Web 2.0, O’Reilly, and QuickBase

Our PR team likes to position me as somewhat of a contrarian with respect to Web 2.0. (I’m anti-hype.) This morning though, I have to admit to being pretty happy with Web 2.0, thanks to Tim O’Reilly. I was listening to a Business Week podcast in my car: "O’Reilly’s Guide to Web 2.0" Tim said [via my paraphrasing]:

Web 2.0 is about leveraging the power of the network created by the Internet… doing things that could never be done before.

Notice, he didn’t mention technologies like Web services, or AJAX. He didn’t mention start-ups eating established companies. He didn’t mention new business models, etc. He stayed focused on the value… do what couldn’t have accomplished before. Before the Internet, we couldn’t leverage the collective content of billions of people. Google then used Google smarts to harness the collective wisdom on that collective content via their page rank algorithm. Now that’s stuff that couldn’t have been done before.

Here’s an article that I wrote for iMediaConnection on marketing collaboration technology. Go in and replace marketing with whatever field you are in… sales, IT, HR, operations, finance, etc…, and provide some workflow examples that fit the stuff you do every day. This brings the power of Web 2.0 to you. We can make technology social, and we need to. You don’t have to stick with manual workflows (spreadsheets, emails, meetings, etc.) because traditional software doesn’t fit your needs for flexibility, costs, and supportability. What QuickBase is doing wasn’t possible before.

My big question to you, does this make any sense? Am I caught in some hype bubble or helping keep QuickBase focused on core value by thinking about it this way? Thanks for your counsel! :-)

[Aside: I love O'Reilly's company, because of their charter... poorly paraphrased by me: "to spread innovation." They don't view themselves as a publishing company, but rather as evangelists, so they focus not on reporting what's out there, but how to embrace it. How cool is that?]

  • http://www.techlifeweb.com/ Scott Kingery

    The new tech (be it web 2 or some other hype name, who cares) give us:
    A conduit to exchange info with current or future customers. I’ve seen you use this blog for both low moments and high (companywise I mean). And, was my company not a customer, I could review archives to see that interaction and find out if there are ‘real people’ at Intuit. How do they react to the tough times? Are they going to be there for me when the inevitable happens? The things that matter to me.

    We also get mobility. The folks at my company can log in anywhere they are and not have to hassle with VPNs etc to start or move a workflow along. Or record an entry to a datbase. Additonally, as a developer, I can fix things from where ever I am! I don’t have to bring my laptop with VB or what ever loaded on it and check code in and out. That rocks.

    Also, and this isn’t necessarily part of the new web, a stong and _active_ user community. These have been around for a long time so they aren’t anything new. I think the new web tech helps them because postings become indexed and more searchable. Yes, I understand the need for paid support from time to time. But an active user/developer community like the one Quickbase has is key to me. It ranks way up there when I’m trying to make a decision on the software/service I’m going to buy.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.techlifeweb.com Scott Kingery

    The new tech (be it web 2 or some other hype name, who cares) give us:
    A conduit to exchange info with current or future customers. I’ve seen you use this blog for both low moments and high (companywise I mean). And, was my company not a customer, I could review archives to see that interaction and find out if there are ‘real people’ at Intuit. How do they react to the tough times? Are they going to be there for me when the inevitable happens? The things that matter to me.

    We also get mobility. The folks at my company can log in anywhere they are and not have to hassle with VPNs etc to start or move a workflow along. Or record an entry to a datbase. Additonally, as a developer, I can fix things from where ever I am! I don’t have to bring my laptop with VB or what ever loaded on it and check code in and out. That rocks.

    Also, and this isn’t necessarily part of the new web, a stong and _active_ user community. These have been around for a long time so they aren’t anything new. I think the new web tech helps them because postings become indexed and more searchable. Yes, I understand the need for paid support from time to time. But an active user/developer community like the one Quickbase has is key to me. It ranks way up there when I’m trying to make a decision on the software/service I’m going to buy.

    [Reply]

  • Jana

    So, Scott, just to clarify, do we feel like real people? One of the things I struggle with is that I’m pretty dopey with my excitement on QuickBase. I find myself toning that down because I don’t want it to sound like hype.

    As far as sharing the bad times, transparency is key for me. I feel fortunate to work for Intuit, where I can be open about issues and talk to our customers about it.

    Mobility is a good one to add to the “couldn’t have done it before”. I love that I now can feel pretty comfortable that I can access things from anywhere. I’ll be in the Greek isles next week on A SHIP WITH WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS! That wasn’t likely even 2 years ago. And to me (and I realize that isn’t the case for everyone), that rocks.

    We have many people comment on our community and how active, but more importantly, how supportive it is. It makes me smile.

    [Reply]

  • Jana

    So, Scott, just to clarify, do we feel like real people? One of the things I struggle with is that I’m pretty dopey with my excitement on QuickBase. I find myself toning that down because I don’t want it to sound like hype.

    As far as sharing the bad times, transparency is key for me. I feel fortunate to work for Intuit, where I can be open about issues and talk to our customers about it.

    Mobility is a good one to add to the “couldn’t have done it before”. I love that I now can feel pretty comfortable that I can access things from anywhere. I’ll be in the Greek isles next week on A SHIP WITH WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS! That wasn’t likely even 2 years ago. And to me (and I realize that isn’t the case for everyone), that rocks.

    We have many people comment on our community and how active, but more importantly, how supportive it is. It makes me smile.

    [Reply]

  • blogMidtown

    To be honest, I use QB to get things done more simply (therefore more quickly) so I can go to the Greek Isles and NOT have internet access!!!

    The power of this software is that it’s not so open-ended and complex that the end user can’t even begin to use it (eg MicroSoft Project).

    I think a lot of the Web 2.0 and saas talk is confusing to the average user.

    [Reply]

  • blogMidtown

    To be honest, I use QB to get things done more simply (therefore more quickly) so I can go to the Greek Isles and NOT have internet access!!!

    The power of this software is that it’s not so open-ended and complex that the end user can’t even begin to use it (eg MicroSoft Project).

    I think a lot of the Web 2.0 and saas talk is confusing to the average user.

    [Reply]

  • Kalpana

    Can you please help me for my requirement? I have to integrate Quick Books with my Expense Management System.All my project expenses or specific category expenses have to be incorporated directly to quick books with manual intervention.

    [Reply]

  • Kalpana

    Can you please help me for my requirement? I have to integrate Quick Books with my Expense Management System.All my project expenses or specific category expenses have to be incorporated directly to quick books with manual intervention.

    [Reply]

  • Chris

    I agree wholeheartedly that most Web 2.0 hype needs to be tempered with a healthy dose of skepticism. How does Basecamp (from 37signals) compare to QuickBase?

    [Reply]

  • Chris

    I agree wholeheartedly that most Web 2.0 hype needs to be tempered with a healthy dose of skepticism. How does Basecamp (from 37signals) compare to QuickBase?

    [Reply]

  • Hunter Walker

    Hi Chris,

    I have a Basecamp account and use it quite a bit It’s a great product, but its purpose is different than that of Quickbase. 37signals has built a project collaboration utility that is simple to use and very cheap. Quickbase can do the exact same thing, but so much more (with the exception of the 37signals Writeboard, which is admittedly very cool). You can tailor your Quickbase app to meet your specific business needs. Basecamp is more generic.

    I will soon be moving all my Basecamp data into a Quickbase app. In Quickbase I can set up predecessors between tasks; this is impossible in Basecamp and according to them, that feature isn’t on the horizon.

    Hope this helps!

    [Reply]

  • Hunter Walker

    Hi Chris,

    I have a Basecamp account and use it quite a bit It’s a great product, but its purpose is different than that of Quickbase. 37signals has built a project collaboration utility that is simple to use and very cheap. Quickbase can do the exact same thing, but so much more (with the exception of the 37signals Writeboard, which is admittedly very cool). You can tailor your Quickbase app to meet your specific business needs. Basecamp is more generic.

    I will soon be moving all my Basecamp data into a Quickbase app. In Quickbase I can set up predecessors between tasks; this is impossible in Basecamp and according to them, that feature isn’t on the horizon.

    Hope this helps!

    [Reply]