OpenMoko everything iPhone should have been

OpenMoko powered Neo1973 from FICI’m awaiting my iPhone courtesy of working for a multinational. One of my coworkers travelling in the USA will hopefully pick it up. However since lusting for one, Apple has rained on the parade by turning iPhones into iBricks with their latest firmware upgrade. The consensus seems to be Apple didn’t need to be so draconian on fans who have unlocked their phones.

Still I’m going to get an iPhone and I’ll unlock it eventually to use it in Australia with a local SIM.

I’ve come across the OpenMoko freed phone. It’s open source (except for a few drivers for legal reasons). The entire phone is open an if enough developers get behind it, it will become everything the iPhone should have been. Cool apps written on an open platform. WiFi, quad-band, GPS enabled out of the box.

It’s not production ready, but it looks like the mass-market version will ship in time for Christmas 2007.

I think the Wireless Voice and Data phone convergence will be one of the most exciting industries over the next 20 years, so this may be a project I invest some time into.

Sydney OpenCoffee Meetup

I went to the Sydney OpenCoffee Meetup this morning. I love the tagline: “Place for people who love startups to hang out and meet”. So I met a bunch of startup entrepreneurs, a few advisors and a funder or two.

I attended looking for two things:

  1. New Product Development ideas/team/products to put through the distribution channels I have built at work.
  2. Entrepreneurs, products or companies to invest in, either through my work or through the loose network of friends and associates who like startups.

Today’s meeting was mainly online startups, a few even show promise. Even better I got to chat informally with entrepreneurs who are pursuing their dreams.

 


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The Sydney OpenCoffee Meetup!

Why do an MBA?

Surely that’s a dumb question to be asking myself right now. I had to answer it on the application. I’ve committed the money and time to it. I’ve even started the first course – Accounting and Financial Management.

That first course is looking to be as easy as I thought. Which on one level really frustrates me. Why am I paying to do a subject I am already unconsciously competent at? It’s a good way to ease into studying again after all these years.

Strangely I found myself wondering about some of my fellow students. They don’t seem to understand the broad accounting aspects of their businesses. Maybe it was me, but all my career I’ve been interested in the Profit & Loss Statements and Balance Sheets of my employers.

Back to the question at hand. Why do it? Career prospects? More money?

For me it the answer is to change my life. To understand business and industry with a new depth and rigour. To use to time to change my world-view and internalise my studies in a way I could not appreciate when I was an undergrad. My business interests are in fast-growth, entrepreneurial firms. That is where my MBA is leading, although I can’t say exactly where yet.

NBL and Singapore Slingers need Import Rule Change

I was talking to someone with long connections in the NBL – Australia’s National Basketball League.

The Singapore Slingers are based in Singapore, but I’ve heard if they put a Singaporean on the floor he must take one of the two import slots that NBL teams are allowed. Normally those spots are for players who have to produce every game in the role they are hired for.

This may be a limitation of the FIBA license granted to the NBL and international politics of basketball. I’m investigating,  but if this is true it seems like a sports marketing mistake.

Do not to put obstacles between your customers and your product. In this case the Slingers need decent home crowds, and that means putting local talent on the floor – developing it if you must.

More to come as I gather information.

Feeling uncomfortable but doing it anyway

I attended the AGSM New Students Day yesterday. I met graduates and faculty as well as some of my fellow students.

There was an fun little moment were we had to congratulate ourselves and each other on getting in. How the students reacted was interesting. There were those (mainly marketing types) who got into it. There were some who refused to do the “silly” bit – must be the accountants. Then there were the one’s who were obviously uncomfortable but did the exercise anyway. I realised that I want to get to know that group. These are people who are out of their comfort zone, but willing to try something new in the hope or belief they’ll learn or grow.

I’m not sure how to deal with the one’s who withheld participation. On the one hand they are confident enough in themselves to march to their own beat. But did that mean they were more scared of appearing stupid? Or were they that pragmatic that they didn’t want to do any of that feely-touchy stuff? Either way I can find that sort in most places and my initial reaction is to avoid them as inflexible.

Obviously I can get along famously with the party animals who’ll try anything in case it’s fun.

Interestingly I’ve decided to kick off the MBA with only one subject Accounting and Financial Management. One of the adjunct faculty members said she got the least value out of the term when she did two subjects. All she focused on as doing the required reading and barely kept up. She was aiming for internalising the subjects. Really considering the issues and allowing herself to come up with her own thoughts and attitudes on the subject.

Another vote for “the MBA is the journey” school of thought – which I am rapidly converting to. Who cares if it takes me longer to finish if I am changed by the experience. Heaven forbid I do all this work and all this study to emerge as the same person and the same skills as I started with.

This will be a life-changing experience.