Monday, January 01, 2007

2007 - 2 Good Articles To Ponder

I have run across two very good articles lately that I highly recommend checking out.

The first one is from Sun's Greg Matter, titled The World Only Needs Five Computers. I had to laugh though at a sentence where he states "...hyperscale, pan-global broadband computing services giants". While I understand where he is going with the description, it just reminded me of the dack.com Web Economy Bullshit Generator. Anyway -- I really found it to be an interesting read and it actually made me think twice about my previous stance on the Sun Black Box product. For some reason I still just think of trailer-park like locations around the globe where people park their Black Box up to power and bandwidth.

The second article was Isabel Wang's There's a World Market for Maybe 5 Hosting Providers. I actually think 5 might be pushing it! :) Again....a very good article with some nice insight to the market. I've been around some good size hosting providers and the very small ones and it's very easy to see how the small ones will continue to be assimilated or go out of business.

The HUGE data centers being built now days by Google, Microsoft, HP and others make you wonder if a smaller data center has much place in this continued consolidation of real estate. I liked the analogy to Sam Walton and Walmart made by TW Gardner in Isabel's post. The only thing is that since this is technology-related, the pace of change will inevitably be much faster.

2 comments:

chuck goolsbee said...

"I've been around some good size hosting providers and the very small ones and it's very easy to see how the small ones will continue to be assimilated or go out of business.

I don't buy it. So because we have GM & Toyota, nobody buys an BMW? Or because there is an Olive Garden & McDonalds in every strip mall we don't need small one-shop mom and pop cafe's?

The logic here is fatally flawed. It is NEVER about "need" - it is all about "want."

Consumers want choice. They want to have somehwre to turn when their vendor does not live up to their expectations. As such there will ALWAYS be niche markets for smaller players to thrive in. Local colocation. Hosting for some obscure database software. Having your server located at a facility that employs experienced sysadmins instead of min-wage "techno-guards" (go ahead and laugh, I know of a facility that uses thet term to describe their staff!) A place where people know you by name, and have a history with you.

Yes, I'm biased since I work for a small niche player, but I hear all these and more from our customers. They love us because we are NOT a Mega-McHost where the support staff read from a script. They love us because we are NOT AT&T, where they have to phone a callcenter in who knows where, and talk to a person they've never met to get remote-hands from a person who has no clue. They love us, and seek us out precisely because we are a smaller player.

The geek community has been so inured to monolithic corporations who own entire market sectors that they forget that monopolies are NOT a natural part of healthy economic landscapes. Technology does not have to be that way, so get your mind out of that rut and think laterally.

--chuck

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