What Comes After Nines?

As the headline hints, Amy Katz and I are already thinking about "what's next" for us and our business -- After Nines Inc. So far, our focus has involved consulting and outsourcing projects across the IT landscape, with a particular emphasis on research, branding and market positioning. So what's next?

First, we'll continue our current consulting engagements -- we really enjoy them and value the relationships.

But what else is potentially on the way? The answer to that question is particularly timely. As I've hinted in recent weeks, we want to build a scalable, repeatable platform for you -- for any screen.

What's Cooking

I'll use a restaurant metaphor to somewhat explain our goals. Generally speaking, all restaurants require the same core foundational infrastructure -- kitchen appliances, point of sale systems, an inviting floor plan, etc. If you build your restaurant blueprint correctly, you can essentially "repeat" the blueprint in any market and/or geography: Burgers in Manhattan; Vegan in  San Francisco; Seafood in Miami, etc.

I realize you'll need to fine-tune the model in each market and region, but stick with me and apply the metaphor to After Nines Inc. We're focused on building  a core technology platform -- the plumbing first.

At some point long down the road, we'll worry about a potential brand on the door and the specific customers we hope to serve. A few hypotheticals...

  • FinancingWithoutFidel: Investors focused on emerging opportunities in Cuba.
  • Droning4Dollars: Drone advocates focused on business use cases in real estate, transportation and more?
  • OctoDisrupters: For octogenarians in the workforce.

My point is this: If you build the right underlying platform you can potentially pivot quickly to serve anyone. Anywhere. Much in the way that a Web browser can serve up anything. To anyone. Anywhere. If you've got the right IT infrastructure in place, that is.

Why write this blog now? Because our platform concept -- the foundation we're building -- now has nine core software components in place. So what comes after those nine -- ahem, After Nines? I suspect we're going to need another 30 or so components (software cinder blocks, if you will) in place to round out our core foundation before we decide what to actually do with the platform. (Assuming it works.)

I don't know what type of restaurant we'll potentially open. But I do know this: If anything emerges from this exercise, it will be built to last.

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