In 2002, Amazon launched Amazon Web Services (AWS) to help its merchant businesses take advantage of unlimited scale in technology and market reach.
This wasn’t a breakthrough idea.
You didn’t have to be a business, or tech guru, to realize that you could sell more books, t-shirts, music etc, online (to customers around the world) than from a suburban mall in Delaware, Portland, Atlanta etc.
But even if you have a terrific “sure thing” idea, like AWS, bringing it to the world is never straightforward or smooth.
A painful experience
I know, because I speak from experience (a painful experience).
In 2007, my team and I, set out to create a social networking platform. Everyone was talking about social networking as the next big thing, and we wanted a piece of it!
We had a great idea. We also had a great name for the platform – Enados.
Roughly translated it meant “one degree of separation” – “Ena” (ένα) is Greek for “one” and “dos” is, well, you get it: ena + dos.
Despite reading a lot about AWS, and me being an IT veteran, we still followed a path to failure however.
Rather than trying a new approach, we followed the tried and true (as it was in 2007) path to launching the website. Sadly, this proved to the wrong option (it’s still painful thinking about it now).
What was the tried and true plan then? Yup, you guessed it we:
- Brought four big servers from Dell
- Found and rented a physical datacenter space
- Brought fiber connections
- Hired a contractor to receive shipment of the servers, place them in the space, configure them, and wire it all up
The contractor charged us by the minute, and every minute counted. Billing started from the moment he grabbed his car keys off his kitchen table (to drive 30-miles to our datacenter), until he returned home late in the evening.
Did you get where we went wrong? Yes, the part where we bought stuff online but decided to do everything in the physical world. Ok, that’s not quite as big as Microsoft completely missing the entire Internet – but they pivoted successfully – and are now worth about $2T, and a major part of the Internet Operating System (OS).
Tearing down the barriers to entry
Since then, the tech barriers and costs to entry, have come right down to democratize innovation and online enterprise.
Key players in today’s Internet OS sector have made it very easy for someone with a terrific industry-beating idea to get it into the digital market asap – often in days, or even overnight.
Cloud computing is a true game changer in this regard, and there are several key ways it has enabled tech minnows to go toe-to-toe with the tech Godzillas and King Kongs today.
With platforms like Shopify for example, a wannabe retailer can now get a storefront up and running in minutes with shopping cards, inventory, catalogues, etc.
This ease, and simplicity, has attracted many, many folks with retailing aspirations – right now, there are more than 500,000 active retail merchants on Shopify!
Thanks to cloud computing it’s also possible to deploy – inexpensively – a sophisticated web application onto computers managed by people in other countries and continents.
Most cloud computing companies also offer marketplaces where small businesses can find, and start using, back office systems in minutes.
If you need accounting software, there’s ZOHO. CRM? There’s Sugar, Salesforce and many others. An email system with integrated office productivity? Try Google’s G Suite and Microsoft 365 for Business
All of these platforms cost a few dollars per month per person. So, you “pay as you go” and scale capabilities, and expenses linearly, rather than in a step function manner.
And if your business is successful, there’s no need to worry in the cloud. With the click of a button, your web infrastructure can automatically scale to handle all of the demand sent its way. You will run out of raw materials, warehouse space, or people before you run out of cloud infrastructure.
Innovation unleashed and unified
Compared to the days of my failed social network project in 2007, aspiring entrepreneurs can launch an online business now from their bedroom, or workspace, in just a few hours, and for just a few bucks.
With the wide range of affordable cloud-based solutions in the market, they can mix, and match, to find the right combination of platforms to support their business ambitions.
While diversity is great, it’s important to be able to wire together the disparate cloud platforms to present a single business view, and touchpoint to customers.
NotifyMe meets this need, bringing elements together seamlessly, to help businesses reach diverse audiences in the most efficient way possible.
It’s an app that enables business minnows to punch above their weight, to better compete with the Godzillas and Kongs in their respective sectors.
If you would like to know more, please reach out to me. Or better still, sign up for a free trial to experience how NotifyMe can enhance engagement, and communication, with your diverse customers and audiences.