Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Scaling From Humble Beginnings

New York City is the apex of max scaling, but my meetings this week remind that scaling sometimes means staring small and growing rapidly.

There is an opportunity for providers of technology to offer models that get started at modest price points but expand with customers' success. Seems like such a simple concept and yet I hear that leaders in composition, ECM, and business intelligence have made their offerings so fully featured and complex, that adding modest, new projects can hardly ever be justified. And I am not talking about licensing or vendor implementation costs only. No, this is really about how complex these systems are compared to the point value they provide.

Successful innovators will find new ways to make offerings scalable downwards in ways that will make offerings cost justifiable for projects that are not $ millions every time. And for that to work, here are some specifics that will need to change:

- Better communication with customers on how to easily add new projects
- Flawless communication on licensing and services options that are supportive
- Communities of like minded customers who are self-supporting on best practices

Providers would do well to establish social media with the above as goals, and the social media as purely a conduit toward these ends.

It'll be a very exciting time if we can make it easier to put more technology to work solving problems. There's never been a better appetite to improve business process and remain competitive than right now. Let's figure it out!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Scaling Is In The Air

Jim Collins, Author of From Good To Great was on Charlie Rose a few weeks ago and he made a comment about innovation and the US I found fascinating. Our unique ability as a society to innovate is not due to an innovation gene alone. Rather, it's our ability to introduce scale to innovation that multiplies the impact. Think Henry Ford with mass-produced cars, IBM with massively scalable computer systems.

While in New York recently, the innovation plus scale model was on display everywhere. Whether its the new World Trade Center rising up from Ground Zero or the remodeled Grand Central Station, NYC clearly is the epicenter of American cultural and business super sizing. Lately, we've been reminded only of the downside of that quirk in our character.   Remember Credit Default Swaps?  But, here, in New York, the new shoots are pushing through everywhere. Do you believe the new growth and scaling models will literally take our breath away just like the automobile, Times Square and the motion picture? I submit that all the same ingredients are here - still. Bring on the new wave.