Excerpt from my new book, Carnival In The Cloud, on sale today.
At the turn of the millennium, a new form of computing swept over the world.
Netscape went public in 1995, heralding the birth of technology’s most exciting gilded age. David Einstein of The San Francisco Chronicle had interviewed John Doerr, General Partner of Kleiner Perkins, as he covered the incredible interest in the initial public offering of the Netscape stock, and the madness that followed.
Doerr famously said: “It’s possible that the Internet in fact has been underhyped. I think we’re witnessing the creation of a brand new medium that will possibly be more important than network television.”
Indeed, the twenty first century has seen that under-hyped technology trend boldly and assertively come of age.
Rick Chomko: Once we shut down the services company, my business partner and I wanted to start a product company. Our idea was to provide software to corporations which would allow them to modify logic without any coding effort.
Sramana: What year are we talking here?
Rick Chomko: This is in 2002.
Azim Maknojia: The other company then told them that they can still service us. They got their orders for three weeks but didn’t pay the factory. In the meantime, they built their own factory in China and started doing orders. They left the factory with unpaid bill of about $175,000.
We’re now basically the sole company that sources from them. We started with one factory over there and he [Chandler] has built up to 20 factories that he sources our orders from. He personally owns about five factories and he sources the surplus orders from about 15 other factories.
Sramana Mitra: So you have a good supply chain established at China at this point.
Azim Maknojia: Sourcing was probably one of the biggest hurdles that we came across. Then, there was shipping. >>>
Sramana Mitra: Is it the same team that you had in Sydney that got Bigcommerce off the ground?
Mitch Harper: Not really. As I had mentioned, I used to be an engineer and built the first version along with Chris who was one of our early employees from that initial team. He’s still with us today leading a team here in Sydney.
Sramana Mitra: Was Eddie also involved in Bigcommerce? What was his progression in this story?
A recent Forrester report on cloud computing estimates the public cloud services market to grow to $191 billion by 2020 from $58 billion recorded in 2013. The report estimates the growth to be driven by the growth in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and cloud applications to $133 billion by 2020 from $36 billion in 2013. The cloud platform segment is expected to grow nearly ten times from $4.7 billion in 2013 to $44 billion by 2020 and cloud business services will bring in the remaining $14 billion revenues in 2020.
Excerpt from my new book, From eCommerce To Web 3.0.
In 1999, long before fashion on the Internet actually took off, I started a company called Uuma. It was a traditional venture-backed personalized fashion startup that received an acquisition offer from Ralph Lauren before the company was caught in the first dotcom crash.
I am going to articulate the vision behind Uuma, particularly because that vision still remains unrealized. I hope that some entrepreneur, somewhere, will execute on it.
As you know, I define Web 3.0 as a verticalized, personalized user experience. The web is still utterly fragmented. You have to go to different places to find information about the same context. I have long had the vision of a personalized Saks Fifth Avenue. I want my store — my personal store — that carries merchandise that applies to me; that suits my hair color, eye color, skin tone, body shape and personal style. I want it to stock my favorite designers and more like those. And I want to see articles and community discussions that are specific to my interests.
Rick and his team had to navigate a long journey, including a recession that disrupted one of their key customer segments dramatically. Read how they survived.
Sramana: Rick, let’s start with the beginning of your story. Where are you from? Where were you raised? What kind of circumstances? Give us some of the back story.
Rick Chomko: I was born in the Chicago land suburbs and grew up there. My dad introduced me to computers at a very early age, which was way back in the 70′s, mostly because that’s what he did for a living. He’s one of the first people, I think, that jumped on to the information technology bandwagon. >>>
Sramana Mitra: $110,000 to $6.9 million! Explain to me how that happened? What were the strategic levers?
Azim Maknojia: We were all new to this industry. We didn’t know what was going on. The only reason that this could happen at a very fast pace, from my point of view, was because we had the drive. We were working full-time at this business. The second and probably the most important thing is, if you really understand the AdWords engine, it translates into instant traffic. We were going really aggressive at this and probably marketing at the first to second spot constantly in a majority of the keywords.