Writing in Forbes, Rich Karlgaard asks if software startups can succeed and proffers the following tip: “Forget trying to be mission critical. No CIO in America is going to bet his company on a little-known startup. Go after a niche, and then work like hell to make your customer happy. Worried you’ll get trapped in the niche? Think of PeopleSoft. It started out selling software for human relations departments. PeopleSoft worked its way up the ladder–always thrilling customers at each rung–and now sells mission-critical supply-chain software. Over time PeopleSoft won the market’s permission to move upscale. It can be done.”
I think software startups should seriously consider looking at emerging markets. The people and enterprises in these markets are the ones who now need to use technology to bridge their own versions of the digital divide. Affordability is an important aspect of what they want.