Nymi: Identity through heartbeats [Video]

As discussed in #hkuiom over the past years, Identity Management is a major unsolved problem that limits the ability for seamless computing and digitized service delivery. A problem that can provide much profits to the company that solves it. Nymi, which ships this fall, proposes to use an individual’s unique heartbeat, combined with a registered smartphone, as a basis for authentication.



Best Paper Award at Academy of Management Conference

One of my research papers, co-authored with Mariana G. Andrade Rojas, a Ph.D. candidate at The University of Hong Kong, was recognized at the recent Academy of Management Annual Meeting held in Philadelphia, USA. The Academy of Management is the preeminent professional association of management and organizational scholars and its annual meeting draws more than 10,000 students, academics, scholars, and professionals. The paper, titled “Competitive Brokerage: External Resource Endowment and Information Technology as Antecedents” was conferred the Best Student Paper 1st Runner Up Award by the Organizational Communication & Information Systems Division.

AwardHaving a prominent position in a firm’s competition network is a prerequisite for success in the global and embedded environment of the 21st century. In our study, we assert that IT-enabled information management capability, M&A, and strategic centrality act in differing ways to individually and jointly enable firms to obtain such a position. Specifically, we propose the “competitive brokerage” construct to assess firms’ multi-industry competitive positioning and posit that information management capability acts as a substitute for M&A and strategic centrality to attain competitive brokerage. In other words, we posit that an organization’s information technology, acquisitions of other firms and strategic alliances with other organizations endow it with the ability to bridge multiple markets and successfully compete across them with multiple brands.

Analysis of a longitudinal multi-industry competition network supports our assertions. This work offers a novel set of insights to the evolutionary dynamics of network structures literature and the IT business value literature by arguing and empirically demonstrating that in addition to structural elements, firms’ external resource endowment and IT-enabled capabilities influence network positioning.

An abridged version of this paper was accepted for inclusion in the Best Paper Proceedings of the conference (approximately ten percent of all papers are selected as “Best Papers” and accepted for inclusion).

Visualizing Your Co-Author Network

I recently decided to create a visualization of my co-author network. I believed that this was a fairly easy task and expected to find a single, very simple tool and instructions for it online. However, much to my chagrin, this process took much longer than I expected. Below are the steps I figured out after some trial and error:

Co-authorship network map of physicians publis...

Co-authorship network map of physicians publishing on hepatitis C (Photo credit: speedoflife)

1.   Create a file of your scholarly work using any reference manager. I used EndNote for this task. Then select and export the relevant references into a text file in BibTex format. To accomplish this in EndNote, you must ‘Select Another Style …’ in the citation style drop down, and then select ‘Bib Text Export’. Then click on File->Export and save as a text file with ‘Bib Text Export’ selected as the ‘Output Style’.


2. Download, install and run Sci2 from the Indiana University website here. Do the same for Gephi from here.


3.  Load the references into Sci2 using the File->Load option. Select the correct format.


4. Select the file, click on Data Preparation-> Extract Co-author Network.


5. Select the Author Information file and  select Visualization->Networks->Gephi


6. Gephi should open up. Create a new undirected graph. You can use the Gephi WYSIWYG editor to edit the graph, add labels, change colors, increase the size of the nodes and edges based on number of authored and co-authored papers respectively.




My output can be seen here. (Note that I used a Yifan Hu layout and only retained first-order connections). This process can be followed to create visualizations for a variety of networks, including a complete co-authorship network, citation networks, networks of Twitter followers, etc.






Another Funding Avenue for Hong Kong Startups

Nest, Hong Kong’s preeminent startup incubator has launched Investable.vc, a platform through which Hong Kong based startups can receive equity funding. Though TechCrunch is reporting this to be a ‘crowdfunding’ platform, it is less KickStarter-ish and more AngelList-ish (#hkuiom folks will appreciate this common misconception regarding ‘crowdfunding’). Startups that pass the Nest vetting process, but cannot be funded due to lack of expertise or funding, can raise equity via this platform. Investors who use this platform must be accredited (i.e. have a  portfolio of US$ 1 million).

Good news for the startup community in Hong Kong in general, and #hkuiom and #hkuisad communities in particular!


Now NEST, a Hong Kong incubator, has launched Investable.vc, an accredited equity crowdfunding platform for startups, giving founders yet more options when seeking funding.

Investable says that within the first day of the site’s launch, more than 100 professional investors sign up. Three investors have already committed $150,000 to startups on the platform, which currently lists 15 companies for its beta launch. One hardware startup called Simple Crossing, which makes wearable tech products for elderly people, has already raised 75% of the total $100,000 that it is seeking.

via Hong Kong Incubator NEST Launches An Equity Crowdfunding Platform For Startups | TechCrunch.

Solar Roadways: Great Concept, Great Marketing [Video]

Solar Roadways, a US based start-up that is developing a “modular paving system of solar panels” has raised $1.4 million in crowd-funding, within 7 days, on Indiegogo. While the concept of solar-powered smart roads is exciting and a peek into possible future, the success of Solar Roadways’ ‘viral’ marketing campaign raises several discussion points for our #hkuiom meetings!


The wonderful video that powered this superb effort is below:


The New World Order: China, US, India

The Financial Times is reporting that China is expected to overtake the United States as the world’s largest economy in 2014. India, is now the world’s third largest economy.

These numbers are based on Purchasing Power Parity calculations done by the International Comparison Program of the World Bank. Considered to be the authoritative source for global GDP figures, the first round was conducted in 2005. Results of the second round, in which country GDPs were calculated for 2011, were released today.

The International Comparison Program (ICP) is a worldwide statistical partnership to collect comparative price data and compile detailed expenditure values of countries’ gross domestic products (GDP), and to estimate purchasing power parities (PPPs) of the world’s economies. Using PPPs instead of market exchange rates to convert currencies makes it possible to compare the output of economies and the welfare of their inhabitants in real terms (that is, controlling for differences in price levels).

via ICP 2011: International Comparison Program.


The summary report, available here, states that India’s GDP in 2011 was $5.75 trillion, China’s was $13.5 trillion and the US was $15.52 trillion.  In the period 2005-2011, China and India’s economies doubled in size as a percentage of US GDP. China’s GDP grew from 43% to 87% of the size of the US economy, while India went from 19% to 37%.  Based on economic growth estimates for the period 2011-2014, it is expected that the China will overtake the US this year.


World's Largest Economies

A surprising finding of the ICP is that India has one of the lowest price level indexes in the world. Or in other words, India has some of the lowest priced goods & services in the world. [This is something the average Indian will find hard to digest due to the double digit inflation witnessed over the past decade!]. Unsurprisingly, India ranks 127 in per capita GDP.


World Economies as a percentage of US Economy