Nivio and Me @ the Imperial Entrepreneurs

I was recently asked by Nicolo Corsini to come and present about raising money – I just wanted to include some of the slides for you all to read.

Let me know if any questions.

You can grab the file from my public share on http://sachmans.live.nivio.com -goto public share and its the only file in there 🙂

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Davos – Final Sum up – Amongst Legends…

As opposed to writing out each of the individual days  – (yes I have to apologise for being so slow but unfortunately I have a day job (to run Nivio!))

My final post is really about Davos and the people I met – simply put it was surreal to be there and speaking to the people I did.

I also wanted to go over some of the “Private Events” – these are events run by the forum for specific groups of people – the ones that I found myself attending

– Governors Lunch on Technology, Media and Telecoms –

This was the powerhouse lunch with everyone from Sunil Bharti Mittal (someone I look up to as the father of Indian telecoms) to Michael Dell and Craig Barrett (Intel). Other than a swanky lunch the most important points here was the candid conversation that took place about how the future of the three, once considered separate, industries are now all in the balance with each other. I had the opportunity to speak (thanks to Maria Baritoromo) and I can tell you it was probably the most nervous 30 seconds I have had to face in a while!

The general takeaways for me:

– The freemium model is destroying the old ways of doing business – the internet is a medium that is promoting change in models where the customers don’t value the underlying asset that is being sold (movies, videos etc) because they believe there is no marginal cost to the publishing houses.

– The consensus was that even software also now suffers this piece – especially in the line of opensource software.

– That whilst everyone was trying to embrace convergence people forget that by convering the three pieces you were also inheriting the problems associated with each which includes piracy and freemium services.

– Everyone needed to work together and learn how to share the pie – todays the telecom’s companies are complaining that they are unable to monetise their networks and believe they should make revenue on the underlying data / content being sent. I think this is fair but from my experience at Nivio – telecom’s operators rarely share!

– Global Education Initiative Sessions

This was a very important session for me personally as it was all about the ways in which companies could facilitate education in a public-private partnership. Speakers included the chairman of Cisco and Craig Barret from Intel.

– Lunch on Penetration of ICT in the Emerging Markets

A very interesting lunch – thanks to Vikram Akula for inviting me – the entire session was around how technology is being deployed in ICT for education and the use cases. I met some very interesting people including the COO of Infosys (Shibu) and the Minister of technology for Egypt.

– Party for the Young Global Leaders, Technology Pioneers and Social Entrepreneurs

This was another power event where I had the good fortune to meet, with a glass of champagne, Richard Branson (who was everything I expected and more – an absolutely unbelievable person – what presence), Stelios (Mr Easy Everything), Larry (google) and Richard Stromback (Stromback Ventures) – met a lot more but this post would be very long if I named all!

Finally the other people who gave us time and simply blew our minds

– Paul Jacobs from Qualcomm – simply put one of the most down to earth individuals I have ever met. Very smart and someone I got to hang out with a lot.

– Bill Amerlio and Cuong Do from Lenovo – again two people who really just surprised us by giving us their time and also with their incredible insight.

– President Kangama from Rwanda – we hope to be seeing him very soon as he has invited us to Rwanda to explore setting up there.

– Chairman Wang from ChinaMobile – again another person with great insight.

– Reuben September from Telkom SA – a person with great vision and again we hope to work with him

– Anand Singh from South Africa – a movie director and a great visionary – we hope to work with him soon!

Right I think that’s all – I am speaking at the World Economic Forum in Brazil in April and I hope to be a lot more attentive towards blogging daily!

Do email me if you need any more information.

Day 2 – World Eco Forum – Davos – Little boy in a BIG toystore

So I have to admit – I have been terribly lazy in writing up the davos experience – I guess the main reason was that during the event you barely had anytime to breathe and after the event you needed to rest for a week and then spent the rest of the time trying to catch up on the emails and work that you had missed.

Many people asked me the usual question – “Sachin, how was Davos?” and my reply was always “I felt like a 5yr old in a toy store” – and honestly speaking the sensation wasn’t far from the truth. I don’t recall a moment (not even sleep) when the adrenalin levels and excitement was anything less than peak most of the time.

After Day 1 we began to start organising ourselves a little better – realising that we needed to wear snow boots when walking to any part of the outside world else we would be getting a free sleding lessons with our rear-end being the sledge (yes I am speaking from experience).

Moving on to experience that is Davos; it was unbelievable the people you met and the way they interacted with you – I was simply blown away by the humility and the nature of the conversation. And the funny thing is it started day one – minute one.

One the first official day of the summit – I met a very interesting gentleman from Bloomberg – in a bid to try and start a conversation I brought out my new nivio gadget (as you can see below) and this broadcasts a screen – there was so much excitement between this and a few other pieces (that I am legally bound to be SHH about) that we spoke for 2 hrs and I handed out the oh – so – cool nivio wristbands (do you have one yet???!) – anyhow turns Craig Copetas knew some of our board but was so excited by what we did that he took photos (we were flattered!) and we ended up having a small group of folks watching our demo! (Thanks Craig)

the secret nivio device....

the secret nivio device....

Moving on we then went to the Opening Reception – in typical Davos style it was fully of the “creme de la creme” of business and media personalities – we decided our best method of attack was to park ourselves on a round table near the entrance and just pull out all the stops by putting out all our funky looking gadgets with a hope that people would come speak to us – and it worked!!! (Definate trick to be remembered next year) – so much so we had the pleasure of meeting Anne Seith (Editor of Spiegel!) who wrote a very very cool piece about us! [http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/0,1518,604168,00.html]

At the reception we met a lot of people incuding Anand Mahindran (a legend in Indian Industry) but the person that left the most impressive impression and later became a good friend was Yves Behar (fuseproject.com – the brains behind the design of Slingbox, OLPC [one laptop per child] and jaw bone].  I owe a thank you to Kal Patel from bestbuy for the introduction (we were hunting Kal down since 3 weeks before the summit- he is after all one of the most powerful people in retail america!) – and another equally interest meet was Paola Antonelli from the Museum of Modern Art in New York – the first day really summed up the Davos Experience – rich in people, diversity in genre and humilty in absolute nature.

Moving on – we went to what was our (and about 32 other ppl’s) night! The Technology Pioneers 2009 Awards Dinner (picture attached!) – we ended up travelling with Yves and Kal (like you do!!). The dinner was unbelievable – at our table was Mitchel Baker (Chairperson / CEO of Mozilla Firefox), Bruce Golden (Partner Accel) and Chris Gilbert of Ubquisys – it was just an unbelievable audience. We also met Robert Scobble (who did a little piece on us!) – incase you don’t know Robert he is the most awesome blogger (and does some stuff for techcrunch)

SD and Andre Schneider of WEF

SD and Andre Schneider of WEF

So after this -we ended up at Yossi Vardi’s nightcap – (the brains behind ICQ) – Yossi was awesome – what an energetic guy and the nightcap was unbelievable. Nightcaps are the times when you end up having to party (oh what work!) till the early hours of the morning – more on the nightcaps soon to come in future posts.

Long second day – was time for bed!

13 days to go…World Economic Forum 2009

So it’s been an interesting ride so far – in the run up to the World Economic Fourm (Davos) I was hoping to share with you some of the interesting bits of advice and the comments people have made. I am going to try and post more and more about some of the topics that are up for discussion and see what thoughts people may have – it could be interesting to cover some of them and get the responses for you.

So for those of you new to this – Nivio (my company) has been selected as a technology pioneer by the World Economic Forum – a really flattering notion when you think of the other giants who have been recipients in the past (google corel etc). It’s given to companies who they believe are visionary and have the ability to make a global impact – we definately hope that we live up to this expectation!

Over the last couple of months – ever since the news became public – we have had a ton of media coverage and its been interesting to get some of the feedback people have had about the forum and its potential. Some of our “buddies” have given us some great advice – a lot of it really boils down to

  • – meet as many people as you can
  • – get involved and speak up
  • – don’t miss an opportunity to showcase what you are doing
  • – really make sure you sleep before you go !!!

I guess this is interesting – in 5 days you have to meet and mingle with almost 5000 delegates from Bill Gates to the Chinese Premier to the guy that invented ICQ (do you remember the ever so cool instant messenger) – its a bit of a daunting experience and I just know that its the most planned thing we have ever done even more than our beta launch!!

The resonating theme for this year’s summit seems to be the economic slowdown and how it is impacting the world at large; what will 2009 look like and what will be the factors that come into play on a large and small scale..

Personally I think this will be an interesting summit; I had a chat with an interesting Journalist from the BBC today (Peter Day) and he seemed to think that its interesting that they are inviting young guys like Nivio to the summit to mingle and possible bring awareness to how the internet may be a part of the big jigsaw for solving the current status quo… who knows…

more on Davos Later 🙂

nivio – in 60 words

I have often been asked to try and summarise nivio in 60 words; great way to tell you all about the service… so here goes…

“Nivio makes computing as simple & affordable as Cable TV. A secure virtual Windows Desktop running in the Cloud, accessible through internet connected devices & computers.

Nivio can be bundled with a device for the 5bn people without a computer, or used through internet cafés. It promotes freedom; liberating the users from current frustrations of data loss, obsolescence, viruses and accessibility.”

I would love to get your feedback (admittedly we are still bug fixing!) – http://www.nivio.com