SmoothSpan Blog

For Executives, Entrepreneurs, and other Digerati who need to know about SaaS and Web 2.0.

Pick Anything Favors SaaS, the Cloud, and Community

Posted by Bob Warfield on April 24, 2009

Loved Seth Godin’s post on the calculus of change.  In it, he talks about how a change in operating systems (from DOS to Windows) opened the door for people to reconsider their choice of word processors.  The incumbent top of the heap word processor of the day was Word Perfect.  But when Windows came out, Word Perfect wasn’t ready and Word was. 

The point of maximum disruptive timing is the point where people have to pick something.  Pick anything. 

Are we at that point today?

I’ll argue we are for a whole host of things.  Old systems are showing their age.  The last major revolution in my company’s (Helpstream’s) Customer Service world was 10 – 20 years ago.  That means it’s time to retool.  The same can be said for most Enterprise Software.  We live in an age of Java, MySQL, Open Source, Cloud Computing, and Web 2.0 Social Media.  None of that existed when the current set of incumbent top of the heap Enterprise Vendors made their bones.  Each one involves powerful disruptive forces. 

They are so powerful that they even affect demographics.  People that grew up with all that want it.  It has changed how they live their lives, how they interact, and what tools they insist on having to hand.

Having to retool, whether because the economy forces another round of efficiency improvement, or your competitors have already retooled and reaped the benefits, or your next generation of employees won’t use your status quo creates that “pick anything” environment that Godin so eloquently says is the key moment for an insurgent, and the best time for a marketer to grow their audience.

Note that the incumbents and most of the players still in place who chose them will not see this.  But they will feel its impact later, when they realize they have been late to the party and lost out as a result.

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One Response to “Pick Anything Favors SaaS, the Cloud, and Community”

  1. alexbeattie said

    Couldn’t agree more with both you and Seth. I particularly like your closing comment about the people who ‘choose’ to ignore these changes… I continue to be amazed at anyone in the marketing biz that that continues to turn their cheek to emerging technologies.

    http://hounddog.typepad.com

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