Monday Feb 01, 2010

OpenSolaris in India's Digit

Abhishek Kumar, the leader of the Mumbai OpenSolaris User Group in India, surely gets the star of the month for getting OpenSolaris into Digit, India's largest IT magazine. There will be a 100,000 copies of this special 96 page mini book -- "Fast Track to OpenSolaris" -- on Install, ZFS, DTrace, Source Juicer, etc. Check out the contents of the February magazine shipment. Nice to see OpenSolaris on one of the DVDs. See Abhishek's announcement here. Beautiful cover on that mini book, eh?

Monday Sep 14, 2009

FOSS.IN Bangalore 2009

I see things gearing up for FOSS.IN in Bangalore in December. I went to FOSS.IN two years ago and really enjoyed the entire experience. And I learned a great deal as well. FOSS.IN was one of the best conferences I've been to. Perfect size. Interesting people. Real community feel.

Also note the excellent blog from Atul Chitnis outlining the changes being planned for this year's event. What seems core to the organizers at FOSS.IN is the concept of contribution. It's easy to get distracted and drift from foundational principles when you grow, but it's great to see FOSS.IN getting the basics right. Participation. Contribution. Doing -- not talking.

See a recent Atul video on just these issues.

Thursday Jul 09, 2009

An OpenSolaris Monsoon in India

A little OpenSolaris (at scale) in India. "Indians are celebrating a monsoon with OpenSolaris this month." -- Abhishek Kumar. This booklet on OpenSolaris is going out to a couple of hundred thousand people throughout the country.

Thursday Sep 11, 2008

A Passion for Community

I love this photo/video from India -- Open Source Hut - Video compilation!! Very simple, very creative, very friendly. Inspiring.

Thursday Sep 04, 2008

American Reporters Seeking India?

Journalist seeking paycheck? Try India: "India is a fascinating country where history is being made in many respects so it is a fertile place for good journalism. Hopefully some of the non-Indian journalists will have a better understanding of India when they do go back." -- Raju Narisetti.

Very interesting to see the media market exploding in India. But it's even better to see some of these publications open to foreign reporters coming in and sharing their experience and then going back with a new outlook on the country. I've seen other Indian business people expressing this very same sentiment.

Thursday Jun 12, 2008

Three Cheers to OpenSolaris

Just found this video from Kumar Abhishek showing the guys in India who first tested OpenSolairs Release Candidate 0 a while back. Just great.

Sunday May 11, 2008

Immigration a Key to Innovation

Great article in Newsweek from Fareed Zakaria -- The Rise of the Rest -- about how large chunks of the world are dramatically improving and growing significantly in an era of ever reducing violence. Finally. A positive view of globalization, and one distinctly lacking all the fear about the US falling to second class (or even third class) economic status (which is nothing more than propaganda). The gloom-and-doomers and isolationists in the US are an obviously and obnoxiously vocal minority, and they will miss this positive view because it's actually based on embracing the entire world with that nasty word -- immigration. Zakaria says that "the potential for a new burst of American productivity depends not on our education system or R&D spending, but on our immigration policies. If these people are allowed and encouraged to stay, then innovation will happen here. If they leave, they'll take it with them." 

Tuesday Apr 15, 2008

New BeleniX Released

[osol-announce] Belenix 0.7 is available!: "With 0.7, BeleniX is now a source level derivative of Project Indiana." -- Shiv

Great to see a new BeleniX out there. Many new bits in this announcement, too.

Friday Feb 22, 2008

Belenix Wins FOSS India Award

Great to see Belenix recognized with the FOSS India 2008 Award, which was announced at Open Source India Week recently. Congratulations, guys!

Campus Ambassadors in Japan

It was great to meet the three Campus Ambassadors in Japan yesterday -- Heejoung Park, Takahiro Machino, Hiroya Susuki. I'm going to be getting more involved with various education programs around OpenSolaris in China, India, and Japan. Should be fun. I've been on OpenSolaris for four years, and I've worked on many aspects of the project. But working with students is the most rewarding by far. Looking forward to doing more in this area.

Friday Feb 01, 2008

New OpenSolaris Curriculum in India

[ug-bosug] Introductory OpenSolaris Curriculum: Here is an OpenSolaris student curriculum just emerging from training sessions in India a few weeks ago. What's cool is that although the material is specifically written and compiled for Indian students, there is actually a connection to documentation written by professors in China. 

Sun Growing in Asia

Sun Micro's Asia brightens amid U.S. gloom: Sun is growing -- and hiring -- in rapidly expanding markets in Asia.

Monday Jan 14, 2008

A Closed Network

Decline in Japanese students abroad cause for concern -- "As the number of Japanese students in the United States decreases, the number of Chinese, South Korean and Indian students is surging." -- Kyodo News

This article articulates a trend that can only lead to one result: the further isolation of a closed network.

Sunday Jan 13, 2008

China and India Pressing Japan

Losing an Edge, Japanese Envy India’s Schools -- "While China has stirred more concern here as a political and economic challenger, India has emerged as the country to beat in a more benign rivalry over education. In part, this reflects China’s image in Japan as a cheap manufacturer and technological imitator. But India’s success in software development, Internet businesses and knowledge-intensive industries in which Japan has failed to make inroads has set off more than a tinge of envy." -- New York Times

Very interesting article about many Japanese coming to grips with the reality that China and India are moving much, much faster, and leaving Japan behind. To compete in the future -- a global future -- Japanese education will have to change rather significantly. This piece focuses on Indian education techniques in Japan. English, computers, math, and science are big parts of it, too. Japan is absolutely a country that loves fads. But I hope this is not a fad. The more diversity and global awareness here the better.

Dark Suits

The $2,500 Car: "They scoffed when Indian industrialist Ratan Tata announced his plan to build a car that would cost 100,000 rupees--about $2,500 at today's exchange rate. Auto executives--the ones who spend more than that for each of their dark suits--called him crazy." -- Robyn Meredith, Forbes Magazine.

Saturday Jan 12, 2008

New Car in India

Could India`s new car represent a disruptive innovation? Tata Nano - world's cheapest new car is unveiled in India. Cheap. Good mileage. Introduced into an utterly gigantic market hungry to industrialize. Can foreign car companies match this? But I wonder if the world has enough oil for every person in India (and China, for that matter) to own a car. The west is probably not a very good example of resource allocation in this instance. The west is also probably not in a very good position to preach about this, too.

Monday Jan 07, 2008

Japan and Friedman`s Globalization 3.0

After thinking more about this conversation on globalization, I re-read Tom Friedman`s The World is Flat over the winter break. The book is out in paperback, of course, and Friedman calls this updated and expanded version "3.0" in the introduction. It`s about 650 pages, but it`s a really quick read. Especially the second time around. Friedman tells lots of excellent stories that take you right along on his own personal journey around the world. There is a lot of talk of China and India, of course, but Japan comes up from time to time, too. And that`s what hit me this time around. Japan.

Some brief background first. Friedman breaks down the history of globalization into to three gigantic meta categories -- countries, companies, and individuals. Basically, globalization 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0. And we are just now entering 3.0, the era of individual globalization, where everyone who has access to technology (that`s Friedman`s "flat-world platform") has to compete with everyone else in the world who has access to technology. Now, it took 500 years of globalization to get here, but that`s where we find ourselves now. And I think the key point to the book is that globalization 3.0 is very, very different from globalization 1.0 and 2.0 because 3.0 is based on, in part, the individual. That`s where Japan comes on.

Although Japan comes up from time to time while Friedman discusses globalization 2.0, I could find very few (if any, actually) references to Japan and globalization 3.0. Friedman goes to great lengths to talk about how individuals can compete in the new flat world, but that discussion seemed to be focused primarily on the United States and Western Europe and the emerging markets in Eastern Europe, India, and China. That`s when it hit me that Japan seems vulnerable under Friedman`s theory since Japan is not based on the concept of the "individual" at all and it`s certainly not an emerging market. It`s all about "groups" here, and individuality is somewhat rare among the average Japanese -- certainly among the millions of workers that make up corporate Japan in and around Tokyo. I didn`t think about this when I read the book the first time since I hadn`t lived in Japan yet. It`s obvious now, though.

So, can Japan, which is famous for its vertically integrated corporations (the exact opposite from Friedman`s open and horizontally flat world), compete in globalization 3.0? How would "groups" of people even recognize this as a problem? And how would these groups of people transform Japan`s various corporate global supply chains into an economy that recognizes individual global competition? This is not as great a problem for the west since most western cultures are based much more on the concept of individuality -- especially the United States. Friedman hints at this cultural issue when he quotes various Chinese leaders who recognize this very problem in China. China (and Korea, for that matter) shares with Japan some of these East Asian characteristics of groups. But China seems to be changing specifically to compete on all levels -- country, company, and individual. That third part is most fascinating here in East Asia. Will China pull it off? Will Japan recognize the issue and engage down at that level?

Some Friedman flat world videos here at MIT and here on Charlie Rose and here at the NYT.

Friday Dec 28, 2007

India and OpenSolaris Request Sponsor

Have you noticed the increase in activity on the request-sponsor list (forum here, list archives here) lately? Have you also noticed the distinct lack of flames on that list and the clear professionalism? And have you noticed all the names from India recently as well? University Campus Ambassadors are starting to contribute. The India OpenSolaris community is getting involved. Some of them multiple times, too. The Sun India engineering team is actively involved, of course, and they are building a developer community based on contributing in a variety of ways -- including code. When I was at FOSS.IN, I had the chance to see the India OpenSolaris community pounding away on OpenSolaris bugs for hours and hours. I guess it's continuing. Very cool. I have no doubt whatsoever that India will be a top contributing country to OpenSolaris.

Code contributors here. oss-bite-size bugs here. Get involved here. All of my FOSS.IN stuff here.

Stiglitz and Friedman on Globalization

Here's an interesting conversation between Thomas Friedman, Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times, and Joseph E. Stiglitz, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics, discussing globalization -- Transcript: A TimesSelect/TimesTalks Event on Globalization. It's from April of 2006, but it hardly feels dated at all. The entire word is discussed, of course, and it's fascinating. But I think India and China probably grab the lion's share of air time.

At one point in the conversation, Friedman talks about getting three things right -- education, infrastructure, governance -- in the context of how some countries are modernization and globalizing more effectively than others. From Friedman:

"China and India, China in particular, actually increased the pace of its reform in a lot of those areas. So Mexico went from being right on our border to a thousand miles away, and China went from being thousands of miles away in some ways to right on our border. But -- And I’ll just finish this one point because this is important. People have to make choices. Governments have to make choices. Priorities. Look at India. Today they’re about, I think, 70,000-80,000 Indian foreign students in the United States. There are roughly a similar amount from China. I think there are about 10,000 from Mexico. Those are also choices societies are making in terms of how to get educated, what language to learn and how to become a competitor and a collaborator on this platform. So you have to -- Development is a choice. It’s not some inevitable thing. You have to choose to bring your infrastructure, your education and your governance to the level where you can access this whole new technology platform."

They are obviously talking about why Mexico has not fully realized the benefits articulated by proponents of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). And although that issue is certainly complex, what shoots out at me is actually a country not mentioned in this 15,000 word conversation: Japan. Why is Japan not mentioned in the context of globalization? I think it has a lot to do with the quote I cite from Friedman: choices. Both government and individual. Now, many would argue that what India and China are experiencing is simply the result of their economies rapidly growing due to modernization and that Japan is already a mature market. Heck, many at Sun make that argument to me when I bring this up. Sorry. I don't buy it. That's only a small part of the issue. The biggest part is attitude. China and India want to globalize. You can read it in their political rhetorical can you can hear it and see it where you go there. Japan, on the other hand, shows little interest in globalizing compared to some of its biggest neighbors in Asia. Also, the "mature market" bit falls apart when you look at the United States the last two decades. To say that mature markets can't grow and change and continually modernize is just wrong. It's all comes down to attitude. Well, ok, it's more complex that than, of course, but that's where it starts.

Anyway, check out Stiglitz and Friedman. Very interesting stuff. Extremely complex, though. Can you predict where things will go? I can't. It's very cool working at a global company right at the foot of two massively emerging markets, though. There is such huge potential throughout all of the Asia Pacific region. 

Wednesday Dec 19, 2007

Japanese Innovation

Gen Kanai comments on a recent Newsweek piece -- Why Apple Isn't Japanese. Gen's take is certainly interesting and, sadly, pretty tough to argue with.

The article is pretty critical. The bits I found most interesting were the language and culture issues, since I experience those walls every day. They are so much bigger than anyone on the outside realizes, and I think they go a long way to explaining Japan's lack of growth in certain global markets.

The article also states that Japan will have to compete with new sources of innovation in the future: "Over the next century, disruptive innovations won't be coming only from countries like the United States. They'll also be emerging from dynamic, hungry, rising economies that offer plenty of room for risk-taking, flights of fancy and cross-border synthesis." Although these sources are not directly stated, it's clear that the nations are primarily China and India, which are both embracing capitalism and globalization at blindingly fast rates, and both don't seem to struggle with the language and culture issues like Japan does.

Now, I've been told that these observations represent the distinction between emerging markets and mature markets. But I no longer buy it. Too much of that article describes my direct experience, so I no longer accept the excuses. But will Japan eventually react and change? Are the Japanese hungry enough to compete in a global economy? I actually think they will react and compete. And in ways that may surprise many of their critics. That's the cool thing about innovation and market disruptions. They cycle. When you are disrupted, that sets up the perfect circumstance to innovate do some disrupting yourself.


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