Are we there yet?!
Date: Sunday , October 27, 2002
THOSE OF US WITH SMALL CHILDREN have heard this question shouted innumerable times from the backseats of vans or SUVs whenever a road trip takes more than 20 minutes. A similarly persistent inquiry is being voiced these days whenever professionals meet: “When will this thing turn around?!” This “thing,” of course, refers to the U.S. economy—and the technology sector, in particular. But unlike the driver of the van who knows (at least roughly) when they will arrive at their destination, the unfortunate truth is that no one knows when the tech business in the U.S. will turn around. There is a saying that you know there's a bubble in the stock market when your barber and cab driver start recommending stocks to you. We all noticed this phenomenon from 1999 to 2000.
Lately, however, the reverse phenomenon has started to occur. Last week, when my family and I went for lunch to our favorite dosa place in Fremont, our waiter whispered in someone's ear, “Have you heard that Sun is going to announce 8000 layoffs tomorrow?” And, lo and behold, Sun Microsystems announced thousands of layoffs the very next day. This might be a sign that the tech economy has hit rock bottom, as widespread disillusionment has taken the place of the euphoria of a few years back. At this point, it seems, there's nowhere to go but up.
One of the sectors which, astonishingly, has not been adversely affected by the downturn is technology in the entertainment industry—the feature of our November issue. Unlike the telecom sector, the entertainment industry doesn't suffer from a glut in capacity. And tech companies in the entertainment sector didn't make promises they couldn't keep as their counterparts in the Internet sector did. Consumers and businesses, despite the slow economy (or, perhaps, because of the slow economy!), continue to be more than willing to spend their money on entertainment. In fact, there has never been a better time to be cheered up by entertainment! Technology is just starting to transform the back-end of a trillion-dollar broadcasting and movie-making industry. Indians, in particular, have a natural affinity for movies and TV, as the immense popularity of Bollywood and Star and Zee TV attest to. Is this the industry where Indian entrepreneurs will make their most lasting mark? What do you think?
4th Annual Leadership Award and Conference
No matter how well we do in the professional world, and no matter how many people we help, we are most content when we receive recognition from our own family and when we do our best to help our family members. Since siliconindia opened its doors in 1997, one of our primary goals has been to create a community: a family of Indian technical and business professionals in the U.S. We don't want to put on the “largest” entrepreneurial conference; we want to put on the best conference for Indian professionals in the U.S. Similarly, people generally don't want to have the largest family possible—they want to have the best family.
We, at siliconindia, have no desire to promote global entrepreneurship or to teach people how to be entrepreneurs; we are content and honored to provide a home for Indian entrepreneurs and professionals. Just as family and friends gather around a table to give thanks for their health on Thanksgiving, our goal has been to get Indian professionals in the U.S. and India to get together with their non-Indian friends in a friendly and open setting once a year and to honor the community members that have done well. We are fortunate enough to have the biggest buyers, high-profile venture capitalists, veteran corporate managers, and both budding and seasoned entrepreneurs in our extended family to come together each year for an open exchange of ideas and the building of relationships. We are constantly striving to ensure that your conference spend will deliver the highest value to you. See you on November 16!