Here’s to the bat crazy

I’m a big believer in constantly stretching myself. I seek out projects to do that, I read stuff about those who I admire, and I try to meet up with others who have been successul.

I’m inspired by folks like Richard Branson, Greg Cross (powerbyproxi), Ben Kepes, Vaughan Rowsell.  All successful, but all doing much much more, be it doing their best to change the world, supporting sports, doing impossible challenges or taking the path less trodden.

Now a confession, for a while now i’ve been talking about how much i’d like to do startup…by a while it might be more like 5 or so years. I don ‘t even write it down when I do my annual career planning, choosing instead to keep it a bit of a secrete.  Around this time of the year I beat myself up a bit and tell myself maybe next year.

Added to that are post by Ben, Rowan Simpson and others about what they are actually doing in the start up / investment space… I got a bit down on myself

So the truth is I’m a wisher…”i wish i could do a start up”. Read Ken Robinson’s book the element, in that he tells a story about how as a kid he said to a guy “man i wish i could play the guitar like you”… to which the guitarist said ” no you don’t, because if you REALLY did, you would practice every day, you are just saying that”…

I’m a 40 something, with 3 kids and a mortgage. I may never do the start up, as Mark Suster says its harder when you are in that demographic,  but i’m coming to terms with it.

On the other hand, at sub 21 you have the ability to swing for the fences…..  When you’re 40, have 3 kids and a mortgage this is much harder.

Lately though i’ve realised that my path might be a differfent one.  My partner and I are on our 5th business (seems a mad number), over which I think we’ve employeed around 100 people over the years.  Three times! Yes THREE times we’ve bought these businesses when our children were weeks old – not recommended unless you are clinically insane. Added to that iv’e done one small investment with Appsecute, started and ran a martial arts club and ….managed to work full time through it all.

I think this list is more conservative than some of the other folks i’ve listed, maybe less so because of them…. for without these guys leading and showing us the way, we dont reach higher.

So here’s to the bat crazy.

Cloud computing’s future lies in our past

Stand by, this post is a bit whimsical…


There is a great debate happening on Yammer in our company.  It all started with me posting the RWW survey about private and public clouds. For the technorati this is multidimensional, highly contentious issue

So far we’ve had arguments about:

  • How the economics will win out and everything will be public
  • How, in a philanthropic sense, cheap computing is a good thing and we should all benefit from it.
  • How what is good for end users, isn’t always good for us
  • How risk of public clouds will outweigh benefits so private will dominate


You get the idea..


Now, I’m unashamedly am a high level guy. Mark Suster’s great post on top down thinking kind of sums me up. Except I kind of apply some additional rules…


  1. The path of least resistance will always prevail
  2. There is nothing new under the sun (or history repeats – what ever rings your bell)


Sounds lazy, but it’s a good framework… I also try really hard to remember rule 3


  1. One day you will be surprised and rule 2 won’t hold..


Sorry, digressing. The point of this is cloud computings future is kind of predictable.


Try to look at cloud computing from the top down…have a go at removing any philosophy bias. Really let go of the technology  (technology X and mash up Y and shiny factor Z) actually don’t matter…they are just turns on the journey.


Now look for historical likeness, where have you seen this pattern before? 


Rail, roading, electricity, shipping, telecommunications, the internet, grocery stores, banking (particular the US)…


Now what do you see…