour of its irresponsible benefactor by accepting worthless IOUs. A confused Europe - shackled by history and legacy with institutions committed to preserving the status quo - could find its economies frozen should the US sneeze. Bubbles in financial and housing markets guarantee that wealth destruction would be of a scale and magnitude unprecedented in economic history. The demographic profile of an ageing population in the developed world would ensure that the pain inflicted could be mortal, and sap the confidence and trust that make markets work. The magnetic forces of attraction with which trade binds nations together could turn into repulsion as adversity increases

The Guru Red Manifesto

Mike Smock and Curt Sahakian now offer the Guru Red Manifesto online, proposing a 52-point plan to improve organizational agility, assertiveness, cohesiveness, and subtlety. Agility, defined as the product of speed and adaptability. Assertiveness, described as the combination of forward looking vision with aggressive pursuit. Cohesiveness, generated by management loyalty and employee trust. And subtlety, resulting from intentionally flying under the radar screen - these four define the shape and character of an enterprise and this doctrine is a very interesting read.While the PDF version may make for an easier read, the Rules of Engagement are also available online. The thought-provoking read is full of energy, insight, and advice. As again, I first read about this manfesto in FC.

10 keys to great leadership - Jeff Immelt Via FC

Things Leaders Do A well articulated list

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Microsoft is changing - Scobleizer

Scobleizer - a microsoft executive writes in his blog how microsoft is trying hard to change An internal perspective about how things are changing within Microsoft - Scobleizer's blog is a treat to read - always.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Behind the mask - Economist view on China

Hailed as the business opportunity of the century, China is bound to disappoint. Mismatch between excitable perception and sober reality is realChina needs 12m-15m new jobs every year just to keep pace with its population growth. It has to provide opportunities for the 800m people living in rural areas who have been left behind by the current boom, and a third of whom are under- or unemployed. It also has to deal with the 100m-150m migrant workers in the cities who have no job security, no long-term housing and no health care. And it needs a functioning pension system. No wonder the government is concerned, above all, with growth and job creation.In its quest for growth, the government has directed its state-owned banks to open the taps. Easy credit is producing massive overcapacity, leading to deflation, more bad debts and fewer new jobs. Already, nine-tenths of manufactured goods are in oversupply, yet investment in fixed assets last year grew by 30% and contributed 47% of GDP.the biggest concern is that China's growth is staggeringly wasteful. Whereas in the 1980s and 90s it took $2-3 of new investment to produce $1 of additional growth, now it needs more than $4. Even India, often compared unfavourably with China, is now more efficient on that measure. Looks quite insightful - But at the same time forced to ask - Are these sane words really sane- fifteen years back would the economist or any other publication predicted the growth and transformation that china has seen now - while sustainability could be a valid theme to discuss - can somebody overlook the opportuntiies and advantages that such untheoratical growth has provided several corporations and entrepreneurs with in the last 15 years.

Like It or Not, RFID Is Coming

Scott McGregor of Philips Semiconductor, the leader in radio frequency ID chips, says they'll change the world -- and not threaten privacyNew applications for RFID deployment identified and some indiactors about fundamental changes that RFID could bring, concerns of security, cost issues and technological advancements are amongst the key things covered in this wonderful interview.. Must read.

Gunning for the U.S. in Technology Via Bweek

Once the undisputed leader, America is now under assault from countries worldwide. How did this happen, and will the U.S. be able to fight back?For half a century, America has reigned supreme in technology. U.S. research institutions have been the best on the planet, and the U.S. capital-formation machine has turned their discoveries into one breakthrough after another in transistors, communications gear, computers, and just about every other key high-tech field. Israel, Japan, Nordic countries, Europe specifically Airbus and aggressive research fundings by China, Singapore, and Taiwan pose a serious threat to the US leadership on Innovation.Sun's Papadopoulos says, "he sees no indications that China or India or anyone else is going to drive the next wave of conceptual thinking," he says. "So unless we fail to invest properly in education or to exploit the culture we have, I don't see a threat to our ability to shape what the global technology ecosystem will look like. Very interesting article.

Friday, March 19, 2004

The cost of not knowing Via Dave Pollard

Dave Pollard's fascinating piece this week about the cost of knowledgeUsing an Ernst & Young project as a base, Pollard explores the different kinds of knowledge organizations possess -- and what should be done to make their systems less complex and look simple. Imagine your company and team- How is content classified for high quality and value? Which content is used most often? Least often? Pollard offers a handy chart to identify what knowledge should be kept -- and should be phased out. I first read about this post in Fastcompany.

Steve Ballmer says "Thanks" Via Ensight

Personal touch expressed by Steve Ballmer Good leaders are good humanists - this is a pre-requisite for successful leadership.

IT pros unhappy at work -Survey findings Via The Register

When it comes to being happy at work, IT professionals are a miserable bunch. Only 14 per cent of IT workers are very happy in their job Do you agree..

It's A Blog World After All Via FC

Blogs were once the domain of angst-ridden teens and doomed presidential candidates. But the likes of Verizon, IBM, Microsoft, and Dr. Pepper are all climbing on the blogwagon. The blog movement is gaining more acceptance and usage.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Tom Friedman's television interview on outsourcing

Terence Smith talks with New York Times columnist Tom Friedman about his latest trip to Bangalore, India, where he examined the politics of outsourcing American jobs overseas Thomas Friedman is highly impressed by Indian strides in outsourcing and he advocates more embracing of this to the US business.

Software giants seek the little guy Via IHT

SAP & MicrosoftSAP, the most successful software company in Europe, is throwing down the gauntlet to the world's software leader, Microsoft, by chasing after smaller and smaller businesses as customers, just as Microsoft is throwing its weight into the same arena.


Say goodbye to more jobs?

This is an interesting research report from the Gartner Group on the future of banking, money and economic transition.The author argues " the malaise Japan has suffered since the early 1990s reflects an economic challenge the whole developed world has begun to face. Today, European and U.S. factories, too, suffer from overcapacity. The vaunted productivity growth spurred by the digital revolution has raised the economy’s stall speed. If the natural growth rate of the U.S. economy has risen to 4% annually, anything less than that rate will cause firms to trim capacity. A firm’s revenue growth often must come at the expense of competitors as well as its own profits because companies have trouble raising prices. In response, companies cut costs any way they can, usually by laying off employees and squeezing suppliers, which causes further layoffs.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Greenspan Shifts View on Deficits Via NYTimes

Mr. Greenspan's thesis, which is not accepted by all traditional economists, is that increases in personal wealth and the growing sophistication of financial markets have allowed Americans — individually and as a nation — to borrow much more today than might have seemed manageable 20 years agoAdjusted for inflation, the average family's debt, including a mortgage, has climbed from $54,000 in 1990 to $79,000 last year. Mortgage foreclosures, credit card delinquencies and personal bankruptcies are all at near record levels.According to the Federal Reserve's most recent data, household wealth bounced back after the economic slowdown and hit a record at the end of 2003.But the main reason for that new wealth has been rising prices for real estate and stock, and those prices have climbed in large measure because interest rates are at their lowest level in more than 40 years.


"Soon we'll ship business models, not code" Via Businessworld

Shai Agassi, CTO, SAP - I believe that over the next 4-5 years, even longer perhaps, you have to have integration platforms (software that link older programs to new ones) that bind together data and create an end-to-end single picture, a single version of the truth, if you will.The time between a CEO deciding on a strategy and the IT systems reflecting that strategy is what is a challenge today.The main change you will see over the next three years is that software firms will move from shipping code to shipping executable business models to bring down this period. The technical changes would be obviously, the emergence of web services standards and what we call the enterprise services architecture. The enterprise service architecture will take existing engines like, say, finance or production, and repackage them by combining them to form new applications. (Thus, combine finance with production to get the optimum capacity utilisation.)This is a very big change - the creation of enterprise-wide platforms to get integration from one end to another complete with user integration, process integration, including data and knowledge integration, in one environment. The great thing about this is not about what you put together, but about how you put this together.. Read on - quite interesting.


Monday, March 15, 2004

It's Time to Grow—the Right Way Via HBS Working Knowledge

Is it time to for business to start paying more attention to top-line growth and less to cost savings - Based on improvements in the underlying fundamentals of the U.S. economy, a growing number of analysts say yes.

Today's growth initiatives must be ever mindful of the hard-won efficiency lessons of the past several years.To be truly valuable, top-line growth must be impatient for profit.It must be primarily organic—internally generated rather than acquired. And it must also be sustainable over time, which means that added organizational capacity may be required in order to make the growth repeatable. Companies should move from a cost mindset to revenue mindset - Examples include :Investing in sales training and personnel to improve productivity,Spending to improve ordering and replenishment systems. A nice article and the references are a good read.

It's India Above China in New World Order Via HBSWeekly

Can India overtake China? That's the title of an influential new article in Foreign Policy magazine. A Q&A with authors Yasheng Huang of MIT and Tarun Khanna of HBS.Comparing India and China is important because the two countries have embraced very different models of development. The reasons they have done so are complex but, in general, China has discouraged or actively undermined local entrepreneurship in favor of an foreign direct investment-dependent approach, they say. India, on the other hand, is building an infrastructure—however slowly—that allows entrepreneurship and free enterprise to thrive. By making fuller use of its resources, India's long-term outlook may be far stronger, they suggest. Macroeconomic statistics cited by Huang and Khanna show China clearly in the lead. "But," the authors wonder in Foreign Policy, "the real issue isn't where China and India are today, but where they will be tomorrow. This topis has been identifed as an emerging area of study and research. We shall see books coming shortly on this topic.

Taking The Mobile Phone Business Model To Laptops Via IHT

Wireless: Calling on a new model to sell Internet access During the 1990s, the shift from charging customers for expensive mobile phones to offering the phones free with the monthly subscription made communication simpler and cheaper for consumers. Now, two companies are hoping a similar shift in the payment model for laptops can make it simpler and cheaper for small and medium-size businesses to use wireless Internet connections.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Can Silicon Valley, U.S. Lead in New Global Economy? by Dan Gilmor

The valley, and America as a whole, had enormous competitive advantages for decades. But conditions have changed in dramatic ways -- such as the composition of the global workforce and emerging entrepreneurialism in other places.The US media has not yet accepted the message that the US consumer is no longer the world's leader, and transmitted that message to the American man in the street. The result is that most Americans are angry at the "outsourcing" of "American" jobs, but do not understand the context in which this is taking place. The sooner everyone recognizes that the US is a part of one global economy, and that the US is currently going through a rough adjustment phase, and we need to invest in ourselves to compete, then the better positioned we will be for the future.


Origin of Species by Thomas Friedman

A very generic article.I find it very odd to see Infosys and Alqaeda spoken about in the same article- the theme may be fine , but the incompleteness of the argument makes this piece an odd reading The article and the thought looks absolutely hallow - while there might be truth in the root idea.

In Searching We Trust - what else? but Google via NYTimes

In one sense, with Google, everything is knowable now," The Web site that has become a verb is many things to many people, and to some, perhaps too much: a dictionary, a detective service, a matchmaker, a recipe generator, an ego massager, a spiffy new add-on for the brain.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Wi-Fi's big brother Via Economist

Sean Maloney, the head of Intel's telecoms division, says WiMax will put “the next 5 billion users” on the internet
Wi-Fi provides coverage within a small hotspot, WiMax, which has a maximum range of 30 miles, could provide blanket coverage. It could, as a result, prove to be a far more useful, and disruptive, technology.The initial aim of WiMax is modest: it will ensure compatibility between different vendors' fixed-wireless broadband equipment, which provides fast wireless-data connections between fixed points over long distances. This ought to help to expand the market for fixed-wireless access, since operators will no longer have to worry about being locked into vendors' proprietary technologies, and economies of scale will bring prices down. That is good news for people in rural areas, for whom broadband access—via cable networks or supercharged telephone lines—is often unavailable. Subscribers simply fix a WiMax receiver to the outside of their homes and plug it into a Wi-Fi base-station, or directly into a PC. Intel has high hopes that wiMax would be a great success.

Where Are The Jobs Via Bweek

Economic growth is very strong, but America isn't generating enough jobs. Many blame outsourcing. The truth is a lot more complicated The real culprit in this jobless recovery is productivity, not offshoring. Unlike most previous business cycles, productivity has continued to grow at a fast pace right through the downturn and into recovery. One percentage point of productivity growth can eliminate up to 1.3 million jobs a year. With productivity growing at an annual rate of 3% to 3 1/2% rather than the expected 2% to 2 1/2%, the reason for the jobs shortfall becomes clear: Companies are using information technology to cut costs -- and that means less labor is needed. Of the 2.7 million jobs lost over the past three years, only 300,000 have been from outsourcing, according to Forrester Research Inc. People rightly fear that jobs in high tech and services will disappear just as manufacturing jobs did. Perhaps so. But odds are it will be productivity rather than outsourcing that does them in.

America has been at economic inflection points many times in the past. These periods of high job anxiety were eventually followed by years of surging job creation. The faith Americans have in innovation, risk-taking, education, and hard work has been sustained again and again by strong economic performance.


A quickview of Microsoft research group

An insider writes about Microsoft research group The article has some good comparison views with the fabled IBM research group. To be a truly world-class research lab, you need to do four things:
1. Hire great researchers
2. Empower them to do great research that advances the state of the art
3. Publish it in peer-revewed journals and proceedings, thus getting the validation from the larger research comunity of the quality of your work
4. Get it into products.
Interesting read

Friday, March 12, 2004

What Goes Abroad Usually Comes Back, With Benefits Via NYTimes

UCB Professor Hal Varian says that the money paid to foreign producers, whether businesses or workers, typically comes back home to buy domestic goods and services, thereby generating domestic employment. Hal Varian adds - Services have always been traded internationally. In fact, they now account for about 30 percent of the value of all American exports. Last year, the United States had a $550 billion trade deficit for goods, but a $60 billion surplus on the service side. Those who gain from trade either do not know it, or keep quiet about it, for obvious reasons. It's not prudent to brag about your good fortune while others are losing their jobs. Powerful arguments indeed..

Offshoring laws could harm U.S. says Alan Greenspan

In response to these strains and the dislocations (outsourcing could) cause, a new round of protectionist steps is being proposed," Greenspan said. "These alleged cures would make matters worse rather than better. They would do little to create jobs; and if foreigners were to retaliate, we would surely lose jobs." Greenspan blamed the movement of jobs overseas on a number of factors, including U.S. consumers' drive to push down prices through comparison shopping and breakthroughs in productivity.He also compared the current trend of companies sending employment overseas to similar situations in the 1950s, 1960s and 1990s, when foreign economic powers such as Japan and Mexico were considered threats to U.S. job security.Given this background, protectionism might end up stalling and not encouraging job growth in the long term, Greenspan warned.

"We can erect walls to foreign trade and even discourage job-displacing innovation," Greenspan said. "The pace of competition would surely slow, and tensions might appear to ease--but only for a short while. Our standard of living would soon begin to stagnate and perhaps even decline as a consequence."Time and again through our history, we have discovered that attempting merely to preserve the comfortable features of the present--rather than reaching for new levels of prosperity--is a sure path to stagnation," he said.

Read the full text of his speech here : http://edworkforce.house.gov/hearings/108th/fc/knowledgeeconomy31104/greenspan.htm


Outsourcing: A few years ago nobody in US wanted to talk to Indians, now they are eager -Thomas Friedman

this is the age of globalisation, and the countries that succeed best at globalisation are those that are best at ‘‘glocalisation’’ — taking the best global innovations, styles and practices and melding them with their own culture, so they don’t feel overwhelmed. India has been naturally glocalising for thousands of years. A timely article as Thomas Friedman wrote this piece as he returned back from India.

The marvel that is eBay Via Forbes

Ebay's dozens of databases and thousands of servers supply 720 million page views daily, and visitor traffic can spike 180% without warningLast year $24 billion of goods changed hands, a number that should rise to $33 billion this year with growth coming from France, the U.K., China and India. Every day adds 36,000 members to the 95 million already registered. Each minute the site is down equals $60,000 in deals that don't get done.Currently,a population of 5,000 servers (half are backup), growing by 1,000 every three months, is connected to 26 databases (6 backup) in three different locations.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Transparency & Trust Bloom Great Ideas via FC

What level of transparency exists where you workWhere honest and open cultures exist, unstructured collaboration thrives, and you get all the good stuff like innovation, productivity, and the best ideas to serve your clients.

A Word to Finns: 'For Your Own Good, Blow Your Top' Via NYTimes

Surprising similarity between Finnish & Japanese language, culture, and dominance in mobile telephony

Letter from Bush Administration Officials to Beijing Protesting Wi-Fi Encryption Standards

Chinese audacity or is it smartness US sends a strong note to chinese government on wi-fi standards.

Creating Value in Your Business Ecosystem

Keystone organizations play a crucial role in business ecosystems - HBR review of Marco Iansiti and Roy Levien's strategy as ecologyWal-Mart's and Microsoft's dominance in modern business has been attributed to any number of factors, ranging from the vision and drive of their founders to the companies' aggressive competitive practices. But the performance of these two very different firms derives from something that is much larger than the companies themselves: the success of their respective business ecosystems. These loose networks—of suppliers, distributors, outsourcing firms, makers of related products or services, technology providers, and a host of other organizations—affect, and are affected by, the creation and delivery of a company's own offerings.


Tearing Down the Walls in Telecom via Bweek

Telecom's new shape - In a few years, it "will be a sectorless industry," with phone, cable, and even power companies all selling the same communications servicesLocal-phone companies now sell long-distance. Long-distance companies sell wireless and Internet access. The situation will only get more confused this year, as cable companies and ISPs such as Earthlink (ELNK ) roll out voice services based on VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) in a big way, and as phone companies begin reselling satellite TV.The war has begun, and the telecom, cable, and related industries may be about to enter the bloodiest battle in their history.


George Michael shuns music industry

Pop star George Michael is abandoning the music business to release his songs online for free instead.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Productivity's Technology Iceberg Via MIT Journal

The real story behind America's productivity revival is the way companies have combined digital technologies with digital organization.
The unsung heroes of the IT revolution have not been the microchip and the Web browser, but rather the creative, diligent, and painstaking work done by those who have been rethinking supply chains, customer service, incentive systems, product lines, and 1,001 other processes and practices affected by computers. Investments of intangible capital constitute the real source of today’s productivity growth. The challenge for managers is to use IT as a catalyst to initiate a wave of complementary innovations throughout their organizations.

Edifice Complex Via Forbes

Harvard Business School professor Donald Sull, in his new book, Revival of the Fittest, argues that business' pride--in the form of big corporate buildings--cometh before the fall.Steer clear of companies whose headquarters win architecture awards. "These headquarters can mark the beginning of corporate decline," Donald says and list several companies as examples.

Revisiting the New Economy by John A.Byrne

John A.Byrne in a reflective mood about new economy

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

To Help Others Develop, Start With Yourself

A nice article with references to General Mills, Dell, Northrop Grumman, J&J on developing leadership

China's Next Great Thing

Though China's factories fill shelves all over the world, it has yet to produce truly powerful global companies or brands. That's about to change.China, for all its very real progress and promise, has yet to establish a truly powerful global company.Half of China's exports to the United States are made in factories owned by foreigners; another 25% are designed and marketed abroad.But global Chinese companies and brands will emerge sooner than you think.The newcomers differ from China's prototypical top-down, price-cutting, grow-at-any-cost monoliths in two important respects. One, they focus on profits, not simply volume. Two, they compete in original ways. China Merchants Bank is a 300-branch institution whose profits are growing twice as fast as revenue, approaching the returns of European banks. It creates new retail bank products and is adopting Western risk management and performance evaluation systems.


Trouble on Silicon Valley's doorstep Via News.com

Ray Lane, general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, provides is perspective of the change in the IT market The us industry's technological progress is its vulnerability, we're in a period of renovation rather than innovation - An Indian company is a better renovator. They're going to be a real player in the renovation market, because their business model has the advantage in the renovation market. He adds that the United States will cease to become the productivity leader if we pass legislation banning offshoring. His prognosis- There will be another tectonic shift. The whole idea of information access, communication around the world, may be the next one. Revenue will start to grow again, and software will again be the biggest industry on Earth--until biotechnology overtakes it.

Michael Dell's Graceful Exit Via Bweek

The 39 year old legend gives up voluntarily,with his company operating in peak condition by almost any measure.Indeed, Dell may be one of the best examples of what management guru Jim Collins describes as "level-five leadership" in his book Good to Great, even though the company wasn't part of the case study. Collins definition of a great CEO is one who "builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will."

Are Laptops The Next Desktops? Via Bweek

With a price war raging, notebooks are headed fast toward commodity status

In tech revival, job outlook still dim Via IHT

Well-educated technology workers have long been at the forefront of American economic growth and innovation, used to working in a field where rapid change is the ruleA survey of more than 450 chief executives worldwide, sponsored by International Business Machines and released last month, found that 80 percent of the executives planned to shift their primary goal this year from cost-cutting to projects intended to generate new growth."Eventually companies are going to realize they still need high-level creative people," he said, "not to do coding, but to do high-level design."

Monday, March 08, 2004

Secret to Success: Go for "Just Enough" Via HBS working knowledge

Laura Nash and Howard Stevenson in this book provide a new framework for thinking about integrating four spheres of life: happiness, achievement, significance, and legacy. Being the very best in your chosen field is, paradoxically, a matter of accepting your limitations.If life were lived in a fixed time frame, where success was measured only in the instant you hit the peak, maximized measures would work

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Currencies on the wrong path Via IHT

Asian governments are working to defy the laws of economics, which generally hold that a currency should firm along with growthFor all the good news in the Asia region - surging equities, booming growth and emerging middle classes - the area is stuck in a developing-nation mentality.It's a shame. If only Asian governments could figure out a way to put all that money to productive use in Asia, rather than shipping it to the United States.


Forbes -Offshoring And Beyond

New research by the McKinsey Global Institute finds that companies are leaving billions of dollars in savings behind when they offshore back-office functions and service jobs.The way to reduce the cost of offshore operations even further is to reorganize and reengineer operations to take full advantage of these differencesBy reaping offshoring's full potential, companies will find that their new, lower-cost structures open up a variety of opportunities to boost revenue growth. These opportunities will often far exceed the annual cost savings. By McKinsey estimates, offshoring in 2002 was worth $32 billion to $35 billion--just 1% of the $3 trillion worth of business functions that could be performed remotely. Because of the significant benefits already being realized through offshoring, the market is projected to grow by 30% to 40% percent annually over the next five years.

The Sun is setting in the West Via Bworld

The US debt-GDP ratio, at about 300% currently, is the highest ever - higher than the 260% touched during the epochal Depression of 1929. While it is true that the high debt ratio and the depreciating value is a matter of high concern to the US and by extension to the world - it is absolutely unfair to correlate that to be a study in contrast with India - Most of the statistics related to indian growth - increased reserves to stockmarket boom would hold good for most of Asian countries -Pakistan ,Thailand etc. This century would be Asian century -No doubt but whether India would gain as much - It is highly doubtful - with poor infrastructure, bureaucracy, pettifogging politicians, it is likely that India again gets a less than a proportionate share in this growth. Last year the Bangkok stockmarket gained the most in Asia - The Thai currency gained the most due to weakening dollar. Growth shall not be a factor of opportune moments and natural forces - Growth needs to be planned, harnessed and directed - India is very poor in all these. The perceived success in IT & Pharma(Indian companies still have a long way to go - Indian IT companies are far removed from winning hundred million dollar contracts - leave aside billion dollar outsorcing deals, or Pharma new product development - compare the efforts/price in research between Dr.Reddy's lab and EMerck)are to be attributed to private entrepreneurism,these escaped the bureaucratic attention before growing to a decent scale without getting choked/slowed and losing time.

Growth in the Valley

The tech bust left Silicon Valley a barren desert. But healthy venture capital numbers are just one sign that the region is ready to bloom again.Many pundits have been burned over the years making predictions about Silicon Valley. But all signs seem to point to recovery. Backups on Highway 101 during rush hour are common again. Housing prices remain sky high, and open houses are packed with young couples making first-time purchases. Conferences for techie types and entrepreneurs are once again drawing record numbers. It may be a far cry from the overheated bubble era, but at least the Valley’s CEOs have something to smile about again.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

The next best thing in IT -Via Accenture

once everybody has access to information technology couretsy Internet revolution, we can give everything through information technologyThe rectangle is substantially larger than the dot it contains. We are at the beginning, not the end, of our incredible journey

Microsoft, Amid Dwindling Interest, Talks Up Computing as a Career Via NYTimes

Enrollments are down at the best computer science schools, where the potential stars of technology's future are groomed. Professors say there is less enthusiasm for the discipline among students, and they worry it may be more than a lingering disenchantment after the dot-com bubble burstIn an effort to counter the trend, Mr. Gates, who personifies technological optimism and the potential payoff, sought to reassure students that their futures were no less bright in an era of outsourcing. The effect of computer technology, he told them, is just beginning and opportunity abounds. Computing, he added, is an ideal field for fine minds to make a difference in society. The trouble with the dot-com years, Mr. Gates told the students, was the delusion that technological revolutions happen overnight, without years of hard work by bright, talented people like them.Yet already, Mr. Gates told them, the established disciplines - ranging from biology and astronomy to industrial design and finance - increasingly rely on computer analysis and modeling. And the new disciplines, like nanotechnology, are deeply computational.

The Adaptive Edge Via Optimizemag

while adaptive business processes may seem like a far-off goal, the transformation is under wayMany vendors and analysts refer to the next major transformation as on-demand, utility computing, the real-time enterprise. Some call it the adaptive organization. It is believed that some Ebusiness enteprises have successfully implemented these principles (eg - Amazon, Orbitz etc..) Traditional organisations should follow shortly - Example Fedex 6*6 outline.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Small and Smaller By Thomas Friedman via NYTimes

The world enters the third era of globalisationThe first era, from the late 1800's to World War I, was driven by falling transportation costs, thanks to the steamship and the railroad. That was Globalization 1.0, and it shrank the world from a size large to a size medium. The second big era, Globalization 2.0, lasted from the 1980's to 2000, was based on falling telecom costs and the PC, and shrank the world from a size medium to a size small. Now we've entered Globalization 3.0, and it is shrinking the world from size small to a size tiny. That's what this outsourcing of white-collar jobs is telling us — and it is going to require some wrenching adjustments for workers and political systems. Globalization 3.0 was produced by three forces: First is the massive installation of undersea fiber-optic cable and bandwidth (thanks to the dot-com bubble) that have made it possible to globally transmit and store huge amounts of data for almost nothing. Second is the diffusion of PC's around the world. And third (what I missed most) is the convergence of a variety of software applications — from e-mail, to Google, to Microsoft Office, to specially designed outsourcing programs — that, when combined with all those PC's and bandwidth, made it possible to create global "work-flow platforms."


Reuters' Offshore "Experiment" Via Businessweek

Now you can add journalist to the growing list of white-collar jobs -- along with radiologist, animator, and Wall Street analyst -- that can be outsourced overseas Reuters is in the process of hiring six journalists to be based in Bangalore, India for providing business coverage of small and md-cap US companies.

Microsoft Gadget Keeps Record of Your Life.

Interesting gadget form Microsoft!!The prototype responds to changes such as bright lights and sudden movements and might one day even respond to other stimuli such as heart rate or skin temperature — to track medical problems as easily as to record a Hawaiian vacation. And it could eventually link with other technology, such as face recognition to remind wearers when they've seen someone before

The Emerging Wireless Enterprise

Most CIOs agree that the wireless enterprise is coming.The range of applications for wireless is almost limitless, depending on an organization's business.One of the more evil sides of wireless is that it also tends to lengthen the business day. It's easy to log back in at home to get caught up.

What Newspapers and Their Web Sites Must Do to Survive

newspapers and their Web sites must change their approach to publishing news -- online and off -- if they want to successfully compete with the many Web sites and other new information sources vying for readers' attention and loyalty.A long, but very interesting article from Vin Crosbie outlining what he believes newspapers must do to stay alive in an online world - from historcial to technological perspective well analyzed.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

The Russian revival Via News

When you look back at the Cold War, it's a wonder sometimes that it took so long to end. The resurgence of Russia, particularly the emergence of russia and technology.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

How to Give Feedback Via Fastcompany

On giving feedback Another seth godin piece

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Japan's Coming Competitive Renaissance Via S&B

Guided by the ancient philosophy of bushido, a new generation of companies is set to emerge on the global scene.The article says :The Japanese have long shown an innate ability to reinvent themselves, in ways that often embrace painful changes. We believe there is compelling evidence that they are in the process of doing that now, leveraging many of the nation’s existing skills and advantages to enable their companies to take on leading roles in the New Economy emerging from the tangle of postindustrialization. While investors and competitors remain riveted by the ongoing travails of such internationally recognized corporate brands as Sony and Daiwa, other large Japanese companies have managed to keep or regain their global stature. Japan is also witnessing the rise of a breed of newer innovators, companies that have bucked the downturn to establish leading positions in their industries. With healthy balance sheets, focused strategies, creativity, speed, and flexibility on their side, these companies — they include the Kao Corporation, Nidec, Hoya, Bandai, and NTT DoCoMo — are spearheading Japan’s new growth and global outreach.

Yahoo crawls deep into the Web Via News

Yahoo on Tuesday began a systematic effort to draw more content into its searchable database of Web documents, its latest bid to win Web surfers from search rival Google Yahoo search has perceptibly changed for everyone to see. This needs to be watched closely in the days to come.

Google Soft Spot Via Forrester

Going into toward a highly anticipated initial public offering, Google looks unstoppable There's no doubt about it. When it comes to searching the amorphous Web, Google is hard to beat. But Google will have a hard time fulfilling its mission to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful," as competitors like Microsoft and Yahoo rev their search engines.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Chinese Reform Picks Up Speed Via Businessweek

Beijing is making smart moves, but bad loans are still a big problem The big question: Why have the Chinese suddenly decided to put the pedal to the metal? The answer is part comforting, part scary. The comforting part: Authorities seem genuinely determined to create a real financial system, one that raises capital efficiently and directs it to the best companies. The scary part: The renewed focus on finance is an indication that Beijing believes the country's problems with dud loans and ballooning credit are getting out of control -- and is frantically trying to fix things before it's too late.
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