Friday, December 19, 2008

Recession Proof Predictions

Four tech predictions by Fortune Magazine for recession proof technologies.

The computer industry now ships more laptops than desktops, and the emerging trend is the Netbook; lighter, less powerful and CHEAPER Notebooks. As the name suggests, Netbooks aren't ideally suited for the heavy desktop applications and gaming usage, but for the Facebookers, bloggers, IMers and browsers on the move, this promises to be a great work station at a lower price.

Cloud Computing
This isn't much of a prediction, and it defiantly isn't limited to 2009. This is more of where Computing is headed, and no recession is going to get in the way of the next shift, especially when it means lowering costs!

"The technology basically allows a single piece of hardware to run systems or applications that previously had run on multiple machines". Now that's the kind of technologies a recession loves...

Electronic Entertainment
According to Yi-Wyn Yen the "Wii is officially recession proof". People may be on a tighter budgets, but it seems spend on consoles and other sources of electronic entertainment, such as high speed Internet, is now a part of the consumer's life and unlikely to face any serious cuts.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Office Online

The world has been buying Microsoft Office for about $500 for a long time now. Back when Office came out your PC cost you ten times as much. Now a PC costs you $500 and so does Office. Safe to say it doesn't sound like much of a bargain anymore. That's the argument chairman of Zoho makes regarding Free and/or much cheaper online applications similar to Word, Excel & Power Point.

A recent article in Business Tech announces Microsoft decision to enter the online application segment by 2010. Given the fact that Zoho and Google already have their up and running for a while now. I haven't used Zoho, but Google apps are great. Especially for a group of people on collaborative projects.

So, keeping in mind my last post, Microsoft isn't exactly leading the way on all Web fronts!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Microsoft finally a step ahead!

According to a recent announcement, Microsoft are working on a new upgrade for the, rather unsuccessful, Windows Live Web suite. According to an Saul Hansel, who writes for The New York Times, Microsoft plans to "turn their e-mail and instant message systems into something closer to social networks". Now you don't hear this too often, but this would mean Microsoft has beaten Google and Yahoo to Web 2.0 on some front. At least that's how it sounds.

How successful Microsoft will be at drawing in Facebook and Twitter users can not really be predicted. if Microsoft's recent success, or lack of it, is something to go by, I wouldn't be too hopeful. If you remember, Windows Live was suppose to be the next big thing on the Internet and the project was headed/envisioned by Ray Ozzie. Lets hope the upgrade is something worth the bother!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Linkedin: Enjoying the bad times

An interesting article featured in the Time's Business and Tech section entitled "LinkedIn: The Site That Likes a Bad Economy"

According to the article, Linkedin has been enjoying growth in users over the last few years, in is one of the few companies that will most likely benefit from the economic slow down. Primarily this growth is going to come from more people looking for more jobs, and the job market becoming more competitive.

The article also talks about the question a lot of Linkedin users ask "what do i do here?". Linkedin has recently activated their Groups feature allowing discussions and postings. The two Alumni groups I run have certainly seen a lot more activity and interest since the dicussion feature has been added. In efforts to make the networking community more interesting and rich Linkedin also recently launched a series of Applications developed by 8 of the top Internet App companies (Google, Slideshare, Amazon, Wordpress to name a few).

Linkedin Applications are not exactly a new idea. Facebook has some great Apps, but Linkedin promises to have more business oriented Applications targeting the very specific Linkedin user base.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

If I controlled the Internet

"If I controlled the Internet" by Rives.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Blogger Followers

Blogger has added a new feature called Followers. I have always been intrigued by the hits Analytics gives me. Who are these people? Do any of them return to my blog? Why are so many of these visits from the US and the Netherlands? Who exactly is bothering to read what I have to say?

Well, hopefully the few people that do end up bouncing onto my blog will fill out the Followers section. Could possibly end up as a nice 2.0 deal. it could also become a possibly embarrassing feature, "this blog has ZERO followers". A risk worth taking I suppose.

Is Followers a Open 'Follow' feature, or do you have to be on Blogger to 'follow'? anyone?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Chrome - Shiny Happy Surfers

Google Chrome, I downloaded it, used it and Loved it.

Honestly, its a rather superficial judgment. I haven't read about the features (the omnibar is pretty cool though), I haven't really tested it out yet. Just used it for an hour and so, but I love it. It seems faster that Firefox. Great user interface. Over-all, a pleasant surprise.

Summary: I don't feel like going back to Firefox, and thats saying a lot.

To Download Google Chrome Click Here
To understand Google Chrome Click Here

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Google Chrome

Google has announced the launch of their very own web browser Chrome. Now, I am a huge Firefox supporter and promoting another browser makes me feel like I'm cheating on Firefox (notice I didn't even mention IE 8 on my blog).

Chrome Beta will be ready for launch tomorrow, Sept 3 2008, for now Google has put up a rather long and difficult to flip through comic book explaining the thought behind Chrome.

I will defiantly be downloading Chrome tomorrow and will let you know what I think.

Understanding Analytics

If you want to understand what Analytics are all about, key-terms, methods, and understand how your visitors interact with your website this presetation takes you through the basics. Some good content and things worth considering for any Internet Marketer.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's Broken!

Great presentation by Seth Godin on stuff thats "broken".

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Will Play for Food

"Nearly 500,000 people in developing nations earn a wage making virtual goods in online games to sell to players, a study has found."

That's according to an article that appeared in the BBC's Technology section. I also saw a feature on a company operating from Hong Kong that basically had people play P2P games all day, collect virtual goods, and sell them off for real money.

Now if I get this right, there are people out there, who aren't so good at, lets say, War craft. Who buy stuff from people (professionals) who are.

Do the Rich/Fat people of this world, need poor people to play their games for them too? I find this kind of disturbing!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

SearchMash: Google 2.0?

I stumbled across on Zeeshan Hasan's Blog.

Apparently it is an interface testing project by Google (the results I got were very similar to standard Google results). I kind of liked the way the search results were displayed, and how it is easier to see blog and images results separately. The windows on the right help keep result sources well sorted out.

Check it

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

CIO Pakistan Launched

"CIO is the world's largest business technology leadership magazine printed in more than 35 countries around the world, and is now bring printed in Pakistan. A local edition hopes to provide support to the local industry.".

The magazine has been launched by Rabia Gharib, (there is no stopping this lady). I have yet to meet her, but for someone I have never met, I am very impressed with her work and the wide range of things she keeps pulling off. My good friend, Mr. Umair Naeem happens to be the Editor of CIO Pakistan, I will look forward to getting free copies from him (he is yet unaware of the free copy deal).

Over all its a great thing to have, good quality publication on the IT Business side of things. Good luck to the CIO Pakistan team, and great job on another step in the right direction.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cuil: Bigger than Google, but any Better?

They claim to be Three times bigger than Google, bigger in terms of the pages they index. It's been set up by ex-Google employees, and they have a very easy to use home page (a good learning from the Google vs. Yahoo days). With $33 million dollar in investment, they seem to be on track to actually challenge Google (if that's possible).

Now I support the underdog any day, I like Firefox over IE, I'd support the Mac over Windows, I love it when the small guy takes a hit and the giant. In all such cases, the underdog must have a better product, just limited marketing budgets. But so far, the little test run i did on Cuil hasn't been very impressive. I really would like someone to take a hit at Google, make things interesting. But I dont know if Cuil will do that with their current product.

Cuil does have a an interesting recommended search menu, rather cool how images are blended in the search results, but over all, it just doesn't get the results. They have a great privacy stance, but unfortunately most people aren't as bothered by Google storing your data (or aren't aware of it). the user want the results they are looking for, in a faster better and more relevant manner. I tried searching my name, and got nothing, Google has 3 whole pages. Call me self obsessed, but if I cant find myself on Cuil, i am sticking to Google.

But anyhow, Cuil is worth a look.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Exit Gates

He easily ranks as one of the greatest innovators and contributors to the IT industry. He is also, probably, the greatest and most successful businessman ever. The above mentioned reason make him a highly admired and also a extremely easy to hate person.

He has now retired from a full time role at Microsoft, the worlds first software company. His departure got plenty of media coverage, especially on the Internet. At this point, as he heads to the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation, what most are looking at is the legacy of Bill Gates.

I feel his legacy has been well summarized by an article in the Time Magazine entitled "Bill Gates: PC Genius, Internet Fool". The life and work of Bill Gates has been documented in a series of article and interviews all listed at Microsoft's PressPass.

What's interesting however, is if this is the end of Bill and Microsoft, a thought that the TIME story ends with:

"...Maybe we'll see Gates return, a Nobel in his pocket, ready to wrestle with the Web once again."

P.S. Another one from BBC worth reading "The hits and misses of Microsoft"

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Murder 2.0

Life has changed because of the Internet.

We do business very differently thanks to Email. We interact very differently thanks to IM and Facebook. We defiantly look for information very differently thanks to Google. And as these evolve to become a part of our life, the kind of information we look for seems to be changing as well.

You would imagine somethings are just common knowledge. Why would you need to look it up on Google? Well, if your part of the Web Enabled generation, nothing is too common too not be Googled. Take for instance, 29 year old, Neil Entwistle.

Allegedly, he wanted to kill his wife, using a knife. Classic stabbing to death process from what I gather. However, no harm in Googleing it just to make sure he has the the basic down.

As CNN reports:

"A police detective testified Tuesday that a laptop computer taken from the home of a British man accused of killing his wife and 9-month-old daughter was used to search online for "how to kill with a knife" four days before the slayings."

"Prosecutors, however, sought to indicate that Entwistle was planning to kill his wife and child, saying he researched methods of murder and suicide in the days before he fatally shot them."

So turns how, the Google search helped and Neil found out that Shooting to death is a better method, allegedly!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Firefox 3 - Sets the Records Straight

It isn't official yet, the guys at Guinness records at still working on it, but Firefox was downloaded at 9000 copies a minute for the first few hours. A total of 8 million copies downloaded in just 24 hours.


I'm glad to have been able to play my part, I even made a post about this (see below) and added the rather funky 'download day' badge to my blog. So did a lot of other people from Pakistan. Some even got into a slight argument on who did a post on this first. However, Pakistan didn't really make much of a contribution at the end of the day. To the over all downloads we contributed just under 8000 downloads, that's 0.1% of the share (even the UAE did better). oh well, we prefer 50 rupee DVDs as our source of software I guess.

But any how, even if you haven't yet gotten this award winning browser yet, its time you do. Firefox has a pretty neat new site as well, worth a look, and some great tips and tricks for the Firefoxers out there.

Don't be Evil, Use Firefox!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Lets set a Record

Firefox has set out to create a world record for most downloads in one day. I did a post on Firefox 3 last month. It is by far a superior browser. I have been using Firefox 3 Beta for a while now, and when I have to use IE at work its painful.

So check out the new Firefox, and take the pledge to take part in the Download Day 2008 World Record attempt.

Dont be Evil, Use Firefox!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Theory of the Business

Back to school, back to the classics.

I was cleaning out some stuff and came across some material from my MBA course work. Going through some of the articles and case studies I thought was worth keeping, I came across Peter Drucker's "The Theory of The Business". I remember how simple and insightful I had found it to be when I first read it. I love it when business models and theory's simplify the obvious and state it in such elegant and simple manner. A great piece of work on business strategy.

Here is how Drucker defines the Theory of the Business, it has three parts:

1. Assumptions about the environment of the organization; society, its structure, the market, the customer and technology

2. Assumptions about the specific mission of the organization.

3. Assumptions about the core competencies needed to accomplish the mission.

How valid the Theory is determines how successful the business strategy will be. Four parameters determine the success, (a) how close the assumptions fit reality, (b) the assumptions in all three areas fit one another, (c) everyone in the organization understands and works towards the fulfillment of the theory, (d) the theory of the business has to be tested constantly.

The Theory of the Business, is your basic understanding of your business.

"Unexpected failure is as much a warning as unexpected success and should be taken as seriously as a 60-year-old man's first minor heart attack" - Peter F. Drucker, 1994 Harvard Business Review

Friday, May 23, 2008

All Marketers are Liars

When you cant think of something to blog about, it's the perfect time to dig into your archives and find a nice video to put up here.

A great talk by Seth Godin entitled 'All Marketers are Liars', the talk is about Permission Marketing, a concept Seth came up with. This was hosted by Google and is one of my favorite marketing videos on youtube. Some great concepts to challenge the classic marketing mindset.

As reference, I mentioned a personal Permission Marketing case in a previous post

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Y2K of Gas Pumps

There are limitations to making informed decisions regarding things too far into the future. It is limited by the fact that just too many variables, both known and unknown, play into the equation to make a well calculated prediction. Basically, the event is off the horizon, beyond sight and therefore impossible to predict accurately.

What makes me ramble on about this is a news item I recently read on Yahoo News regarding obsolete Gasoline Pumps in the US, the Y2K equivalent of mechanical machines.

here is an extract from the new item:

"Mom-and-pop service stations are running into a problem as gasoline marches toward $4 a gallon: Thousands of old-fashioned pumps can't register more than $3.99 on their spinning mechanical dials.

Many of the same pumps can only count up to $99.99 for the total sale, preventing owners of some SUVs, vans, trucks and tractor-trailers to fill their tanks all the way

If you have a look at Gasoline prices, back in the 50's when most of these pumps were installed, no one could have predicted retails price of a gallon to cross $3.99. No one could have imagined a tank full of gasoline crossing the $99.99 mark. It wasn't short sightedness, or stupidity, but informed decisions made on available data (there was no OPEC, no Iran-Iraq conflict, no Iraq war, no Chinese economic boom).

If that can happen with Gas stations (over a span of 50 or so years), when it comes to technology, we play in a world of exponential change and insanely fast development. Which means, people who make 'informed decision' live to be proven wrong. Some are unlucky enough to have their intelligent guesses put on record.
for example,

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”

Thomas Watson
Chairman, IBM

“There is no reason why anyone would want a computer in their home.”

Ken Olsen
Founder, Digital Equipment Corp.

Which brings us to the question of being able to predict not 50 years, but just 5 years down the road. So we question, had Google really set out to do, what they ended up doing? are Facebook and Linkedin visionaries or just plain lucky. And just how long will businesses in the tech world be able to stay on top.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Finance for Marketers, vice versa!

Too often we MBA types like to classify business grads as Marketing or Finance guys. Too often we over simplify the scope of each function, too often we discuss who really adds value and does the tougher job.

If you step back and look at business valuation from the investor or share holder's point of view, you see how closely related these aspects of business really are.

Who better to explain investment than Mr. Warren Buffett himself.

This is a video of Warren Buffett's talk to the MBA class at University of Florida.

Saturday, May 03, 2008 goes Live!

As with any transaction, you only make the payment when you feel the deal makes sense to you. The same goes for paying attention, you don’t go around making attention payments for something you don’t want. Enter Seth Godin and Permission Marketing.

A recent experience worth sharing on the success of permission marketing has to do with my involvement in setting up

Here's how it went down...

Step 1:
I contacted Guy Kawasaki regarding Microsoft’s bid for Yahoo, thinking that would be great stuff to make a post about. It did make a great post.

Now lets keep in mind I contacted him, and not the other way around.

Step 2:
He replies, short and sweet, hence enhancing his brand equity. He also adds links to a new venture by his company.

Step 3:
I already know about Alltop, but this time Guy (or his standard signature) directs me there. Since I contacted him, I am clearly the target market

Step 4:

I revisit Alltop, notice the new GEO section, with a link. Now I want one for Pakistan.

Step 5:
I email Guy and ask for a Pakistan section on Alltop

Step 6:
Guys says sure, if you want one, build the feed list for me, and ill put it up

Step 7:
I comply

Step 8:
Alltop Pakistan goes live

Win-Win. Alltop get a new section added, I get what I wanted. All thanks to brilliantly handled permission marketing. Was nice dealing with the Nononina team, other than the part where they got my spellings wrong on the acknowledgments section "Atif Kahn".

Would Spam from Alltop have had the same effect? I think not!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Aggregation is the new Search?

I did a post on Alltop and Web Content aggregation a while ago. With all the content on the Internet, most people don't knowing how and where to look for what they need. Google results brings in a whole lot of irrelevant results, at time further complicating matters. For the average browser aggregation could be a great solution.

I came across another such service called Social Rank, kind of a cross between Technorati and Alltop. What I found interesting was a rather aggressive take on the benefits of a aggregation site as apposed to good old fashioned searching (Google in this case). Have a look at their advertisement below, it actually makes sense. With blogs becoming an important source of information (and opinion), what does this mean for Search Engine?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Firefox - leading the way

Firefox 3 beta 5 (Get it)was released about 2 weeks ago, and I have been using it for the last 10 day or so. We all know Firefox is the best browser around, and seems like it will stay in the lead when it comes to developing 'must have' innovations.

Seth Godin recently made a post on 'Why downloading Firefox is like getting into college'. an interesting read!

Anyway, coming back to Firefox 3, it has a great new feature which I have wanted forever. I have a million bookmarks, which means I have to look for the saved link every time I want to access it. Shouldn't the address bar pick up your bookmarks, like it does your history? now it does! Mozilla has finally added this much belated feature to Firefox 3. Just like they did with tabbed browsing, spell checker integration, find (that actually works), live bookmarking, download manager, integrated search system with customizable search engines, and of course add-ons, Firefox again has set a standard for the industry.

A great feature, a great product, the only browser to use!

Dont be Evil, use Firefox!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Billions of Entrepreneurs

in reference to a previous post 'Shift Happens' an interesting interview with Tarun Kharnna entitled 'Billions of Entrepreneurs in China and India' has been published on the Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge portal.

Most of what is discussed here applies to Pakistan and other developing economies, with China and India being the flagships, leading the way.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Personal Branding

Seth Godin, happens to be someone who really understands marketing and has already stared to scare us old school brand managers about the times to come, the changes already happening, and where we are headed. He is leading voice changing marketing thinking. He also happens to be a great speaker, writes what is arguably the most popular blog in the entire world. A lot more can be said about him, but ill let you visit his site and find out for yourself.

For now, i'll stick to one of his recent posting Seth spoke about having too many choices, too little time and hence people making quick decisions and jumping to conclusions. this is as relevant to people as it is to products. It may be unfortunate, but that how it is, and therefore managing your personal brand becomes increasingly important.

The Internet adds a whole new dimension to personal branding. Increasingly employers 'Google' candidates and search profiles on Facebook (by the way, so does the police!). Try 'Googling' yourself, the result is what people may base their decision upon. Results may be inaccurate, irrelevant or worse, blank. It is your job to manage your brand, and the Google result may just be your advertisement.


Site Aggregation seems to be an increasingly popular way of accessing information online. Content can be customized for home pages like igoogle or my yahoo, where you can add in widgets and plug in feeds sources of your choice.

However, wouldn't it be great if someone did that for you. Well, someone already thought of that. In case you haven't tried one out, check out the oldest or the newest one around

Alltop has a rather interesting layout, and great content. In my excitement of having been almost Kawsakied (Jenny, the blogess finds it disturbing that I am using the term so loosely), I asked Guy how I could have a Pakistan Alltop section created. Be careful what you wish for, because he replied by saying, sure you can have one, just compile the feed for me. This isn't as easy as it sounds. But thanks to, some great people at Synergy Advertisment and Rabia Gharib I was able to gather a credible list of top Pakistani sites. Remove sites without RSS Feeds, add some based on personal bias... and there you have it.

Alltop Pakistan has been submitted! lets see when we go live!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Sell Yahoo, the big 'Guy' says so

I was going to do an in depth study on the Microsoft and Yahoo talks, look into the market dynamics of such a large acquisition, its impact on the Internet and mind boggling consequences. Should Yahoo sell out to Microsoft??? Consider the organizational culture, the work values ... and so much more HR mumbo jumbo.

So.. I was wondering if the bid by Microsoft is fair, will Microsoft dare a hostile takeover, should Yahoo even consider selling at any price?

I could either do a full on analysis and come to a conclusion, or ask the man himself, Mr.Guy Kawasaki. Surely he would have some insights. plus if he wrote back, would make one hell of a blog post (way better than a Microsoft/Yahoo story).

It was worth the try, cuz the big Guy wrote back (well 4 words really).

our exchange:


Hi Guy,

With the Microsoft & Yahoo buy out/hostile take over/merger/acquisition drama going on, how would you (if it wasn't for your "Bozosity") as CEO of Yahoo reacted?

Would you really be okay with selling off your company to Microsoft?


Atif Khan
Karachi, Pakistan


from Guy Kawasaki
to Atif Khan ,
date Tue, Apr 8, 2008 at 8:15 PM
subject Re: What would CEO Kawasaki do?

For $46 billion? Absolutely.

Can I ask you to look at my new site? It’s an “online magazine rack” of popular topics such as politics, science, fashion, celebrities, Macintosh, etc. This one might be particularly interesting to you:

All our topics are shown here:

All the best to you,



Sure it was just 4 words (followed by a promo plug, cant blame him, he is a marketer)

But Guy Kawasaki wrote to me (I have almost been Kawasakied), and that makes one hell of a cool blog posting!

Conclusion: Sell Yahoo!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Shift Happens

Last night I was watching BBC's techshow Click. They always manage to have something interesting on their show, though usually it isn't part of the webscape segment (seem to make it a point to find rather unimpressive sites.)

The last episode covered broadband usage trends, primarily the low penetration due to high costs in the US. According to the BBC "In Manhattan people pay about $30 (£15) a month for a download speed of 3 megabits per second (Mbps) via a DSL line." On the other hand "In Japan you can get 100 megabits for $35."

The USA is the largest and most developed economy in the world, home to Microsoft, Apple and Google, However when it comes to certain technologies, many Asian and European markets have left the US far behind. This reminded me of a presentation I once stumbled across. I have managed to 'Google' out for you guys. I don't necessarily agree with all the intended implications this slideshow makes, but a lot of it can not be easily ignored.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Life, Death and the stuff in between

Every now and then something you come across shakes you up, and forces you to phase out of the daily rut and reevaluate the greater scheme of things, look at the big picture and access where you are headed.

A recent event of such sort was the sudden media focus on Randy Pausch, a Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, who happens to be dying of Cancer. What really gets to you is the fact that this man is dyeing, and does not seem too upset about the whole deal. "If I don't seem as depressed or morose as I should be, sorry to disappoint you”, not too many of us can feel or act that way. Listen to his talk and you will figure out why he can.

A truly great talk with more food for thought than most of us may not be able to digest.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Entrepreneurship 101

Guy Kawasaki, (of Apple evangelism fame) an entrepreneur, author, leading blogger, a start-up guru and marketer of epic proportions. This presentation at TiECon 2006 tells you everything you need to know about "the art of the start". Not to mention a perfect display of public speaking skills (another obsession of mine)

Won't get into the details of the content.. but worth every MB coming your way.

I will have lots more about Guy Kawasaki in days to come.

Whats the deal?

So here's the deal.

I have an interest in marketing & branding, technology & software and above all, Entrepreneurship. I have had one (failed) attempt at setting up a Web-service company. Details of my zigzag career can be found on my linkedin profile.

I hope to establish a blog where entrepreneurs, marketing and sales professional/students, and of course fellow technologists can find, share and discuss interesting resources (Web 2.0 anyone?). Be it articles, blogs, videos or whatever.

In the process I also hope to develop the ability to put a few words together in humanly understandable syntax (aka: the ability to write).

my first real posting follows shortly...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

And it begins... again

Attempt number two, a whole 2 years, 2 jobs and 1 degree later.

I try to blog again. Since i registered this blogspace I haven't been able to figure out what it is that I have/want/would like to blog about. What I do know is, I want to blog!

What I figured out recently is that I may not have allot to say, but allot of very smart/cool/interesting people out there do. And hopefully I will be able to find, gather, enhance (possibly) and bring that content to my readers (potential readers).

my objective... collect what I find interesting in one place, and in that effort possible read/collect enough to actually have something worth talking about.

The search begins....