Aggressive growth can only be achieved through Inorganic growth

Today I logged in to Google Plus again only to find half of my Indian acquaintances having stopped using Google Plus. I wonder what took them this long. I stopped the very next day I ‘got in’.

 

google_plus

I was more annoyed that my funny, smart twitterers with wicked sense of humor were just pretentious on twitter and all smart and boring on Google Plus. Why? Because Robert Scoble and other have started using Google Plus at their blog and highly interactive commenter.   Anyhow, I guess it got annoying and boring for them as well eventually that they stopped plus-ing (?). Google recently announced that they have crossed 25 million users on Google Plus. That’s quite an achievement on its own. Facebook took 3 whole years to achieve that mark. Although it’s unjust to compare Facebook and Google Plus as Google is widely known brand.

The point is,   none of my Indian acquaintances are active on Google Plus. When Google Plus crossed 20 million users last week, according to comScore, 2.85 million users were from India making India the second largest country to use Google Plus. So is it true that aggressive growth can only be achieved through inorganic growth? Why are my Indian friends finding it difficult to get used to Google Plus?

First, Circles is a new concept and if users do not add the right kind of people in their circle the social network gets extremely boring. I recently came across a site (Recommendedusers.com) that has grouped people in accordance to what they update. People are categorized into Artists and designers, Podcasters, Bloggers, Women in Tech and so on. Once you populate your circles even Google Plus can be fun.

Wi-Fi Ready For 45 Mile Range With Lower Power Consumption

Guys at On-Ramp Wireless have managed to invent a new way to transmit Wi-Fi signals that can now reach a 45 mile range with even lower power consumption.

microNode_x582

Wi-Fi signal starts getting distorted  with increase in distance. After 1/20th of a mile the signal gets so distorted due to the noise that it becomes unusable.     On-Ramp Wireless has invented a transmitter (pictured above) that transmits Wi-Fi signals at the same frequency but in such a way that it is more resistant to noise so it can propagate through the noisy environment over a 45 mile distance.

Besides that, it also manages to consume lesser energy. It does this by facilitating fewer smart grid access points due to the fact that traditional access points don’t transmit nearly as far and so more access points are needed so that more access points are closer to buildings with smart meters. If this manages to make into main stream, we will be able to connect wirelessly   with Wi-Fi enabled devices for 45 mile distance without having to use the Internet.

[source]

Monster.com Adapts Social Networking Site Facebook

Monster.com, online employment hub, is adapting its job search to social networking site Facebook. Monster, will be doing this by launching a Facebook app called BeKnown on Monday.

monster_0

With BeKnown, users can import their data from Facebook profile to the Facebook app and let users manage their professional and personal network from one place. Another professional network that is trying out similar approach is BranchOut and going from my Facebook news stream it’s pretty evident that BranchOut app is pretty popular among young professionals. In fact, BranchOut already has 800,000 users.

How BeKnown is trying to differ from BranchOut is, it’s trying to turn your professional life into a little game. That is, users will get badges like you get in FourSquare once you complete your graduation, get a job, a promotion, etc. I’m pretty sure once you become a CEO, the badge would say “I’m CEO, bitch”.

To think that almost everyone is adapting their business with the social networking site Facebook says something. Earlier this week, Linkedin, an independent professional social network site announced that they now have 10 million users in India and about 100 million users worldwide. We have written an elaborate article on why Linkedin’s huge user base does not make sense in the largely Social world.

Nokia’s Windows Phone – Sea Ray, Leaked On Video

Just about 48 hours ago Nokia unveiled Nokia N9 the first and only Meego powered device to hit the market. Surprisingly, Nokia N9 generated enough positive reviews that Nokia might have felt the heat about their February 11 decision.

Nokia-Windows-Phone-1

Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, showcased a fully baked Nokia Windows Phone handset at a keynote. Elop asked the crowd to put away their camera as he was about to unveil super confidentialhandset codenamed Sea Rayand he did not want the handset to appear on the Blogosphere. Of course, people present at the keynote recorded the entire keynote and guys at technet.hu managed to upload the video on YouTube for us.

The device is identical to Nokia N9 but comes with an additional Hardware button on the sides probably for shutter release. Besides that, the different LED placement also indicates it’s not the same device as the Nokia N9.

Nokia-Windows-Phone-2

The device has no three hardware buttons (Home, Search and Back) only three buttons on the side.

Nokia-Windows-Phone-3

 

Nokia Sea Ray will run on Microsoft’s newly released Windows Phone version Mango. This, of course, is not a leak but Stephen Elop just wanted to push out the news that Nokia is almost ready with their first Windows Phone handset.

Check out the video where Stephen Elop unveils Nokia Sea Ray:

Why 10 Million Linkedin India users doesn’t matter

Today, Linkedin announced that they have crossed 10 million users from India. That’s quite an achievement. According to the latest data available, around 5.3% of population use in Internet in India as of 2009. That is, almost 16% of Internet users in India have a profile on Linkedin.

But is this a milestone that really matters?

Some  interesting statistics on Linkedin users in India:

  • 16105 professionals listed the term social media’ in their profiles
  • 19027 people in Indian listed bollywood’, hollywood’ or film’ in their LinkedIn profile

Speaking from personal experience, I honored Linkedin today for their 10 million achievement in India by logging in to Linkedin after almost six months. A couple of weeks ago, I wanted to hire a few writers for my site but I surprisingly didn’t even think about Linkedin for the search. Instead I just created  a page for requirements and posted it on Facebook and Twitter. The result? I received more than 30 responses from people whom I would hire in a blink of an eye.

But that’s not all. Apart from being almost useless when it comes to finding a right hire, Linkedin is also a spam center for those social media experts. Here’s Alok Kejriwal from Contest2win.com  outing his frustration on Linkedin spam. As I look in to my Linkedin inbox, I find more requests for endorsements from people with whom I have never done any business and messages from people promoting their business as if they were distributing some broucher advertisement.

There’s no denying that 80% of jobs comes through reference. Job listing sites like Monster, Naukri, etc stand little or no chance is the social age yet major companies make use of these job listing sites for hires.

I am yet to come across anyone receiving a job offer via Linkedin or finding a deserving candidate, for that matter. If you have, please share your story in comments section.

In April, Facebook announced that it has about 25 million (now 28.5 million) users in India.  Facebook users in India range from business people and students to public figures and institutions. And applications like  Branchout could turn into a good alternative to Linkedin without requiring me to logging in to a  separate  site for the same. Unless Linkedin really solves any purpose it will just remain a online presence for me.

 

Here’s How Square/Google Wallet Will Put Foursquare Out of Business

Foursquare, a darling startup of everyone, might have raised a lot of money and might have an unusually handsome co-founder. But if you followed Techcrunch disrupt NYC, this year, when Michael Arrington questioned Dennis Crowley about the revenue foursquare is generating, he did not wish to answer.

350x

 

Now at a platform like Techcrunch disrupt, who wouldn’t want to brag? It’s either they are making tons of money or they are making nothing. Nada. In my opinion it’s the later one. Now while the whole checking in funda is cool and was fun while it lasted (I’m already suffering from check-in fatigue), foursquare doesn’t really have a business model except for tying up with businesses for offering returning customers some offers.

But how would Square/Google Wallet take away Foursquare’s business you ask?


Here’s how. Square, a nice nifty startup launched to manage payments is soon gaining a lot of attention mostly because of one of it’s co founder Jack Dorsey. Jack Dorsey was also one of the key member behind Twitter. But that’s not the only reason why Square is getting a lot of attention. It’s because the startup he built is damn useful.
Managing your payments in digitalised format for customers and retailers is something I’ve always dreamt about. Square makes it possible. But that’s not all. Here’s why Square is above Foursquare and will steal the main revenue making possibility from Foursquare. Square can track user spending’s at stores even without them having to check-in. Besides that, Square will also take care that the customer doesn’t just checks-in but also spend money in order to get future loyalty rewards. It’s a win-win situation   for both customers and retailers.

Foursquare, in my opinion would have to start looking at something different to generate revenue or should have exited when chance had arrived.

Google also recently announced their ambitious project – Google Wallet. Google Wallet is an open platform that will allow you to use credit cards, coupons, store loyalty cards, etc without actually swiping each card. Again something similar to Square. Here again Google can do everything what Square can do, that is, collecting data. And considering Google has tons of other products that users can link via their Google profile, Google has an advantage over Square. But nonetheless, it’s going to steal whatever business model Foursquare had in mind if they Google seems serious about expanding   their   Local and Social reach.

Either Foursquare needs to quickly find a new way to generate the revenue or stay stubborn and die the the internet death. It would be sad to see the yet another brilliant startup die a Digg like death where it couldn’t innovate and adapt with the competition.

Kobo to launch Touchscreen E-Ink Reader

Kobo, Toronto based eBook reader manufacturer, has announced that they will be launching a new touch screen E-Ink device.

 

kobo-touch

The device comes with about 6-inch screen and with 16 levels of grayscale color. You can swipe the screen to move to the next page. Besides that the reader can also open   ePub and PDF file formats.

The device will be made available for just $129(US) and $139 (Canada) at Best Buy, Walmart, and Borders starting next month. The first generation Kobo WiFi has been reduced to $99.99 (U.S.) and $109 (Canada).  While Kobo lacks support for 3G users can access   more than 2.3 million books from the Kobo Store via a Wi Fi or USB connection, as well as newspapers and magazines. They can also borrow and read books from local libraries. Kobo also promises that there is a 3G version coming soon.

The Kobo Touch based E-reader will come with support for multiple languages: English, French, German, Spanish and Italian.

MTNL Mumbai Launches UL 3G Data Plan for 750 INR

In an attempt to trigger a price war in the recently adopted 3G technology, MTNL Mumbai has launched Unlimited 3G Data Plan for just INR 750. And it’s a true unlimited plan unlike other operators (looking at Airtel) who in the name of unlimited have a FUP of 20GB.

news_3g

But of course there’s a catch in the MTNL offer. In order to avail the INR 750 plan users need to subscribe for 6 months plan in advance. That is, when you get the INR 4500 package which is valid for six months it dilutes to INR 750 per month. Quite smart. If you do not want to risk subscribing for six months you can try out their two months Unlimited package for INR 2500 which boils down to INR 1250 per month.

MTNL already has a similar plan in Delhi circle and just like in Delhi, MTNL Mumbai also has a 200GB cap which when a user hits, excess charges are waved off. Which means this service is truly Unlimited.

[Telecomtalk]

Why Chromebook Is A Dead Meat, For Now

Google recently announced Chromebook that will be available in market starting June 15. For the uninformed, Chromebook is Google’s ambitious project to get into the desktop OS world. What differentiates it from the other desktop OS is that Chrome OS is a cloud based Operating System.

google-chromebook

While for eons we have used traditional Operating System which supports a Hard Disk as a primary storage location, with Chrome OS Google wants you to store everything on the cloud. We already do that on our current OSes. Be it Windows, Mac or even Linux. Our current OS stores all the data on the hard disk and synchronizes with the cloud when we have access to internet. Google wants to change that and get rid of Hard Disks and wants you to store everything on Cloud, as mentioned previously.

It sounds quite exciting and surely is a different way to look at things but again falls in ‘launch at wrong timing’ category. For one, we still do not get access to the Internet in every corner of the city. Like when I’m travelling in train even the 3G stick stops working. In such cases the Chromebook is a just a dead meat for me.

The other grouse that I have with Chromebook is that our upload speed has still not reached the nirvana level. While Download speed enjoys quite a few MBPS, we are still stuck with slow upload speed. And with Chromebook to have everything on cloud, we really really need to take the upload speed into consideration. In my opinion there’s a fatchance for Chrome OS to be a success unless Google implememts their high speed Internet everywhere. For a product to launch, timing is the most important aspect and Google knows that better. Google launched Google Wave which was well ahead of its time. There’s a not so sweet history of products failing because they were launched well ahead of its time. Brightkite was the first to tinker with Social location check-ins but users were ready only when Foursqaure launched its little game. So timing is important and this is not the timing to launch a full fledge cloud based OS.

My last complaint is the cost of the Chromebook. You can get the   Samsung device which comes with 12.1-inch screen with an 8-hour battery life and will retail for $429 (Wi-Fi enabled) and $499 (3G enabled laptop), while Acer’s device will be an 11.6-inch display and a 6.5-hour battery life. Acer’s notebook will start at $349 and up. While it’s still cheaper than its competitor OS netbooks but it doesn’t count the amount of money you’ll be spending later for storing all your data. I’m pretty sure n coming months Chrome OS users would be spending money to access their own data from cloud rather than storing it. In my opinion in coming years storage space will get so cheap that it would be practical for companies to just give it away for free and charge for accessing the data instead.

What do you think? Will you be buying Chromebook when it releases in June?

Angry Birds Lands on Chinese Land

Rovio Mobile ltd, the makers of Angry Birds have partnered with Chinese gaming site –D.cn to deliver Angry Birds on the Chinese land. The partnership will help deliver free-to-download version of Angry Birds in various editions.

Angry_Birds

D.cn of late has been focusing on the mobile gaming scene and wants to provide complete mobile gaming experience to Chinese users. While partnering with Chinese developers for the same, it is also looking to partner with developers overseas.

This will definitely turn out to be a good oppurtunity for Rovio Mobiles, who recently launched HTML5 version of Angry Birds on the Chrome App store. China has around 900 million mobile subscribers. Last Rovio announced that 10 million of its 140 million downloads of the game had come from China. Partnership wtih D.cn would boost those numbers further.

Rovio mobiles might even set up a team in China to oversee development in China.