When I went on my first pilgrimage to Silicon Valley at the end of last year, I had a chance to finally meet one of my "virtual buddies", Diane Davidson of WebEx. She heads up their community efforts and is doing a great job. Diane invited me to be a part of a podcast series discussing how SMB's can leverage social media to build a good rep on the web. I even pulled in another new buddy, Anil Dash of Six Apart, to join us on one of the episodes. We had a great time talking about all things Web 2.0 and how small businesses really need to get in on this stuff in order to compete, thrive and survive.
Besides some really cool memories, I also came back to the ATL with a book Diane gave me that Webex co-founder Subrah Iyar authored called Why Buy the Cow? How the On-Demand Revolution Powers the New Knowledge Economy. I just hope Seth Godin or the folks at Chick - fil-A don't get that litigious feeling over the title. Iyar brought in some other sharp folks to collaborate on this as well.
I think anyone who's interested in SaaS and where it will take us, should think seriously about checking this one out. I like it because it features the voices of folks who were at the forefront of the whole On Demand movement, made it threw the Dot Com Bust, and proved that the model could work. And I'm really glad they didn't make this a sales and marketing tool, but a helpful, straightforward read on how you should view SaaS and its current and future impact on how we do business.
Here's the short review I wrote for the book on Amazon.com:
This book is accessible to those who may not be too familiar with software as a service (SaaS) and how it is transforming the way business is being done now and in the future. What makes it really interesting are the case studies of the smaller, lesser known companies who are building their businesses on top of SaaS and creating interesting business models centering on collaboration. We've all heard of companies like Salesforce.com, NetSuite and WebEx - the companies who proved that SaaS can be a reliable option to installed software, as well as a valid business model. But what made this a valuable read were the case studies of companies like ChinesePod, Lulu.com and Shared Insights. These are small companies who are also leveraging the SaaS model to create successful businesses. These stories really add value and help explain why software as a service has changed the way we use software, and do business.
Thanks again Diane for the book!