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Barcamp Hyderabad 2 in Times of India July 28, 2006

Posted by rajAT in barcamp, barcamphyderabad, barcamphyderabad2, hyderabad, india.


Article was published in  Education Times supplement of Times of India on 24th July.


TidBITS of Barcamp Hyderabad 2 July 16, 2006

Posted by rajAT in barcamp, barcamphyderabad, barcamphyderabad2.

WiFi was not working thats too bad. Thought of doing some live blogging.

Gulab jamuns that were served during lunch were so yummy :).

Couldn’t attend presentations of my friend Mohit and Rajan.

Saw a gal wearing geek t-shirt. Ahem ! Ahem !! Things surely are changing :).

Crowd at barcamp this time was totally different from the one we got last time.

Met lot of interesting people and came to know lot of new things.

Can’t wait for the next camp. 😀 😀

Mobile as Universal Remote Control @ Barcamp Hyderabad 2 July 16, 2006

Posted by rajAT in barcamp, barcamphyderabad, barcamphyderabad2, IIIT, intelligent buildings, mobile.
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Prof. Vishal from  Centre of IT in Building Science, IIIT-H gave a very interesting talk. It added a whole new dimension to the things that can be done with the mobile phone.

The idea of Mobile as a Universal Remote is not new but the thought that your mobile will talk to the buildings is definitely interesting.

The best part of using mobile as a remote control is that you doesnt have to learn new interfaces. I personally have found it very irritating whenever I am at a new place and I have to get my way through a new remote control.

And remote control clutter is surely increasing, there should be a way to get rid of them.

A demo was also given by Prof Vishal and was appreciated by the audience.

Web 2.0 and Mobile devices @ Barcamp Hyderabad 2 July 16, 2006

Posted by rajAT in barcamp, barcamphyderabad, barcamphyderabad2, web2.0.
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Sriram Krishnan gave an interesting talk on Web 2.0 and mobile devices. He was stressing that the mobile applications should be less chatty. So if I am seeing pics on flickr. A bad user experience would be – to see each pic I have to press next and a good one would be if all the pics gets downloaded as some kind of stream.

Well yes this could enhance the user experience for the 2nd or 3rd photograph. But what about the first one. As it will take more time to download the data initially, a user might get pissed.

Instead of that google used AJAX. Well the idea was similar that the subsequent loading should be fast giving a desktop like experience. So the data which a user is most likey to see next is already downloaded by the AJAX engine. The loading time of the first pic is also not more as we are not trying to download the whole thing initially.
Well Sriram was having lots of interesting things to share but as I was busy organizing the discussion, I couldnt sit through the whole presentation.

Waiting for the slides :).

Can Hyderabad be the next valley @ Barcamp Hyderabad 2 July 16, 2006

Posted by rajAT in barcamp, barcamphyderabad, barcamphyderabad2, entrepreneur, hyderabad, startup.

The grand finale of the day was the discussion – “Is mobile the missing link that will make Hyderbad the next Startup Valley”.

Well the motivation for the topic was that people in India are going to leapfrog to mobile phones. There are 100 million mobile phones in India at the moment. So many people have experienced digital content for the first time on the mobile phone. These are the few reasons that indicate that this be a hot area in India for next 5-10 years. The next google in India will be a mobile startup and not an internet based business.

So through this discussion the aim was to find out the pain points that entrepreneurs face when they start a company in this area.

We invited Mr. Kiranbir Nag (VP-SVB India Advisors), Ms Anuradha Acharya ( Founder / CEO of Ocimum Biosolutions ), Mr Ja Chaudhary ( President, TiE Hyderabad), Mr. Devendra Surana ( Surana Industries) and Prof Vishal Garg ( IIIT – H) to brainstorm on the topic.

Professor Vishal Garg made some points like in India nobody wants to pay money for the software. Software for mobile is sells at very low prices and that doesn’t make it a good business proposition. He quoted couple of personal experiences where he has completed the POC for mobile but the client backed out at the last moment.

Mr. Kiranbir Nag suggested the budding entrepreneurs to stop thinking from the technical perspective and start thinking from business perspective. He gave some thumb rules that an entrepreneur should ask himself when he starts doing something. Whose paint point I am solving ? Is it a cancer or a headache ? If it is a cancer then great but if it is headache then the technological solution should be out of the world. He also gave couple of other very useful tips to the entrepreneurs. I guess he was carrying a cheque book in his pocket :D.

Mr. Devendra Surana said that in India people doesn’t respect IP. The ideas are not valued and people try to copy them or de-engineer them if you show something new to someone. Ms Anuradha also shared some of her experiences reflecting the same attitude here.

Mr. Ja Chaudhary announced that TiE-ISB connect is a great forum to present early stage ideas. He also highlighted the various initiatives that TiE has taken in past to promote entrepreneurship. Mr. Farhan who is also a TiE charter member than shared a very interesting story of how Teleonto technologies got funded. I will cover that fully in some other post.

The crowd also participated very enthusiastically.

Spokn @ Barcamp Hyderabad 2 July 16, 2006

Posted by rajAT in barcamp, barcamphyderabad, barcamphyderabad2, spokn, voip.
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Mr. Farhan presented Spokn, an open VoIP company. The aim of spokn is that people should be able to use not just computers but mobile phones as well as our regular telephones – not to mention our pda’s and psp’s and so much more – to make inexpensive international calls in a seamless, enjoyable way.

Sounds interesting isn’t it. Spokn is open that means you can use their api’s and may be start your own Telephony company. Hmm !! How about next IIIT-tel :).

Well the larger question is that how successfull will this model be. It is like more than 5 years and WiFi has nt become a big dinasour as it has been projected from the very beginning. People will be using WiFi to access internet from mobile phones and not 3G/GPRS seems a little difficult as of now.

The main reason is that WiFi is not guaranteed. The peace of mind is totally missing because it is factured. It is not available all the time. At some places plans for a city wide WiFi network are on the way. But then how will you ensure seamless tranfer of call when you move from one hot-spot to another hot-spot. Issues are there right.

But Farhan did mention that this will not replace the existing stuff but Spokn like technologies will have a good share. Sounds possible.

It is a brave idea. Brave because it is trying to hit the Telecos right at their sweet point. Telecos all over the world survive because of revenues from talktime (voice minutes) and Spokn is providing an alternative to the people at a very cheap price and on the gadget they love to use i.e. mobile.

All the best to Spokn team.

Logistics, Sponsorships etc. – Barcamp Hyderabad 2 July 16, 2006

Posted by rajAT in barcamp, barcamphyderabad, barcamphyderabad2.
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The second edition of Barcamp Hyderabad 2 was conducted here in Hyderabad successfully. Lots of interesting speakers and demos were presented during the day. Kudos to all the participants who participated actively in the sessions and asked some really interesting questions. That is Barcamp all about.

Also 3 cheers for our sponsors ( TiE-ISB Connect, Pramati, HYSEA, GEODESIC, Microsoft, RAMP Technology Group) who have believed in the importance of such events and have supported us all along.

Some of things have come up regarding the future organizations of Barcamps. We are actively thinking that Barcamp like other events should nt get commercialized. So may be from next time we may not ask for sponsorships. That means no T-shirts and no free food and that I think is pretty ok.

Apart from that we were hoping that we will get some more active volunteers for this barcamp. We didn’t. So to reduce the logistics overhead we are thinking in this direction.

The aim of barcamp is to give a platform where enthusiasts come and share ideas and that will continue be the case in future as well :).

Do let me know your thougts on this ?

Barcamp Hyderabad 2 July 14, 2006

Posted by rajAT in barcamp, barcamphyderabad, mobile.


All are welcome for the event.

Lots of interesting talks, discussions and demos are lined up.

Registration is compulsary, please do it at wiki.

Above poster is done by Krishna.

Why only a few survive ? July 4, 2006

Posted by rajAT in barcamp, barcamphyderabad, community, entrepreneur, india, marketing, startup, vc, venture capital, web2.0.

Life as an entrepreneur is taxing, emotionally charged, extremely gratifying and very very suprising. Yesterday was one such day not because of all this but it was a day of contradictions. So it goes like this –

I had a telephonic conversation with a big Menlo park VC firm in the morning. The call went great and I am hoping for some positive things to come out of it :D. But the point that was bothering me was how this VC firm got my address in first place. I never contacted them. During the conversation they told me that they have “READ MY BLOG”. That they keep track of entrepreneurs blog in India. I was surprised to hear that but I really liked the proactive approach. It is very important to have a direct link with grass roots. And if you want to invest in Web 2.0 world you should be using it yourself to know the power of it. I am so impressed with them.

In the evening, I had another telephonic conversation with another big Menlo park VC firm. This was for the sponsorships of Barcamp Hyderabad. After 10 days of discussion they refused to sponsor. That is just fine that they don’t want to sponsor. But the reasons given just reflected  that they don’t understand the change that is happening out there. And they want to support entrepreneurs and are great believers of Web 2.0. Duh !!

So let me just drill through some of the reasons that they have given  –

1) Sponsoring T-Shirts is Micro – Well guys micro is the new macro. Isn’t it good that you get to test waters by a small investment. That is what Ray Lane, Partner KPCB, calls Enterprise 2.0. Now enterprises could test and use web services at a fraction of cost and if it works, the investment could be increased. Gone are the days when organizations have to commit a big amount upfront. Same is barcamp an ad-hoc conference oraganized and attended by geeks and entrepreneurs. All for love. Best way to know them is engage with them and if it works out. Keep on engaging with them.

2) Long term association – Barcamps are fickle who is accountable for the next barcamp. A very valid point. Well the first question that one should ask – Do you believe in the story that India is going to be hot and the people who are going to make it hot are entrepreneurs. If yes, then what is the best of doing it is nurture the community that they have built. Support that community. Yep ! it can happen that my interests can change tomorrow or of the other people who are behind Barcamp here in Hyderabad. But then community is not about couple of individuals, because it is not top down. There is no hierarchy in first place. A thriving community will give rise to lot of other passionate individuals. And that will take care of the long term relationships.

3) Marketing people are concerned about the mileage –  I think there marketing people haven’t heard or read a book called – “Communities dominate Brands” by Tomi Ahonen. Or they don’t know how Riya has used blogs, communities and built such a strong brand from ground up. If not then they should. Cluetrain manifesto anyone.

Change happens right in front of our eyes. But we refuse to acknowledge it. No wonder why big organizations fall.

Some people just don’t get it.

Pre Barcamp Meet June 22, 2006

Posted by rajAT in barcamp, barcamphyderabad, hyderabad.
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There is a Pre Barcamp Meet this Saturday – 24th June

Time – 11 AM
Venue – Cafe Coffee Day – Jubilee Hills ( Opp. to Barista )

All are invited.
Lets drum that place 🙂




FOSS, GoogleMaps, Poker @ Barcamp Pune June 18, 2006

Posted by rajAT in barcamp, barcamppune, foss, googlemaps, Online Poker.

Other notable stuff from Barcamp Pune

It is great to see women interest in FOSS. Runa gave a talk on Women's groups in FOSS. Atul Chitnis also gave a talk on "Understanding FOSS business model". I couldn't attend both of them :(. Blame it on 4 parallel sessions. And they were on four different floors and the schedules were getting changed on the fly.

Sidharath Sharma a.k.a patang gave a demo of his Bombay carpool mashup. Code is available on sourceforge. He need volunteers to take the project to next level.

Rakesh Raju from Indecca shared his experiences about the scaling problems they are facing with their online Poker game. Hundreds of thousands of players accessing their games. He mentioned a language called Erlang developed by ericcson is very robust and is great for concurrent programming.

Mandar Patil form OnSkreen gave a demo of their product.


Betterlabs.net @ Barcamp Pune June 18, 2006

Posted by rajAT in barcamp, barcamppune, india, web2.0.

It is just great to see Web 2.0 sites coming from India. A happenning bunch of people (Vaibhav, Satish, etc.) at Betterlabs.net are doing some great work. Vaibhav is based in Silicon valley. I met Satish and team at Barcamp Pune. At barcamp they presented Indiagoes a news aggregator. They promise that they will not annoy their users by showing them tonnes of advertisements which is the generally the case these days. TimesofIndia is yuck.

Here are their flagships.




All the best guys and carry on the good work :).

Recoja @ Barcamp Pune June 18, 2006

Posted by rajAT in barcamp, barcamppune, media, media2.0, tags, web2.0.

Anand and Shodan presented an interesting idea. They are trying to provide tags insite the page. So what does that mean is – If you are reading your notes on the internet. You can tag certain lines of text with the tag-important. So before the exam you click on the tag important and all the important lines from all of your notes came up in front of you. Sounds kool. It is a very natural for humans to do this. We all highlight,underline the lines in our text books. This is digital highlighting. Now as you can tag it – it has become all the more convenient as the content can be retrieved very easily.

Few reasons why this can be big –

1. It micro-chunks the content, hence micromedia gets created.

2. Attention is getting scarce and it helps in allocating the scarce attention to relevant micromedia hence more value is generated for the consumer.

3. It makes it plastic and atomized media can be remixed and tweaked.

4. Plasticity makes it more personal and allows unbundling and rebundling of it.

5. It is hypertargeted and micro diffrentiated and that makes it valuable

Finally, I am begginning to get some Haquism. 😀

Webaroo @ Barcamp Pune June 18, 2006

Posted by rajAT in barcamp, barcamppune, entrepreneur, india, internet, mobile, technology.

webaroo.JPGWebaroo guys explained about their product. I have ranted about it earlier here.

Webaroo is a free software program and service that lets you search and browse real web pages without a connection. It lets you take the web with you. Webaroo stores searchable web content on your laptop, PDA or smart phone.Your content is updated every time you connect to the internet.

Well the idea of carrying a copy of internet on your laptop or pda is mind boggling. Yeah , yeah they don’t put the whole world wide web but the subset you are interested in.

I am not sure how much of a success will it be in developed societies where connectivity is not a problem. But yeah in India it does make sense.

They are trying to moentize by showing the contextual advertisements along with the content you are seeing through webaroo. Some debates have cropped up that how can you monetize by showing someones content and putting you own advertisements. Rahul from Webaroo gave the example that Google is doing the same. Hmm.

It is an interesting start. Lets see how things will go for them in future. All the best guys. 🙂

PS: Webaroo is started by IIT B alumni and is incubated at SINE – IIT Bombay.

Mobile Computing @ Barcamp Pune June 18, 2006

Posted by rajAT in barcamp, barcamppune, mobile, technology.

The first talk I attended was of Atul Chitnis. The topic was Mobile Computing – Think beyond the PC. Atul has given an excellent talk on the topic. He used no jargon butatul1.JPG lots of examples to explain the idea that in coming times digital accessories will be very much part of our lifes. He defined digital accessories as the small gizmos which are always there with you. You don’t go to them. e.g. To switch on a music system you will go to it and switch it on. I know remote is there but maybe switch the main power. I think you got the idea what I am trying to say. But digital accessories like pda’s are always there with you in your pocket like your wallet.

Normally people complain that these gizmos have got small screens or are clunky and are slow or have less space. The Moore’s law will take care of the latter. Memory is getting cheaper. Technology is improving day by day which will surely improve the mobile digital experience. Coming on to the screen part. Atul has used very interesting examples to explain that size doesn’t matter.

A cinema hall screen when viewed from 30-40 feet away has the same impression on a viewer as compared to small pda screen when viewed from a distance of less than a feet. Interestingly, Mobil Extra is running a campaign where the long distance is crunched between a thumb and an index finger. I think that will give you an idea of the perspective. In short, a small screen if it is in your hand will give you the same if not more experience as compared to a bigger experience kept at a distance.

I agree to all this but I think the renewed interest in mobile computing is not because that users have suddenly found them interesting. Users have always rewared them – case in point Sony Walkman. If there is a compelling use case and there is a gizmo that accomplishes it beautifully, consumers are going to just buy it like crazy.

After the presentation I and Atul discussed what is going to be the next Mobile Computing device. Atul is all for the Personal Media Device sans Mobile Phone but I think that the next generation Mobile phones or Smart phones will have all the capabilities of Personal Media device. It makes a lot more sense for a person to carry a single device. Otherwise he will carry a mobile phone, iPod, another gizmo with big screen for movies and browsing the web. This seems a bit far fetched to me. It is difficult to maintain 3 devices – one has to check that they are all charged up. Just couple of times if you found that your favourite, next generation, portable, music player is dead ( no charge ), I am sure you will become a convert i.e. get hooked to converged, smart mobile phone. 🙂

In the end, how much space does a woman has in her purse anway. 😀