On My Mind…

I’ve been extremely busy lately so haven’t had a lot of time to blog (maybe when I retire).  But here are a few things I’m thinking about.  Let me know what you think about as it relates to these topics – I’m always looking for smart people to exchange ideas with and potentially collaborate with.  Here they are:

  • Data – Its what I love in business.  It is the source of sound decision making.  It requires careful and measured interpretation.  I’ve been a creator, analyzer, designer and distributor of massive data plays.  Its one of the key things in most all of my startup visions right now.  I’m thinking a lot about metrics and visualizations.  I’m looking for a few engineers to work on a project or two on this topic.  I’ve got a few great people already lined up so join the fun if you are interested in data, analytics and startups.
  • Productivity – With all the focus on social streams, what happens to productivity?  I’m increasingly using web/mobile productivity apps – and I’m working on a cool one too.  How do we help people get the real world things done better – the classic effective and efficient positioning?  And how do you make it more engaging?  Can you make a calendar app more utilitarian and engaging at the same time?  penny for your thoughts.
  • Distribution – Its funny how you get reminded about seemingly obvious facts.  I am now reminded, that in the startup world distribution is everything.  Bad products with great distribution can make a bigger dent than great products with no distribution (but the truly ground breaking stuff tends to find its way to the top – e.g. Google).  Whats interesting now is Social Distribution (e.g. leveraging your social graph to plant seeds).  It’s one additional lever we all now have (remember, your Graph is not just about your twitter network – its also classmates, former colleagues, family members, etc).  This also reminds me we are all wise to focus on building businesses where we inherantly have distribution relationships.  Seems obvious I know, but sometimes you just get so caught up in building amazing products you lose sight of the business model.
  • Marketing – Thinking it is time for another ‘transformation’ in the role of marketing.  It has to be about data (this drove my success at IBM).  It has to be about ROI and headlights.  There are some cool companies out there right now that are bring the SaaS model to marketing (e.g. Marketo, etc) – I see big opportunities here (everything from marketing BPO, automation and intelligence).  My big question is as follows:  Who is going to own the data firehose in the enterprise – who is going to make sense of it all?”.  Is marketing up to the challenge or will IT or R&D end up with the charge?
  • Healthcare – Thinking about when will be a good time to be an software entrepreneur in this space.  My career started in Pharma & Healthcare, so I’m always wondering when I should be looking back into that category.  I think the time is nearing.  I’m watching this with an eye toward 2011/12.  I’d love to be a part of this once the incentives and ecosystem are better structured.

That’s all for now.  What are you thinking about?

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Comments
One Response to “On My Mind…”
  1. Cliff Allen says:

    I agree that marketing data is at the heart of all sound marketing decisions. However, I’m surprised at how few companies actually use the marketing data they already have. And, that even fewer companies make an effort to collect data on their customers’ behavior.

    Most Web sites use Google Analytics, but only a tiny number look at more than the top level reports.

    But it’s not just small companies that avoid data. When Peppers and Rogers came out with the book Return on Customer, large consumer advertisers criticized it as unworkable, saying it’s impossible to collect the data and make the calculations.

    It’s true that collecting marketing data and making complex calculations is hard. But that’s the arena where today’s competitors will achieve success. I’m sure your ventures will succeed because of that.

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