Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cloud Computing and The Philippines

An economist in Manila thinks it possible to double the middle class in the Philippines to 45 million people within a decade or so. This number can be added to the tens of millions of others throughout Southeast Asia, and the hundreds of millions in China and India.

The idea of IT as a service, provided as if it were electricity or water (with data integrity) seems to me to be very appealing to a part of the world that cannot and will not have the capex capacity required to leapfrog itself into the top ranks of the global economy.

But with cloud, maybe so. Just as asking, "what can electricity do?" sounds like a silly question from the Ben Franklin area, asking "what can cloud computing do?" is not the real question. The real question is, "how fast can cloud services be delivered to every corner of the world, and how?"

The electricity grids that span North America can, in theory, deliver juice from anywhere to anywhere, but given the pesky laws of electromagnetism and physics, it's best to keep the supply relatively close to the demand.

What about IT resources? Other than for real-time financial services markets, which fuss over latency issues in the microsecond range, how critical is location for the server farms that will power and empower Cloud Computing?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Meet Pradeep Gupta of CyberMedia

I worked for many years at IDG, the world's largest tech publisher, and a company that's planted in a flag in more than 150 countries and every continent, including Antarctica. The key to IDG's approach to global dominance is entrepreneurialism and compartmentalization, ie, each US publication is run as its own separate business unit, as is each IDG company located out of the US.

That experience has given me an eye for similar entrepreneurs. CyberMedia CEO Pradeep Gupta is one of them. I had a great conversation with him a couple of weeks ago. It was mid-morning in Silicon Valley for me, evening for him somewhere north of New Delhi.

I was in my office, he was in his car, and I could hear the ceaseless clamor of "third brakes" (aka car horns) as he worked his way through what sounded to be typically apocalyptic Indian traffic.

We talked about magazines, the old days, whiskey, back-of-envelope calculations, and the present moment as well.

Here is the interview.