At last week’s Dublin Web Summit, I sat in on a rock star panel with Dyn clients Box (Dan Levin, COO) & Prezi (Peter Arvai, CEO/Co-founder) and Mike Reilly from Sadlier Reilly Capital. The moderator was Brian Caufield, a partner from DFJ Esprit who playfully kept the panel in check, moving the conversation along.
It was an interesting and timely discussion focused on a trend in which business-to-business SaaS or subscription scalable applications are starting to look more and more like consumer apps. With a younger and increasingly more mobile generation joining the real world work force, technology leaders and companies are caught in the middle between internal consumers of the services and the historical top down decision making dynamic that has driven technology for decades.
As more and more services become cloud-based, the challenges of training, security and data protection become very hot topics. It’s about time the industry shifts this way, as people likely buy from people and companies they like.
As a result, you should build and sell products to PEOPLE who are more familiar with consumer experiences on Amazon, Facebook, Spotify, Angry Birds and Netflix.
The well-respected Levin represented the social collaboration company and when Caufield asked if this whole premise was simply “lipstick on a pig”, he responded,”It’s definitely not lipstick on the pig, I’ll tell you that for sure.”
I appreciate his direct answer, but let’s be honest: IT services aren’t exactly winning best looking in the high school yearbook.
As an Internet infrastructure as a service (IaaS) company, we couldn’t be more aware of this reality. We drive our upstart strategy toward rapid growth with light-hearted marketing campaigns like ‘DNS is Sexy’ and ‘Get Some Iaas‘.
Let me be clear that I realize exactly what Levin was saying and what he represents as the COO of a nearly $4B valued company. This stuff is important. It’s real. The companies in these spaces are solving real problems, making IT easier and earning real revenue. I’m bullish on the consumer meets enterprise company. This is not some flash in the pan industry.
But, with all due respect, it’s still lipstick on a pig but we love ham, pork and especially bacon. Who doesn’t?
To watch the entire panel session from the awesome DWS, check out the video below: