Steve says he does not segment his customer base by size. I push, because I think he should.
SM: You do not have any bias one way or the other? SS: Not at all. Our distribution strategy is to reach customers of any size. We have no concentration of revenue, by customer or by market segment that is overly significant. If you think about payroll, it is similar. ADP serves customers who are as small as a two-person company and customers who are as large as you can find.
SM: I don’t think they do a lot in the two person range, but there is a small company called PayCycle that is going after the under 20 employee segment, and Paychex seems to be going for the middle market. SS: That is fair, I know the folks at PayCycle and they are doing a great job. >>>
It has been a strange summer of uncertainties elsewhere in the market, but certainly, VMWare’s hot IPO has not felt any of the pressure. In fact, it has made a slow August exciting with one of Tech’s most important events this year.
Eric Savitz at Barrons reports: “EMC (EMC) today generated a massive return on its investment in VMware (VMW). EMC bought the company in 2004 for $625 million. At the time, as EMC CFO Dave Goulden noted in an interview with Tech Trader Dailythis morning, VM had come off a year when it did $75 million in revenue, and there was some criticism that EMC had overpaid. Well, apparently not. The company’s 85.6% stake is now worth in the vicinity of $16 billion. >>>
Most online auto sites earn revenues from subscriptions, advertisements and commissions on vehicles, auto components and related products and services purchased through the sites. Most sites offer attractive subscription rates for the dealer community.
eBay Motors charges Insertion Fees of $30 – $40 for vehicles and a Transaction Services Fee of $40 – $50 for each vehicle listed on its site for sale. eBay in partnership with SquareTrade provides Dealers with a SquareTrade Seal for $9.50 per month.
Kelley Blue Book charges a basic fee of $20 for posting an advertisement to sell a used car for 14 days and $55 for a premium advertisement running for 60 days. >>>
SM: You were dealing with this constantly at Raychem, right? You were bringing new products to market, you identified the markets well, but how did you bridge the technology development and the market? Take for example the first five products you mentioned; three worked and two failed – over the larger scope of Raychem what was your process for success? PC: Once you found interesting markets and you develop a sales force, then you leave the development people to work on the problems you see that are worthwhile and where you have a sales outlet. >>>
A crucial advantage of any on-demand software model is the ability to reach into new customer bases. I press hard here to understand the demographics of the company further.
SM: Help me understand your customer base a bit. Are you focused on Fortune 500, Global 2000 or are you focused on smaller companies? SS: Early on we were focused on global accounts. However, one of the great things about an on-demand business model is you can drive your cost structure down to the point that it is very compelling for companies of any size. We have customers as small as the Los Angeles Philharmonic with their 20 users. On the other end of the spectrum we have customers like AT&T which have thousands of users. >>>
On Sunday, October 23, 2004 disaster struck the residents of Niigata Prefecture, a scenic spot in Honsh?, the largest island of Japan. Starting shortly before 6 in the evening a series of 15 earthquakes for the next 66 hours rendered more than a million people homeless, and their houses became heaps of rubble.
Even as search and rescue teams swung into action to bring relief to the affected, a different work started on war footing with Paul Yoshitomi of the Disaster Prevention Research Institute at the helm.
Paul and his team fanned out quickly to assess the damage caused by the quake, armed with Trimble® Recon® rugged handheld computers combined with small, lightweight Trimble GPS receivers.
Over the next 5 days, using Trimble’s GPS and GIS technology Paul’s team would untiringly prepare maps, reports and detailed analysis of the damage at Niigata Prefecture, as well as generate fast and accurate damage certificates for residents and business owners.
Mission critical success at Japan’s Niigata Prefecture is but one more feather in Trimble’s cap, a leading positioning technology company. Though GPS technology is its mainstay, Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) combines a wide range of positioning technologies including GPS, laser, optical, and inertial technologies with application software, wireless communications, and services to provide complete commercial solutions. >>>
Top Players and Rankings
With more and more users going online in search of quality content on automobiles, vehicle performance, model specs, crash-test ratings, classified info, car finance, auto insurance, etc., there has been a rise in traffic to the various automobile sites. According to Nielsen//NetRatings, the top auto sites are eBay Motors, Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, AutoTrader and AOL Autos.
eBay Motors is the leading automotive site and in June 2007 it attracted over 14.65 million visitors. EBay Motors is followed by Kelley Blue Book with 5.83 million visits. According to Hitwise, eBay Motors’ market share is 14.41% in the shopping category.
AutoTrader is the largest motoring site in Europe. It is also the leading automotive site in the UK. It had 4.44 million unique visitors in June 2007. >>>
SM: Can you walk me through the process behind the thinking? Was it the problem regarding the weight of the wire which came first, or did you have a technical solution first? PC: You have to know the market, and I knew the market. I knew that if we could make a light weight wire that was inexpensive, it would be worth a very large amount of money. I thought that our technology could yield a product that could save a lot of weight. Put the two together. A technology push, if you don’t have an existing market, does not work.
In addition, you have to know the market. You have to know enough to know the value of the product you are trying to develop. If you are developing a product that has a low margin, you can’t spend a lot of money developing the product. If you develop a product that has a very valuable market, then you can spend a lot of money to develop it. >>>