Today’s 234th FREE online 1M/1M roundtable for entrepreneurs is starting in 30 minutes, on Thursday, October 16, at 8:00 a.m. PDT/11:00 a.m. EDT/8:30 p.m. India IST. Click here to join. All are welcome!
Consider this scenario:
A large technology corporation has a few hundred products that are sold to thousands of enterprises and small-medium businesses.
Because of the fast pace of change in technology, every single product in the portfolio experiences market pressures of various kinds. Competition from startups. Integration requirements with external products. Architecture changes in the technology stack. New capabilities due to new discoveries.
How does such a corporation stay on top of the constant need to innovate, and not get disrupted by an upstart?
My answer: Train the Intrapreneurs.
According to researcher ITSMU, the IT Service Management (ITSM) market was dominated by BMC last year which accounted for 40% of the market’s revenue share. HP came a distant second with 17% share and was followed by ServiceNow, which accounted for 12% of the market. TechNavio estimates that the global ITSM market will grow 7% annually over the period 2012 through 2016. Cloud-based ITSM vendor ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW) is growing their revenues at a much faster rate.
Sramana Mitra: A plan did not exist at that time?
David Karandish: Answers.com was not a parallel path. We acquired Answers.com in 2011. Around 2008-2009, we did a white boarding strategy session. We brought some of the key management team members in and asked them, “If we were going to build the ultimate Internet company, what would that look like?” We checked off a bunch of items. A great brand that consumers recognize and lots of high-quality content. The content would be unique, stuff you can’t find in other places. Ideally, that content would be increasingly from users and it would capture the voice of consumers. >>>
Sramana Mitra: I experienced this with my grandmother about five years ago. This was in India. She was in a coma essentially and she was not responding. It was about 18 days. We would have been happy to let her go but no one would let us do that. She was 87 years old.
Girish Navani: I won’t say it’s easier, but some of them are more rational. I don’t know about this one because I have actually struggled with it internally. I like to tout the idea of health and wellness and I have somehow tried to avoid such situations. Maybe the person inside me doesn’t know how to react when faced with a decision like this myself. I would always say that if it’s better for the patient in terms of pain and outcomes, then it’s an easier one. If it is not, then which way do you go?
You would think question and answer sites are hard to monetize. Read how David Karandish built Answers.com to be a profitable $200M+ company … Note, the much-hyped Quora doesn’t monetize at all yet.
Sramana Mitra: David, let’s start with your background. Where does your story begin? What is the back-story to the Answers.com story?
David Karandish: I was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri. I went to Washington University in Saint Louis and studied computer science and entrepreneurship. While I was in high school, my friend Chris and I started working together on a bunch of entrepreneurial ventures. We did that through college, graduated with a degree in Computer Science, and then ultimately started this current company. >>>
Sramana Mitra: What were you consulting on?
Atul Jain: I was helping them build a system for oil trading. I had developed a certain amount of expertise in doing that, so they were happy to get my expertise to help them figure out how to go about building an integrated oil trading system. I told them upfront, “I’m not doing this to be a one-man shop. I have a clear goal of building a team of people so if you don’t feel that you want to give me additional opportunities, please tell me upfront. Because if you take me, you’re committing to me that you will give me additional opportunities to begin building a team and a company.”
According to a report from MarketandMarkets, the cloud analytics market is projected to grow 26% annually over the five year period from 2013 through 2018. The researcher expects the market to be worth $16.52 billion by 2018 from $5.25 billion in 2013. >>>