Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Closing 2010 in Fasteners

This week, business is winding down 2010. A year that began with optimism but quickly became the year of not so much recovery.

In the Fastener world, many businesses experienced a "recovery" of sorts. Comparing the huge decline of 2009, this year presented stability and normalization. The rapid downward curves were gone and predictability had arrived once more.

However, the stark reality that the new "norm" was somewhere in the 2005 or earlier levels has hit hard. With sluggish growth on all sectors, the US economy is in the long run for a gradual increase. We need growths in the mid 3% area to recover the losses we have experienced in the past 4 years and to bring the unemployment down from where it is. The news of low to mid 2% growth means we are just barely keeping up with the new folks entering the labor market.

The issue is further compounded by the fact that the requirements for new labor is completely different than those that have been laid off. More technologically savvy and educated workforce is becoming a must. New jobs are going to be dependent on high productivity associated with technology, internet and high end manufacturing (check out Germany's economy for the past 3 years - Lessons from German Economic Boom ).

Fundamentally, we need to work closely with our working force to educate and uplift the workers capabilities. Basic education, retraining and partnerships have to change. These will take time....in my opinion 5 to 7 years.

So what will happen to Fasteners? I think we are ripe for similar changes. I truly believe the old model of multi-tiered distribution are going to change. With customers and manufacturers demanding more productivity, the industry is going to experience gradual but big transformation over the next few years.

For one, Master Distribution concept will transform. Many Asian manufacturers I believe will start entering the US Market themselves through consolidation and acquisitions. I have to believe the Porteous, Heads, Brighton, and Stelfast combinations will be different. Either they will transform themselves or they will get transformed.

The value chain from manufacturers to distributors to retailers (e-tailers) will also need to change. As technology forces regional players to go national via the internet, Master distribution will need to vertically integrate with their channels. This simply will not be a web based ordering, but rather true vertical integration where the manufacturers/master importers are truly enabling their distributors beyond just providing them low prices and availability.

For example, the ability to drop ship and seamlessly move inventory from the importer/manufacturers warehouse to the endpoint? Logistic integration to truly provide availability beyond phone calls and websites? Dynamic pricing to where certain manufacturing benefits are immediately visible to the end users. What am I talking about? Well, if you look at other commodity industries like soft drinks, groceries, or clothing, you will see the tremendous vertical loyalty and integration that these manufacturers provide to their channels.

Examine how Hilti has enabled their channel and you will quickly see a forbearer of what I think needs to start happening in the Fastener world. However, it will happen via technology and modern workforce. And changes like these take a while to happen.

So I ramble on......and I want to come back to our economy. How will that effect us? For one, we all need to make sure that we have the productivity capacity to grow our business by 30-40% over the next 5 years without significantly increasing our expenses (and yes that unfortunately includes labor). This is what will be needed to compete in the new economy. Already Fortune 500 companies shrunk their expenses significantly and they are now generally growing without adding significant labor or other expenses. Productivity increase is the name of the game.

Look for the construction industry to be sluggish for the next 2-4 years. The massive overflow of inventory (foreclosures and excess from the last few years) will take time to work off. Combine this with the reality of new rules for lending and financial world which still has a massive hangover from the drunken debt we took on in the past; look for development to be considerably slow in commercial and residential area. Those of us relying on this market will need to be pragmatic and look beyond our regional borders to expand. Possibly look into other sectors for opportunities. There may even be opportunities in consolidation and mergers!

FMW Fasteners has taken a leap into the technology world and we continue to learn. We are humbled by this great industry and the legacy of the giants that continue to navigate this world of ours. I want to thank all of you that have helped us in various ways over the past year. We honor the giants on whose shoulders we are standing today. Without you we would not have the foundation to build our little abode. Thank you for your support and we hope to march on to 2011! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 - Talking Turkey About Our Country

Another Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Two days from now, the food fest will start for most Americans.

Thanksgiving usually marks the beginning of the Holiday Season in the US. Most look forward to various festivities at home, school, churches, community centers and other venues. It also marks the last few weeks of the year as we look forward to 2011.

For many 2010 was a mixed year. The economic struggles continued with marginal improvements across all sectors. Uncertainty is still prevalent. I am seeing this year as one more to chalk up as a tough economic year - part of the "Great Recession". So what happens next?

Recently, I was watching some political shows (the political junkie that I am) and I started noticing a pattern that I believe can provide one answer to our long term strategy. I noticed that in his recent trip to the East Asian countries, Barack Obama was pummeled by the Eastern Tigers on the economic front. This was not an easy trip for President Obama, but a brutal beating from the Eastern Asian Tigers that are waging a furious economic battle with the USA. We seemed like we were begging and pleading our Asian allies to help us compete with them and they are more than content to say, "why should we do that?"

I ask you to see where are we spending the most money in our deficit ridden budget and the answer is: Entitlement (Social Security, Medicare), Defense, and Interest on our Debt. We hear lots of talk about cuts, but until we can significantly cut in these three areas, we are kidding about solving our long term problems and becoming competitive in the new global arena.

Let's address each one very simply. Social Security and Medicare will absolutely need to be cut. We will need to reduce our entitlements to a mechanism of a safety net where those citizens that need it get it. The rest have to pass a means test where there is a sliding scale of your benefits. For example, those that make over $200K per year do not get any entitlements. Plus all income is taxed for Social Security. No exemptions after $107K per year. So what does this mean: effectively it is tax increase! Yes, Republicans need to get with it and accept this tax increase. And Yes Democrats need to suck it up and let go of their entitlements. And those Tea Baggers that repeatedly say, "cut everything, but do not touch my Social Security", sorry that has to go.

Medicare needs to do the same thing. Other than the cost cutting programs that are in place there needs to be means test and a sliding scale on monthly premiums for seniors that can afford it. Yes its not free and never should be unless for those that are in need of the social safety net. Oh and by the way you Doctors, yes, you will receive severe cuts as well. No more of the fat cat checks from Medicare.

Defense!!! Aaahh that industrial complex cash cow that every congressmen sucks at the tit and can never let go. I hate to sound harsh but the 9/11 event has made our country go berserk! We are spending crazy dollars on Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to go after cavemen! Of course I am being a little facetious, but the reality is, these terrorist are making us go bankrupt from their caves in Pakistan. I mean, let's face it, we are spending trillions a year on defense, billions on security at the airports, billions on machines to have "body scans". Statistically, it absolutely does not make sense and more importantly it is absolutely asinine expenditures! Yes statistically we would save a lot more lives if we spent that money on healthcare in this country. For all practical purposes, these terrorists are wining the war by making "the crazy Americans spend like fools on chasing cavemen in Pakistan!"

Defense needs to be adjusted for targeted operations and updated to meet specific threats that make up the 21st century! I am no expert in how that needs to be done, but my guess is that spending billions on submarines, airplanes, and troops in the thousands deployed in these countries is not needed to take out a bunch of hooligans with AK-47's.

Well, the reality is none of my aspirations are going to come true. I can only wish and I can only try to see if any politicians will hear us. But the reality is, we will argue and we will "discuss", but the democratic and special interest forces of this country will make it very difficult to do anything proactively.

I am predicting that our economic system will continue to decline. We will be pushed to the brink of bankruptcy and then we will have to take austerity measures of the like none of our previous generations have seen. Do I have faith that we will be able to do it? Yes I do, but it will be more painful and more drastic. It will involve unprecedented action that will fundamentally shift the way we Americans live.

So this Thanksgiving as you sit around a table crowded with family and friends, give thanks to one more year that has past with the American life still intact. But at the same time resolve for yourself, that the era of consumption, living in fear of cavemen, and hiding behind the facade of security while we see our freedoms and our country go through a slow painful death is not acceptable. I will resolve to fundamentally work to help change this way and preserve the very ideas we have founded this nation on.

Happy Thanksgiving to All! Have a safe, happy and prosperous Holidays!

Friday, October 01, 2010

The Lighthouse at Hutaib

A Journey that began at the shores of the Tigris and Euphrates
Now He travels to the Mountains of Haraz
A beacon shines on top of Hutaib
A gleaming dome to the era of yesteryears
For that is where His predecessors wrote
The books of Knowledge
History foretold 600 years ago
unfolds in front of our very eyes

A race towards 100 with humility
Acknowledge the past for they are ahead
Kerbala, Najaf, Hind, Misr
All who sacrificed for this very day

Specs of white climb the hills of Shibaam
Thousands lined up to peak the First
He comes last to initiate
The words of wisdom from the past
Alive they become guiding us all
Like a lighthouse at Hutaib
For the domes gleaming and beckoning us home

A journey promised by Husain
Written by Hatim and Idris
And spoken and practiced by Mohammed
We are fortunate to see Him
A hundred years in the making in front of our own eyes
May we see a hundred more for it never is enough

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Thirty days a reflection of three in Ashura

As the sun sets on the eve of Fitr
Thirty days of fast
A tribute of ten times three
We remember the days of Husain
For ten above each on three here
Shores of Euphrates weeps daily

After a long hard three days
On the eve of the fourth
Ten times three 30 days of giving
Earn a place in fortunes
For the 4th is eternity

The ten have foretold
Beckon us three times
We will answer always
Eid ul fitr begins the journey
Back to Ashura on the tenth
For this year coming 1432
The year of 10 and 100.

Friday, September 03, 2010

The Last Fall of the Decade Labors Next Week

As Labor Day of 2010 approaches, you can tell that Summer of 2010 is coming to an end. This September marks the last few days of the last Summer of this decade. This also marks the last Labor Day of a tumultuous decade.

School has started with kids bustling with home work, practices, and various school activities. The sounds of fall and the holiday seasons will start shortly. Temperatures will start drifting lower and our attention will veer away from Summer fun to a more home /holiday season routines.

This year for a billion plus Muslims, Ramadhan will end next week too. Celebrations of Eid will coincide with the end of Summer 2010.

Looking back, this Summer was bitter sweet. When May of 2010 came around, I remember being hopeful and optimistic that the summer will see us on the "road to recovery" - both economically and socially. But now as the summer comes to a close we look back and see that it was bitter sweet.

Our Road to Recovery has been slow and we continue to struggle economically and socially. The Oil Spill and the two wars dominated the news. Various major global disasters like the Pakistan Floods gripped headlines. Unemployment continued to hover around 10 percent and businesses showed news signs of lathargic growth. Whispers of a second recession got louder.

For me as Ramadhan ends, things continue to be tough. My personal road to recovery has been a long journey. The journey is not ended yet. As I enter the fall season, I am hopeful and energized. My company FMW just launched a new online webstore www.fmwfasteners.com. I am excited about its prospects.

My Daughter Jamila started High School. It has been a source of pride for my family as Jamila is now entering her final 4 years of school getting ready for College and being an adult. It amazes me that almost 15 years have gone since she joined our family. It was 15 years ago when I saw myself and Lubaina struggling in a Mail Boxes Etc franchise with a just a few dollars and an uncertain business in our name. The journey from there has been full of surprises and joy. I am thankful for all that has been given to me. Words cannot describe the rich experiences and many great things that have come about for all those years. Looking back there are no regrets at all and that gives me the greatest inspiration for the next 15 years.

In many ways, the journey has been a full circle thus far. I am back again struggling in a new business and things seem to point to new beginnings. But this time around it is also different. My experience, my family and my mindset are all much more richer than before.

So as Fall 2010 approaches, as the leaves turn and the weather cools down, the engines will rev up for the last quarter of the year. Time for sowing the seeds for the next decade start this Fall. We will take advantage of this renewed spirit to build the very foundations that will drive us for the next 10 years.

Mubarak! Congratulations to all that have survived! I bid you farewell Summer of 2010 as you leave us taking with you the challenges of the past. Ahlan Wasahlan, Welcome! Fall of 2010....the last quarter, the last days and the last stand for 2010. We are ready to execute as we move to 2011.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Obama Supports The Cordoba House Masjid - To The Saudi and Other Muslim Countries - Learn!

Yesterday evening President Obama supported the Park 51, Cordoba House Masjid (Mosque). In a Whitehouse Dinner hosting Muslim leaders to celebrate the beginning of Ramadhan, President Obama Said:

Recently, attention has been focused on the construction of mosques in certain communities -– particularly New York. Now, we must all recognize and respect the sensitivities surrounding the development of Lower Manhattan. The 9/11 attacks were a deeply traumatic event for our country. And the pain and the experience of suffering by those who lost loved ones is just unimaginable. So I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. And Ground Zero is, indeed, hallowed ground

But let me be clear. As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. (Applause.) And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America. And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country and that they will not be treated differently by their government is essential to who we are. The writ of the Founders must endure.

We must never forget those who we lost so tragically on 9/11, and we must always honor those who led the response to that attack -– from the firefighters who charged up smoke-filled staircases, to our troops who are serving in Afghanistan today. And let us also remember who we’re fighting against, and what we’re fighting for. Our enemies respect no religious freedom. Al Qaeda’s cause is not Islam -– it’s a gross distortion of Islam. These are not religious leaders -– they’re terrorists who murder innocent men and women and children. In fact, al Qaeda has killed more Muslims than people of any other religion -– and that list of victims includes innocent Muslims who were killed on 9/11.

I applaud President Obama to uphold the core values of our Nation and respect his courage to do so against an overwhelming anti-islamic sentiment that has swelled around this issue.

However, I also feel President Obama lost an opportunity to further accentuate the religious freedom opportunity by pointing out to the very leaders that sat around this dinner listening to him; Ambassadors and Dignitaries representing some of the most totalitarian states like Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia continues to practice some of the most egregious form of totalitarian dictatorships in the world. Not only are they intolerant of other religions but rather they are intolerant to other Muslim brothers who do not agree with their Wahabi interpretation of Islam. Case and point is the continued persecution and desecration of a Shi'ite revered site in Medina where the Prophet Muhammed SA daughter, Fatema AS and grandchildren are buried - Janat-Ul-Baqi. Here the Saudi government not only has systematically destroyed key religious sites important to Muslims, especially Shi'ite Muslims, but they have prohibited any further development of the area. Instead it is kept in a delapitated state with the Secret Police monitoring the site and surrounded by a fort like structure which looks grand from the outside but disrespects the actual cemetery and the religious significance of the location.

When President Obama made the above statements yesterday, these very same leaders who represent their governments stood up in support clapping and giving a standing ovation to President Obama. I call upon those leaders attending this ceremony to take heed and learn from the ideals talked about by President Obama and adopt those principals in their own country.

I have said repeatedly that this controversy surrounding the Community House at Park 51 represents the best of our United States. The energetic discussion and the fact that the leaders of New York, despite whatever personal preferences and biases, have stood in support for the project and allowed it to move forward says volumes about the true freedoms we enjoy.

On the surface the Cordoba House and the Masjid that it will house may seem "insensitive" and "wrong". I whole heartedly disagree and in fact I think it honors and celebrates the 3000 victims (many of them who were Muslims as well) of 9/11. What better than to honor the memories of the victims of 9/11 then to have a call for prayers sound 5 times a day just a few blocks from Ground Zero where US Citizens will come there to pray and remember. Those families around the local area will come to the community center will play, learn and socially interact with each other and practice the fundamentals of the American Life each and every day. What better way to celebrate the American Dream then to have the true nature of Islam be practiced in defiance to those terrorists who attempted to destroy our way of life on 9/11. This center in fact will demonstrate to those intolerant, ignorant militants that America is not Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or other but rather a way of life that allows all religions including the true values of Islam to be practiced harmoniously and side by side with others who may disagree.

I call upon the Saudis, The Pakistanis, The Indonesians, The Egyptians, The Kuwaiti and another intolerant regimes to see and learn! I call upon the Saudi's who may be contributing to this Cordoba House project to stop and take head and learn from this awesome system we have in our great nation, and for once just take the first step - allow the reconstruction and rebuilding of revered institutions in their own countries for their minority populations. Maybe they can start by allowing the rebuilding of Janat-Ul-Baqi - a revered site of Fatema AS the daughter of Prophet Mohammed AS.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Revered Guest Ramadhan Returns

Once again the 9th Holy Month of Ramadhan is amongst us Muslims. Yesterday for the Dawoodi Bohra Muslims marked the first day as we started our month as per the lunar calendar.

As I sat in our Masjid right after Maghrib (sunset) prayers waiting for my dates, cup of tea and a cookie served by young volunteers to break my fast, the Masjid was resonating with a buzz and prayers. It is during this time for the next 30 days we will ask Allah to guide us back to the graces of heaven and show us the path to avoid the sins that could lead us to hellfire.

A tradition of 1400+ years Muslims during Ramadhan come together and ask the same question to Allah. We gather to seek solace, repent and renew our wows to do better for the coming year. And most of all we come together in Ramadhan to remember the many bounties we have and give thanks for what we have received.

For the past 4 years, the journey for me has been a long, arduous one. Looking back it may seem difficult to see how we can be thankful. For the past 4 years, our country has experienced one of the most difficult times in our history. We seem polarized and truly distraught in where we want to go and what we want to be.

Pundits and Gurus continue to show comparisons to Rome and other empires of the past say that we are going down the same path. And yes there are some striking similarities but there are many contrasts too. I will not bore you with these details but rather write about why I believe this Ramadhan we have many things to celebrate and be optimistic.

As a small business owner I have experienced the "Great Recession". Business is down significantly and the old business models are out the window. "Things just do not work the way they used to..." I look back and think why is it not working, what can I do to make this better or different? History teaches us that during times of great change, turmoil, and distress we come up with the greatest and biggest answers. I know this is true, and this Ramadhan I am thankful that I am living through such a great time of change. For this experience will be the initial sparks to the next sea of changes that will bring decades of prosperity. For these difficult times will give me an opportunity to make a difference in where my humble small boat will float for my family, my friends, my community and my country.

If we raise our view to the national level, we see the recent political, economical and social turmoil and I see numerous opportunities of hope. The Oil Spill in the Gulf was devastating to the local economy and a disaster that will take decades to recover. But it is this very spill that has helped us focus on our endless dependency on depleting and polluting energy source and see what we can do to try to right this endless appetite for oil. I am thankful that as devastating as this Oil Spill has been for our nation, that we will get an opportunity to right the many wrongs that have persisted in this industry. Lives will be changed forever and opportunities for new businesses and ventures will be born. Like any wildfire, yes the brushfire will destroy the old growth but it will also make way for the new. I know we will build and the new will be stronger and better than the old.

Our nation continues to fight two major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even though I politically disagree with both the wars, but now as we try to exit both theaters, there is great uncertainty of what will happen to these nations and what dangers will be born for our nation. Time will of course tell us, but the reality is that there will always be great opponents of our country and so no war or effort can ever eliminate this threat. We can't win this war in a traditional sense. What has to change is the very social, economical fabric of the Iraqi and Afghani society. This can only be done through time with education and exposure to new thinking.

As nasty and as destructive as the two wars have been, there is a spark for hope. The turmoil once again has brought about a sea of change. The status quo is gone and opportunity to accelerate the growth of new ideas has taken root. Time will tell if those ideas, systems and processes will be positive or not. I am optimistic that the human ingenuity in this great age of information sharing will yield a very different result than what has happened in the past. It will take time and it will be different.

One of the bigger issues of the day has been the Community Center - Cordoba House in Manhattan that is being built by Muslims. It has a Masjid as part of the whole complex. The proximity of this project to the 9/11 site has created massive political repercussions for those that support the project and those that oppose it. I have read and listened to all parties and through this chaos and this Ramadhan I have realized that such a discussion is awesome. This issue has helped do two things. One, it has provided an awesome opportunity for the large American Muslim community to showcase the true aspects of a peaceful Muslim community that are large great contributers of the socio, economic and political landscape of modern America. Two it is showcasing the very beauty of our constitutional system that allows such a discussion to even take place. The very fact that this discussion is occurring is a testament that our system is not broken but rather working and working well. In this information over load age it looks like our disagreements are increasing...but I believe on the contrary. These disagreements have always been there, but through the new age of instant news and communications - things like this very blog - allows these discussions to take place quicker and faster which gives us all an opportunity to practice the fundamentals of the American way better.

So as I sat in the row with my brothers ready to break my first fast of this Ramadhan, a thought crossed my mind that things just cannot get any worse! How can this all be fixed, it just gets worse every day? But then I closed my eyes and as I sipped the hot tea that blended with the juicy date in my mouth after a long 101 degree day, I knew that it can only be good. Just like the Hot Day of August with 101 degree heat and dry fasting mouth can be relieved by the grace of tea and dates, May Allah Ta'ala grant us the bounty of the sweet reward of the great struggles of the men and women of this great nation. I pray that the long fast of this past few years be broken soon with the bountiful flavors of the fruits to come. May he grant us all the Sabr (Patience) to see through these difficult times to realize that the journey will take us to a better place.

Ramadhan Karim, Mubarak to all!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Misr - The return back as we were

A journey started in the fields of Kerbala
Homage to Kufa, Najaf and Kerbala
The respect and fervor of Dai in Hind
The endless energy of Medina
The countless bounty of Baqi
The everlasting gift of Ka'aba

All the gifts in hand...
The Viceroy returns
To the Land it began
Azhar, Anwar, Juyushi, Lulua
Aqmar, Ahmed-Ibn Tulun
All await to partake and share the gifts

For waterfall of gifts will be shared
In the twilight of Maghrib
The moon will rise as..
The Viceroy will recall
The era of Moiz, Haakim, Mustansir
For its not history but rather...
A message for The Return As We Were

A journey for the living...back home
A reflection of the Grand Journey of our souls
Peer into this message in Misr.
You shall see your return home.

Friday, April 02, 2010

My 99 Years For You.

It began in the early decades of 1900's
A world without airplanes
Travel by land or sea - days it took
My yearn to reach the world no less
A father every step of the way
Showing the path to greatness

A sparkle of dedication
For my family and friends a spiritual family
Decades of dedications past
Eventually I am in my father's seat
For my Master I give him all
My greatness in His servitude

White clothes, simple attire
A message of peace and love
A message of identity and pride
Greatness is self preservation
Greatness in the modernity of tradition

East to West North to South
Constant remembrance of Kerbala
The bloodshed at Euphrates - a focus of pride
A lesson of peace and jubilation
For my Master won a victory there
I cherish this eternal gift of victory
With my tears and faith.

A Masjid in 1401H at the heart of Misr
Echoes of Hakim now ringing true
Usher the second Golden Age of Fatemi Heritage
A chalice of Gold unearthed after 600 plus years
From this Masjid born hundreds...A true emergence
Fatemi empire worldwide

From the two domes in Kerbala
To the Grand Masjid in Kufa
The sun shines at the peak of eloquence
My victory is for my family
My traditions are for my family
My Islam is for my family
My 99 years is for you

I give you my hand once more
I have given you for 45 years
Will you come with me now?
Do you believe me when I say....
A life of greatness awaits you?
Do not worry my son....I will take you
99 years or more...I am there...just call my name

I ask you remember me today...do not forget
For I never forgot you in all of my 99 years..

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Makkah and Medina - A Garden Flourishes

After a long drought
The Viceroy has returned
Carrying a message - "Forgive your followers..."
Seven rounds - around the home of The Master
The cornerstone begs for his touch
For many years He awaited.

A Journey of Forty Five years
carrying on His Shoulder
Letters of forgiveness
Tears of remorse from the plains of Kerbala
The Victory of Kufa
The Jubilation of Ashara
A final destination with these messages
Makkah was rejoicing
Medina celebrates
My viceroy has come with such news

All around we celebrate...
For our journey has culminated
We are indeed victorious
We are indeed chosen for our destination
We are indeed the lucky ones

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Nexus One....

So the battle lines are clearly drawn in the PDA/Phone market. On one side is the Apple Iphone and on the other side is the new quickly emerging Android/Google/Nexus brand.

Who will win this battle? This to me is very similar to what happened in the PC market almost 20+ years ago. If you recall, the IBM based x86 processor was emerging and at he same time Apple introduced the Macintosh Apple computers.

If my memory serves me right, the buzz around Apple was equally energetic as the Iphone today. I remember the Macintosh being THE computer to have. In school all we did was Apples and everyone wanted the Macintosh. Albeit at the time the prices were MUCH MUCH higher, but the exclusivity built by Apple along with its proprietary closed end concept was very similar.

Iphone came out with much fanfare about 2 years ago. AT&T was the exclusive dealer and you had to play in Apple's domain for applications and music. Closed end, extremely protective. Since the Iphone was a leapfrog in PDA/Phone technology, the frenzy of consumer attention was understandable. Apple made sick amount of money. There seemed to be no competition for the Iphone. Millions of consumers switched as you saw droves of the public mesmerized by the finger swabbing motions on the PDA screen of a white minimalist unit.

But this is where Apple has repeated its biggest mistake I believe. By closing the system and hoarding its consumers to its platform, Apple has traded the short term gains and fame for long term legacy building / game changing platform.

Just like the Macintosh, the Iphone is closed system proprietary based product while the Google Android is open system shared platform. In fact Google has studied the history well and improved on building a fantastic coalition of hardware and software developers who are rapidly building a game changing massive system around the Android product.

Is Android going to be the Windows of the PDA Market? Well everything tells me YES! Trace back the history of the PC, DOS and Windows market and you will see that Google has borrowed the play-book and then improved on it.

Dozens of platforms and hardware are destined to be introduced in 2010. Nexxus One is just one with fanfare. HTC (who also makes the Nexxus), Motorolla, LG, Samsung, General Mobile all are poised to introduce numerous phones with Android 2.0 and 2.1, and onwards....

Applications....well the Iphone may have thousands, but they are still restricted to the Apple market-space and controlled in a closed ended system. Android is rapidly catching up and probably has exceeded the Apple's space. I believe Android based applications will become the dominant providers of mobile applications by end of 2010.

So what will happen to Iphone? I assume similar to what happened with the Apple PC market. It will become a niche player losing market share rapidly to the dominant Android. By the end of 2010, I predict that the Android software market will be at least 2 to 3 times bigger than the Iphone. Apple is going to have to either innovate and leapfrog again OR go against their grain and open up the Iphone and becomes a true competitor. Otherwise in the not to do distant future, Iphone will only be left with a cult following like the Apple Macintosh.

What will Apple do? For now bye bye iphone.....