World Economic forum – Tech Pioneers Rule!

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Unbelievably people with a great leader – Gordon Brown

This September the World Economic Forum did its usual Summer Davos – the Annual Meeting of New Champions – seems rather grand especially as the Chinese Government and the City of Tianjin do a great job and a grand one at that (more pics to follow). Not written an update to my own blog in ages but somebody told me that these distinct dribbles would be of interest to some of you.

The great Tech Pioneers Community

The unsung hero’s as such (sung in some cases) – this is a very special community within the forum that are always pushing the edge and questioning the status quo. They are innovators and movers & shakers – founders, social, world changing – you name it someone is on it.

This year I was the “Alum” – short for older guy (and given I’m 29 thats a stretch) – the previous community has included Google, Slingbox, Dropbox, Facebook & Corel — and nivio!

This year was a really fun bunch (thanks in part to  Kevin (lookout), David (soundcloud), David and David and Raghu) – but hats of to the organising team including Silvia and Tessema who put together the best program till date including a special fireside chat with PM Gordon Brown.

Interesting Topics

– The discovery of the Higgs Boson Particle (yes I was like an excited 5 year old) when they did the presentation on this – but at last – 50years on they discovered it.

– The future of IT – included quantum computing, Linus from Linux Foundation and Kris from Infosys and finally the minister of IT from columbia

– Our chat with the PM – mindblowing conversation

– Regulating Private Data – can’t talk too much as its secret but it was so refreshing to see how the forum brings together many stakeholders to drive an agenda.

– Partnerships and Culture – I sat in the culture group within companies and had a heart to heart – deep and meaningful with Kal Patel (ex Bestbuy), Doreen from Frog and some of my new startup friends from TruCar, Lookout and Soundcloud.

The night life

– We have to admit that this year – the community was a lot more social and together. We had guys who had moved from Boston to Pune and Mumbai who were now in china (infact one idea on refrigerating milk using batteries not diesel generators in India was fascinating)

– We all met with the Young Global Leaders at the Astor hotel almost everynight – talked work, politics and ideas – mindblowing and refreshing but also super tiring.

power of the few- rules in the cloud

We were asked by the Government of India to write about what we think about regulation in the cloud – as we feel so strongly I thought it would be important to share it with all of you.

Final Paper – Regulatory Framework for Cloud Computing

The “power of few” is quite simply the main reason why governments around the world need to look at this phenomena, new industry and paradigm shift known as the “cloud” with a new set of eyes and a new set of values. It is here, it is changing and it will continue to re-shape economies from yesterday to tomorrow.

The power of the few outlines the change – movement from millions of individual units (computers) that are not necessarily linked nor controlled to the cloud where all of them are grouped and huddled… and controlled by a handful of companies. When a nation’s economic agility is thus controlled by a “few” they have power that needs regulation but one that does not cripple innovation or stifle growth.

Give me a shout on what you think…

World Economic Forum Wrap up

It’s been a hectic 10 days – other than every city being hotter by 10 degrees than the other and the timezones being in a continuous state of flux – what struck me so much this time was the difference and diversity that really exists – in some sense reminding me of the oh-so-ept HSBC adverts where the same thing means something different…

But rather than bore you with my philosophical ranting here is a quick few lines on what the Annual Meeting of New Champions brought up…

1. Cloud Computing is firmly in fashion – I sat in a presentation in the “Beta” zone (catchy as to the world the Cloud is Work In Progress) where I could swear the slides shared by some of the panelists that included Clive Selley from BT were music to our ears (here I refer to nivio).

The forum I think has done a great job in brining this mainstream but feel that there could have been more oomph to it and I think more of the debate-able topics – so everyone with low and high involvement walked out learning something new.

My push to the Head of Sales for Akamai would be whether they would exist in the future if regional datacenters would be the way forward – especially given the internet is more than the USA!

2. A great talk by the Chinese Premier – probably one of the best I heard the snippets of (I missed the closing plenary to get onto a plane back home!). But I believe the optimism of growth, the advice to company’s entering China and the potential concerns for the double dip that “could” occur this year/2011 were probably some of the most vibrant views he talked about – I am not sure if anyone asked about the matter of hacking Google but then I think given we were in tianjin it may not have been a wise move

3. The nightcaps – this for all of you that are new to the forum is where everyone speaks off the record, ties get lose, jackets come off and in Davos it get’s even risque but thats more for another post. Imagine having a jamaican band singing Waka Waka in the middle of an Industrial City in China in a party hosted by one of India’s largest Tech/Process firms (GenPact) – Pramod Bhasin is the CEO and put on a real show!

4. The friends you meet and make – this is the real heart of attending the Forum – the likeminded people you meet again and the new and old friends you find. My buddies this year were a blast – the guys from Scribd – humbling to meet them and infact I think they have a great CTO (I made notes whilst talking to him – now if only we could find ourselves another Jared!

5. The meetings – why at the bottom because I think they are important but not the spirit of the Forum and what / why we are there… we met the heads of BT, Akamai, Wipro, Alcatel Lucent and others… by in all – it was clear that our year was going to be busy as long as ship product on time (which thanks to my dedicated and unbelievably resourceful team this may be our first on time ship!)

That’s about all…

More soon… I am trying to be regular!


What does a CEO do and tianjin?!

Whilst thinking about planning my packing to the lovely city of Tianjin for this years World Economic Forum Summer Davos session I got an email from my little cousin with a link that actually one of our board had also sent me some days back.

So without repeating what I read – I wanted to link to the article as I think it is very insightful… http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2010/09/what-a-ceo-does-continued.html

The important here is to note a few really important elements in the CEO hat:

1. In the beginning the CEO does everything – sweep the floor to decide billion dollar vision.

2. At a certain points he/she build a team and starts to flow the creative juices – he/she is in the team.

3. At a certain point, arguable, he or she is partly in the team and partly out of it… in some cases the bond with the COO grows but distinctly the job at the top becomes lonely.

4. They have to usher brilliance and encourage people to take chances yet shepherd the company to steer properly; this is sometimes contradictory.

5. They have to be able to live and breathe uncertainty externally and yet breathe calm/peace when they look into the eyes of those in their company…

6. They need to excite, inspire and push forward… and ideally create a chain reaction so everyone else does.

7. They need to focus on long term and short terms – stitching what sometimes look as different chapters from a different book into a single book!

8. They at times need to make unpopular decisions and things that align with the vision.

9. They need to smile a lot and be able to communicate culture, vision but also failure with the same passion and gusto…

10. THEY NEED TO BELIEVE….

More on Tianjin in the next post – am about to leave this coffee shop! Oh the perils of running around in monsoon season in India!

Is hiring obsolete?!

I read this and think it is great… here is a snippet with a link to Paul’s site.

Hiring is Obsolete http://paulgraham.com/hiring.html

May 2005

(This essay is derived from a talk at the Berkeley CSUA.)

The three big powers on the Internet now are Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft. Average age of their founders: 24. So it is pretty well established now that grad students can start successful companies. And if grad students can do it, why not undergrads?

Like everything else in technology, the cost of starting a startup has decreased dramatically. Now it’s so low that it has disappeared into the noise. The main cost of starting a Web-based startup is food and rent. Which means it doesn’t cost much more to start a company than to be a total slacker. You can probably start a startup on ten thousand dollars of seed funding, if you’re prepared to live on ramen.

The less it costs to start a company, the less you need the permission of investors to do it. So a lot of people will be able to start companies now who never could have before.

The most interesting subset may be those in their early twenties. I’m not so excited about founders who have everything investors want except intelligence, or everything except energy. The most promising group to be liberated by the new, lower threshold are those who have everything investors want except experience.

Peter Day! My 30mins with him!

Peter Day – if you do not know – is a the unbelievably charismatic journalist at the BBC with whom I have done a few interviews –

The experience was exhilirating – they did 3 interviews including one at the World Economic Forum in Davos!

Sachin and Peter Day!

 

BBC Site – http://odeo.com/episodes/24348394-GlobalBiz-Sachin-Duggal-Tx-23-March-09