- Startup Roots Speaker Series #7 Preview – Darius Cheung
- Startup Roots Speaker Series #2 Recap – Carl Coryell-Martin
- Startup Roots Speaker Series #1 Recap – Joi Ito
Link to full article
Microsoft got its Internet Explorer, Google has its Chrome, so there is no reason that the leading web search giant, Baidu should not have its own browser. Today, Baidu finally released its rumored browser. I spent some time testing it out. My comments:
It’s a disappointing browser and a few people will even hate it; but if you consider it as a lite version or the core of a cloud operating system, it sounds promising.
Baidu Browser has a very neat design. It looks like Chrome obviously, but some parts of the design are even better than that, e.g. the default page (i.e. the App-Box page). The Apps can be placed into multiple screens on the default page. You can just drap&drop one app to another screen and switch the screens easily. The idea is probably from iOS’ multi-screens but Baidu managed to get it nice developed on a browser .
Nowaday when we talk about browser, we need first think of its HTML5 compatibility. It should be the highlight if one browser has the best support to latest HTML5/CSS standard. But on the official page of Baidu Browser, I found nothing about HTML5. We don’t even know how it supports HTML5, what’s the core engine etc. Well, this sounds a bit too geeky, but please note that the Chinese browser market is already messed up. IE6/IE7 still quite popular, Firefox/Opera/Chrome are just for techi guys; local browser such as 360 browser (by 360) etc is popular but they are using IE engine. It’s painful for web developers who have to test one simple feature/effect on different browsers. Baidu Browser only scores 40 out of 450 in HTML5 compatibility test. Baidu should be the best company to take this responsibility, but I am disappointed it just ignores it.
Instead, What Baidu Browser is to sell its >30,000 web applications. It’s actually a part of Baidu’s Box Computing framework which enable users access the web-based service/applications such as flash games, travel service, videos when they are doing the search. Currently on Baidu Browser’s App Box page, we see featured applications like News from Sina, Video from Qiyi and Youku, Music from Xiami and Douban FM, Weibo from Sina and Tencent, E-commerce from Taobao, Games from 4399 etc. It is indeed convenient.
This is what Chrome OS or startup like JoliCloud are trying to achieve, the Cloud-based Operating System in which all the applications are basically web-based.
Given the fact that Baidu is dominating the local web search market, Baidu Browser is really a threat to local browser market. So what we expect next? a mobile browser maybe, or we can just call it a mobile operating system?
[Editorial Notes: Guest article by Alok Kejriwal, Founder of Games2Win.]
I am just writing this a couple of hours after spending a few hours at the main Boeing Factory in Seattle….
All I can say is that ‘ No One – Not even the Entrepreneur Can Imagine HOW BIG her business can become’
- The Boeing factory is the LARGEST commercial building in the world.
It occupies 1.5 CRORE square feet. It can accommodate Disneyland + have 22 acres of parking. It has seven doors to the factory departments – each door’s entrance is the size of the USA football field.
The Company has its own Runway, the worlds largest fire corporate fire department etc etc..Boeing’s operations is the BIG of BIG.
Lesson 1 – When an Entrepreneur WANTS something BADLY – he GETS IT
The last time I was in Seattle, I flew in the famous Sea Plane that takes for a spin around the city and then lands in the water. It was a mini airplane, and honestly I was nervous as hell. I had the seat right next to the Pilot (like a co-passenger in a car) and I just felt that the door would open anytime…!
We were told today that the Founder of Boeing – Mr. Bill Boeing saw an Sea Plane in the Lakes of Seattle in the early 1900 (he was a timber merchant) and wanted to go for a ride in it. The Pilot made him peep inside the plane and showed him that unfortunately, there was only 1 seat and hence that was not possible.
Bill Boeing tried again with another Pilot – only to be refused…
He then finally flew SITTING ON THE WING of a plane, strapped safely with a harness etc etc – but FLEW HE DID.
Almost immediately later he decided he wanted to MAKE PLANES
When I heard the story – I chuckled and thought that almost 90 years after the ride Bill Boeing took, I had undergone the same situation and had ridden the plane very safely; but NEVER even once did I think of BUILDING the machine I was riding…!!
The lesson is not about wanting to build airplanes. Its about marveling at things WE LIKE – DONT HAVE and then making it HAPPEN..
Lesson 2 – Build a great Product. Orders and Demand will come!
Bill Boeing’s first order came from New Zealand – after the US Air Force declined to buy the plane!
After Bill Boeing went to the US Airforce to sell his planes and they had refused – then he went to the US mail and convinced them that the Airplane would deliver America’s Mails faster…
They bought the idea and Beoing had a great business invented thanks to his plane.
The driver who was shepherding us around joked and said – ‘Bill Boeing later had another idea.. he thought ‘If I can deliver Mails, I can deliver Females’ and hence decided to launch a passenger service that did just that!!’
Later, the USA Air Force DID buy Boeing Planes and since the planes were so superior to anybody else’s, the war Pilots in fear of their safety began to chant ‘If it ain’t Boeing – I ain’t goin’!!
I think the only obsession an Entrepreneur must have is to make her product something some people can NEVER LIVE WITHOUT. The rest will take care of itself…
Lesson 3 – Don’t get Disheartened!!
Bill Boeing was summoned by the Politicians at Washington after a few years of his success and told that the government would be forced to break down his Company into 3 pieces (Mail, Airline and Plane Building) because it had the contours of a Monopoly.
The government broke the Company down and in turn broke Bill Boeing heart.
He went on to SELL all his shares in the business and had no commercial interest in Boeing from that day on…
What a pity. Imagine NOT owning an Airline or Mail service would anyway have been a blessing in disguise!
Sometimes, really bad months or years take a real toll on the entrepreneur and the worst four letter word in anyones dictionary called ‘QUIT’ sometimes takes over…We have to resist it.
Lesson 4 – LUCK HAPPENS
This is an amazing story..
One the key Test Pilots of Boeing – A chap called Tex Johnson was flying a new plane over Seattle, when he realized that that day was the day of the annual Air Show in Seattle in which leading decision makers of the world in the field of Aviation had assembled.
Tex Johnson took his new Boeing Plane over the lake and ACTUALLY DID A DOUBLE BARREL ROLL with a mighty airplane over the heads of stunned on lookers!
The massive crowd was Shell Shocked..
On the Monday that followed, Tex Johnson was called into the CEO’s room and given a big dressing down – when asked ‘What the HELL he thought he was doing, he replied ‘I thought that I was just selling Airplanes’…
In the next few weeks, Boeing got orders for 200 PLANES – thanks to that massive visibility and actual demonstration of the streghth of the plane.
Tex Johnson retained his job and the rest we know is History.
Lesson 5 – Massive Innovation is required all the time.
From the Galleys above, we saw the REAL factory floors of the 747, 757, 767 and 777-800 airplanes planes and each and every one of them in production!
The assembly methodology of each progressive model of Boeing planes had gotten better – from one plane being built at a time to planes in an assembly that was pulse based (moved from time to time) to assemblies that moved ON THEIR OWN!
If I remember correctly, the 767′s assembly was automatically moving forward 1.6 inches ahead every minute – forcing all the teams to complete the work as it ‘sped’ forward!
And on the point of Assembly – the existing planes that were being delivered had their parts came to the Boeing Factory in bits and pieces to be together in a few months.
However, the 777-800 was engineered totally as a LEGO type ‘snap and fit’ design and could be assembled in 3 days FLAT!!!
I still cannot believe 3 days… (note that it still take years to make the parts but in the 777-800 the guide said that they will assemble and deliver a plane every 3 days!!)
On materials, the new Composite material being used by Boeing 777-800 is so strong that some of Boeing’s old testing equipment faces the risk of breaking down itself rather than breaking down the parts it is supposed to test. The new material is lighter than Aluminium and because it does not CORRODE easily – more HUMIDITY can be issued in the Airplane – making it more comfortable for us!
I never though tha Humidity in a plane was controlled by the Airplane and Airline guys to make the plane last longer (and in turn giving us nice jet lag and dehydration)
My point is that entreprenuers HAVE TO BE RELENTLESS in their pursuit of perfection and almost reversing the old saying by saying ‘EVEN IT AIN’T BROKE – LETS FIX IT’
Lesson 6 – CLEVER marketing is GOOD Marketing
The Government of the USA allotted the Series ’700′ to Boeing for its airplanes
Logically, the first plane should have therefore been Boeing 700.
Instead it was the Boeing 707.
Coz the Boeing Marketing team felt that 700 was too Vanilla and 707 sounded cool!
Well, 50 years ago that was really CLEVER marketing!!
Even this tour experience was nothing short of some amazing VIRAL marketing. Imagine – I paid 65$ for the trip and dedicated 4 hours to it and now I am penning one of the most exhaustive blogs I have written – dedicated to BOEING!
The tour ended IN the gift shop – impulsively making us buy Boeing memorobalia to take the story home and further and the Driver and Conductor chanted and asked us to tell our travel agency next time – IF IT AINT BOEING – WE AINT GOING!!
If the driver of a Boeing factory can be so committed in marketing his brand, so can entrepreneurs. Always remember that Advertising via money is for the lazy and dumb. Think of your 707 strategy instead!
Lesson 7 – Massive Commitment is EVERYTHING
As we sped back, the driver of the bus pointed us to lots of private cars parked RIGHT OUTSIDE the Boeing Factory gates.
He mentioned that in order to be able to simply drive into work and park in front of the main factory buildings all you needed was one criteria – you needed be working at Boeing for 25+ years!!!
Counting the cars on a Sunday, I really understood that it takes a NATION OF COMMITTED people to make something significant happen – starting with the Entrepreneur taking POLE POSITION!
[Reproduced from Alok’s site]
The Indian Rupee Symbol has been encoded in Unicode Standard, National Standard ISCII and you will be able to use it by pressing “Alt Gr” + “4” keys in future. As far as keyboard support for the Rupee symbol is concerned, it will be rolled out by January, 2012.
TDIL DataCenter has also release a tool to type Rupees Symbol along with updated “SakalBharati” font. Sakal Bharati is a Unicode based Open Type font which includes 11 scripts in one font i.e. Assamese, Bengali, Devanagari, Gujarati, Kannada Malayalam, Oriya, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil & Urdu. It has used Mono thick (Equal thickness of horizontal stems and vertical stem) glyphs for all scripts. This tool enables you to type Rupees Symbol in your documents using ALT + GR + 4 combinations on QWERTY keyboard ( “SakalBharati” font download link).
How to type Rupees Symbol using the above tool:
1. Open the application where you want to type this rupees symbol.
2. Select “SakalBharati” or any other Unicode font having Rupees Symbol.
3. Open the Rupee Symbol Typing tool ( By double clicking its icon on Desktop )
4. Press ALT (Placed on Right hand side of the keyboard) + 4.
Microsoft has also released an update to support the new currency symbol for the Indian Rupee in Windows Vista, in Windows Server 2008, in Windows 7 and in Windows Server 2008 R2.
And while armchair rebels take the twitter world for a ride and ensures that we sign a lot of e-petition to curb corruption, Kerala CM has taken the first step to bring credibility to the government – he has installed webcam in his office (sans audio).
I believe you might have come to know that the CM’s office has gone live on the internet.
The government thinks that the CM’s office should be like an open book before the pubic. The visitors who come to the CM’s office and what all happens there should be visible to everybody.
With the idea of corruption free governance and adhering to the announcement of total transparency in administration a web camera has been installed in CM’s office.
Democratic governance should be one that is from among the people. Nothing should be covered from the people. This step is seen as one among the many to implement total transparency in governance. [Kerala CM]
Some of you might call it a namesake initiative, it does sow a seed of creativity for politicians who want to fight corruption – at least in real life (i.e. discarding the twitter/FB talks).
What’s your take? Of course, we will revisit this initiative and will keep a tab on the ‘live feed’, in order to see if this initiative is for real (and is sustainable).
We want to warn you that this is not a short video, in which it shows how this young man built his version iPad 3 with his hands. Sure enough that his machine is widely different from what you think the real iPad 3 should look like, and, without any extra instruction, with that fake Apple logo, we must have thought that’s just another knockoff from that wonderful land Shenzhen. But all these don’t matter much, right? he deserves some admiration from us for the DIY spirit. Moreover, his iPad 3 seems great, the touch very responsive with Windows XP.
Gathering information from Internet about this video, I learned that he worked for a computer shop, and he did this in his spare time, which lasted three month. The parts are mainly from a second hand laptop, and cost him around 300 USD. Some customers were even trying to order one like this from him, but he refuse to do the business. Hmm, man, it’s not an easy job.
Almost a month ago, there was an international technology and start-up showcase event, which is called Echelon, at the National University of Singapore. Because of many things to do remaining after the event, I delayed making a write-up on it.
I think this year's Echelon was its second edition, and that took place on June 16 and 17. Here's a brief wrap-up.
Startup Launchpad (Part 1)
Startup Launchpad (Part 2)
Garbs, a Tokyo-based start-up that helps you recruit potential colleagues using their Facebook app.
Compath.me, a location-based smartphone app that allows you to find discoveries near-by that the other users have posted and you may be interested in.
Makible, a Hongkong-based start-up for making niche products. They connect with online communities to pre-order-crowd sourced products they make and distribute. Founded by Jonathan Buford and Nicholas Wang.
I was invited to Lisa Katayama's panel featuring Japanese tech scene, and we talked about the latest developments on the Japanese web industry. Also I gave some words to Asian start-ups who eagerly go into Japanese market. From left to right, Lisa Katayama (Tokyo Mango), Ian McFarland (Digital Garage), me, Jon Yonghook Cockle (CookPad) and Brian Ritchie (Mind Valley, Malaysia). Photo courtesy: e27.
After the event...
Penn Olson, a Singapore-based tech blog which I've been contributing for, had a party in the central Singapore, where four Japanese start-ups including Cacoo, Fashion Style Japan, Compath.me and Moso had an opportunity to present. You can find videos shooting it here[J].