Robert Scoble points to Kinzan, which “lets developers build apps quickly with no code. All in Java. Uses Model-View-Controller methodology.” It will also work with .Net soon From the company website: “Kinzan applications are broken down into pages and components that are then wired together along with back-end services into a complete, flexible application. Kinzan Studio is the tool used by developers to assemble an application. It functions as a plug-in to the Eclipse IDE, providing a visual, drag and drop methodology. Kinzan Server is the corresponding runtime engine that supports leading web servers and application servers. Included with Kinzan Studio & Server is a component library that accelerates solution development by providing re-usable components for generic tasks such as displaying data as well as domain specific areas such as compensation management.”

This is something we should look at closely for our Visual Biz-ic development.

Managing Start-Ups

Excerpts from an AlwaysOn Network with Heidi Roizen, a managing director of Mobius Venture Capital:

Most of the successful companies from my generation of entrepreneurs did not find their success in their original business plan. But a great team with a deep understanding of a particular market usually finds the seam to mine over time. You just have to know the difference between evolving and wandering.

Its lonely being a startup CEO. You are comrades with your co-workers but you still have to stand alone at times. Many, many tough decisions had to be made over the last few years. I think a great coach helps the entrepreneur think through the decisions and come up with not only the best decision but the right way to execute it as well.

My advice to CEOs is to hire the very best, act as if your life depended on every person you bring on your team, and put a ton of cycles into finding, referencing, recruiting, and retaining those people.

Every firm has its own challenges and opportunities, that is what makes this funand also risky. But all of them have much in common: hire the greatest people you can, be paranoid about the competition, listen to your customers, develop a business model that makes sense.

Growing IT Services has an article by Jeffrey Kaplan on how the It pyramid is getting inverted:

The IT services sector has become one of the fastest-growing segments of the IT industry. Whether it is IT outsourcing, business process outsourcing, managed services or utility computing services, any IT service that helps enterprises increase productivity and reduce costs is in demand.

The IT industry has been turned upside down, or inverted, as former technology leaders transform themselves into services leaders, and other companies seek to follow their lead.

The movement toward a services emphasis is in response to changing enterprise needs. Many organizations are frustrated with the inefficiencies of their current IT operations and concerned about buying more technology and adding more staff to satisfy their business requirements.

Instead, a growing proportion of enterprises are willing to outsource any and all parts of their IT operations that they view as nonstrategic and inefficient. And, with a multitude of service alternatives available, enterprises can pick and choose the right service to meet their business needs.

Singapore wants Entrepreneurs

WSJ writes:

One of the greatest risks to Singapore’s economy is a risk-averse population. The island state has been governed since its independence from Malaysia in 1965 by the People’s Action Party, which implemented a strict, rules-oriented regime that bred a compliant, hardworking electorate. That allowed the government to build quickly a powerful manufacturing economy during the 1970s and ’80s. But, recognizing Singapore’s by-the-rules mind-set could doom its bid to create an innovation-led economy, government officials are urging citizens to become risk-loving entrepreneurs.

The government is revamping Singapore’s education system, which has been based on learning by rote, to foster creativity. Government units have sprung up to grant seed money, cut red tape, attract foreign capital and provide support to would-be entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs are the new state-sanctioned heroes.

Spurred by tax breaks and other incentives, private venture-capital companies have discovered Singapore. Last year, 150 such firms managed funds totaling S$15.8 billion, up from 105 firms managing S$11.5 billion during 2000.

The government has designated biomedical sciences as one of the next target industries, and plans to spend more than S$3 billion over the next five years to make that happen. It is offering incentives to encourage companies to set up research-and-development centers here, helping local start-ups and funding research institutes devoted to genomics, bioinformatics, bioengineering, nanotechnology, molecular and cell biology, and cancer therapeutics. It also is building Biopolis, a S$300 million city-within-a-city to house public research institutes, private R&D centers and companies. Biopolis will be completed later this year.

TECH TALK: 2.0: Three India Portal Ideas

The next chapter in the Indian dotcom story is waiting to be written. The first one ended up being aborted. How the second phase shapes up is up to each one of us. Here are three portal ideas which can help kickstart the Indian Internet:

New India News Ecosystem (NINE)

Imagine a My Yahoo-like personalised service built around RSS feeds. These RSS feeds would need to cover the top 50 publications in India that have a web presence, along with the leading Internet portals. Currently, most of these sites do not have RSS feeds, so an RSS-ifier program will need to make this happen.

Analytics from the world of bloggers will enable two-way interaction (which most of the sites are not very good at). So, as one is reading a news item in the RSS viewer, it should be possible to see bloggers who have commented on that item. This will help enrich discussion. Comments made by users can be automatically blogged on a per-user basis, creating a weblog for those who dont have one. This becomes useful for deciding on the online reputation of the commentators. Along with this, a Corante-like editorial service can aggregate some of the best links across vertical sections.

What does this is create an envelope around the news sites and facilitate two-way and multi-party discussion. This is the source of new ideas and will lead to the formation of microcommunities, which in turn will attract more users online.

PIN-code-based India Network (PIN)

We know very little of what is going on in our neighbourhoods where we live, and where we work. There is no easy way for us to know of the activities and service providers in the vicinity, find their reputations, interact with them and participate in social issues to help build a better neighbourhood with other like-minded people.

Thus, what would be nice to have is a service that enables a bi-directional flow of information and experience who is there, what they are doing, and how good are they. The PIN code (or ZIP code) is a natural unifier, because we all know the PIN codes that matter to us. Given a PIN code, one can easily narrow down to the geographical location.

Inhabitants of a PIN code can subscribe to the RSS feeds of the shops and service providers in the neighbourhood. The society can build and maintain online reputations. Social networking can help people reach out to others. Maps and images from webcams and cellphones can also be integrated for a richer experience.

SME Trade Information Marketplace (STIM)

One of the primary challenges that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) face is the generation of new business. SMEs do not have enough money to spend on marketing (or decide not to). Either way, the smaller marketing spend limits the awareness of the SMEs solutions in the marketplace. This results in lesser business, which in turn results in keeping the SME small. The Internet can help SMEs get out of this marketing by dramatically lowering their cost of reaching out to prospective customers. The STIM helps bridge this information gap.

SMEs publish the information about themselves, and also subscribe to the information they want. The information they publish is of three types: an About Us page (can be in the form of an Outline), a Whats New page (in the form of a blog with) and a page with meta information about them (location, contact information, industry codes). The Whats New page has information on what the SMEs want to buy or sell, and is syndicated to other SMEs who can now filter based on their interests and then make the connections.

The STIM is just one example of an Information Marketplace using the Publish-Subscribe Web built on the New Information Platform to connect buyers and sellers (or put in another way, information producers and consumers). The same concepts can be applied to many other verticals to leverage the Internet for making connections.

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