René Seifert

Entrepreneur, Global Citizen, Flat World, Internet, Web 2.0, Innovation, Start-Up

Archive for the 'Books' Category

Ein Gutes Neues 2012 mit Hermann Hesses “Stufen”

In meinem Thailand-Urlaub finde ich endlich wieder einmal etwas Zeit, etwas anderes als berufsbedingte Literatur in die Hand zu nehmen. Dankeschön fürs Weihnachtsgeschenk “Jedem Anfang wohnt ein Zauber inne – Lebensstufen” von einem meiner Lieblingsautoren Hermann Hesse. Die erste Strophe des Gedicht “Stufen”, inhaltsprägend für das ganze Werk, hat mich am heutigen 1. Januar 2012 besonders inspiriert:

Wie jede Blüte welkt und jede Jugend
Dem Alter weicht, blüht jede Lebensstufe,
Blüht jede Weisheit auch und jede Tugend
Zu ihrer Zeit und darf nicht ewig dauern.
Es muß das Herz bei jedem Lebensrufe
Bereit zum Abschied sein und Neubeginne,
Um sich in Tapferkeit und ohne Trauern
In andre, neue Bindungen zu geben.
Und jedem Anfang wohnt ein Zauber inne,
Der uns beschützt und der uns hilft zu leben.

Das ganze Gedicht gibt es z.B. hier. Ein gutes Neues Jahr und möge jeder im neuen Anfang seinen ganz eigenen Zauber finden.

Inauguration: Wipro Netbooks for Vatsalya – connected

We could only get here together. Today was with fullest honesty one of the happiest days of my life. When I started to conceive this project, I had a remote idea of how the picture of its accomplishment would look like. It would look like this.

Highlight: The Girls' first access to the Netbooks

All the pictures of the inauguration here on my Flickr-set. Today we solemnly celebrated in the traditional Indian way the inauguration of something new. This novelty felt like two well crafted pieces of a puzzle came together to form a harmonious whole. One the one side, the phenomenal preparation of the Vatsalya team with setting up the room, installing broadband internet connection and putting tables with chairs in place. From the other side the delivery and installation of the Wipro netbooks. Plug and play. And it just worked. Connected to the internet, connected to view through this window of the word. From Bangalore to anywhere. Therefore, to symbolize these limitless possibilities, I set Wikipedia in English as the home page on each of the 12 browsers.

Hand-Over of Netbooks: Vatsalya Orphanage

We started out in the afternoon with some more technical installation by Sumanth and Arvind. Thanks for taking time out and supporting us with your technology expertise.

Run-up to the Inauguration

It was a special pleasure for me to have my good friend Dirk Schornstein back in Bangalore, also one of the donors for the charity, who couldn’t resist the call from his first visit in December last year when the girls told him for good bye “Come back, Uncle!”. He kept his promise and brought a present which the girls had wished for: The entire collection of Harry Potter in the children’s edition.

Run-up to the Inauguration

Indians truly understand how to elevate such an event onto a spiritual level so that it is perceived and will be remembered as something special. The girls started to get more and more exited …

Run-up to the Inauguration

… when at 4.30 pm we cut the ribbon …

Cutting the Ribbon: Wipro Netbooks for Vatsalya

… and lit the holy light with offerings to the God Ganesha, prayers and chanting by the children.

Lighting the Fire: Inauguration

Then nothing could stop the girls, always in groups of 12, to sit down on the chair in front of the computers and put their little fingers for the first time in their lives onto the touchpads and see the pointer move on the screen in front of them. I will never forget their genuine joy and curiosity.

Highlight: The Girls' first access to the Netbooks

I am extremely happy to share these impressions with everybody who contributed to this project, dedicated money, time and moreover trust. In the hope not to forget anybody:

  • The 28 donors around the world who laid the indispensable financial ground.
  • The Vatsalya-team, my dear neighbour and almost sister Shashi as well as the entire board of the association who relentlessly pushed ahead from their side.
  • Wipro for the generous discount of the netbooks and its exemplary professionalism and reliability in each and every step of the process.
  • Petra (=”Petzi”) who did invaluable research work with project coordination along with her husband Jürgen.
  • And last, but not least, the 50 girls from the Vatsalya Children’s Home. Your yearning for a future provided me the momentum forward.

To all of you: This is your day. Thank you.

Why the “3 P” should read Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers”

Malcolm Gladwell: OutliersThe simple recommendation would be: Everybody should read the book. But in terms of the topics Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” touches upon, I’d like to break it down into interest-groups (in order to avoid the over-used prefix “target”). First of all, the book is outstanding which I as a faithful reader of Gladwell didn’t expect it to be. I felt that the book is under-communicating its value with the title “The Story of Success” and over-relying on the fame of its best-selling author.

Yes, the headline throughout the book is that successful people are not just the result of their individual hard work and sheer determination, but equally a product of the social environment they grow up in. As I would not have disputed this, I didn’t expect the book to deliver a lot of novelty. I was wrong. So whom would this book concern most?

I found that it’s the “3 P”: Parents, Pilots and Politically IN-correct.

Parents

Most of us are obsessed with the importance of the intelligence quotient (IQ). I guess I was too when I applied 10 years back to join Mensa, that club of the 2% most intelligent people in the world, with an IQ of 130 and above – and missed out on 4 points. Gladwell makes a convincing case that for being very successful in life up to even earning a nobel prize, one just has to be “intelligent enough”, say with an IQ of 110 or 115. All the rest is something which will range in the dimensions of “emotional intelligence”, “practical intelligence” or “street smartness”. And here the social environment in which a child gets nurtured kicks in.

Parents and their way how to bring up their children will make an awful lot of difference. Scientists studied different social environments over time where there would exist an equal distribution of IQ among the children. Yet, among upper and middle class families, the model of “concerted cultivation” as opposed to “accomplishment of natural growth” in lower class families will put their children on distinct trajectory for the future. The former will grow up with a sense of “entitlement” versus the latter with “an emerging sense of distance, distrust and constraint”. This in turn, will in most cases determine if the grown-up will be able to get the rubber of her potentially superior IQ on the social ground or not.

Pilots

Professional pilots are for sure trained in this within “Crew Resource Management”, but for most private “hobby” pilots like me, Gladwell’s explanations were simply breathtaking. Examining at the miserable record of Korean Air’s fatal crashes in the 1990s, examinations of the voice recorders from the black box concluded that the nature of communication in the cockpit had played a crucial role. Korea being a particularly hierarchical society, possess in its language seven nuances to express basically the same factual idea – depending on the social relationship between “transmitter” and “receiver”. This had led in the communication between the captain and the first officer to something called “mitigated language”. Example: You will hardly tell your boss “I need this presentation by Monday”, you might rather apply “If you don’t mind taking the effort over the weekend to send me this thing over” or so …

Polite, well rehearsed in the social context, but in a cockpit potentially deadly. Imagine in a blind approach for landing through clouds where the first officer is convinced that the plane is heading against solid mountain rock. All that comes out is uttering something like “I am not sure if we have established our gliding path with necessary precision”. Bonk. This chapter is particularly illustrating as it quotes such low-impact statements before, err, heavy impact. The solution for Korean Air was to admit to the cultural reasons for the problem, bring in a foreign trainer and change the language among the crew compulsory into English. Changing the framework of the conversation proved to mitigate that bug of “mitigated language”.

Politically IN-correct

Admittedly, that’s my favourite. I always have had my strong reservations about the Thought-Talibans coming in disguise of the semi-divine cause of “political correctness”. The result of their persistent efforts has unfortunately been the suffocation of looking at things as they really are in exchange for pressing everything in an all-equalizing box. Thereby denying important cause-and-effect statements, overlaying problems with a cloth of silence (which would erupt later even worse), nailing every critic with the moral hammer for being a discriminating pig and, worst, prohibiting to work towards an effective solution.

It takes courage to speak out a number of truths where Gladwell doesn’t shy away from: First the one mentioned above with different results of education-styles based on social environments. Second, his analysis why children from Japan and China square so much better in maths than those from the West: Their ancestors always have had a much tougher attitude towards hard work, as cultivating a rice pad requires on average three times the effort of a wheat field. This trait of high working ethics, passed on from generation to generation, has proved instrumental when cracking a hard nut of a maths-problem.

In that context, my own conclusion one of Germany’s biggest post-war failures: The integration of Turks into society,  where many of them are living in a parallel universe which had occasionally mounted to anti-social excesses of violence like in Berlin’s Rüthli School. Conversely and most interestingly, issues with Asian immigrants are almost unheard of. Could it be that an attitude of hard work comes with a better aptitude for integration than a “culture of honour”? – by the way another fascinating topic in the book. In Outliers, it’s about the chapter “Harlan, Kentucky” with the subtitle “Die like a man, like your brother did” and set in 19th century, well, Kentucky. Phenomenal read which awakes a lot of contemporary insight.

Last but not least, the final chapter of the book “A Jamaican Story” where the author himself embarkes on a fascinating journey to his cultural self. Being half a half-English, half-Jamaican Canadian he looks into the story of his maternal line from the carribbean Island. What turns out is a candid and powerful description on racism. Merely on the sideline starting with what the “politically correct”-deformed mind would allow for as racism between the colonial masters and their imported African slaves. More importantly, moving on to describe ho the coloured people who emerged as offspring from those didn’t miss an opportunity to discriminate against each other based based on slightest nuances of their skin-pigmentation. This chapter is so darn convincing in resisting the broadly applied victimization of particular ethnic groups and in forcing everyone into much needed introspection.

I hold high hopes in people like the new US-president Barack Obama and Malcolm Gladwell whose intellect is undisputed, their record on integrity untarnished and both their racial and cultural background diverse. Especially the latter makes them immune against attacks from either side of the radical political spectrum: on the one the blunt racist bastards and on the other the more subtle PC-cruisaders. Obama and Gladwell are allowed to explain things as they really are, whilst standing above it all. That could finally provide progress in eradicating the social cancer of, in the broadest sense, separation, discrimination and racism.

Outliers is an important book on that mission. Although it calls itself “A Story of Success” on the cover, I found it equally illustrating on many instances as “a story of failure”. But coming from an honest account, drawing the right conslusions it can do a lot in overcoming failure and move towards success.

8W8: Taking Globalization and the Internet to the next Level

8W8 Global Space TribesYesterday evening in Munich I listened to a speech from the CEO of Boston Consulting Group Hans-Peter Bürkner about "globalization", an issue that has my natural affinity. Yet, the speech as such I found rather "moderately novel" as its main lines of thought were put forward by Thomas Friedman already 3 years ago in “The World is Flat”. Especially, Mr. Bürkner's part about the role of governments was more of wishful thinking than a reality-based account on the true interests of such a body which is depending on a free electorate.

Anyway, in case someone is interested on more vision and foresight in terms of "what's next" on the global scene, being addressed from an entirely different angle in the shape of a novel, I happily recommend 8W8. The author is Ralf Hirt whom I met in January after moderating the India-panel at the DLD-conference in Munich. It's instrumental to understand the background of Ralf to become clear on both his motivation and insight: He has held leadership positions in the internet industry for a decade and has lived all over the world, in his home town Stuttgart, Hong Kong, Sydney, London and currently New York. In crossing these two lines of experience extrapolating their status-quo plus visioning with lots of foresight, he conceived his first book 8W8. It is worthwhile mentioning that the book is indeed fiction, yet the concept of a "new world modelling engine" are not so far away that this book would fall into the category of "science fiction".

Well, what is it about? The storyline deals with 15 high calibre people from of the "Golden Sky", a community committed with the aspiration to change the world for the sake of good. These 15 people come from a whole array of diverse backgrounds, like Oskar Feller, an editor for a leading internet magazine, Maria who is a doctor developing high-scale programmes to fight HIV/AIDS, Priyanka from India who is an IT-crack working for a global media company or Emanuel, a philosopher and Taoist who has been named for the Nobel Prize. All the characters of the story are here on the 8W8-blog. This group of people is hosted by Winston Chee, a billionaire internet-entrepreneur from China in his island on Hawaii EA-RA.

In this serene and secluded environment, the 15 brains spend a whole week picking each other brains and inspiring each other to solve one crucial problem: How to make the interrelations of economies and people visible in a sort of virtual map-overlay on top of the existing geography. What they come up with is the new world modelling engine "8W8" which can be pictured as a virtual helicopter the "pilot" would use to fly over the terrain of the earth to make these invisible connections visible. Delving even deeper into the concept it transcends into a new form of radical constructivism as the vision the pilot would receive on his dashboard would be a crossover between absolute measurable truths and his set of values/selective perception. What the pilot would get to see is both on “earth level” and on “sky level” the “volumes” of a whole set of parameters. The former range from hard factors like population, GNP, metrics on infrastructure, public institutions to innovation, the latter comprise for example metrics for democracy, human rights, quality of living, level of terrorism and such.

Yet, what is more that beyond statistics on GNP or PPP which are available as top-level data today, 8W8 equally entails a bottom-up approach from the level of the “element” (individual) which will aggregate in “streams” into “Global Space Tribes” according to its interest, e.g. “MBA Jazz Wireless Tribe (MBAJWT)”, “Catholic Fast Food Blue Collar Single Mother of Four (CFFBCSMF)” or the “Taoist Tribe (TT)”. These become even more interesting if one looks at actual vertically positioned Web 2.0 platforms which either try to bring a community of like-minded people together like “Dogster” or provide a tool to define and organize a target group of any shape like Ning. Yet, both of these platforms have in common that they require someone to become a “member” by “registration” and do all these various steps actively online. In that context I do believe that there will be not in too far future a kind of “ambient computing” where the unconscious behaviour patterns will be able to bring people in a meaningful way together. Hence, aggregating this sort of behaviour and making it somehow visible is not that far away from 8W8’s concept of the “Global Space Tribe”.

One thing I had hoped throughout the whole story to occur, is a bit more of conflict, friction, sex: As Oskar and Theresa, a computer scientist, seem to come along very well, I waited for that forbidden kiss, the clandestine quickie to happen under the waterfall of perfectly pristine EA-RA. Not for the sake of sensation, but to portray people regardless of their brains and social status when they become most human: emotional to the extent of irrational. The figures appear prim and proper, and at best tease each other lightly in order to surely succumb to perfect harmony. Irrespective of that, what I liked from a storytelling point of view is the ability to portray a broad set of global citizens who find a common denominator to discuss a topic, be focussed in defining a goal, accepting each other’s variety of viewpoints, being non-judgemental and fully embark on the beneficial concept of diversity.

Altogether, I liked the book a lot as it is coherently able to explain the road ahead in globalization by the force of the internet and the road ahead of the internet by the force of globalization. What gave me food for thought via the concepts of “Global Space Tribes” was the decreasing influence of governments, because free people in a free world are able to cross-pollinate their ideas and aspirations regardless of the strangulating rigidity of what we call a country today.  For someone like me who happily articulates his despise of today’s governments, the vision of 8W8 is one which deserves active pursuit.

Who is interested in buying the book, Amazon has it, either in print or for the Kindle.  

Oracle Night: Confronting the Blue Team

In the peaceful tranquillity of my Croatian home in Rovinj, I settled over the Christmas Days to finish off some studies of my current research work on monothematic social networks as well as internationalization of B2C software platforms.

Rovinj from the Air

Rovinj has always carried special meaning to me, not just from the fact that I have been coming here since I was 6 years old. I also spend a few weeks here to learn for my “Abitur”, so some undefined force keeps on dragging me whenever peace of mind is supposed to meet some kind of thoughtful output.

In transit to here I spent half the day in Trieste, went to sit down in a coffee-bar called “James Joyce” as a tribute after the great Irish author who as a young man spent a few years living in this Italian city.

Trieste_22

So I finally found the time to read a book my friend Martin Wunsch had gifted me in October. Martin today is a lecturer for English literature at the University of Munich and we went to school together where he graduated as the best and smartest of our batch. I’d call him one of my closest friends, with his integrity, caring and down-to-earth ways making this super-brain a super-member of the “Blue Team”. I’ll explain.

Oracle Night” from Paul Auster is the book concerned, a pretty dark story about the author Sidney Orr whose life starts getting completely out of whack after he resumes writing following a life-threatening accident. An immaculate craft of a story within a story, with occasionally even about to plunge into a story within a story within a story, the protagonist is faced with his wife Grace becoming increasingly distant to him. Initially without a clue for her motives, assumptions of adultry and of a pregnancy with questionable paternity start gnawing on him. The narrative catch of this fictional novel is that Auster manages to intertwine the prime story such with the story within the story that the latter becomes something like a precursor for the former.

The interplay between these layers raises the question within the primary plot whether fiction is just an invention or something that can predict reality and thus become in effect a part of it. Obviously, if so well told as here, the story will permeates to the reader’s chilled spine and surface to the allegedly true world. Finally, the story is a fantastic insight into the techniques of a gifted author for drawing plots, design characters and make ongoing adjustments to achieve certain desired story-telling effects. In that sense, the book contributes to a notable extent its own secondary literature.

One passage, however, touched me by far most. It is about the “Blue Team” when Sidney Orr recounts during a taxi ride to his wife from his student years:

Blue Team members didn’t conform to a singly type, and each one was a distinct and independent person. But no one was allowed in who didn’t have a good sense of humour – however that humour might have expressed itself. Some people crack jokes all the time; other can lift an eyebrow at the right moment and suddenly everyone in the room is rolling on the floor. A good sense of humour, then, a taste for the ironies of life, and an appreciation of the absurd. But also a certain modesty and discretion, kindness towards others, a generous heart. No blowhards or arrogant fools, no liars or thieves. A Blue Team member had to be curious, a reader of books, and aware of the fact that he couldn’t bend the world to the shape of his will. An astute observer, someone capable of making fine moral distinctions, a lover of justice. A Blue Team member would give you the shirt of his back if he saw you were in need, but he would much rather slip a ten-dollar bill into your pocket when you weren’t looking.

So I guess, my closest friends and me have been kind of unknowlingly running the “Blue Team” already. And it was Martin, too, who gave it a name during our joint comrades’ stay in Rovinj: “Männer mit Ähre” (sic!) … :-)

Breakfast with Richard Charkin: India from a Publisher’s View

“Saturdays are good for blogs, I get the most hits”, says Richard Charkin, who is an active blogger himself. Another experience of his: “If you don’t blog every day, you lose your customers.” And looking at this blog, Richard really writes very regularly and then also very substantially. Given the fact that on the sidelines he has the job being CEO of Macmillan, it somehow lets me pale in my occasional indolence in not always writing that regularly.

Just returned from a very inspiring breakfast with Richard in Munich where we initially went off to talk about India. Macmillan is very strongly established on the Indian subcontinent, with its subsidiary Macmillan India being a major schoolbook publisher and running a very successful publishing business process outsourcing (BPO). We were exchanging thoughts on what role India will play in digital media, namely internet and mobile in the future and what the specific challenges existed for a publishing house if it wished to be somehow part of that game. At this point, as Macmillan India is a publicly listed company, I have to point out that of course Richard at no point made reference to concretely planned activity which by any means might have implication on the stock price. It was a breakfast where we spoke on a very broad and generic level.

We were coming from different lines of argument, but arriving at pretty similar conclusions: On the one hand, India still has to prove that it is able to create consumer-centric digital services which might have the appeal to scale globally. Second, an effect which might at the first glance appear like a turbo-charge to foster exactly that: India is presently being flushed with Venture Capital. Evalueserve, a business intelligence firm, observes in a report that 44 US-based VCs are rushing to invest on average US-$ 100 mn, with a strong focus on the sectors mentioned above. Nominally this adds to US-$ 4.4 bn. Yet, this value still has to be corrected by the purchase power parity, something that also for instance “The Economist” regularly does, by a factor of 5. Doing the maths, one ends of with US-$ 22 bn to pay for management, staff, development resources and marketing power in India in order to get a company off the ground. For me this means that way too much money is chasing way too few great concepts and also not enough capable entrepreneurs to execute.

In the nutshell, a publisher is not a VC in the first place. And the VCs are already there in abundance. So running into a head-on competition by throwing just even more money into the ring, will certainly lead to a bloody red ocean. But a publisher has other assets and capabilities a VC does not have: setting-up businesses, building operations itself and using the multiplying forces of its existing ventures. So in my view, a kind of hybrid which combines the deal-making capability of a VC with the institutionalized hands-on skills of, say, an incubator could create a marketplace that VCs are not able to address. See in that regard the similar arguments of Terry Garnett on the higher end of the buy-out investment market about which I wrote a few days ago.

Clearly, Richard and touched upon a whole variety of other topics: cricket, the future of on-demand printing in books and e-publishing. On the latter, Richard is more skeptic than me, arguing that to a vast extent a consumer buying a book has similar motives like buying furniture: you want to have it, touch it and see it – but not necessarily read it :-) I decided to give myself a try when I will be in the U.S. in two weeks where I will buy the Sony Reader for $300 odd. But I was also pretty franc saying: “I give myself a likelihood of 60 % that after three months this thing will be lying useless in the corner.” In that case Richard would have proved to be double right: e-books don’t work and the gadget would have become a sort of decorating “furniture” of its own kind.

NASSCOM-Speech of India’s President online

Thanks to Jeyavel who commented my entry from Friday, I got to learn that the inspiring speech of India’s President Dr. Abdul Kalam is online on his webpage, including the option to download the Power Point presentation he held. That’s a truly up-to-date and up-to-speed President.

Also, my next journey to an Indian bookstore, will for sure bring me to the shelf to buy the autobiography of this brilliant and humble man: Wings of Fire.

wings_of_fire.jpg

Incredibe India: Kerala with PageRank and Benedict XVI.

kovalam.jpg

Although Bangalore is not a too great place to hang out on weekends, at least its geo-strategic posi-tion is a great plus. Located right in the middle of the lower part of the subcontinent and through low-cost air carrier it allows for fast access to all the beautiful places in South India. So I decided for a 36 hours outbreak in Kerala, according to its own motto “God’s own Country”. Right so. Kerala’s lush landscape, the beautiful backwaters, the laid-back atmosphere and the sincere friendliness of the people are among the most relaxing in an otherwise rather hectic India.

Landed in Trivandrum, from there a 20 min taxi-ride to Kovalam, see picture which I took yesterday morning after a run at the beach. What a lovely little paradise to ingest some air, sun and sea. As just lying on the beach is rather a nightmare of boredom for me, I took some interesting stuff to read with me of which I would like to highlight two things:

1. The original research paper from Sergey Brin and Larry Page with a two other guys on Rajeev Motwani and Terry Winograd on “The PageRank Citation Ranking: Bringing Order to the Web.” The authors describe in detail the mathematical algorithm which made Google back in 1998 THE much better search engine on the market which still keeps its preferred position today. PageRank, a pretty simply principle, but you have to have the idea and then execute the concept as well as Larry and Sergey did it. Basically, the importance of a website goes back to the amounts of inward links whose weights in turn depend on their inward links etc. Once you have captured the entire web, extracted all links you get a perfect closed recursive system. The natural question for starting the calculation in such a scenario is: “Where to start from?” leads to the solution of starting to run the algorithm through a couple of iterations, whereas the actual value of PageRank will converge towards its true value. Reading though the article, I had great memories to my math-lectures around matrix-calculations, ei-genwert and eigenvector.

2. I make no secret that I deeply admire our current Pope Benedict XVI whom I remember well when he used to our Archbishop of Munich and I was a little boy. The intellectual depth of Joseph Ratzinger is unparalleled, the clarity of his thought breathtakingly sharp and his guidance invaluable. In my view, the by far most intelligent German alive is in Rome on the Holy See. Great. Just two weeks back, Benedict XVI. issued his first encyclical “Deus caritas est” which the former professor of theology wrote himself in German language, “God is Love”. Herein, the Pope makes an account on the various forms of love, doesn’t spare out the aspect of the erotic love and refers to the original love received from God which we get as His unconditional gift and the fundament of giving this love on to our life partner and neighbors. Furthermore, a refreshing distinction from the fanatics abusing Islam, the Head of the Catholic Church draws a clear line between what the state as “res publica” is supposed to do and to what the church’s role should be restricted to.

After those two quite different papers, I wondered what might be obvious differences or common tunes of the inherent logic of both. A couple of thoughts:

First, without getting too speculative: PageRank is a system where a webpage’s importance depends on the importance of its predecessor. In continuation, as described above, the system is recursive, hence closed in itself. In contrast to that, the Catholic faith in a strictly scientific sense, sees God as who as an eternal source has preempted everything which has been and said and thought in the past and will be said and thought in the future. The “logos”, the initial word, the initial thought, how Ratzinger explains in his “Introduction to Christianity” in detail. Naturally, and this is where this phan-tastic book starts from, the fine line to connect those two spheres is faith. “Etsi deus daretur” – what if God was really there – an incredibly strong fundament of a powerful standing, much stronger than a pure secular rationalism and a consequential starting point to build our reality on. And ultimately it comprises an exciting portal to my repetitively occurring favorite question “what is truth?” (Hence, in the title of my weblog also this referrer to “Cooperatores Veritatis”.)

The Pope would have certainly made an outstanding mathematician: his line of thought in semantic terms is as clear and consistent as mathematical equation. Reversely however, despite their commit-ment to Google’s “Don’t be Evil”, Larry Page and Sergey Brin would not make it to such powerful intel-lectuals. But it doesn’t matter. My world without Google would be certainly poorer. In that sense: Thanks guys, for this great invention.

Google and Globalization

In my resolutions, I naturally decided to be a good boy in 2006. Professionally, I actually did plan in the two directions which are driving my interest with highest enthusiasm. Call it the the “Technology and Globalization-Complex”. In technology particularly the impact of search. I just finalized in my vacation the book from John Battelle “The Search”, one of my best reads apart from Thomas Friedman’s “The World is Flat” in the last years. Nice to get confirmation from an executive search firm that exacly these will be the main drivers for the new year.

“If your company does not have an eye on Google or globalization, your company won’t make it to 2010,” Umesh Ramakrishnan, vice chairman of performance-based executive search firm Christian & Timbers, told the E-Commerce Times, “and the executives who understand these dynamic market forces are in high demand.”