Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Effective SOA Governance with the WSO2 Governance Registry



Tuesday, August 4, 2009 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM PDT

Registrations are now open!!
Governance has become the hot topic in SOA over the past year. As companies SOA usage becomes real, widespread and line-of-business, the requirement to ensure that the systems are properly governed has emerged as the number one concern for SOA adopters.
In this webinar, Paul Fremantle, CTO and Co-founder of WSO2, will explain the challenges of SOA governance and show a clear and simple approach that demystifies this complex topic.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Zappos and Amazon sitting in a tree…

Tony Hsieh's letter informing the merger, which HBR calls a Savvy Deal.

CEO Letter | Zappos.com
Today is a big day in Zappos history.

This morning, our board approved and we signed what’s known as a “definitive agreement”, in which all of the existing shareholders and investors of Zappos (there are over 100) will be exchanging their Zappos stock for Amazon stock. Once the exchange is done, Amazon will become the only shareholder of Zappos stock.

Over the next few days, you will probably read headlines that say "Amazon acquires Zappos" or "Zappos sells to Amazon". While those headlines are technically correct, they don't really properly convey the spirit of the transaction. (I personally would prefer the headline “Zappos and Amazon sitting in a tree…”)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Guy Kawasaki’s 10 Questions to Ask Before You Join a Startup



Guy Kawasaki’s 10 Questions to Ask Before You Join a Startup | MintLife | Personal Finance News & Advice
  1. How much money do you have in the bank?
  2. What is your net outflow per month?
  3. What is the post-money valuation of your last round?
  4. What can you do that your competitors cannot?
  5. What can your competitors do that you cannot?
  6. Who are your investors?
  7. Who is on your board of directors?
  8. Has anyone in the engineering team actually shipped a product?
  9. Assume that you have $0 for marketing, how would you market the product?
  10. What keeps you awake at night?

Excellent list of questions. From my personal experience, I think it's also a wise move to ask a few more questions too. "11. What role do you see me playing in your company?". This is way different from the title. Never assume that your title alone will give you leverage to succeed in a startup, especially if you are leaving behind a fast track career in a large, well structured company. And never, ever play the 10% game when negotiating salary joining a startup.There are so many other factors that come into play. You see, startups are usually run by people who are brilliant technically but way less so in business maturity. If you think your Resume and track record will automatically get you your worth, you might be in for a surprise. Their approach for management and HR development may be at best Laissez-faire. So your first impression might very well depend on how much you demand up front. Play the 10% game and you will be screwed. Because not only will you look inferior in the eyes of those people, but also your credibility and career progression at this place will now have a shaky foundation.

So when they ask "How much?" reply with question 12. "How much do you think I'm worth? I'm not at liberty to discuss my present salary. Make an offer and let's talk!". Starting a dialogue instead of readily divulging personal information will save you a lot of grief in the long run. Because eventually you'll see this missed opportunity and it will take a huge effort to correct it, if at all possible. You might love your new work, but always remember that starting your career from scratch is not the objective when leaving for a startup.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

HBR :: Yes, Your Social Media Strategy Needs Design

Yes, Your Social Media Strategy Needs Design - Conversation Starter - HarvardBusiness.org
The current state of "social media" for many businesses looks more like an episode of MacGyver than Apple's design process. Duct tape and bubble gum hold together fragile tactics such as Twitter accounts run by the summer college intern (nothing against college interns) or agency-generated Facebook fan pages that have few actual fans.

The article does layout some real problems. Most businesses want to be in social networks. It's a good move. However, what I have noticed is that most of us really don't have a clue what to do once there. I mean, we do fine with our personal social media presence. Then why do we fail when we try to replicate that success on behalf of our companies? I fully agree that we need design because, when I think about it, our personal success in social media sites neither happen overnight nor by accident.

The presence on line is just another step forward in our ever evolving personality. This is a designed process. So many people and experiences shaped us to be who we are today. Personality development and maintenance is said to be based on three axes, active-passive, pleasure-pain, and self-other. So why should we assume that a business is different? If a business can be legally considered a separate entity from its owners, it can also be considered as having its own personality. It has a vision, a mission, a 5 year plan, a 10 year plan so on and so forth. It chooses its friends and notes its enemies, while acquiring and merging in order to grow and build new alliances. Yet when it comes to social media, this personality is lost. It's usually reduced to a few random posts or tweets any spam bot can do. What we've been doing is just maintaining our presence without a strategy. Without a strategy we have no metrics. Without metrics we don't have measures of success or failure and without these measures, we can't really evolve our business's social media presence.



Friday, July 17, 2009

The 90/10 Principle - Stephen Covey

10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react. If we want to receive, we need to learn to give first... Maybe we will end with our hands empty, but our hearts will be filled with love... And those who love life, have that feeling marked in their hearts.

Author: Stephen Covey
Music: Yanni (Love Songs)
Presented: P.C.Anton

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Offbeat tools? Portals and Mashups are not!

At least that's what CIOs in Singapore think. According to a recent survey, 59% of the responding CIOs were increasing their investments in building applications based on portals and mashups. They are also researching heavily on cloud and SaaS, which is quite obvious due to the buzz in that space of late. This trend is interesting because the challenge for today's CIOs is two fold. Reduce costs while helping their organizations grow at the same time.

Mashups enable this by allowing re-use across the board. Why spend on building new applications from scratch when most of the required data is already available within the existing applications? If you have a SOA in place, things become much easier. But this isn't a must either. A case study I often bring up is the US Federal IT Dashboard. Although it seemed to have appeared overnight, this was an initiative started way back when Vivek Kundra was the CTO for the DC government. If you look at his work from around 2008 onwards, you'll see a nice pattern to incrementally build a successful solution using these Web 2.0 technologies.
  1. Expose re-usable data as much as possible. Restrict access to sensitive data feeds. But do use a catalogue to systematically organize these feeds, so that potential consumers can easily find their way around. Make sure that the data is exposed in a standard compliant, easily consumable format (Web Services, RSS, KML, etc.). [See the DC government's data catalogue]
  2. Once the catalogue is in place, encourage people to mash up the data and come up with interesting new applications. The approach you take depends on your target audience. In an enterprise setting, you should be evaluating various mashup tools available at this point. For the DC government, whose audience is the citizens, an open competition seem to have proved the best alternative. They launched a contest for mashuppers with prizes for winners. [See Apps for Democracy. The entries are closed for 2009. The second year of its existence]
  3. These mashups themselves can be the sole presentation layer for certain applications. But when the demands for presenting a unified, bird's-eye view become stronger, dashboards (portals) come into play. The result of this final step is the one most talked about today, The Federal IT Dashboard. Any citizen from the President downwards can today track government spending. Just point n' click.


That's the story so far. But I feel that step 3 above can use some improvements. What if the dashboard content itself can be contributed by users? What if it was like say, iGoogle? You provide the Data Catalogue and host the Dashboard infrastructure and ask the people to come up with interesting Gadgets that harvest and display data. This will naturally lead to a Gadget Catalogue, a collection of interesting Gadgets any user can pick and choose to create his own Dashboard view. Contributions may be encouraged by a competition similar to Apps for Democracy.

A dashboard is most valuable when it can be customized by the user. Because people have different priorities and with these, the view they expect changes dramatically. If one can register, log in and change the default dashboard by adding gadgets from a catalogue and arranging them according to preference, that would be a great user experience.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

SIGNS

Someone in my network shared this on Facebook today. A simple short film about communication by director Patrick Hughes. I'm not a movie critic. But I like this clip and this is my blog. If you love the soundtrack too like I do find about it here.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

It's release time @ WSO2



Last week, WSO2 released the .next versions of some of our key products (all free and Open Source under Apache 2.0). WSAS and ESB are two of them. In my view, our Registry solution is the one that went through a metamorphosis. Not only did we re-brand the product as WSO2 Governance Registry (G-Reg for short), but we also managed to deliver technically.



Building and evolving a product family is similar to solving a jigsaw puzzle. You start with the most obvious pieces and incrementally go towards the end goal. Sometimes, you find out that your assumptions while putting together some pieces were wrong. Then you have to re-visit that part of the puzzle and sort it out. The Registry vs Governance debate was one such instance where we saw that these, practically, should be a single solution. Today we have the WSO2 Governance Registry, a product that helps users not only to store things, but also to govern their SOA.

As I said, the puzzle is yet to be completed and we are in the process of putting together pieces for another area, Monitoring. In this release of G-Reg, we made a step towards solving that part of the puzzle by including our BAM and Dashboard components. By September this year, we are hoping to finish this part too by adding two more offerings to our product family. So download and see our work. Did we pick the correct pieces? Are we missing any? Do tell ... Our forums and mailing lists await your input.

Friday, July 10, 2009

HBR :: Love Your Product and Live Longer



Love Your Product and Live Longer - Rosabeth Moss Kanter - HarvardBusiness.org
Contrast Carasso's long-term dedication to yogurt with the way many businesses have been conceived in recent years — as empty vessels for making money rather than enduring contributions to well-being. Before the recession, the world moved so fast that tech products could become obsolete in months, if not minutes. Before the recession, some entrepreneurs dreamed less of their product and more about cashing out. During the recession, some entrepreneurs are undoubtedly thinking about giving up rather than selling even harder.

Featured in this article;

WSO2 WSAS 3.1.0 Released!



Azeez's Notes | WSO2 WSAS 3.1.0 Released!
New Features
------------
1. Experimental Equinox P2 based provisioning support. See
https://wso2.org/wiki/display/carbon/p2-based-provisioning-support
2. Various bug fixes and enhancements to Apache Axis2, Apache Rampart,
Apache Sandesha2 & WSO2 Carbon, including security fixes
3. Architectural enhancements to WSO2 Carbon

Downloads available here

Thursday, July 02, 2009

US CIO Vivek Kundra on the new federal IT Dashboard

A 30 minute Q&A session covering dashboards, mashups, sharing & building a community as well as auditing what's reported on these dashboards and mashable data feeds. This session pretty much covers what any end user or a CIO would expect from a Dashboard and the best part is? it's a real world example happening right now.

#OSCON 2009 is "Open for Business" and WSO2 will see you there

Look for us and find out what we've been up to ...



OSCON 2009 - O'Reilly Conferences, July 20 - 24, 2009, San Jose, CA
Now more than ever, open source technology is the smart choice for navigating uncertain economic waters. In a competitive business environment, open source gives you the means to drive down costs while increasing system and staff efficiencies. OSCON 2009 is where you'll find the latest information and new ways to connect with the growing community that is open source.