Sunday April 13, 2014
Kickstarter and Indigogo are two of the biggest crowd funding sites around, and both have launched highly successful products. Now, one of those successes... Occulus Rift... has been sold for over $2 billion dollars. That's a great feather in the cap of crowd funding, but it now raises new questions about this cutting-edge form of funding.
Think about it! If you were a traditional investor, you might get some sort of equity in the firm. Traditional investors who put up money last year, got a return of 2,000%. A $500 investment then would return $10,000, after just a year. However, those who invested in Occulus Rift a year earlier through Kickstarter only have the outdated earliest version of the product for their investment.
So, if you're using cloud funding sites like they're Amazon, and you just want to be the first one on the block with the shiniest toy, you'll do fine. However, if the product really takes off and sells for billions as the new Internet Wonder, you just may spend a LOT of time kicking yourself for not holding out for a share of the stock!
Sunday April 13, 2014
George bush couldn't pronounce it, but outsourcers can manage it! In the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown, the governments of Europe have been rethinking their nuclear policies. Germany is set to close all of it's nuclear power plants. In the UK, the future of nuclear power is not so clear cut.
Nuclear is not particularly popular, but no one wants a coal plant, or any other pollution producing industrial plant, next door either. The UK may not be ready to get out of the nuclear-power industry, but it is ready to close down outdated nuclear power plants. And, the government of the UK plans on decommissioning the plants... by outsourcing the work.
If the UK moves towards nuclear power or away from it, many opportunities will be created for outsourcing contracts as old power plants and old technology is retired. That will hold true regardless if our new power is nuclear, coal, shale oil, wind or solar.
Sunday April 13, 2014
Last year, there was an audacious plan to outsource the entire procurement process for the UK military. It would have been the biggest outsourcing project in history. However, it didn't happen. Even the biggest outsourcing firms said, No." It was too big, too risk, and too likely to fail.
Now the UK government is trying again. With one little difference. Now the deal of the century, is a bunch of still big... but much smaller deals. And that makes sense. Just as too big to fail has become the watchword for Wall Street, too big to succeed needs to be a caution for outsourcing.
Mega deals are mega risky. Spreading the risk between multiple vendors just makes sense. Even for the government!
Sunday April 6, 2014
Once again, our friends over at Yelp! are in the news again! We all know that outsourcing our advertising and social media for our businesses can yield big results. Talk to your friends and many will tell you that they go to Yelp! When they are looking for a new service or place to eat. What's the problem? Well, some people... maybe thousands of people... believe that Yelp! operates like an extortion racket. If you don't pay Yelp!, something terrible could happen to your business. Customers will stay away, the competition will grow faster than you, your business could fail... unless you buy their ads.
There was a big lawsuit from businesses back in 2010, that said that Yelp! had unfair business practices, and now it's time for another investigation. Is Yelp! really engaged in criminal activity? Probably not. But the line between extortion (or harassment) and agressive marketing is pretty thin. we tend to think that cloud services are somehow ""beyond"" these questionable practices of the past. But look at the services that Yelp! replaces. Marketing firms that send you junk mail, misleading ads, marketers calling you while you're trying to eat dinner. Marketing, in any form, is often annoying and sometimes very questionable!
Yelp! has successfully packaged a combination of aggressive marketing practices that has made it a force to be reckoned with. However, to businesses and customers alike, their aggressive marketing can look a lot like bullying. Many businesses will telll you that Yelp! is their biggest source of new customers, while others will tell you that it is their biggest source of lost revenue. Love 'em or hate 'em, Yelp! .... and their business practices... is here to stay.