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Exclusive Q&A with Coach Wei - Chairman, Founder & CTO of Nexaweb

"Trust your intuition. Chances are no one knows your business better than you do."

AJAXWorld Magazine: Nexaweb is a proponent of the OpenAjax Hub 1.0 (OaaHub 1.0). I know that, as with all prior AJAXWorld conferences, it will hold its own meeting to coincide with AJAXWorld 2008 East in New York City next March. Is it really true as I have heard that there are as many as seventeen different Ajax toolkits participating in that meeting?

CW: Yes, you can see the list at: OpenAjax Hub 1.0 and InteropFest (see this). As you can see, OAA has made significant progress since the inception of (OaaHub 1.0) twelve months ago.

AJAXWorld Magazine:
What about Mobile AJAX? Will we finally be hearing more about that in 2008 do you think?

CW: The iPhone has reasonable support for Mobile AJAX, which is  a big step forward. There is no doubt that we will see more progress on Mobile AJAX in 2008 and beyond. In fact, it is my belief that mobile computing will really get interesting over the next few years with the emergence of newer devices and mobile AJAX, both of which would be further bolstered if service providers were to increase accessibility to their networks.

AJAXWorld Magazine:
Talking of 2008, if the peak between two adjacent IPO markets is about nine years, then the coming year might see some biggies. What are the characteristics, in your view, that the next major IPO companies and offerings will have in common – or will they each simply be unique, as VMware (say) was unique?
CW: VMware is truly unique; that’s evident simply by looking at its valuation. As of December 20, 2007, VMware was valued at $35B. That being said, I do expect some biggies in 2008. However, I do not see an IPO peak, and believe it is all contingent on the highly successful IPO of a company like Facebook. If Facebook goes IPO in 2008, we’ll see a lot of IPOs in 2009.
AJAXWorld Magazine: When you asked in your recent piece "Why Isn't Facebook Built in Java?" did you have any idea that it would be read by more than 27,000 people at SYS-CON.com alone and generate 75 feedbacks?

CW: Apparently people do care about this question! I was  thrilled to see the number of replies and learn that so many people have pondered the same topic.
AJAXWorld Magazine: As well as IPOs, 2008 will of course be a(nother) year of startups. What advice does the founder of a mega-successful startup like Nexaweb give to young technologists about putting a toe in the water?

CW: Thank you for your kind words. This is a great topic and  my hope is that others can learn from my experience. Ten years ago,  I was as a poor graduate student naive enough to start a company at the bottom of the “dot-bomb” burst. I learned so much coping with the “nuclear winter,” raising $18M in financing, working through all the challenges associated with the market, dealing with investors and everything else I only wish that I had known all this before I got started.
It sounds cliché, but the most important thing I learned over the last 10 years, is to believe in yourself. For young technologists, this specifically means that you do not have to listen to nay sayers if it goes against your own judgment. Trust your intuition.  Chances are no one knows your business better than you.
In this industry, I cannot stress enough the importance of decision-makers having a strong technology background. The reason is very simple: in this industry, technology is business.  Technology and business are so intertwined in this industry that no sound business decision can be made without a strong technology foundation. I greatly admire Mark Zuckerberg for publicly saying something to the effect that “everyone at Facebook needs to know how to code.”  Of course, he doesn’t mean that literally; rather, he is giving credence to the insight that “technology is business.”
So to the young technologists, believe in yourself. Don’t be misled by “business preaching.” If you know how to code well, you should have the capacity and the foundation to handle all of the other things.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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