Forecasting the Winners in the Cloud Computing/SaaS Market

Trying to determine which companies will emerge to be the future leaders in the cloud computing market is still fairly difficult. A poll taken by Saugatech last year revealed that 51% of the respondents  “didn’t know or weren’t sure which company would be the next ‘master brand’”.

While at the application level, it’s easy to view Salesforce.com as the star of that sector, it gets a little murky as you move to other functional areas of the front and back office as well as down the overall cloud ‘stack’. As with most nascent markets,  the market is highly fragmented: CoLo/Managed Services (e.g. Rackspace, OpSource, many others),  Infrastructure/Platform (e.g. Amazon, Salesforce.com, VMWare, many others), Tools (e.g. Salesforce.com, Corent, Serena, SAP/Coghead, many others), and some a mixture of 2 or more areas (e.g. Salesforce.com).

Creating Global Market Leadership

The Power of Brand in the Technology Markets

I have listened to hundreds of presentations from entrepreneurs looking for funding since I joined InterWest Partners. They all have one thing in common: the majority of the presentation is spent on the product they are building and the market they are targeting.

Similarly, when a venture firm does its due diligence, it spends a significant amount of time and effort speaking with current or prospective customers and analysts to gauge their level of interest, the importance to the business, ROI, usage rates, etc.

This is all very laudable.

However, if you were to perform autopsies of technology start-ups that have failed, I think you would find that most were able to build the products they said they would—and that the customers who purchased them received more than marginal utility from them.