Montoya quits F1 and will move to NASCAR. That’s a bit of a surprise, since it’s taking a step back in your racing career. Most drivers strive to drive in F1 but Montoya is leaving F1 to go to NASCAR where the cars are less powerful, tracks less challenging and the money is definitely far less that what you would make in F1. He said he is doing this because F1 is becoming boring and it is extremely hard to pass cars. I wonder if it’s really this or the fact that there is more competition in F1. For one, NASCAR has a lot to gain from this move, as more “non-americans” may start following the sport because of Montoya.

I am sure I am not the only one who had a lump in my throat when Zidane left the field after been given a red card for head-butting Materazzi . One of the greatest players in the world who was all set to join the likes of Pele and Beckenbauer irrespective of whether France won or not….and now I am not sure if he will. I was happy for Italy when they won but there was something missing from the final ceremony – not seeing Zidane on the field (probably for the last time) and not seeing him get a standing ovation will leave a void on what could have been a great finals for one of the greatest!

I tried out this relatively new service for the first time today. My first impression – I like it! Like a lot of the other Google services I am not sure how useful this will be. This service basically lets users spot trends acroos the world on any “keyword” and returns a search volume vs time graph. It also returns a news reference volume vs time graph. You can also do a comparison between two keywords. The drawbacks is that you can’t search for something specific, it works only for very generic keywords. I guess it is still in the research phase therefore the limitation. “Yahoo” is more popular than “Google”…hmm!



It’s moments like this which makes the game enjoyable.

Watched a lot of sports last weekend – NBA game 5, US Open Golf and Football.

First of all, I am a big fan of Mickelson. And just when I started to think he has got the monkey off his back and is actually finishing off and winning tournaments he fumbles again (like so many times in the past) on the 72nd hole. All he needed was a par to win the tournament and he ended up double bogeying the hole. He took an unnecessary risk by going for the green on the second shot after a terrible tee shot and ended up hitting the tree. All he had to do was hit out to the fairway and play from there. So many times in the past he has played outstandingly till the very last only to make some poor decisions at the very end and loose out.

Also I finally managed to catch up on some football matches. USA lost to Italy in what was an extremely controversial game. There were 3 red cards in the game, 1 given to the Italian side which was justified after one of the players elbowed a player from the other side (McBride I think) intentionally who actually ended up bleeding quite profusely. The other 2 red cards were both given to the US team for illegal tackles which I though was a little harsh. They should have just been warned or given a yellow card. Apparently the head referee of this game had made rash decisions in the past as well. Hopefuly we don’t see such refreeing again, just takes away the beauty of the game. On the other hand Brazil’s game against Austarlia was extremely exciting. For people who normally don’t watch football and think it’s boring should watch a Brazil game – they just play with so much flare then any other team which makes it worthwhile even if they don’t score.

And finally yesterday, Mavs and Heat played their fifth game at Miami. The game ended up going to overtime and Miami won my one point. Thanks to some bad refreeing – Mavs “apparent” time-out with 1.5s left and still 1 FT to go for Miami left the Mavs with no time to make it to the other half and make one final shot and it seemed like Wade committed a back-court violation on the final play which the refereesomehow missed.

Apple has shut down their support center in Bangalore and laid off all their employees. An apple spokesperson said that they were considereing other countries for their support center. With growing infrastructure pains, increasing salaries and booming real estate prices this doesn’t come as a surprise. 

This is the first internet telephony company to go public. After constant revenue increases over the past couple of years they are still making a loss. The CEO claims their losses equals their marketing expense. The company reported a net loss of $189 million over a period of nine months last year, which is just a staggering amount of money spent on marketing. It will be interesting to see in what direction the company goes from here. If they continue to spend such large amounts on marketing without decreasing their loss, the stock price is bound to go down. Hopefully they have a better strategy for using the money they raise from the IPO besides spending it solely on marketing. At $17 a share it should be an interesting watch the next couple of weeks.

I recently went to a Starup School seminar, which was organized by the Business Association of Stanford Engineering Students. It was an interesting seminar and very useful for people looking to start their own companies. Most of the speakers were from popular Web 2.0 companies like Mark Fletcher of BlogLines, Joshua Schachter of, Catherine Fake of Flickr. Paul Graham (from Y Combinator – a VC which provides seed funding to students who want to venture out on their own) was one of the organizers and has an interesting outlook on startups also spoke at the seminar.

All the speakers drove home a common point – if there is a right time to start a startup then this was it. With falling hardware prices and the numerous opensource options it is easier now than ever before to start something on your own without depending on VC’s. One of the things Paul Graham said which stood out to me was that life is finite and therefore it is better to work extremely hard the first few years of your startup and try and make it succeed (there will be enough time to rest after that) than to work 8 hour day’s for the rest of your life for somebody else. He said startups need to fear the right things – don’t be afraid of the big company who have nothing to loose if their product bombs but be afraid of the smaller companies and startups who are competing with you and have as much to loose as you. Failure is not an option in a startup therefore people in startups are more focused, work harder and are less likely to fail than say a bigger company. There is a more comprehensive list on Paul Graham’s website on the thought process which should go into starting a company and running a startup, I highly recommend it to anyone looking to start something on their own.

Om Mallik (Senior Writer at Business 2.0) stressed on how important it is not to forget that you are in a startup for the money, it’s ok to talk about how much you enjoy doing what you do but at the end of the day it is a business and it is important to generate revenue from it.

Chris Sacca (of Google) who was basically on a PR trip for Google convinced everyone that Google was “the” company to work for. So….if your startup fails go work for Google!

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