Monday, February 27, 2006

Online presentations

This is a cool one. Thumbstacks lets you create presentations, slideshows etc on the web. It is slightly buggy, but they are just starting off and will only get better from here. Still, it has most of the features we are looking for –support rich text, sound, video, images and seamless sharing on the internet. All you need is a browser. Here is a presentation about them.

Book Review - State of Fear

I was just reading “State of Fear” by Michael Crichton. Nice book. It is a discourse on the state of the environment rolled into a thriller. The story is not too great, but as we have come to expect from Crichton, the research is good, and the presentation is lucid. He takes up the issues which have troubled the human society over the recent past, like Global Warming & Abrupt Climate Change, and tries to present both sides of the picture through historical data. He also presents a philosophical case for his view which slightly tilts towards branding all the brouhaha as smoke without a fire.

The best thing about the book is that though the author provides his views from time to time, he ultimately leaves the readers to make up there own minds. A very satisfying and informative read. Highly Recommended. Next in line, my favorite—Ayn Rand.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Diminishing Returns

Neil Robertson combines the “Increasing Returns” theory with “The Long Tail of software” to create “The Increasing Tail”:

Becoming a runaway leader is not really about how you win the first 50% of the market, but how you conquer the second 50%. First, you have to have a platform. Second, you have to drive adoption of the first 50% of the market by seeding the market with the most popular content (or applications). But in the end, the reason users stay locked in is directly proportional to their access to content (and applications) in the tail. As I’ll hopefully show, real runaway leaders do everything they can to drive the creation of content (applications) in the tail. With much respect for both Brian and Chris’ work, I’ll call this economic string theory of sorts “The Increasing Tail”.

He also uses the theory to explain the rise of Microsoft and the current threat to them from the likes of Oracle, SAP and

It started me thinking on the future position of Indian IT Services providers, in the economic sense. The “
Law of Diminishing Returns” applies to Services, and each additional variable input unit (Human Resource, in this case) will produce less output. Also, a high investment will be needed periodically to scale the support infrastructure to keep up with the growth in numbers. As companies grow big, they become cumbersome, and addition of each resource brings in less advantage. IMHO, in the near future the focus will shift from number of resources to productivity. Right now, systems and processes are lax and the bench is large. It will progressively shrink, recruitments will be fine-tuned, and structured ways of working will emerge.

As the focus shifts, it will create lots of opportunities for people with the right skill-sets and attitudes. Start cultivating “can do” if you want to exploit these opportunities.

On Funnels

Seth Godin writes on the Google Funnel:

You can write copy (for AdWords) that gets lots of clicks, or more specific copy that gets fewer, but better clicks. Traditional marketers believed that attention was free, and the more the merrier. But Google charges by the click, so new marketers realize that they are willing to pay extra for folks a bit farther down the funnel.

Once you see the funnel, it's easy to understand how valuable your existing customers are, and easy to think about how you want to spend time and money in promoting and building your site. Most marketers are running a flat campaign. Embracing the funnel changes the way you treat people. And treating different people differently is what consumers demand.

Just another way Google is changing business thinking.