Paul Matthews at 12:52 on Thursday, July 15. 2010 in NZCS Blog Despite what appears to be a big-budget lobbying effort by the pro-patent fraternity, Hon Simon Power announced today that he wouldn’t be modifying the proposed Patents Bill hence software will be unpatentable once the Bill passes into law.
This is significant. As we’ve previously pointed out software patents aren’t black and white, and there are certainly pros and cons. However on balance, we believe they represent a far greater risk to smaller NZ-based software providers than opportunity, and there are many cases where they have significantly stifled innovation.
We believe it’s near impossible for software to be developed without breaching some of the hundreds of thousands of software patents awarded around the world, hence many software companies in New Zealand, creating outstanding and innovative software, live a constant risk that their entire business will be wound up overnight due to litigious action by a patent holder.
I’ve haven’t seen a NZ company as a top story before. Some interesting points made by the SLI (ex Globalbrain) guy, particularly around focus on the ROI markets.
1) How New Zealand firm SLI rose from the ashes to sell around the world
Two brothers start a software firm, and sell it off to a huge corporation for millions of dollars. End of story, right?
Not for SLI Systems. That was only the beginning for this New Zealand-based search technology firm.
After they sold out, the dot-com crash swept away their jobs. So some of original team bought the technology back and started over again.
And in the past seven years, they’ve built the new company into a successful provider of website search technology.
In our Feature of the Week, CEO Shaun Ryan credits perseverance, customer focus, and careful management as he shares his 14 “rising from the ashes” tips.
From SoftwareCEO as passed on by Peter. Here is a sample of the ROI tips referred to.
Rising up from down under tip #5: Not sure where to focus? Focus where your software produces the best ROI (from page 2)
SLI set out to provide search for websites, any websites. But the company quickly narrowed its focus to e-commerce sites.
Any site with a few hundred pages or more needs search, Ryan says. But for a site that exists simply to provide information, the ROI in search isn’t so clear.
On the other hand, on an e-commerce site the benefits of good search are very concrete. People find what they’re looking for, they buy it, and the site makes money. If they don’t find what they’re looking for, they don’t buy.
A couple of years after starting SLI, “we did an exercise looking at the market and trying to work out how we should focus our marketing efforts. And we decided e-commerce was the group we should be focusing on,” Ryan says.