India's Entrepreneurs Unleashed; Google's New Language
BY Nitasha Tiku
From the annals of world domination: Google launches its own programming language. One of the pillars of Google's success has been efficiency, whether that's serving search results or processing data, says Mashable Ben Parr. On the heels of launching its mobile operating system, Android, which Motorola has already adopted for its Droid phones, and collaboration tool Google Wave, the search giant is now "looking to tackle the underpinning code that runs the web," reports Parr. Go, as the language is called, is an open source development code that the company hopes will reshape web development and software in its favor. Go is based on the C programming family, but it incorporates elements of Python (the development language of choice at Google) and the Pascal/Modula/Oberon family that Mashable says makes speedier and more dynamic programs. Get your programmers ready.
While the government dithers, India's entrepreneurs step in. Governments are notorious for getting mired in their own bureaucracy in the face of public needs, which is where entrepreneurs often step in. Harvard Business Review has a piece that profiles some up and coming social entrepreneurs who are stepping in to fill the government gap. One example is Harish Hande, who runs SELCO, a solar energy distribution company. Fifteen years ahead of any similar government initiatives, SELCO has sold over 100,000 highly customized lighting systems by accommodating urban and rural poor with a flexible "power-by-the-hour" business model. Picking up government slack could be an easy model for U.S. entrepreneurs to follow. Any takers to fix health care? For more news about the Indian entrepreneurial scene check out Inc. India.
Google's Gift to travelers. It's free Wi-Fi! From now until January 15th, the search giant is giving away free wireless internet access at 47 airports--including Las Vegas, Boston, and Miami--and on all Virgin America flights. The full list of airports is here and CrunchGear has the news.
How much is Twitter really worth. "Less than you think," writes Om Malik, citing a new research report. Of course, "less than you think" is still pretty darn high. NeXt Up estimates that Twitter is worth roughly $600 million, thanks to its substantial user base--some 70 million users--and high potential for revenues and profits. The firm estimates that Twitter will generate more than $100 million in revenue by 2013 and close to $150 by 2014. But the valuation is a lot less than the $1.1 billion figure Twitter received from its latest investors, Malik says. The reason? "We believe that most revenue generation options available to the company have the potential to alienate at least some of Twitter'šÃ„Ã²s user base," according to the report. "Twitter may not have adequate time to revise its models before it loses its critical mass and reputation," it adds. That helps explain why the company has been so hesitant to try to make money.
Tech start-up acquisitions signaling better times? Some big-name companies embarked on early holiday spending sprees this week, such as Google, who bought mobile ad start-up AdMob for $750 million, and Logitech, who acquired LifeSize, a video-conferencing start-up, for $405 million. According to the New York Times, the high-profile purchases could indicate a renewed interest in M&A, which, in turn, might point to a recovering economy. Jeff Brody, a founding partner of Redpoint Ventures, which was one of the backers of the LifeSize deal, told the Times that although the number and value of acquisitions has been down, the improving economy has forced companies to increase their offers. "As the I.P.O. market has started to come back and as public company stocks have recovered, we have seen a surge in M&A interest and prices." Click here< for Inc.'s take on what an uptick of merger activity could spell for the business community.
Seven pioneers are helping to diversify the Motor City. After decades spent at the mercy of the auto industry, Detroit is branching out. Entrepreneurs looking to build more efficient batteries, develop artificially intelligent robots and make more eco-friendly clothing are bringing jobs in technology, medical research, and design to revive Detroit's workforce, reports CNN Money. Despite the fact that green has never been the Big Three's forte, Ann Marie Sastry, whose company Sakti3 is developing lithium-ion batteries, sees opportunity in locating her start-up close to potential collaborators and customers, "There is a wealth of knowledge and understanding of vehicles, and a wealth of people who store this knowledge." Other entrepreneurs, like eco-design start-up Guffly.com, came for the funding ($300,000 worth) and support. Says CEO Chanell Scott, "It's been great for us to have a community that's so receptive. People are excited to have new businesses here."
Reporter NITASHA TIKU covers technology, finance, green business, and social entrepreneurship for Inc. magazine and contributes to the staffâ€™s daily links blog. Her work has appeared in New York magazine, The Villager, Chelsea Now, and on nymag.com. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. @nitashatiku