Cows and Clouds

Nana Gently grew up (and eventually died) on a sweet onion farm, in Georgia (USA), which meant that I would also spend a great deal of my vacations there as a child.

Now those days weren’t all about drinking homemade lemonade and laying baseball in the dust, no Sir! Enid Gently was a sweet lady, but boy was she a task master.

“Grind that flour, banjo (her nickname for me)” she would bark at me. “Pluck that god damn turkey pencil-neck or you’ll be eating cow shit for dinner.”

And then there were the onions. Thousands of them. And we ate them for every meal, sometimes glazed in honey and BBQ’d, sometimes grated onto our cereal. Man, I can taste them now.

“Where are you going with this Tugg?’ you are probably saying.

Well I’ll tell you.

Nana used to keep a fair few cows, but there was one, Mary-Lou Gently, that was a complete bitch to milk.

She would have probably been shot in the face if it wasn’t for one thing…her incredible milk. That sour faced, whining cow produced the thickest creamiest milk that anyone had ever tasted. It was delicious and achieved something of a stir in Glenville.

It struck me this morning that Mary-Lou was just like the cloud computing industry. Awful to look at, let alone communicate with and able to produce an alarming amount of bullshit. However, with careful nurturing and a lot of patience, it is also yet capable of producing a rich and very satisfying yield for its investor.

You see, you can’t just throw some money at a new investment, then march on in there and start pulling at its teats, expecting instant results.

You’ve got to be gentle, kind and win the beast’s affection.

For more of my thoughts on business models, see this video.

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