SM: Last question, when you look around, what are some of the interesting entrepreneurial opportunities that are opening up because of the wide adoption of platform-as-a-service as it unfolds?
PR: If you’re an entrepreneur today, your startup cost is incrementally low. If you have a good idea, to execute on an idea, you can leverage a public infrastructure of Microsoft Azure or Amazon and build something out in record time, in three months, and ship something out. Three people in a garage can get amazing things done with what I see today with some of the cloud infrastructure that’s out there. So, it’s a question now of what do startups put their energy into?
In the past, they would make business plans, go out and seek funding. Today, you get your first customer; you build your app right on a cloud infrastructure; you pay per use instead of putting all of that cost into hardware and teams. Once you have three, five customers and learn something good, then you go and get funding. So, it’s an amazing time for entrepreneurs in that sense. At least from what I can see right now, there is this huge buzz around the number of entrepreneurs who are out there just launching new stuff on the cloud at a rapid pace. The time has shrunk. The cost has shrunk. So, from that perspective, it’s a true competitive advantage. The bigger companies that started over the old model of a license fee, implementation, upfront costs and all of that are actually at a disadvantage to somebody who can disrupt all of that with a cloud computing platform.
SM: You’re absolutely right. In fact, the eco-system, the startup eco-system is such today that – part of it is cost; part of it is effect; part of it is kind of like a circle, whether you call it a vicious circle or virtuous circle, but investors actually don’t like to see concept business plans anymore. They want to see full businesses with traction. Unless you figure out how to launch your product, your company and get traction and get people to use your product or service and start showing real traction, nobody’s interested in investing in small companies these days.
PR: I completely agree with you, completely agree with you. It’s more than a level playing field. It’s harder for the bigger companies to compete. So, sit out of your home. You don’t need large offices. You don’t need large sales forces. If you have a new idea, you just integrate it, building platforms, metering platforms, use a SaaS application of a digital marketing platform for doing all of your demand management. It’s completely virtual. So, you only need a small team to be effective if you have a good business idea which you execute well. That, I think, is a fundamental shift. The bigger companies are at a disadvantage in today’s market.
SM: All right. We are tracking closely what’s going on in the Azure eco-system. We’re working closely with Microsoft on a variety of different things. Recently, Microsoft launched its Azure accelerator in Israel, and One Million by One Million was part of that launch process, and Microsoft was giving out scholarships to some of the entrepreneurs in that accelerator eco-system for the One Million by One Million program. So, we’re tracking all of these platform developments because the entrepreneurship that’s happening around platforms right now is a very interesting style of entrepreneurship. It’s becoming very cheap, very affordable and quick to launch companies around specific platforms and eco-systems that have come about.
PR: I totally agree.
SM: Thank you, Pradeep.
PR: Thank you.