Sunday, July 6, 2008

Micro Multinationals in Business Week

There is an article on micro-multinationals in this week's Business Week.  It can be seen on their web site by clicking here.  The micro-multinational trend is to stay here and the number of such companies will continue to grow. Based on my personal experiences, I strongly believe that the small business world is in a dire need of a web based business management software platform designed for a small business to go international.

The software platform has to have certain fundamental attributes for a mass adoption by the small businesses around the globe. 

1) Such a platform will be complex by nature so there have to be millions of service providers ready to help business with this platform.

2) For this kind of mass acceptance both by the micr0-multinationals and service providers alike, it has to be relatively affordable for any size of business. The only way I see it happening is if the business is charged based on the business activity or pay-per-transaction (a transaction can be defined many different ways).

3) The software platform also has to be open so that it can keep up with the pace of change in today's business world.  One company cannot hire enough programmers to incorporate all the needed functionality. So, millions of developers must have an incentive to give their best to this open platform.  An open-source package without any heavy-weight companies behind it does not cut it because the modifications/add-ons to the platform have to be regulated by a central authority for it to work in a uniform way.

Every functionality or business model that such a platform needs is already out there so I am not necessarily talking about new features here, it's just that existing stuff has to be combined in a new package with a right philosophy. The fundamental reasons for the success of QuickBooks, Linux, Apache ,Google Adwords,  Microsoft Windows and SAP have to be analyzed and cooked in one pan to come up with a perfect mixture for micro-multinational business software platform.

Everyday, I come back home from work with an ever increasing passionate desire to have the resources and support available to be able to create such a platform.  For quite some time, I have thought about going to VCs to get seed funding for this idea. At other times, I wish that a company like Google or Microsoft can introduce such a thing which will be a tremendous help in taking the Heaven Fresh to the next level. But perhaps, a consortium is needed to pull off an ambitious project like this one.


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