INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
The New Deal
We talked to Jane Di Noto of cloudyBoss group about unlimited ecosystems, and she had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jane Di Noto: Many Thanks for asking. We are all doing fine. We are, of course, confined at home, but our daily routines have mostly remained unchanged. This is because we’ve been operating virtual enterprises and ecosystems for more than a decade now; therefore, we, as well as all our colleagues in the cloudyBoss ecosystem, are used to this way of life.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded cloudyBoss.
Jane Di Noto: I am of Thai descent, travelled the world for the past 30 years, working first in the legal sector, with a particular focus on the Asian and US aviation industries. I then managed one of my father’s ventures in the industrial laser sector across Asia and Europe. I started the cloudyBoss venture first as a technical Proof of Concept in 2006 (it wasn’t called cloudyBoss back then), then as a registered business in Australia in 2008 and have kept on scaling it up the world over since then, with an ever-growing champion team of scientists, engineers and client-success talents, including my partner and co-founder Giovanni Di Noto.
How does cloudyBoss innovate?
Jane Di Noto: We follow a methodology which we’ve internally coined as 3-horizons. It is a continuously self-disrupting, phoenix-like, innovation process articulating around 3 horizons. Horizon-1 consists of short market-driven development cycles (daily or hourly), which match the dynamics of classic agile methodologies such as scrum, for example. Horizon-2 focuses on integration between the core stack and mature but still unreleased technologies, which will hit the market within 2 to 5 years. Horizon-3 is all about self-disruptive research & development on new innovative but uncertain technologies, with a 5+ years or more cycle. The cloudyBoss scientific and engineering communities carry out research & development activities across these 3 different horizons in a simultaneous and highly integrated fashion.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Jane Di Noto: From a purely operational perspective, I must say that coronavirus had a virtually (punt intended) nil impact on cloudyBoss: this is because our modus operandi has been fully virtual from day 1. So, topics such as WFH (Work From Home) processes and the operational constraints they introduce on many levels such as team communications, Occupational Health & Safety compliance, information security, and much more, are all trivial for us and deeply ingrained into cloudyBoss ethos. However, one negative impact has been the net increase in market demand for our products and services. This occurred at a time where pressure was already high as we were already scaling up quickly. With ever-elusive and out-of-reach conventional capital market resources, a continuously defaulting banking system which never really recovered from, and has lost its ability to take risks since the devastating 2008 GFC event, and no real alternative from the still too volatile crypto markets, we can rely only on our own top-line revenues and net profit reinjections into the business to serve our growth and invest on ourselves. At times, this can be a difficult balancing act, especially when externalities such as covid-19 hit us. Of course, we have been coping relatively well, considering the massive negative impact covid-19 had on markets at large. But we know we could have done even better, and we certainly are doing a lot of R&D work now across all 3 Horizons to steer away and/or neutralize these financial market fundamental fault lines.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Jane Di Noto: The most difficult situations with cloudyBoss are when we have to say “no” to clients, for example, when we cannot meet their pre-contract expectations with project completion timelines. We strive to always deliver on-budget or below, on-goals or beyond, and on-time or before. But one thing we refuse to do is over-promise and under-deliver: we’d rather walk away from a deal, no matter its size, than sign a contract and disappoint. So, yes: we had to say “no” a few times this year, and it was difficult, but that is the true cost of excellence.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and cloudyBoss in the future?
Jane Di Noto: It’s important to look at stress and anxiety from a root cause perspective. In many conventional organizations, anxiety is often the result of a wrong culture focused on the wrong outcomes, such as financial returns for shareholders. This is a short-sighted game with extremely poor outcomes in the long-run and a destructive culture that indeed generates needless anxiety and stress. The 3-Horizons method I talked about earlier is the way we neutralize these organizational risks: by constantly keeping our eyes on the farther horizon and accepting the fact that this landscape might change, our ecosystem can operate with great calmness because we know where we are going, we can anticipate the end-game and its ever-evolving goals. To use some traveling analogies, you drive a car looking further away and constantly anticipating anything that might happen along the journey, rather than looking at what is only a few meters from it (such as end-of-year financials, for example). The same goes with the topic of business acceleration, which, when misunderstood, needlessly generates a lot of stress and anxiety: thinking that driving a business at an ever-faster pace is about pushing down the gas pedal to get your car to move faster and wishing you’ll make it safe while you are driving everyone insane, is just wrong; safely accelerating a business pace is instead about acknowledging that your vector has changed: you are now piloting a space rocket travelling hundreds of time faster than a car; this requires the proper instrumentation, precision, and absolute behavioral coolness.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Jane Di Noto: We are in the distributed economics market, still operating relatively alone (for now) in the area of distributed ecosystem management and converging technologies (DLT, IoT, AI, and others). The notion of competition is probably more relevant to conventional linear economics and XIX/XX centuries market dynamics. With ecosystems, connectivity and interoperability are more determining factors than the competition. We will remain in the game for as long as we can keep our eyes on the Horizon-3 end goals and never fall into the trap of short-termism.
Your final thoughts?
Jane Di Noto: Covid-19 has been (still is) a terrible event, and we’ve lost a lot of lives. But we also need to embrace the new dynamics affecting us all: pandemic situations such as covid-19 are just one of the many other global threats which are now emerging at an accelerating pace. They’ll characterize the new “money cannot buy any more” era we’ve predicted (and tried to avoid) for years. Socio-environmental sustainability has become (always was) disproportionally more important than any other out-of-touch pure financial goals or outcomes. Entrepreneurship centered on the long-term will now grow much faster and quickly replace the mainstream short-termism that has dominated world industries, governments, and societies for the past 200 years. For all the doom around, this is indeed a very interesting inflection point for all of us.
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