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Category: culture

BCB3 Notes

BCB 3 had a great start yesterday, the mobile section seemed to be the most popular and was extremely crowded almost all through the day.  My favourite discussion of the day was not in the mobile room but rather it was the one led by Savita. It was heated debate on why/what India needs to take a leap from products to services. Passionate plea and arguments from the participants made the room extremely charged up.

Savita

did great job of leading the discussion. Other participants in the discussion

The thoughts and conclusion from the discussion captured below.

Whoa ! Camera Phones will be larger than internet in few months

Was groing through post from forumoxford in my mailbox and a post by Tomi Ahonen caught my eye as it was about camera phones :). Following that I checked up his blog and the title of his latest post really shook me and I am sure it would have shook many others as well.

Near future headline: More cameraphones than internet users in the world

My personal obsession & fascination with camera phones has been since many years now and I have had gushed a healthy dose about the potential of camera phone both offline and online. Many who hear my rant have been impressed, inspired and also given it a serious look and some of my friends got troubled so much by it that they have banned me talking about camera phones in their presence 🙂 Given that this post from Tomi made me literally jump up & down essentially because Tomi pinned numbers supporting the general consensus that camera phones will become huge. He also has made made some very interesting comparsions.

  • There are already 1.02 billion camera phones in the world today.
  • Given last year growth rate of camera phone & internet there will be more camera phone users than the number of internet users by late Spring 2007.
  • Nokia alone sold more than 140 million were camera phones last year (not referred in this post but in one of his previous writings here)
  • Camera phones are not toys anymore but rather devices of serious use.

I really am spinning now ! Got to go have a lot of work to do and a lot more things to think about the camera phone.

Barcamps in India are Seed for a Valley Culture

Barcamps across the world have the common spirit of openness & inclusiveness nature but I think there are different reasons of why they get embraced in different cities in the world.

In US when barcamp was started first (in Palo Alto by Chris & others) it was to fight the exclusive, non – open, discrimination against the nerds & geeks. It was to rebel against the detioration of a nerd embracing culture.

I think that in India the reason it got embraced was different, it offered a means to the nerds/geeks to help seed/create a valley kind of culture. (Startup Culture).

While I was at Barcamp Bangalore Amit had made an observation.”Most of the barcamps (Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore) that I attended so far are all populated with tech startup guys, though it is slightly different for Bangalore where there are more techies from big companies” .It is true for Barcamp Mumbai & Pune as well. Also if you look at the folks who have taken initiative in getting a barcamp organized in India they are invariably folks who have either started/starting their own startups or working for startups.

I don’t know if Paul Graham had heard about Barcamps when he wrote his article on how to be a silicon valley? If not he should certainly make a note of it and make sure that he attends one of them (if possible one in India) because barcamps in India are bringing in a lot of nerds together in contact with each other which had never happened before in this kind of way.

So If barcamps are the seeds then for a silicon valley what are the other needs. Yesterday while we were at the barcamp planning meet we came up with this thought of having a huge discussion in barcamp hyderabad2 on how Hyderabad can be a Silicon Valley. This would be a discussion that could encompass anything and everything related to creation/hindrance of a startups in India – the general culture, a vibrant city, inflection, risk capital society tolerant to failure, rich people, angels, vc’s, comp science universities, market, business schools, semi-conductor industries, liberalization, taxes , government, domestic, export regulatins, law and order situation, attitude towards career, schooling, parental pressure etc etc.

Barcamps will bring together nerds by default who are one of the key stake-holder of this entire eco-system. But for a meaningful discussion this needs the inputs of other key stake holders also viz academia, industry, VC’s, government etc. Somehow hoping that this message could be reached across a large number of such other interested parties and can participate in this dialogue. Could you help spread the word to all you know who would be interested in this great and interesting discussion at barcamp hyderabad2.

Is India ready for Media 2.0 ?

          I had been chewing this thought for a few weeks now in my head, there is so much discussion about the rise of the new media all over the developed parts of the world but is this new baby been given birth to in India.

          A question that is been nagging me since long is that are these talked abou changes relevant to India. I have been trying to find data or pointers which could be supporting evidence to this.  By the way what do people mean when they say 2.0 ?  How much of any of web 2.0 , media 2.0, publishing 2.0 etc is applicable to India.? Before I delve into India and Media 2.0 let me explain a little about what is meant by media 2.0. 

Loosely this term refers to an economic change (I like the word inflection :)) affecting how media is being produced & consumed. These is brought out by changes in technology of how people produce and consume media and also how preferences of consumers are changed.

 
           Let me explain a little bit further there was not a time too far ago when our only way of consuming media was through channels which were TV/Radio/Theatres etc. In this world the most powerful person in the media value chain was the one who controlled the distribution as that was the most expensive (exhorbitant license fees, huge setup costs etc) asset. It turned out that in such a dynamics that those who market the best could get the best returns. So in this world there was clamour for amassing the best marketing armor.  Also in this dynamic it became evident that irrespective of how good media content is produced, if you had big marketing muscle power you could get away with highest returns. Also producing good media  was naturally expensive and risky ( there are so many big production budgets which have bombed). This more or less explains why some of the current big media players are so big  what triggers the reasons for the M&A happening in this space.

      What is happening  now is due to change in technologies distribution & production dynamics are changing in a big way.  Players in the market who find that they are better off doing more marketing than making better films they do not have incentive to do good production. This leaves a bad taste with the consumers on this and drives them away from the mass media (shift in consumer preferences)

       What this causes is a drop in the equilibirium price of media industry because of the change in supply & demand. ( To be a little bit more technical  , supply & demand curve are both pushed outwards leading to drop in equilibirium price).  Now this is happening in the developed world and there is a lot of data supporting the above arguments. What I am trying to do is to gather data for India on which I could do this analysis. (Does anyone have any pointer, it would greatly appreciatd). I saw this but it was of not much help

     On the contrary what I find is that there is data supporting that the Indian media industry is still deep rooted in Media 1.0 world. Not single media company has got even a  whiff of media 2.0. Still the most of these companies are buying TV , Billboard media space, rights from Barbie/Chitrakatha/Dhoni blah blah and are happily singing the ‘content is the king’ tune.

      Thus while Murdoch buys Myspace and BBC opens up its content for people to do anything that they want mauj buys righs from sachin ( & interestingly sequoia funds it too ).   This is what has been puzzling me for a while now, are these changes(economic) to happen slowly to India or is it that it is already hit us with its force and it is that we (industry) are not reacting/adapting to the changes. 

       In all this what I find very hard to believe is that no one seems to be even remotely talking about it (even in the blogosphere -? ).  Even desipundit.com does not impress me here, which I think is a fairly good Indian media 2.0 example.

        In the rest of the world there is fair share of visionaries, smart bunch of people who recognize this changes and pushing the boundary of think in the 2.0 space notably Stowe boyd, John Hagel, Clay Shirky, Scott Karp, Umair Haque, Jeff Jarvis.  Where are the Indian counterparts ?

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