25.1.06

Bangalore or Coolie Valley

If you ask the president of any of Bangalore's software development
companies what his company does, he'll say "We provide end-to-end solutions
for Xxxx." Xxxx could be any or all of these -- e-commerce, banking,
telecom. . .

What he means to say is this: 'We'll do the software coding in any of these
areas for you. Just tell us what you need. We have a huge mass of engineers
who know various programming languages.'

These companies do not develop any technologies or products. They provide
development services. They have engineers who specialize in programming
languages rather than in technologies.

Their chief resource is the huge mass of low-cost labour that they have
taken the trouble to recruit.

Ask them about patents, and you get the reply "Huh, what's that?"
These companies start with zero risk. They do not bet on their ideas or
inventions. A company is started after getting some contracts in hand.

A typical engineer in these companies has no specialization in any
technology. He does not use his engineering knowledge. You could say his
body is employed, but his brain is severely under-employed.

Here is a sample of some prominent Bangalore software companies with what
they specialize in:
Tata Consultancy Services (end-to-end solutions),
Wipro(end-to-end solutions),
Infosys (end-to-end solutions)
DSQ Software (end-to-end solutions),
Kshema Technologies (end-to-end solutions),
Ivega Technologies (end-to-end solutions),
MindTree Consulting(end-to-end solutions).

The comparison

Silicon Valley companies are based on 'know what.' They know the market,
they know the technology and they know what products to make to earn money.
Coolie valley companies are based on 'know how.' They do the software coding
for other companies that have the 'know what.' If you tell them what to do,
they know how and will do it for you.
Silicon Valley companies invest huge sums of money on R&D. They generate new
ideas and are constantly developing new ways of doing things.
Coolie Valley companies have nothing called R&D. They do not generate any
new ideas.

A typical Silicon Valley engineer is a specialist in a particular
technology, like inkjet printing or virus detection. He spends all his life
working in this technology area.

A typical Coolie Valley engineer is a specialist in a few languages. He is
not concerned about the technology that he is working on and is willing to
develop any software with the languages that he knows.

A typical Silicon Valley engineer's education and work experience all relate
to a technology. When he changes jobs, he changes to another company working
on the same technology.

A typical Coolie Valley engineer's work experience does not teach him any
technology. He may be a mechanical engineer currently working for three
months on banking software, and then the next three months on shoe retailing
software.

Silicon Valley is all about the excitement of creating things out of
nothing. Companies like HP actually started in the garages of their
founders.

Coolie Valley does not know the meaning of creaivity. Some companies are
started by people who quit other companies and take some of the parent
firm's software development contracts with them.
Silicon Valley's entrepreneurs bet on people, ideas and inventions.
Coolie Valley's entrepreneurs bet on certainties. They start a firm after
getting software development contracts.

Silicon Valley's firms are about technology management.
Coolie valley's firms are about man management.

It is extremely presumptuous to compare Bangalore with Silicon Valley, so
all you Bangaloreans, please do me a favour and

* Don't call your city Silicon Valley ('pub city' or 'garden city', I
have no problem with -- lots of pubs and lots of trees, but very little
silicon).
* Don't call one of your new software companies a 'high technology
start-up.'
* Don't call your engineers 'techies.' They've forgotten their
engineering long ago.
* Don't say you've invested in 'tech stocks' ('body stocks' maybe ?)

2 comments:

Vishal said...

Nice article praveen. You came with new funda and explain it very well.
Keep it up.

-Vishal

Vishwa said...

But comparision may seem rather harsh, You are explaining service industry and it works like that. Until we venture into product market and entrepreneurs come out from here it remains like that. If you don't want to climb no point in exaggarating, After all its bread for many people, If they want to put up with it nobody can help, But yes one point I want to make out stop thinking that you are doing reasearch out here, If so there are better places for doing so.