Posted under Xuropa
This post was written by James Colgan on February 26, 2010
It is a testament to the times that as a new burgeoning technology is hatched by an ”army of geeks” in a caffeine drenched frenzy, I can have a conversation at a party with a lawyer from a completely different field and find that he already has a rudimentary grasp of that same technology - Cloud Computing.
Even if I normalize for the natural demographic skew of my location (San Francisco), it is impressive to consider how quickly this phenomenon has progressed towards the mainstream. Clearly, the message has a lot to do with the rate of transmission.
“Software-as-a-Service“, or worse “SaaS”, didn’t catch the imagination as well as “Cloud” did. Which is ironic considering SaaS is actually what the consumer/user really interacts with. What was originally represented by “The Cloud” was a metaphor for all of the networking, server hardware, protocols, etc. that no user in their right mind would want to know even existed, never mind have to understand.
Even Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, the original “Software-as-a-Service” company, writes in his letter to shareholders, “We have become the first enterprise Cloud Computing company to report more than $1 billion in revenue.” He may argue that this is in line with their Force.com strategy - providing their compute power in the form of a “Platform-as-a-Service” (here we go again) – Sales Cloud 2. But considering where the vast majority of those $1 billion came from, it more reflects the company’s savvy marketing team. If a Cloud Computing company were to be defined as any company that provides compute resources as a utility, then wouldn’t Amazon have been the first $1 billion Cloud Computing company the moment they turned on AWS? “SaaS” appears to have lost its luster and “Cloud Computing” is the “new black”.
The reality is, what you call something does matter. And every successful company out there knows this. To throw up your arms and quote Shakespeare is to miss the point, and likely doom your company/product to failure in the process.
To give something a name is to give it meaning. Even better – a name should imbue the audience with a passion, an image, something that goes far beyond its function. “Cloud Computing” does that, with very little effort….”SaaS” needed an education cycle, time, and resources, and the market really doesn’t have that kind of patience.
(If you’re curious, in 2006 SFDC was all about “CRM”, and press releases in 2008 described the company as “…the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)”.)
This post was written by James Colgan on February 12, 2010
Last year was my first time attending DVCon. So, that was the first time I got to witness the infamous EDA Troublemakers Panel. Last year Peggy Aycinena channeled her inner John Cooley with a provocative panel discussion entitled “EDA: Dead or Alive”. Of course, the EDA world looked very bleak back then, just months after the financial meltdown, Cadence financial woes, EDA layoffs left and right, VC funds shutting down … a forest fire of bad news sweeping the industry.
But just as the wildflowers bloom after the wildfire, optimism is returning to the EDA industry. (Gosh, that sounds really corny, huh). So it’s not too surprising that two EDA veterans will be at DVCon this year heralding EDA’s return. Fellow EDA blogger Paul McLellan and EDA Hall-of-Famer Jim Hogan have become the Captain and Tennille of EDA. They spoke at ICCAD on the future of chip design. And now they are giving another talk during DVCon entitled “So you want to start up an EDA company? Here’s how…”.
I don’t know what these guys are going to say, but if I were them, here are a few things that I’d point out that make for some optimism for starting up an EDA company now:
The idea that the downturn is an opportunity is not new. In fact, Sean Murphy has been spearheading the whole concept of bootstrapping for some time now. Check out his site for some great advice. Also, Dharmesh Shah, founder of Hubspot, writes a great blog on this subject as well.
I’m still not sure if I’ll make it to DVCon this year, but if I do, I will definitely attend this session. If not, I’m sure someone from Xuropa will be there. Just like my EDA SaaS and Cloud Computing Roundtable last year, it’s not part of the regular program. It will be held Tuesday evening Feb 23rd from 6:30 – 7:30 in the Oak Ballroom at the Doubletree Hotel (where DVCon is going on). This will be right after the DVCon reception, so grab a beer or a glass of wine and head on over.
I hope to see you there.
This post was written by harrygries on February 8, 2010