Technopreneurial Tales

Inspirational IT-preneurs sharing war stories

The final session at Nexus 2007 saw three eminent entrepreneurs in the technology field sharing their tales of passion, zeal and fervour in changing the world.

The three occupied very different tech niches. Farzad Naimi's Litescape looked at integrating business applications, voice and data, allowing greater real-time collaboration on any device. Roberto Mariani's XiD Technologies, on the other hand, was largely involved in face recognition and other biometric systems. And of course, crowd favourite Cory Ondrejka was one of the guys responsible for the hugely successful Second Life, a virtual world largely owned by its users.

As usual, the Q&A session was red hot after the initial pre-amble and sales pitch from all three eminaries. Questions went fast and furious on topics like motivation, employing the right calibre people, and pay versus passion.

The mostly male, mostly young, and mostly geek crowd lapped up every single word, especially from Cory, who shared openly that he was looking at hiring more Singaporeans to build and maintain the Second Life universe.

One point which I learnt was how the present age can be labelled a post scarcity economy. In a nutshell, it says that the advent of technology has led to goods, services and information being widely abundant and practically free. However, the flipside is that people's attention span are limited - most people can only remember seven key points best. Which is also why most of us can't remember what we learnt at a conference even if we are diligent in taking notes!

Another term being used frequently which is related to the above was the attention economy. People are just paying continuous partial attention to everything that they do instead of throwing themselves heart, body and soul into something. There are just too many distractions and activities which call for our attention.

The tight labour market, especially for tech jobs like programmers, application developers and system integrators and other technology jobs, have seen the need for global players like Second Life to hire from Singapore. Our high consumption of social media probably makes us a ripe hunting ground for such talents.

As usual, there were quotable quotes aplenty, and this session was no exception. Two from Cory which I particularly remembered were:

"Best way to predict the future is to invent it."


"Ask for forgiveness and not permission!"

I believe that the last statement probably best summed up the whole ethos and fabric of the 2.0 world.

Of course, there was everybody's favourite question asker, a mysterious guy whom I heard had been touring the conference circuit by Siva. He provided much needed mirth and merriment for the rest of us!

Best question asker at a geek conference!

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