This Sunday, I was going through my notes on Emergic of a year ago — then, I used to refer to it as “SME Tech Utility”. It is always an interesting exercise reviewing older thoughts and then just thinking reviewing the progress one has made. As I read, I realised that one space I had not allocated enough resources to was on the Enterprise Software side. Even the way we are doing things currently is too conventional (wanting to develop an accouting+sales package for SMEs which will run off the Thick Server on the LAN and be web-enabled), and needs to change.
What become clear to me is that Emergic needs to have 3 pillars:
1. Thin Client and Thick Server: includes the Digital Dashboard which will over time become the de facto Desktop, Messaging, Collaboration, System (files and preferences) and Publishing (website, ecommerce) applications. This is the “SME OS” — like MS Windows. We need to think of us as a “platform” for us and others to build upon.
2. Enterprise Software: This is the enterprise equivalent of MS Office — an integrated suite of eBusiness applications that an enterprise needs. Needs to be crafted like Lego blocks, which can fit in together.
3. Content and Community: This covers this weblog, BlogStreet.com (the blog directory and search engine), and other sites to build out the SME Clusters and Marketplace. Like a cross between Yahoo and eBay for SMEs.
Plenty of thinking still to happen:
– who will be our early adopters, and how do we roll out
– sequence of activities and milestones for next 6/12/18 months
– the business model: how will we make money
– marketing and distribution: how do we reach out to SMEs
– need to figure out the second hand PC value chain
– do we worry about the home market
– missing: communications (WiFi) and service (eg. microFinance, Outsourcing)
I am confident we’ll get answers as we go along. Have to jump in the water to learn swimming. We’ve started climbing the rocks. We’ll stumble a little, need to go back at times, but we’ll climb the mountain.