Automotive is down, down, down...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 1:21 AM



By Kostia Khait

Hell... Delphi Corp. and Visteon are under bankruptcy! It seems automotive is on the bottom, lower than anything else.

How to choose a car?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 5:10 AM

by Kostia Khait

In the past I was asked a lot of times about the same thing: how to choose a car? You like cars, you know cars, you work with cars... how to choose a car? And every time the person who was asking was unhappy with what I answer.

Each time when anybody wants to purchase a car (not only a car, but...), he does the same mistake: he wants to be objective. Car is expensive, we usually buy car for a long use, so we must do the optimal choice. And the long run becomes. What I want? Cost? Comfort? Silence? Design? Luggage capacity? Travel with family? And so on. Many factors, many weights, lots of test drives, hours of Internet search. And one of two results: either the 'right' car becomes 'wrong' after being bought, or person buys a car which is very different from what he considers 'optimal', just because he likes this particular car.

The problem is modern cars are very similar. Even cars of different classes, having different motors, equipment, materials, they all are having almost the same functions and capabilities. Yes, BMW enables you with driving 250km/h, but how frequently you drive 250km/h? Yes, S-class is big and comfortable, but Hyundai Sonata is also big and... also comfortable. If you forget about the brand name and skip very minor details.

Another problem, nobody is objective when chooses a toy. Car is a toy more than for 50%, therefore all careful arguments we use are not really inline with what we want. We selects one toy from a long long list of very similar toys... trying to use formal proofs of our choice. We deceive ourself.

As a result, being asked about the right way to choose a car, I always answer the same thing: take what you like. You can even buy a car in Internet, by photo, by description... no difference. You will either love or hate it and it is not depending on how accurate you are in your selection process. You should only use two simple rules: take a thing you have money for, and remember everything is relative, safety is absolute.

But. Who cares of safety before an accident?

Financial crisis or crisis of ideas

3:53 AM

by Kostia Khait

I think this idea is not my one and not being new. However it looks rather interesting. For me it looks like current crisis is not a kind of 'financial crisis launched by subprime mortgage problems', but just a crisis of innovation ideas.

Let's see. 1930s... Crisis, Great Depression. 40s... no comments. 50s - years of Big Automotive Dream, cars are the main engine of the progress and trading. 60s - nuclear and space technologies. 70s - no main innovative idea, crisis. Exited with Computer Epoch. 90s - mobile telephony. And with the tail of Cellphones Age, with smartphones and PDAs we entered the new millenium. And get stuck. No new great innovation, driving our mind, which we ready to fund, inflating world economic.

If I am right, there is only one way to completely exit this crisis: to identify another innovative idea which becomes the goal for mass market. The only a problem, typically ideas come themselve, it can not be brought from outside and enforced to the mind. So, waiting.

Browser as an OS: new trend or marketing fake?

12:40 AM

by Kostia Khait

Do you monitor what Google does? Do you monitor what Google does as close as I do it? Couple years ago I considered that Google is only a company going the right technological way. At least having solid (although hidden...) roadmap I fully understand. Now it is not so clear for me. It looks like they lost their way after did an attempt to extend their business from Internet to in-PC world and... probably failed. At least they didn't get a market share comparable with what they have in online space. After that they become doing strange things, and I was unable to re-construct their strategy by what I saw.

Now these guys announced Google Chrome OS. And shortly after that Microsoft announced Gazelle browser as an OS. I was wondered. At the first moment I decided it is just a marketing trick. Google has no own OS (Android is just Linux clone and it seems failing as well...), but they want or at least wanted to be everywhere in computer world like Microsoft is. OS is mandatory for that, they can not create their own OS... The conclusion for experienced marketing strategist is obvious: let's rename something different to our own OS and capitalize our brand with this light fake.

However after Microsoft responded with Gazelle, I am not so sure in what I thought. Microsoft has its own OS, moreover their market share is huge. And they are not interested in support Google in their market tricks, they are hard competitors, even enemies. It seems what's easier than just say: "Guys, you see they try substitute real OS with just a phantom"! However Microsoft did vice versa, they practically confirmed: browser becomes an OS.

And... It might be they are correct. Current browser (regardless on which one) is looking as not just UI to see web pages, but first of all it is a kind of virtual machine to run online applications. If we assume, that most of applications may become online, browser really becomes an OS. Moreover, you even do not need any other OS than just browser. And it has much more convenience that traditional operating systems: applications are cross-platform, flexible, always on and always safe (I did not say "secure", right?).

However I feel some fake. And now I believe I know where is it. These guys still trying to push us to online with everything we do. It makes a lot of benefits for them: if we give them all our data and involve there resources to everything we do, they become the unrestricted owners on regular computer activities. They may just make money giving us their resources in rent, but they can also blackmail us, block our jobs, smoothly refocus us to what we didn't plan initially and control what we do. It might have some visible convenience, but I don't think IT-community will choose this way. People wants to remain independent. If I am right, they will fail another time with making browser an OS and people continue working offline with the most of their activities.

Otherwise they win. We lose.

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