New Beginning

Over the last few years, this website has contained the musings and discussions relating to my evolution of my focus from just Finisar and optical communications towards a broader horizon – clean tech and green investing. I was in sync with the overall trends of high tech culture in this step.

Over the last 7 months I have been working to start an incubator focused on clean tech, optical systems and novel materials – all in partnership with the Singapore government. On December 30, 2009, Small World Group was notified that we were one of the Incubator proposals that has been accepted by the government.

The ramifications of this are multiple –

  • first of all it means that I will be spending 4 weeks out of every 6 in Singapore; as a corollary, when I am in the USA the time there always involves travel to both Indiana (home) and California (business) as well as time  visiting my children who live all over!  I am once again signed up for too much travel; if you want to reach me, you can see my location calendar here.
  • SWG now has 2 principals – myself and Dean Haritos.  Dean’s background is Cal Tech (BS), Stanford (MS), HP – Finisar – Infinera in terms of big corporations and Cloudbreak Software as a startup company.  Dean is a master of project planning and execution.  He is also a cancer survivor who works with people diagnosed with cancer – he maintains a website “just past infinity” for this purpose.
  • Small World Group Incubator is now a Pte LTD company in Singapore.  We began operations in early January and are making progress towards funding our first company.  The scheme here allows us to invest up to $88K and at that limit the Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF) gives the company a convertible loan of $500K where the SWG Incubator owns the right to convert the loan at its own decision for up to 3 years after the company is founded.  More is available about the NRF TIS scheme (1), (2), (3).
  • In Singapore, we have an entrepreneurial ecosystem that is rich in technical talent as well as rich in Institutes and Universities that have state of the art equipment.  Also we find there is a real focus on transforming the country from its diminishing manufacturing base to one where ideas, designs and product development are needed to build the new future.

We hope you will go to the Incubator tab and explore our activities there!

Posted in Essays, Green Perspectives, Personal Stories, Singapore Incubator

Really FAST Internet

Spent the night in downtown Tokyo in a 40 story hotel.  My room was near the top floor.  And the internet in that room was nothing short of amazing.  Here is my data –

Screen shot of record internet access in Tokyo

Screen shot of record internet access in Tokyo

This screen shot is from the www.speedtest.net website.  It is free to all, so go there and try it on your own home or business access.

Now a bit about this.  The site measures 3 things about your internet access –

  1. Ping Time – this is a measure of how long it takes a message from your computer to go out to the internet and be bounced back to you from the nearest internet node.  Typical very good times are 20-30 milliseconds.  You can get this using DSL connections but CATV cable connections are often longer.  Ping Times that are long can cause echos in Skype phone conversations, for example.  And they can make the web feel sluggish on just browsing.
  2. Download Speed – this is a measure of the bandwidth delivered to you by the internet.  If you go to YouTube and ask for a video, it will stream out to you at around this rate.  Older DSL lines are typically 1-2 Mb/s or 1-2 millions of bits per second.  Newer DSL can be 3 – 6 Mb/s in the USA and up to 10 Mb/s in Asia.  Cable modem rates are typically 5-10 Mb/s but can go higher if you pay for it.
  3. Upload Speed – this is a measure of how fast you can upload a big file to somewhere on the internet.  In all fairness, this test assumes that you are able to send to a very fast receiving internet node.  Sometimes upload can be slow just because you are sending to someone who cannot receive fast.

OK.  So here you see we achieved a ping time of 3 milliseconds, upload and download speeds are close to 10 Mb/s in each direction. And that is really amazing.  I did some video conferencing with 2 different people in different parts of the USA from this Tokyo hotel room and it was crystal clear.

All that you are reading on the news today about the USA being behind other countries in Internet access is true.  Here is first hand data.  And it is shameful.  We invented it and all of the main access techniques.  And we have fallen behind in technology that enables business and people to work together better.

Ouch.

Posted in Essays, Investing, StartUp Ideas