Chat with Vivek Wadhwa, Professor & Writer at TechCrunch – iSimplified Podcasts


>>Vijay : Hi Folks, Today in the iSimplified Podcasts we have a short conversation with Vivek Wadhwa Vivek is a senior research associate with the Labor and Work life Program at Harvard Law School, An adjunct professor at Duke University, and a visiting scholar at University of California at Berkeley. He is also an advisor to several start-up companies, a columnist for BusinessWeek.com A contributor to the popular tech blog, TechCrunch, and writes occasionally for several international publications. Prior to joining academia in 2005, Vivek, was a technology entrepreneur, who founded two software companies. Great to have you here Vivek. Can you tell us, what got you interested in research and Journalism?>>Vivek : Well, when I joined Duke University, My students started coming to me and asking Questions that I could not answer about what courses should they do, to make their job outsourcing proof and so-on. So, I said.. Hey, why are these kids fearful? I started researching the outsourcing industry I started researching Indian and Chinese education and I was able to debunk many myths and then I started writing about it. I had a BusinessWeek Column and started writing about my research and every time I write something, it would create more controversy; and I started researching on more and more topics I broadened my research onto Entrepreneurship, immigration, globalization, Regional Policies and so-on. and then every time I write, and if you read my stuff even now it pretty controversial. Every article I write, sets up the blogosphere and ignites all sorts of debates all over the place. I am making an impact. I learn from criticism and I learn from Feedback. So, I use my writing as a sounding board. It’s not journalism, its Vivek sharing his ideas. and letting people rip into him and learning from what they have to say..!>>Vijay : That’s nice to hear. What got you into writing for TechCrunch? Because, TechCrunch been predominantly reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news Whereas you write about education system, advices for Entrepreneurs and Startups. How did this happen?>>Vivek: The Answer is Sarah Lacy. She came to see me at Berkeley and started telling me about TechCrunch. I did not know more about TechCrunch before. I had moved to Silicon Valley about 18 months ago and Sarah knew me from BusinessWeek and she started telling me about this hot Technical Blog and so-on. Sarah came all the way to Berkeley to see me and she is such a wonderful human being and I really liked her. So, I thought I do her favor by writing a couple of things and she was dead right.! I mean, this thing has reached far beyond anything I could imagine. It’s read by everyone, everywhere! It’s a way of making an Impact. That’s why, I religiously write every week now.>>Vijay: Exactly! It does make an Impact. I subscribe to TechCrunch on my Outlook, and whenever I get a post alert of yours, it’s actually thought Provoking and immediately forward it to my team. asking them to read it. Because, when I forward any other post from TechCrunch about some product or Technology, They say, Oh Common.. there is something better going to’ come. But your posts are something, where I don’t get a response immediately. I at least get it after 15-20 mins., when they read it.>>Vivek: Right..! They have an impact., and that’s why I write for TechCrunch. They do not pay me anything! I just do it, when I am travelling. I draft my articles and I finalize them later. I also use Twitter as a sounding board. I typically tweet, that.. I am thinking about writing this article and I am flooded with feedback from people. They start giving me their ideas, thoughts and some PR people start pitching me with stories and then I listen to them, I respond to lot of my twitter followers and that helps me perfect my TechCrunch articles.>>Vijay : Oh Yeah. I must appreciate you for that Vivek., because even when I had sent you a first tweet, I got a response back from you. I really appreciate that in you.>>Vivek : Vijay, I try to respond to every email I get. I try to respond to every tweet I get. and sometimes I cannot do that. But my goal is to respond to at least 95% of all the people who write to me. Even if they are dumb messages. I respond to them..>>Vijay : One point which is discussed in every technical forum these days is Cloud. How do you see the evolution of cloud and do you really feel, it deserves such an attention? >>Vivek : It is real. I mean, it is basically changing the dynamics of the industry. moving and taking care of all the infrastructure problems that you have and maintaining a datacenter. being about Servers and load balancing and all the stuffs which you had to worry before. It’s all taken care of. There are still security concerns about the cloud., which needs to be solved, but we are getting there pretty rapidly. It’s Game changing..!>>Vijay : Historically, India has been a service oriented IT; What are the opportunities you think the Indian ecosystem has towards Cloud? Could there be a business impact as it’s a service driven?>>Vivek : I think, it’s very positive. I don’t know, why India is fearing the cloud. It’s huge Opportunity to port technologies there. Think of the hundreds of billion dollars they are gonna’ be spent. in porting technology to take advantage of the infrastructure. If you are a bank, or if you are small business, you do not have to worry about all this tiny details of the infrastructure assets. It’s a huge opportunity for India to port legacy systems over to the cloud. It makes hundreds of billion dollar business that could come to India. >>Vijay : Well, A fact is that.. most of the service revenues are generated because of the man-hours spent. Moving to cloud, might just result in one resource taking care of the job which was done by 10 people earlier. What do you feel in this regard?>>Vivek : There is a lot of work involving in porting over there. More porting means, Companies can do more technologies. They can automate more. There is a lot more development work.. rather than stupid Infrastructure maintenance. >>Vijay : Instead of maintenance, it’s all about creating new values.>>Vivek : Absolutely. So there is this huge opportunity here.>>Vijay : One last question – Being a professor, what advice do you give to students who aspire to be Entrepreneurs?>>Vivek : My Advice to them would be, learn all about Entrepreneurship and then go join a company and gain real world experience. and then develop ideas to what products to build and then become an Entrepreneur. Don’t become an Entrepreneur straight out of your grad, get some experience even if it means working for another Startup Company.>>Vijay : Thanks a lot for your time Vivek. It was excellent talking to you. Have a great day ahead. >>Vivek : Alright Vijay, Thanks.!>>Vijay : Thank you folks for listening to this podcast. I hope, you enjoyed the same. Do let me know your comments at www.isimplified.org Till I see you all with the next episode, it’s Vijay signing off. Ba Bye..!

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