Here’s a great slideshow I came across by 16 Ventures, from a recent seminar they held in Anchorage, AK. Great stuff, and real crisp and to the point. Having worked at a few software startups in the past and now interacting with lots of established software companies and startups at Apprenda, I would definately recommed you check it out if you’re thinking about launching a new software venture. They’re also holding another seminar next week on Feb 26th in Dallas, TX.
Start Smart: Positioning Your Software Venture for Success (2 hour version)
Sorry for the LONG period of inactivity. Things have been extremly busy here at Apprenda. We launched SaaSGrid for general availability back in the begining of December, and the response has been phenominal.
Let me try and explain to you in a nutshell what SaaSGrid is, and why it’s game changing:
SaaSGrid is a true cloud operating system. It’s not a software application, with some plugins. It’s not a virtualization technology. It’s not a full closed stack cloud offering. (Apprenda does not host SaaSGrid)
It’s not like anything else on the market today.
SaaSGrid is the real deal. It is a truly groundbreaking technology offering that allows companies to move their existing .NET based applications to a pure SaaS model, or build new SaaS applications without having to expend any effort on the SaaS specific architecture (ie: multitenancy, scalability, etc) OR the SaaS specific business components that they need to run THEIR business. (ie: billing, metering, provisioning, etc).
Much like the desktop operating system catalyzed a new era of software innovation, SaaSGrid is doing the same thing. By providing a new layer of abstraction that contains all of the mission critical “SaaS DNA” so to speak, software companies can once again focus on writing great software and not having to worry about the intricacies of the delivery method.
If you are an existing .NET ISV, or someone looking to develop a new SaaS offering with any of the .NET languages, you absolutely owe it to yourself to check out SaaSGrid.
Starting tomorrow, November 6th, I will no longer be Autotask’s Community Evangelist. I’m extremely excited to be joining Apprenda as Director of Business Development. The work that Apprenda is doing is game changing, and there is no place I’d rather be at this point in my career.
I’ve been with Autotask for 2.5 years now, and it’s been an awesome ride.
Just over a year ago we launched the Autotask CommunITy, which originated as a “skunkworks” project of mine. From the initial idea, to its conception and continued improvement, the Autotask CommunITy has been my full time responsibility at Autotask for the last year. In that time, it has grown incredibly into a thriving community of over 13,000 members and has radically impacted the way Autotask as a company operates. To cap it off, last night we were awarded a coveted ITSMA Marketing Excellence Award, specifically for the work we’ve done with the Autotask CommunITy. That honor is just as much the claim of the thousands of brilliant IT professionals that make up the Autotask CommunITy, as it is any of ours.
In addition to the Autotask CommunITy, I was also able to help Autotask launch its product on the global market back in 2006 (my first project). Then in early 2007, I was able to help introduce Autotask’s first mobile solution (Autotask LiveMobile). I’m extremely thankful for the work I’ve been able to do with Autotask over the course of the last 2.5 years. It’s been challenging, fulfilling and rewarding. As their 65th employee back in 2006, they’ve now grown to over 130 people, and last week were awarded the New York Capital Region’s Best Places To Work award for the 5th straight year! No other company has ever received the award so many years in a row, and it’s really a testament to the great people that I’ve had the pleasure of working with there for the past 2.5 years.
I want to thank all of my co-workers at Autotask, and all of the members of the Autotask CommunITy for such a wonderful experience. I could name names and go on for pages thanking individuals, but I’ve made it a point to personally speak with many of you already.
Thank you all, and best wishes for continued success.
Today Freshbooks announced that they will be publishing aggregate benchmark data on a quarterly basis. They’ve been sending out this data and more to customers for some time now, but now they’re going to publish some of the data to the general public.
Check it out, and if you are a SaaS company, take note and learn from these guys. They get it, and they continue to come up with creative ways to leverage the delivery method.
Great product, great company, great service. I can’t say enough about these guys!
Here are a few additional posts of mine about Freshbooks:
Freshbooks – SaaS Through and Through
Freshbooks = Awesome
As someone who’s always been fascinated by the human mind and how we think and make decisions, I was very interested in the concept of multiple mental models, outlined by Charles Munger in Poor Charlie’s Almanac. Back in May, I was introduced to ThinkMentalModels.com, and conversed with Dean Isaji, author of the ThinkMentalModels compilation.
I recently had a chance to catch up with Dean and I ask him a few questions about the multiple mental models concept, and his work.
A bit of a background on Dean before we jump into the questions. Dean is a graduate from Cambridge, England and first worked in South Africa, for Eskom (the utility company). After completing his MBA at the University of Cape Town and then, after a spell in Hong Kong, he began working in the strategy and planning department at British Airways, in London. Presently Dean is pursuing some entrepreneurial ventures in America, through his own holding company.
1) How long have you been interested in the concept of multiple mental models?
I have been reading and thinking about the mental model concept for about 9 years. In the main this has consisted of reading – a lot – and making copious notes. The initial idea of trying to think better came from reading Tony Buzan’s Mind Map book.
2) What motivated you to compile the Think Mental Models collection?
At first, I wanted it for my own reference – thinking it would be handy to have it accessible on a PDA via the internet. But after reviewing the initial idea with some friends, I thought there would be real value to others. Hence I have complied an affordable PDF available for purchase.
3) Of the 130+ models contained in the collection, are there 10 or so that you find are used the most?
The most used is the ‘disconfirming evidence’ model. I have then broken the others up into various categories – more specialized than the broader website categories – and use a memory system in order to apply them to a given issue. I cannot really say that there are therefore 10 most useful models.
4) What is the greatest benefit that you have reaped from using the multiple mental models approach to decision making/problem solving?
I have found that I’m able to think with more speed and rigor when confronting an issue. There is the added advantage of ‘confidence’. This is a little harder to quantify, but – paraphrasing Charlie Munger – the confidence comes from almost always being able to provide useful inputs in a group setting, often with people much smarter than myself.
5) Do you have suggestions for study tactics and ways to retain the mental models outlined in the collection?
I do use an extensive memory system and I practice the models on a daily basis. At this point I don’t really want to get too much into execution as I may develop it into an online course.
6) Any additional suggestions or information you’d like to share.
What I have found surprising is that many people cannot immediately see the benefits of thinking broadly across disciplines. But even considering my own education, at no point was I taught to ‘think about how I think’. This is probably true for others and may be one of the explanations for why people tend to shy away from an active mental model process. The other reason may be much simpler. In ‘Men and Rubber’, by Harvey Firestone, the author recalls a Thomas Edison quote – “There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the real labor of thinking“.
You can view a number of the mental models on Dean’s website. However, I HIGHLY recommend the ThinkMentalModels compilation PDF. At $4.45, it’s easily worth at least 10 times that.