Business

Cloud Backup Trends

Rob May has a great post at the company blog at Backupify on trends driving cloud backup. It sounds right to me, particularly the parts about data portability, it being managerially smart to prepare for black swans, and users being vastly more the problem than permanent data loss by a cloud provider is likely to be.

It has always irritated me when vendors try to “own” your data. It still happens, but I’d love to think it’s on the wane. In my ill-fated business, one of the key elements and benefits of our not-quite-finished document management software (and associated law firm case management, but the package could be used in other environments, or as a generic/personal doc manager) was that you owned your data and your documents. There was no lock-in. There was an easy ability to locate and access documents directly should the software not be available.

Thus I’ve always loved the data portability angle Rob brought to his startup.

Looking Forward to This!

Except it still seems a little weird having Atlas Shrugged updated to be set in modern times, and the characters don’t look much like my mental images. Reardon, to whom I most relate, comes closest.

I’m overdue for a reread, but with the film pending, I considered it recently and decided to put itoff.

Coffee Perks

Shocking, I know, but free coffee is a disproportionate perk. So are other, similar things…

The sarcasm comes from firsthand experience. When I worked at the original incarnation of Corporate Software, initially there was not only free coffee – good free coffee, if nothing gourmet like the article mentions – but also hot chocolate, tea, and even Crystal Lite. It was one of those places to work. They also had extremely low cost soda.

The primary business there was software sales, and they pioneered what would become common ways of selling software licensing packages. I was in their secondary business of tech support, which they’d gotten into with great success and massive hiring, if not high margins.

One thing led to another. Corporate Software became Strean International became three companies, of which Stream was the one that sold tech support only, without the higher margin elements.

Fewer things were free. The good coffee became awful, but lower maintenance and more likely to be available on demand, coffee. Then there was no more cocoa…

Not the same as free coffee, but there was near mutiny when the free hot chocolate went away. That for people there at the time was the dividing line between the cool company and the company that just didn’t care about its people anymore. Such a little thing. Yet I’d swear it was the beginning of the end of the business. Not that it ever 100% ended, but it changed hands and eventually emerged as a company that doesn’t seem to have any connection with the past, at least from a long since outsider’s perspective.

Clearly the linked article is touting results promulgated by a company with a vested interest in self-promotion and sales of coffee. Certainly there are company cultures that aren’t as tied to expectations of certain kinds of perks as, for instance, ones employing tech workers may be. The basic point remains: Surprisingly minor ways in which you treat employees can mean a lot, all out of proportion to the cost.

We’re All Business Bloggers Now

I’ve been wanting to kick of my return to blogging here – but with posts of substance rather than the CotC stuff now elsewhere – with a post observing/opining that business blogging is not only not unusual or niche anymore, but that it’s rampant in this economy or lack thereof.

The boundaries between political and business/economics blogging has also blurred further. Again, the circumstances we are in make it inevitable. Government always affects the business and economic climate and activities, if seldom so negatively, and whether it ought to or not. That’s shown up in my selections for what now passes for CotC.

At any rate, it sometimes feels as if anything I can add or opine here would be superfluous, and perhaps there won’t be much or often, but the itch is getting more intense. Time to scratch it.

Felicia Meets Business

I’ve become a Felicia Day fan after seeing her in Dr. Horrible, which you should watch on Hulu if you’ve not seen it, and then in her own web series, The Guild.

How is this relevant to a business blog? She recently posted about her crash course in business, dealing with the nuts and bolts of DVD production and order fulfillment. In writing, producing and starring in her own series, she gets to wear the business hats as well. You could say it’s a brand new day. As Deb and I have been known to discuss, these days the Internet is TV. Her experience are and will hardly be isolated.

Terminating a Great Performer?

This post on terminating a great performer is good and all, but it made me think “what about great performers who are not recognized as such and are terminated.” Of course, that doesn’t need advice to managers on how to handle it, because to them it’s just a termination. It still struck me funny.

I’ve never looked at an employer or even a client the same way since the job I had where I was exceptional, poured my heart into it, and wound up terminated because the only people who mattered were seemingly oblivious. Going on 20 years later, I have never put the same kind of effort in for and extended time, and never regained my trust in employers or that hard work and dedication would be rewarded. The closest I’ve come to forgetting that is in my absurd degree of loyalty to my former large client, which might explain why I feel so jaded currently.