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Main > Archives > 2008 > August > Ocarina's model- Identify the need/design the solution

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ocarina's model- Identify the need/design the solution

Apple and other tech giants have made a living by telling us what we need- not asking. A buzz is eventually created, I.E.- an Iphone, and everyone rushes to by the new product. In many cases, the approach has been succesful, but Muri Thirumale has used a different approach- discover the market's  most critical need, then provide a remedy.

In 2000, Thirumale's company, Net6, was ahead of its time. They marketed customizable content for mobile devices, long before the explosion of pda's,Blackberrys or Iphones. Net6 couldn't  create the buzz because cells were still, well, just phones. As a result, their service was rendered useless to market that hadn't formed yet.

Following the failure of Net6, Thirumale decided to take a new approach: search for a need, design your product and sell it, or as they call it SDBS- Sell,Design,Build,Sell.The research led to the creation of Ocarina Networks which provides storage optimization.From Ocarina's site

File-aware storage optimization starts by identifying file types, and the applications they come from, and then applying file type-specific algorithms to optimize the storage of those files .

How did Thirumale identify the storage sneed? He asked his potential clients. An excerpt from the Forbes' story reads:

Before founding Ocarina in 2007, Thirumale asked the chief information officer of software maker Citrix what his top three problems were. Application deployment was No. 1 on his list, and the ballooning storage problem was No. 2.

The Citrix CIO told Thirumale that even though the cost of media was falling, the overall cost of storage is increasing because the amount of data that needs to be stored is overwhelming. (Thirumale had an in at Citrix because Citrix acquired Net6 for $50 million in 2005.)

With this newfound knowledge, Thirumale and his team went to hundreds of other CIOs and discussed the storage issue. Consistent feedback confirmed that the problem was real, not imagined.

Obviously, Apple's "create the buzz" approach has proven to be succesful, but most companies don't have  even a fraction of the financial resoursces that apple devotes to promoting its latest products.

Ocarina'simple but effecient business model reminds me of Bill Clinton's approach to politics- reach out to the common man, feel his pain and reply with an appeasing answer that will simplify the solution for both sides. Not everyone may be a fan of the approach, but it's still effective.


By Matt O'Hern at 08:34 AM | Comments (0)

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