Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Jeff Merkley for US Senate

Jeff Merkley is running for the democratic nomination for the US Senate. I support him and endorse. I met Jeff last last year and was impressed with his vision and experience. He is a uniter and he has my endorsement amongst many other important endorsements he has received so far.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Children need both parents - joint custody and shared parenting

Joint custody and shared parenting is the right of every child who is torn between two parents in a divorce. This is a systemic problem, especially severe in the state of Oregon - where one parent abuses the system by marginalizing the other. In majority of cases fathers are impacted. Please click on this button and vote for a change that is long overdue. Its in the best interest of the young silent voices who cry but can't speak and influence. Its time to end this insanity. PLEASE SUPPORT THIS ENDEAVOR.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Going Green - The new hoopla for economic growth

I just read Leslie Carlson's post on Blue Oregon titled -A green economy leaves no one behind. I cannot help but be cynical and glum about the statements made by these visionaries that include politicians, writers, press and environmentalists who have taken the idea of going green as the next big economic revolution. I agree and support the idea of using renewable energy and reducing pollution around the world. But this vision that somehow it will uplift the economically disadvantaged is flawed and reckless distraction from the very real and important issue of Education.

Lets face it, without a good education system, that generates highly educated and skilled labor force, without a well funded school and university system, that keeps the best and brightest in the state, Oregon will continue to handout tax breaks to attract industry and continue to damage its education system. It will churn out more economically disadvantaged people who love the environment, but live paycheck to paycheck.

What does going green have anything to do with being a minority in the Portland metro area or any area for the matter. Does the minority emit any more pollution or live in worse polluted area? I am a "minority" with severe asthma and live in one of those "low" asthma case neighborhoods. My asthma has nothing to do with any more or any less pollution.

I agree, going solar will be an amazing transformation. But going solar in this country is too darn expensive. So its going to take some time to get costs down and wider presence. I was looking at the small solar setup at my kids school in west hills. It serves a small portion of their power needs, but it was expensive to setup.

This vision that going green is going to somehow create this massive uplift in the "economically disadvantaged" group of minorities is flawed. Better education is going to drive the economically disadvantaged to a better living - whether they are white, black, brown blue, green or any combination of races, colors creed. I don't care for these percentages. I can point to remote regions in the south and Midwest that are predominantly white, with no economic advantage other than limited government handouts that thrive on drugs. Putting solar panels on their roof-tops will not create economic advantage. Its not going to bring the revolution that's necessary to make a significant impact. Our dependence on oil is not going to subside that easily. Get the economically disadvantage access to the same education that is available to advantaged and you will see real transformation.

So all you politicians, advocates and activists - think for a moment what really got you where you are today. Think about the root cause of economic disadvantage and look at areas that are economically advantaged and how they got there in the first place. Its education stupid! PLEASE PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOU MOUTH IS!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

An open letter to Hillary Clinton's Oregon Campaign

Immediately after Hillary's successful comeback on Super Tuesday II, Josh Kardon posted an inspiring post on Blue Oregon to Hillary's supporters to join in helping her win in Oregon. He posted an email address. I posted a comment applauding him and sent an email immediately offering my help. Its been several days - I am still waiting for a reply or someone to contact. One would have expected a quick reponse.

Its going to be a dog fight for Hillary to win in Oregon and she needs all the help she she can get between now and the Democratic primaries. If her campaign is going to show this sort of response, all bets are off. Obama will crush her. He already leads in the polls in Oregon. Am I wasting my time and energy on someone "who is going to lose!" because the people working for her are losers!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Kanwal Rekhi - Godfather of TIE and entreprenuers in Silcon Valley

Kanwal Rekhi came to the United States as a student from India in 1967. In 1982 he founded Excelan, one of the first high tech startups in Silicon Valley, that made TCP/IP network cards. One of the first startups founded by an engineer of Indian origin in Silicon Valley. I remember Excelan when I moved to the valley in 1987. One of my close friends worked and would describe how Indian the company was. Kanwal is an amazing story - he broke the glass cieling and became President of Excelan and paved the way for many of us to shine. He sold Excelan to Novell in 1989 and became a board member of Novell. He was one of the founders of TIE (The Indus Entreprenuer) in 1992, which became a raging success and now is the largest enterprenuer backed organization in the world, open to anyone. Here is podcast where he talks about TIE.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Viral Entrepreneurship - Its what we need in Oregon

I am on the board of a recently formed organization called TIE Oregon. TIE stands for "The Indus Entrepreneurs". It was founded in the early 1990s in silicon valley by engineers and budding entrepreneurs who represented a region called Indus or the Indian subcontinent. TIE spawned many successful startups in the silicon valley, including, and Exodus. Many of these companies have changed the landscape of user experience on the internet and some of the founders like Ram Sriram have helped form giants like Google. The founders of these successful companies have in turn bankrolled other companies creating a viral frenzy.

This evening we organized an entrepreneurship event in Hillsboro where two entrepreneurs were invited to talk about their experience to a group of Indian and non Indian wanna be entrepreneurs. They included Manish Chandra, CEO of Kaboodle based in Sunnyvale, in the heart of Silicon valley, and Caroline Cummings , CEO of OsoEco, a Eugene based company focused on building an online community of "green" solutions including products, services and living. OsoEco recently won an award at the Angel Oregon conference in the sustainability track. It has raised $370,000 in private capital and received $60,000 from Angel Oregon.

Both these founders had an interesting and inspiring story to tell. OsoEco is a nascent startup still beta testing its website. Kaboodle is barely 3 years old. Kaboodle was formed sometime in 2005. By early 2007 it had raised and burnt $5 million in its "Series A" funding. It had a 2 million a month unique visitors presence on its website. The funds were exclusively raised from high net worth Angel-Capitalists, some of who like Ashish Gupta and Kanwal Rekhi were members of TIE in silicon valley. Their investment caused others like Ron Conway and to invest. One investor according to Manish invested $600,000 because he had made $600 million on a $600,000 investment in another "Chandra", who founded Exodus.

While raising money from angels, Manish struggled for nearly a year to raise capital from traditional Venture Capitalists in silicon valley - a must for success. When he finally did find a firm from the east coast interested in investing, Ron Conway, an early investor in Google and Facebook, made a few phone calls and within a week Hearst Corporation purchased Kaboodle for a rumored $40 million from right under the VC's nose. That is an 8 times return in less than 24 months! Kaboodle bucked the trend and now is considered a poster child for startups that can succeed and get significant returns without traditional Venture Capital. Not $600 million but I am sure the $5 million or so was a great return for the "Chandra" investor in a very short period of time.

Kaboodle is now helping Hearst figure out how to make online advertising more effective for its customersi in the online world. Social networking is the next revolution in e-commerce and online shopping. Manish is a classic silicon valley success story. He came to the US from India as a student. He decided to stay back in the silicon valley on an H1 visa to work for a large technology firm like Intel as an engineer. He likely worked long and hard and finally broke the glass ceiling by getting an MBA and working his way up into management. He then tried his hands at a few startups till one day when he got inspired by an idea and finally took the plunge.

The difference? Unlike the past he had TIE Silicon Valley on his side as a catalyst. Other entreprenuers who had a tougher struggle in the 80s and 90s were now available to him as mentors and investors to guide and support him. I call it viral entreprenuership. Success breeding success at a much larger scale. I am sure there are hundreds if not thousands of success stories like Manish in silicon valley who have achieved rapid success through mentorship and access to capital.

Both these companies strived to attract a community of users on their website by using social networking around niche interests to attracts advertisers for revenue. The contrast is that one is in silicon valley and one in willamette valley. Its heartening to see OsoEco charging ahead with two bright young women as founders. Caroline is charasmatic, a true entreprenuer with a great presence and witty humor. She has made some success by raising a small amount of capital.

In contrast Manish used his TIE connections in silicon valley to take a niche idea and converted it rapidly into success story by getting decent investment capital to build a business. He was able to get an 8X return for his investors in two years. Can OsoEco replicate this success story as a startup based in Oregon? I think its possible if we could replicate the viral enterprenuership that exists in silicon valley.

As the chair-person of its mentorship program I think TIE Oregon can be a key catalyst for such a viral entreprenuership. All of us who are involved in this local chapter want this to happen in silicon forest.

So if you are an Oregonian, or wanna be Oregonian, an entreprenuer or wanna be entreprenuer - if you have an idea that can be brought to market, please visit us at TIE Oregon and become a member. We are open to all colors, culture and background, though are roots are Indian or Indus. Attend our events and become part of this viral movement. Join the mentorship program and let us help you in your success and breed future success!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Obama-maniacs eat your heart out - Hillary resurges

Hillary backers have the house tonight. She has resurged in Ohio and has a shot in the arm to get the well deserved nomination to run for President. All "rhetoric" aside, she has what it takes, she is a fighter and she has shown that despite these huge waves of Obama she is the "Mama" and no one messes with "Mama" Clinton. The bitch is still the new black, and her bite is bigger than her bark. All the black poodle can do is yap!

Obama-maniacs eat your heart out! It was real manic while it lasted. Lets get back to the real-world - age and experience matters... its been REAL!

Obama losing steam in OH and TX - Is he really a muslim? reports that Obama is losing his roaring edge in both OH and TX. Southern OH voters are searching the web about Obama's background using keywords like "Is Obama a muslim". He was defending himself in a 60 minute interview past Sunday with Steve Kroft. Does it matter whether he is muslim or christian or agnostic for the matter. There is some uncertainty in people's mind, but really folks, it should be his experience, or lack there of that should bring this uncertainty. Hillary has built a 6 point lead in OH and building one in TX. Today is Super Tuesday II. I am anxiously holding my breath to see the outcome.... either way history is on its way to be made in November 2008.

Monday, March 3, 2008

What does it cost to feed 59 million kids?

Did you know that 59 million kids go without eating every day? Wow! And I am worried about not getting my next $3.00 latte kick in time. World Food Program, A UN agency that runs a feed the school children program worldwide just got $1 million in donation from actress Drew Barrymore, who spent time in Kenya with this program. Visit for more information. According to the director of this program $3 Billion would solve the hunger problem of these kids worldwide. Isn't that a war worth fighting?