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:

How a flu invades your body!

Check out the attached video. Its an very interesting visual representation of how a virus enters our body and spreads. All the stuff shown in the video happens in a split second!

Morgan Stanley Economy & Internet Trends

Here's an excellent presentation from Morgan Stanley on economy and internet trends. One of the key trends predicted here is on mobile internet. Iphone has dramatically revolutionized mobile internet. You can see the steep increase in mobile internet adoption, usage and bandwidth consumption since the launch of Iphone. Going forward mobile is going to drive internet penetration into developing countries and the day is not far when mobile internet usage will be higher than desktop/laptop users..

Morgan Stanley Economy Internet Trends

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