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About me

I’m JP Rangaswami. 56 years old, married (my wife’s called Shane), three children (Orla, 27, Isaac, 22 and Hope, 15). I was born in Calcutta and lived there for nearly half my life before emigrating to the UK in 1980. Much of that time was spent at St Xavier’s Collegiate School and College; I was there from 1966 to 1979. Originally an economist and financial journalist, I’ve been an accidental technologist for over a quarter of a century. I’ve spent most of my adult life working in that strange space where finance meets technology, for a number of very large firms. Since October 2010 I work for salesforce.com as Chief Scientist. (Normally, when asked to put a white coat on, I tend to look for the long sleeves and restraint straps…).

I’m passionate about the things that interest me. My family. My local church and community. A retarded hippie at heart, I listen primarily to music made in the mid sixties to early seventies. CSNY, Traffic, Grateful Dead, Doobie Brothers, Joni Mitchell, The Band, America, The Who, The Beatles, that sort of thing. I read voraciously and collect books as well, but only in specific genres. Detective fiction, as in Nero Wolfe. Caper fiction, as in Donald E Westlake. The Raj and Empire, as in Warren Hastings or Robert Clive. Mathematics as in Hardy or Ramanujan. Management as in Peter Drucker or Max de Pree. Information and Technology as in John Seely Brown. Humour as in Ogden Nash or PG Wodehouse.

I’m passionate about my profession(s), both planned and accidental. A Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and a Fellow of the British Computer Society. More and more my interests have moved towards education, I keep thinking of setting up a school from scratch. Which is partly why I’m chairman of The School Of Everything.

I’m passionate about work (!) , particularly with reference to how work is changing: the paradigms created by globalisation, disintermediation and the web; the implications of virtualisation, service orientation and commoditisation; why publishing and search and fulfilment and conversation are the only “applications” we may need; how telephony becoming software and the wireless internet interact with mobile devices; the terrors of poorly thought out IPR and DRM; the need to avoid walled gardens of my own making; how children now teach me about work; the socialising of information, how it creates value by being shared, how it is enriched, how it is corrupted. How information behaves and what I can learn from it. Which is partly why I’m chairman of Ribbit.

I’m passionate about education. When I retire from normal work I will build a school. A school that is built for the 21st century, with the requisite connectivity, hardware and software infrastructure. A school that’s willing to borrow teachers rather than own them, as long as the teachers see what they do as their calling, their vocation. A school where students are encouraged to use the web in class, where critiquing the teacher is accepted. Where critiquing students is also accepted. Where the focus is on equality of opportunity rather than outcome; where diversity is celebrated. Where learning takes place. Which means mistakes get made. Where making mistakes is encouraged.

Ever since I read The Cluetrain Manifesto I have believed in the “markets are conversations” theme, and have had the good fortune to meet and spend time with the Cluetrain gang discussing their views and values. In fact they were kind enough to ask me to contribute a chapter to the 10th Anniversary Edition of the book.

Which naturally makes me passionate about opensource as well. In democratised innovation. In emergence theories a la Steven Johnson. None of which should surprise the reader, given that my thoughts on opensource were probably more driven by Jerry Garcia than by Raymond or Stallman or Torvalds et al.


164 Responses

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  1. JP says

    Thanks Susmita, good to see you here. Especially another Calcuttan.

  2. ranjit narula says

    JP

    Have always been a keen follower of your blogs. I am not sure if you remember me from the Wipro days where you gave a great talk on cultural sensitivities. I am now with Infosys in London and was very keen to check your availability to address our sales team in FSI on innovation. The conference is on 21st and 22nd November at Greenwich. Would request if you could drop in an email on [email protected] and let me know. Would do cart wheels if you agree!!

  3. Marcus Meyer says

    Hi JP, love reading your blog, lots of fond memories coming up! I am your age and also spent my youth in Calcutta – the most beautiful city in the world! Please keep on posting the pictures!
    Regards from Germany
    Marcus

  4. JP says

    @Marcus now that’s going to take some explaining. How did someone like you turn up in Calcutta as a teenager? What were you doing there? And how long did you stay? I can only surmise that one of your parents was a diplomat stationed there, or an engineering advisor.

1 2 3

Continuing the Discussion

  1. » Supernova: Navigating the personal infosphere | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com linked to this post on June 21, 2006

    […] JP Rangaswami noted that too much structure isn’t ideal. "I am scared if form and structure is imposed, you throw away value before it can be generated," he said. This echoes Andrew P. McAfee, an associate professor with the Technology and Operations Management Unit at Harvard Business School, told me–the most promising sites based Web 2.0 and social networks are those where the structure emerges over time and the results of interaction are more persistent. Wikipedia, the canonical Web 2.0 example, has some structure that evolved over time that applies to the management of the service, such as arbitration of conflicts.  […]

  2. Confused Of Calcutta » About me at Churbuck.com linked to this post on July 24, 2006

    […] Confused Of Calcutta » About me […]

  3. Jerry Garcia - Father of Open Source at Churbuck.com linked to this post on August 10, 2006

    […] This post was sparked by J.P. Rangaswami’s “about” page at Confused of Calcutta. “…given that my thoughts on opensource were probably more driven by Jerry Garcia than by Raymond or Stallman or Torvalds et al.” […]

  4. Good Old Trend » Blog Archive » The new way of reading linked to this post on August 28, 2006

    […] After hearing JP Rangaswami talk at Reboot in June I knew straight away that I had to start reading his blog regularly. Although mentally exhausting at times (in a good way that is!) I keep coming back and I keep being fascinated by the clarity that he manages to pass to the reader. And this even though the level of abstraction is high. I strongly recommend anyone interested in the way the internet is changing society to pay him a visit. In a post yesterday he wrote the following: I don’t read blogs to find out things faster than anyone else; I don’t read blogs to find things to link to and comment on before anyone else; I don’t read blogs because I can’t find any books to read. […]

  5. » The muse of social software | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com linked to this post on September 4, 2006

    […] If you don’t know JP Rangaswami, you should.  His Confused in Calcutta d how they operate internally and relate to customers. By day he is the chief of Alternative Market Models at the investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein in London. JP follows in the Bob Dylan (be sure to check out his just released CD, "Modern Times") tradition, in this case exploring the folklore of the enterprise computing space, not always easily comprehended, pulling in references from everywhere, a poet and he don’t know it, the muse of social software, but so right about how the pendulum is swinging toward empowered individuals. He believes that new business models should have a clear stance on values and ethics; allow relationships and collaboration to take place; intermediate to enable trust and fulfilment rather than channel towards lock-in; and recognize that customers want to create and co-create value rather than just receive. […]

  6. Catching Up … Social Software And The Enterprise at Thermo[SAT] linked to this post on September 5, 2006

    […] I will also be delighted to learn from JP Rangaswami. […]

  7. Kim Cameron’s Identity Weblog » JP Rangaswami on how the OSP “feels” linked to this post on September 14, 2006

    […] Take a look at this piece by JP Rangaswami, author of Confused of Calcutta. I think he expresses what a lot of people are feeling.  Ambrose Bierce, in The Devil’s Dictionary, defined a cynic as follows: […]

  8. What causes rants against teamwork and collaboration? « Stronger Teams Blog linked to this post on September 19, 2006

    […] However, I felt compelled to post my concerns about the article because, as JP Rangaswami explained, “This kind of thinking will gain currency.” Rather than posting immediately, I decided to wait several days to conduct a (non-scientific) experiment to watch what kind of traction Freedman’s ideas would get. I wanted to see how the crowd in the blogosphere would react; whether a group would coalesce around Freedman’s arguments; whether differing opinions would emerge. I refrained from blogging my own views to remain an outside, although not completely unbiased, observer. […]

  9. JP Rangaswami is moving on to be CIO of BT’s services division « Digital Life linked to this post on September 27, 2006

    […] Martin has a post on JP’s new role at BT [via] […]

  10. Technological Winter » Blog Archives » European Corporate Blogging conference linked to this post on October 24, 2006

    […] Just a few weeks ago I went to the ‘European Corporate Blogging’ conference and it was without a doubt a total joke.  Few (50%) were in a attendance even though the room was tiny – perhaps only accommodating a 150 people.  Most of the speakers were about as prepared as I could get just having woken up and fallen out of bed.  Although in fairness the IBM, HP, and Headshift presentations were pretty spot on and contained value, as well there was a favourite among those I spoke with was Mr JP Rangaswami the Confused of Calcutta author. […]

  11. Advanced Technology Products Interactive » Blog Archive » On the economics of the customer linked to this post on November 23, 2006

    […] I came across this on megite by JP Rangaswami on Shane Richmond blog. Many years ago, it used to be said that serving an existing customer is nine times as profitable as acquiring a new one. […]

  12. The Park Paradigm » Customer available for acquisition. linked to this post on November 24, 2006

    […] Well as far as I can tell, neither T-mobile, nor for that matter any of their major competitors (at least from what I can see from their websites) have embraced this approach to their business and their customers. Anyhow JP’s Telegraph guest post inspired me (and reminded me of others he and Doc Searls amongst others) to test out the intention economy and possibly solve my problem by reverse advertising. This is what I want to buy. Who can sell it to me? […]

  13. Dinosaurier i grÃ¥zonen « Copyriot linked to this post on November 26, 2006

    […] Känns som att Ã¥hörarna pÃ¥ plats var delade i tvÃ¥ grupper: Dels skeptikerna som uppfattade PiratbyrÃ¥ns tankar som blott en slags ideologisk överbyggnad till de där giriga fildelarnas ekonomiska egenintresse. Dels de som intresserade sig direkt för frÃ¥gorna om grÃ¥zoner, kulturell cirkulation och informationens infrastrukturer. Ett par av konferensens övriga talare som kom fram direkt efterÃ¥t var mycket entusiastiska. Däribland JP Rangaswami (CIO pÃ¥ en stor investmentbank, som själv begravde bÃ¥de upphovsrätten och annat), och Malcolm Matson (mÃ¥ngÃ¥rig affärsman i brittiska telekombranschen som nu leder OPLAN foundation och som i Köpenhamn passionerat pläderade för öppna nätverk). Det är förstÃ¥s vansinnigt kul att se hur den senare pÃ¥ sin blogg utnämner PiratbyrÃ¥ns föredrag till “the best argued and most coherent paper to state the case for the absurdity and impossibility of hoping that existing principles of copyright and intellectual property can be force-fitted into the new digital paradigm“! Tydligen sÃ¥ refererade även Lawrence Lessig till texten när han talade i Köpenhamn i söndags, i samband med Creative Commons danska lansering. […]

  14. Clarity from an year of Confusion « Joy Of Innovation linked to this post on March 2, 2007

    […] 2nd, 2007 · No Comments JP, Confused of Calcutta, refines his learning in The kernel of this Blog: Governments and firms are […]

  15. The FASTForward Blog » Open email — is it for you? linked to this post on May 29, 2007

    […] morning I read about JP Rangaswami’s open email system in a post by Stowe Boyd. JP has opened access to his email to his staff. […]

  16. JP Rangaswami’s “open email” system linked to this post on May 29, 2007

    […] morning I read about JP Rangaswami’s open email system in a post by Stowe Boyd. JP has opened access to his email to his staff. […]

  17. » Facebook infltrating the enterprise: the ups and downs | Irregular Enterprise | ZDNet.com linked to this post on July 29, 2007

    […] wonder what JP Rangaswami thinks? He was until recently CTO at Dresdner and is a social media advocate. Last week he said: I […]

  18. Banning Facebook in business is futile « AccMan linked to this post on July 29, 2007

    […] sure the irony of this won’t be lost on JP Rangaswami. Until recently, JP was CTO at DrKW and remains a firm advocate of social computing tools like […]

  19. Facebook in the enterprise « Rob’s Digital Life linked to this post on July 30, 2007

    […] second and third blog posts were from JP’s blog and is views on Facebook and specifically it’s place in the Enterprise parts 1 and […]

  20. Shaman » Online social networks and the enterprise linked to this post on September 3, 2007

    […] what the fuss is all about.  Others have been more eloquent in describing this behavior. J.P Rangaswami has a great blog entry that talks about folks who pooh-pooh Facebook. His blog entry, called […]

  21. De retour du Web 3’07 linked to this post on December 13, 2007

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  22. émergenceweb : blogue » Blog Archive » Paris jour 4 : Le Web3, les intranets et l’entreprise 2. linked to this post on December 13, 2007

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  23. The FASTForward Blog » J.P. Rangaswami Brings CIO Perspective to FASTforward08: Enterprise 2.0 Blog: News, Coverage, and Commentary linked to this post on February 10, 2008

    […] readers will know J.P. Rangaswami, Managing Director in BT Group and ex-Dresdner Kleinwort Global CIO from his popular Confused of […]

  24. DhirajGupta.com » » Why do we blog? linked to this post on July 13, 2008

    […] JP, over at Confused of Calcutta puts down a few thoughts about blogging, teaching and learning that are well worth the read, as is usual with him. […]

  25. 140-year-old telco embraces its nemesis | Software as Services | ZDNet.com linked to this post on July 30, 2008

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  26. European Corporate Blogging conference | TechWinter linked to this post on August 14, 2008

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  27. Blob » Happy Birthday - JP : Abundant-Heterogeneous-Creativity linked to this post on November 12, 2008

    […] visit the site. However one good thing that I stumbled on when last there was a notifiucation that JP’s birthday was imminent. I wanted to mashup something for the […]

  28. Voice telephony: death or glory? - Telco 2.0 - TM Forum Community linked to this post on November 12, 2008

    […] next speaker was JP Rangaswami from BT. Excluding the (important) access line revenue, BT only makes a small fraction of its […]

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  31. Why is technology important? « Greenbid News linked to this post on December 5, 2009

    […] the J-school of the Future over on Rebootnews. After writing it, I sent a note to Doc Searls and JP Rangaswami of British Telecom, both of whom are participating in the Supernova conference in San Francisco. (I […]

  32. Why is technology important? « News, Software and All you need linked to this post on December 5, 2009

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  33. Why is technology important? | BlogTheBrain News Source linked to this post on December 19, 2009

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  36. Exectweets » jobsworth at 04/30/10 10:12:38 linked to this post on May 4, 2010

    […] Pro Tweets Variation on ID theft or mashup? see http://confusedofcalcutta.com/about-me/ http://bit.ly/dgAY9t jobsworth – Fri 30 Apr 10:12 All Things […]

  37. Facebook privacy issues. Where to for professionals? linked to this post on May 24, 2010

    […] the reasons why you should be thinking about this, I turned to JP Rangaswami. JP is a good pal and design scientist at BT. He argues: While everyone worries about privacy, spend some time thinking about sharing. Think […]

  38. émergenceweb : blogue » Enterprise 2.0. La «grande messe» commence… linked to this post on June 15, 2010

    […] programme pour un avant-midi avec au moins deux grosses pointures soit JP Rangaswami et Andrew McAfee. Tous les habitués attendent son «State of the Enterprise 2.0» qui doit […]

  39. Patti Anklam » #e2conf Keynotes JP Rangaswami linked to this post on June 16, 2010

    […] JP Rangaswami, CIO and Chief scientist, BT Design was the first keynote speaker at Enterprise 2.0 in Boston Tuesday morning. Clearly aware of the high volume of tweeting, he acknowledeged that he knew he was talking at the “risk of being tweeted out of existence.” […]

  40. Why Aren’t Enterprise 2.0 Vendors Thinking About e-Discovery? « Doculabs linked to this post on July 13, 2010

    […] to address records management and discovery concerns is that thought leaders like Andrew McAfee and JP Rangaswami have framed it as a non-issue, a red herring that prevents social collaboration from taking root in […]

  41. Chief Scientist at BT: “In nature there are no SLAs” « Barton's Blog linked to this post on August 16, 2010

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  42. Digitala Affärer » Blog Archive » JP Rangaswami: “The new enterprise” linked to this post on May 25, 2011

    […] stort om hur digitala förändringar har påverkat företag och organisationer. Keynotespeaker var JP Rangaswami, numera Chief Scientist på Salesforce, tidigare på British Telecom. Jag har lyssnat på honom […]

  43. Knowledge Work: Conversations, Publishing and Search « Jacob Ukelson's Blog linked to this post on September 6, 2011

    […] happen to stumble up on an interesting blog by JP Rangaswami, the chief scientist of  salesforce.com – what caught my eye wasn’t a specific post, but rather the claim that there are only 4 […]

  44. Great AM Quote @ 2gether08 | The Wall Blog linked to this post on December 3, 2011

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  47. Charlie Don’t Surf……. « Lion in a sidecar linked to this post on January 15, 2013

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  48. We Don’t Need No Stinking Badges « tenXer Blog linked to this post on February 14, 2013

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  49. LENS Ventures | Blog linked to this post on May 25, 2013

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  50. We Don’t Need No Stinking Badges | tenXer Blog linked to this post on August 15, 2013

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  51. Turing Festival 2013 Highlights - CalumShepherd linked to this post on August 26, 2013

    […] JP Rangaswami from Salesforce was quite inspiring. I didn’t manage to take any notes from the talk, but came away throughly impressed with his ability to tell stories and bring the audience with him on a journey through technology. […]

  52. Turing Festival 2013 Highlights - Calum Shepherd linked to this post on August 28, 2013

    […] JP Rangaswami from Salesforce was quite inspiring. I didn’t manage to take any notes from the talk, but came away throughly impressed with his ability to tell stories and bring the audience with him on a journey through technology. […]

  53. The ExactTarget Blog | United Kingdom Network, Learn and Get Inspired » The ExactTarget Blog | United Kingdom linked to this post on October 8, 2013

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  54. Today in Cloud — GigaOM Research linked to this post on October 18, 2013

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  56. Informação é comida | Admirável Mundo da Comida linked to this post on February 1, 2014

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  57. What if a solution is not the answer – The decline and rise of IT Giants | linked to this post on February 13, 2014

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