Road MX 2012

It’s been said several times that Guadalajara is the Mexican Silicon Valley. During the mid 90’s this was just starting out to be a catch-phrase for foreign investment in the city. It was nicknamed so because large companies like IBM and HP had settled here instead of Mexico City. Still the phrase “Mexican Silicon Valley” was something that was out of reach for the majority of the people living in the city. It was just reserved for people working at any one of these large companies.

However, thanks to technology and of course fast pace investment, this phrase is now a reality to many people, reachable for anyone with an interest in the field. It is now also called the Start Up culture. Of course, the international mecca of start ups resides and will reside for time to come in Silicon Valley itself, in California. The whole of the Bay area is to thank for this lifestyle. Yes, I call it lifestyle because not only does it affect the work place, but your whole life in a very positive way.

Today, the Start up culture is on the rise in this city. So much so, that many more start ups based in California are setting up shop here. Even better, many of the start ups created here are setting shop in California! It’s a two way process. For example, OVIA [now Wowzer] was co founded by a group of former students from ITESO who started their HR company here and then established their commercial office in Mountain View, California.

These developments have created a community of Start up junkies here in the city. Which is why “Start ups on the Road MX” was created. It has had more and more visitors and participants thanks overtime. This year, it was held at the Hilton Hotel. Created by a non profit community called Suma Valley, the event had several important speakers like Bismarck Lepe from Ooyala, Gris Cuevas from Linked in and Rodrigo Martínez from Wowzer itself.

Community Management Done Right - by Gris Cuevas
Community Management Done Right – by Gris Cuevas

Gris Cuevas’ presentation in particular was of special interest to me. She spoke about the importance of every entrepreneur and business to be aware of their community and to tend to it. Thus, Community Management isn’t just about posting on Facebook and Twitter. It’s about so much more than that. [Ask me about her PDF presentation]

Interesting talks by interesting people in a very very interesting community. Good thing the Start up culture is on the rise.

Flash, iOS 5.0.1 and other Demons

It was a week full of technological developments and some managed to alter the caffeine levels in people’s blood streams. Between Adobe’s killing-flash announcement and Apple’s new iOS release, things are a bit sketchy for the mobile world.

First things first. Adobe has been the sole benefactor of Flash development since the mid 90’s, yes, that is before the Internet bubble. You could say it has built an empire and monopoly around the technology. But truth be told, innovation is not only about coming up with new versions of the old stuff. Innovation, after all, is about breaking paradigms. Flash was invented and developed to portray and develop animations and video content within the PC world. What came to be the mobile phone development wasn’t quite well calculated by Adobe.

Nevertheless, Flash continued to build its empire in non-PC devices without really taking into account one very important factor: mobile = small. Indeed, mobile translates to small everything: smaller screen, smaller processor and smaller capacity. A certain someone saw this window of opportunity and along came HTML5. Although young in nature, this new technology has managed to shake Adobe to its core, so much so that the company has pulled Flash from mobile and smart TVs just to pursue the big H.

How does this affect the mobile world? Well, if you turn on your Android tablet, don’t panic, you’ll still be able to watch videos supported by this platform. But eventually it will become a dead technology. No development = eventual death.

Ironically enough, it wasn’t that long after Adobe and Apple had announced their kissing and make up. Was this a dirty play on Adobe’s part? Unlikely. As mentioned earlier, Adobe is dropping the technology just to pursue HTML5, which was the only technology supported by Apple itself.

Apple has enough on its hands at the moment as it is. After the big 4S + Siri launch, all of us with the cute new gadget had come to terms with the very fragile battery life it has. If you’re lucky, you’ll cell phone will last 10 hours with a full battery. Reason? Bugs in the new iOS system. Solution? iOS 5.0.1 just to cure the little insect. Outcome? Well… it doesn’t look any better so far. My battery still runs out at the same rate it did before the upgrade, so what did you really do Apple?

After my rather strong argument against Blackberry and then switching to iPhone, I can’t really complain. Low battery or not, it is technology at its purest and most advanced meaning. So, cheers for all things mobile!

Step Aside Hollywood

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN5PoW7_kdA&feature=player_embedded]

Yeah, it’s not exactly the prettiest video I chose to publish here (the annoying orange is indeed annoying… and creepy if I might add) but then again it’s the latest viral option that’s going through the roof in “share” statistics. Now, this post’s title may be a bit too bold to say, but just as last day’s article on Bing Eating a Share of Google’s Market may be just as bold, it’s at least partially true.

People get a lot more laughs lately with two-minute long videos passed on to them by their friends through shareable sites, than what professional writers can achieve on a 1.5hr+ movie (unless it’s a really good one). Short films, or rather, short viral videos, are done by amateurs all over the world, being much more constant than big screen hits and much more intimate. After all, you get to watch it alone or with a couple of friends; still, it’s not the same as sharing an entire room with a bunch of strangers.

Even more so, stand up comedy has been rescued by viral videos. Although certainly they are a tad more professionally filmed as amateur videos would be, they are quickly filmed and at ease with the improv-guy standing in front of a small audience. The larger much international audience is on the other of the screen, brought to them mostly by Comedy Central.

Cheaper, quicker, more frequent and so exquisitely entertaining? No wonder tablets are replacing TV sets… movie theaters even.

Remodeling Journalism

We’ve seen how tablets and computers have taken over printed newspapers. Physical circulation of the news worldwide has come to a point of near obsolesce. News gets to us is so many different ways, we’ve lost count. Everywhere we look now, there’s a brand new piece of information. We don’t need to spend whatever single digit money for paper that will even smudge your fingers before you can get half way through the information. So, having stated the obvious here, you would obviously say journalism is dead isn’t it? WRONG.

Journalism is not dead. What might be though, are the millions of acres of trees that had to be cut down to distribute news that just as soon as they were printed, they were already outdated (but that’s another matter). Anyway, it’s not dead because, well, how did the information reach you in the first place? Regardless of the method it reached your eyes or ears, information had to be gathered, photographed, written and shared with the world.

Journalists, as this articles puts it http://mashable.com/2011/03/10/curation-journalism/, are the new curators. The gathering, collection and the very logic of a piece of news coming your way has to be run through someone. True, anyone can do it; amateur videos, bloggers (like yours truly), etc can distribute news as well. Think of it as crowd sourcing the news.

It is definitely cheaper and a thousand times more efficient to have local people share their news as it is to send correspondents around the world only for them to be late for the moment. In any case, news generally happens at unexpected times in unexpected locations. All the more, even as we all have ourselves as local distributors, we still need the pros.

For all of it to make sense, there must be a certain order to things, even writing skills if you will. So no, journalism is not dead, it just got crowd sourced and refined.