I have been motivated to post! It will be brief, as my past post is still the most relevant, on all accords, but I thought that Mr. Schwartz of Infoworld should know my P.O.V.:
SaaS will not take over the world as developers need control. Unless I am underestimating AppExchange, and that will be the model. But from what I know of app server talent, the key is in the developer innovation, not in the custom implementations. Early thoughts on this, as my mind is still elsewhere...
I have given a lot of thought to the structure of a new venture, and would like to relay some of its concepts. For, this blog may be used as a recruiting tool sometime down the road, or sooner rather than later. For one, central control will be a committee of owners, somewhat like how SCS is run by the families, and by this I mean something deeper than just board control, but also integrated with management control. I would like to see a woman as CEO, as there is far too few, and more importantly, I see the qualifications of running a distributed, highly trainable workforce (more on this later in the blog) to be best served by someone with the ability to relate to all walks of life. Not that a man would not do this, but I feel more comfortable turning over day-day control to someone with little to no ego involved, not that women have no ego, but...I just want a woman CEO, ok? The developers would be specialized in two camps: Java and .Net, and would have overlapping committees to direct long-term development plans to intersect so that we would incorporate the best practices of web services (I still don't know what SOA is) into the models for customer implementations. I am not going to even touch on product yet, as it is incidental.
Outside of Oracle, what company is still reliant on its original product category, even Oracle is branching in to Fusion more than the database, and so it will be with this new company - - Astro. We will build initiatives that target problem areas, and solve them via software, and later IT, in general (more to come, down the road). But the true test of this business is its operational capabilities, and how we will have a long range plan to development of staff, company capabilities, and clients. For the staff, we will have an ongoing plan to teach new ways of doing sales and marketing, for the current model is broken. This system of collecting revenue for product is done, it is now a model of being the best service provider, and for that, the best tools possible will be developed internally as core competence.
Today, I cannot seem to get Jill Carroll out of my mind, "get out of Iraqi, by cracky"...
I would like to begin this new year with a proposition of what a new business would look like, and start to buuild the edges of this business idea to see where it might lead. It is a software business, but it is not engaged in development and currently does not support the open source model. Nor necessarily will it ever support OSS. I am confident that the best model for this software company of sorts will become clear over the course of the next three years. In that time, the model will be to sell software & support to customers in two different markets: Microsoft-based, fat-client, risk analysis software and Java-based, app server, identity management software.
I would like to begin by entering the automotive supplier industry with the risk analysis software as it adheres to the FMEA standard, as part of the ISO9000 quality assurance program. In addition, the target market for the identity management would be medium-sized businesses with some app server acumen. Both are not easy markets to target, for the former has already invested in risk analysis or they are too small to invest. And the latter is a nascent market with an unknown size due to the closely held secret of the app server vendors to keep the identity (no pun) of the companies anonymous. It may be necessary to partner with one or more app server vendor to achieve penetration in the Identity Management market.
I am thinking about how this new business would operate, and probably most importantly how it would support customers that are using the software, as I would be providing sales and marketing but not technical support. That is an issue that all you punters will decry as an inordinately large obstacle to start a business, but I have worked with both of the developers of the software packages, and there seems to be a good degree of possibility that we could work out a system of support. I kind of like the division of skills, as it focuses like no other system. It might be even a challenge to the JBoss model, where they are growing organically, and acquiring the best talent, they are still a developer model company. Maybe what we would be forming in pure-software and pure-marketing companies would be a competitive advantage in the ultimate sort of methodology.
What growth would come from this? Well, software isn't a bad business to be in, and the two markets that I have outlined in small detail are diverse markets, with different technology requirements, and different customer styles. But I did mention that one would use Microsoft VB, and one would use JEE EJB, and even to the casual developer, you should be able to see where I am going with this: web services, baby. Its going to take some time - - like years - - and it will be unclear for some time what direction it ultimately goes in, but I wonder, I just wonder if anyone will catch on to this trend of Java/VB overlap. I know Marc is thinking about it, though I would have to be a little skepticle of a JBoss .Net container. I could be wrong, though. Innovation breeds opportunity, and with time the world of web services will become more apparent.