Friday, February 29, 2008

Gang Green

I've wanted to write about 'going green' for some time now because primarily, it is a global concern with far-reaching implications. But beyond the usual waste management and energy conservation, I guess most of us, like myself, have belittled how personal and business technology can greatly contribute to pushing green. But better late than never. Here's Green IT.

I guess you can also include SaaS and enterprise infrastructure to be good green IT investments. Power grids located in Alaska or Siberia and the spread of virtualization are only the beginning. And favor for cloud compute vs disparate servers sure can save electricity. And we hope to build on that and reap real world benefits while the search for alternate planets to live goes on.

Find out more here, here and here...

More ideas, please!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My problem with Saas, literally.

Does anybody know that entire researchers and analysts devote their precious time (and even spend a lot of coffee money) on this big thing called Software-as-a-Service or SaaS? Many don't and even I failed to get it despite hearing about it for the latter part of last year. Nobody can point to poor press as the culprit. Uh uh. And despite CRM and the like, SaaS is hardly street conversation fodder. To think, there's plenty of business and a long money trail ...

Maybe, SaaS is the problem. Literally. I know some people have beef with it like Mr. Phil. Well, semantics. That was a knee-jerk reaction. But it does get on you when friends and relatives bug you to explain what you try to write and devote time to blog about it.

But words and literature always come to the rescue. No amount of geek-talk or tech terminology will able to get the SaaS message across our target users. We just have to employ age-old, storytelling tactics like metaphors. Nick did and so did Greg. And personally, I think it works. Or as the best CEO read for 2007 claims, stories make it stick.

Spread the SaaS love, Web 2.0

99.9% as a number is nothing to be scoffed at. I don't remember even getting those numbers academically (maybe once during a research presentation where the dean thought I was exceptional - which I promise to never happen again or I'll eat okra for breakfast).

But with web services, 99.9% is a big deal and outages, depending on perspectives, can either spell trouble and opportunity. Honestly, I don't find anything unusual about outages. They happen and will happen, as certain as the next big tsunami that experts warned coastline residents about. Oh, I guess no one ever saw it and if one did, he was taken for a fool and/or got no PR.

SLAs, building trust, contingency plans and just being upfront with downtimes can lessen the headaches but in the long run it will always be the values added to the services that will carry on the relationships, between startups, established companies and surprise, between people, too

And that's Web 2.0 for you.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Cloud Compute's Three Market Segments

Bob Warfield just posted another comprehensive take on cloud computing particularly on the jockeying between hosters and platform builders. He points out how players try to position themselves and dig their trenches in what they would consider their niche in an obvious battlefield.

He further states:
"Markets tend to consolidate from the bottom of the technology stack up. The reason is that the bottom layers have been around a lot longer, there are more big players, and momentum there has often slowed. These are sure signs that a consolidation is in order. It’s important to know where you are in the stack because it equates to where you are in the M&A food chain. Consequently, VC’s often try to evaluate how near the bottom an idea is versus how late in the day it’s getting. Being too low in the stack when the market is very mature is usually a bad thing. Being high up early is oddly almost never a bad thing. The very top of the stack is apps, and it takes apps to propel the other layers forward."

His 3 Important Market Segments: (Top to Bottom)
1. The Virtualizers
2. Value Added Hosters
3. Old-school Hosters

I wonder on what segment the Morph Application Platform belongs to if we were to ask Bob?

Salesforce ... to the Dark Side

Tom Foremski just shared an interesting story err, rumor about a disturbing shares unloading.

I think all of us can empathize with Mr. Benioff (not in terms of money, of course) but with regards to losing interests in something once it kind of peaks. If there is one more personal thing to keep up aside from wits and ethics, it's interest. Sure seems like Oracle's playing emperor to make sure Mr. Benioff turns into Vader fast. The Oracle Empire.

So how do CEOs and companies maintain that interest for value creation and innovation?

On the Side:
Grateful for Mr. Foremski for giving me an invite to test Lunarr. Really haven't touched it yet but was floored by the demo and possibilities. It isn't working at full speed yet but it's got potential.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Friday, February 8, 2008

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


For the past 4 months, I have been fortunate to be part of the preparations of putting up a new company. Although, I am still unofficially a part of Morph, I do treasure the countless hours I spent reading and doing tasks to help Morph in my own small way. Even better, the guys who I've worked with are fantastic and have been quite patient of my obvious limitations.

And today is particularly special.

Maybe you'd like to find out who is at the helm of this venture and read his take on the Morph Application Platform. Sign up and try it out.

Wish us luck, too!

Being Me, a Palie

I am not going to ask permission for digressing a bit from the main purpose on why this blog was created. At the moment, I am maintaining two blogs - one each for a facet of personality that is sheltered in one body and has one brain, just a tiny un-taxed one. It is an exercise necessitated by a wish to look purposeful and organized but may have ended up seemingly too bit compartmentalized, honestly.

This one's about bringing value to work which I've strained hard to understand and still feel familiarly unfamiliar. Which is great, if you ask me.

The other is about me, too. Except that it is more about values and a digital archive of how it is now, with the hope that our beloved would come to know how much we cared for her (although most of the time it may have felt like we don't, especially me.)

And so being me on this day of February 2008 is being the Pale Fountains fan, a true Palie. I first heard of them more than 20 years back in my youth and their voices and the sounds of their instruments have been with me ever since. Hearing and knowing that they were back for two nights in Liverpool and London after all those years just reminded me once again of how great of an influence they have on me. How I wished I was there.

What can I say?

Thank you.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Rails on the Orient Express: Next Stop - Hong Kong Part 2

Many of you probably have heard about this guy. But in case not, here's Leon Ho as Top 4 Businessweek Asian Entrepreneur for 2007. Great!

Good thing we got his replies, too.

1. Personally, what makes Rails special?

Probably the defined conventions. It unifies the design and implementation from developers across the team. The language, Ruby also makes Rails special.

2. Are there barriers towards a broader Rails adoption?

People usually have to see success story before going to adoption,similar to people buying books based on a review. The problem is that there aren't many big scale (with high complexity) apps yet

3. What are the things you would like to see happening as a member of the Rails
community in Hong Kong?
First thing to build a community really is engagement. Probably have more activities and chats in mailing list is a good start.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Rails on the Orient Express: Next Stop - Hong Kong

Let me just say that combing the web does bring out some pretty good info, all things considered. It led me to David Wong from Tripleplay Communications Ltd. in HK. Here is what David posted in google groups in December 2007,

" I am a Ruby user for 3 years and a Rail users for 2 years. A year ago, our company became a full Ruby/Rails shop and also created what we call rubykingdom to group together. But back then activities were rare and we are all split around the Globe, and didn't organized enough meetings in HK."

He further adds,

"I have a mailing list of around 10 members. I have created a basecamp and a wiki. Would love to add you guys to list if you wish. My goal is to group together as much Ruby communities as possible, so we can do some good
sharing, war stories on Real Development cases and trends that really impact our lives as Ruby/Rails users."

Naturally, I just had to contact him. Thankfully, he replied.

1.Personally, what makes Rails special?

I started picking up Ruby first, and later naturally evolved with Rails as it is a killer app for Ruby. On Ruby, its one of the best language I have used since it closely resembles SmallTalk, an advance language at its time, but too difficult to master for mass usage. With Ruby, its one of the most economically simple language I have used so far, and it kept things simple, plus its double byte based due to his inventor Matsu, should suit Asians much more than anything else.
On Rails, I wont' say too much as its obvious set off a new trend on MVC framework where copycat sprung up just to mimic it functionalities, but most people miss the boat as the core was the Ruby Language that make its unique.

2. Are there barriers towards a broader Rails adoption? If so, any ideas on how to overcome it?

Asians are afraid of being at (the) bleeding edge, they are more kind of followers rather than innovators. They do not like to be on a bleeding edge, but once they confirm that - they are.

3. Any other things you wish to see happening as a member of the Rails community in Hong Kong?

1. We should create a proper community to collect thoughts and share resource, after
2. We should create some good reputation of the local community, both by providing seminars and contribution to the Ruby/Rails community.
3. Working with Industry Computer and Academic associations to spread the power of Ruby/Rail, and share with others how we succeed with the languages.

More Hong Kong Ruby on Rails stuff on the coming post. Thanks, David!