Janus – looking forward and back

by Justin Souter on January 5, 2009

January is named after Janus, the Roman “god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings and endings”.

Janus looks both forward and back, and I thought it would be a suitable hook for me to do the same.

JANUS  (from Vatican Collection)

Photo credit to Red Jinn

Clearly, 2008 was a calamitous year for many. Timing my voluntary redundancy from Fujitsu at the same time as the biggest financial crisis since the ‘30s is terrifying at times, but there are many others in far worse situations – I only have to look at news websites.

That said, people keep telling me it’s a good time to be setting up a business, so (as you may know) I’m working on:

  • Opportunities in established technologies
    • EDRM
    • Collaboration
    • Knowledge management
  • Leading edge technologies, such as
    • Social media
    • Mashups
  • Cutting edge
    • The Cloud
    • Virtual Worlds

My feeling is that these leading edge technologies took a massive step forward in 2008, and given the attraction of renting software and computer processing capability (rather than having to buy it for yourself), my gut tells me 2009 could help them hit the mainstream.

UPDATE: I’ve found this rather good article: “Seven reasons cloud computing works in a tough economy”.

Reviews of how social media has boosted politicians, such as that in MIT’s Technology Review help make the case. Dion Hinchcliffe is always good value – here he rounds up other people’s predictions for 2009, including Peter Kim’s roll-up of others’.

In terms of where I am regarding my business:

  • Started company
  • Marketing through upcoming series in bdaily
  • Website & infrastructure – you’re reading it
  • Business Networking in the North East of England
  • Steep learning curve – although what I remember from my MBA 10 years ago is helping
  • I sent in my first business proposal just before Christmas.

So, I’m being a coward and not making any firm predictions of my own. Only that the global recession will mean everything will be thrown up in the air, and come down in a very different place – so there is a lot of play for.

My own plan is to do a “Fred Astaire” who, according to a recent book review in The Economist, states:

… he never spoke publicly of anything that touched on the personal. He merely worked exceptionally hard until he became an outstandingly successful stage dancer and singer in partnership with his more colourful sister, Adele. When Adele retired into an aristocratic marriage, he moved to Hollywood, worked even harder, became a film star recognised and admired the world over…and that’s all.

[…] Yet all […] evaporated when Astaire danced. And that dancing was the result of what must have been the hardest, most relentless work schedule of any Hollywood film actor before or perhaps since.

N.b. I mean that I should work hard and hopefully things will turn out alright, rather than being a good dancer! ;-)

On a lighter note, I clicked through to the Wikipedia page about Ginger Rogers, and found this rather wonderful testament to her abilities:

John Mueller sums up Rogers’ abilities as follows: "Rogers was outstanding among Astaire’s partners not because she was superior to others as a dancer but because, as a skilled, intuitive actress, she was cagey enough to realize that acting did not stop when dancing began…the reason so many women have fantasized about dancing with Fred Astaire is that Ginger Rogers conveyed the impression that dancing with him is the most thrilling experience imaginable"

On a positively happy note, our friends Joey & Tom are proud parents of 7lbs Izzy, so life definitely goes on!

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