Mark Crall handed me a book yesterday with the following line: “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”. I think at times in the IT industry we spend far too much time standing at the odds with the user, the partners and really everyone that has anything but our best interest and comfort at hand. Think of BOFH for a moment.
Meanwhile, the average IT user is getting much more competent and the “IT knowledge” is no longer some high end skill that can only be managed by some “we’re more like an attorney or doctor just for IT” as if anyone ever enjoys having a conversation with their attorney or doctor.
Yesterday I had a long conversation with Arnie Bellini from ConnectWise about the change we’re both seeing in the IT “industry” and the IT “world” because those two are converging rather quickly and if you’re an “attorney or doctor” style company, your days are numbered. The ugly thing is, transitioning to where most IT people need to be is going to be a painful process. I know.. because over the past 18 months we’ve worked on transitioning to that model and I “enjoyed” getting bitched out by one partner or another during that process. We lost some good people, we screwed some partners – but the difference is that we’re still going to be around 2-3 years from now while the people that stuck in their comfort zone (be it VAR or MSP or vendor or big box maker) are disappearing quickly and at a faster and faster rate. I know there is pain out there, and it’s not because of the economy or Obama or the Easter bunny. It’s because the fundamentals of this business have changed.
On Monday I pitched my new world order idea to the UK HTG group and it was a prelude to the invitation I made to all of you to come and work with OWN on a little advisory group. At the same time, I am out working with HTG, with Autotask, with ConnectWise, talking with a bunch of people that at the end of the day – we will be competing with head to head. And in our little world and small mindset of Vendor => Partner => End user, which is going to shrink very rapidly, the new way services are acquired and used, there is no big future. However, the advantage of the community and business models that are already in place, shows a lot of promise.
Drop me an email at email@example.com if you want to work with me (OWN). Just to give you an idea of how the conversation went:
Vlad: How many of you consider Google your competition? (no hands go up)
Vlad: Do you have any clients that use their solutions?
Vlad: Wouldn’t you like their money for that service?
Now, here is where things fall apart: Why did they go to Google/Yahoo/Microsoft in the first place? And then the sad realization: Your sales and support process as it is will not be profitable in this new world. However…. your top line business model can be ridiculously more profitable than it is.
So… interesting 2009/2010 lifecycle at OWN. If you want to be a part of trying to help us figure this out, firstname.lastname@example.org