The Village View

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Estonia's hi-tech "embassy"

Worked from home today so I listened to NPR (does that make me a New York Liberal?) while answering emails. Two stories on Estonia and technology on today. The first one is about Estonia opening a technology Embassy in Silicon Valley. (more here).

The Enterprise Estonia Technology Embassy will open up new investment opportunities to the Silicon Valley/Bay Area region and bring in an infusion of new ideas and technology talent.

I have a good friend from Estonia and have visited there so this is of special interest to me. What is particularly interesting and found in the 2nd NPR story here is that Estonia doesn't suffer from a brain drain as do many other small countries. That was according to Skype manager Sten Tamkivi. Also, the country is incredibly wired and Internet savvy: 98 percent of banking transactions made electronically; 80 percent plus of income tax filings by individual citizens were filed electronically.

Jeff Nolan's new role at NewsGator

My old boss Jeff Nolan has an expanded role at NewsGator. He's going to be running their SaaS business.

NewsGator's SaaS business, which encompasses the company's syndication and data services offerings, today has more than 50 media and online publishing customers, including USA Today, Media General, Discovery Channel and CNN. Using NewsGator's Widget Framework, underlying content network and editorial tools, these customers are able to extend their content and brands while positively impacting important online metrics that enhance their economics.

His new employees are lucky as he's a great boss. "Low key" and "hands off" are the ways I would describe his management style. As long as you get your work done on time and it is of a high quality you've got no problems and nobody riding your back. Just watch out if you've got an MBA as you'll likely to be referred as an "MBA monkey." However, you'll probably learn more working for Jeff then you did during your MBA so it's a small price to pay.