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Preview: Ajay Juneja

Ajay Juneja

Dialogue makes communication work


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

Sat, 07 Feb 2009 05:40:00 GMT

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!

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

Wed, 19 Nov 2008 18:08:00 GMT

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 [...]

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

Tue, 23 Sep 2008 02:29:00 GMT

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!)

Oh what a wonderful, magical week it has been!

Fri, 29 Aug 2008 03:37:00 GMT

...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!

Julie Roehm in Forbes Magazine on Life After Walmart

Thu, 17 Jul 2008 04:26:00 GMT

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!



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

Wed, 16 Jul 2008 06:31:00 GMT no longer can rely on your philosophy to pull you through when you'll need it the most.


Powerset gets bought by Microsoft for $100M+

Thu, 26 Jun 2008 23:56:00 GMT

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!

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

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 23:00:00 GMT

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!

Facebook has replaced email - and Twitter is fast replacing SMS

Thu, 19 Jun 2008 16:09:00 GMT

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.   -Ryan --------------------  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. [...]

Twas a very Happy CES!

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 06:59:00 GMT

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:




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


Speak With Me - Video of our Navigation Application!

Fri, 04 Jan 2008 22:37:00 GMT

Hey everyone,

We now have a fully functional navigation system + Media Player + Cell Phone integration with StreetDeck + Microsoft MapPoint. 

Please check out for more info!

Special thanks to our friends at StreetDeck and the whole Speak With Me, Inc. team!

We are fast working on now porting our finished platform to Windows CE, QNX, Linux, Mac OS X, and Symbian!

Happy CES and MacWorld everybody - we'll be at CES showing some private demos this year! 

Happy 2008 - 7 items of wisdom learned in 2007 to share with you!

Tue, 01 Jan 2008 03:13:00 GMT

 Happy New Year Everyone!Wow - 2007 has been a big year! Lots of great things happening for Speak With Me, Inc. - which will be revealed slowly in the upcoming year - and a whole lot of lessons learned - in both business and personal relationships. I'll use this post to reflect on things I've learned this year - and hopefully all of you can share your experiences too!1. The Fraility of Life. The Joy of Life. The Thrill of Life. Enjoying the ride!  As many of you know, I am one of the car nuts who hangs out at Santana Row routinely, coming in everything from my beater Red 1980 Rx-7 to the pretty fast blue sedan. Earlier this year, a bunch of us went on a drive thru Santa Cruz and up to Half Moon Bay - and one member of our group, Luis Aldaz - had a pretty severe accident that day, and unfortunately didn't make it. Luis - always lived life on the edge - and to the fullest. He raced his 911 GT3 routinely, skydived, and always was pushing himself in every aspect of his life, having immigrated here from Spain - and really made a name for himself in Silicon Valley. Everyone loved him - he always greeted you with a warm smile - and truly defined living life with no regrets. Luis is an inspiration to us all!  Some wonderful memories - Pictures courtesy of the Santana Row crew...    2. Live life with no regrets.For every decision you make in life - if you are going to regret it later - make a different decision! Life is too short to have regrets!3. If you want something, ask for it.You'll usually get it. Being nice helps your odds :)4. Be patient with your friends and loved ones.I had a situation this year where I admittedly revealed something to a longtime friend before she was ready to hear it - and I got egg in my face in response. Looking back, I wish I was more patient with her - and since then - I've learned to be more patient with everyone. We all are aware of what others are going through well in advance of what they are aware of what they are going through - so in the words of the Eagles, "Learn to be still." People for the most part, have to emotionally grow on their own. Sometimes nudging them can help a ton - but only if they trust you - and trust themselves - enough to hear you and listen.5. Never make a fear-based decision.    We all have a choice in life - to make decisions based on fear, or faith. I've found that every situation in which I've taken the faith based decision - has yielded long term success - even though there may be a shorter-term struggle to get over along the way. However, fear-based decisions tend to be extremely short-sighted and one almost always regrets them in the long term. This goes with #2 - living life with no regrets.6. Miracles can happen - but you gotta make them happen!    My good friend Andre Vanier - founder of - and I had a discussion in early July - where we were going through everything I had done to get Speak With Me, Inc. funded. We went through the list three times - and we had exhausted all possibilities - so the conclusion was that, yes indeed, I had done everything humanly possible to get Speak With Me, Inc. funded. So Andre suggested to take a break and wait - and try to focus on other things. Indeed, a week and a half later, we got our first funding check in! Some day I'll post the before and after account balances (or maybe it'll go into a future book!) - I've kept the bank statements and wire transfer receipts for a company memento! The faith based decision making process I put in place in 2005 - yielded success!7. Have Faith, have fun, and don't forget - you are a human too!    And humans - make mistakes. Self-awareness, compassion, humility, and forgiveness are the most importan[...]

Why does my new mac...?

Wed, 31 Oct 2007 11:00:00 GMT

1. start working within 2 min. of taking it out of the box? My last Windows box (a thinkpad running windows XP SP2 purchased in august 2007) needed 2 HOURS of setup/screens before I could use it.

2. find and connect to my home server (a windows server 2003 box) faster/sooner/more easily than my recent Thinkpad which took futzing with for four hours to get it to connect properly?

3. Make me smile every time I look at it? I get angry looking at my windows boxes now, remembering how much agony it was to set them up to self maintain (defrag & backup every night, migrate to new machines).

4. find all my music and movies and other media content so much more quickly?

6. run an incredible amount faster / boot much more quickly than a similarly speced windows box?

7.cost about the same for nearly the same configuration hardware wise (price difference: $8. that's less than me & Knick Jim going to the taco truck)?

8. not annoy me every time I want to run an executable or asking me always "Am I sure I want to do this?" for every freakin' action?

9. not have ANY 64 bit driver issues? (running Vista 32 bit is like trying to walk with one leg. The OS hogs so much memory you can't get anything done - I refuse to use it. I was about to build a new PC to run Vista 64 bit, but after experiencing this Mac Book Pro - my next desktop is going to be a Mac too.).

I swear, I am only MORE motivated to port Speak With Me's code to the Mac now (and support the iPhone too). We're all equipped with VMWare fusion and if 70% of the car navi market didn't use Windows CE we wouldn't have to support Windows for the long haul. I think that Thinkpad will be my last PC purchase. Windows, you are now going to be relegated to being a second class citizen I dual boot to - or run as a virtual machine so I can kill you any time I want to. This is coming from someone who used to be fanatical about Windows NT 4.0 & Windows 2000. No one is getting Vista in our office for as long as we can avoid it (we may get a contract for a media center pc that requires it, but until then...)!

We had the Mac purchases in mind initially so we can support the iPhone - but I think these will fast become our daily use machines. If you aren't making a product you yourself LOVE to use everyday, make something different. Make something irresistible - make something drool-worthy, make something you are proud of - and WANT to show off and talk about. And don't piss off your users - they are your biggest evangelists.


It's 3:48am - and for the first time since I used the very first macintosh when I was four years old - I have this huge grin on my face that won't go away - and all the inspiration I need to convince everyone on the planet - that the next step in the user interface - is the one that listens to your every word!

Don't be surprised if I stay up this late routinely (actually I had some espresso right before the Earthquake yesterday...), as I am itching to make our stuff work on an iPhone just that much more quickly. I have an HTC TyTN II coming my way this week for Windows CE testing too.. so my thoughts on that device will be coming too...

Ahh... twas a wonderful day for a drive...

Sun, 16 Sep 2007 06:33:00 GMT

Whee - we had fun today at the Santana Row exotic meet - great cars, great friends, and a great drive!


Below are some pics AlexD took :)








I'm in the Blue Audi in the first pic! :) 

Going to the Singularity Summit tomorrow in San Francisco...

Sat, 08 Sep 2007 04:10:00 GMT

Who else is going to be there?

Looking back at the Summer

Mon, 03 Sep 2007 03:39:00 GMT

Summer of 2007 sure has been an interesting one. It's been one of self discovery and a lot of growth, both for me personally, as well as Speak With Me, Inc. Speak With Me, Inc. has received it's first bits of angel funding, we've hired a few new spectacular people, and we're puttering along pretty well. I have been slowly getting used to the many more requests for my time from all of the new people both interested in the company, and working with the company! We're still in a bit of a stealth mode, so our website still doesn't show much yet - all good things come to those who wait!

We're already planting seeds for our next round of funding, so if you or anyone else you know is interested in a new user interface technology that will be making lots of noise in the coming years, please do let me know at ajay AT speakwithme DOT com. 

Shoot for the Cure!

Wed, 23 May 2007 17:30:00 GMT

 If you're in Pittsburgh, help support the cure for breast cancer and have Yan and Johnny do your portraits for you!

Yan's definitely an awesome photographer!


Going back east for a few weeks! April 15th - May 7th

Thu, 12 Apr 2007 00:22:00 GMT

Say hi if you live back east -- I'll be back there from April 15th - May 7th.

Philly, NYC, Toronto, possibly Boston too.


Know any good T-shirt / Silkscreening vendors

Sun, 08 Apr 2007 06:40:00 GMT

...We're going to be making some Speak With Me T-shirts soon!


Please refer us some high quality and well-priced places! 

CES comes...Apple gets all the thunder

Thu, 11 Jan 2007 06:46:00 GMT

Funny thing about CES this year -- Apple ran away with all the press, even though CES had 140,000 attendees.

 And well... there really wasn't much revolutionary stuff here -- for me the highlight was the Keynote by Bob Iger of Disney, and the new $180,000 prototype MBL 101x radial driver speaker (this thing is phenomenal -- look at for details). Other than that, the best new gadget of CES for me? The new Alpine headunit that has an iPod like interface - oh wait that was designed with Apple!


Congrats Apple!