I’m publishing this series on LinkedIn called Colors to explore a topic that I care deeply about: the Renaissance Mind. I am just as passionate about entrepreneurship, technology, and business, as I am about art and culture. In this series, I will typically publish a piece of art – one of my paintings – and I request you to spend a minute or two deeply meditating on it. I urge you to watch your feelings, thoughts, reactions to the piece, and write what comes to you, what thoughts it triggers, in the dialog area. Let us see what stimulation this interaction yields. For today – Lighthouse on the White Cliffs of Bonifacio
Lighthouse on the White Cliffs of Bonifacio | Sramana Mitra, 2020 | Watercolor, Pastel | 12 x 24, On Paper
The year 2020 is about to enter its last month. For most of humanity, it has been the most intense year in at least half a century.
I think about my own experience.
Walking in idyllic Menlo Park, fall foliage painting my vision in chrome yellow, vermillion orange, crimson red.
I feel nothing but gratitude.
Millions of migrant workers walked hundreds of miles at the onset of the Indian lockdown. The government forgot about them in a mad rush to check the virus. With no work and no means of subsistence, they tried to get back to their villages, their families, from the cities where they worked as day laborers.
At the end of 2019, I had published Cloud Stocks: Top 20 for 2020 with a summary of which SaaS companies are succeeding on the basis of a strong PaaS strategy, AI, and robust developer ecosystems. I now want to focus on how the PaaS landscape is evolving: who are the established giants, the top mature players, the promising players, and the potentials.
Cloud Stocks are doing exceptionally well through the pandemic. If you’re wondering which ones are likely to go further, please pay attention to their PaaS strategies. PaaS creates exit barriers, deep moats, excellent pipelines for new products, acquisition prospects, and overall multipliers that strong SaaS companies should all consider. Over time, I expect hundreds of PaaS eco-systems to develop, each spawning a thousand smaller companies.>>>
Sramana Mitra: The example that you gave of Neilsoft versus Salesforce is not the right example for you. The right example is Salesforce itself and its Force.com platform where a lot of people have built a lot of applications.
Rich Longo: Yes, Force.com is a perfect example. You could look at others that built their solutions on Force.com. They recently went into an IPO situation and they have been successful.>>>
Sramana Mitra: On the B2B side, it’s very difficult to turn these people to marketing because what you are describing are very good influencer strategies. This is something that I have done effectively for many years. It’s not something that comes naturally to people – sharing content.
First, you have to have your antennas out there to know what’s out there and what you want to share with people. The fact that you are automating and creating a structure around that is very interesting and can be quite effective.>>>
Vishesh Rajaram, Managing Partner, Speciale Invest, discusses his fund’s investment thesis.
Some audience questions answered:
– How does a big company go about figuring out which smaller company to acquire?
– How can a startup get the first 100 customers?
– How can a college student best prepare for starting a career in entrepreneurship?
– What are some of the biggest obstacles to raising capital for a startup?
– Why do large companies like to buy bootstrapped startups?
– What is a fair deal in seed funding?
– How can I get feedback from you on my venture?
Sramana Mitra: Let me ask a bit of a 30,000-foot level question to synthesize what you have said so far. Is your company set up as a platform and you have all these different use cases that you build on top of that? Or is it a product company? How is it structured?
Rich Longo: It is a platform company. We have what we call the Omni platform which represents all of our data components. Within the platform, we have the connectivity component OmniConnect, conversion piece OmniData, and our data analytics and risk management component Omnilytics.>>>
Earlier this week, enterprise cloud computing player Nutanix (Nasdaq: NTNX) reported its first quarter results that surpassed market expectations. Better than expected financial performance for the quarter sent the stock soaring 10% in the after-hours session. Nutanix continues to invest in its cloud-focused strategy, assuring investors of continuing growth.>>>
Sramana Mitra: Flipping to the use case on the financial services side where you are bringing in the risk, give me an example of what kind of a risk situation you can mitigate or point out. What is the AI’s role in that?
Mike Orr: It gets a lot more involved. It filters out the noise. It’s looking at where all the false positives or innocuous comments and statements are made on social media.>>>