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Is the Print Media Dying? March 29, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Blogging, Business, Internet, Issues, Media, Print.
9 comments

I have written about this before. People are getting their news, views and reviews online. Bloggers are increasingly the new media and are capable of influencing the opinion of their readers.

The readers themselves are a community that contribute to the news. Compare this with the print media.

Take the example of Churumuri. Its a blog that is fed by people from the journalistic field and has built up a loyal following. People like Anand Balaji are Journos who now share their views on their blog.

Heres an interesting take on the Print Media by Don Dodge.

The businessman in me thinks theres a new business model here 🙂

Oracle’s Bullying Tactics – Enlisting Uncle Sam February 22, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Acquisitions, Business, Happenings, iFlex, India, Issues, Oracle.
5 comments

Murali Partha forwarded this link from the Economic Times regarding how Oracle has enlisted the help of the U.S Government to ask the Indian Government to “assist them” in their acquisition of iFlex.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Speaking to ET, official sources said the US was keen that the Indian government should make it mandatory for the minority shareholders to sell their shares to Oracle. “The US pointed out that it had a law which allowed the government to make minority shareholders sell their shares to the majority stakeholder. It argued that India should do the same in Oracle’s case,” the official said.

The Relevance of NASSCOMM February 9, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Brands, Business, Entrepreneurs, Issues, NASSCOMM, Trends.
3 comments

Years ago when the IT industry was still nascent and needed a voice,NASSCOMM provided a much needed boost by influencing Government policies, and building brand India.

Today, NASSCOMM mostly states industry facts that are already known, conducts award ceremonies, and summits. At least thats the way it appears to us.

Somehow the face of NASSCOMM has gone from the maverick organization that Dewang Mehta built to an organization that provides no value to the small companies. We can’t blame NASSCOMM for this. The world has changed.

In today’s Internet world we dont need NASSCOMM to point small businesses in the direction of opportunities. Most of us know our markets. The world is indeed flat.

So what is the value of NASSCOMM in today’s business world? Are organizations like TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) more useful? Do they need to re-brand and re-orient?

Goodbye to Floppy Disks February 5, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Happenings, Issues, Trends.
6 comments

The Guardian reports on its Blog that retailers in the UK have decided that they will not sell floppy disks anymore. I guess with new media devices, floppies are in the process of becoming extinct. To qoute from the article:

PC World, Europe’s Walmart of computing, has decided that it’s not worth selling floppies any more and will just let stocks run out.

According to a statement from Bryan Magrath, the company’s commercial director, the technology has just been left behind:

“It is now increasingly standard for computer users to transfer data via the internet or use USB memory sticks, some of which will store the equivalent of 1,000 times the capacity of floppy disk. With that amount of memory available in such a small and convenient device, the floppy disk looks increasingly quaint and simply isn’t able to compete.”

I still remember the 8 inch Floppy Disk. Seemed so state of the art.. then the 5.25″ and 3.5″ floppies…

Keep your old floppies, maybe they’ll be valuable antiques in time to come.

First Mover Advantage February 3, 2007

Posted by Vijay in First Movers, Issues, People, Pioneers.
5 comments

Murali Writes

How important is it to have the first mover advantage? Is it good enough to be second?

Ravish Malhotra. Do you remember him? I’ll bet that 7 out of 10 people who read this will not.

Rakesh Sharma. Do you remember him? I’ll bet that 7 out of 10 people who read this will.

That is how important it is to finish first and not just second. For those of you wondering, Rakesh Sharma and Ravish Malhotra were trained to be India’s first cosmonauts. Rakesh Sharma got chosen for the actual mission while Ravish became the backup. I remember that until the few days before the mission itself both names used to always appear together in all reports. Ravish’s name completely faded from the limelight as soon as the decision on the prime cosmonaut was decided and Rakesh was chosen. I am sure both were equally competent in everything. Just that one finished ahead of the other.

In the same theme of aerospace a couple more examples…

Hardly anybody would know the name – Gherman Titov but everybody knows Yuri Gagarin.

Buzz Aldrin’s name never quite has the same buzz as Neil Armstrong’s.

Needless to say, there are innumerable examples in the business world that would bear this out. It is so important for brand name recall that you have to be the first off the blocks.

So who will be the first Indian on the moon? or the second?

A must read for wannabe Entrpreneurs January 15, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Business, Entrprenuers, Humor, Issues.
1 comment so far

Hugh Macleod writes this wonderfully satirical but entirely relevant piece on being an entrepreneur. Lots of home truths here.

Something a lot of us who are in business can identify with 😦

Comprehending Valuations January 13, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Blogging, Business, Internet, Issues, Trends, Yahoo.
6 comments

The acquisition spree has started again. Google bought YouTube for over $ 1 Billion. Now Yahoo has acquired a company called MyBlogLog for $10 Million. What makes this sale very interesting is that MyBlogLog is 6 months old and has 5 employees !!

So how does one arrive at these numbers? Don Dodge does his best to arrive at the rationale behind this figure.

So, when will we see the similar acquisitions in India? Soon, never? I remember several ridiculous acquisitions and business deals last time around in 1999-2000. Some examples included Sify acquiring Indiaworld. IndiaInfo.com reaching a ridiculous agreement with VSNL on becoming their landing portal.

Wonder if history will repeat itself?

UPDATE: Heres an interesting link to what is termed as the Worst Billion Dollar Acquisitions .

Must be from the buyers perspective.. the sellers were laughing all the way to the bank

Search battles get ugly January 13, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Business, Google, Internet, Issues, Yahoo.
4 comments

Things are hotting up in the search space and that means ugly fights between the big boys. Heres the latest tactic by Yahoo! that is drawing a lot of flack from users. Apparently Yahoo! is attempting to change the users default settings from Google Search to Yahoo! while upgrading to the latest version of Yahoo Messenger.

More details can be found on Andy Beal’s blog.

The main complaint here is that while you THINK a particular setting is being changed, Yahoo is covertly changing other settings as well. Naughty, naughty !!

Black and White January 12, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Business, India, Issues, Trends.
7 comments

Are the ways of doing business transactions changing in India? Are the days of the two sided transactions over? Murali writes in his thoughts.

Was talking to a friend who was trying to sell some “land” to a real estate developer. He said that he was very comfortable with Brigade Group and Sobha Builders. Reason: They were upfront in telling him that all the money they pay will only be in “white” and strictly no cash. What a pleasant surprise!!

Is it because corporate India is consciously cleaning up its act? Maybe they now feel it is no longer worth playing dodge with the tax authorities. It could also be, that going public (Sobha is now public and Brigade may be having plans) puts a far greater scrutiny on these companies?

I read somewhere that a similar scenario is emerging in a similar hitherto secretive sector – the diamond merchants (more precisely the site-holders – those who buys diamonds from, say De Beers, cut/finish and then distribute to retailers). These guys are opening up their books and allowing greater transparency into the way they conduct their business.

Must be happening elsewhere too. Hopefully this is the start of a fundamental change in the way business is conducted in India and not one-off situations.

No wonder the Ministry of Finance, expects the Revenue targets for 2006-2007 budget to be exceeded by 32% this year! Which means our fiscal deficit should also be lesser than expected, provided the expenditure does not exceed budgeted numbers.

Are Bloggers the New Media? January 8, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Blogging, Internet, Issues, People, Trends.
15 comments

Will tomorrow’s news come to us from our peers? The man on the street? More importantly will I increasingly rely on news from the Blogging community rather than the traditional media? I know that I do.. especially for the latest buzz on technology.

In the old days if something bothered me, I would write to the newspaper who never published it. Nowadays I can just go to my blog and vent my frustration.

While blogging started with tech geeks writing about their stuff, it has now spread wider and is actually transcending various fields. How else would you explain Tech Blogger Robert Scoble covering politics.

Bloggers are increasingly seen as a great way to get company and product news out. No more hiring expensive PR agencies to court the media. Blogs are also becoming a great way to expose corporates who do not follow ethical business practices.

Heres a good example. There is this company called Java Jo’z that ripped of a guy called Ben Scoble. They took $30,000 from him and his partners as fees for starting a franchise and didn’t keep their word. Apparently repeated mails from him didnt do any good so he decided to blog his frustrations. Java Jo’s were messing around with the wrong guy. He happens to be the brother of Robert Scoble (mentioned above) who promptly mentioned it in one of his blog entries.

The lesson here. Never piss a blogger off. The community is becoming more and more influential.

Don’t think thats good news for any company thats putting together a business plan based on franchises. A good example of the growing blogger influence.

Blogs and Bloggers are mainstream. Traditional media might not like it but the trend is here to stay.