Welcome!

Si Chen

Subscribe to Si Chen: eMailAlertsEmail Alerts
Get Si Chen via: homepageHomepage mobileMobile rssRSS facebookFacebook twitterTwitter linkedinLinkedIn


Latest Blogs from Si Chen
Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures has been talking a lot about the blockchain recently, so I decided to learn more about it. I read the Marketing the Blockchain e-book, watched The Grand Vision of a Crypto-Tech Economy video and the video keynote of Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne at th...
Watch this video — it might just be the future of mobile commerce: Did you notice A cool mobile app Creating DIY art Did you also notice that it’s a business model without Upfront design Inventory Advertising Uniqlo is not just thinking, Gee how do we get more Instagram fol...
Before you flame, take a look at this ad: This is a historic document that shows the exact moment when Microsoft began taking over the world.  Its main products at the time were BASIC and DOS, but DOS was the indispensable layer of the Personal Computer (PC) industry.   It sat between ...
Ten years ago we started with the (immodest?) goal of bringing open source to enterprise software.  Today, there are even greater opportunities for open source — not just in software, but as a fundamental force for positive change in the world. Imagine a world where smart devices...
Has online shopping become boring? Every website shows you grids of categories and products, with cross-sells and up-sells. Scroll down and you might see a few reviews. Somewhere are the same add coupons, sign up for our emails, and free shipping offers you’ve probably seen a hundred t...
What do you say when people ask, “Why do you do your job?” Is it a mix of I’ve-done-it-for-years, I’m-good-at-it, and it-makes-me-money? That’s all fine and good, but please take a moment to think about the bigger picture: Our world is heading to a peak population of ...
When we started opentaps nine years ago, our goal was to create great business software from open source.  And have we ever!  Most people wouldn’t have believed that enterprise-class open source ERP and CRM was possible, but we did it — thanks to Linux, Apache, MySQL, Postg...
If you’ve ever thought, “There’s got to be a better way,” take a look at opentaps CRM2. The new opentaps CRM2 takes a completely different approach to opentaps 1.x or any other major CRM system out there.  Instead of having all these screens and forms for you to...
Ever wonder how people really connect these days?  Here are the numbers: Emails: 182.9 billion per day Text: 6 billion (Note: this is declining.) Facebook: 4.75 billion Likes Twitter: 0.5 billion Even with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, old-fashioned email is still ho...
With the first widgets for opentaps 2 are some big changes: Not just a new look and feel or a new technical framework, but a whole new philosophy for building better software with open communities.   This philosophy could be summed up as: Make opentaps Benefit the Maximum Number of Peo...
How well is software meeting the needs of today’s businesses?  Let’s take a look at the numbers: Amazing, isn’t it? As great as Salesforce.com and Quickbooks are, there is a big and unmet need for business software still.
We’re looking for developers who’d like to work with on server-side Node.JS, client-side Javascript/CSS/HTML5, and MongoDB database back end applications. If this sounds like as much fun to you as it does to us, please contact us right away!  We’re really flexible and can accommodate p...
There’s an interesting article in The Wall Street Journal about Big Data in Manufacturing.  Manufacturers are now leveraging sensors and scanners throughout the factory floor to collect data about everything from screw turns to temperature and humidity in an effort to improve qua...
We’re looking for developers who’d like to work with on server-side OSGi Java, client-side Javascript/CSS/HTML5, and MongoDB database back end applications.  (See opentaps 2 framework.) If this sounds like as much fun to you as it does to us, please contact us right away!  ...
Think that Big Data will solve the world’s problems?  Read The Signal and The Noise first.  This interesting book talks in detail about forecasting, including the good (baseball and weather), the bad (econonomics, politics, and earthquakes), and the very difficult (long-term clim...
Yesterday’s WSJ.com video “Tablet Wars: How Are People Using Tablets?” had a shocking statistic: 98% of the web traffic from tablets comes from Apple’s iPad. Further, most of mobile commerce is from Apple’s iPhone. Translation: No matter what the sales figures for Android, people jus...
I followed this tutorial on how to do mail merge in Google Apps, and it taught me a lot about Javascript and the future for open source applications. Doing mail merge in Google Apps was a lot of fun!  With a little copy and paste and about 15 minutes, I had was sending emails attached ...
Windows 8 not only feels clean and refreshing but also illustrates a new user interface paradigm which makes a lot of sense. For as long as we’ve had “windowing” user interfaces, we’ve had desktops with icons which opened up to an application taking up the entir...
Here’s a quote from today’s Wall St. Journal article, “Zynga’s Rocky Shift to Mobile“: Making money from mobile games is particularly tricky. For one, there is a smaller screen on mobile phones and less room for advertisements. Another problem is that peop...
If you’ve worked with Apache OFBiz or opentaps 1.x, you’ve probably had moments like this: Q: What’s the difference between internal name and product name? A: If your company wants to maintain an internal name for products that’s different than the standard product name, then you can...
The first proof of concept application is now available.  This new application is based on Apache Geronimo 3, OSGi Blueprint, and openJPA server side and HTML5/Javascript/CSS client side technologies.  Facebook integration is built into the application: You can try the opentaps v2 Note...
Since the early days of the PC, the software industry has operated according to a pattern described in Michael Cusumano’s classic The Business of Software: The successful software companies are the ones which gathered the largest number of users. The best practitioners were Microsoft ...
My New Year’s Resolution: Make building enterprise software fun again. The Old Way Almost all enterprise applications follow the same architectural pattern: a single all-encompassing framework housing the data, logic, and presentation layers.  When applied to large-scale applicat...
When I first wrote opentaps 2.0 Planning, my goal was to come up with a new architecture that would make enterprise software more modular and more reusable.  But we will need to do much more in a mobile and API-driven world, so here are some of the guiding principles behind the archite...
Take a look at this chart from O’Reilly Radar: You say you want a revolution? It’s called post-PC computing: We are entering a new computing wave, where a new technology platform will revolutionize software. In each previous wave, there has been a defining piece of softwar...
There’s an interesting story about the origin of ACT!, the first contact management and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, from SoftwareAdvice.com. Apparently, they started out making a quote management system with a lot more features.  Then they realized what peop...
A product is useless without a platform, or more precisely and accurately, a platform-less product will always be replaced by an equivalent platform-ized product. But making something a platform is not going to make you an instant success. A platform needs a killer app. Accessibility...
You should read the Occam’s Razor blog’s post about measuring social media.  It suggests that you try to measure social media interactions as conversations, amplifications, and applauses from your readers. We’re all trained to view Media as a place to broadcast our me...
According to The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo!’s problems stem from the declining value of content: “People tell me that content is king, but that is not true at all,” says Rishad Tobaccowala, chief strategy and innovation officer at Vivaki, the digital-media unit of Publicis Groupe SA....
European and Latin American companies looking for a fully-featured, low cost, and flexible business management system can now leverage the power of opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM, which now offers improved support for Value Added Taxes (VAT) and Spanish translations. These enhancement...
Thanks again to Stalyn Chavez of BokSoft in Peru, who has been working with opentaps, the Purchasing and Warehouse modules of opentaps have been translated to Spanish.  Here’s what the Purchasing module looks like: And here’s the Warehouse module:
The world of social media and mobile devices is fundamentally changing the way we work. A Shift in Behavior Once upon a time, we showed up at The Company as fresh recruits, left our past lives behind, and learned “The Company Way.” We learned the lingo, donned the dress co...
The tagline for this year’s IBM Performance 2011, “From Insight to Foresight,” tells us a lot about where IBM sees enterprise software headed. “Insight” refers to the workhorses of business intelligence: extracting data, building reports, and making dashb...
We’re looking for a Magento developer to build a module to load product, customer, and order data from Magento into opentaps Analytics.  You will be creating an independent plugin module for Magento which will get the data using the Magento API and load it into opentaps Analytics...
Thanks to Stalyn Chavez of BokSoft in Peru, who has been working with opentaps since version 0.9, we now have new translations of opentaps CRM and Financials to Spanish. Here’s what the Spanish translation of opentaps CRM looks like: And here’s the Spanish version of open...
Derek Singleton at SoftwareAdvice.com has written an interesting article entitled Can Open Source ERP Succeed? He brought up some of the hurdles for the adoption of open source ERP software. Having developed open source ERP and CRM for over five years now, I’d like to ask a diff...
Over the holidays, I read Worldchanging, a book about the “big picture” technological, environmental, social, economic, and political trends of the next 20 years. Much of it is not pretty. Diminishing resources. Climate change. Endemic diseases. Lack of basic infrastru...
What’s in store for e-commerce?  A recent book, What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, offers a glimpse at a potentially big shift. Using a wide range of examples, such as websites that specialize in toy and tool rentals, garden swapping, and communit...
Phil Simon has written an interesting new book, The New Small, about a new breed of small businesses that are taking advantage of new technologies to leapfrog their larger competitors. (Talking to him about the book inspired my post about “Open Source and the Future of Small Busi...
opentaps In The Cloud with Amazon EC2 Want to get up and running quickly and easily on enterprise-class open source ERP and CRM? Want to run it on demand on world class infrastructure and pay by the hour? Now you can. We’ve introduced opentaps In The Cloud with Amazon EC2. These ...