SciBlogs

Archive April 2012

Startups get a scientific methodology = a simplifying strategy Peter Kerr Apr 26

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Webfund chairman, entrepreneur and supporter of startups Dave Moskovitz gave his review of Eric Ries book, ‘The Lean Startup’ at a lunchtime meeting at Wellington’s Southern Cross hotel recently.

Ex-pat American Moskovitz brought back a few copies of the book from a recent trip to the States, where the Lean Startup Methodology of applying the scientific method to starting, and growing, or shutting down a fledgling business has become mainstream.

Moskovitz says the book’s central thesis is that previously a startup has been considered more of an artform than a science, but Ries reckons that treating a new business as a series of scientific experiments can quickly refine a concept into a viable business.

By applying three stages — build, measure, learn – hypotheses can be tested quickly, and the problems solved to achieve product-market fit.

It goes without saying that the objective of this startup method is to make money.

Under Ries’ model, the basic unit of success is validated learning — and there’s no use spending time or money on anything if this isn’t the outcome.

Moskovitz gave a potted summary of the book as well (thanks Dave).

Value vs Waste

  • You can only improve your product by measuring what customers actually do (and will pay for). Therefore, charge from day one, the information you get is the measure of real value

Minimum viable product (MVP)

  • Start with a smoke test. (Particularly with regard to a website) advertise a feature that doesn’t exist, such as a landing page or button to a feature that doesn’t exist. If nobody clicks on the new feature, don’t build in — you’re wating your time and money
  • ‘any work beyond what is required to start learning is a waste’
  • (make a) video MVP — video of what the product does/will do
  • Concierge MVP — pretend that there is an expert system in the background, have it as a person who does the job — a simple way to measure whether it is worthwhile

Innovation accounting = learning milestones

  • Different from usual profit and loss accounting
  • Establish baseline metrics. Document all your assumptions
  • Real metrics are numbers like trial rates, referral rates, conversion rates, customer retention
  • Bad news is good news. (You are going to fail continually, therefore you have to be reinventing, learning from mistakes and an incorrect hypothesis….don’t make the same mistake twice)
  • Tune the engine
  • Pivot or persevere….or….shutdown

Warnings

  • Optimisation vs learning. If you are building the wrong thing, optimising it doesn’t matter
  • The three A’s of success
  • Actionable
  • Achievable
  • Auditable

Pivoting

  • The true measure of a runway (how much time/money you have left) is how many pivots you can make before you’re dead
  • An unclear hypothesis makes it impossible to experience complete failure, and to make the required changes for success

Types of pivot

  • Zoom-in
  • Zoom-out
  • Customer segment
  • Customer need
  • Platform
  • Business architecture
  • Value capture
  • Engine of growth
  • Channel
  • Technology

Small batches

  • Doing things in small chunks lets you do more = rapid, incremental development cycles

Adapting to problem

  • Use ‘The five whys’ — question five times what the problem is….often comes down to a person as the root
  • Use ‘proposition/investment’ in problem correction
  • Be tolerant of all mistakes the first time
  • Never allow the same mistake to be made twice

Conclusion

  • It’s mostly about not wasting peoples’ time

In conclusion, ‘The Lean Startup’ is a how to manual, where failure is welcomed, almost celebrated as a means to learn and adapt and grow — or, just as importantly quit and not be one of the ‘living dead’.

As Moskovitz gave his summary, it struck me as being a type of antidote to New Zealanders’ underlying ability to shoot ourselves in the foot as identified by Tony Smale (see here, here and here).

Again, having ‘failed’ (i.e. gained experience) in trying to set up a business a few years ago, (and looking for other opportunities now) such a mindset and scientific process would’ve been invaluable.

Among the thousands of management books I haven’t read, this is one I’ll be buying.

The Wellington Lean Startup Meetup group meets every second month and has over 250 members. For more information, go here.


Dear David, please give us more than science and innovation platitudes Peter Kerr Apr 24

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Dear David (Shearer),

I’m afraid, if you’re trying to outflank National on the science and innovation front, you’re going to have to do much better than your speech to the NZ Association of Scientists (see speech here) on April 16.

As your first major shot from the S&I portfolio you’ve deliberately taken onboard as well as leadership of the opposition, you’ve somewhat underwhelmed.

Which is a pity because I’m not all together sure that Steven Joyce is enjoying or finding he’s able to click the numerous pieces together in the S&I ecosystem.

There simply seems to be a whole lot of nothing happening — unless you call the structural-change absorption of the Ministry of Science & Innovation into a super ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment an inspired piece of strategy-led thinking.

I will give you credit for one good line on that front though Mr Shearer:

‘The latest government idea is not about moving forward, but moving offices.’

That’s about it though I’m afraid, because the rest of your speech simply stated what is, even if you said to the assembled scientists

‘over the coming months we will want to discuss with you how you believe science can be better supported. How our institutions can work more effectively and better together. We want to begin our government in 2014 with a clear plan.’

Might I respectfully suggest we do enough good science (look at the stats for published papers per capita).

It’s what we’re doing, nor rather not doing, beyond the initial research that the missing part of the jigsaw.

That’s the development part, the innovation part (i.e. bringing elements such as capital, management, lean startup methodologies, routes to market) that is a large part of the government’s missing policy or strategy.

And this is where you have quite a degree of freedom Mr Shearer to plant some seeds, show some leadership, grab our hearts and minds.

Because, (unless he’s cunningly planning to soon reveal an innovation genie of some kind), this is unclaimed territory by Mr Joyce.

Merely by stating some fresh thinking in the innovation area (which we’ll define as converting a good idea into something that makes money or is societally advantageous) you’d start front-footing it with the current government.

As to your speech – No one is going to disagree that we should do good science, retain young people and the like. Stating the obvious isn’t going to grab the nation’s hearts and minds, and that is what is up for the taking in the absence of Mr Joyce inspiring us to a better and brighter use of our smart resources.

You’re absolutely right when you said

‘the absence of an overall plan means the science sector is again being turned upside down.’

But you’d better start offering more than what was in this speech if you want to be taken as merely providing platitudes.

In the current S&I climate of all structures and no strategy, you have a golden opportunity to do more than echo comments of the late Sir Paul Callaghan, or state what everyone already knows.

As you also commented in the speech:

‘If we want more innovation and science in our industry, then we need the leadership and co-ordination that will create it.’

Precisely.

The S&I ball is in your court Mr Shearer.

You’ve so-far returned a couple of weak backhands.

A few smashing overhead volleys even if they’re out of court, would make us sit up and take more notice, see if you’re worth more than a cursory glance at.

Yours, etc etc


Our internet-inspired impatience is only getting worse Peter Kerr Apr 19

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There’s a fair number of (mostly ignored) requests to link and/or ‘write about us’ emails received by sticK.

However Tony Shin tweaked an interest in the subject line, ‘A quick question about Instant Gratification’.

He in turn linked through to the following link (see here), an extremely informative graphic about ‘Instant America’.

Without giving the eight pages away, the underlying message of the effect of the internet’s instant gratification is that the desire for speedy information has made Americans (but read all of us) impatient for just about everything.

Well, OK, here’s three statistics (and all their sources, and the other facts are referenced at the end of the graphic) that should give us pause for thought.

  • Google found that slowing search results by just 4/10ths of a second would reduce the number of searches by 8,000,000 a day
  • In the U.S., 25% of mobile web users browse only on their phones, never using a laptop, tablet or desktop to access the internet
  • Half of surveyed Americans would not return to an establishment that kept them waiting

Are we in New Zealand far behind in our impatience stakes? Probably not.

Tony Shin’s also done me the favour of pointing out www.onlinegraduateprograms.com , which has a number of other interesting graphics including; ‘Generation Screwed — It’s not easy being a millennial’, and ‘Should you get an MBA?’

Onlinegraduateprograms describes itself as ‘devoted to providing a detailed understanding of all aspects of graduate education’.

The site’s well worth a fossick around. Its mandate is beyond the ‘bums on seats’ business model of most universities.

In other words, it has plenty of interesting stuff you probably didn’t know about. See if you can resist ’50 facts you never knew about the English language’ if you don’t believe me


Stop trying to Aucklandise our science and innovation Peter Kerr Apr 17

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At the risk of displaying a Wellington-residential and Southland upbringing bias, the government’s keenness for an Aucklandisation of our science and innovation strikes me as being stupid.

In particular, the push to make (force even) the development of the former oil tank farm Wynyard Quarter as a place that can grow into a hotbed of science-led innovation is wrong.

Purely on an evidence-based front, there’s flaws in the argument that’s been put up for the Quarter.

Why would start-ups, one of the main elements that the Quarter’s meant to be trying to attract, be interested in locating themselves on one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in the country?

Start-ups start in garages and spare bedrooms, rundown warehouses and close to the sources of supply (of raw materials, brains, good distribution) that fit at the particular time of their beginning.

Start-ups don’t kick off in elaborate, over-designed (potential white elephants), and surely government’s not suggesting a subsidised rental scheme!

Even if Industrial Research (as it even so slowly morphs into an Advanced Technology Institute) was ‘encouraged’ to set up in the WQ, those wanting to tap into its knowledge wouldn’t have to be co-located to access the brains. You don’t have to be onsite to have a meeting.

The other worry with the government’s Aucklandisation push for science and innovation is that it is looking through the wrong end of the telescope.

Sure, some high-level manufacturing takes place there — but attempting to concentrate R&D resources in the Queen City ignores the facts of the matter.

In a New Zealand environment that has a great scarcity of data, a recent working paper by Victoria University’s Management School crunches some numbers and draws some conclusions from IRL’s 2009 initiative, ‘What’s Your Problem New Zealand’.

The 19 page document can be found here. It’s a nicely written piece, low on theory-speak, and prepared to draw a few conclusions.

The management school recognised that analysing the [100] competition application forms

‘represented a unique and potentially extremely useful insightful view of the corporate innovation landscape’.

One particular feature they noted was that WYPNZ isolated firms with active innovative intent — that is, thinking about innovation ‘right now’ in order to apply.

The competition was also open of all-comers, not just those identified by another agency or body as having potential to turn innovative intent into value creation, or firms in need of development.

All in all,

‘we hope to have created a picture, in microcosm, of the landscape for corporate innovation inNew Zealand.’

Again, check out the report for yourself.

But, to cut to the chase, and the first couple of 13 propositions (which VUW suggests could be the basis for further possible research):

Proposition 1: No geographic region in New Zealand has more or less ‘innovative intent’, or indeed innovative capability, than any other.

Proposition 2: IRL’s primary location in Wellington appears to have no significant bearing on encouraging or discouraging firms from any particular region to relate to it.

………. so, to draw a long bow.

Don’t go overly pushing Auckland as an engineered hotbed of science and innovation — it’s an incorrect property play in the first instance, and unsubstantiated policy proposal in the second.

And for goodness sake government — let IRL get on with developing its ATI-inspired campus at Gracefield.

In the continued absence of a sense of science and innovation direction (which will only be exacerbated with the MSI’s absorption into the super-ministry), the ongoing mucking around with what was IRL’s idea in the first place is bad for the country.

In other words, tell IRL what you want them to achieve, and let them get on with doing that by allocating its smart people resources in the way that best fits. Kicking off with a rebuild (of a modular design that can be replicated inChristchurchandAuckland) in Wellington is the sensible option.

If the argument is that New Zealand needs to act as a city of four million people, IRL’s current head office location is fine as demonstrated by the evidence.

Or to put it another way, let’s just get on and do stuff, without the Auckland bias.


Nope, we’re not going to hell in a handcart Peter Kerr Apr 12

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The refreshingly upbeat Mark Stevenson breezed through Wellington just before Easter, giving his take on why the world’s NOT going to hell in a handcart.

The author of ‘An optimist’s tour of the future’, Stevenson’s been accused by some of having rose tinted glasses.

‘But we should have an unashamed optimism about the future,’ says the British-based writer, comic and scientist. In his book, he mentions some of the work being carried out by Blenheim-based Aquaflow as well as Carbonscape.

He gave numerous examples of humans taking better control of the planet’s biology.

The cost of genetic mapping is outstripping Moore’s Law by a factor of four he says. Mapping an individual’s entire genetic sequence currently costs $3000, but will soon be $1.

Stevenson also argues that the world doesn’t have an energy crisis. ‘We have an energy conversion crisis,’ he says. In 20-30 years time, the cost of solar energy should make it an utterly acceptable option.

One thing he is worried about is whether institutions are that good at innovation.

At that level, ‘we have become terrified of making mistakes,’ he says. ‘But, if we’re not prepared to make mistakes, we’ll never come up with something original.’

Increasingly Stevenson believes that individuals will be defined, ‘not by what you own, but by what you create.’

Biotechnology and nanotechnology are currently where information technology was in 1965, and in that regard, ‘the future is up for grabs.’

‘The future could be better, it is up to us and individuals to do it. Our future will be defined by the values we choose.’

As an aside, Stevenson pointed out grasslands in Australia and South America, where side by side across a fence, one side was bare, the other a thriving pasture.

The ‘technology’?

Rotational grazing.

The result, sustainable food production and carbon sequestered in soils.

Stevenson says some of the world’s pension funds are among the greatest investors in fencing — which is how to manage rotational grazing.

In effect, New Zealand invented this technology. No one has named it, the opportunity still exists. sticK’s argued this case before….see the story here.

Somewhat interestingly, even though Stevenson’s been to New Zealand a number of times, no one has previously pointed out to him that this is the basis of our country’s comparative advantage. He appeared somewhat surprised to find this was the case.


IP ownership change spurs new wool research Peter Kerr Apr 10

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As agriculture’s orphan child, laden with centuries of tradition and structure, coarse wool has recently exhibited a refreshing turn of mind to attempt to spin a new future.

The realisation that wool industry participants weren’t interested in co-investing in generic projects if individual companies didn’t end up owning their own piece of intellectual property has been a major catalyst for change.

Just before the Ministry and Foundation for Research, Science and Technology morphed into the Ministry of Science & Innovation, Wool Industry Research Ltd (a JV of the Wool Research Organisation and MoRST) was formed to manage a five year, $15 million research programme.

This has two components.

1. Industry good investment — essentially doing what’s done today, better. The consortium itself retains/owns the IP
2. Company specific investment — ideas are co-invested/funded, and out of this leveraged funding, the project sponsor owns the IP

WIRL general manager Ian Cuthbertson says the second form of investment, being a new path for collaboration in R&D, has taken participants a while to come onboard.

‘For the first six months, we didn’t have any co-funded (30-50%) projects,’ he says.

‘Now, moving into our second year, we have over $900,000 of industry cofunding committed.’

However, despite the sponsoring or co-funding company having the rights to any IP generated out of new wool research, it does come with a couple of caveats.

WIRL retains a lien on the IP. Once the outcome of the research is confirmed, a sensible commercialisation target is negotiated to be delivered within an agreed period of time – typically a couple of years.

Cuthbertson says that’s fair, as both taxpayer and wider industry money is being spent on the research, which ultimately benefits the individual company.

‘We have to ensure that value is created for NZ from the investment,’ he says. ‘The company could go belly up, or not commit the resources to commercialise properly, or simply change its commercial strategy.’

‘We retain the caveat that the R&D needs to be exploited to a reasonable commercial value.’

He says that a couple of these co-invested projects will probably be made public by the industry partners over the next couple of months, and that ‘there will be real value to the wider industry resulting from most.’

The change to a co-investment, with companies keeping the IP model is a total change in the way that wool related R&D funding had been carried out in the past.

Previously, funding capability and project selection had more been aimed at researchers — who would often, because of the system, be carrying out science in isolation from commercial reality.

‘Now we have truely commercially driven R&D, though there is still a core responsibility within the consortium’s investment for fundamental research,’ says Cuthbertson.

Such industry good research is driven by a wool industry advisory group from across the sector’s total value chain.

‘However, most of the research is more applied, and we’re saying to companies, if you have a good idea, we’ll help you with the science to create the opportunity, you own the IP as long as you take it to market,’ he says.


ACC and Ministry of Health: winners in patent battle over computerised healthcare information ‘connectivity’ invention Peter Kerr Apr 05

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By guest blogger, Doug Calhoun

Throughout the debate on the patenting of software, a battle has been quietly percolating under the radar over a NZ patent application (NZ525001) that has touched upon just about every issue in the software patent debate. And the outcome has been a complete success for ACC and MoH. A patent application originally accepted by IPONZ has been comprehensively refused by a hearing officer after an opposition process that lasted almost six and a half years.

The link to the decision is here:

The original owner of the patent application was an American firm, Healthtrio Inc:

The invention of NZ 525001 is ‘a system for communicating health care data from a sender to a receiver’. After it had been examined and accepted by IPONZ in 2005, no less than three major players in healthcare (ACC, MoH and Southern Cross) and Telecom opposed the further step of granting a patent. Since then there have been two interim hearings and an appeal to the High Court before they finally got around to the substantive hearing and decision. Along the way Healthtrio dropped out, but its founder, Dr Hasan, continued to pursue the patent; on the other side Telecom and Southern Cross ceased active participation at an early stage. So in the end it was Dr Hasan against ACC and the Ministry of health.

And why did ACC and MoH oppose? The answer is found in paragraphs [266] to [268] of the decision. ACC had been using its ‘EMG system’ since June 2000. In paragraph [268] the decision refers to evidence that ‘the EMG system was widely used, with GPs, physiotherapists, ambulance services and hospitals all registered to communicate data with the EMG.’ They were worried that they might be sued for using a system they had developed before Healthtrio had filed its original patent application — and they were cross that Healthtrio had tried to patent something that they had already done.

They were more than vindicated. The only difference the hearing officer saw between the EMG system and the Healthtrio one was in the latter’s normalisation of information. But:

‘[271] Normalisation is well known from the common general knowledge and it would be a desired outcome that all information appears in a common form in a combined database that is to contain the accumulated data from existing independent databases. The invention claimed is obvious when the prior art is considered alongside the common general knowledge. It would be unfair on the skilled worker to give patent rights which would prevent that skilled worker from its previously enjoyed right to put information into a database and for the information in that databases to be put into a standardised form, something the skilled addressee would have been able to do without any exercise of inventiveness from their common general knowledge.’

The main ground upon which the hearing officer made his decision was that the ‘specification did not sufficiently and fairly describe the invention and the method by which it is to be performed’. (One theory of the basis for patents is the social contract theory — in return for granting a time limited exclusive exploitation right, the state receives a public disclosure of the invention. But if, as has happened here, the disclosure is not sufficient and fair, the patent applicant has not fulfilled its side of the bargain. So the state declines to grant a patent.)

Paragraphs [103] to [208] explain why. The hearing officer placed a great deal more weight on the evidence of the opponents’ expert witness, Dr David Parry, than on the evidence of the expert witnesses for Healthtrio.

‘[073] In conclusion, I agree with the opponents’ analyses of the experts, above, and I consider that little if any weight can be given to the evidence of Dr Desai, Mr Prib and Mr Cooper. The evidence of Dr Parry and Mr Bowden is very relevant, being from experts in the field, and especially experts in the field in New Zealand, New Zealand being ahead of other countries in this technical field, and I consider much weight can be placed on their evidence.’

Dr Parry gave evidence (paragraph [142]) that the term ‘normalise’ as used in the specification ‘could not … be understood by any reasonable person working in the informatics field based on their experience or knowledge … or on any information in the specification itself.’ He expressed similar concerns (in Paragraph [146]) about the meaning of the word ‘meaning’.

The hearing officer agreed.

The hearing officer noted in paragraphs [160] to [162] that the corresponding European application had also been refused for lack of clarity.

For trainspotters the decision can be downloaded from this link:

To complete the dissection of the Healthtrio application, the hearing officer also found that the invention claimed in claims 26 to 29 had been prior published in two separate earlier US patents; and that the invention claimed was ‘not an invention’.

The ‘not an invention’ finding was an extension of the obviousness finding, as opposed to a finding that the system was not a ‘manner of manufacture’ – which is at the heart of the debate on the patent exclusion of computer programs. The hearing officer’s conclusion was:

‘[275] As I see it, the invention claimed in claims 1 to 25 is a mere collocation of known steps and/or components, in particular the use of a known normalisation step and a known transliteration step in the transmission of data in a known network environment, and particularly in the creation of a common database containing all information contained in a number of existing databases. Each step or component performs its known function without any alteration or synergy. The claims represent mere collocations of known integers and therefore lack inventiveness and are thus unpatentable.

[277] It would be wrong to prevent others in the field from extracting data from several databases to create a single database containing all the information in one place using standard techniques within the common general knowledge of the skilled addressee, as I find to be the case in the claims under consideration.

[278] If one looks beyond the normal extraction of data from a known database into another database, at the ability for a system to automatically understand data in an unknown database and extract that information into another database, then there is mere speculation and a casting of the claims widely to catch future developments that fall within the vague claims. Applicants are only entitled to claim what they have themselves invented. In the present case there is no explanation as to how the system can automatically understand the meaning of data in unknown databases and extract that data into a set of fields in its own database.’

The lesson taught by this decision is that if someone is seeking a software related patent in New Zealand, and they have not done anything more than a rehash of what has gone before, there are tools available under the existing law to put a stop to them.

The process has taken six and a half years. One reason is that the opponents tried to shortcut the process to get a decision only on the issue that ultimately was the decider. But in the end both sides collected and filed extensive detailed evidence on all issues — and that takes time. And the hearing officer did a remarkable job of sifting through it all and producing a detailed but coherent 75 page decision within three months, including Christmas.

And we can all do a metaphorical haka over his finding that New Zealand is ahead of others in this technical field.

And speculate as to why the Australian equivalent patent (AU 2002211889) was granted with claims identical to those refused here; and the US equivalent (US 7,664,660), while containing many more qualifications in its main claim, still uses the terms ‘normalise’ and ‘meaning’ that were found to be meaningless here.

~ Doug Calhoun
IP Mentor


Angels, unsurprisingly, belt-tightening Peter Kerr Apr 03

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We shouldn’t be too surprised that the latest figures released on the Young Company Finance Index show a slight reduction in the amount of investment by Angels.

After all, there’s only so much ‘spare’ money that Angels have to punt on such investments, where only one or two out of 10 will (historically) be screamingly successful.

The Angel community, of which it is estimated there are about 200 individuals spread throughout New Zealand, has tapped into a large number of Kiwis who are prepared to back new business growth.

The community’s actively looking for new members, but in the meantime original Angel investors are waiting for payback from the (to date from 2006) 407 deals that have been done. Of the current Angel crop, till they get some returns, they’re necessarily tightening their belts a bit.

Hence, as noted in YCF, the average size of first up deals has fallen, and there’s an increasing amount of follow-on investment also taking place. The second half of 2011 saw just over $13 million invested in 44 deals, while almost $31m was invested in 97 deals across the entire year. The average deal size was $323,549, down from $540,000 in 2006 when the index kicked off.

Angels clearly prefer web company oriented investments, followed by technology hardware and equipment, then biotech and life-sciences. (See Angel press release here).

There’s a good reason for the IT bias. Based in a corner of the south-west Pacific, things webby are the most scalable, and tend not to be as capital intensive. By the same token they’re an all or nothing investment, with no residual asset such as plant, machinery, drugs or IP if things go belly-up.

The web’s all in the ether, and when it doesn’t work, an Angel investor (and the founders for that matter) have blown everything.

Given the activity of Angels, it’s amazing to consider that they’ve only been going in NZ for five years. It would be shuddering to think of where or how innovative business founders would obtain investment capital without their presence. Part proof of that was BioVittoria’s inability attract enough investment via a proposed sharemarket listing.

So, imagine an environment without Angels — hardly bears thinking about.


Developers invited to a northern hemisphere ‘Summer of Code’ Peter Kerr Apr 01

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A couple of New Zealand based businesses are in on the wider opportunity for New Zealand-based trainee coders to gain invaluable experience (and pay) through Google’s Summer of Code.

University students in New Zealand will have a unique opportunity to be paid to work and create new features for some of the best known and most used software on the planet.

SilverStripe a Wellington-based, global provider of freeium based website building and content management systems based on open source software, and the R project (to perform statistical analysis) are one of a number of world-wide organisations who put their names up, and were selected, for Google’s offer.

Under the deal, developers who must be enrolled as a university student have until April 6 to apply for the mentoring roles after submitting proposals to 180 pieces of software that organisations/mentors would like some work on. (Developers and others can find out more here.

If selected, and the developer doesn’t necessarily have to be in the same country as where the organisation esides, students will receive a US$5000 stipend for the almost three month exercise. US$500 goes to the individual mentoring and providing real-world software-development exposure to students.

Students must execute to milestones laid out in their accepted project proposal, with one of Google’s goals being to ‘get more open source code created and released for the benefit of all.’

Oh, there will be more open source project identified and new developers ‘created’ as a result too.

Silverstripe’s Sigurd Magnusson says it is an excellent opportunity to have talented people working on his open source project that it currently couldn’t carry out. Some of Silverstripe’s software has been modified and improved by people all around the world, but having a few extra people dedicated to working on a specific project will be of great benefit to all says Magnusson.

Some of the 180 projects see here
in Africa, often working on older computers, see here, through to crowd sourcing biology see here. allowing researchers to more easily share ideas.

Other projects include some of the celebrities of the open source world, among them Apache, Debian, Git (the linux) Kernel, Mozilla (Firefox) phpMyAdmin, postgreSQL, and the software behind Wikipedia.

Silverstripe was also involved in Google’s SoC in 2007, and reselection again this year is a nice acknowledgement of their software in the global industry says Magnusson.

Magnusson was understated about SilverStripe’s strong performance in the international market, but being invited back after a previous SoC in 2007 will never be considered a bad thing.


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