Software's Billion-Dollar Question
the overall message was that there is no real indication of if / when we might expect to see an end to this current recession, therefore IT and related industries must learn to adapt and cope with an increasingly challenging landscape, whilst delivering critical benefits to their internal and external clients. It makes me wonder if a protracted global recession will also bring about a fundamental change in the engagement models used by existing (or surviving) technology advisory and consulting organizations. For example, are we likely to see an increase in joint ventures, and risk-reward-partnerships, between advisors and client, as opposed to the relatively more straightforward fees-on-delivery type models that currently dominate our business?
Yes, there will be many more billion-dollar software companies - but they won’t look like the ISVs of today.
As the next-generation software leaders reach maturity, they’ll look more like a services and solutions company. Sure, they’ll have a software backbone and a technology platform to enable the services they provide. But to customers, the next software companies will seem more like services companies.
The debate has already begun. Is Google a software company? What about Amazon.com? How about ADP? These companies offer a technology platform, software, services – some automated and some human-powered – all rolled into a solution. Witness the growth of business process outsourcing and knowledge process outsourcing solution providers. At their hearts, these firms are software companies but they are packaged and marketed as services providers.
CollabNet, Spiceworks and many other emerging software leaders could arguably be called services companies already. They deliver software, communities and services all rolled into their solutions.
Charlie Rose - A conversation with Nandan Nilekani and Tom Friedman
There's an old joke about a businessman who gives away his products. A customer asks: "How do you make money doing that?" He answers: "I make it up on volume."
It's nonsensical, yes. But a funny thing has happened: Giving away the product has become a legitimate business model on the Internet and even beyond. And it's been getting increased attention. Author Chris Anderson will publish a new book in July titled, Free: The Past and Future of a Radical Price. It's a follow-up to his Wired magazine cover story last year, "Free! Why $0.00 is the Future of Business." Anderson
Indeed, the appeal of "free" has been shown to be so extraordinary that it bends the demand curve. "The demand you get at a price of zero is many times higher than the demand you get at a very low price," says Kartik Hosanagar, a Wharton professor of operations and information management who studies pricing and technology. "Suddenly demand shoots up in a nonlinear fashion." Josh Kopelman, a venture investor and entrepreneur who founded Half.com, has written about what he dubbed "the penny gap." Even charging one cent for something dramatically lessens the demand [generated at] zero cents.
A conversation with Nandan Nilekani and Tom Friedman
When I think of rhythms in my life, they break down into daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, and decadal. Here are some examples of how I think about it.
Daily (M-F): Get up at 5am every day. Spend the first two hours of the morning in front of my computer (a) consuming info and (b) catching up on any email. Exercise (usually a run.) From 9am on, follow my calendar until the day is over (which my assistant Kelly manages – it’s very dynamic – and I try to schedule every phone call and meeting.) When I fly somewhere, I try to do it either first thing in the morning or at the end of the day and I try to sleep on the plane from take off to landing.
Weekly (S-Su): Sleep until I wake up. Hang out with Amy. Go for a long run. Catch up on email. Stay off the phone. Go to a movie. Read a book. Relax and rest.
Monthly: Life dinner with Amy (on the night of the first day of every month) – exchange gifts, review the previous month, and talk about goals for the next month.
Quarterly: One week vacation completely off the grid (no phone, no email) with Amy. 36 hour offsite with my Foundry partners (both backward and forward review as well as 2x / year facilitated performance reviews of each other). Deep review of all financials (personal and for every company I’m involved in.)
Annually: Once a year three day weekend trip with my dad. Once a year “Feld Men’s Trip” with my dad, his brother, my brother, and my two cousins.
Decadal: Personal review of my life (usually happens over a few months.) I’ve done this at age 30 and age 40 and expect to keep doing it.