As a newly resident (but often non resident) Indian, it has always intrigued me to see Indian talent leading the US technology revolution. Hosted by Guy Kawasaki this keynote was the first time I’ve had an upfront and personal reflection on the journey that my own parents might have made.
Amit is a search junkie, which is good, as he is the Head of Search at Google. It was obvious that he designs his product with everyone in mind, that “due to his roots as an immigrant” he feels a strong sense of responsibility. He rifted on the theme for a while later reflecting that Google products helps the farmer in Africa or the kid in India to further their ambitions. Amit said that this was backed up with Google’s choice to have local server based strategically to reduce bandwidth. Stating that speed is still the killer app, low latency in a key component to the developing worlds and emerging markets. Amit also noted that Google translates supports the mission. Allowing people not educated in English to participate and consume the predominately English written Internet.
Raised on a diet of black and white Star Trek repeats in Utter Pradesh India, Amit moved to the states in 1990. He told Guy that he advice to his own children was to “Follow your heart and sleep happy”. It was the philosophy that led him to quit a steady job to pursue a PHD at Cornell University in the underlying techniques of modern search. An attitude I would love to see spread in MBA hungry Indians. As Amit said there is no right decision you make you own destiny.
Guy asked about Amit’s mistakes after all Guy had left Apple not once but twice. Amit said he never looks back but after some prodding said that waiting 6 months to join Google had been a mistake. Guy jokingly asked how many billions that has cost Amit.
Asked about a range of Google products such as Google Glass , Amit was not so forthcoming. He was equally as evasive on Facebook search. “Lets see” he said.
Amit did say that he thought the future was in computers who will provide real language answers. Interpreted in the press at talking computers I think Amit wants a search facility that has wisdom. “Voice is a far more natural interface with a device…” he went on to say “but voice is a key component of interacting with search.” Amit example was the Star Trek computer who can respond to real world questions. Amit pointed out that Elon Musk is working on space travel and he is working on talking computer.
Day 4, decided to multitask by wandering around sxsw Trade Show. There was a moment after rows and rows and rows of stands we hit the Asian aisle and I was hit by a wave of excitement.
Here was Japan’s neurowear launching their new product “micro”. Music inspiration from the sub conscious. Sounds futuristic to me but looks like a silent disco. Lovely people wearing headgear making various funny facial movements.
A service I have never thought about before was found in Steve Bealing hands. youcommentate.com slogan isFriends don’t let friends listen to crap commentary. As an Australian based in Singapore Steve’s mobile application allows fans to stream their own commentary for live TV sports events. Moving those twitter conversations one-step further.
Also based in Singapore is Alex Goh with his Image sharing solution. Coded and delivered moments before sxsw started. thecreativefinder.com allows photograph junkies like me to share images in an easy way. The cool feature allowing publishers to add watermarks based on geo location at a click of button.
I also found a company with two operating centers in India, Tripvillas.com. Also headquarted in Singapore this very large website provides a holiday home booking service. The service is not revolutionary in fact it reminded me of an early tech startup who had a similar service for the Caribbean. A gentle reminder, that when you live in the future its good to revisit the past.
In January of this year I decided to take a role at iris Worlwide, looking after their Indian digital team. I am sure I shall talk lots of about it in this blog but for now this is what the press had to say;
It included the comical, like not including my personal handset on the mobile testing list, which resulted in some serious retesting at the eleventh hour. As well the hindsight moment of knowing that we planned well for Olympic scale but had to define processes respectively for reducing capacity. One for all cloud architects everywhere.
I am a big advocate for defining interfaces including full UI designs upfront. Our DFD was very comprehensive as it took guidance from me as well as ODA, TFL, DfT and the supplier ATOS. We all agreed that this contributed to the success of the project. Which considering the 50 point review I submitted at 11pm before leaving on a disastrous ski holiday I am super delighted it was useful. Continue reading →
The Games Makers were given an award by the IOIC Institute and I was bought a very nice three course lunch as a result.
My products that made it to delivery included the Games Maker Sale (e-commerce solution selling left over uniforms) and recruiting the 2,000 Young Games Makers.
The key digital campaign predates my time at LOCOG. We attracted nearly 250,000 applications via the Kitsite CMS and the ATOS systems that managed the process of interviewing 100,000 people at selection centers across the UK and recruiting the final 70,000 Games Makers.
In a digital age where connection possibilities are endless it can be hard to actually ‘feel’ connected. So it was a surprise, that the purchase of my first digital SLR made me feel very much part of the world again. Having a camera in my hand at all times I was now part of the story. Part of the event.
Being locked away on the Olympic Park I was wondering has the technology world moved on a pace leaving me in need of Usain’s ability? At first everything looked the same. The services, the websites. Silicon roundabout. Then Ross stopped by for dinner and asked if we could spend the evening playing with the cloud.
Why not? I have bought a lot of cloud hosted solutions in the last few year and had a small army of people to look after them for me. However here was an opportunity to create my first “Hello World” html page on the cloud without having to interact with a single human. Not even Ross who was busy with his much more crazy Hadoop project bug. More of which when it is announced.
London 2012 stated aim from the outset was to stage a ‘public transport’ Games. In the city that has the oldest underground network this was always going to be a challenge. As the press were keen to debate with one year to go.
Part of the challenge was to ensure that to ticket holders knew where they were going and how long it would take. When I picked up this project I randomly polled a few friends. Most knew that the Olympics Park was being built in Stratford but few had ever been. Continue reading →