Thursday, April 05, 2012

Getting into Prezi

I am finally starting to get into Prezi. It is in fact a very cool way to prepare and make presentations.
I don't yet have any hard-core, really serious presentations yet, but here's my "workspace" on Prezi:
I am going to try to organize some of my thoughts on software agents in the form of Prezi presentations. I have already made a couple of initial stabs at that link above, but please consider it all "a work in progress."
I am just using the free offering, which means all of my work is public (which is perfect for an entrepreneur.)

Monday, April 02, 2012

Is the business card dead?

I traveled out to Colorado recently for the EntConnect technical entrepreneurs' conference and not once traveling to or from the conference or at the conference did I ever pull out and offer a business card. In fact, I never saw anyone else offer a business card to anyone else either. Okay, sure, most of us knew each other, but a few of us had not met before. I wonder if this is yet another sign that the business card is on its way out, headed the way of buggy whips. What with email, blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google search, who really needs business cards these days?
Personally, I would still feel naked without a few "emergency" business cards in my pocket or wallet, but apparently gone are the days when one needs to carry a stack of them.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Agent Server is a product without a name

My new agent server does not have a formal name. I have done this intentionally. I don't actually consider it a true "product" or commercial "service" at this point in time. It has no real packaging (okay, it does have a downloadable zip file and a home on GitHub) and you can't "buy" or "subscribe" to it per se. From my perspective it is still "raw" technology. Yes, it is packaged to make it easy for people to access the technology, but it is certainly not "ready for prime time."
I vaguely considered whether to give it a name, but decided that all such "marketing" effort would be a distraction from focusing on getting the technology working and available for evaluation. Any kind of true marketing is still down the road.
For now I use one of the following descriptive names to refer to the technology:
  • Agent Server
  • Software Agent Server
  • Base Technology Agent Server
  • Base Technology Software Agent Server
  • Any of the above with a suffix of "Stage 0" (e.g., "Base Technology Agent Server - Stage 0")
Once I start getting some feedback on the technology and refine it a bit more, then and only then will I be ready to engage in some "real" marketing, starting with brand identity, naming, product positioning, messaging, and promotion.

Business model for Agent Server

Although subject to change and evolution, the currently expected business model will be primarily a traditional open source model:
  1. The software, including full source, is "free" and freely available (on GitHub) under the Apache License Version 2.0.
  2. Consulting and contract work to support, extend, and customize the software will be the primary source of revenue.
In addition, I have some preliminary thoughts for a longer-term plan to offer a subscription-based "agent grid" network of web-based servers that are tailored to offering commercial-grade agent server support for organizations that do not wish to host and support the agent server software on their own machines. But, this option is still way off in the hazy future.
For now, I seek customer/partners such as large data providers (or any organization who offers a web-based API to their services) who have a strong interest in software agents that facilitate consumption of their data in a way that is compatible with their own business model.
-- Jack Krupansky