At the start of my many short journeys back in 1999 I set myself and my team a mission; to identify a market where we could do better than the incumbents, design products to address the needs more effectively, add value, take the identified market by storm with our products, services and their support, maintenance and upgrades, challenge the dominant player openly and brazenly, radically change the established pricing model, create and maintain a dominant position in that market, nurture and maintain a brand for each individual product, ensure the product brands are recognized for their innovation, responsiveness and unparalleled support.
Then spin off the products arm as a separate entity or sell the products to an established player or one looking to establish themselves in that market. The idea being to create an investment loop from one set of products and services to fund new product investments as opportunities are identified.
My team and me did exactly that (it took us longer than expected to get to the first ‘winning’ product but…), we achieved this with a number of products the talent management space in health and social care verticals.
The products designed, built and continue to maintain and support went from being prototypes being presented to thought leaders in the sector to online software services used by 1,500,000 plus users in the National Health Service and Local governmental bodies in the United Kingdom. Having created a significant footprint in the chosen verticals I knew it was time to either spin off or sell of the products to someone who could do them even more justice whilst remaining true to the original vision. Meaning I would be free to repeat the process all over again but this time with more investment and an on the job MBA!… or to start another journey doing something different.
In April 2011 Ikonami’s products along with the vehicle used so far in the journey (Ikonami Ltd UK) were sold to Electric Word Plc, and a new relationship was formed. Electric Word plc bought the talent management products suite and retained the services of one of the directors of Ikonami; Arif Ahmed. And better yet retained us in a long term contract to continue support and maintenance of the products and to provide additional software services.
What was Ikonami Ltd has now been re-branded as Radcliffe Solutions Ltd and the Ikonami brand has transitioned to another vehicle to continue with its journey; Ikonami Technologies Ltd.
Along this leg of my journey I learned many lessons, from product ownership and company structure to managing resellers and partners, avoiding exploitation from the larger fish, to fighting off the competition and their lobby groups and much much more…there were painful lessons, some costly ones, some doH! moments and many awesome ones!
Having done so I am repeating the adventure but with a difference; not to make the same mistakes again, to learn from my many small journeys, implement the positives, manage the risk of the negatives and avoid the silly. And where possible share the learnings with our clients, suppliers, partners and peers.
Other than being a world class software services partner my team and me are here to share our experiences with our clients, to guide and assist them in not just the technical aspects but to provide advise on all aspects of their own adventure, for in their success is ours.
Recently I was reading an article in a mainstream broadsheet that there are fewer opportunities now than there were 20 years ago, I strongly disagree for good market research and innovative product/service development can create an opportunity in any crowded space or indeed out of thin air! Open data comes to example as the perfect example.
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