I was thinking recently about the key turning points for us in our promotion and thinking of Emergic. I could think of three key events in the past few months.
The first was my decision to write this blog (starting May 9, 2002) and discuss publicly our ideas about Emergic, with periodic progress reports. This has done two things: it has helped establish a credible track record for what we are doing (someone wanting to know more about us can now look at the archives to see the level of commitment and seriousness we have towards the project), and it has helped us connect with people we wouldn’t otherwise have reached. Personally, the blog has helped me clarify my own thinking through the posts and the Tech Talk series.
The second event was the ad we put in the EcoTimes (Oct 10, 2002) and the consequent surprise launch of Emergic Freedom. This was quite unplanned – we made the decision within a few hours of seeing an open-source story in the newspaper. Its been just over a 100 days since the ad appeared. But its been a busy time. It galvanised us into action, and made us work on multiple parallel fronts. Even though direct business still remains negligible, our understanding of the marketplace has improved dramatically. We’ve also made connections with people which has been very helpful and will benefit us down the line.
The third event was the front page story in the Economic Times (Dec 31, 2002) and carried in many other newspapers across India. It heightened awareness dramatically and has helped push us in the direction of building out on the Rs 5,000 PC concept. The story (written by Frederick Noronha for the Indo-Asian News Service) emanated out of a paper and presentation I did at the ICT Seminar in Bangalore earlier in December.
While there have been events – some planned, others happenstance, it is these three singularities which have helped spur Emergic onto higher levels. We couldn’t have planned for any of these in advance. Nor can I say that I can predict what will be helpful for us in the future. We have to keep on following multiple leads, walking along multiple paths. Some of these ideas and events work, others don’t. But we have to do them all.
In a way, its like an “emergence” effort – the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts. Each meeting, each activity, each phone call may not yield much by itself, but taken as a whole they have helped shape our thinking. Today, I can definitely say that we are slowly but surely carving out a niche for us in the “affordable computing” space. There’s still a long road ahead, but we are moving in the right direction – and with a heightened sense of awareness about us in the world around.