Monday, November 30, 2009

Exciting and busy times for my business and me!

I've moved into and opened an office, signed my second client, am in the process of incorporating and launching my consulting firm, and planning a January launch party! In between, I'm exploring some investment opportunities with an old colleague, trying to find time to blog, buying office supplies, running a 5K on Saturday in SF with my oldest daughter Gigi, trying to keep the gym visits + rides at 6+ per week and getting ready for the holidays and the rush of birthdays in our house. Wow, no wonder I'm tired!!! But good tired!!!

2010 promises to be an exciting one indeed!

If you want to learn more about my new business, drop me a line!

Holiday Cheers to You and Your Loved Ones...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Chicken, The Ostrich and the Wiseman; A Holiday Tale of Caution and Opportunity

(Authors note: I have Cloud Computing on the brain. My client, Nimsoft, is changing the landscape of IT Monitoring with their recent Unified Monitoring Launch. I penned this little parable in honor of the Nimsoft customers who have the courage to challenge the status quo...For my non-tech friends, well, the puns will probably be lost on you, sorry...)

Once upon a time, not so long ago, in a not so faraway land called eSPee land, there lived 3 great friends, the Chicken, the Ostrich and the Wiseman. Not only were they great friends, but they were also fierce business rivals. For many years, they had competed with each other and had all built strong and thriving enterprises.

While it was their custom to avoid business conversations almost entirely, once a year, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, they would meet for breakfast to talk turkey (though that term somewhat offended 2 of them!). At one rather ominous meeting, the conversation went something like this…

The Chicken said, “My friends, though business is good, I fear the worst. Clouds have been gathering over eSPee land and I am quite scared. The waters of the mighty Amazon , EverChanging 2day, threaten to flood us all out of business. I am paralyzed and fear that all the work we have done is doomed.”

The Wiseman nodded, and showed great empathy to the Chicken’s concerns, then turned to the Ostrich.

The Ostrich stretched out his neck and said, “ Mr Chicken, as always you worry too much. These Clouds are yet another passing fancy. My customers are a bit confused, but my key vendors, Harold & Penny and Ida’s Big Machines assure me that they are ready. I’ll stick to them and keep focused on my customers, you can’t lose when you work with the best”

The Wiseman smiled, and as he was in the habit of doing, thought before he spoke. He sipped his coffee, rubbed his beard and said, “My dear friends, I share many of your concerns. Mr. Chicken, I believe you are right to see the clouds as a threat to what we have built, yet does this mean we are doomed? Mr Ostrich, I agree we must focus on our customers, but really, you’ve been with those old vendors for decades, are they really ready?”

With that the Chicken balked and left in a hurry, still panicked, and the Ostrich called his rep who sent the call to a reseller, who finally called the Ostrich back in a few weeks and told him everything would be OK.

A few years later, the three friends met for a farewell dinner for the Chicken and the Ostrich, who were both retiring. The Wiseman rose to give a speech;

“My dear friends, it is with mixed emotions that I bid you both farewell. Mr Chicken, I was sad to see your business close. I wish you well in your retirement in Miami. I warned you not to panic at the Clouds and to invest, but you were too scared to act. Mr. Ostrich, your customers did love you, but those old vendors loved you more, in fact, they loved you to death. I warned you to change, but, well, I hate to state the obvious, but you just had your head in the sand. I am glad we were able to buy your remaining business, and I wish I could have paid more, but many of your customers had already came my way. Had you just listened to me and followed my moves to the new vendors, those who were built for the Cloud and the sun, you might have survived. I am thrilled that you will be enjoying your retirement too.”

The Wiseman really meant what he had said. He had adjusted and invested, without losing sight of his customers needs. He had aligned with new vendors, those who had both vision and execution, but were not tied to the past. He realized that he lived in a Cloudy place (think Seattle!) but knew that this never stopped Bill Gates, so why should it stop him. He business thrived in this new Cloudy world, though he truly did miss his friends…

The End

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dog days and dog nights...but worth it...early thanksgiving

It's been a LONG time since I last blogged, but between completing our program launch at Nimsoft, and our sick family dog, not much time for deep's been the dog days, and the dog nights...

I am very proud of the work we've completed at Nimsoft. Nimsoft is truly an amazing story, and we just needed to get out and tell it. Working with the Nimsoft team and a great set of outside help, including my trusted friends Susan and the team at Trainer Communications and Sara at Juicy Design, we really set out to change Nimsoft's core positioning from one of challenger to one of leader.

It's rare to find clients with great products, great customers and great market traction, who also have the courage and leadership to not rest on their success but to think big and take chances. Many CEOs would be content to bask in the glow of an amazing sales performance and great new analyst coverage, etc, but Gary R. and the management team were willing to be bolder. Nimsoft is now positioned for incredible things in the future. Most of the credit goes to the team for building a great product and a great revenue base, but I am thrilled to have the chance to work with the Nimsoft team and help them to put a platform in place that will accelerate their success even more.

At the same time our little dog has pulled back from the brink on Halloween eve, when his heart was down to 50/bpm, about 40% of normal, and is now recovering at home from Trigeminal Neurosis. I don't know much about it beyond what I've read, but the human version, Trigeminal Neurologia is described online as extremely painful, and has even been called "Suicide Disease". Poor little guy, no wonder he was not moving for a week!!!

I also have a new respect for the compassion and caring of people in veterinary medicine, I am sure they make a good living, but they sure do seem to care a lot too. Thanks to Barb Kollin, Linda Jorgenson, Dr Phelan, Dr Adamo and the crews at both Sequoia and South Peninsula Emergency pet hospitals. Sure we spent way too much money, but it's good to have been on that team too...Though he may have lost his eyesight in one eye, we are hopeful that Macabee will recover and live a happy dog life again, doing what dogs do best, sleep, eat, play, relieve, repeat...

So as we roll toward the T-giving holiday, I'm grateful for family (and dog!), great colleagues, challenging work and life in general. I may have a few more wrinkles after the dog days of Oct/Early November, but that's a small price to pay....

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