Monthly Archives: October 2009

More Google roadkill!

There is a slew of articles today about the new phone from Verizon that is using the latest and greatest from Android. Plenty of places to hunt for info on that. This is not the realm of this blog to discuss it. What I want to talk about is what this type of movement by Google means for the startup community at large – especially in this region.

It used to be that one built something and then hoped to either make it alone or get bought out. Google is now showing that they are rich and smart enough to build versus buy. Their simple moves into a sector like GPS or driving devices, via the phone of course – are  creating severe market havoc:

Google released a new mobile navigation app today and GPS navigation companies such as Garmin And TomTom saw their shares take a plunge. The announcement shaved $1.2 billion off of Garmin’s market cap alone. Its shares are down more than 16 percent so far today to $31.60. TomTom’s shares are down 21 percent to $8.11.

Wow. Those are some big numbers. It could be a knee-jerk reaction but chances are this is just a longer term trend for this sector. The scarier part is wondering where will Google go next.

One can also see the games being played with the big guys in this space. Google is throwing their muscle around now and even Apple is not sure how to play it. I think we are seeing the beginning of the big companies now realizing, I knew it all along, that Google is more foe then friend. They want it all. End of story:

This is but the latest sign of a growing rift between Apple and Google. A couple years ago, when the iPhone first launched, Google and Apple had a strong partnership. At the time, Google CEO Eric Schmidt described the relationship as so close that it was akin to merging “without merging. Each company should do the absolutely best thing they can do every time.” Google supposedly didn’t need to creat its own phone, because it could simply create software for the iPhone. And, in fact, some of the best apps on the iPhone—Mail, Maps, YouTube, Search—were developed by Google.

What is interesting about this is Google and Apple probably did start out as friends but for Google to grow they have to start eating their friends or the space that their friends occupy. I think we saw this with Microsoft? I don’t bring these things up to lament the issues or to cry foul. This is the way the world works but I think people should consider how they use or build on top of Google since it looks like Google plans to do it all. I could be exaggerating here but I think if you look at where they started and where they are now it is pretty easy to see Google as a competitive threat in many areas.

One could turn this all around and take the perspective that Google is just being an innovator, destroying old market models and providing a way forward for anyone and everyone. That seems to be the angle TechCrunch has here:

His words echo Arthur C. Clarke’s famous quote “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Schmidt says that today’s mobile platforms are so powerful that when combined with a robust cloud service they can do “magical things.” And he encourages people not to limit their imaginations when thinking of new applications to serve people.
Inspiring stuff for people out there thinking up the future.

His words echo Arthur C. Clarke’s famous quote “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Schmidt says that today’s mobile platforms are so powerful that when combined with a robust cloud service they can do “magical things.” And he encourages people not to limit their imaginations when thinking of new applications to serve people.

Inspiring stuff for people out there thinking up the future.

I guess that makes sense providing you don’t try and build something similar to what Google is doing or may plan to do in the next 5 years. My advice – think very hard about what you plan to do or build since you don’t want to be roadkill.

I am sure TomTom was not expecting the tire tracks on their back today.

Looking to hack?

Yes – this is a Yahoo! sponsored event but in this context I think it matters not. There – you have been disclosed.

In my opinion there are not enough free form technical events for coders and people of the technical bent to get together in order to learn, share and hack. Enter Open Hack Days.

If you live in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam or the Philippines then check this out:

http://advision.webevents.yahoo.com/openhackday09

Register and you might be chosen as the winner from your country to be flown to Jakarta – free.

If you live in Indonesia just sign up for the event directly:

http://icanhaz.com/openhacksea/

If you don’t live in Indonesia but want to pay your own way to get there – sign on up.

happy hacking!

What is this site?

It is a work in progress. Now that I am working at Yahoo! I decided I needed to refocus my blogging efforts. Rather than blog about me I think I need to blog about the sphere – the companies and startups I am working with. So this will be a combination of what I am doing, where I am going and highlighting the Southeast Asian tech/startup community. Sure – it is not huge but it is generally bigger than people think. Silicon Valley is not the only game in town and China/India is not the only emerging market space in the world. SEA – is big, growing and the Internet penetration in some countries like Vietnam and Indonesia is just getting going.

My focus for my job is SEA so I think focusing my blog on this region is key but importantly there is a chance here to build something relevant to the region. There are lots of sites out there but none of them seem to look at the startup world from a SEA perspective nor do they fully cover the region. There are sites devoted to Singapore or Malaysia but ask one of them about things happening in Cambodia and you get blank stares. Of course ask the Cambodians about the latest in Indonesia and they won’t have a clue. I travel the region extensively and hope to bridge the gap.

For example – have you heard of Aruna?

My aspirations are big but who knows if I will pull it off. I think there is a need for something akin to TechCrunch and at the same time CrunchBase. Can I pull it off – not sure but it will be fun to try. There are some people discussing this type of thing for Singapore but there again they are thinking too small. We need to tackle the region as a whole – not country by country.

I think possibly using something like YQL to build a DB of startup info might be a cool way to disseminate the information. Not sure yet but those are some of the ideas I have.

If you are interested in pitching in or you want to get me your startup information – please email me: dreampipe at yahoo.com. I am most interested in getting going on this.

Where do the domain name come from – it should be easy. I keep hearing startups and the goverments funding them discussing there KPIs. Folks – the word KPI and startup should never be mentioned in the same breath.

Stay tuned for more!