Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Chief Listening Officer" a name you should know in 2011

Many of my friends working in Internet/Facebook blocked intranet offices wonders when i say part of my job is to be in Facebook. Here's the news - 


A competition by Forbes Magazine blog named #50 top things you should know in 2011. Amongst them is a new position in every company "Chief Listening Officer".


The internet along with later developed media such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter..etc. has created such a platform for consumers to kill or build brands. While brands use Social media as a tool to propagate their messages and products, it works in other direction where consumers talk about products. People talk about brands in both good & bad ways. The solution for brands was to have someone to listen to them so they can take action as appropriate.


Two examples given by the Forbes were Kodak and Dell. They both have a position called Chief Listening Officer to listen to Social Media as given below.


Beth's ear is turned your way
"Each month, Eastman Kodak CLO Beth LaPierre, 30, monitors 300,000 mentions of Kodak on Facebook, Twitter, message forums, YouTube, blogs, and elsewhere on the Web, using software from Radian6 and PeopleBrowsr. Then she decides which department needs the information.

When vloggers complained that the company’s latest digital video camera needed a mic jack for crowded rooms, she let product development know and it was added to the next model. “It’s like a focus group of millions,” says LaPierre. “There could be ten of me.”
When fans of a popular Nickelodeon children’s program started complaining on TV blogs about Kodak pulling ads due to a transgendered character, LaPierre contacted PR and then swooped in to correct the false report. “With a chief listening officer, you can ensure an immediate reaction before things spiral out of control,” says LaPierre.
Of her title, she says, “It’s hard explaining it to my mom.”

"Her counterpart at Dell, Chief Listener Susan Beebe, describes her job, which she started in July, as building "complex queries."

Susan Beebe
Susan Beebe
"There is a data-analysis research role to this job, and I have a very technical background," Ms. Beebe said. Dell has thousands of new mentions per day and the CLO's job is one of "broad listening" -- as Dell has such a deep penetration globally in so many different markets.
Unlike many social-media jobs, this position is very inward-facing. She's listening to Dell customers and consumers and giving all the intel to her Dell colleagues internally.
"Our chief listener is critical to making sure the right people in the organization are aware of what the conversations on the web are saying about us, so that relevant people in the business can connect with customers," said Richard Binhammer, communications executive at Dell. Mr. Binhammer points out that "Dell has been listening for four years and created a position called 'Listening Czar' two years ago. We are a leader in the listening space."
Ms. Beebe and Ms. LaPierre said their companies were driving innovation through customer feedback."
Social Media is no longer a FAD. Or just another trend that will fade away. Its here to stay and its up to you an your company to listen to what's being said about you!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mark Zuckerberg meets with China's Facebook (Baidu) CEO Robin Li

mark zuckerberg and prischilla chan  facebookDid you know that Mark Zuckerberg - Times Person of the year's girlfriend is Chinese American???
Prischilla Chan from a Chinese Family migrated to US is the girlfriend of America's 35th richest person. During a visit to her family in China, Mark Zuckerberg met with the biggest Chinese web portal - Baidu's CEO Robin Li.
robin liForbes Magazine described Robin as China's second wealthiest person. While Facebook is still banned in China (Along with Google, Twitter and Youtube among many others) any collaboration of Facebook and Baidu can send ripples through Google.
mark zuckerberg and prischilla chan  facebook coupleWhile the war on internet is on, and the rise of asia is certain - anything to do with China would be worth for Facebook.
Feel free comment on your ideas on the future of these internet giants...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Research : The people who use Twitter

This is the first of it's kind research done on twitter and following are some of the interesting statistics.
Some of the groups who are notable for their relatively high levels of Twitter use include:

  • Young adults – Internet users ages 18-29 are significantly more likely to use Twitter than older adults.
  • African-Americans and Latinos – Minority internet users are more than twice as likely to use Twitter as are white internet users.
  • Urbanites – Urban residents are roughly twice as likely to use Twitter as rural dwellers.
While we are still waiting for a good twitter insights tool, Lets wait for some more good researches on Twitter.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Facebook cartoon profile pic real motive

"For a week, change your profile picture on Facebook to one of your favourite cartoon characters from your childhood. The aim of the game? To not see human heads on Facebook but a true invasion of childhood memories"

The status message went viral and everyone was putting cartoon charactors from their childhood to their profile picture not knowing who's behind this and whats behind this.


I could finally find that this is initiated by a organization known as "campaign to end violence against children". The viral status message we received is not exactly the one that the organizers of the campaigns propagated. What we put is  given above.



But the real one put by the organizers is

"Change your Facebook profile picture to a cartoon from your childhood and invite your friends to do the same"


Eventually this was a major hit and a top google search keyword last few days and don't you think that the organizers achieved their consent?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Poll : Which 70s-90s cartoons do you like the most?

So far the viral spreading in Facebook had been only from girls. But this time everyones going crazy with the following status.


"For a week, change your profile picture on Facebook to one of your favourite cartoon characters from your childhood. The aim of the game? To not see human heads on Facebook but a true invasion of childhood memories"



I changed my status about a week ago, but it really has started going viral few hours back. And when i look at some Facebook friends users friends - thumbnails of profile pictures it really is an invasion of childhood memories.



With the enthusiasm high for old-age cartoons, I thought of finding the most popular cartoon series of todays adults. So i have chosen 1980's -1990's some most popular cartoons in Sri Lanka (Showed in premier channels ITN, Rupavahini and Sirasa TV), please select which ones you like from the poll.




And comment with any most popular ones I haven't added so i can add.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Prince William-Kate Middelton Royal wedding : Bishop suspended for Facebook comments

Many times i have warned my friends of what they post in Social networks. My article on Kevin Peterson getting banned for a Twitter update was so popular. Here's another one like that, again from UK.


A bishop who had put a comment meaning that the wedding wont last 7 years has been asked to withdraw from public service until further notice. Later he has apologized and there are efforts to bring him back.

He had been deeply critical of the media reception given to the Royal wedding. Following is some of his comments that was noted "deeply offensive" by church of England.


This will be a good lesson for all those who take Facebook lightly. It's no longer the fun site it used to be. Everyone is now present and active in Facebook from your work colleagues to your nearest Police cops to relatives. So thinking twice can save you from the trouble.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Facebook blog : You will no longer make phone calls or email

Official Facebook blog has a post written by it's Engineer Joel Seligstein  saying you will no longer use phones or email after Facebook introduces the new messaging system.

He further says that there will not be any CC, BCC, Subject lines in the new system. It will be totally free so that it is as fast as you can imagine.

Another feature is that it can send a message as email, IM, text or any medium. You simply have to select which type. It will look like a general inbox that has all types of messages.



The coolest he says is no need of knowing your friends phone number or the email address. Knowing his name would simply connect you to him.  

Do you still say it's not a threat to email?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Facebook recruits 3 Software Engineers of Email service Zenbe

There were lots of arguments to my articles of Facebook email saying Facebook will not be any problem to existing emails like Gmail, Yahoo.


Some commented on my Facebook status quoting Mark Zuckerberg " It's not email". You were right - He said just that - I have that video in my last post.

For all those who says "its not going to be an issue", What do you say about this news about Facebook acquiring talent from the email start up company Zenbe. Here is part of their company blog it self -

Congratulations Facebook!

November 16th, 2010 by Alan Chung · comments · http://blog.zenbe.com/lswvw
You may have heard this week that Facebook is launching a new unified messaging product. We here at Zenbe are happy to have played a small role in this: a few months ago, three of our engineers joined Facebook as part of a talent acquisition. We believe that messaging and collaboration on the web are on the cusp of a new wave of innovation, and we¹re excited to be playing a role in that.


 Do you think Mark Zuckerberg recruited this Email experts from Zenbe just to make a messaging system? Isnt it going to be a challenge to ordinary email like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL as it can replace them as a communication system?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg on new Facebook messaging(Email)

Here is the CEO of Facebook himself talking about the new email system which he calls "not email".

The features seems really cooler with the users being able to see all their communications like IM, Email, Chat and FB messages all in one box.

Watch the interview and the clip made by CBS - Its really informative...


video




He says - "We dont want people to wake up tomorrow and shut down Yahoo, Gmail accounts. This is not email, it's all new communication".

Friday, November 19, 2010

What your email address says about you : New Facebook email

Facebook email is about to be activated and everyone I remember my first email address in yahoo created back in 2001-2002. I still use it. But the times were changing and I updated myself to use gmail and office email address. But how many of you really transformed with the new technology???

I have seen people still use hotmail or yahoo. I know people who use yahoo older version (Not the beta even). 

We all use our own email addresses ranging from Aol, Yahoo, gmail and office mails. It really says lot of things about you. I came across these awesome blog post transfered to CNN.com article on what your email says about you.

Here is the funny article of what it really says about you. 



Following is the really cool chart of less awesome - to more awesome vs. your email. 




Having your own domain is really awesome and sounds super-dupa. You can get around a dozen emails your own web/blog (Competition for me) and all. If you want one let me know by emailing nnulk(at)yahoo.com (Come on bro - I made this in 1990s...LOL)  you can get it for very very cheap prices. 

Where will Facebook email fit in here? Feel free to comment.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is Facebook winning teens??? - Teenagers Communication Patterns - Research

Facebook is winning when you look at the stats - 



Here is the link to get an invitation to Facebook email - http://www.facebook.com/about/messages/

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Facebook email service (New Messages) How it works?

Facebook only gives these information so far about the new messaging service that's aimed at conquering gmail market share.

Mark Zuckerberg has said he wants to make email more casual by removing formalities such as subject...etc.

You can request for an invitation for facebook email for now - But no one has ever got a confirmation as i got to know from twitter. Let's wait and see.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

65 Easy General Knowledge Questions

  1. Which metal is heavier, silver or gold? Gold
  2. How many legs do butterflies have? 6
  3. Which is the country with the most people? China
  4. Which state is the biggest in the US? Alaska
  5. Which country has the largest area of land? Russia
  6. Which is the country hosting the 2012 Olympic Games? UK
  7. Which indoor sport is the most popular in the US? Basketball
  8. Which golf player's mother is from Thailand? Tiger Woods
  9. What is Aurora Borealis commonly known as? Northern Lights
  10. Which is the non-contagious disease that is the most common in the world? Tooth Decay
  11. Which was the album the Beatles recorded the last time together? Abbey Rd
  12. Which instrument did Miles Davis, the jazz musician, play? Trumpet
  13. What is the sport in which you could get into a headlock? Wrestling
  14. In which country was golf first played? Scotland
  15. Which is the sport where you could be out ‘leg before wicket’, or ‘hit a six’? Cricket
  16. When did baseball originate in the US? 19th century
  17. Which is the sport wherein you would use a 'sand iron'?
  18. What is the largest mammal in the world? Blue Whale
  19. Which is the country where reggae music originated? Jamaica
  20. Who was the creator of Jeeves and Wooster? P.G.Wodehouse
  21. Who painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Micheal Angelo
  22. Who was the writer of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? Lewis Carrol
  23. After which famous person was the teddy bear named? Theodore Roosevelt
  24. Which is the smallest ocean in the world? Arctic
  25. What is the rhino’s horn made of? Hair
  26. Who was the first Prime minister of Bangladesh? Mujibur Rehman
  27. The river Jordan flows out in which sea? Dead Sea
  28. Which is the biggest desert in the world? Sahara Desert
  29. Which is the longest international highway in the world? Pan-American Highway
  30. Which country ranks second in terms of land area? Canada
  31. What do the Japanese call their country? Nippon
  32. Which is world's oldest known city? Damascus
  33. Which is the biggest island of the world? Greenland
  34. Who is the largest producer of tin? China
  35. After whom was Mount Everest named? Sir George Everest
  36. Which country is known as the Sugar Bowl of the world? Cuba
  37. Which city was called "The Forbidden City" in ancient times? Peking
  38. What is the length of the English channel? 564 kilometers
  39. Which is the lowest point on earth? The coastal area of Dead sea
  40. Which country is known as the land of the midnight sun? Norway
  41. What is the national flower of China? Plum Blossom
  42. Where is the largest bell in the world located? Tsar Kolkol at Kremlin, Moscow
  43. Sri Lanka was earlier known as? Ceylon
  44. When is independence day of South Korea? 15th August
  45. Who killed John F Kennedy? Lee Harvey Oswald
  46. Where is the world's largest library? United States Library of Congress, Washington DC
  47. What is a baby swan called? Cygnet
  48. What year did the National Lottery start in Britain? 1994
  49. Who is third in succession to the British throne? Prince Harry
  50. How many eyes can you find in a pack of 52 cards? 42 eyes
  51. How many chambers does the human heart have? 4
  52. If you were born on Dec 6th What star sign are you? Sagittarius
  53. What was the princess Diana's maiden name? Spencer
  54. How many zeros are there in a billion? 9
  55. Which is the largest wild cat? Tiger
  56. What tournaments must a tennis player win to win all grand Slam Titles? Wimbledon, US, French and Australian Opens
  57. What color are the 5 Olympic Rings? Black, Blue, Red, Green and Yellow
  58. Which tube line goes to Heathrow airport? Piccadilly Line
  59. Which book of Ian Flemming did James Bond first appear? Casino Royale
  60. On which date did man first walked on moon? 20th July 1969
  61. What is a community of ants called? Colony
  62. What is the boy scouts motto? Be Prepared
  63. What bird is used as the sign of peace? Dove
  64. When did michael jackson die? 25th June 2009

Monday, November 15, 2010

Facebook to launch its own email service to kill GMAIL

Facebook it set to launch it's own email service today in order to give more and more flexibility for users.

Well that's what they say - But we can see that this is the explosion of a long rivalry with Googles' gmail. Google recently fired back by not giving access to Facebook gmail contacts import feature. Google accused Facebook of not giving them access to gmail users' friends data.




Facebook launched a project called "Titan" to start with this email service. With this every user will get an email to their profile. The service is to be launched with a mega event in San Fransisco tonight.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is to launch the new email service

What do you think of the war between Google and Facebook. And which email will you prefer? Feel free to comment.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sean Paul : Dancehall kings' biography

Source: http://www.dancehallminded.com/seanpaul/bio.htm

Sean Paul-photo
Ever since his impressive single debut "Baby Girl" in the spring of 1996 for producer Jeremy Harding on the 2 Hard Records label, Sean Paul has captured the eyes and ears of the Dancehall community as "...the one to watch". Born to a Portuguese-Jamaican father and a Chinese-Jamaican mother, Sean Paul Henriques grew up known to his friends as the "copper- color Chiney bwoy...", excelling in sports in his teen years. Sean played water polo for the Jamaica National team as well as representing his country in swimming in the 1989 and 1991 Carifta Games. However his love for the arts was fostered at an earlier age by his mother, a well noted Jamaican painter. "When I was 13 years old , my mother got me this little thirty dollar keyboard. I remember thinking that this was all I needed to make dancehall riddims!" Nonetheless, it wasn't until 1993 that the then aspiring dancehall DJ from St. Andrew got his introduction to the music business through musicians Carrot Jarret, Cat Coore and Bunny Rugs from Third World, as well as producers Rupert Bent and Paul Castick.

"I am very grateful to those musicians for giving me my first exposure to the business. But I wasn't really feeling the direction they were going in. Dancehall was really the right avenue for me to express myself, to get people to hear me out about how I saw the world". With a style and voice reminiscent of the great Super Cat, the 26 year old DJ also credits Major Worries, Shabba Ranks, Lt. Stitchie and Papa San as heavy musical influences. After a string of hits such as "Infiltrate" and "Hackle Mi" for producer Jeremy Harding , "Nah get no Bly (One More Try)" for producer Donavon Germain, and "Deport Them" and "Excite Me" for producer Tony Kelly, Sean Paul is currently enjoying the success of "Hot Gal Today" with Mr. Vegas on producers Steely and Clevie's "Streetsweeper" riddim. Sean also appears on the cut "Here Comes the Boom" with Mr.Vegas and rap artiste DMX on the soundtrack to video director Hype Williams' debut film "Belly" on Def Jam Records.

With his debut album for VP Records on the way this fall, Sean Paul says despite his achievements, he still feels like a rookie. "I'm still working on my career, still trying to learn from other artistes and develop my skills and my style. The world still hasn't seen the best of Sean Paul." The DJ has appeared on most of the major music festivals including Sting, Reggae Sunsplash, Reggae Sumfest and Reggae SuperJam, as well as showcases in Great Britain , the Caribbean, and numerous US club and arena venues. Sean has also started his own record label, Bassline Records, to sharpen his production chops and make a greater impact on the reggae industry.

"Not enough time is put into the full production of Dancehall. The talent is there, but we have to look at the rest of the world as a marketplace as well, not just Jamaica. People should stop just trying to make a quick buck and develop the music. Then reggae can move forward again." Sean Paul standing tall...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sir Richard Bransons' Books

.Many people asks this question. What are the books written by him? And my good friend Amila Weerarathne simplified the answer by even giving the order you should read Sir Richard Bransons' Books.

Here goes the list in the way you should read.

1. Losing my Virginity

Richard Branson's fast paced auto biography.  - The flamboyant Virgin entrepreneur from the United Kingdom shares some of his business successes, world adventures, and personal background in his bubbly autobiography. "Losing My Virginity: How I've Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way" is a very appropriate title as it is exactly what the book is about.
Losing My Virginity Book Quotes

  • "Ridiculous yachts and private planes and big limousines won’t make people enjoy life more, and it sends out terrible messages to the people who work for them. It would be so much better if that money was spent in Africa.. and it’s about getting a balance."
  • "Three months of running a business or trying to set up a business and you will learn, I suspect, as much as you can learn in three years at a business school."
  • "A lot of chairmen of a lot of companies are terrified of the press. Our attitude is if CNN wants an interview you never say no, you always say yes, because we want to become the most respected brand in the world and we have to get out there and talk about what we are doing."
  • "A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts."



2. Screw it Let's do it


3. Business Stripped Bare

By a reader - Richard Branson has lived a storybook life, as far I am conscerned. He detail many of his business exploits and gives perspective on how any manager can apply these interresting stratigies to their business. This book is great as a follow up to Loosing my Virginity, that relates his business objectives and gives insight to entrepanures for their business. Most enjoyable and an easy read.

4. Reach for the Skies



From Bransons' own words

As far back as stories go, pioneers have reached for the skies. In the last two hundred years, they have mastered the air and made the modern world possible. Today they are bringing outer space within our reach. They're inventors and toymakers, amateurs and adventurers, visionaries, dreamers and, yes, crackpots. Some have called them irresponsible, even dangerous. 

But I have met many of them. I have worked with them, and funded them, and flown with them. I admire them, and trust them, and I think they and their kind are our future. In this book I look at the history of flight through the stories and people who have inspired me. These are tales of miraculous rescues; of records made and broken; of surprising feats of endurance and survival, including some of my own adventures, as well as developments in the future of air (and space) travel. 

This is a story of pioneers, and of course it includes the world famous Montgolfiers and the Wright brothers. But I also want to describe some of the lesser-known trailblazers - people like Tony Jannus, who in 1914 created the world's first scheduled commercial flight, flying his passengers over the waters of Tampa Bay at an altitude of just fifty feet; the 'bird man' Leo Valentin, who in the 1950s jumped from 9,000 feet with wooden wings attached to his shoulders; and my friend, Steve Fossett, who dedicated his life to breaking records and having adventures. 

This is their story. It is also, in a small way, my own.

Thank you again Amila Weerarathne for the order...


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sean Paul music : What will he sing in Sri Lanka?

Guys, Its time for wild guesses. Lets guess top 5 songs.

1. Get Busy 
Most popular hits of 2003. Is one of the singles he became popular with.




2. Temperature
2006 Billboard Countdown No.1.



3. We Be Burning
A hit in 2005. Sings about a very nice,timely topic. Read the lyrics of the chorus given below - it sounds very genuine.



Chorus - We be burnin' not concernin' what nobody wanna say.
We be earnin' dollars turning 'cause we mind de pon we pay.
More than gold and oil and diamonds - girls, we need dem everyday [ - radio version]
Some got gold and oil and diamonds - all we got is Mary J [ - club version]
Recognize it, we pimpin' as we riding [ - radio version]
Legalize it, time to recognise it [ - club version]

4. Give it up to you




5. Like Glue
Other hit from Dutty Rock album of 2003.



Major hits like Baby Boy and Breathe are doubtful. Feel free to comment with your song lists and the actually played songs....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

World's youngest CEO - Suhas Gopinath from India

Got this amazing email about the worlds' youngest CEO. And thought of publishing it for those who didn't get to read - 
Here is an inspiring story of the World's youngest CEO:

 
                                              Suhas Gopinath
 
When 14-year-old Suhas Gopinath started Global Inc ten years ago from a cyber cafe in Bengaluru, he didn't know that he had become the youngest CEO in the world.
 
Today, Global is a multi-million dollar company with offices in the United States, India, Canada, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia, Singapore and the Middle East and has 100 employees in India and 56 abroad.
 
Among the several honors that have been bestowed upon this young man, the most prestigious is the invitation to be a member of the Board of the ICT Advisory Council of the World Bank..
 
In 2007, the European Parliament and International Association for Human Values conferred 'Young Achiever Award' on him. He was also invited to address the European Parliament and other business dignitaries assembled in the EU Parliament. He is also recognised as one of the 'Young Global Leaders' for 2008-2009 by the prestigious World Economic Forum.
 
Suhas is the youngest member ever in the World Economic Forum's history. The other members include the Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, Hollywood star Leonardo Di Caprio, musician A R Rahman, Prince of Brunei, etc.
 
In this interview from his office in Bengaluru, Suhas Gopinath talks about his decade long journey and his dreams for the future.
 
 
    Suhas Gopinath with former President APJ Abdul Kalam
 
 
·         On his childhood:

 
I come from a middle class family. My father worked as a scientist for the Indian Army. I used to study in the Air Force school in Bengaluru.
 
As a child, I was more interested in animals and veterinary science. But when I saw my friends who had home computers talk about it, I had this urge to learn and talk in their wave length.
 
But we didn't have a computer at home. In those days, computers were very expensive and we couldn't afford one.
 
So, what I did was, I located an Internet cafe near my house. With my modest monthly pocket money of Rs. 15, I couldn't afford to surf the net every day.
 
I noticed that the shop was closed in the afternoon from 1 PM to 4 PM. So, I offered to open the shop for him after my school hours and take care of the customers.
 
In the bargain, he let me browse the net for free. That was the first business deal of my life and it turned out to be a successful one. 
 
 
            Suhas with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates
 
 
·         On building websites using open source technology:

 
Once I got the chance to manage the shop and browse the net, I started building websites. It became my passion in no time.
 
I got hooked to open source technology after I started looking for e-books on how to build websites. They were not available as they were created in propriety sources.
 
So, I started using open source to build websites.
 
On getting the first contract to build a website
 
There is a freelance marketplace on the web where I could register and offer my services to build websites. I registered myself there as a website builder.
 
The first website I had to do was free of cost as I had no references. It was for a company in New York.
 
My first income was $100 when I was 13 for building another website but I didn't have a bank account. so, I told my father that I built a website and got paid for it.
 
I was not excited to get the money because money was not a factor that drew me to it. It was the passion for technology that attracted me. I used to build websites free of cost also. I was only a 9th standard student.
 
After that, I built my own portal and called it Coolhindustan.com. It was focused on NRIs. It was a portal where I wanted to showcase my skills.
 
After that, many companies approached me to be their web designer.
 
 
Suhas Gopinath speaking to students' at a conference in Austria
 
·         On buying his first computer
 
When I was in the 9th standard itself, I had made enough money to buy a computer for myself. At that time, my brother was studying engineering and my father thought he needed a computer.
 
In no time, I also bought one for myself. But we didn't have a net connection at home.
 
My spending hours in the net cafe working on websites did affect my studies. I spent the entire summer vacation after the 9th standard in the cafe.
 
On rejecting a job offer from the US
 
When I was 14, Network Solutions offered me a part-time job in the US and they said they would sponsor my education in the US. I rejected the offer because that was the time I had read a story about Bill Gates and how he started Microsoft.
 
I thought it was more fun to have your own company. Many US companies used to tell me that I didn't even have a moustache and they felt insecure taking my services. They used to connect my ability with my age and academic qualifications.
 
So, I wanted to start my own company and show the world that age and academic qualifications are immaterial. I decided then that when I started a company, I would recruit only youngsters and I would not ask for their academic qualifications and marks cards. I follow that in my company.
 
 



          Gopinath delivering a lecture at the DLD Conference
 
·         On starting his own company at 14
 
Soon after my 9th standard summer vacation, I started my own company, Global Inc. I wanted the name Global or Global Solutions but both were not available, so I named it Global.
 
I registered my company in the US as in India; you will not be able to start a company unless you are 18. It takes only 15 minutes to start a company in the US.
 
I became the owner and CEO of the company. My friend, an American who was a university student, became a board member.
 
I was very excited because that was what I wanted to do. From that day, I started dreaming of making my company as big as Microsoft.
 
·         On doing badly in school
 
In my pre-board CBSE exam, I failed in Mathematics. The school headmistress was shocked because that was the first time I had failed in any subject. She called my mother and said she was horrified by my performance.
 
At home, like any typical South Indian mother, my mother made me swear on her head that I would focus on academics.
 
I told my mother that the world's richest man Bill Gates had not completed his education. Why do you force me then, I asked her. She then said, I am sure his horoscope and yours are not the same!
 
I come from a family where entrepreneurship is considered a sin. My mother was quite upset. She wanted me to do engineering, then an MBA and work in a good company.
 
As per my mother's wishes, I took a four-month sabbatical from my company and studied for my board exam. I passed with a first class.
 
I still feel that you cannot restrict yourself to bookish knowledge. I believe that practical knowledge is more important.
 
In the first year, the turnover of Global Inc was Rs 1 lakh (Rs 100,000). The second year, the turnover went up to Rs 5 lakh (Rs 500,000).
 
 


Suhas receiving the Incredible Europe Innovation Award at Vienna
 
·         On looking at Europe as a market
 
Till I was 16 or 17, I didn't tell my parents that I had started a company. I kept it a secret because I thought they would object to it. They only knew that I was a freelancer.
 
We used to build websites and also offer online shopping and e commerce solutions. We even gave part time work to a few programmers in the US when we got many projects but we never had any office.
 
When I was 16, I saw that there was enormous business opportunities in Europe as a majority of the Indian IT companies were working for American companies.
 
When I contacted a Spanish company, it rejected my offer saying Indians do not know Spanish. As an entrepreneur, you can't accept rejection, especially when you are young.
 
I hired five student interns from some Spanish universities and told them they would be paid based on their successful sales.
 
They were the people who met the companies and bagged the projects for us. By now, we decided to have a home office in Spain.
 
I replicated the same model in Italy. I contacted some Italian university students.
 



 
 Suhas meeting with Sheikha Nayhan, Minister for Higher Education, the UAE
 
·         On going to Germany to talk about entrepreneurship
 
The American newspapers were writing a lot about me as the world's youngest CEO at 14 from India, from a middle class background.
 
It was a good story for the BBC also. I never expected to be in the limelight. For me, starting a company was like realising a passion of mine.
 
On seeing these stories, a B-school in Germany invited me to talk to its students on entrepreneurship. I was 17 then. By now, I had completed my 12th standard and had joined Engineering in Bengaluru.
 
When I was 18, we set up an office -- the European HQ in Bonn. Then, we moved to Switzerland. Six months back, we started our operations in Vienna as well.
 
That is how we spread our operations from a small Internet cafe to become a multinational company with significant operations in Europe, Middle East, the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, etc.
 
 
·         On registering a company in India at 18
 
The day I turned 18, I registered our company in India as Global, opened an office and recruited four people. I opened the office next to the Internet cafe where I started my career.
 
By then, he had closed shop and joined a factory as an employee. Whenever I met him, I used to tell him, 'you made me an entrepreneur but you stopped being one.'
 
·         On moving to creating products
 
We wanted our company also to be a product development company and our focus was on education, like the software that manages everything about a child while in school starting from admission till he/she leaves school and becomes an alumnus.
 
It is a nasty software which students are going to be quite unhappy about! This software was aimed only at the Indian market. I want to be the market leader in ICT in education.
 
Our software is being used in more than 100 schools all over India, Singapore and the Middle East.
 
We are now in the process of raising funds. Once we do it, we will separate the company into two -- service and product development. I want to concentrate on products as I can't sail on two boats. 
 
·         On meeting former President Abdul Kalam
 
I met Dr Abdul Kalam when he was the President of India. I was 17 or 18 then. My meeting was scheduled for 15 minutes but we had such an intense conversation that it went on for one-and-a-half hours.
 
I didn't feel that I was talking to the President of India. We talked like two friends. He was sitting in his chair across the table but after some time, he came and sat next to me. He is such a modest person that it was a learning experience for me.
 
·         On being on the board of the World Bank
 
As per the wishes of my parents, I joined engineering but didn't complete my engineering: like Bill Gates! When I was in my 5th semester, the World Bank invited me to attend their board meeting. I am the only Indian on the board of the World Bank.
 
The objective was to explore how ICT can improve the quality of education in the emerging economies, by bringing in accountability and transparency in their financial deeds.
 
Robert B. Zoë lick, the president of the World Bank, decided that they could not have only Americans on the board and needed people from across the world. As they were focusing on education, they wanted young minds to add value to the work.
 
He preferred a young mind from an emerging country and that was how I got the invitation in 2005. Not even in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would be on the board of the World Bank. The invitation was the most unforgettable moment in my life. I report directly to Robert B Zoë lick!
 
Some of the others on the board are the CEO of Cisco, the vice president of Microsoft and the CEO of SAP; all Fortune 500 companies and me, the only Indian!
 
I am helping the World Bank set policies on ICT in university education so that employability can be enhanced. My aim is to reduce the number of unemployed eligible youth in the world.
 
Right now, we are concentrating on Africa. Soon, I want to shift the focus on to India. It has been an amazing experience for me.
 
But I had to discontinue my engineering education at the time I joined the board, as I didn't have enough attendance in college!




                                                 Suhas Gopinath
 
 
·         On his dreams for his company
 
I have always believed that IT is not just technology but a tool that can solve the problems of people.
 
That is what I want to do in my company.
 
I want my company to be a market leader in software solutions concentrating on education.
 
When I was younger, I didn't care about money. Now that I am responsible for my employees, I care about what we make. If I am not bothered about money, we cannot scale up our business.
 
When I started my company from a net cafe in Bengaluru, I never ever imagined that one day my company would be a multi-million dollar company and I would be on the World Bank board as a member.
 
What drives me is my passion and it has been an amazing journey so far.
Amazing isnt it? Few older people said - "What are we?" when i shared the story. What do you think?