Friday, 21 December 2007

what's next in technology, does Redherring have the answers?

As 2007 comes to a close and the markets are debating whether a global recession is really just around the corner, it's always refreshing to look at the future and what's going to be the next innovation in this exciting technology world of ours. Recession or no recession - new technologies never stop being developed or launched.

Red Herring has just announced its top 100 Global Award Winners at the beginning of December in the US. It's always worth taking a look in terms of which companies you have already spotted doing great things and who are the start-ups making an impact. There are definitely some nice surprises in there and some really cool looking companies.

The markets are perhaps not surprising and range from mobile and wireless (such as Actimagine, Clairmail and Truphone), security (Lifelock and IPLocks) through to TV, Film and video companies (Bablegum, Pandora TV and Joost).

At an EMEA level, another list that I always like to take a look at is the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA winners.

What's always interesting is to see which companies actually last the course after this initial recognition and glory. Good luck to them all.


Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Calm Down Doris

Shouting at the radio news is one of my many bad habits. Getting into a spluttering rage against a Radio 4 arts programme is a new development of my affliction. The cause of this deterioration in my evening mental state was Doris Lessing and her comments on how the Internet is destroying reading. First voiced in her interview with the Observer and repeated in her Nobel acceptance speech, the comments were rolled out again with little criticism. Perhaps the interviewer rolled over because of her Nobel Laureate status. Nonetheless this conclusion is absolute bunkum and a case of sloppy not sharp thinking. The Internet and reading are not mutually exclusive. Did Amazon build its business case on how Internet shopping would kill off the reading of books? Neither is the Internet intrinsically inane. Certainly there's lots of rubbish on online but is the Internet any more inane than a Barbara Cartland novel, any page of Mein Kampf or even a little bit of Peter Rabbit? So a little more balance please Doris before you wobble off your high perch

Probably what Lessing means is we aren't reading enough of what she regards as good books or perhaps more accurately her books. This actually is a pre-Internet argument with past book killers comic books or television or penny dreadfuls or Laurel and Hardy movies or cave paintings or whatever competing visual media loved by the masses got superior intellectuals in a froth.

Ironically enough for someone who professes loathing of the medium, there's byte loads of online coverage. And, to be perfectly honest, my reluctance to read one of her allegedly depressing scifi novels is ever so slightly reduced by curiousity to see if what she writes is as inane as the Internet.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Businessweek is asking if recession time is here again

Businessweek is the publication I find most useful for telling me about stuff I need to know. This ranges from the weekly back page column written by the management king Jack Welch (and his wife Suzy), who invariably have wise words of management wisdom, through to profiles and incisive interviews with the IT giants such as Microsoft, Oracle, Sun and the like, through to the very exciting gizmos and gadgets from the latest hot sexy Silicon Valley start-ups.

Which is why when Businessweek starts talking about a recession, I take it seriously.

Well, it makes sense too. I have been in this game long enough to know that each recession usually starts at the end of one decade and runs into the next. So if it’s true, we are just starting this one a bit earlier than normal. My business partner (who has a degree in economics so is the expert...!) argues that it’s not so simple, however, history for me suggests otherwise.

So if a recession is really on its way slightly sooner than usual, then my view is that it might be less painful than the boom and bust of 99-2002 because the IT and telecoms industry tightened its belt so tight during the last downturn that I don’t think it had chance to really loosen it yet.

My other source is Radio 5 Live, who predicted the last recession before anyone else and is very busy doing the same thing again. As we all know, we can talk ourselves into downturns.

So watch out, tighten your belts accordingly, it could be upon us sooner than we think.

Sue G