Are we really innovating? Beyond the Events and Overall Euphoria

13th Dec 2010
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Akshay Shah

Feels proud to hear various statistics from NASSCOM and its media peers that finally the billion dollar software industry is going towards software product development & innovation. Its really nice to see more and more entrepreneurs leaving the money minting 100% Export oriented software project assignments and moving towards software product innovation!! After being in this industry for the last decade or so and recently after attending quite a few media and VC meets & presentations and seeing various IT software product companies come to the shore, one question is coming to my mind again & again, Are we really innovating?

Are we really serious to make a great software product or technology solution MADE IN INDIA? The answer to my mind comes as a rude NO. The reason being, I see more and more entrepreneurs who want to bask in the glory of being called a software product company are making more and more facebook & twitter replicas!, most of them having some new feature to boast about!! Do you think this is the real innovation on the software product technology front? I have no doubts in my mind that both Facebook & Twitter are genius innovations but are we not just trying to follow a herd mentality? Not just entrepreneurs I see a lot of investors too flocking and trying to make hay in this social media networking wave, do you think this will work out? I personally feel this is the new bubble which can go bust in the next few years like the dot com bust!! I seriously feel that we forget a fundamental principal of any industry that anything in abundance is bound to fail due to less demand & more supply! For every success, as in Twitter & Facebook there are million applications alike which did not even see the break of dawn!!! Why do all entrepreneurs now in India and also in the valley are again thinking of getting more and more free users to their sites citing great numbers, saying we get 100,000 hits and 500,000 hits per day and then start valuing their companies in millions of dollars on a single hope of being acquired by a Google or a Facebook or a Twitter? Are we becoming technology entrepreneurs to be bought out?

Without a single penny in revenue you think this model is going to sustain? How much social networking a customer will do? Is social networking the only thing required in a company on the technology fronts? Why are young entrepreneurs shying away from bigger technology ideas like making a more stable & quick OS? Why not make a better technology than that of Microsoft? Why not make a better firewall, anti-virus? Email solution Office Suite? Why not make enterprise products better than SAP? Oracle? Why not make a database more scalable and robust & quicker than Oracle? Why not have a middleware more stable & cost effective then that of IBM? Why not have a BPMS better than Cordys? Why are our young technology minds not thinking & working towards this?

I see no innovation happening here, more so I see no desire to build such technology solutions, why? I only see 1 and 2 feature innovations happening on the social media portal fronts with a 5 to 6 pager web app with some funny & jazzy name coming up and calling them as a software product company having an add on for the social media world which can integrate and collaborate.

Will you call this a software product technology company? I will not! I will call this an opportunist geek who just want to make quick bucks with eyeballs and sell off to a VC or some other IT company making a quick mullah in return!! Extremely sorry to say that such a shallow technology entrepreneurship approach will never ever make India the next Software Product superpower. What we need is actual, hardcore technology innovation which goes much beyond these social networking frenzies and to make this happen every stakeholder & member of this vibrant IT community, i.e. the investors, angels, VCs, Entrepreneurs, Customers etc all have to come together as an industry and think over this!

Written by Akshay Shah,Co Founder of iWeb Technology Solutions Pvt.Ltd, to know his story read here http://www.yourstory.in/entrepreneurs/participants/1843

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