Wednesday, 29 June 2011

More on founders and who they are

I wrote recently about the company being the person in charge. Well twitters founder is now leaving. And, who knows what impact that will have.

Click here to view

Twitter is an interesting thing. Quirky, silly, but addictive.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

If you cannot describe it, it will die!

The world abounds in software created by millions of geeks trying to get a slice of the market and rocket there way to stardom.

However, geeks also have the innate ability to be prone to make software that no one can understand or use.  And if you ask them to explain to you what it is, they struggle.  Um, arrr, it sort of does this.  

At this point I turn away,  ignore and move on.  If you cannot explain your product in a few short sentences then do not make it, do not promote it and do not try to sell it. Because it will not be promotable and not be sellable.  

This is not a new phenomenon, it has been around since inventing started.  However, due to he clustering of geeks in their bedrooms this has reached a fever pitch.  Where software is created, lauded as being the next next,  but lacks any real use.

Point in hand was a piece of software a friend of mine made years ago.  I used to ask what he was working on.  He would start telling me about it.  No clear definition.  Then I would ask why and how I would use it.  Being a friend I thought I should at least be nice and ask relevant questions.  The answer he gave was always so convoluted that I never really could understand what I would use it for.  Sadly, it went nowhere on release and I cannot even find it on the net anymore.  

And the sad thing is the software that this friend created was brilliant.  Great technology, great ideas.  And groundbreaking in many ways.  But there was no one to sell to, because it could not be easily described.  

One of my programmers went to a conference last about Microsofts Sharepoint.  Now, I have always been intrigued by it, and had heard a few things about what it can do.  But as you will see from my next few sentences I cannot describe it, and cannot tell you what it can do.  

I ask my programmer, on his return, to explain this all to me.  Much um ing and Arring later he showed me a website made from it.  He then said it was cool but was not sure what it did.

I walked away knowing that this piece of software is probably brilliant, but will never be used by me.  
If you cannot explain it, it will die!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Mr Steve Balmer, get Bill back now!

About 2 years ago, I got a Media company in to do an analysis of what and who my company was.  My company is MEX, Maintenance Experts, with 30 staff, and we have been in business for 18 years.   We are in software.  But this is not important.  What was important is how these consultants described us.

After asking us a myriad of questions, going away and analysing it, they came back and presented to us who they thought we were.

And in summary we are low key.  Do not believe we are the best and that we undersell ourselves.   There were many other things said which all fell in line with this overall definition of us.

As they spoke, my little mind was just going crazy thinking about what he had just said. 

This definition that he was giving was not about the company, they were describing me.   

My company is me.  My company is an outcome of the efforts of me.  It has been shaped and moulded by me and operates like me. The personality of the company is mine.

I was excited and shocked, at the same time.  To think that my company is just an extension of me.  It is a representation of me.  And the company and I have the same personality.  Obviously, that is why we get on so well.   And I am the sort of person that does not oversell themselves and flies under the radar.  I do not want all the attention.

And how does the company become me?  Well, I am the person who makes all the big decisions, I am the one who has final say, I am the one who says yes to the direction we are going in.  so, it is an extension of me.  So, as I have created and grown my company it operates like I do.  Quite an eye opener to realise this.

The people I get in as consultants, the managers that are here will all have an impact and shape the company.  But ultimately, the company is me. 

So, after finding this out I then turned towards other companies and what they were.

For example.  And this comes down to the title of the story.   Bill is Microsoft.  I think Bill Gates just wants people to look up to him, he wants power, he cannot stand anyone else winning.

Why? That is who Microsoft was.  Under Bill they were a predatory company.

Now, the other side is that there are also good points about Bill.  He is fiercely determined, not great with detail and will be a winner.

In saying he is not great with detail makes me laugh, as I am still waiting for Microsoft to fix problems with their software that appeared 16 years ago.

And how it has changed since Bill left.  Steve Balmer is now the CEO and I think the company has changed a lot.  Market share is evaporating, and they appear to be being left behind.  Maybe Steve is a quieter guy, and does not need the limelight.  So, Steve, it may be time to get back Bill.

And as I go through other companies it shows me who that person is charge is like. For example, Apple, Google, and any of the other top companies out there.  

And to those companies that are greedy, not helpful and to be honest just bastards.  Well, to that CEO, we know who you truly are. 

So, what did I learn:

  • The person in charge is very important.  The company is them
  • To change a company either change the CEO, or they have to change themselves.
  • Consultants really do not change the company.  They can do whatever they like as long as it aligns with what the CEO is. 

This is my observation, and the more I look to other companies, I find out it is true.  So, take your time, and if the company operates good, bad or indifferent, will be a reflection of who that owner or CEO is.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

MEX and Ideablade

Australia’s most trusted CMMS solution uses DevForce to get their application to their customers—no matter what the client technology.
MEX’s business spans dozens of industries and thousands of users. In order to reach them all, MEX has developed products that can work on the desktop, the web, phones, and other mobile devices. MEX currently runs on all of the following client platforms: ASP.NET, Microsoft Access, Silverlight, Windows Mobile, and WinForms, and now iOS on the iPad.

You’d think MEX would need a small army of developers to code for so many clients, but they did it all with four developers … and DevForce.

Matthew Calcutt, Products Manager at MEX, explains,

“All the time we invested into server-side coding we wanted to be re-usable in the future with any front-end. DevForce allowed us to upgrade our current business object layer and create a re-useable data layer for basically any client platform needed.

Without DevForce, we would have had to do a lot of data calculating at the database level in views/stored procedures or else client-side (which doesn’t lend itself to re-usability). Using DevForce’s custom properties, all the labor is done server-side, which is normally the more powerful side, and keeps the client-side simple and adds to re-usability.

The DevForce OData API side of things really came into its own and ensured that all client requests flowed through the same server-side security, validation, and other business logic as our .NET clients. We took advantage of this to transmit business objects—extended by our own custom properties—rather than have to deal with raw database data.”

By building their infrastructure with DevForce, MEX was able to reuse their client-side code with multiple front-end clients, so no matter what platform their customers want to use in the future, be it iOS, Silverlight, or HTML/JS, they'll be ready.

Read the full article and learn how Matthew and the team used DevForce to put MEX on the iPad.

Protect your business from costly rewrites in today’s rapidly changing world. Download DevForce Universal 2010, get the infrastructure right, and drive multiple client UI technologies.

Have questions? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help. Call 510.596.5100 or email

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The next boom.

It is getting scary in Neverland. 

Ipo’s are going crazy in the US.  The new dot com boom has arrived.  And I have no idea why? 

The only reason I can think of is because all the other markets in America are dead, that they need something to have fun with.   That is property, share market in general, industry, dollar, health,  wait just about everything in the Us at present is up the shoot.  Even Arnie and all those other buffoons getting in trouble with girls.

Facebook is maybe, you never know, might sometime, almost there, going to list.  And they expect it to be a frenzy.  I did here the term mania being used. And I am happy either way.

But they are expecting a number of other dot com companies to float on the stock exchange very soon. 

And I am wondering how they are going to make money.  It appears society learnt nothing 10 years ago with the original boom,  and are now going to wipe out any money we have left in the next craze.  Oh dear, time to start burying my head in the sand again.  I cannot watch to see people lose all the remaining part of their savings on a new get rich scheme.

But they will.

So, my parting words to your cash are “goodbye, so long, and we will never see you again.”

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Colour of the year 2010. (click here)

Click on the heading to see the results.

Just had to share this it is the colour of the year for 2010.

And I love colors. Now being Australian, it shows that I was orange for 2010. Which I can handle. Complimentary to my balding greying red hair.

Technology is going so fast.

5 years ago Twitter did not exist and Facebook was in its infancy.  Now, we are surrounded by their incessant gibblings and gobblings about everything. 

Protests are organised via them, house parties go crazy, every new article has comments, tweets and tweeted everywhere within the known electronic universe.  

And it is only going to keep on going.  Where are we going and what will happen next.  Social media will progress at its continual unending way, taking over everything.  It may not be too long before we actually tweet a waiter at a restaurant to get a drink.  Who knows.   I may even start tweeting the kids at home.  “time for dinner, please unplug, and download into the dining room.”

We at MEX are developing further into this area, and making inroads into all the new technology around and will be coming out with some new and exciting products in the near future.  Both are in relation to MEX, and do not want to tell you exactly, but let you wait and salivate over what our offering swill be.

And if you do want a sneak peak of these then I would recommend coming along to the user conference in august at the Gold Coast.  Because that is where I will unveil these. 

Monday, 6 June 2011

How do Free websites Make Billions?

It is all about numbers!

Simple as that.

If you have 10,000,000 users, then you have a large audience that some other company will want to get there hands on, so that they can influence them and make them buy there products or services.

And once you have the audience, then you can start marketing to them or start charging them.  Ebay started as a free site and then started charging because of the cost of running the site was getting higher.  E Bay now generates about $ 9,000,000,000 a year. 

Once you have the audience then you can either start advertising to them or start charging them.

Good examples of this are Google, Facebook and Ebay.

When Google started out they had no adwords, nor did they own half the world as they do now.  They were a pure search engine, no gimmicks, no other plays,  and it was refreshing. 

Any of us who were around in the late 90’s would remember how atrocious the search engines were.  Dial-up connections that were very slow and their was so many images on every page of the search that it would take forever to load. Along came google,  no ads, one box and a button.  Speed increase in using google was amazing.  They revolutionised search engines.

But initially, they had no income, only expenses.  But they got the numbers.  The numbers were frightening large.  It was like a bear trying to eat a house in one bight,  It exploded. 

So, in this case Google got its user base and then started to look at how to make money.

Should this model be applied to everything?

Absolutely not.  I have read many articles and blogs about web sites which are free and the author ponders how they make money.  It is a very good question!

This model only works with a generic user system.  For example, if you made a website up that is dedicated to providing legal advice on divorce.  The market is a lot smaller than the general market.  So, the potential of getting a huge user base is also quite low.  So, to do this for free, could entail a lot of work and no income.

My Caveat

However, when you think about it though,  any web site, if it generates enough interest and gets a significant user base can be very powerful for that owner, and that is what big companies are after.  User Bases.  The more active users of a site then the greater the demand for them.

What could be made free?

I am surprised that no one has attacked Ebay. 

On Ebay you have to pay when you sell something.  So, why has no one gone out to attack this market.  Somoene like Microsoft, IBM, Google could go out and make one of these quite easily and promote it very easily and do it for free. 

I will leave this one with you, as it now has me intrigued!!