This blog is where I post about my consulting work with Microsoft Technologies, and other random tidbits that don't fit in my Photo Blog or my Iraq Blog.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Meeting with a startup

I had an interesting meeting with a new startup this morning. I can't tell you their name, or much about them, but I there are still some interesting bits worth sharing.

This is a very early stage company that just secured $3+ million in VC money. Up until last week they were primarily funded by the three founders credit cards. They are doing business in the financial services space, and while they aren't going to be dependent on the web for their revenue, they do see the web as a key differentiator and value add to their business model. I was asked to come in and give them a briefing on the Microsoft platform and how it fits with their plans.

We had an interesting discussion of the process of selecting a technology platform in a green fields opportunity like this. A key point that I made was that in a situation like this where a startup company is planning to develop a large custom application from the scratch the most important consideration isn't necessarily the licensing cost or capabilities of the platform nearly as much as the availability of talent to actually do the work.

Here in Minneapolis-St Paul the market isn't really a very active LAMP (open source) market in terms of use by big business or in terms consulting resources. So my point was that they could choose "free" tools in the LAMP space, but they might have a difficult time staffing up to do the work. By contrast there is a lot of .NET (and Java) development going on here in the Twin Cities, and the pool of talent is much larger.

There are obviously lots of factors that go into a "bet the business" decision on a technology platform, but being able to staff up your startup is certainly a key one.

From a technology capabilities perspective BizTalk and SharePoint are a great fit for this business, and as they move forward I'm hoping to follow their story, and report on their progress. Stay tuned...

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