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Why the craze of tablet computer market??

January 6, 2010

Recently, Apple Inc. announced the launch of it tablet computer in late January of this year. Sony came out with its tablet PC “Dash” and it was anticipated that Microsoft would announce a similar product at CES 2010 but they didn’t. But why all the hype about tablet computers.

What personally excites me is the elimination of barriers between me and my computer namely, keyboard, mouse and the wires if you not using wireless devices.  I would rather feel that responsive screen with my hands. I think in many ways we underestimate that sense of touch and gratification that inanimate objects can give us through that perfect response. This is what makes it an interactive experience. For example: The immediate success of iPhone was because of it touchscreen and the experience it provided to the users, everything else followed later.

You decide!!

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Value of a Single Face in a Global Village

December 10, 2009

With the advent of social media, it’s been easy for people to have multiple lives and personalities. In general many of them have a professional and a social/more private side to them. I’m a firm believer that us people, having a common face for all the facets of your life is essential for the following reasons:

1. Right thing

It lets your colleagues and friends know what you’re about without confusing them and they are not getting mixed messages from you. An argument could be that you keep your friends and colleagues separate and having a single face could mean not compartmentalizing your life into professional and personal. To that, I would say that why would you want to hide a part of you from your friends or colleagues. If you are not doing anything wrong then why hide anything. My professor and mentor, Dr. Bret Simmons, once mentioned that, “Social media is like a coffee shop not your living room”. But to extrapolate that it’s not a bar either and the question I would ask is why would a picture of you drunk make your friends happy? Appropriate material you put on social media should not offend your colleagues either.

2. Privacy

I don’t think there is any privacy on the internet so if it’s online, people have access to it. Numerous times I’ll have tweets on my account showing the worst “Status Updates” etc. I do think people posting those messages thought that they were private messages but Privacy on Social Web is a myth.

3. Trust

Ever wonder what your colleagues or friends might think of you when they find out that you had something to hide. Most people trust openness, consistency and honest approach more than anything else. I see this as an opportunity to build that trust. Let’s not forget there are credit rating agencies which are thinking of using social media to figure out how trustworthy you are rather than just checking your credit score. In that scenario, they would also be monitoring the friend circle and notice who you hang out with. Trust is the key in all situations.

4. Global Village

I was talking to an ex colleague and now friend of mine and he mentioned something very useful. In 1920’s and 30’s people were noticed all the time, how they behaved and how trustworthy they were since in those days cities were smaller and everyone knew everyone and therefore no room for cheating or deceptions. He then said we are entering a similar era with social media now where everyone can find out a lot of stuff about you. “Google is your new business card” whether you like it or not. This makes a fundamental shift in society where people would like to keep the same face wherever they go.

Why cell phone service should be free in future?

November 19, 2009

With the current pace of Web 2.0 and social media technologies, I believe that in a matter of 2-3 years cell phone services will be offered for free or for minimal charge for the following reasons:

  1. The mobile platform and technologies are growing at fast speed. The downloads of mobile apps and their user friendliness are a good indicator of that.
  2. With Web 3.0 technology, companies would be able to monitor what people are talking/ chatting etc. about with their peers or just searching. Not only that, companies would be able to acquire those intelligent data repositories and make sense out of it for specific customer needs and wants.
  3. The next step is to capitalize on that information and mobile platform is the best for that since people are always closest to their cell phones.
  4. This is where the companies would be advertising their products in a real time framework. For example: If you need a toy for a kid in your family and you are talking about it or searching it online, realizing the need for those marketers is that intelligent data. Then the key is to advertise it when that person is let’s say in a mall which could be as simple as a reminder or notification that the best deal in town for that toy is in that mall.
  5. With that, marketers could focus on the customers especially, impulsive buyers which is a huge market and convert their advertisement into a sale.
  6. Once a few companies start doing that, others will follow.
  7. Some consumers might not see immediate advantage of that and might think of creating a “Don Advertise on My Cell Phone Registry” which would mean catering to a smaller market segment.
  8. In that case, for companies it will become more advantageous to adjust their advertising dollars on mobile ads rather than traditional media.
  9. We are talking about the same concept as newspapers or TV where consumers might be willing to look at those ads if the cell phone charges are free or minimal.

Of course, the option of paying the full cell phone service fee and have no ads on their cell phones should be an option for those who want it like that. But given the current economic conditions or lack of boom time in future will also stimulate people to take this offer.

As always, your comments and feedback are always appreciated.

Amazon: Changing how we learn

November 16, 2009

Amazon has changed the way people learn and the future of the print media. I say learn because I believe a lot of people will be learning by listening and watching rather than just reading. Here are my thoughts about Amazon’s endeavors:

  1. The print media industry is hurting, from newspapers to magazines to book publishing houses while digital media industry is thriving.
  2. In past months, Amazon came out with kindle’s iPhone app and very recently they came up with an app for the PC. With these apps, Amazon might be cannibalizing its digital readers market for a good reason. Amazon sells 2 products with its kindle; one being the reader itself and second is the media. The media sales (books, newspapers etc.) is a great source of revenue with a lot less overhead costs as compared to manufacturing of the digital readers. The supply chain is much simpler with media and with their existing infrastructure Amazon’s cost of enhancing media experience through sophisticated features on a PC or iPhone is not substantial. A customer can not only read the books on their PC or iPhone but also change backgrounds etc. With kindle apps, these customers don’t have to spend another $200 for the kindle reader but rather they can use these apps for their existing iPhones and PC’s which their market owns anyways. It’ll be interesting to see what effect this has on their media sales.
  3. Audible, an Amazon company went a step ahead and came out with audible books. I love Audible for the reason that I don’t have to make time to read my books anymore I can just listen to them during my commute or workout. This is not to forget that this has created a new market of people who would rather hear than read to learn. Until now that market was severely underserved.
  4. So what’s next for Amazon? I’m thinking more and more audio and video learning. New generation authors might love that too as many times it is easier to say things rather than put it in writing. Also their customers can make a better personal connection with the authors when they can see and hear them. Another reason why consumers would love it is that they could be listening or watching their audio or video material while doing other things for example eating dinner in my case.

As always, your comments and feedback is always appreciated.

Why I blog??

November 11, 2009

Some of you might know that I started my blog 3-4 days ago. I was asked yesterday and today by a few people on why did I start a blog anyways? Here are the events and thoughts that went through my mind when I was starting a blog:

  1. I have always loved social media be it Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and everything was fine and dandy until I heard one of my MBA Professor and mentor Dr. Bret Simmons’ lecture on Personal Branding and the power of blogs at the Sparks Chamber of Commerce Business Forum. I came out and felt like I was hit by a train and right then I knew I was going to start a blog. I can’t thank Dr. Simmons (http://www.bretlsimmons.com/) enough for his motivation and encouragement.
  2. I have an interdisciplinary background with an MBA, MS (Electrical Engg.) and BS (Electrical Engg.). I’m a very social person and I love different cultures and international travelling, thanks to my past opportunities and experiences. I love long term networking and long discussion with my friends on various topics such as business, technology, people and cultures. The might seem varied interests but they all have a common theme for me which is to “My goal is to make the broader impact on society and their lifestyles through ideas, technology, efficient and effective systems” which is also my purpose. This blog allows me to share my thoughts and be transparent to you all.
  3. Putting the ideas into writing and for the whole world to look at is a very humbling experience and brings more clarity to me about my own thoughts.
  4. Finally, I’m not perfect and this blog won’t be perfect either. This is why I’m really looking forward for your comments, feedback, discussions and in the process get to know you too.

Thanks for being part of my journey in this process. As always, your comments and feedback is always appreciated.

Solutions for Oil Supply Chain

November 9, 2009

We all know how vulnerable the oil industry supply chain can be and how it can have direct effect on the buying power of consumers. I have been doing some research lately on possible solutions and I’m impressed with the kind of programs Federal government and private sector has undertaken to address this issue.

Here is a summary of those possible solutions for making the Oil Supply Chain better with my comments:

  1. Federal government should start new fund to accelerate the development and deployment of Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) techniques. Typically, only about 10% of the oil in a reservoir flows “naturally” to the surface. Injections or re-injections of water and gases, typically referred to as “secondary recovery” (even though the methods are now typically employed from the beginning of drilling), can yield a further 20% to 40% of a site’s oil, but this still leaves nearly half of the theoretical total in the ground. Increasing demand for oil has ushered in a wave of more advanced technologies that can help to release the remaining oil and for that tertiary recovery/ EOR has to be utilized. Countries benefitting from this EOR program should have to contribute to this fund based on the usage and dollar amount criteria
  2. Federal Government should incentivize the ability of U.S. refineries to process a wider variety of crude stocks including heavy crude. Demand for lighter crude by these refineries has been outstripping supplies. At the same time, capacity to refine heavy crude has not kept pace with the heavy crude supply. Adding appropriate refining capacity for that would allow better use of heavy oil, not only in the U.S., but around the world especially in emerging markets.
  3. We need increased regulation for oil speculators. These are just an oil equivalent of the short sellers in the credit markets many times help responsible for market manipulation. While twenty years ago, 21 percent of oil contracts were purchased by speculators, today that number is estimated to be 66 per percent.
  4. Deals made in emerging markets are usually the result of relationships built on trust. Working overseas, in high growth and emerging markets, gives a greater understanding and insight into the practical aspects of doing business overseas.
  5. Lighten inventories. Running out of spare parts at rig sites is something companies go to extremes to avoid since downtime is too costly. As a result of that, the inventory for oil companies is in tens of millions of dollars in spare parts. By operating in a JIT environment as most manufacturing companies do through enhanced logistics, oil companies can lighten their large load of inventories that must be stocked on-site. Lighter inventories would also mean improved cash flow.

Finally, I understand that these solutions would not make our energy sector sustainable and we should move towards green initiatives. But I also think that until we have green energy projects sustaining all energy requirements, we need to improvise the Oil supply chain so businesses and people can thrive and don’t suffer in the immediate term.

Your comments and feedback are always appreciated.

Opportunities in BI Market

November 8, 2009

The current recession has hampered the growth of the Business Intelligence market specially Oracle and SAP BI. This presents very exciting times ahead of us for the following reasons:

  • The effect of new generation products such as Cloud BI stacks, Open source OLAP tools etc. on the overall market has yet to be seen. But something that’s bound to happen is that future BI products will be cheaper and lighter.
  • The total cost of ownership (TCO) of these new generation products including amount of consulting required to implement and pre-built applications is most likely to be smaller per site too.
  • Traditional market growth for BI is much slower as most of these multimillion dollars installations and implementations have been done. Therefore, the future solution would be looking at new market segments.

A lot of SME’s who couldn’t afford the BI solutions in the past would be utilizing those solutions leading to new opportunities.

 

Your comments and feedback are always appreciated.