Incentive

I definitely don’t agree with the way the Industry is headed as far as offering incentives to top performers go. The trend begins with Microsoft, who recently switched over from stock options to something more toned down and less attractive. For them, this move might have made sense, but to the employed worker, this is definitely a loss.

As a young kid, I wasn’t ashamed to put in that extra 10% for some cool incentive. The incentive never assumed more importance than the task itself, but it did push the stakes up that much higher. My mom proudly states that my Grandad was one of the first traders in the busy commercial laxmi road to introduce commisions to employees proportional to their sales. That was an early incentive which caught on in terms of popularity with all the other traders. For the employee, this meant instant rewards after some real hard-selling and it works even today.

In the Industrial revolution and later the technological revolution, 100% employee owned companies are rare but ever present. What is more popular, is to give a direct share of the company to the employee. This introduced two factors I consider important, accountability of the employee to the company in terms of his work ethic and reverse accountability of the company to the employee in terms of its management.

Somewhere down the road, this did help the rich get richer (Bill Gates is worth so many billions now) but more than anything, it gave the employee the very achievable dream of getting rich when his hard work paid off and not this is not just an option to indemnify yourself when your old, I mean retire at 40.

The kind of incentive everybody hates is the one where you take from Ram and give to Shyam, I have seen that happen in my career, I did not like it and no I was not on the wrong end of the stick. I have also experienced the better and more fair incentive. It gave me confidence in my abilities and pride in my work.

You cannot deny it, in its harder form, necessity IS the mother of invention. While incentive may not be so strong in intensity it certainly is ingrained in Human Nature.

Research In Motion loses out

Tuesday the court sided with NTP against Research in Motion for patent infringement. There are 5 disputed patents here and they cover the use of wireless Radio Frequency in email systems.

Now at first glance, this patent seems to cover my wireless access point which is a stop on the way to my email server from my laptop and covers email on your cell-phone too. I am not very clear about how the whole patent systems works, but it seems there are one too many glitches in this system. To allow the registration of this patent itself demonstrates the inadequacy. There have been past discussions on Slashdot especially over some ridiculous patents like this one. I don’t think the system is encouraging innovation any more.

The positive side is, that RIM does not have to stop marketing the Berry in the United States just yet. Their appeal still has to heard. However, this is bad news in general for Univ. of Waterloo, which has very close ties with RIM. The founders are University alumni. Also, the patents will be reexamined.

It almost seems cynical to add this here, but SCO are now countersuing RedHat citing “dissapointment” and “previous discussions”. Suse meanwhile has sided with RedHat, the German Linux Distributor has always taken a hardline againts SCO since the allegations earlier in March.

Frankly, I am not sure what the Tech. Industry is shaping up to be. The truth is having a strong legal team really helps, lawsuits might just shape up to be a cute revenue stream for those holding overreaching patents that make frivolous claims of IP. At the moment it does not seem possible to actually do anything about this.

Whats a Blackberry?
RIMs aren’t only for email (Score:1)
by dstutz (639854) on Wednesday August 06, @08:05AM (#6624466)
(http://www.dstutz.com/)
Some of you are saying these RIM devices are useless and who needs wireless email anyway, but you’re missing the point that they can do a LOT more than that. RIM has (had?) an SDK available for free download on their website in the past so they obviously intended people to develop their own apps for these things. My company (IBM) is one of them. I don’t use it as much now, but for at least a year I was depending on one of these things to support me as a technician in the field. Our whole service-call system runs on our RIMs and it saves soooo much time and headache. We receive, update and close calls with a few clicks/turns of the thumbwheel as well as filling out the form to send back to IBM detailing what happened (used for billing/parts tracking among other things). Without these, I would have to either call a human being or dial in with my laptop. Two things that aren’t much fun when you’re driving all over the place trying to get work done.

I was curious about what this settlement means to our use of these devices, but then I was reading through and saw how people think that RIM will most likely license the technology. Losing these things would suck for us techs.

Secure Space

It appears that the Geography of the IT World is changing rapidly. As a rejoinder to my earlier blog, Network Associates is hiring very aggressively in Bangalore for their still very new Development Center. It’s reported that they are offering 6.5 lakhs p.a to experienced Devs.

In the same breath, Fall is approaching, a lot of B.Tech students are graduating this year. 20% of them will still leave the country. This blog is not to accord them anymore respect than they actually deserve (some are of the opinion, very little) but what this means is that the ‘Brain Drain’ won’t be reducing anytime soon.

In the US, it seems a lot of the companies here directly competing with Microsoft are beginning to entrench themselves deeper, this time with Open Source as more of a weapon than an Ally. Novell just bought out Ximian and IBM has just obtained security certification for Linux allowing it to be considered when the US govt. makes any OS related decisions. Red Hat is going on the offensive to sue SCO in return for their ridiculous claims.

Links
E-Recruitment fair in Pune
Reuters moving their operations to India

The balance between Management & Techies

Joel has spoken, this time he reviews a book “In Search of Stupidity”. He comes down really hard in my opinion on Lotus (remember 123). How would it be to be known for some really stupid decision that lead to you companies downfall? Ask Joe Manzi! Forthcoming, some research on each of the companies that Joel mentions were there on the 1984 list (licking MS’s heels) and are’nt around now.

Write up your resume and start looking for a house in Redmond