Tag Archives: Interviews

Interview with Ben Rudolph, the Architect of #smokedbywindowsphone

Smoked by Windows Phone

If you use Twitter and were following the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) tweets, it would be very hard for you to miss the #smokedbywindowsphone campaign, run by Ben Rudolph from Microsoft. I wrote about this campaign which pitted Windows Phone against a variety of today’s smartphones in conducting common tasks, in an earlier post. This campaign has been a super hit, and now that Ben has had some time to recover from CES, I asked him a few questions about the campaign. Here’s what he had to say:

Techie Buzz (TB): What was the motivation behind the campaign?

Ben Rudolph (BR): Everyone here on the Windows Phone team knew anecdotally, from talking with friends and family, and even strangers at airports, that Windows Phone is faster and easier than any other smartphone at doing the stuff that we do every day on our smartphones. We never went out to prove it in a head-to-head test. So, we decided to put our money where our mouth is at the biggest tech show in the world! What better place to put Windows Phone head to head against a huge variety of smartphone users, both in terms of their technical depth, but also in terms of the phones they have in their pocket. All in all, this was a fun way for us to stand up and say “We think we built something really awesome, and when you see it, we think you’ll agree”.

TB: What were the challenges like?

BR: All of the challenges involved tasks that smartphone users do every day – posting a photo to Facebook or Twitter, checking the weather, sending an SMS to your best friend, updating your status on your social networks, finding someplace nearby to eat – that kind of stuff.

Developer Interview: Samuel Clay Of NewsBlur, a Google Reader Alternative

Newsblur Front Page

NewsBlur front page

Google Reader has been in the news of late after its recent changes, which have had a very sharply negative reaction from passionate fans. I had earlier written about how there are no good Google Reader alternatives in the market today and had mentioned NewsBlur then. Since then, I have been using NewsBlur daily, and have been extremely pleased with it. I got in touch with the developer, Samuel Clay, and he gladly made himself available to discuss life as an indie developer, developing NewsBlur, and how he plans on competing with Google.

Samuel Clay is an indie developer of NewsBlur. He just moved from Brooklyn to San Francisco. Previously, he worked at DocumentCloud, where they wrote Backbone.js, VisualSearch.js, Underscore.js, and many other open-source libraries. He is now at Tasty Labs, making a more useful social application on the web. Samuel can be reached on twitter at @samuelclay and NewsBlur is also on twitter at @newsblur.

Techie Buzz (TB): What is NewsBlur?
Samuel Clay (SC): NewsBlur is a feed reader with intelligence. It tries to do two things very well:

  1. Shows you the original site instead of a context-less feed. Read the original and NewsBlur marks the stories you’ve read as read.
  2. Filter stories you either like or dislike. A three-stop slider goes between dislike, neutral, and like (red, yellow, and green). Training is super-easy and all click-based (as opposed to you having to writing out what you like in a site, NewsBlur asks you, semi-Hunch-style, your opinions on facets of the site).

I started working on NewsBlur to see if I could do it, put the AI together with the back-end feed processing and fetching, along with the nifty front-end of the original site. This is one of those projects where I just kept pushing in all directions until I felt I had something good, not knowing if I could do it at all, but believing the entire time that I was able to complete the project.

Intelligence Trainer Slider
Intelligence trainer slider

Developer Interview: gReadie app developer Chris Sainty

gReadie screenshot

gReadie screenshot

This is the first in, hopefully what will become, a series of interview with independent developers. The goal is to profile developers building great apps (mobile, desktop, web) and hopefully get some honest answers about what works and what does not work being an independent developer.

Chris Sainty is an Australian software developer with over 10 years experience developing desktop and web applications for retail clients. An early and eager supporter of the direction Microsoft has taken with the Windows Phone 7 platform, Chris had an app in the marketplace and a phone in his hand at launch. A year later his app, gReadie, remains a popular choice for Google Reader users on Windows Phone 7.

Techie Buzz (TB): What is gReadie?

Chris Sainty (CS): gReadie is a Google Reader client for Windows Phone 7. In a highly competitive segment of the app marketplace, gReadie targets powerusers who follow a lot of feeds and need to quickly scan their feeds to find the posts of real importance. This is done by using a clean and simple UI, that is well tuned for finding the posts you want and then either reading them in-app or saving them to an external services (such as Read It Later, Instapaper etc.) for later follow up.

A sampling of gReadie’s settings

TB: What made you decide to write a gReader client and that too for an unknown platform?

CS: Prior to Windows Phone 7, I was using an iPhone 3GS. By far, my most used app on iOS was a Google Reader client. So I knew when switching to WP7, I was going to need an app to do the same. Having prior C# and Silverlight knowledge, I was very keen to write something for the WP7 platform. So it was a natural fit that my most used app should be my own.

It was a risk to invest so much effort into a new platform, and one that has not been financially rewarding yet. However, I believe things are just getting started for apps on Microsoft platforms and do not regret for a moment the experience gained from being an early mover on the platform.

TB: What technology/ies have been used in the making of gReadie? Any open source tech/libraries? Is the gReadie code open sourced?

CS: The current version of gReadie is using only two open source libraries ServiceStack.Text (https://github.com/ServiceStack/ServiceStack.Text) for JSON processing and the Silverlight Toolkit (http://silverlight.codeplex.com/) for a couple of UI elements. Though, I am very unhappy with the latest version of the Silverlight toolkit which broke every single control I was using without explanation or documentation. Previously gReadie has used many other libraries for various purposes, but these are the only two still in use. Internally gReadie is using the new SQL Compact support enabled in Mangowhich allows it to provide excellent offline reading capabilities even with thousands of posts downloaded.

Meet Dexetra Software, the Indian Startup behind Iris

The biggest selling point of the new iPhone 4S is not its faster hardware or the improved camera. It’s an app Siri. Siri, the personal assistant with a personality, has wowed even the biggest iPhone critics. It is no wonder then that when an app called Iris was dubbed by TechCrunch as (Sort Of) Siri for Android, it raced past 50,000 downloads and made headlines in several popular tech-blogs.

Truth be told, Iris has a long way to go before it can hope to compete with Siri. However, that is hardly surprising given that the first alpha of Iris was coded in eight hours by an extremely tiny team, while Siri was in development for over a year.

Iris-Siri-Clone-for-Android

Dexetra Software, the brain behind Iris, is a tiny Indian startup consisting of just nine members. Before Iris, they were best known for the self-discovery app Friday, and have developed dozens of other applications in several different platforms including Android and iOS.

Dexetra Software was established in the beautiful Indian city of Cochin in April 2010. All of its six founding members had more than two years of experience in various MNCs like Bosch and Wipro. Dexetra Software CEO Narayan Babu assembled a team consisting of two colleagues from Bosch and three college mates. After initially experimenting with multiple platforms and apps, by the end of 2010, Dexetra Software began to focus solely on Friday and expanded its team to nine. The first alpha release in February 2011 was extremely well received and the first stable release is scheduled to arrive in a few months.

Iris, which brought instant fame for Dextera Software, began as an experiment on a lazy Friday afternoon because a few hackers were feeling bored. In the words of Narayan Babu:

We have been working on NLP and Machine learning for over an year now, I had a crazy belief that I could pull this off. Somehow I managed to write a tiny engine that could answer your questions, digging the results from the web.

When we started seeing results, everyone got excited and started a high speed coding race. In no time, we added Voice input, Text-to-speech, also a lot of hueristic humor into Iris. Not until late evening we decided on the name “iris.”, which would be Siri in reverse. And we also reverse engineered a crazy expansion – Intelligent Rival Imitator of Siri.

I had a brief email conversation with M Vijith Menon, who developed a substantial portion of Iris. Here are the excerpts.

On himself:
My name is Vijith Menon. I started work with Dexetra this January. And since then it has been an upward journey to a great work culture’ from a Technical College Life. I’m 23yrs young, and learning; did my B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering from GRIT, Kottayam, Kerala. I began coding quite recently, and never thought could make a living out of it. But quite recently did I realize that, I have been programming whole my life, so there you have it!

After College I was looking for a job when I came by an advertisement for a requirement at Dexetra. From a junior Application Developer to a Technical Fellow, the 6 months at Dexetra were quite fun filled! I learnt about organization, coding, Version Control, and Testing. The journey continues… I have done application Development in WP7 and Android!

On how Iris works:
Iris is an application that uses the Android voice Recognition, Text to Speech engines and a whole chunk of pre academic and snazzy/snappy jesting brilliance! It has good, powerful and precise true knowledge! It is too early to say how it works, because it is in constant development! The general source of all answers is the World Wide Web.

On whether they had expected Iris to garner so much attention:
Never. As we declared on our blog, as well as in the articles in TechCrunch, it was a lazy Friday Hackathon. The idea came to Narayan Babu (it was more of a Challenge Accepted!state of mind) and he put me up with the general idea of the layout to be drawn, which he updated with designs, later. I daresay, it was quite easy!

On the future of Iris:
We vow to continue developing it, updates are being pushed regularly! We have released the widely stable version 1.0, with a futuristic ICS4 UI. Added features are voice actions (call, text, web search), which were not available in the early release. We are overwhelmed by the response, and user feedback is pouring in! Comparisons and competition will be left for the users to decide! More awesome features would be added pretty soon! No hurries, only steely determination!

On other projects in Dexetra:
We are in constant development of Friday, the life search app for Android. It has been in the works from before the time I joined Dexetra, and is improving every day! The app has completed private alpha, and will be out pretty soon! Many calls have come up already to integrate the two, Iris and Friday, because Voice and Search are such attractive traits for an app.

On whether he got the chance to play with the Android Ice Cream Sandwich SDK:
Yes, a little. But it is early to propound the uses/features. At the API level, fresh ones are available, but haven’t had much of a chance to use them! We’re yet to get a phone though!

Evernote: Forever and Everywhere

A few days back I interviewed Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote. We talked about Evernote’s roadmap and vision forward. Phil shared his thoughts on the competition and the progression of the app to a platform with additional, related services.

  • Funding: Evernote received $20 million in October 2010 in first round of funding and another $50 million in July this year.
  • Profitability:   Evernote achieved gross-margin profitability very early on, about two years ago. Six months back, the company got even on cash flow. However, Phil shared that they will probably go in red again in cash as they hire more people and look forward to buy few companies. The latter made sense soon after the interview with the Skitch acquisition.
  • Users: Evernote announced that they’ve crossed   the 10 million users mark in June 2011. During the conversation, Phil specified that they are past 12.5 million now and are growing by about a million users each month!
  • Competition: Phil mentioned that Evernote does not look at the competition in users of  similar products like Microsoft OneNote, but the pen-and-paper users. While 10 million users use Evernote, there are another 7 billion who aren’t using the same. Since Evernote follows a freemium model, other products cannot beat Evernote on price, but only on quality and features.

Source: I Love Windows Phone

Interview: Level Up’s CEO on the Viability of Paid Apps in the Android Market and More

Yesterday, Peter Vesterbacka from Rovio Mobile created a flutter with his remark that "paid content just doesn’t work on Android". Rovio Mobile is the highly acclaimed developer of Angry Birds, which has literally taken the world by storm. However, his comments didn’t sit well with many fans, who have been pointing out that Rovio didn’t even try the premium app route before opting for the ad-supported freeware option.

LevelUp Studio Logo

We reached out to Ludovic Vialle, CEO of LevelUp Studio. LevelUp Studio is one of the very few high quality publishers who have opted to limit themselves to Android. Beautiful Widgets has been consistently topping the Android Market charts (for paid apps), while Plume (previously Touiteur) has won the adoration of many a Twitter user. Having tried both the premium and the freemium business model, Vialle is uniquely qualified to comment on the state of the Android ecosystem.

Ludovic VialleMe: Why Android? Most publishers believe that the real money is in iOS. LevelUp Studio is amongst the very few publishers who have opted for an Android only strategy. What prompted this?

LV: Android was really new when I started to work on it, paid applications were just added to the Market, and I just had a feeling that being the first on a new platform could be a big opportunity. Before that I was an early iPhone user, but I started to dislike Apple’s methods of having everything closed in their eco-system. I was attracted by the different approach from Google with Android.

Me: How big an issue is fragmentation for Android developers? Moving forward, do you see fragmentation getting worse or getting better?

LV: Fragmentation has never been a problem, you just need to think and develop a little more in some rare cases, but otherwise Google did an incredible job to make it possible for everything to work without really paying attention to fragmentation.

Me: In an interview, Peter Vesterbacka from Rovio Mobile (developer of Angry Birds) claimed that Nobody has been successful selling content on Android. I suppose that as a company with multiple paid apps LevelUp Studio will have something to say about that. Vesterbacka also remarked that Paid content just doesn’t work on Android. What is your perspective on paid apps for Android?

LV: I can say that paid applications can be successful, I cannot really compare with iOS because we do not have equivalents applications on the platform. Beautiful Widgets has been the #1 paid application on the market for almost a year (with the exception of a new application occasionally borrowing the first place for a few days), and it certainly helps. Also people do like customizing their devices, and Android is the king of customization. You can make a lot of money from Android, quality and continued support/development is the key.
LevelUp Studio started as a hobby, and now we are an independent software producer, with three employees (two developers + my wife who assists me mid-time in paperwork) and myself. We will probably expand in the future, very soon, at this rate.

Me: Recently you made the full version of Plume (previously Touiteur), supported by advertisements, available for free in the market. What prompted this change? Based on initial results how has this affected the bottom-line?

LV: Previously we were using a Freemiumconcept, a free applications and a Premium version with more features, but to be honest, the revenues were not the same as Beautiful Widgets, very far from it, and developing Plume (Touiteur) was costing more money that it would provide.
So we decided to test advertisements and see how it works, we paid attention not to disturb the users, that was our priority, so we went with 140Proof, which is an incredible partner. In the end, the advertisements are not invasive, and they are providing really interesting content (not ringtones or antivirus advertisements that we are used to seeing). On the other hand, free users with advertisements now benefit from all of the premium features, and premium users don’t get advertisements.
I do not have the numbers yet, but I am confident that it will cover our costs at the very least.

Me: The general perception is that ad-supported free apps work better than paid apps in the Android market. What does your experience suggest?

LV: Unfortunately we do not have enough experience on this yet, but if properly implemented, it can certainly be an interesting model, but not necessarily for everyone. I have feedback from some Android developers who are saying that advertisements are not working at all, and they are going to leave that model. I tend to think that a paid only model with a good application/game could be interesting too (with no lite version).

Me: Both as a developer and a user of Android, what is your take on the recently introduced 15 minute refund window?

LV: As a user and developer: it is too short, sometimes we do not even have the time to understand how an application works within the stipulated time. People are not able to really test and quickly take the decision to refund before the end of the refund window. I think that one or two hours could work, but I understand that it might not be a good solution for game developers. Maybe this could be a developer setting?

Me: What is the one big limitation of the Android Market that you believe is hurting developers?

LV: The lack of a desktop version. I know this is coming, and hope that it will help people to choose applications. Also the limited payment methods (credit card only) .

Me: What is the one thing about Android that you love the most?

LV: Customizations, you can make your phone your own phone. I can even make my phone remain silent when I sleep, automatically! So many possibilities!

Me: Finally, what are you guys currently working on? What can we expect from LevelUp Studio in 2011?

LV: We are working on improving Beautiful Widgets (with some big updates coming soon) and Plume because there is always room for improvement. We will probably be starting a new project in 2011, but we will see how we perform at that moment and if we can afford to do it!

Opera’s Co-Founder on Extensions, Competition, Web TVs and More

2010 has been a great year for Opera Software. Earlier in the year, we saw Opera Mini for iPhone dominating the App Store charts soon after its release. Opera also expanded to the Android platform and launched Opera Mini followed by Opera Mobile in the Market. On the desktop front, Opera kicked off the year with the launch of Opera 10.5 and finished it off with Opera 11.

Opera Software was formally founded in 1995 by Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner and Geir Ivarsøy. After nearly 15 years at the helm, Tetzchner stepped down as the CEO of the company earlier this year. Recently, Tetzchner was in India to meet with the fans. During his visit, he was kind enough to answer my questions in an email interview.

Interview-Jon-Tetzchner

Me: While I am absolutely thrilled with extensions for Opera 11, I have to ask: What took Opera so long? Did Chrome’s success influence Opera’s decision to implement extensions in anyway?

JVT: When it comes to extensions we believe as a company that it is important to ensure that the browser that you get out of the box is rich and has a lot of functionality. With focus on web based extensions we feel that there is a closer match with our focus on standards, and we felt the time was right to launch extensions with Opera 11. We have also focused on features such as widgets and unite – which allow developers to develop on the outside of the browser, which we have found to be important for sustainability of the web as we know it.

Me: Are you using any extension? If yes, what is your favorite extension?

JVT: Personally I am not using a lot of extensions, I have tried a number of them but for the most part I feel my needs are covered with all the other functionalities that Opera has to offer.

It has to be said that extensions are about the long tail that people need.

Me: In spite of being (arguably) the most innovative browser, Opera has had little success in expanding its desktop marketshare. Currently about fifty million people browse using Opera on their computer and this number has remained stagnant for a while. In fact, the Q3 2010 report suggests that Opera lost some users during this year. Why do you think that Opera is struggling to get a significant number of new users?

JVT: Opera during the last few years has had a significant growth in number of users. We now have over 150 million users worldwide across our desktop and mobile browsers. The growth in past one year is very promising and we hope to continue this trend by coming-up with innovative features and products.

Me: If you were asked to use any browser other than Opera for 24 hours, which browser would you pick and why?

JVT: There can only be one browser for me i.e. the Opera browser

Jon-Tetzchner Me: Do you subscribe to the notion that in the future the browser will make operating systems irrelevant?

JVT: I would not say irrelevant the operating system continues to be important.

I always ask a question during my talks how many native applications are you using on your PC?. The fact that typically 5% or less are using 5 applications or more indicates that already the browser is the most important tool on your computer and most of the time is spent in the browser. We are seeing that the browser has become the most important aspect of the computing experience.

Me: Earlier in the year, the browser ballot screen went live in Europe. After nine months, have you noticed appreciable changes in the browser usage patterns in Europe?

JVT: Clearly what we have seen is a continuous fall in the number of Internet Explorer users and users have increased for competing browsers including Opera.

Me: One of the things Opera complained about is Microsoft’s reluctance to support web standards. What is your impression of Internet Explorer 9? Do you think Microsoft has made amends?

JVT: We are seeing Microsoft working hard on improving their standards support and we applaud that. They are still trailing the competition but are moving in the right direction.

Me: In 2004, Opera extracted a settlement out of Microsoft for deliberately crippling MSN on Opera. Unfortunately, the practice persists till date with the big three (Google, Microsoft and Yahoo) often using browser sniffing to offer an inferior version of their products to Opera users. Why do you think this is the case?

JVT: First thing on the settlement there was no settlement. Microsoft fixed their site. This is where we had the Bork edition of Opera and we got them to fix their site.

I think browser sniffing is a bad thing in general. But we are also seeing that more of the sites are focusing on web standards and that will continue.

Me: Your vision of One Webhas won. WAP is dead, and mobile web usage is exploding. What’s next for mobile web?

JVT: Exploding some more.

I think in many ways there are so many people who do not have Internet access today. There are two billion people with internet access and there are one and half billion phones. The trend that we will see is that mobile users will most likely outnumber PC users in a year’s time. This will have a significant impact on the web as we know it and a very positive one.

Going ahead, please look out for Televisions, Set top boxes, cars and other devices getting online as well.

Me: The Register claimed that Opera holds the web’s most valuable secretthanks to its massive data cache (due to the combination of Opera Mini and Opera Turbo). Is Opera looking at ways to monetize this information?

JVT: We value our customer’s privacy extremely. So overstepping any kind of boundaries there is out of question.

We are clearly looking at ways where we can help enable relevant advertisement on the mobile through our purchase of AdMarvel. We announced the Open Mobile Ad Exchange and as part of that we can target people. But we don’t want to target anywhere not close to comfort. Typically the kind of targeting will be based on device type and location on a very broad scale.

Me: What is the Opera BreamUI mentioned during Capital Markets Day?

JVT: If you look at the different Opera versions on different phones you will see a lot of similarities. It’s because the user interface is written in the Bream language, allowing us very quickly to deploy Opera on new platforms.

This allows us to spend more time on making a great user experience and less time on actually develop specifically for one platform.

Me: Opera also has some interesting offerings for connected TVs. How is it different from the new Google TV? How has the reception been from the device manufacturers?

JVT: The response has been great. We have been signing up a lot of device manufacturers including brand names such a Philips, Toshiba, Lowe, etc. We are also working closely with the operators and are seeing significant increase in deployments. We believe that in the next few years internet technologies on television will become a big hit.

Me: Earlier in the year, you stepped down as the CEO of Opera. What prompted the change? As a co-founder what are your current responsibilities within the company?

JVT: I have run Opera for 15 years. I think it is important that for a great company you have to be able to handle change. Personally I wanted to focus more on the tasks that I like and slightly less on the tasks that I like less. So I decided that I wanted to have Lars, whom I trust, to take over the role as CEO.

Me: Soon after Lars Boilesen stepped in, Opera India was practically shut down, and the entire engineering department was axed. Even more surprisingly, the entire thing happened in a secretive manner without a public announcement. What went wrong?

JVT: The decision to close an office that and let people go is always a tough one.
At the same time, it is difficult to maintain and control a faraway office as it requires quite a lot of resources. The assessment from the team was that they wanted to reduce the complexity of operations that arrive from having multiple offices and they moved the work to development centers closer to Oslo.

Obviously it was not an easy decision to make.

Me: Were any other Opera Software offices downsized/closed?

JVT: The company is continuing to grow. For the India office, rationale was about moving this operation to Poland to reduce the complexity.
When it comes to others the rationale was that we are doing more standardized products and less custom work.

Me: What is your perception of India with respect to its engineering talent pool?

JVT: India certainly is a great resource of engineering talent. We have a number of Indians working in our global offices handling important portfolios.

Me: Opera Software is more than 15 years old. Looking back, is there anything that you wish you/Opera Software had done differently?

JVT: There are always choices. But I think it is important to not dwell on hindsight but still try to use the learning’s from the past while moving forward. And that’s what we’ve tried to do. All the choices we made that in hindsight we wished we had done differently try to rather use that as a positive impulse for moving forward.

Me: What does the coming year hold for Opera?

JVT: The goal for Opera has to be to continue the great growth that we have been seeing all around during the last couple of years. We have tripled our overall user base combining desktop, mini and mobile. In the beginning of 2009 we were 50 mn users and now we are 150 mn active users. So it is a significant growth, a growth that I believe is important to continue to have and even increase. To do this we need to focus on the end users, providing them with better user experience.

Focusing on improving the product for end users on different devices in different markets.

[Hat-tip to Choose Opera for the lovely Techie Jon image.]

Twitter Founders @biz & @ev On The Late Night With Jimmy Fallon [Videos]

Jimmy Fallon, the late night talk show host and comedian is known to be a gadget freak. He often has Engadget editors on his show. However, this time around he got two very powerful gentlemen on the show; co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone.

In the show Jimmy asks the Twitter co-founders on how the idea of Twitter came about and the introduction of the word "tweet", which they attributed to have been created by Twitter users.

Watch the video of Evan Williams and Biz Stone on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon below.

Interview With Notion Ink’s CEO Rohan Shravan On “Adam” And More

The Internet Tablets niche is going to see a huge amount of innovation coming through in the next few months. "Adam" is a Internet tablet and e-Book reader, which was announced back in December by a India based startup Notion Ink.

Adam Notion Ink Tablet

Notion Ink also demoed the gadget during the electronics expo at . We got a chance to catch up with Notion Ink’s CEO Rohan Shravan and asked him a few questions about "Adam" and other interesting developments around it. So without ado, here is the interview with Rohan Shravan.

Rohan Shravan, CEO of Notion Ink

Keith: First of All Could You Introduce Notion Ink to us?
Rohan:
Notion Ink is a firm for Innovation. Very very young and very different. Average age of employees is 22 yrs! Based out of India. It was my dream to design devices which can do anything. And thats what we are doing right now. The first thing you do to realize your dream is to write is somewhere. And thats what we will help other to do. We will be their Notion Ink.

Keith: Back in December 2009, we were surprised to see a tablet from an Indian startup? Why did you choose to get into an industry which was not yet established worldwide, leave aside India?
Rohan: We are working on it since last 3 years. It took the final shape in 2008 end. The device we want to make is still technologically not possible and we will work till we achieve the same.

Keith: How and why did you come up with the name "Adam" for your Tablet? Did it have to do anything with "Adam & Eve"?
Rohan: I wanted a named series. Something people can relate to. Adam tablet is the first of its kind. Its an ebook reader and tablet, both, hence a new species which brings a new convergence. And hence the name Adam. Eve will be there, soon.

Keith: What according to you sets Adam apart from the rest of the competition?
Rohan:
It will bring in new user input mechanisms, new UI trends, OS behaviors, Cloud computing relations, Content Eco-system, ebook and tablet convergence, open system and already a huge fan base!

Keith: Do you follow the developments behind iPad, Joojoo, Slate and other upcoming tablets? How do you see them as a competition?
Rohan: I do. But only as developments. Competition is healthy. It is good for end user. And it brings innovation.

Keith: How was your experience at CES 2010? Did you find recognitions for Adam there?
Rohan:
CES was wonderful. It made it clear that people are waiting for it. And it is the right time for this product.

Keith: Given the current Indian market which basically is made up of cheap or mid-range cell phones, do you think that Adam will do well, or do you have different markets in mind right now?
Rohan: Firstly, thats not true. There is a huge market for smart phones and mobile internet adoption is one of the fastest.

Secondly, Notion Ink does belong from India, but Adam was not designed with India as its reach. It is designed for people who are ahead of others. For those who will be the leaders in technology. And they happen to belong in all the countries. Some have many, some have few.

Keith: Are you collaborating with big partners to get the device out?
Rohan:
Yes, we are in good stages of these collaborations. 

Keith: What are the Specifications for Adam, not that we don’t know it, but we would love to hear it from the horse’s mouth?
Rohan: I believe what we don’t know is not in the public domain yet. 

Keith: Are you planning any variations in the device based on where you launch it, to narrow down the costing?
Rohan: Not necessarily. 

Keith: Where do you plan to manufacture the device? Will it be in India or from within US, considering that your major market will be US and Europe, and you have to pass through tough manufacturing standards to be able to export to these continents?
Rohan: Even the educated people in India would demand FCC certifications. Quality is first goal. Nothing gets manufactured in US. Our bases will be same as US houses. 

Keith: How do you foresee the future of Internet tablets, not as a manufacturer, but as a end-user?
Rohan:
As end user, i see carrying only tablets. All other things will vanish. Phones will be just headphones, laptops will be on clouds, and tablet will even replace books and notepads.

Keith: Lastly, would you be able to tell us when this device will be out and how much it will cost along with how people can buy it?
Rohan: It is definitely not as costly as iPad.

Thanks to Mr. Rohan for sparing the time to answer our questions. Hope you had a great time catching up with the CEO of one of the most waited upon device, the "Adam". You can check what Notion Ink is all about by visiting their website, or keep up with the latest updates from the company by visiting their blog.

For those who haven’t yet got a chance to see "Adam" in action can watch the embedded video below.

Image courtesy Rohan Shravan’s account @rohanshravan

NDTV Interview with Twitter Co-Founder, Biz Stone

NDTV recently interview Biz Stone, the co-founder of at the NDTV Indian of the year awards function. Biz Stone was interviewed by NDTV’s Vikram Chandra and was asked several questions with regards to Twitter’s presence in India among other things.

There were several funny segments in the video which will make you laugh. One of them from what I can recollect is where Vikram picked Shah Rukh Khan from the audience and asked him if he had any questions for Biz.

Shah Rukh Khan in return asked Biz when his Twitter account @iamsrk would be verified (which is verified now). In addition to that, Anand Mahindra was also very keen to buy some stake in Twitter, but Biz laughed it off and later on said that Mahindra was on the list when Twitter needed more financing.

Watch the entire video of the NDTV interview with Twitter Co-founder, Biz Stone.