TWIS#9- This Week in SaaS – Hire me edition!
No events this week- but how about a different opportunity… HIRE ME!
I’m looking for a new SaaS product management position… I love helping people create great products, solve problems and applying my SaaS experience.
I don’t know whether you’ve seen this brilliant rant by Dave McClure:
It’s kind of a dirty little secret of the startup industry, but there are very few good product, design, and marketing people in tech.
I help people solve the #1 problem above- product!
I’m based in the UK, happy to travel and am flexible on the type of company (as long as it’s funded or has revenue).
If you want to know more about me- check out my blog or email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Refer a job that I successfully get and I’ll give you a $500.00 gift card to say thanks!
The New Year continues to bring lots of news!
One of the most interesting pieces of news this week is Gartner’s prediction that 20% of businesses will own no IT assets apart from end user computers – and even then there’s a trend towards employee owned systems.
By 2012, 20 percent of businesses will own no IT assets. Several interrelated trends are driving the movement toward decreased IT hardware assets, such as virtualization, cloud-enabled services, and employees running personal desktops and notebook systems on corporate networks.
They went on:
These predictions were selected from across Gartner’s research areas as the most compelling and critical predictions. The trends and topics they address this year speak to the changing balance of power and focus in IT.
Krishnan Subramanian commented over at CloudAve:
In fact, this is a bold prediction considering how traditional IT vendors and companies interested in pushing private cloud offerings are dismissing the proliferation of public clouds. This prediction goes on to confirm what many of us are saying already, the cloud computing is not just here to stay but it is going to transform how we do business.
Whether you believe in the wisdom of analysts or not- it certainly validates SaaS and Cloud and the direction we’re taking. Next step- capturing those customers! While I’m insulting analysts- Forrester predicts IT spending to rise 8.1% next year to a measly $1.6 trillion in 2010.
Not measuring the right things can be fatal. And VCs are in the business of separating the soon-to-be-dead from the fledgling successes. There’s nothing quite as good at doing this as the cold, hard light of analytics.
Even though the list is too long and detailed to be pulled out here, but nevertheless you don’t have to be VC funded to benefit from measuring and improving the right things. If you read one thing today- read the post and view the presentation.
With all the hoo-hah circulating about facebook’s privacy I think we missed a key point- what would facebook look like if it was started today?
In his on stage interview with Michael Arrington (at the Crunchies), Mark Zuckerberg made the most insightful observation of the evening. On being asked about privacy, Mark said that Facebook default settings from private to public since that is what it would have been like if it started today. Things were very different when they started 6 years ago in his dorm at Harvard. People were questioning the basic concept – why should I share my info on the web. Things have changed a lot since then. People share a lot of their life online on different places on the web. (emphasis- Ed.)
Rashmi Sinha, co-founder/CEO of Slideshare observed. She goes on to say:
How many of us are stuck at the point where we started – not been able to imagine what our service would be like if we started today. Our services are vintage the year which they started. Flickr is vintage 2004 when it started. Basecamp is vintage 2004. Delicious is vintage 2005. While they remain great services, there has been no re-imagining of the service so that it fits into the web of 2009-2010.
The problem with being the vintage of your launch year is that the domain gets reimagined. You get left behind even if you are doing everything right. This is the classic problem that so many companies face – they are innovative when they launch. They continue on the path they launch with, which they get traction with initially. At a certain point, they are executing so well, that they get left behind. Their success contains the seeds of their becoming obselete.
Facebook is avoiding that problem by constantly imagining what it would be like if it launched today. It might face criticisms and even loose some users with such moves, but it fits better into the web today. And ultimately this is why Facebook will survive and prosper.
Interesting perspective and food for thought with our own products.
Box.net CEO/co-founder Aaron Levie wrote a brilliant post on Cloud Adoption in the enterprise- “The coming Tornado”:
The coming shift echoes the disruptive transformation of IT in the ’90s, driven by companies like Oracle, Microsoft, Lotus and Sun. Geoffrey Moore, author of “Crossing the Chasm” and “Inside the Tornado,” studied this transition and described the chain of adoption for enterprise technology: innovators are followed by early adopters, visionaries, and finally IT departments. And when enterprise technology hits this latter group, we’re officially in the Tornado.
Well the dust is beginning to swirl once more. Over the next two years, enterprise IT will follow in the footsteps of today’s early adopters and visionaries, finally embracing the Cloud and moving content, applications, and processes to the web. So what are the catalysts for this perfect storm? A combination of maturing platforms, generational and cultural shifts, and compelling economics, making cloud-based solutions the undeniable choice for nearly all future non-core technology purchases. (Emphasis- Ed.)
And my favourite quote:
Managing infrastructure and technology that is not competitively-additive has become competitively-expensive.
Biased- yes, but he backs up this perspective:
Box’s 10 largest sales in 2009 were made with IT managers at organizations you’d recognize. The common thread linking these IT buyers? In our case, they want to move toward Cloud Content Management, in lieu of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on traditional ECM.
As always- security holds things back- Can we solve this in 2010?
I came across a brilliant new tool for tracking competitors this week- Competitious. I really like the way you’re able to track competitors by feature, traffic and share knowledge. Much better than hacking together a combination of GoogleDocs like I’ve done in the past!
Rumors of VMware’s acquisition of Zimbra have been abound for ages and it’s finally been confirmed. What’s interesting to me is VMware’s strategy. Suddenly they’ve decided to go up the stack and I’m curious how this is going to affect the Cloud. It is clear that Yahoo didn’t manage to capture the business mindshare with Zimbra like Google has with Apps and with Exchange in the same company, it’s clear why it was disposed.
What isn’t is why VMware paid $100m.
It isn’t clear to Greg O’Connor either:
I’m arguing with myself, so I’m winning and losing. The argument? VMware’s Zimbra acquisition: a.) brilliant – and necessary — building block in the drive to domination of the evolving cloud economy? Or b.) distracting activity on par with a crow’s attraction to bright, shiny objects?
With the Zimbra acquisition, VMware has popped up the market stack to land smack in the middle of business’ most ubiquitous application – email and collaboration. Zimbra out-Outlooks Outlook. If you’re unfamiliar with it, take a quick look at the demo (www.zimbra.com).
Anyone who has ever used Outlook/all of civilization will immediately be at home with the UI. That same population will be tickled at the sheer elegance, practicality, and simplicity of the additional functionality.
What is VMware doing? If it is not taking direct aim at Microsoft … If it is not positioning itself to be the Microsoft of the cloud economy …. If it is not aimed, ready, and equipped to command that dominion … then acquisitions such as Zimbra and SpringSource are distractions from the core business that make only marginally more sense than would acquisition of Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
Interesting… Hypervisor-Platform-Application. The only thing they’re missing is an OS but it’s clear they see their value across the entire stack and are going to position themselves there.
Thinking about Microsoft- they announced a $250m cloud partnership with HP this week:
It seems to basically hook Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Azure, which went live earlier this month, into HP’s hardware. The resulting offering promises to deliver improved application performance, efficiency and interoperability. The venture is also designed to allow users to integrate private or public cloud computing models as their business requires, which is a boon to many businesses.
When will Microsoft finally get into the hardware business?
It’s great to see M&A activity hotting up in the SaaS space with PeopleClick and Archer being bought- since our sector depends on M&A for exits in the absence of IPO’s… It should give funders some more confidence to invest and stop holding back worrying about their current portfolio.
If you saw any of the headlines about the Cloud being insecure- especially related to Google vs China issues– the security breaches were on the user side not server side- surprise, surprise. Social Engineering to compromise the target’s computer with a new type of attack according to McAfee.
In other news:
- Group member Christophe Primault featured in TechCrunch– Congratulations! What do you think the merits of directories or App stores for SaaS apps?
- Adobe is releasing a SDK that will automatically convert flash to an iPhone application since Apple won’t put flash on the iPhone
- Spinvox gets sold to Nuance for £600.00– yes £600.00 not the $102.5m touted in the Sunday Times- I really like their voicemail to email service.
- Panasonic leaves Microsoft Exchange for Lotus Live -initially only 100,000 users…
- Amazon accused of increasing latency
- If you track VC’s like I do- the updated blog directory is up
- No lists this week but I found a good one here by Jumpbox COO Sean Tierney
- Ruby on Rails PaaS Heroku’s Amazon EC2 Downtime and Hackernews fallout – where is that on Heroku’s blog I wonder???
Got some great feedback from people last week via email- how about some comments????
Have a great weekend.