Videographic: Asia's growing economic power

Checkout this interesting video from Economist about Asia's growing economic power and clout. Asia is regaining the economic dominance it enjoyed a millennium ago - but it still has some way to go

Check out my earlier blog about global power transfer from west to east. This video reinforces the same message.

Key stats on state of Internet

Here's an interesting video on consolidated stats of internet usage!

JESS3 / The State of The Internet from Jesse Thomas on Vimeo.

Crystal Ball - Global power transfer from West to East

For those who have not read my earlier post in this series check out 'Crystal Ball - Looking back at the first decade of this Millennium'.

One of the key mega trends that got started last decade is the global power transfer from West to East. This is a gradual and long drawn process expected to last though a good part of this century. It will play a key role in shaping the political and economic equations across the world in this century. This is a common phenomenon that has occurred several times over the course of history. Pre-industrial age India and China were the economic super powers and contributed a good chunk of world GDP. They attracted traders and merchants from far and wide. Sometime during the 17th Century the global power center got shifted from Asia to UK & Western Europe due to the advent of industrial age, colonization and increased trade with their global colonies. Towards the second half of 18th century America started developing rapidly and took over the mantle of global super power around middle of 19th century right after world war II. 

America has been at the top of the world for the last 6+ decades. At the beginning of the last decade (Year 2000) America was the unquestionable super power. However during the decade the tide has started to shift and some of the major developments in the last decade - dot com crash, 911, Iraq/Afghan wars and lastly 2009 economic downturn etc have weakened America and is threatening its standing as a super power.While America was fighting some of these battles, China and India grew rapidly and have established themselves as global manufacturing & Knowledge Services hubs. Both these countries are currently on a multi-decade steep growth curve(>8%) and are starting to become global economic power houses. They have ramped up their military capabilities, are nuclear capable and currently locked in a space race similar to US/USSR in the 50's and 60's. The global stature of both the countries has increased over the past decade and China more specifically has started to assert itself in the global politics. China economy is expected to become the largest economy in the world by 2035 and India is expected to overtake US to become second largest economy by the middle of this century.

This global power shift is inevitable. While America may reinvent itself through innovation it can only delay the process. In any case I expect this power transfer to complete by the middle to later half of this century. I'm not suggesting that America is going to decline. America has been and will be a great country however India and China due to the sheer size of their population & the resultant human capital will grow past America. In the knowledge age global power is directly proportional to the economic power of a country. Unfortunately for America it is faced with multiple fires at this crucial time - Fixing unsustainable lifestyles and reducing its ecological footprint, Unstable financial systems, Reducing working age population coupled with increasing dependents, burgeoning debt(Expected to cross $20T by 2020), Imminent Social security & Healthcare crisis etc. How well America succeeds in fixing some of these critical issues and re-invents itself is going to determine when the power transfer would occur and how smooth it would be. 

One of the key lessons from history is that these power shifts are typically accompanied by conflicts & tensions. Given the global warming, shortage of resources etc that are expected to impact human race in this century I expect this process to be rough. I hope west will recognize this imminent power shift and make this a smoother process. Anyways in time we will know the answer as we experience this power transfer in our lifetimes.

I look forward to your comments and views on the above post. Thank you!

Crystal Ball - Looking back at the first decade of this Millenium

Few weeks back we ended the first decade of this Millennium. I wanted to take some time to reflect on the last decade and look at some of the macro trends that shaped the world. This post has been pending for more than a month now, I finally managed to take some time off to pen my thoughts.

Last decade was a fast paced, action packed one that brought about fundamental changes in the way the world operates, transformed global power equations and created ripples across the entire spectrum(Individuals, corporations, industries, countries etc) on a global scale. I feel that last decade was one of the defining moments of history. Some of the macro trends that started in last decade will continue for a good portion of this century and will shape the direction the world and the human race is headed in this century.

Without much ado here are some of the key trends that shaped the last decade. This is not a comprehensive list. I've tried to generalize and look at a very high level across multiple dimensions.

  • Global power transfer from West to East
  • Sustainability/Go Green gathers momentum
  • Terrorism takes the center stage
  • Internet goes mainstream
  • World goes Mobile
  • Virtual is the new normal
  • The field of Medicine is at the cusp of transformation

This the first of a series of crystal ball posts. Over the next few weeks I plan to dive into each of the above topics at length and discuss my thoughts/views in separate posts.

Pls share your thoughts on the above and feel free to suggest any macro trends that i might have missed out. I look forward to your comments.

Stanford Technology Ventures: Classroom experiments in Entrepreneurship

Check out this brilliant video! Excellent example of out of the box thinking. The winning team's solution is truly genius!!

If you had five dollars and two hours, what would you do to make as much money as possible? In this clip, STVP Executive Director Tina Seelig recalls a classroom exercise in creative thinking and entrepreneurship that posed this quandry to student teams. The results were manifold and varied, often taking advantage of locally needed services, niche markets, and valuable time. These in-class experiments contain many valuable lessons on creative thinking in the start-up realm, including skills, ideas, and innovation as assets that always lend value.

Google Wave: My First Impressions

Google wave has been one of the hottest topics in net for the last few weeks. Earlier this month when Google opened up Wave for demo most people in the tech world were anxious to check out this cool tool. Lucky me - one of my friends @kuppurao sent me an invite few days back and I finally got the glimpse of the much hyped Wave. Overall it's a cool & geeky tool with a lot of great features. However it's too geeky for common man. When I first looked at the Wave I had no clue on how to use it. I rarely go through a manual to learn a product, I mostly play around and learn the tool. This is one of the very few tools and in fact the first Google product where i had to go through help files, demo videos etc to use this!!! After around 2-3 days(7-8hrs of hands on time) of playing around/learning I am finally beginning to understand Wave and appreciate it.

Here's are some of the things I learnt from using Wave:
  • Each Wave is equivalent of an email. Only difference, it's dynamic and real-time where multiple people can collaborate with each other(Its a marriage between IM and Mail with few productivity apps thrown in the mix).
  • Similar to emails each conversation will be a separate Wave thread. You can tag the Waves(similar to tagging in Gmail) and organize them into directories for easy reference.
  • In traditional email you only include people or distributions lists in the recipient list. In Wave you can include Bots(robots used for automation) as well in the recipient list. Its essentially an automated program added as participant in Wave. Example of bots: if you enter any address it will automatically show it on a map, enter stock ticker and it will fetch stock price and display etc. Btw any bots that you are using will have to be part of your contact list. You need to first add them to contact list and then include it as wave user for using it.
  • You can embed/include gadgets into the Wave. Example: Video conference, White board, Maps, Polls etc. All the people in the Wave can utilize and collaborate with these gadgets.You need to install the gadgets in Wave first before using it. 
  • You can only communicate with other people that have Google Wave account. If you have only few friends in your contact list you will not be able to use it effectively. As you get more and more of your friends/colleagues in Wave and start using this as a replacement for email and IM, you will start realizing the true power & benefits of Wave. This is very similar to Telephone -  When it was invented and only few people had access it wasn't of much use. When world wide connections were established and millions of users were added it enabled real-time communication and its power was unleashed. It led to exponential increase in productivity.

Here are my thoughts on Wave:

  • This tool is few years ahead of its time. I expect it to take around 3-5yrs before this becomes mainstream.
  • From an end user perspective this is one of the most complex Google products i have seen to date. Still trying to come to grips with the fact that i had to learn to use a Google product!! Google has to simplify this and make it more easy for common man to understand in order to get them to use it.
  • This would be a great tool in an enterprise where teams can use this to collaborate amongst themselves (Ex: Creation a document/proposal, Working on presentations, brainstorming ideas etc.). I expect adoption to be led by enterprises than consumers.
  • Google needs to include a standard set of bots, gadgets etc that can be used from get go. In addition to this they should have an  app directory/store (Similar to Apple. I heard its coming down the line) where users can browse and install whatever apps/bots they need.
  • Google needs to automatically identify your friends/connections thru social networks and suggest to add them to your contact list. It should focus on getting more people into your contact list without much effort from you.
  • Adoption of Google wave is going to be gradual until it reaches a certain threshold(no of active users) when  it will take off and you will see massive adoption. Also lot of the features in Wave will be replicated in competitor products and as people become more familiar with them the usage will grow rapidly.

Overall to sum up while I was initially not very impressed with Wave, once I got hang of it I am beginning to appreciate it. I am impressed and awed with the foresight and vision of its creators to have thought out and developed such a complex product. This is a disruptive innovation from Google that will eventually kill our email system in its current form. Google has once again proved that its one of the very few companies in the world that has made creation of disruptive technologies/products a habit!

 If any of you are on Wave pls include me in your contact list and you can start using this as a mode of communication with me. I hope to use it actively. My Wave ID is Shogun1947. Pls share your thoughts and experiences with Google Wave. I would love to hear them!

Here are some useful links if you are trying to learn/use Wave:

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