Thursday, May 12, 2005

A Google of Malaysia?

Have you ever wonder will there be a local IT company as big or famous as Google in Malaysia? Let's face it, this will never happen! There will never be a Yahoo! or a BEA. Why? Companies like Google and Yahoo! was not started because they can make money. Larry Page and Sergey Brin didn't say "Hey, lets start a search engine company and make tons of money". They were doing research on search engine. The company was a product of their research. Not the other way round.

This is not the case with Malaysian IT companies, in fact all Asian IT companies. The owners are all money driven. Lets do a case study. The company I am working for is a good one. Its actually an MNC originated from a country with the Merlion as a national symbol. It has a framework which the management wants to sell as a product. The problem is this product is a total mess thanks to some Dumbass. The management doesn't want to pour money into fixing the blunders cause by Dumbass but wants to milk the product. In fact, I think the management fails to see a problem with the product.

If little money is spend on R&D to improve the product, how can it be sold? You maybe able to cheat one or two customers but you can't cheat everyone. People will find out that you are selling them rubbish. If this is the kind of attitude exhibit by local IT companies, then how can there be a homegrown Yahoo!

So if you want to create a giant like Google, you must be willing to do the work for free with no expectation of getting any money out of it. You must be not driven by Money. Money is not in the picture!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Never let just anybody be in charge

Never simply let anybody be in charge of your critical projects or products. Its a disaster ready to happen. If the person happens to be an X-Men, be prepared for bankruptcy! A fine example would be a J2EE product that the company I work for is trying sell.

The product started out as individual solutions to specific customers need. The management then realized that these individual solutions can be reused in myriads of projects, and so the product was born. They put this person (let's call him Dumbass) in charge of this new product's direction and implementation. FYI, Dumbass is not an X-Men but is no better. Dumbass has zero hands on experience in J2EE or even Java, just general knowledge. Worst of all Dumbass is a proud close minded stubborn SOB!

Since the product is actually a bundling of the various solutions developed over the years, the technology employed varies from BMP to CMP. The codes are also polluted by the X-Men. Instead of doing various refactoring to the code base to standardize the various techniques used and to better integrate the various solutions, Dumbass chose to concentrate on esoteric stuff.

Dumbass also came out with the idea of simplifying the API, which to be fair is a good idea, but the implementation is a joke. Instead of simplifying the existing API, another layer of remote Session Facade with the new API was bolted on, delegating calls to the existing API. Now, we all know how evil is a remote method call and a chatty application making lots of remote call is a big no no.

Dumbass was in charge of this product for a year and it is fubar. The product is slow, buggy and hard to maintain. Does your company have a Dumbass in charge of its critical products?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

VC Funding?

Once in a while, I have some crazy ideas for the next killer app that could be the next eBay. So today May 4, 2005, I will document down one for all to see. Hopefully, I will be branded as a visionary.

People like Karaoke. There are myriads of reasons why people love it. To some it can fulfill their dreams of becoming a singer, at least in front of their friends, in which reality does not allowed them so because of their fugly look or their chicken voice. To some it can fulfill their desire to perform and impress but are too timid to be a real entertainer.

People usually frequent Karaoke outlets because of one reason. Content. They will have your grandmother's oldies to the latest hit songs. Even if you have the best equipment at home you still lack the vast library of songs.

So with broadband becoming more common it is possible to setup an on demand karaoke service.
You can buy the song ala Apple iTunes or you can pay a small amount to sing the song each time.
What is needed is a box with broadband connection, a built in hard drive and of course Karaoke capable.