Nigel Ridpath's Blog


Interstitial 2011

Filed under: CRM Online,Microsoft,Startups — nigelridpath @ 10:54 am
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Well, it’s been interesting looking back at my ‘Interstitial‘ blog post this time last year and comparing it to what actually happened. One thng that I can confirm is that like, like Delboy and Rodney, I still have to say, “This time next year, we’ll be millionaires!”. Cloud9 Insight has made a solid start and gained a really good reputation, but Carlene and I have not retired on the proceeds yet! The great thing is that I am certain that Microsoft’s plans for us match our own aspirations and if we consider 2011 as the year to get established, 2012 will be the year where we see the fruits of our labours.

My intuition about my new business partner has proved to be spot-on. My ‘gut-feelings’ have always tended to be well-worth a listen, but it’s gratifying when you can look back and see that you were vindicated in trusting it. Working with someone so closely is a strange thing. It’s a cliche to say it’s like a marriage, but what other relationship requires the same level of trust and equal effort on both sides to make it work? I’d be interested to hear other people’s views on business partnership. I’m sure there are many business owners out there that feel that they couldn’t share the running of a business, but I have to say, for me there is nothing like sharing the highs and lows with someone that you know is as committed to the venture as you are. [A bit like a marriage!?!]

The interstitial period this year has proved to be a bit of an odd one. In particular the 27th December, when we went to see Saracens beat Harlequins in front of 82,000 (80,000 of which were supporting Quins) at Twickenham, only to find out an hour or so after the match that my paternal grandmother had passed away. A real rollercoaster of a day. So, if anything, I have been even more reflective in this period between Christmas and New Year than normal.

If the step-parent relationship is the most difficult (see this article that I wrote for Helium some time ago), the grandparent relationship is surely the easiest. All the fun and none of the responsibility! More or less. I have been lucky to enjoy my grandparents well into adulthood. In fact, it is my maternal grandmother’s 94th birthday today (Happy Birthday Nana!). Still the matriarch, still a fantastic role-model. She is looking forward to her 12th great-grandchild due at any moment.

The grandmother who’s funeral I will be attending in the next week or so was 93 last summer, so it looks like I’m from long-living stock. With that distinctive Sussex accent (very rare to hear these days), she always welcomed us warmly to her house on the south coast for Sunday lunch or to be ‘fattened up’ for a few days after some illness or other. There is no doubt that there was a classic example of the grandparent relationship working a bit more smoothly than the parent-child counterpart. I have fond memories, which is, after all, the best thing that we can leave behind us when we move on.

So …. let’s take a peak into the crystal ball. 2012 is clearly going to be a big year for the UK, with the Olympics, the Queen’s diamond jubilee and the country somehow trying to feel its way through the economic turmoil. For me personally, it’s going to be about building on the foundation work at Cloud9 and working out which way to take the business. CRM has done very well for us (37 new clients in 9 months), but Microsoft are prodding us towards some other related opportunities that could prove very fertile ground. We’ll see.

It’ll be another exciting year and I will be throwing myself into it with my usual gusto. Whatever you’re hoping for in 2012, I wish you a happy and healthy one!

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