Ideas to Toss: Online Streets/Towns

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Here’s a random thought that someone perhaps might be interested to pick up and build on.

There number of stores these days in every street and town has multiplied, quadtrupled and more. But the active consumers are not all that much. Traffic is getting higher and higher, and there is no fun in driving out to shop anymore. The more shops that are popping up, the more it is getting harder for people to get to the things they want to buy.

The problem is multi-faceted, which is good for any business plan: More stores. Increasing Traffic. Sporadically spread stores.

The easiest solution would be for the store to putup a website where orders can be placed. But most store owners find it very hard to maintain and keep track of the goods and do the shipping.

Solution: What if, a company were to make a website, which almost has an overlap of the map of a city/town. You can pick stores based on names (I can see a google earth mashup right away), and I can shop from a latest stereo equipment, to ordering pizza in a single website. The company manages the inventory and processes orders and shipment, essentially taking all headache away from the store-owner. Perhaps one can even go a step further and create a virtual city in second life and do this as well…

 
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The Online Advertisement War: When Logic Ceases to Exist.

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I am coming across way too many blogs, both from the Microsoft camp and from the Google Camp trying to justify the recent acquisition of DoubleClick and aQuantive and some very interesting (to say the least) metrics to measure and quantify the valuations.

I dont think anyone would be quite close to the truth. Google probably had a strategy when it bought doubleclick. Given that more than 70% of the ad banners on the web are being served by Doubleclick, I guess Google had a good reason to buy it out. They are trying to get into the “graphical” ad space – so to speak – with their video ads and such and it makes sense for them to step into it.

The transition will prove to be interesting, as most of these banners that Doubleclick serves are based on Flash 7, and the recent and latest editions of flash versions do have some compatibility issues. Doubleclick has been hesitant to upgrade fearing a downtime. Perhaps Google is their savior at their time of need.

Microsoft on the other hand is just trying to prove to point that they can equally compete. With one that is trying to measure up, there is simply no other logic than that. What else can you say about a company which is willing to pay you for using their search engine, compared to the competitor who makes money out of every search?

 
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Knowing your Market: Analysis vs. Dissection

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You need to know who your customers are. That’s an absolute statement when it comes to business. But where do you draw the lines on that regard?

There are two kinds of analysis that usually goes on. I think the best way to explain this would be by means of an analogy:

There is the first kind of analysis where you walk into a forest, and you can absolutely predict the behaviour, pattern and living environment of the world’s deadliest mammal. You know the area well enough, do have a keen sense of hearing anything that comes your way, and can spot the mammal a mile away – or even track it if required to pursue it. This is the analysis which comes from a hunter’s point of view – or a naturalist’s view.

Then there is the second kind of analysis. Where you just walk into a forest, or even ask someone to go there for you, catch a mammal, bring it to the lab, and just dissect it and start studying its anatomy. By inferences of its evolution – sight, strength, size, and speed, you can profile the animal quite vividly. That’s the analysis which comes from a scientist and academician’s point of view.

I am strongly against the case of the latter. If it is business that you are keen on, then your focus should be on observing, rather than capture and dissecting – a process that kills. Also usually with the academician’s point of view, we study so that we can manipulate. Something that goes beyond the natural order of things when it comes to ‘see a need, fill a need’ motto of running a business.

Unfortunately I am coming across a high number of companies lately that are going the way of the scientist. I have my suspicions that the incubation centres that are based out of academic institutions might be the reason behind that. Perhaps, and I hope that they will change their perspectives to that of a naturalist.

 
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Chennai Telecom Professionals Group

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What’s the most interesting thing about Professionals, and Entrepreneurs? Simple. The drive to get things done, and to be focused on milestones and deliverables. The conversations are always focused towards business opportunities and how to handle challenges. Needless to say, they are always looking for a network of like-minded people to let the network-effect kick in.

After it occured to me that there are quite a few Telecom Professionals on my address book, and people who are working on various aspects of the industry, it was too good to just let it pass and not try to bring them all together. A few emails here and there and the first meeting was fixed in Park Sheraton to see how things go.

Among the participants were Subramanian Sahasranam, who was one of the early pioneers in the IMS world working with CG Maersk, Gokul an avid and up-to-date telecom blogger with his background in Cisco, Anbu Ganesh with a background with Lucent Labs, Telcordia and is now with CTS, Vivek who runs Unleash networks and used to be with Lucent for quite some years, Ravi who runs Neomicrolite, Aravind who heads Celltick India, Nitin and Madhu from Nexge Technologies a VoIP/IMS company, Satish from Snowood Technologies a successful entrepreneur whose company builds protocol stacks along with Chandra and Jayadev from Servion (Chandra being an active member of the SIP Forum). As you can see, this is quite an interesting group already.

We are planning to meet once a month, depending on the schedules of Subu, and Chandra and how it all works with everyone. If you do want to get involved and participate, do signup for the mailing list at [http://groups.google.com/group/Chennai-TPG]

Now, this is how barcamps are supposed to be – sporadic, quality and amazing people, and coming back with an overload of information that you can chew for a good whole month!

Note: Pictures posted on Vivek’s Blog

 
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