Welcome!

Recurring Revenue Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Maria C. Horton, Xenia von Wedel, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

Recession Survival Kit: Adopt Cloud Computing

Great Entrepreneurs Build Value and Market-Share in Down Markets

Tip #5: "Buckle Down, Conserve Your Cash"
Jeff Haynie, Founder & CEO of Appcelerator, has some very concise advice: "My tip -- buckle down, conserve your cash and figure out how to survive."

He unpacks his thinking in more detail, though, in his blog:

"My advice to a startup that’s not cash flow positive right now is to assume ZERO revenue for 24 months. If you can’t survive right now with the cash you have in the bank for 24 months, you have a few options you should consider right now:

  • If you have access to capital, get it now. (And assume you won’t get it)
  • If you have access to debt of any kind, get it now.
  • If you have anyone you can live without, get rid of them now.
  • If you have outstanding AR, collect it right now - offer a discount or more product to get it in the bank.
  • If you’re negotiating a term sheet, sign one right now - regardless of the terms.
  • If you have a business line of credit, use it now.
  • Look to cut as many fixed expenses as you can right now. Get rid of anything that is monthly if you possibly can — even consider the cost of breaking obligations short-term over the long-term cost.
  • Look at your business and strongly consider simplifying everything you can.

If you’re cash flow positive, well, you’re in a different position but most likely have similar things you should consider (including above):

  • Cut your 12 month forecast by 50%. IF you make it up, wonderful, you’ll be that much better. Assume that your customer is going to get killed as well and will be going through similar cuts and reductions and assume you’re on that list.
  • Examine your bottom 25% of your sales force and eliminate it now.
  • Take the top 15% of your sales force and consider changing the incentive plan — consider lowering bases (they’re already top performers) considerably and making it up for consistency of exceeding their numbers. Consider increasing your accelerators, but try to tie your accelerators (even consider compounding them) to consistency on a quarterly basis. If you do #1, you’ll be in an even better position.
  • Reserve your cash as much as you can, you’ll be in a good position to sweep up around your market and get some of your competition on the cheap in the next 18 months.
  • Don’t hire anyone unless you absolutely have to for the next 3-6 months. There is going to be top talent on the street soon and you want to have reserves to pick them up opportunistically."

Tip #6: "Push Agility and Speed"
"During tough economic times," says John Crupi, CTO of JackBe, "you need to push agility and speed. Business will still spend, but they will be very prudent and buy things that reduce cost and increase speed."

Crupi offered this sensible advice as JackBe was getting set to formally announce its new Mashup Developer Community and a new version of Presto called the ‘Developer Edition’...so he definitely walks the walk as well as talks the talk, because JackBe, originators of the compelling notion that "The User is the Killer App," is all about - through its Presto product suite - increasing the effectiveness of the enterprise portal.

Tip #7: "Grow the Talent You Have"
Since we began with Jason Calacanis, let's finish by noting what the most important tips are that he gives among his ten.

My personal favorite is this one: "Grow the talent you have: When the market is down, it’s a great time to get your team educated and to the next level. Invest in training and education of your top people, because they are the ones who will lead your company through this mess."

Tip #8: "Make Your Top Ten 10% Better"
This is another great piece of Calacanis advice. He expands on it as follows:

"Look at the top ten aspects of your business and come up with a plan to make each 10% better in the next 30 days. Ask everyone in your company to make suggestions for the 10% better program and execute on the ones that will provide the most bang for the buck. Sometimes, there are things you can do today that will make something 10% better for free – you just haven’t brainstormed enough."

Tip #9: "Build Marketshare"
A nice piece of contrarian advice from Calacanis, out of the One-Man's-Celing-Is-Another-Man's-Floor Dept.: "One of the best things to do in the down market is build marketshare. Look for competitors that are going out of business and buy them or just 'steal' their clients and talent (i.e. pick them up)."

Tip #10: "Adopt Cloud Computing"
Michael Sheehan, the Technology Evangelist for GoGrid and ServePath and an avid technology pundit, is the author of our tenth tip. "Adopting Cloud Computing as a primary technology strategy will be one of the main catalysts for technology-savvy business to not only stay in business, but also be successful in the long run," he notes in a recent article. You can read the full argument here.

Some of the executives we approached offered very interesting insights into the specifics of how their own businesses were approaching the current situation of economic turmoil.

"I think everyone of these tips are excellent for any business," noted Anthony Franco, President of EffectiveUI, "but aren’t all of them things we should be doing anyhow? Recession or no recession?"

"When we look to expand our business at EffectiveUI," he continued, "we look for ways our clients can save big money or really grow revenue (or both). Why else would anyone hire us? Recession proofing your company is about making your company excellent. That way, during down times you will do more than just survive, and in bullish times will thrive."

Franco gave the following summary of Effective UI's approach:

"Our focus continues to be on attracting awesome talent and fostering a culture of teamwork, entrepreneurship and execution excellence. And then, most importantly, getting out of our own way. I’ve been astounded how successful it is when you empower everyone in a company to make a difference. What does empowerment actually mean? Giving permission to fail, as long as they fail forward. It means trusting your team has done their homework and has more context than you when making important decisions.

I’m not talking about anarchy – we all collaborate on a direction, provide insight based on our experience & education, and sometimes (but very rarely) managers have to make unpopular decisions for the benefit of the entire company. However, we’ve come to realize that success does not look like a bunch of “heroes” at the top make miraculously insightful decisions that pull the company ahead – rather success looks like a bunch of small failures where managers provide support, encouragement, some structure, and above all else – foster a great team culture."

Another executive eager to share his approach to the current times was Chris Heidelberger, CEO of Nexaweb.

Things are well at Nexaweb, Heidelberger noted. "Nothing has changed here from our prior mantra. We are building a strong independent company. Strength and independence are primarily defined by sales growth and profitability. Sales are up over 50% from prior year and (fingers crossed) we will be profitable within the next 2 quarters."

He continues:

"The strategy has moved from pure play RIA to Modernization, specifically the modernization of custom enterprise application portfolios. The NXWB enterprise suite (RIA) is an important component but it doesn’t end there anymore. The business value we bring to our customers is created from the combination of consulting services for re-defining the application utilizing as much code and infrastructure as is possible, defining and implementing a reference architecture specific to the new application portfolio, and of course the NXWB platform. The break even on this proposition is 6-9 months on the hard costs and the ongoing value has proven to be 1.5-3x return per year!"

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that the upcoming DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO New York event will feature 10 companies from Poland to participate at the "Poland Digital Transformation Pavilion" on November 12-13, 2018.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICC-USA, a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of ...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
Michael Maximilien, better known as max or Dr. Max, is a computer scientist with IBM. At IBM Research Triangle Park, he was a principal engineer for the worldwide industry point-of-sale standard: JavaPOS. At IBM Research, some highlights include pioneering research on semantic Web services, mashups, and cloud computing, and platform-as-a-service. He joined the IBM Cloud Labs in 2014 and works closely with Pivotal Inc., to help make the Cloud Found the best PaaS.