It's good to see that Shai Agassi has found an blogging outlet now that he has left SAP. I found it by accident when somebody was searching my blog for the Geek Dinner at Davos. Shai's blog was probably the funniest moment during the dinner. The video that Shai mentions doesn't seem to be on AlwaysOn's web site. That is probably because I don't think Tony actually got permission before he brought his cameraman into the room. I was at the same table as Sergey and Shai, so I saw the whole thing. The trick is to take 3 glasses widely separated, 3 butter knives and rest the bottle on top of the knives. The answer looks something like this:
Shai is apparently off working on things environmental now and I guess still in enterprise software. While we are at Davos, we were in the same working group on what life would be like in the year 2015. Shai discussed what I thought must be one of the most innovative ideas I have heard in a decade - a physical analog to the internet. In other words, a world-wide mechanism that handles the logistics of physical things the way the internet handles packets. You don't care how things get there, you just send them. In the process, objects can actually be assembled and packaged as well. Having earlier come from a session on city design where Larry Page, the other Google founder, envisioned a world where "if I want a tomato, I just ask for it and it arrives a few minutes later," I could see a perfect meshing of these two visions. In fact, from my phone, I could arrange to have a physical good routed to my phone, no matter where I am with that phone. Thinking about it later, the whole notion of transportation could revolutionized with a physical goods infrastructure that didn't even need people or roads. The possibilities are too endless to mention. I hope this is a concept that Shai explores with his blog.
It is also a good time for him to ponder his previous reluctance to open source. When I was at Documentum and even immediately after, I just didn't get open source. Like Bill Gates, I compared open source to communism. It took Marten Mickos from MySQL to explain it to me before I actually got how you could make money with open source. Shai has not been quite as strident about open source, but he hasn't exactly been embracing. Perhaps freed from the mind set of SAP, it will be easier to see the opportunities that open source make possible. In fact, although I think the idea of a Physical or Logistical Internet would be brilliant, I don't think it would be possible without large portions being driven by open source concepts, just like the current internet is.
I wish him luck in his future endeavors.