Brian Jacobs: As far as the future of the cloud is concerned, I think we continue to see more and more innovation. I believe innovation begets more innovation. Once you see how the cloud changes your business, you start to see new opportunities that maybe weren’t so visible initially.
I think that this idea around industry cloud, which is a vertical software company that is enabling competitors to aggregate data and share data without compromising their trade secrets, is an exciting opportunity. It’s a mix of vertical software with Big Data with the idea that by sharing data in the cloud, you can do some things that companies with an on-premise solution just can’t do. That’s one of our key investment themes.
Another one is mobile business applications. We think that the mobile phone is now effectively a supercomputer in your pocket. >>>
Brian Jacobs: As we learned more and more about how the cloud changes everything, we have evolved our investment thesis. We found some new areas where the cloud really does provide a new opportunity. Rather than disrupting incumbents, we’re taking advantage of the cloud to do things that we could never do before.
For instance, we knew that the social wave in the consumer world was going to affect businesses. If all of the employees and customers are on social networks, that’s going to affect businesses that try to serve consumers as well as the companies who have those workers in their midst.
We’ve invested in a number of companies that are bringing social technologies to business. We started to realize that the >>>
Responding to a popular request, we are now sharing transcripts of our investor podcast interviews in this new series. The following interview with Brian Jacobs, Emergence Capital was recorded in October 2014.
Brian Jacobs is General Partner, Emergence Capital, SaaS/Cloud domain experts boasting a fabulous portfolio, including solid exits like SuccessFactors, Yammer, and Veeva. He discusses his views on where cloud opportunities are likely to be at this point. While we’re in a mature market, he is still bullish on innovation.
Sramana Mitra: Silicon Valley seems like an incredibly arrogant place. Silicon Valley was actually afraid when the dot-com bubble had burst. You can actually feel the fear in the air. Against that backdrop, Emergence
Sramana Mitra: What is also becoming very popular is virtual collaboration. I run a virtual company. My team is spread all around the world. There’s pretty much no friction. We have a very seamless organization. It’s a small organization, but I know of much larger organizations that are operating in this mode as well. Clearly, a good solid collaboration system has a lot to offer in the frame.
Right now, there is a lot of fragmentation even beyond just the video and audio web conferencing. There’re also lots of opportunities to create more of the interfaces of other collaboration capabilities like that of Slack and
Sramana Mitra: Can you point new entrepreneurs to open opportunities where companies can be built.
Shan Sinha: If you take all the problems that we’re solving today, and you said, “That problem is solved.” What you have at the end of that is essentially a dump pipe that allows a bunch of people to talk to each other.
Now that you have all of that information in the cloud, how do you get more value out of it? How do you take that dumb pipe >>>
Shan Sinha: Trend number two is the commoditization of all the hardware technology. It used to be that you had to have a lot of custom equipment to power all this stuff. To do real-time audio and video required a whole bunch of custom hardware. Now, with relevantly low cost and with a plug-and-play experience, you can deliver a very compelling solution that brings together the benefits of cloud software with easy-to-deploy, easy-to-manage, easy-to-use systems for the times that you need hardware to deliver an important part of the solution.
The analogy I’ve described to you is, it’s a trend that you’d see happening in our personal lives. You see Apple TV combined with iTunes. You see Amazon Echo combined with Alexa. You see Google Home combined with all of Google’s services. This idea of >>>
Sramana Mitra: You have video and audio web conferencing all in one platform?
Shan Sinha: That’s right. You get audio conferencing, web conferencing, and video conferencing in one place What makes us particularly unique is that we’ve consolidated each of those point solutions that I was describing into a single solution that is easy to buy, easy to deploy, easy to manage, and most importantly, easy enough for people to use.
The analogy that I would give you is, it’s a lot like what a lot of cable companies ended up doing back in the days. You used that to buy your Internet from one place, your phone service and television service >>>
The online multimedia collaboration space is rich with opportunities for entrepreneurship. Read on for an in-depth perspective.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to HighFive and yourself.
Shan Sinha: HighFive is a all-in-one videoconferencing system. We build the easiest-to-use videoconferencing systems in the market. One of the things that makes us unique is that it’s a 100% cloud-based solution. It combines both hardware and software to deliver a solution that not only gives businesses of all sizes the best end-user experience but also an amazing platform for >>>