Tech Spheres

Discussion of Web 2.0 Business Strategies (SaaS, PaaS, Strategy, Enterprise, Small Business, Flex)

5 “sure thing” Technology Predictions for 2009 (sure to be wrong!)

Posted by Alex Chriss on December 24, 2008

1)      Massive consolidation of technology startups, acquisitions galore – VC funding becomes incredibly selective and lots of solid technology startups, with no paying customers and revenue streams, turn to acquisition as an exit strategy.  Similar to mid-1999, some of the big players, go on a shopping spree – unlike ’99, the valuation are quite reasonable. 

2)      Twitter explodes…in a good wayTwitter is on the verge of insane growth.  Personal blogging slows considerably as people meld blogging and social networking  and simply turn to Twitter.  They break 50 million users in 2009 and become THE place for corporate brands to maintain their reputations.  Funds get pulled out of Second-life (and banner ads too) as companies staff “twitter-watchers” to make sure they are on top of any feedback (positive or negative).  The race for the best twitter apps continue.

 3)      The mobile industry is going to be boring – Not that stuff won’t happen, but nothing “major” is going to rock the industry (i.e. iPhone).  There will be good advances in technology and finally a shakedown towards development standards.  There will be more cool iphone apps but for the most part, the iphone won’t take over the world and app developers can’t monetize other business mobile apps, so 2009 will be more about foundation building than breathtaking announcements.

 4)      Adobe Air apps rock the world Tweetdeck is just the start.  As people get used to “conveniently connected” desktop apps, developers will take Air to the next level and build some really stunning and highly distributed apps. 

5)      Traditional Small Businesses move to SaaS in droves – The typical small business is still pretty old-school – Running their business on some combination of E-mail, QuickBooks and spreadsheets.  But SaaS costs are coming down and the technology is getting much more interesting.  2009 holds employees demanding on-line payroll, customers who are on twitter and need a response, vendors who don’t want to fax you documents – there’s nowhere to hide.  This is the year the average small business jumps two feet into technology and developers will be there to respond – integrated data, drop-dead simple apps, solid value…We’re going to see SMB SaaS adoption skyrocket.

Thoughts?  What else is SURE to happen in 2009?

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Free Task Manager App for you and your Small Business (From Intuit)

Posted by Alex Chriss on December 19, 2008

 


Task Manager

We’re launching a FREE task management application for individual and Small Business use on the Intuit Partner Platform. It has all the functionality you would expect from a task app plus the ability to share tasks across your business.

See what your co-workers are doing, assign tasks to groups, keep the whole team on the same page. Go ahead and try it – it’s free – and we’d love your feedback.

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Free QuickBooks Pro – Monday only at Staples

Posted by Alex Chriss on December 19, 2008

quickbooks2

Monday 12/22/08 – Free QuickBooks Pro ($199 value) at Staples (while supplies last)

Here’s the link to getting it On-line

 



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New RIA Goliath? What if Adobe bought Sun?

Posted by Alex Chriss on December 15, 2008

Is it just me, or would it not make some sense for Adobe to buy Sun?  With the new JavaFX, Sun has some pretty interesting RIA technology and a TON of engaged developers that I’m sure Adobe could roll into their engaged ecosystem.  They could sell off the hardware groups to HP, roll OpenOffice.org into Buzzword & Connect, and give developers a full suite of RIA tools (including great mobile support).  

Microsoft & Google are going to duke it out for RIA development dominance and seperately Sun and Adobe might have an uphill battle.  But together…hmmmm.

Just a thought.  

Adobe Mrkt Cap: 11.34bn

Sun Mrkt Cap: 2.96bn

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New App Launch and Video Interview with Intuit Partner building in Flex

Posted by Alex Chriss on December 13, 2008

Alex Barnett just posted a new interview with Joe Dwyer from Dwyer Technology.  Joe recently launched his app, Trigger Connect on the Intuit Partner Platform and talks about building his app, with no flex experience, in about 6 weeks.  Trigger Connect allows companies using Intuit QuickBooks to easily synch their customer data to the web and then keep their entire team on the same page, with twitter-like CRM tracking.  

You can see a video of the TriggerConnect in action or try the Beta of the app directly within the Intuit Workplace.

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Senior Technical Evangelist…are you The One…?

Posted by Alex Chriss on December 9, 2008

We’re seeking a top-notch technical evangelist to join our team and help us build out the Intuit Partner Platform.  Check out this post for more info and apply here if you are “The One!”

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Competition heats up for Adobe Air – Is it real?

Posted by Alex Chriss on December 9, 2008

Appcelerator announced today that they raised $4.1MM in funding and are launching their direct competitor to Adobe Air, Appcelerator Titanium.  I think this is tough market to try and beat Adobe in.  Unless Adobe pulls the plug on Air (highly unlikely), they have four major advantages:

1) First-mover advantage – Adobe already has some adoption, and when the “big-boys” are the first mover, it’s a heck of an uphill battle for a startup to climb into contention.

2) Distribution:  Titanium claims they can package the runtime environment with the app.  That’s very cool but so can Air.  And this game isn’t about packaging up installs on the first app – it’s about complete market penetration to create a seamless experience for the end-user.  Adobe is darn good at desktop distribution (see Acrobat) and has pre-existing channels.  As a developer, you really have to see a major advantage in Titanium to adopt.

3) Success-stories:  Air hasn’t blown the market away, but some apps are starting to pick up steam.  I use Tweetdeck every day now and we’re building a couple of Air apps for Intuit customers.  It feels like there’s about to be an onslaught of high-quality AIR apps to hit the market, and that’s tough for a startup to face.

3) Viability: Giving developers a choice is great – but smart developers are wary of building on technology that could be gone in a year.  $4.1mm lasts about a year, and I’m sure Adobe will tell you it takes a long time to build a strong and thriving developer community.  

After attending Adobe Max and seeing the passion the Adobe developer community has, Appcelerator has a tough road ahead.  They either need a couple of huge success stories or a big distribution partnership to become viable.  That said, excessive hubris destroys all, and Adobe needs to extend their lead.

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What’s wrong with SaaS apps built in Flex?

Posted by Alex Chriss on December 8, 2008

Since we chose a Flex Framework to integrate with the Intuit Partner Platform, I’ve heard from a handful of developers and end-users that Flex-based apps can’t be successful.  Apps built in Flex are uncomfortable, too non-conformist, too blurry, etc etc, for some users.  Jane McCarty just posted saying:

My opinion…if one is going to use flash, it should be in small elements around a framework of web standards such as HTML & CSS. Fast, clean, simple and effective.  

I kind of like apps built in Flex.  I agree that they don’t look like a traditional “HTML” web apps, but that works for me in certain situations.  To me, they’re sexy and fast and work like a real app should – they feel like an app, not just a browser…And the more I play with AIR apps such as TweetDeck and our upcoming AIR communication app from Intuit, the more I really like both Flex and Air. What are the best examples of all-Flex apps that you use?

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Flex Camp Boston this week!

Posted by Alex Chriss on December 8, 2008

We’ll be sending some engineers and product managers from the Intuit Partner Platform and handing out some goodies at Flex Camp Boston on Friday (Dec 12th).  Looking forward to seeing Mr. O’Connor. If you plan on going ping me and let me know so we can hook up . (Twitter: @acce)

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New release of QuickBase includes iPhone support

Posted by Alex Chriss on December 8, 2008

Intuit QuickBase just pushed the newest version of its award winning SaaS app & database creation tool for business teams.  This latest version includes iPhone access for end-users – allowing teams to access their most critical business data from road.  Check out all the new features of this release and keep up to speed on QuickBase at their team collaboration blog.

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