Monthly Archives: October 2007

Zipcar buys Flexcar WOO WOO

Zipcar and Flexcar are both car sharing companies. For background on the concept, read about it here.

My wife and I share one car for a variety of reasons and it works out really well. We end up walking a bunch more. We take the bus downtown. I work from a home office so I don’t need a car for a daily commute. Foregoing expense of a car used only once or twice a week. Lots of reasons. Car sharing has been a great way to have the “extra car” when we need it. If I need a car in the middle of the day, I reserve one online for a couple of hours, run my errands, come back and drop it off. My wife and I LOVE the concept for so many reasons.

Now that I’ve buried the lead:

I’m THRILLED that Zipcar is acquiring Flexcar. Why? Completely selfish reasons.

I lived in Boston so my first car sharing experience was with Zipcar. I thought their “execution” on the operations side was excellent. Great website. Great card/entry system. Great refueling. Great phone interface. Great billing system (can see when I used what). Everything was great. Then I moved to Seattle.

Zipcar wasn’t in Seattle, but Flexcar was. I signed up with Flexcar and have been solidly underwhelmed with their operation. Sure, it’s the same sort of thing and its been quite similar but hands down Zipcar was much much better. Flexcar had weird lock boxes and keypads. Refueling numbers on your reservation. Flexcar website doesn’t do positional location of cars (you have to know your neighborhood). Flexcar requires you use your Member ID (2039884) to login instead of a username (ngoodman). I’ve used Flexcar for the past three years and, well, it was adequate.

The news that Flexcar has been acquired (release says merged, but Zipcar is x3 the size of Flexcar) by Zipcar is AWESOME. As a customer of BOTH companies I’m absolutely thrilled that I’ll be able to get the same Boston experience I’ve been missing here in Seattle.
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Woo Woo Zipcar.

bayon is back

For readers who have been perusing since the early days of this blog (bayon blog) you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you’re a reader that has joined in the past year and half you’re probably wondering “What is bayon?”

bayon is a boutique consulting firm specializing in Business Intelligence implementations; it’s my company that I’ve operated since 2002. I put it on the back burner when I put on a Pentaho jersey and played a few games on the Pentaho team. I’m leaving (actually, left) Pentaho. My time at Pentaho was great. The Pentaho tribe is a great group of kind, honest, smart people. Rare to find the intersection of good people and good technologists.

I’ve felt the siren call of helping customers in a more entrenched way. Consulting does that I think. So, not like it’s a big announcement, but it is belated as my last day at Pentaho was nearly two months ago:

I’m now working at bayon full time building a dedicated practice around Open Source BI technologies in the enterprise. Bayon has joined the Pentaho partner program as a Certified Systems Integrator.

So there you have it. Shingle is out.

If you are interested in Pentaho, Open Source ETL, Open Source BI, etc don’t hesitate to be in touch.

PS – It’s also worth noting that my leaving has no reflection on the progress of the business. Quite the opposite really; some would consider me foolish for leaving when the company is doing as well as it is!

A company that doesn't get "it" – ParAccel homepage

UPDATE: ParAccel have updated their website and no longer have the below silly teaser link.

I ran into someone from ParAccel at a TDWI conference this year and she alluded to the fact that I might find their product interesting. I saw another blog posting that mentioned them so I figured out it was time to go and find some information.

I’m a consultant. I’m not into vague marketing statements like “We scale linearly and process data 100x faster than everyone else.” Everyone has that on a website with a Dashboard or some whizbang graph. What is going to get a company into my sales channel (I have customers)? Good information about their product. What it is. Specs. Diagrams with approach to scaling. Things people like me need to understand what a product is.

So – here’s a dumb move. Put a link on your homepage (http://www.paraccel.com) that invites people to learn about your Architecture but then come up with some self important fake popup about an architecture that is SOOOO secret we can’t even give you a big diagram with bubbles and concepts.

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In the day and age where Open Source and user generated content, tips, ideas are progressing technology at impressive rates there are clearly some people who get “it” and don’t. Getting customers jazzed about your product (with that big diagram with bubbles and concepts) is more important than what you think your competitors will gleam from it (big diagram with bubbles and concepts).

Yawn. Moving on. :)