The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

November - 1999 - issue > View From the Top

Ready, Set, Startup!

Monday, November 1, 1999
For the past two years in a row, the per capita income of Indians in the US is the highest it has ever been. Our entrepreneurs are showing up in the Top 40 under 40 and the wealthiest 400 in the US lists. This is thanks to the efforts and dedication of people like Naveen Jain, CEO of Infospace.com; Sabeer Bhatia, founder of Hotmail; Vinod Khosla, partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Vinita Gupta; Sanju Bansal; Kanwal Rekhi and others.
This Is the Time

The Web is expected to grow from 800 million pages to 2 billion by 2001; in no other generations are there likely to be so many opportunities for success in technology enterprises. This year the Internet has hosted an estimated 130 million users, a number expected to grow to 500 million by 2001. Seventeen million households are shopping online today, a tremendous amount expected to grow to 49 million by 2004. Whichever way you look at it, the numbers are staggering. Imagine the need for the people, software and infrastructure, in areas ranging from security to e-commerce to intranet publishing that all of this growth will create! And, who better than us Indians to leverage this opportunity? We are the people with (supposedly) the best combination of analytical/technical skills and business savvy.

VCs have told me that anyone with a halfway decent Internet idea and strong perseverance can do it. But, why remain “good” employees by helping other entrepreneurs make millions, staying content with above average raises and maybe some stock options? If we are truly the “best,” why aren’t we ruling the technology world yet? Is our weakness a lack of entrepreneurial spirit or marketing skills or, is it simply, a lack of guts?

“Our Guy”

How many of you know “Our Guy”? The prototypical Indian professional — full of ideas, dreaming about a high-tech startup. He is a well-respected employee in a technology company. He loves to watch high tech stocks and talks about them at every Indian gathering (dinner, cards and Antakshari). He makes predictions on exactly who is going to win and who won’t. He knows precisely why Yahoo wants to buy Excite and how it would impact AOL.

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