December in Mumbai is perhaps the best time of the year weather-wise (except July if one likes the monsoon). There is a nice chill in the air. Even the afternoons outside are quite pleasant with low humidity. One can even use the carefully preserved sweaters on some days!
December is also a time to meet friends and extended family visiting from the US. It is a time that seems much more relaxed than the rest of the year. Maybe there is a mental transition that is taking place as one year gives way to the next. It also becomes a time of reflection on the year that was, and the one to come.
This series of Tech Talks will do just that look back at the year that was, and also look ahead.
On the technology front globally, this year has seen the rise and rise of Google, and the call to arms by Microsoft. We are ready for yet another epic battle in technology. My feeling is that one doesnt have to lose for the other to win. What is clear is the shift to Internet-centric computing over broadband connections. This was also a year when the meme around Web 2.0 got stronger. Blogs, tagging, podcasts collectively classified as user-generated content is the foundation for Web 2.0 a Web built by us for us. The other defining trend is the rapid spread of mobile phones and their coming transition from talk-and-text devices to multimedia network computers.
For India, 2005 has been the year when the promise of a better tomorrow is slowly getting realised. Growth all around has been quite good. One can see the New India being built out. The best part is perhaps the positive attitude towards the future. India still has a long way to go. Weve just started on what has to be at least a decade-long programme of infrastructure building. It will still take time to call India as the New China in terms of opportunities, but the grassroots change that are happening augur well. The most important thing is to sustain the momentum. On this point, I am fairly certain that it will be irrespective of the political parties in power.
For me, 2005 was a year of three important transitions. First, Abhishek came into my life and is now nearly eight months old. Second, I started building out the elements of tomorrows world through co-founding and investing in a series of companies which collectively I like to think of as the Emergic Ecosystem. Third, in Netcore, I finally know what Id like do for the rest of my life a focus around building services for consumers and enterprises (especially, small- and medium-sized enterprises) around the Internet and mobiles with a focus on emerging markets. 2005 has been when a lot of the ideas that Ive thought and talked about have all come together.
It is an exciting time to be an entrepreneur. Every morning brings forth its own challenges and opportunities. A lot thats happening around holds immense promise for building a better tomorrow for the middle and bottom of the pyramid in the worlds emerging markets.
Tomorrow: Ajax and Web 2.0