Published: 7/30/2008 2:25:30 PM, comments: 0
There is a report out by the well-known consulting firm McKinsey, and that basically says that enterprise adoption of Web 2.0 technologies such as wikis, blogs, social networks and mash ups, is resulting in significant dissatisfaction:http://www.pehub.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads//08_07_30_McKinsey1.pdf
Among the other findings of the survey, a large percentage of companies state that they don't understand the potential financial return from the use of Web 2.0 tools and technologies.
Of note is that the companies in the survey have stated that they have moved beyond simply experimenting with these tools to adopting them as part of a broader business practice.
They just aren't sure of the value that they're getting from them, but it appears that they don't want to be left behind and are continuing to adopt them.
It seems to me, that this represents tremendous opportunities for those interested in Web 2.0 applications to create applications that can provide quantifiable results in the enterprise space. It's almost as if businesses have had their appetite whetted and are ready to dive in, if only Web 2.0 vendors could show them how much money they can stand to gain by taking the plunge.
Published: 7/23/2008 2:45:58 PM, comments: 0
I've been fascinated reading "The HP Way", by the late company co-founder David Packard.
One of the points that he returns to repeatedly in the book is the concept of being disciplined in product or service expansion as a function of your company's core strengths. He cautions against going too far afield in pursuing expansion opportunities.
I especially liked the quote that he provided when he and his partner Bill Hewlett were first approaching their local bank for a small loan. The bank sent out a veteran banker who told him, "More companies die of indigestion, than of starvation."
While the quote may not be perfectly applicable to the startup world, since so many companies die of cash starvation, I think it points to a great concept: don't try to expand in ways that are not compatible with your core competency, otherwise you may get yourself into trouble.
Published: 7/16/2008 2:14:59 PM, comments: 2
During the Carly Fiorina years at HP, a new company slogan was created: Think Different. As I currently read the seminal classic "The HP Way", written by the late company co-founder David Packard, I see that the concept of creating differentiated products was part of the original and ongoing culture at HP.
Their belief was that it wasn't good enough just to make a product better, faster or cheaper. The product needed to be differentiated from its competitors so that it provided a clear value proposition to the customer and contributed new technological solutions to solving problems.
While Ms. Fiorina may have chosen a company tagline that prompted it's employees to focus on differentiation, that company value had already been created by the founders several decades before.
So as we create products and services in an increasingly technology driven world, it's a lesson well worth remembering: think and create something different.
Published: 7/10/2008 10:58:53 AM, comments: 0
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Published: 7/3/2008 9:45:25 AM, comments: 0
The IPO market for a venture backed technology companies has gone completely dormant, according to the results of Q2, 2008. There were no IPOs during the quarter, which has not happened since 1978.
While there are no doubt many reasons for these results, in my opinion, this is the continuing fallout from the extreme dot com boom/bust cycle of 1999 - 2003. The investment world (and regulatory system) has never really recovered from its skepticism about new, "IPO-ready" technology companies as a whole, regardless of individual success stories, so when other factors (credit crisis, economic uncertainty) increase the risk premium, the memory of being burned and scarred by tech companies is still vivid, and investors flee to quality, or sit on their hands.
I think what we'll continue to see it as a tightening of terms by VCs, lower valuations and a pruning of their lowest performing portfolio companies. It behooves startup entrepreneurs to "improve their game" and provide the highest quality investment opportunity if they want to obtain funding for their technology startup company.