Twitter Tutorial

From Robin Good. “Love it or hate it Twitter is a force to be reckoned with, and provides a great many opportunities beyond simply telling the world what you ate for breakfast. By making it easy for people to send out short (140 characters or less) messages to their personal webpage, friends and followers, and even the Twitter community at large, the service makes for a compelling way to get the word out fast.”

David Chartier writes about how to moentise Twitter.

Incubator as Co-operative

GigaOM writes about HitForge:

HitForge is an entrepreneur cooperative composed of independent small teams, where people can apply with their ideas, join the team, and see their idea go from idea to product in a few weeks, largely with help of an offshore engineering team.

If it works, then the product is turned into a company. If it doesnt work, the product is killed, and the team moves onto something new. HitForge is out of a few thousand dollars. The team whose product got killed still gets to share in the hits that come out of the cooperative, Ravikant says.

Mobile Business Models

Telecom Asia writes:

The mobile world has divided into two camps: on the one side are the industry elders struggling with a lack of fresh customers, and the headache of how to get more out of existing one. On the other side are the emerging market operators, whose biggest problem is rolling out networks fast enough.

Analysts believe the ecosystem and the overarching business model is where mobile’s problems lie.

My view on the article: India can be thought of as two markets — Mature (Urban) and New (Rural). This is akin to how Vodafone probably views the world — Mature (Developed Countries) and New (Emerging Markets). In Mature markets, the focus needs to shift to Services. For New markets, the focus has to be on Devices and Voice. So, in India, the “i-mode” equivalent with its Internet-like business models needs to be the focus for the Mature markets. The ARPU ratios will be something like this (in my opinion): Developed Mature will be 4x of Emerging Market Urban, which will be 4x of Emerging Market Rural.


Tomi Ahonen writes a letter to American executives to start SMSing. “I have the biggest key to your professional success, if you are an American executive today. Join Generation-C (Community Generation). Then the defining ability is not that you can Google, or set up a profile in Myspace or LinkeIn, or create an avatar in Second Life create user-generated content. No. Like we wrote in our book, the defining characteristic of Gen-C is addiction to SMS text messaging.”

iPhone vs Other Mobiles

Paul Kedrosky outlines five reasons why he thinks iPhone will win. Among them:

* Mobile browers are awful. The Treo isn’t bad, and it’s the best of the above three, but the Samsung and Blackberrry browsers should be outlawed. They are that bad. They are so bad that Blackberry users’ opinions about mobile services, mobile startups, etc. should be summarily dismissed.

iPhone: Browser is reputedly very good.

* Mobile interfaces are thoughtless. The bizarro combination of escape key and menu key on the Blackberry — neither of which are labeled in a way that gives any indication what they do — is maddening. Controls are highly modal, which means something that works one way in one app works totally differently in another. A little thoughtful UI design would transform the market in a heartbeat.

iPhone: You can accuse Apple of many things, but thoughtless interfaces aren’t one of them.

TECH TALK: Reflections from a Dubai Trip: A Choice Not Made

Brain-dead thinking is not just the prerogative of the people in power in the government. Consider the admissions process for Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai. Cathedral is, arguably, one of the best schools in Mumbai. So, to get admission for a five-year-old, one has to apply when the child is a one-year-old. There is a small window after the child turns one during when the parents are expected to submit the application. Think about it again: the application needs to be made four years before admission.

I realised this a couple of months late. I went to the school last year (I think it was in September) when I should have gone in May or so for admission for Abhishek (who had just turned one in April) in 2010 or thereabouts give or take a year. I was denied entry by the watchman saying the time for collecting the form had passed. I asked to speak to someone appropriate so I could explain that I had not realised that forms needed to be submitted so many years in advance. But there was no way they would let me in.

Thats not all. The watchman also told me of a workaround. All I had to do was to submit a letter stating that I was not in Mumbai during that period (with some documentary evidence, presumably) and I would then be able to get the form. Presumably, I was not the first person they were giving this unsolicited advice to.

As I walked away from the school that morning, I could not but be disappointed by the experience school which has given some of the citys finest alumni. How could I look Abhishek in the eye and tell him that I lied to try and get him into a school? And why should one have to get to that? Because of a brain-dead admissions process created presumably when one had to wait a decade to get a telephone connection.

The India that we want to build is being corroded by ourselves. We can bask in the glory of the 9% growth rate, the rising Sensex, the $200 billion forex reserves, the glitzy malls coming up all around. Or we can, as a society, start and fix whats wrong at the grassroots in our neighbourhood which is really the core for a Sustainable and Livable India of tomorrow. For now, most of us arent even thinking of the second option.