Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Jeev Trika, Karyn Jeffery, Yakov Fain

Blog Feed Post

Target Market, Product Fit and other Sensible Things to Do

I find it interesting to see how we as a (sub) industry get into cycles of things that we think matter, or want to talk about. We are all influenced by each other and blog posts trigger new blog posts and a lively discussion ensues. What is interesting is that sometimes these come in from completely different directions.

The past few weeks there have been several discussions, blogs and other references that go back to the basics of product development, creating value and how we (that collective “we” again) love to put ideas and technologies on pedestals, gaze at them in amazement and perhaps even spend billions buying our own hype. At Plexxi we have regular self reflection periods where we examine what we have, what we have coming and how we believe that creates attractive, complete and valuable solutions. And this week there were several new articles, as well as some good oldies that attempt to point out those basics that matter more than just about anything else.

Cloudborat wrote this post with his distillation of solution fundamentals into 7 steps. There is no point arguing about how many steps something takes, but its hard to disagree with the most basics of the steps in the list:

  • talk to your target market
  • ask them if this problem is worth solving
  • listen to your customer

Everyone in our industry has real problems to solve. There are no perfect solutions, no perfect products, and things move fast enough that new problems show up each and every day that need to be solved. Finding the one problem your customer needs to have solved and is willing to change its buying behavior for is key. Customers will love new technology, will love the potential of what new technology can solve, but rarely spend real money on it unless it truly solves a problem very high on their pain list.

In a very widely referenced blog post, Marc Andreessen makes the point that the only thing that matters is product/market fit, being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market. He wrote this as part of a multipart blog that articulates his guide to startups. No matter how awesome the product, how advanced the technology, if there is no market for the product you will fail. The product fit to the market trumps all other ingredients to a successful solution or company. It’s one of those things that sounds so obvious, but obviously is not.

The team that created “Slack” sent an internal memo that provided the company’s view on what they were and what they were not, what matters and what does not. It defines what the company stands for and offers a  great quote: “the best real, direct measure of ‘innovation’ is change in human behavior”. Effective products and solutions change the way we do things (for the better in most cases). Their use, the way they solve a problem transforms how we do things in our personal or professional life. There are easy examples like twitter and Facebook, and for us network folks, server virtualization and overlay networks fall into this category.

But when you look at networking as a whole, I struggle to find that innovation that has changed the way we have approached networking, changed the way we designed, built and operated networks. On his blog last week, Tom Nolle articulated several points from his surveys targeted at SDN (in whatever definition) has not passed the test of value, even if there was a clear definition of SDN. His most important point is his last point and relates back to points from the articles above: “… we just use SDN to produce the same Level 2/3 services we had before it ever came along”.

Whether you call it SDN or something different, there is a reason why we talk about devops as much as we do. While not everyone may recognize the work they do on a network on a daily basis as devops, those proprietary script machines and handy little tools could be so much more powerful when truly integrated with the network solution. What if VLAN configuration is not a task that needs to be applied to switches and ports, but could be articulated as a single network wide policy? What if an ethernet fabric just plain worked extremely well when you connect all the cables and created a few of these network wide policies? That would be transformational. That would change the way we (network folks) behave.

There is a reason why we break the normal L2 and L3 forwarding paradigms beyond just who controls the information. We don’t want to do the same in a different way. We want to allow for easy creation of network services and manage these services in a way that is trivial. We want to transform how ethernet fabrics are made. Not just for the sake of it, but to enable network services that are really hard to accomplish today that allow a true change in how we design, deploy and manage fabrics.

 

[Today's almost fun fact:  All of the clocks in the movie "Pulp Fiction" are stuck on 4:20. Almost true, in the "Bonnie Station" in the last scenes the clock is not set to 4:20.]

The post Target Market, Product Fit and other Sensible Things to Do appeared first on Plexxi.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Marten Terpstra

Marten Terpstra is a Product Management Director at Plexxi Inc. Marten has extensive knowledge of the architecture, design, deployment and management of enterprise and carrier networks.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? How do you coordinate the diverse moving parts that must come together when developing your IoT product? What are the key challenges addressed by Data as a Service? How does cloud computing underlie and connect the notions of Digital and DevOps What is the impact of the API economy? What is the business imperative for Cognitive Computing? Get all these questions and hundreds more like them answered at the 18th Cloud Expo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today Object Management Group® has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 develope...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...