I’ve been speaking with Andrew Vincent lately, the talented man who produced the television series Your Business Success. It’s a series of interviews between experienced and less experienced entrepreneurs and is full of both inspirational stories as well as fantastic tips on improving your own businesses, from strategy and finance to marketing and customer service. The show featured some of Australia’s best known entrpreneurs from a variety of industries.
And speaking of successful entrepreneurs, I was reading Naomi Simson’s blog today – check it out! She’s a fellow EO member and the founder and “Chief Experience Officer” at Red Balloon, a successful online gift retailer. It’s full of good advice, was an inspiration to read and got me fired up to start blogging on a regular basis about all the fascinating people I have been meeting and the exciting things I have been learning.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been researching more and more into the SaaS world. The ScioDec blog has some interesting posts, and this recent one doesn’t have a lot new to say, but sums up what most of the people I speak to are thinking.
In the meantime, it’s not totally clear to me how the business model is going to work for a lot of the smaller players unless they get swallowed up by salesforce.com or others.
I’m also reading Groundswell, the book about social media written by analysts at Forrester. It’s a great summary of the impacts that social media is starting to have in the world of marketing and how corporations can harness the power and reach of social media to their advantage.
DC Strategy is a growing consultancy offering services around franchising, business strategy, international expansion and similar areas. They have been publishing a series of article on these topics on their site. This recent article on managing fast growth was right on the money in my view:
I continue to explore all the wonderful plug-in offerings for WordPress sites. I’m just amazed at the range of functionality you can add for free. The latest is a contact form offered by cforms2 on my contact page. But what’s even better is that it is offered by the authors of http://www.deliciousdays.com/ a great site and blog about food. I spent far too much time reading Nicky’s site about all things delicious before finally getting around to downloading and installing cforms! (which works a treat!)
A friend gave me this link to a fantastic story about a legendary teacher at my old high school in Los Angeles – Fairfax HS. By the time I got there, it was a great racial melting pot with very little friction. My Australian friends are always amazed when they hear a description of my school days – so different than most Aussie schools.
Known as On Demand or Software as a Service (SaaS), this area of technology is fascinating to me. A few years ago, it was known as ASP (application service provider) or hosted applications. Now it has a new buzzword and although some of the architecture has changed, the idea hasn’t. And is there really a big difference between SaaS and outsourcing your server and application infrastructure to a 3rd party?
Anyway, the world of www.netsuite.com and www.salesforce.com now have entire eco-systems of other companies and applications surrounding them and they are pushing into the enterprise space, which for a long time, resisted the thought of having their IT infrastructure offsite. The great thing is that it means a business can get systems up and running very quickly with minimal capital expenditure.
I was so pleased to read this article that tells me that Australia is going to be OK.
Let’s hope Phil’s right.
I am trying to get this button to work for the Entrepreneur’s Organisation of which I am a member, but I haven’t figured it out yet! I will eventually get the hang of this stuff, but it’s a steep learning curve when the last real techo stuff I’ve done was writing SQL reports! Anyway, EO has been a great group to belong to, to collaborate and learn from other entrepreneurs, the challenges they face and how they solve them. And they are fantastic group of people as well. Check us out if you are building a business and want to have a support group that understands what you face as an entrepreneur! There are amazing opportunities to learn and contribute.
It seems like Software as a Service is finally come of age. All the major vendors are offering their enterprise software in ‘on-demand’ versions. And there is a whole host of companies developing applications that were designed to be delivered on-line, along with consulting groups focussing on configuring those applications and integrating them with in-house applications. Telstra and NEC are both launching SaaS offerings, with single sign on to multiple applications. And even companies like Amazon now offer platforms as a service (PaaS), allowing you to subscribe to the use of computing power on which you can develop your own services and ramp them up as demand requires.
Just like in the evolution of the provision of electricity where companies built their own power plants and eventually bought their power from the grid, hardware and software services are migrating to a utility model, whereby users pay for the resources they use, rather than having to build all that capability in house where the capacity is often under-utilised and requires constant maintenance and upgrades.
What a massive change this will mean to traditional corporate IT departments in the next decade!
Amazing, I have figured how to install a advertising widget to this wordpress page’s sidebar and set up a Google AdSense account, all in a morning. So theoretically the $$ should start rolling in now, if anyone visits the site and clicks on an ad. Unfortunately all the ads seem to be triggering off the Title of Steve Sacks, so the ads appear to be for sleeping bags, manufacturers of paper sacks and so on!