Ajay Juneja

Dialogue makes communication work


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Steve Ballmer gave a wonderful, timely revelant speech about the economic situation to the U.S. House of Representatives today...

Here's a link to the talk:


 I especially like his reflection about when he and Bill Gates were accounting for every employee and the amount of revenue they were bringing in on little yellow pieces of paper. I'm guessing they were post it notes.

Very good reading for the times we are in!

Posted Friday, February 6, 2009 9:40 PM by ajayjuneja | with no comments

So what have we been up to lately at Speak With Me?

I noticed that this week I got five emails from friends asking "So what's been going on?" or something to that effect! I figured this would be the easiest way to tell everyone!

Our economy has been a mess...

We're still raising and have been able to raise money.

We're on track for a really awesome product ready towards the tail end of next year. I hope it doesn't slip!

If you know me or attended the United Cerbral Palsy Foundation Charity event in Philadelphia, you might have an inkling of what the first product might be.

If you don't know me then know that the first product is something for your car.

But Americans aren't buying more cars. That's okay, they still have their current cars, they can put this into them!

The current system has been in my car for 3.5 years and 60,000 miles. Tested in the rain in Seattle while going through a tunnel, tested on the highways of California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

I did distraction testing during an aggressive driving course with some friends & some of our investors. Prior to this, the usability tests showed a <1% difference in lap times between using the system while driving and not.

We demonstrated for real, that using Speak With Me's system while driving causes next to no distraction. How? Because the car behind me had trouble keeping up with me. Imagine his surprise when discovering I always had the music I wanted playing, and that my car did not have two turbos. (It does have a clutch-type 100% locking LSD which really helped my corner exit speeds, and the suspension is aligned and corner balanced).

 What about those swanky iPhones, the new Android phones, the new Blackberry Bold & Storm, and the Windows Mobile smartphones? And Google came out with it's voice app this week? Isn't that a competitor?

The speech apps that are out there for mobile phones are using speech recognizers with complex language models. They work - kinda sorta - well they think about working. Are they competitors? Kinda, sorta, but not entirely.

As you can see from this review of Google's voice search added to their mobile app by John Markoff, the NY Times reporter and author of the fabulous book, What The Dormouse Said,

speech recognizers on their own, still aren't up to the task.

Speak With Me is different. We help the recognizer understand context. Think of it as a debriefing session from your assistant before you go on stage. That's how we're more accurate.

 But gosh darn it, why haven't you shipped anything yet so we can try it out?

Because half baked cookies are kinda mushy.  We could get a phone app out faster, but it would sacrifice the time to market of our other key product which is in the GPS market. The two products share some similarities, but have some differences too. One has the data on the device, one has the data in a cloud. So we made a tough decision this week, to stay on track with the GPS product, and hold off on the smartphone related products till we're a bit further along with the GPS product. Back in 2005 when you first read about us from Robert Scoble's Blog or Techcrunch, there were very few devices capable of running our software in the mobile and embedded space. Today there are tons, and everyone - not just Speak With Me, is scrambling to make the best use of the computing power we have today to give everyone fabulous software for their mobile devices. The phone today is like the PC world in the early eighties, I agree with Steve Ballmer on that point.

It is interesting how the internet has really led to much faster demand creation. What if the New York Times had an article about Xerox PARC in the seventies - would we have all had the GUI before the early eighties? I'm curious and I think I'll ask John Markoff and Doug Englebart that question directly in a couple weeks. SRI's doing a 40th anniversary event of the mother of all demos - on December 9th. Doug as you may or may not know, was the inventor of the mouse. Just think, he demoed in 1968 - what we as the public didn't get to use until 1982. Wow.

 So how do you make a good cookie?

By using the highest quality ingredients, like Ghiradelli Chocolate Chips, Organic Cane Sugar, organic eggs, pure vanilla extract and not imitation. Then bake them for the right amount of time. You'll end up with something spectacular, just ask anyone who's eaten my cookies :) When they're ready, you'll know...

 You didn't expect me to tell you the ingredients within Speak With Me, now did you ;)

Posted Wednesday, November 19, 2008 10:08 AM by ajayjuneja | 1 comment(s)

The Rage of the Previously Rich (story from NY Mag)


Very interesting article in today's NY Mag...

I have several friends in NYC wanting to make their way to the CA tech industry now - Silicon Valley is doing OK for now...

 (and I hope it stays okay - the dot com bubble was enough grief for us out here!)

Posted Monday, September 22, 2008 7:29 PM by ajayjuneja | 2 comment(s)

Oh what a wonderful, magical week it has been!

...and oh how I wish I could share the stories with the world right now, but they would violate the Friend-DA's in place already - which as we all know, are more secure than NDA's anyhow!

Just know that the world is full of miracles and wonderful things as long as you're paying attention to the messages it is sending you!

Posted Thursday, August 28, 2008 8:37 PM by ajayjuneja | with no comments

Julie Roehm in Forbes Magazine on Life After Walmart

So Forbes published an article about Julie Roehm, who does marketing work for us among other clients. You'll see her impact as we go to market...

For those of you who haven't met Julie - she's an absolutely amazing super-awesome person with a heart of gold and a marketing genius!

She alone is more effective than many companies' entire marketing departments!



Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2008 9:26 PM by ajayjuneja | 1 comment(s)

The moment you behave contrary to your philosophy, is the moment...

 ...you no longer can rely on your philosophy to pull you through when you'll need it the most.


Posted Tuesday, July 15, 2008 11:31 PM by ajayjuneja | 2 comment(s)

Powerset gets bought by Microsoft for $100M+

Powerset gets bought by Microsoft for $100M+.

 So - this was a soft rumor a couple months ago here in Silly Valley - and it appears it is now official - Powerset, a natural language search company, was bought by Microsoft today for $100M+.

I'd like to congratulate Barney Pell, his investors, and his team at Powerset on a successful exit - I know that earlier this year, I remember seeing them sweating to get their first product shipped - which they did do, for wikipedia.

If you haven't used Powerset - give it a shot - I think it's a fantastic tool, although I am biased given that I both know the founders and understand the technology behind it.

I think this is a great validation that natural language search is getting it's day, which is great news for Speak With Me, Inc. too!

Speaking of Speak With Me, I have a lot of awesome news to share about that - news that I'm not allowed to blog about for the time being.  Good things come to those who wait!

Posted Thursday, June 26, 2008 4:56 PM by ajayjuneja | 1 comment(s)

Finally - a GPS with William Daniels (the voice of KITT) as a Text To Speech voice!!

Mio Knight Rider GPS!

About darn time!

 Oh and if you really want the Knight Rider experience... wait till the GPS systems & mobile phones with Speak With Me's software inside of it come out!

Posted Friday, June 20, 2008 4:00 PM by ajayjuneja | with no comments

Facebook has replaced email - and Twitter is fast replacing SMS

So a few minutes ago, I got this message from a friend through Facebook...


Ryan sent you a message.



Re: Coffee?


So I tried to DM you on Twitter just now and found out you don't follow me.  I'm going to have to give you a hard time for that.


Anyway, I've got a 9am call that I'm taking in my car on the way up to PA.  If I'm not there at 10, I'm  on my way.  See you soon.






I think it's official now that, at least in Silicon Valley, Facebook has replaced email (or at the very least heavily supplemented it - and it appears Twitter is fast replacing SMS.


Funny that a few years ago I had a conversation with Luke Nosek about Facebook replacing email, especially for the younger generation - and I know shortly afterwards someone from the Founders fund started using that line (cause hey, it was true) - and now it appears Twitter is fast replacing SMS.


Congratulations to my friends at Facebook and Twitter - you are thoroughly continuing to enhance and change the way we all communicate!


Ok, Now i have to go have Ryan ream me for not following him on Twitter yet.

Posted Thursday, June 19, 2008 9:09 AM by ajayjuneja | 2 comment(s)

Twas a very Happy CES!

So this Consumer Electronics Show (my third one) - was a bit different from years' past. Whereas in the past two I had time to see the floor one or two days, and had less meetings - this one was packed to the brim with meetings from 6am - 11pm everyday! The great thing about all of the meetings - was that most everyone important who needed to get a closer look at our technology, did. 


The downside was - I didn't get to see as much of the show this time! But... Alex Marchicelli & I did see something awesome that caught our eye and will end up as our future conference room trinket: The Nikko R2D2 projector:


Nikko R2D2


It's a high quality DLP projector - and R2D2 moves around too! The remote control is the spaceship from Star Wars, too!


Posted Saturday, January 12, 2008 10:59 PM by ajayjuneja | with no comments

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