Saturday, May 28, 2005

The technologies that must die

I was just wondering what are the technologies that in my opinion will no longer be around in ten years. Here’s my pick:-

  1. The LAN cable. I am sure PCs will not even have LAN cards, everything must go wireless.

  2. The projector connected by monitor cable. Think Bluetooth

  3. Anti-virus software. The operating systems will become much harder and difficult to sabotage doing away with the need for anti-viruses.

  4. Text messaging – yes. It will and must die.

  5. blackberry. Same here.

  6. the stand-alone digital camera.

  7. the printed photograph.

  8. regional portals with yahoo-ish services.

  9. complex ERP products.

  10. traditional e-commerce where sellers are open. I suspect there will soon be a ring of trust governing where you can transact which will be linked into the VISA and mastercard / amex networks. Similar for private information.

  11. the landline phone number. It is just so archaic.

  12. yes. The mobile phone based on GSM, 3G, CDMA etc.

  13. the fax and paper documentary proof for anything.

Friday, May 27, 2005

What is a disruptive technology?

courtest www.sherpalo.com

The term disruptive technology was coined by Clayton M. Christensen to describe a new, possibly lower performance, but less expensive product that addresses an existing market. The disruptive technology starts by gaining a foothold in the low-end, and less demanding, part of the market, then moves up-market through performance improvements, and finally displaces an incumbent's product.

By contrast, a sustaining technology provides improved performance only and, according to Christensen, will almost always be incorporated into the incumbent's product.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

the coming of the mobile computer

I for one have always been the guy who hates PDAs and laptops. Have never been able to use PocketPC or Palm PDAs well and hate lugging that laptop everywhere. Its time for a new device. Something that is large enough that you can take it into a meeting and type without seeming rude, something that can fit into the jacket pocket or else at least be light to carry around like a diary. Something that can run skype. connect to wifi, interoperate with bluetooth headsets. Something with enough hard disk space that i can lose the laptop.

Saw the oqo yesterday. was very impressed. A step in the right direction. Would I buy? Not yet. There's a lot more that can happen here. My prediction: give it a year.

Friday, May 20, 2005

D.C.

This is romance as far as it gets in America. Old world charm, the power brokers and monuments around and a cosmopolitan mix of people all talking about global poverty, funding development etc. etc. Went out and met a true mix of people. Was in a group which had some really intelligent eastern european women (loved them), some indians and some south americans. truly had a blast. Out of the blue in one of the bars in D.C. bumped into a guy who used to work at myzus. was really surprised. Guess this really tells you how small the world is... till later people. .tomm. have to attend the IIT2005 conference.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

How the times have changed . .  Posted by Hello

the asian world

am sitting at San Francisco airport. in a bit of a blur because of lack of sleep. suddenly forgot that i'm in the U.S. .. every second face around me is asian ;-)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The world has changed

Yes people. its official. The world has changed. It's a different world to what we used to live in a few months back. Developers and geeks are cool. VCs want to invest in consumer applications. There are genuine complaints of there being too much money chasing too few ideas. I'm writing a blog. A 19 year old was on a panel at one of the largest conference of entrepreneurs that I attended a few days ago. Does this sound familiar?

The world has truly changed. Entrepreneurs reconnect with those VCs, techies go back to those labs and truly everyone, please lets try and do something this time that will benefit the rest of the planet we live on.

Its the time for ideas. Its the time to find them, invest in them and really think hard about them. While I am sure as ever before a lot of stupid ideas will get funded, even fewer will be successful and those few will in my opinion come from strange quarters. Because this time, capital is really not important. in this version of the web, its p2p not requiring massive investments in data centers, its direct to consumer in the truest sense not requiring advertising and its MOBILE - -with quite smart revenue models that can be demonstrated quick. enough to get accepted early on by other carriers all of whom are bleeding from the lack of innovation. Good examples of guys who are driving the new internet - firefox, skype and more to come.

The world has changed. And this time its really good for the entrepreneurs.

My reasons why:-
1. You know you have to build a lean business and you will.
2. The tools are around to help you along the way whether you live in india, dubai or portland Oregon.
3. You have large number of potential investors and more importantly other entrepreneurs who were funded by these investors in the past who will give you the real dope. Make sure you take it.
4. The public markets not so accessible and demanding growth from those already listed making it quite attractive to flip companies.

My predictions:-
1. Many VCs will lose their jobs and many will cement themselves in history as visionaries. The main differentiation will be that economics will reward those who truly partner with entrepreneurs as opposed to the lip service - let me invest and hire a CEO ones. The limited partner universe will become much younger and those entrepreneur unfriendly decisions will come back to haunt a few.
2. The serial entrepreneur will make a comeback. You will have unknown individuals who will start and flip at least 3 companies in the next 3 years some probably with no external investors.
3. The rise of usability. This is a profession that will come back into vogue.
4. Enterprise software valuations will skyrocket as budgets get freed from efficiencies in other areas and are devoted to more strategic investments.
5. Video conferencing and blogging will come back.
6. mobiles will be where a lot of opportunities come in.
7. A category that will see a lot of action will be email and PIM. messaging in general will change.

my biggest bet: 3 years fron now. The internet will not look anything like the present browser based universe. It will be rich, mobile and all pervasive. we will look back and say "Gosh, why didn't i(or microsoft or yahoo) think of that?"

Monday, May 16, 2005

Google

Just realized something
1. Use blogger.com to blog - owned by google
2. use hello to upload pictures to my blog - owned by google
3. Use Picasa to organize pictures on my desk - owned by google
4. Use local.google.com for directions in California. - again by google.

Why am i not going out and buying this stock?

The rise of Entertainment

Today saw a radio blog for the first time. Podcasts/ Radio blogs let regular users from around the world become their own DJs and broadcast to the world. Ever longed to be a DJ and wondered how the lousy @#@@ got to be the one on radio inspite of his lousy taste in music. Well here is your chance. Similarly for writing. I am so amazed. The world we are in has so many opportunities. Its so dynamic and there are so many opportunities. It's just amazing.

Things I am waiting for:-
1. Google to start syndicating ads on blogs and on radio.blogs.
2. Language to become a bit more democratized so that we actually can hear what people out there are saying!!

Friday, May 13, 2005

Keynote: John Foley, Lead Solo, Blue Angels

This was by far the most exciting Keynote of the day.

Firstly, whats the Blue Angels?

The Blue Angels is the most elite show troupe of the U.S. Navy and Marines. Only the best pilots earn the right to be Blue Angels and they tour the world for two years engaging in feats of amazing daring in a bid to encourage Americans to join the Navy and to demonstrate the excellence and prowess of the U.S. Navy and Marines to the world. John Foley used to be a blue angel and his talk centered around how the Blue Angels conducted themselves to ensure they could perform consistently at near to superhuman levels.

His main view was that there were four main activities required to perform at the amazing level of the Blue Angels as a team. These were
the Belief, The Brief, Contracts and the Debrief.

The Belief was the actual self confidence that you could do it. That came from merit and knowledge. The knowledge that you were the best in what you did, That each member in your team was the best at what he was supposed to do and that you as a team were FULLY PREPARED to take on the challenge at hand.

The Brief meant that the entire set of activities were planned to pin point accuracy in advance. The goal was clear and all activities were planned in reverse with clearly identifiable check points and during the course of the mission these were used to calibrate where people were to ensure no one was off track. The other important thing was that in case someone fell off track the leader would make the adjustments required in order to correct the course.

The milestones that were to be met were precise. E.g. The top right hand corner of the window of the green building. To give you an idea of how precise this was compare it to the speed of a F-16 traveling at 800mph!!

The next was Contracts. The respect for word. It was implicit that all members of the team would do what they said they would do. There was no need to shout out loud in case you were on track. Only if you were not so that others could adjust their own pace to ensure co-ordination. The leader was again the one responsible for ensuring that everyone was working co-ordinated.

Lastly, it was the debrief. The debrief was detailed. Twice or thrice as detailed as the brief. Everything was discussed. No matter how trivial and how embarrassing. It was best to discuss and to know that others had committed similar mistakes.

John's talk was awe-inspiring and to me esp. Fodder for thought. Very often in corporate life we read a lot of theory but only pay lip service to the principles. What if running a start-up was a matter of life and death maneuvers like the lives of the Blue Angels?

the fact is it is: As entrepreneurs we are privileged that others are trusting us to use their capital to build great businesses. We owe it to them and to ourselves to perform at the level of champions. Its a must to succeed.

Panel Discussion: Where are the VCs investing?

Panel Members:
Alex Vieux- Publisher, Red Herring (Moderator)
Navin Chaddha - Gabriel Venture Partners
Pramod Haque - Norwest Venture Partners
Ajay Shah - Shah Capital Partners
John Malloy - BlueRun Ventures
Abhay Parekh - Accel Partners

A very interesting panel discussion that was moderated quite effectively by Alex Vieux making it quite enjoyable for the audience.

A few takeaways:-
1. Series A valuations are around 10-12mn USD today with typical investments of 5mn USD
2. VC returns are very market dependent but in todays environment with the public markets not very receptive the retrurns are about 10x are considered successful.
3. The VCs tend to not want to have more than one investor to co-invest with them in any deal unless the other investor is bringing a specific skill to the table.
4. Pramod was very clear and the view was concurred that there was too much capital in the industry and quite a few VCs would no longer be around in the medium term.
5. The VC industry is still pretty much built on integrity and trust on the entrepreneur.
6. The VCs are all looking for new category creating companies and dont like following the lead
7. blue Run ventures seemed like the most global fund interested in more global opportunities as well as quite a few things related to the mobile space.
8. Navin seemed to be very interested in funding companies out of india but the challenge was how to add value sitting in the Bay area.
9. Accel seemed to think that they were better off investing in more consumer focussed businesses where the verdict was shorter instead of waiting for the company to absorb 50mn USD before actively selling and hence having to be shut down.
10. Pramod who was really one of the most clear people on the panel stressed capital efficiency and true innovation. By capital efficiency he made it quite clear that of course the company needed to have an offshore strategy but also the company would not be raising money regularly thus distracting the managemnet from the goal of building a business.

Met up with most of the panelists post the event and they were all pretty keen to look at the middle east as a market for their companies. Need to follow-up now.

Panel Discussion: How did I think about that?

Firstly a bit about the panelists:-
1. Blake Ross- the creator of Firefox - probably 19 years old
2. Dr. Morton Grosser - a really lively guy who has been there done that, one of the early people in silicon valley - about 65 years old
3. Heidi Rozen - Mobius capital and also lucky woman to have bill gates play golf from her roof
4. Danny Shader - CEO of Good Technology

Definitely the star of the panel was blake who created Firefox and Dr. Morton to a certain extent with his words of experience about silicon valley.

some key insights:-
1. Its very important for techies to develop their products keeping in mind the less sophisticated end user. Its really "would my mother be able to use this?"
2. danny Shader shared some of his past experiences with Go Corp. which was prior to Webvan the company which lost the most amount of money chasing the pen based computing dream. What struck me most was his respect for the leadership of his CEO Bill Campbell. His respect for Bill and his ability to lead his team and make them see the bigger picture, the reason for which his team had to go on was awe-inspiring.
3. Its amazing how much the people on the panel were worried about the lack of h1Bs. The message that came across quite strongly was that silicon valley had remained silicon valley because it had been able to attract the best people in the world to come and work there. The government policies have definitely caused a worry.
4. Morton Grosser came across strongly as a picture of what was right with the world. He came across as a strong believer in the core values of Silicon valley which was meritocracy. It really did not matter here who your family was or what your father did. What mattered was what were you best at and what skill you possessed. Something for which there could be no compromise.
5. An interesting side discussion was on the role of Pairs - larry - sergey, bill gates - paul allen and then steve ballmer. It was made further interesting when it was observed that Blakes pair sat all the way in new Zealand!! There was a general consensus that it was best to have a pair as each of them seemed to control the other and stimulate intellectual discussion.

I met up with Dr. Morton Grosser at the end of the panel and he actually spoke some Arabic. The interesting thing though was that he did not want to do anything with the Middle East and subtly hinted to me that there were people in the valley who had some relations to the Middle East - they were my best bet!!

Keynote: Dr. Eric Schmidt, Google

A bit of a disappointment. Was expecting someone more charismatic. On the whole would have been very disappointed if it was not for one of the VPs from Sun Microsystems who was sitting next to me. He firstly proudly pointed out that of the key notes quite a few people were from companies he was associated with Sun (Eric and Vinod Khosla) and Apple (Bruce from Adobe). What he said was that Dr. Eric Schmidt was really an executor. He was a visionary but many people could be visionaries. What differentiated Eric was that he truly believed that people made a good company and went out of his way to encourage people to innovate and deliver.

While the talk was quite generic an interesting point that was made was that google follows the 70-20-10 rule where 70% of the time of any engineer should be spent on core activities, 20% on adjacent activities and 10% on pretty much anything the engineer decided. While this is a figure that has already been quite widely reported in the media I was impressed by the next statement made by Eric. He said that they actually had difficulty getting people into the 10% area as opposed to keeping them in the 70% area as i would imagine in most companies. The reason being google is so focussed that really the entire teams wants to work on what will make the most impact which is their core business. Impressive!!!

Some other interesting takeaways : Definitely local search is going to be a priority for google. He clearly said that google expects that most of the searches we perform on a daily basis would be around our own neighbourhoods.

Secondly what was going to be a priority would be searches that would be able to learn more about the context based on prior searches and interests of the individuals

Keynote - Thomas L. Friedman, NY Time

A brief profile of Tom
http://prod.tiecon.org/dyn/sessions.htm?id_sessiondetails=144&id_session=125

A very interesting talk that kind of summarized his most recent best seller
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0374292884/qid=1116183840/sr=8-1/ref=pd_csp_1/102-4856023-4820149?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

Tom gave a bit of a background about how he came about writing this book. His earlier book called the Lexus and the Olive tree mirrored his interests and hence his column on the NY Times. He would sometimes write about the Lexus issues (economic) and sometimes about the Olive Tree issues (Geo-political). Then 9-11 happened. For the next 3 years he spent all his time reporting from Kabul and reporting from Bagdad. Till the U.S. Presidential election when John Kerry's statement put the spotlight on outsourcing. His editors suggested that possibly it was time that he did a documentary on the same and so he set out to travel to India to meet up with the outsourcing gurus. In India he went from city to city meeting passionate entrepreneurs who were building outsourcing businesses and saw the extent to which services were being delivered from India. He realised that while he has been sleeping (in Bagdad and in Kabul), the world as he knew it had changed significantly. While interviewing Nandan Nilekani in the run up to the interview Nandan said something simple - "Tom, the economic playing field among nations is being levelled and America is not prepared." This was the trigger and he felt ok - you have christopher columbus who left spain and set sail west to discover india and ended up finding america and realising the world is round, I've left america flown east to find India and here someone is telling me the world is actually flat!!

Why does Tom feel the world is flat? The word flat is actually more a symbol that in todays connected world, India, U.S. , China and Dubai are really next door neighbours. The distance between San Jose and Bangalore is the same as that between San Jose and Boston. This new world of globalization is giving rise to new challenges and we need to be prepared. While in the 60s and 70s parents used to tell their kids
"Son, you need to eat your dinner as children in India and china are starving" today they need to tell their children
"Son, you need to do your homework as children in India and china are doing theirs"

Whats differnt with the present wave of globalization as compared to the waves earlier?

to put it in short while
Globalization 1.0 was globalization of countries by conquests and imperialism
Globalization 2.0 was globalization of companies by the creation of multi-nationals
Globalization 3.0 is actually the globalization of the individual leaving them free to compete equally for jobs, business and services.

Tom drew on a few dates which were instrumental in the creation of the present globalization convergence. He called them the great flatteners - which drove the world from a round one to a flat one:-
1. 9th November - the fall of the berlin wall and the consequent shipping of windows soon after
2. 9th August 95 - the day Netscape went public and as the stock soared investors worldwide decided to take the less risky route and invest in underlying infrastructure leading them to invest in miles and miles of fiber optic cable under seas, underground and criss crossing the world.
3. The invention of workflow - while earlier different departments functioned in isolation, workflow let them connect with each other thus standardizing processes and actions.
4. Y2K - The first big impetus to Outsourcing. A task that was so humongous that work had to be outsourced breaking the mindset and giving many companies business for the first time.
5. Offshoring - China joins the WTO
6. Open Sourcing - Anyone anywhere can have access to software - it was no longer expensive or more affordable in the u.s. Free was free anywhere.
7. Supply Chaining
8. Insourcing - Gave a very interesting example of UPS. It seems that if you have a toshiba laptop you call the number on the laptop in case it gets spoilt, a UPS person comes and picks it up from you, its flown to a UPS hangar where UPS staff fix it and return it back to you. Toshiba never sees it!!
9. The Steroids - VoIP, Wireless, File Sharing which were turbocharging all the factors above.

Surprisingly all the flatteners converged with another phenomenon

While the developed world was still in a state of denial without knowledge and acceptance of the fact that the world was now flat, 3bn people from India, China and the erstwhile USSR had now been unleashed on this flat world. These people who had been restrained by visas, persecution from participating in the global economy now could compete with Sally from saratoga for her Job!!

A very insightful speech and really brings to mind the challenges facing the american and developed world economy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

United JFK - Los Angeles

Nice flight, chirpy airhostesses (though old) and nice food!! I never thought i would say this but yes the food was good, they showed a nice movie, the flight was pretty empty and on the whole five hours breezed by. Just got out of the aircraft and walked towards my gate at L.A. Airport, stopped to get a Low fat latte and to write this blog at the starbucks just opposite the gate. I'm now officially addicted to blogging!!

Coach Carter

Interesting movie I watched on the flight – Coach Carter. The story of a black coach who comes back to his neighbourhood school to coach the basketball team there. The difference being that he decides to not just teach the team how to play ball but how to lead their life. Makes tough decisions but manages to win the respect of the team and show them the bigger picture of life. All in all a nice watch. Samuel Jackson plays Coach Carter well. It would also be a pretty inspiring movie for todays american youth.

Crisscrossing America

Ok. people. Writing this as i fly across the United States. Am taking United Flight 15 which goes from JFK in New York to Los Angeles. Have luckily got an entire row of thre seats to myself. Plonked myself down on the window seat and am taking in the sights. And a remarkable sight it is. Twenty minutes of staring out of the window at land below myself and we get to know why America is the most powerful country in the world. Miles and Miles of farms, cities, roads, houses – its got it all. I dont see a single bit of arid land. Everything below me is green and well laid out. The farms are divided into strips and some of the strips are green while the others seem like they've been left barren in a planned out manner. Shows that they've really put thought into maximising the output of the resources they have been blessed with. From an aerial view I see huge factories, power plants, highways, trains – superb infrastructure. I'm reminded of the movie Swades – its time for us to make india into a similar superpower. We are bound to reach the goal if our generation puts in some effort we will see the results for ourselves instead of our future generations.

United e-checkin

Have heard a lot of bad stuff about American airlines in general so as i'm getting into the united flight to LA and then onwards to San Jose am suitably prejudiced. But my first experience was pretty good. Used the e-checkin where instead of using a human checkin counter used a kiosk – it was a breeze!! I'm surprised why more of the Arab/ Indian carriers dont use this – its so much faster, convenient and of course saves them manpower – really no reason not to go in for it.. hmmmm..

The Big Apple New York, NY

Well, finally go to see the Big apple what everyone keeps talking about. Got out of JFK, left my bags and laptop at the luggage store at the airport and with just my wallet, cell phone (yes my Qatar sim does work!!) and passport went into the city. Decided to take the bus instead of the subway as i wanted to see a bit of the city while commuting and landed just outside the Grand Central Subway stop in New York. The first thing that strikes you is how well New York is laid out – the city is divided into neat grids with avenues running perpendicular to streets and with the exceptions of a few landmark streets most of them go in numeric order so its quite easy to navigate with either verbal instructions or else through the address. I decided i wanted to see all the major sights so opted for the gray line open air double decker tour of the city. Glad I did that as i probably saved a lot of money in the commute and so pend the next 3 hours taking in the usual tourist spots – the Empire state building, the Little Italy, India, China, Germany, SoHO, Wall Street, The World Trade Center site, City hall, the public library, fashion street, Macy's, Central Park, The Statue of liberty, Rockerfeller center, Battery Park, the Brooklyn Bridge etc.


Some Interesting facts I found quite interesting:-

  1. When going around NY you see quite a few old buildings with their third and fourth floors having very large glass windows – it seems there used to be an aerial train running through the main avenue and so the windows were meant to be displays to attract commuters to shop at them. The train is no longer there.

  2. Rent control – seems some people in NY are still paying the same rent they used to pay in the 1940s. Reminds me of bombay's own rules. Lucky for some!!

  3. When brooklyn bridge opened up, people were really scared to use it so P.T. Barnum the world famous circus owner had 78 of his elephants walk across to prove to them that it was really safe!!

  4. 2/3rds of New York buildings have now been converted into high end housing

  5. SoHo stands for South Of Housing street. And yes SoHo in Ny came first

  6. The loft apartments in SoHo made fashionable by the artists and writers were actually illegal!!!

  7. New yorkers feel there is no need to travel out of the city, its all here!!

  8. Macy's is the largest department store in the world at 2.2mn Sq. feet!! Its also one of the oldest.

  9. Penn Station is the largest train station in the U.S. And probably one of the largest in the world and yes, its in the big apple.

  10. The Freedom tower which will come up where the WTC used to be will be 1776feet high in rememberance of the year in which America got its freedom. Its supposed to become the tallest building in the world.

  11. The Empire state builing, built at the height of the great depression was constructed in 13 months entirely from prefabricated parts and steel beams which were still warm from the furnace!! For quite a while it was empty leading a few people to rename it the Empty state building. Today its quite a prestigious business location with its own unique art deco arhictecture.


What struck me about New York


This is truly a LARGE city with unique culture and modern outlook. Its not a new gleaming city but this is the old money. The buildings are imposing and most importantly demonstrate that for as far as we can remember NY has been the financial capital of the world. The city and its people have a spirit thats hard to miss and grow to love. What strikes you most as you glance at people, as you speak to them as you walk the streets – these are real people, they have real worries, fears, aspirations, passions. Nothing is picture perfect, as you see people you can imagine that they are ambitious, have gone through sacrifices and are living life to the fullest but they are definitely not content or complacent. This is really the most remarkable thing esp. when you compare it to places like Qatar or Dubai(in parts) or even Bombay where to a small extent people are not go-getters. Here everyone from the beggars on the street to the tour operator to the bus drivers everyone will tell you how and why you should give them some of your money and why they deserve it. I'm not sure if they are poor, but they definitely have the spirit.


Would I live in New York? Hmm,, difficult call to make esp. after just spending a day in the city. At this point I would rather be in San Francisco which is more tech to my liking but as I leave New York I cant help feeling – If i were to spend some more time here , this place would grow on me!!!

JFK Airport, New York

Landed at JFK, managed to breeze through immigration, collect my luggage and get out in a span of 15 minutes. Dubai airport has to take a pointer from JFK. It regularly takes me 30 mins to board a flight or 30 mins to get out of dubai airport. The walk itself is an exercise. While the authorities have no doubt tried to innovate and the airport has quite a few attractions on its own to keep you amused while you walk around, for the regular traveller, its a bit of a pain. Imagine someone who flies even once a week and has to spend an hour on each trip just at dubai airport. JFK is a much larger airport than Dubai International yet its very nicely organized. Its actually massive and so probably an order of maginitude bigger than DIA. However, its organized into terminals (9 in total) each of which are reasonably small and easy to navigate into and out of and there AirTrain which is a sort of aerial train service connection all the terminals. What this means is that passengers arriving at one terminal and having a connecting flight at the other probably would take longer than a passenger doing the same in dubai but for someone getting in and exitting out of JFK the commute time is negligible. I guess these unique aspects are because DIA is more of a hub and destination in itself while with JFK, its really the big apple which is the destination.

The Emirates New York Review

Well I finally managed to check out the Emirates Dubai- New York (JFK) flight. A really long flight – the longest I’ve taken at 14 hours and the verdict:- A brilliant flight by Emirates.


The flight started off at 8:00a.m. dubai time which means you can get into Dubai airport at 6:00 a.m. – 6:30 a.m (very convenient) and it reaches JFK at 2 p.m giving you quite a bit of the day in NYC.


The flight takes quite an usual flight path going from dubai upwards through Iran to Russia passing just under Moscow and flow there crossing the Baltic Sea into Scandinavia and then going westwards and crossing Greenland and the Atlantic entering Canada and then turning south to hit New York. I wondered why the flight was taking such a convoluted route until I realized that it only seemed convoluted when spread out over a flat map. When we consider that the globe is round, it probably is the shortest route. In shorter flights the shortest point is usually straight line approach as the distance is negligible compared to the radius of the globe. Not so in this case.


Kind of aircrafts – A340 -500s the largest aircraft presently flown by Emirates until their new A380s come into service. The two things worth noting were the in-flight entertainment and a new service – I’ll call it the moving sky.


The inflight entertainment on the A340- 500s is a definite step ahead from the regular. It features video on demand with a personal TV screen on every seat and so you can surf and they have some pretty good comedies. Personally watched Friends, Frasier, Malcolm in the Middle and a bit of the Incredibles!! What is really noteworthy is that the user interface and the overall experience of using the controls with the wired remote control is excellent. Really a job well done!!


The Moving sky feature. This was something that really impressed me the most. Most frequent flyers would remember how its quite normal when taking a long flight to spend a day or two coping with jet lag esp. when taking a longer flight. The moving sky effect is that on the A340- 500s the roof of the aircraft is lit up with a variety of effects synchronized with the flight paths so that the virtual sky mimics the sky at the take off and landing destination and thus helps your body in coping with the transition. This is noteworthy considering for instance the Dubai- JFK flight was a 14 hour flight where we were chasing the sun from Dubai to new York leaving dubai at 8a.m. and landing at dubai at 2p.m. so a passenger whose window blinds were open would have been quite disoriented. However, with this feature the passenger adjusts much better to the changing time zones. I for one am very much impressed. The roof also has stars which twinkle!!! Must be experienced. And Also, for the foodies, yes the food is very good though you do feel overfed at the end of it all – a full meal, a breakfast and a hearty lunch in the span of 14 hours esp. when you are sitting down and not buring any of those calories.


On the whole, Emirates lives up to its reputation as the airline that innovates on this flight.

Friday, May 06, 2005

life takes unique turns

A pet peeve I have with quite a few people is on planning out life. I never seem able to plan or visualize what my life would look like 10-20 years down the line. More so, i just do things I feel strongly about and trust that I am building valuable expertise and skills. Strongly feel that life presents us with enough opportunities and its a matter of recognizing the important ones.

Met an interesting guy today whose life took a very interesting turn. He was working in India at a regular job when he was asked by one of his relatives if he would work for his boss as his personal assistant. His boss ended up being one of the highest net worth individuals in India and post meeting him decided to hire him immediately. He moved to London along with his family in a weeks time and lived along with his boss for 6 years in his 56 bed room castle on the outskirts of london. Spent 6 years assisting him with multiple investment proposals and speculative activities while seeing at close quarters how he worked and cultivating relationships of the right kinds. He's just left and decided to start something on his own but I'm sure the experience must have been out of this world.

Monday, May 02, 2005

met an interesting guy today

Met an interesting guy today. 65 year old guy, british, was visiting his son one day in Azerbaijan, went to visit an office saw a woman, fell in love, divorced his wife in the UK who never got along with, moved to Azerbaijan and is the regional rep. for a satellite communication company based there. Bought a 1 acre plot for 20,000 USD came with a huge house, sauna, orchard with apricot trees, store to sell the jam made from the apricots, etc. Previously he's also lived for two years in the antarctic, been in the navy, served in the falklands and today he's all interested in setting up a yahoo group so manufacturers can help each other find good agents. Got to give it to you John, I wish i have such a full life by the time I am 65... Cheers, and hope to visit you soon in Baku

Sunday, May 01, 2005

abcd humor

just watched where's the party, yaar? - one more of those abcd movies. Nothing more than the usual poking fun at FOBs, the dressing sense, superstition etc. etc. while i agree with the characterization (it's amazing how true it still is), and find it very funny, this topic has been done to death. I think ABCD movies need to move on to maybe later stages of the ABCD life??

First Column for Times Property

Image via Wikipedia Hi Everyone, I'm happy to post the first of my articles that will be appearing in the Times Property - a supplement ...