10 March 2006

The Silicon Valley Adventure

I am not sure if I want to link this Amazon item here. Well I decided not to, because there are no legal agreements between me and them to do so and there's no incentive in really doing that on my part. "Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure" by Jerry Kaplan, I've been ignoring this book in the shelves of every bookstore that I have been to, from National Bookstore to Kinokuniya due to its lack of appeal and some of its true-to-life highly insidious characters. Even it was written in 1994 and as we know that there has been a lot of changes in the way the business of technology has been transacted and not to forget the emergence of Open Source and other disruptive ideas that has bejeweled this high-tech industry, the pattern of execution in operating a high-tech startup is still applicable today. From "The Pitch" to the "The Bubble" it's very much the same now. I was just so intrigued enough to pick this book from the topmost shelf of a bookstore and is already collecting the day's dust.

Ok, forgive my 10-years-or-so-after review of this book, it has became my bible for the past couple of weeks. Reading it religiously at the bus going to work(I can't believe I'm still working while reading this book) and before retiring to bed. This book is for dreamers, not simple-minded dreams. The dream to revolutionize, start a wild ride or spinoff one. Attempting to open a high-tech startup requires a heart of steel with a soft core, it's not the same from any other businesses. Unfortunately, I found the book too good to be short. It's not your Entrepreneurship 101 book that tells you how to do things step-by-step rather it was a sniff-by-sniff account of GO Corporation, the maker of Penpoint operating system. Right, before Palm and O2 there was Penpoint.

I admire Jerry's focus, yes FOCUS, his patience and his non-obvious lengthy attention span. This is not a selfish focus on how to rake a million bucks and run away in the name of limited liability. Which I think other people will choose otherwise. Some may ask if Jerry's adventure is doable in Open Source. Why not?

The funny thing about running a startup in the nineties is that there could be more legal documents than source codes in a company. It makes me come to think, was the JVM created base on the weight of its technical merits or a way to legally manuever from the CPU manufacturers' expensive licensing terms? Screw the Oak Legend? Huh, Who Knows.

08 March 2006

A year in Singapore

As a matter of fact it's still six days to go to mark my first year in Singapore. But I can't wait to scratch this itch to write this down now. During that span of time I learned two important things that makes this place conducive for business. First is good(I mean great!) governance, second is currency. The rest just follows, even those with shitty revenue models survive here. I mean try to persuade some companies here to operate in the Philippines for sure the vultures will devour them alive.

For me, this period has been consummated with enormous learning experience that no Filipino IT Professional who has been imprisoned for like 10 years in a CRT-radiated, congested den of a bank that produces most of our credit cards could learn in his/her entire career timeline. This experiences ranges from being arrowed to speak in front of other corporate decision-makers sponsored by the Big Blue about this crap called SOA, passing the Basic Theory, getting the PDL and be able to drive around(guided, of course), witnessed the growth of a high-tech startup at nerve-wracking speed that is unimaginable to a lot of catch-ups and sissies here.

Speaking of catch-ups and sissies there's a lot of that here judging from the look and feel of their corporate websites most of them are so nineties. Looking away from your monitor(Yes, I am talking to you nonchalant Pinoy IT Pro) there's a shitload of opportunities here, In fact you're already sitting, sleeping or walking past at one just ignore your colleagues who seems to follow the "they-don't-get-it" or "I-will-never-going-to-get-it" lifestyle for a few minutes, you'll know what I'm talking about.

The Eclipse RCP guys are right! I've attended a Sun-sponsored conference middle of last year and a guy named Matt asked the crowd who uses Eclipse and who uses Netbeans(No one has to guess who get the most numbers) and promised that by February this year Netbeans will be better and guessed what? It's fucking March! Instead, I am burning my eyebrows on writing RCP Plugins for our Patriot project and soon I will be moving entirely into this platform too and will reshape everything that my hands will get into, from old-school web to RCP. Because Netbeans can't even catchup, they don't get it! It's still Swing!

Moving forward, another year I would guess would be the year of the multimedia, there has has been so much web framework, Yet-another-J2EE-container overload in the community, these things only supports the value of a product, not bring it out. A crappy user interface with a very nice backend is like your former pimply-faced-with-overbite-and-thick-eyeglasses high school girl classmate who's very brilliant in Algebra, what's the point? You can't bring her to the prom right? Everybody remembers a Prom Night but who remembers a graduation speech?