Happier, Faster and Cheaper...The Bottom Line


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Thomas Howe presented this at "The Business of APIs" conference on October 15, 2007.

Published in: Business, Health & Medicine
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Happier, Faster and Cheaper...The Bottom Line

  1. 1. Happier, Faster and Cheaper... The Bottom Line Thomas S. Howe The Thomas Howe Company
  2. 2. Life expands and contracts in proportion to our courage. Anais Nin
  3. 3. Businesses are Very Much Like Living Things They evolve and mutate. Those that do not adapt to their environment simply die. Those that adapt fastest eat the others. What hampers adaptation in people and businesses? Fear.
  4. 4. A Primer on Generalized Anxiety Disorders • The root cause of generalized anxiety disorders is that, among the universe of possible outcomes, the worst case scenario is imagined and planned for. • In response, control is exerted to avoid the worst case scenario. • Over time, this anxiety-control behavior is habituated until it is unnoticed. • Since the behavior is based on false assumptions, habits become based not upon basic and common realities - they are based on fear • You can judge the level of the disorder by the effort put forward in controlling interfaces with the outside world.
  5. 5. For Most Enterprises, This is a Time of Anxiety • And for very good reason - tremendous change • Change drives new possibilities • New possibilities lead to reasonable anxiety • Producers of digital products and services are losing control of the channel • And eventually will lose control of the channel • Companies no longer can use physical attributes to compete • Location, distance, inventory, face time are going out the window • New web integrated business models seem to be hard to find • Advertising seems to work, but is that all there is?
  6. 6. Some Fundamental Internet Realities • The Internet Protocol destroys distance. • Our grandchildren will laugh about long distance calling. (Pony express?) • Radically lowered the cost of starting a global business • Essentially no monetary barrier to entry.. • There’s a more important one... it’s called closeness to customer • We live in a world of nearly infinite choice • Interconnections, guidance and frictionless transactions dominate • Content is only as valuable as your ability to find it
  7. 7. A Short List of Anxieties • Here’s some excellent ones • My company monetizes my product|service using advertising, I have to control the presentation of my data • I don’t know how to make money doing xxxxx, and I’m unwilling to invest • I am unwilling to partner with just anyone • Somebody might use my product in way in which it was never intended • How can I control my liability exposure if I cannot control how it’s used? • Fantastic things to worry about - but how’s your evolution? • Address worries, but sail your ship based on the very real stars • In the long run, facts always outweigh perceptions and worries • Just ask Wily Coyote (Super Genius)
  8. 8. What Company Behaviors Line Up with Facts? • You cannot control the channel for your digital product or service • Stop trying. Make it easy for the channel to use your product • Open whatever you have that is valuable, trust and secure, then monetize • More choice leads to increased usage • Make choices to increase your choice in the market place • “Deliver everything - help me find it” • Your company cannot deliver everything - you need to partner • Your company cannot help everyone find stuff - you need to partner • In short, work hard to make it as frictionless as possible for your partners • How? Extend your businesses outside the firewall and payroll using APIs
  9. 9. I’m a New England Yankee - Born and Bred • Are there bottom lines here? • More bottom lines than can be counted, or that you’ll ever know about • We are living in a vertical world, and each has a bottom line • Here’s mine : Enterprise Business Process Improvement • In particular, using real time communictions • APIs allow me to interconnect businesses. Why would I do that? • Faster - Interconnected businesses run faster • More Efficient - Interconnected businesses run more efficiently • Happier - Interconnection breeds visibility; visibility breeds happiness • These are my realities - there are thousands more.
  10. 10. Please Embrace Your Ignorance • Here’s some details about my bottom line • All of you can’t possibly know about it. • You can’t possibly know about all of the bottom lines that exist. • Stop trying. • Let your channel partners worry about that.
  11. 11. My Example : Morisky Surveys • A Four Question Survey to Determine if Patient will Finish his Course of Care • Highly accurate, and simple to administer. • 171 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, by 2030 it doubles. • Emergency diabetic health care costs avoidable if course of care followed, yet nearly a quarter of diabetics fail the Morisky Survey. • Here’s one solution... call each diabetic, survey and assign nurses to failures • Here’s a better solution... use Web API based VoiceXML to do the survey. • The bottom line? • Average disease management nurse costs more than $7.00 a minute • Average VoiceXML script... 10 cents a minute.
  12. 12. For Disease Management Companies • Business Run Faster • People get identified quicker, care delivered with less overhead • Businesses Run More Efficiently • Avoidance of unnecessary hospitalization • I’ll take the 10 cents over the five dollars • Businesses Have Happier Customers • In this case... they have ones that are alive. • Without the VoiceXML API, this application is nearly impractical • But with it, it’s pure gold. • Do you think the VoiceXML company knows who Morisky is?
  13. 13. It’s All Getting Horizontal - Trust and Expand • I work in Real Time Communications, in Healthcare and Financial • There are literally thousands and thousands of other niches • Will your company supply the “Is this address valid?” API • If so, UPS will use you before they deliver to a new address • Will your company supply the “Translate this message into Hindi” API? • If so, an NGO will use you to deliver market quotes for rice • What does your company have to offer? • You have no idea how it will be used, because the world is just that big. • The bottom line is that there are too many bottom lines to count...
  14. 14. Thank you! • For more information, check out the following : • You all know about Mashery... • thomashowe.com • programmableweb.com • O’Reilly Radar