Seven years ago, three Stanford University students started an internet photo sharing app and community that featured disappearing pictures. The fast growing user base consisting of a younger age demographic immediately gravitated to it which caught the attention of Facebook as an acquisition target. Early investors who were fortunate to be accepted eagerly jumped on this company that had 13 employees at the time. Facebook offered $3B to acquire it and was turned down. Two years later in February,2017, Snapchat's parent company Snap filed with the SEC to go IPO and debuted with a market capitalization around $18B.
Snapchat is an example of unprecedented wealth creation that only technology based companies have accomplished in a short period of time. Silicon Valley has many successful technology based networks and communities. Paving the way are tech community based networks such as Facebook, Alibaba (China), Pinterest, Google, Ebay, Amazon and LinkedIn.
Why is this relevant to our new startup Ohana? Ohana has the same vision, path, and opportunity to achieve success like these technology giants. Ohana is also a community based network for SMBs to work with IT Resellers and other businesses around the world. We see our company as a future billion dollar unicorn that has diligently crafted a revenue subscription business with scalability, paying customers, and global relevance with projected high multiples in investor equity returns.
Reasons to Invest in Ohana:
Early investor opportunities are available
Very large global market (350M SMBs worldwide)
Ohana's is an internet software business (no inventory, manufacturing, but highly scalable)
Software as a Service Subscription Business Model
Ohana solves a very big business problem for SMBs, IT Enterprises, and IT Resellers
Networked communities are inherently defensible businesses
New expansion opportunities beyond the IT Sector for growth
Today we are proud to announce Ohana, a new kind of B2B IT commerce company that aims to reinvent what and how millions of SMBs buy IT product and services. The vision is substantial; Ohana aims to disrupt the entire IT Sales Channel industry, and in the process, help large enterprises reconsider how they work and meet the needs of SMBs. The Ohana mission is deeply rooted in connected businesses, or the Ohana way of community-driven relationships. Ohana will make it possible for all SMBs to have access, leverage, and success by directly connecting with sellers and business customers.
The SMB’s buying behavior has shifted because of necessity. The big channel resellers are struggling to keep up. Today’s millions of SMBs think differently, act differently and they consume differently. SMBs cite value and price as their number one buying consideration. They do independent research, rely on referrals and shun the mass marketing by IT sellers. They expect IT brands to behave in a socially responsible way. Simply put: SMBs are not treated well by the legacy establishment and they don’t have a connection with IT Resellers and manufacturing brands.
Meanwhile the IT business is a $845B industry that is the fastest growing sector globally. It has developed a complex labyrinth of middlemen (IT Sales Channel Partners) , recursive and inefficient economics and promotion, and calcified channels, all of which add costly markups, lack of attention, low leverage in price, little access to global opportunities, and result in 50% of U.S. Small businesses failing within 5 years of existence.
Ohana aims to give a better approach to SMB IT consumption with value-driven, simple and path to get services and products. This means personalized customer experience. By streamlining the way IT products are sourced, distributed, promoted, and sold, Ohana will help SMBs and Sellers successfully conduct business in a better, easier, and more efficient way.
The company plans to launch in the first half of 2018 with 12 sales channel partners and their thousands of SMBs customers. Other communities will also join the launch such as the early market trial partner Campbell, CA Chamber of Commerce. From there, scale, value and efficiencies will be the focus to grow the Ohana network globally to become a multi billion dollar company.
Ohana is a disrupting force by providing a better way for Enterprises to sell to SMBs.
By Vivek Wadhwa I doubt that Google and Microsoft ever worried about the prospect that a book retailer, Amazon, would come to lead one of their highest-growth markets: cloud services. And I doubt that Apple ever feared that Amazon’s Alexa would eat Apple’s Siri for lunch. For that matter, the taxi industry couldn’t have imagined that a Silicon Valley startup would be its greatest threat, and AT&T T, +0.10% and Verizon VZ, +0.13% surely didn’t imagine that a social media company, Facebook FB, +0.01% could become a dominant player in mobile telecommunications. But this is the new nature of disruption: disruptive competition comes out of nowhere. The incumbents aren’t ready for this and as a result, the vast majority of today’s leading companies will likely become what I call toast—in a decade or less. Note the march of Amazon AMZN, +0.09% First it was bookstores, publishing and distribution; then cleaning supplies, electronics and assorted home goods. Now Amazon is set to dominate all forms of retail as well as cloud services, electronic gadgetry and small-business lending. And its proposed acquisition of Whole Foods WFM, +0.14% sees Amazon literally breaking the barriers between the digital and physical realms. This is the type of disruption we will see in almost every industry over the next decade, as technologies advance and converge and turn the incumbents into toast. We have experienced the advances in our computing devices, with smartphones having greater computing power than yesterday’s supercomputers. Now, every technology with a computing base is advancing on an exponential curve — including sensors, artificial intelligence, robotics, synthetic biology and 3-D printing. And when technologies converge, they allow industries to encroach on one another.
Uber became a threat to the transportation industry by taking advantage of the advances in smartphones, GPS sensors, and networks. Airbnb did the same to hotels by using these advancing technologies to connect people with lodging. Netflix’s NFLX, +0.07% ability to use internet connectivity put Blockbuster out of business. Facebook’s WhatsApp and Microsoft’s MSFT, +0.34% Skype helped decimate the costs of texting and roaming, causing an estimated $386 billion loss to telecommunications companies from 2012 to 2018. Similarly, having proven the viability of electric vehicles, Tesla TSLA, -0.02% is building batteries and solar technologies that could shake up the global energy industry. Now tech companies are building sensor devices that monitor health. With artificial intelligence, these will be able to provide better analysis of medical data than doctors can. Apple’s AAPL, +0.05% ResearchKit is gathering so much clinical-trial data that it could eventually upend the pharmaceutical industry by correlating the effectiveness and side effects of the medications we take. As well, Google GOOG, +0.01%GOOGL, -0.21% Facebook, SpaceX, and Oneweb are in a race to provide Wi-Fi internet access everywhere through drones, microsatellites and balloons. At first, they will use the telecom companies to provide their services; then they will turn them into toast. The motivation of the technology industry is, after all, to have everyone online all the time. Their business models are to monetize data rather than to charge cell, data, or access fees. They will also end up disrupting electronic entertainment — and every other industry that deals with information. The problem for market leaders is that they aren’t ready for this disruption and are often in denial.The disruptions don’t happen within an industry, as business executives have been taught by gurus such as Clayton Christensen, author of management bible “The Innovator’s Dilemma”; rather, they come from where you would least expect them to. Christensen postulated that companies tend to ignore the markets most susceptible to disruptive innovations because these markets usually have very tight profit margins or are too small, leading competitors to start off by providing lower-end products and then scale them up, or to go for niches in a market that the incumbent is ignoring. But the competition no longer comes from the lower end of a market; it comes from other, completely different, industries. The problem for incumbents, the market leaders, is that they aren’t ready for this disruption and are often in denial. Because they have succeeded in the past, companies believe that they can succeed in the future, that old business models can support new products. Large companies are usually organized into divisions and functional silos, each with its own product development, sales, marketing, customer support and finance functions. Each division acts from self-interest and focuses on its own success; within a fortress that protects its ideas, it has its own leadership and culture. And employees focus on the problems of their own divisions or departments — not on those of the company. Too often, the divisions of a company consider their competitors to be the company’s other divisions; they can’t envisage new industries or see the threat from other industries.
This is why the majority of today’s leading companies are likely to go the way of Blockbuster, Motorola, Sears and Kodak, which were at the top of their game until their markets were disrupted, sending them toward oblivion. Companies now have to be on a war footing. They need to learn about technology advances and see themselves as a technology startup in Silicon Valley would: as a juicy target for disruption. They have to realize that the threat may arise in any industry, with any new technology. Companies need all hands on board — with all divisions working together employing bold new thinking to find ways to reinvent themselves and defend themselves from the onslaught of new competition. The choice that leaders face is to disrupt themselves — or to be disrupted. Vivek Wadhwa is a Distinguished Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University Engineering at Silicon Valley and the author of “The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Our Technology Choices Will Create the Future”.
The U.S. Small Business Administration Sizes Up the SMB Market- Very Large and Under-served