I have just seen this awesome video that a mate (and customer) Brendon from Chrometoaster posted on Twitter. It pretty well sums up what most people think of ‘New Media’ people. For the youth of today coming through the IT ranks, I can understand why they would call themselves ‘New Media’ experts, but myself being GenX, having seen ‘real’ New Media talented developers and designers, I can really understand why they get peeved to have their role name hijacked by tech newbies.
Difference is though – I’m not doing it commercially.
I’ve been getting some mixed reports from customers about the current economy and state of business. I thought it’d be interesting to ask my fellow tweeters how it’s affecting them. Here’s just a few of the replies… Click the screenshots to see their Twitter accounts:
Firstly, here’s my original questions:
And here’s a few replies. I’m not drawing any conclusions here, just sharing how some other people are doing. I do however feel that now’s the time to Kick Ass! and really push hard to grow our businesses this year.
Every now and then a comment you say or hear just hits you… I was tweeting away on Twitter and said the following comment:
“Small” is the new “Big” in the global economy. Big is slow, small is fast!
Now I realize that this is a hugely gross generalization etc, but there was some depth to it. Many of the people I talk to in the software realm (many are CEO’s of small/med co’s) are massively feeling the pinch. Sales are down, traffic, expenses up etc. But there’s one thing that stands out. Few of them seem to realize that they have a competitive advantage in being small.
They are able to rapidly change product development, marketing approaches, simplify and automate admin and processes etc.
They’re not so big that reviewing expenses is a a chore, ie: Now’s a good time to review hosting providers, communications providers as they’re not ‘pinned down’ by the administrative and bureaucratic weight of 100,000+ customers.
This is a fantastic time to tweak product or brand focus, trim expenses or change strategic direction. The big players in the market can’t make such changes easily due to the huge bureaucracy, process and resource headaches that follow.
The small can move faster and position themselves better in the market, and the market is definitely changing. Those who don’t adapt will be affected. Small and fast is good!
Anyway, then I got this reply from a fellow tweeter:
“Know the feeling – this is ass kicking time!”
And that got me thinking about recent conversations I’d had with other software CEO’s and another thing became apparent. Almost all of the ones I’d talked to were on the defensive rather than the offensive with their businesses. The world economy is hammering them and they’re standing in the corner protecting what they have.
Where’s the fight? This is a time to take the offensive. Don’t just ‘stop doing stuff’, rather have a good think and do ‘more stuff’ and ‘different stuff’! This is your business! your passion! your life! You may have staff depending on you or a user base that depend on you. These people need you to not just pay their wage or keep the service going, but you have to do more! You need to push forward, build the business, get it financially healthy! Work late! Make smart decisions! Try new things!
If you don’t fight for your business in this economy, nobody else will, and there is only so long you can keep up a brave front before the stamina runs dry!
So, in a business sense, this is not ‘Defensive’ time, but rather it’s an ‘Offensive, Ass Kicking!’ time. Have fun and grow in the face of adversity!
Anyone is welcome to republish this article as free online content, provided that the paragraph below is included in the full form as shown.
ProActive Software’s CEO, Julian Stone designed the www.proworkflow.com solution about 5-6 years ago with help from Co-founder Alan Barlow (his surf blog). I (Julian) tend to keep a fairly low profile commercially although can be occasionally found being social on Twitter, LinkedIn, FaceBook the ProWorkflow blog and of course my personal blog Julian101.
Here’s a few random facts you’d never have known about me.
- I’m a ‘Workshop Guy‘ and spend many hours a week tinkering in my shed building awesome toys and gadgets! I built this years Christmas presents, a rechargeable paddock stereo for Sarah and boat/trailer for Jackson as well as Cookie cutters for the family!
- Fly fishing is my real passion and I love nothing more than stalking a fat trout up a back country river or lake!
- My background is 15 years as a creative in advertising, design, 3d and multimedia. This is where I originally saw the need to the ProWorkflow solution.
- As a fussy creative, I still to this day do ALL of the creative and branding work for www.ProWorkflow.com and always plan to.
- My dog ‘Daisy’ is a Golden Retriever (fat and blind) and she spends most of the day keeping us company in the office.
- I’m an avid boatie and last week nearly landed my first 360 on the wakeboard out in the harbour last week. I vow to land one soon!
- I’m a handyman and have done all renovations to our rural property (fences, kitchen, bathroom, french doors, decks etc) as well as built the single-handedly built and fitted out the ProWorkflow office (including building building all desks and an outdoor area)!
- I’m very blunt when giving advice – I tend to just tell it as it is.
- I never start anything unless I am prepared to see it through and never give up once started.
- I love my wife Sarah and boy Jackson (2yo) and we live on a few acres in the country just outside Christchurch with 2 horses, 6 peacocks, 7 chickens, a dog, a cat and as of last week a pet magpie that adopted us!
So you can safely say that as a CEO of a high tech global software company, I don’t fit the ‘standard assumed profile’ as such of an inner city, slick, tradeshow and network attending, VC chasing whiteboard sketching, high profile entrepreneur, however, we are doing well and the fairly relaxed life I lead allows me to spend time coming up with smart solutions and investing in customer relationships.