Friday, April 29, 2011

It’s all about the farmers!

Flying out of Bangalore, Silicon Valley of India, last month, I saw patches of coconut trees and other patches of green around the airport. Farmers! Those of you who know India will realize that those fields are … history! The farmers who own that land probably have their uncles in the state government, and will make serious money selling their land to developers, or to the government over the next few years! For all we know, those acres were doled out to the right relatives by the politicians who knew where the airport was going to finally land!

Anyone who knows India knows how, over the years, it was the landowners (the zamindars!) exploited their way to riches and power. Although they did not pull the plough, they were in the position to sell the produce of the real-estate.

My parents' current flat in Bangalore is on land that was a paddy field when I used to go to high school. Paddy farmers moved up to real-estate farming, selling flats! It’s all about farming your real-estate!

If you know anything about parked domains, you know that it is big business, where the landlords of the domains make money off ads when people arrive at these sites from various referrers.

Have a good domain to sell? iCloud anyone? That’ll be $4.5 Million. Cash! The opportunists who buy up domain names are called cyber-squatters for a reason! The benefits of land-grabbing in the real virtual world.

Shelter in the past was where you lived - home - with a roof over your head. Today, it’s where you live on the web. This is why I pay more to my Internet provider than my utilities company! The expensive real estate is those pixels between the search box and the search results on Google, or the strip of ads on your Facebook page. There are always vendors hawking their wares where you live. They know you live there, and you’ll be back.

The smart farmer will figure out how to fertilize the land so the yield is higher. Plant strawberries with other trees and you’ll have more to sell at the famers market on Sunday. Plant richer ads on the web page that you’ll be at, and that’s fertilizer for the online world. Make your home an estate, where your friends can live, and there’s more fruit to be purchased! If you don’t have enough land for your friends’ (updates), you can always plant other fruit - some other lucrative offers.

It’s all about the fertile land. That’s where the trees grow (or buildings! if real-estate brings more than flowers or tomatoes - what the heck!). It’s where the famers go, where the market makers go, and the customers too. It’s no wonder that all the fishermen go to the fish market! You’d think they don’t want to sit next to each other and compete ... they do, since that's where the customers are!

It’s all about the right space. Let’s Face it! It isn’t My Space - it’s the landowners’ space!