02 Jul 2007

Ravi Swaminathan, President of HP India’s Personal Systems Group

Ravi Swaminathan is president of Hewlett Packard’s Personal Systems Group for India. He has countrywide responsibility for the entire range of consumer and commercial PCs, laptops, workstations and the emerging range of personal access devices including handhelds.

Ravi joined Compaq in 1995 and started the consumer PC business in India. He was subsequently promoted in 1997 as the director for the consumer products for South Asia. In 2001, he was appointed to head the newly formed Access Division in Compaq India. Prior to joining Compaq, Ravi held various key positions at ICI.

Ravi holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and is a chemical technologist from the University of Mumbai.

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29 Jun 2007

SJ Klein Talks About One Laptop Per Child

SJ Klein is director of content at the One Laptop Per Child project. The vision of the project is to provide children around the world with new opportunities to explore, experiment and express themselves. And one such way is through a very inexpensive yet rugged laptop. OLPC is the brainchild of Nicholas Negroponte, from the MIT Media Lab.

Samuel Klein has spent many years developing collaborative communities. He is an advocate for free universal access to knowledge and tools, and a veteran Wikipedian. He organizined the international Wikimedia conference in Cambridge. Previously he has worked to develop software and supporting communities for machine-assisted human translation, and to set up free education centers.

Klein is interested in local and sustainable knowledge development. He establishes ties with teachers, game developers, and publishers, helping them to understand the need and uses for free and open materials. He is passionate about working with the global community around open education.

In this podcast, SJ talks about the OLPC program and about the laptop itself.

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25 Jun 2007

In Conversation With John Buckman, CEO of Magnatune

John Buckman is a serial entrepreneur, a musician, a marketeer and an open media evengelist, but he’s better known as the CEO of Magnatune, an indpendent, profitable online record label whose tagline closely matches that of Google’s: “We are not evil.”

Ask any musician and he’ll tell you about the unfair treatment and high-handedness of big record labels. They always call the shots and take most of the revenues. John Buckman saw an opportunity here. He created an artist-friendly label that not only shares profits equally with musicians but also allows them to retain the rights to their work.

John sits on the board of Creative Commons and it’s no wonder that he has successfully used the open source principles to establish a unique kind of business model for the music industry.

Prior to founding Magnatune, Buckman founded Lyris Technologies in 1994. Lyris sells software for email newsletters and spam prevention. The company was generating $12 million in annual revenues when Buckman sold it in 2005.

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21 Jun 2007

Cory Ondrejka, Second Life Co-Founder

Cory Ondrejka is a co-founder and chief technology officer of Linden Labs, the company behind Second Life. For those who don’t know Second life, it’s an insanely successful 3-D virtual world, completely built and designed by its nearly seven million residents.

As CTO, Cory Ondrejka leads the team developing this digital world. His team has created the revolutionary technologies required to enable collaborative, atomistic creation, including distributed physical simulation, 3-D streaming, completely customizable avatars and real-time, in-world editors. He also spearheaded the decision to allow users to retain the IP rights to their creations and helped craft Linden’s virtual real estate policy.

We spoke at the iCommons Summit in Dubrovnik, where I was an invited scholar.

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23 May 2007

Rohit Agarwal on his New Book on Innovation

Rohit Agarwal is the founder and CEO of techTribe Networks, a software company that enables current and future professionals to connect with others to enhance their careers.

Rohit recently co-authored a book along with Patricia Brown, titled, How Innovators Connect.

“How Innovators Connect” is an attempt to showcase innovation through the experiences of more than 40 successful innovators in Silicon Valley and India. Innovation is a process that demands connectivity, and cannot be performed in a vacuum. Based on numerous conversations, the authors discovered that each of the successful innovators shared connectivity traits. Although they all had different approaches, there were common sets of principles. The book explores the core principles of connectivity that form a framework for innovation, and contains learning from:

Jawad Ansari (Miven Ventures), Jan Baan (Baan, Cordys), Eric Billingsley (eBay), Marc Benioff (, Drew Clark (IBM), Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande (Sycamore), Tom Erickson (Systinet), Stuart Evans (Cambridge University), Ashish Gupta (Junglee), Umang Gupta (Keynote, Gupta Corp.), Mark Hanny (IBM), Dan Harden (FrogDesign, Whipsaw), Mark Hoffman (CommerceOne, Sybase), James Hong (HOTorNOT), Bradley Horowitz (Yahoo), Subrah Iyer (WebEx), Kiran Karnik (NASSCOM), Guy Kawasaki (Apple), Emmett B. Keefe III (iRise), Jerry Kennelly (Riverbed), Joe Kraus (Excite, JotSpot), Audrey MacLean (NET), Phaneesh Murthy (iGate), Ram Mynampati (Satyam), Mark Lewis (EMC), M.R. Rangaswami (Sand Hill Group), Rajeev Samant (Sula Wines), Manoj Saxena (Webify, Exterprise), Ram Shriram (Google), Ashmeet Sidana (Foundation Capital), Vishal Sikka (SAP), David Skok (Silverstream), Louis Teto (Taleo), and many more.

For Rohit, the book is not a commercial effort, but part of his passion for spreading the message of innovation in India.

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