Map and compass on the journey through the Ocean Cloud (computing)
Some time ago we announced the publication of the book by Matt Mayevsky "The Clouds Economy" defined himself as an International Atlas Services & Tools in Cloud. This time we interview Matt to hear from their own words what were their goals, motivations and difficulties found in the road project, and where it is headed.
There are many books, articles, websites dedicated to cloud computing. What value does "The Clouds Economy" add?
MM: Not without reason, I have called "The Clouds Economy" a passport to the world of clouds. This publication was developed from the need, interest and passion for forecasting the impact of new IT technology on our lives. "The Clouds Economy" is an attempt to capture reality in its dynamics of change. I tried to organize knowledge about cloud computing and present this knowlege in an accordingly accessible way. That is why the book includes so many drawings, diagrams, infographics and charts. Organizing the material I based on several underlying assumptions. First, "The Clouds Economy" is a publication for users of online tools in the company and at home who are looking for new solutions to improve their workflow and cooperation. Secondly, I focused on the aspects that are not subject to rapid obsolescence. Thirdly, I introduced a parameter of multi-dimensionality. For example, the time factor: Past - in the form of the Cloud Computing Timeline, Present - a description of the market, and Future - forecasts for the development of cloud computing. Another element of the multidimensionality is the place of cloud solutions: business, public and private space. And further: the economic, social and technological dimension.
Ok, but what are the gains of an ordinary user? Why would someone choose just "The Clouds Economy"?
MM: Comprehensiveness. "The Clouds Economy" offers just that. Another advantage is the accessible language. I'm not an IT engineer and it was not my intention to describe technology. Even more so becasues cloud computing is not a technology but a business model. Above all, the possibility to use the innovative IT tools, and, in consequence, scope and reach for and their impact on the behavior of companies and users fascinates me. I myself test quite a lot of tools, services and applications, which could be useful in my work. Having noticed that clouding improves my organization I became more interested in this topic. In time, I began to recommend cloud solutions to my friends and co-workers. Then, I realized how poor is the knowledge about the possibilities and potential of clouding among users. Paradoxically, the biggest hurdle is the speed of market development and the huge amount of available IT tools. At this point, the key questions arise. How to find your way in the jungle of tools and services? How to choose the optimal solution? My recipe - understanding, that is proper education through involvement. That is why I came up with a book formula, which consists of a knowledge part and a practical part – an involved one, which I called "The International Atlas of Cloud Services and Tools".
Before we talk about the "Atlas", I would like to ask about the origins of "The Clouds Economy". It was supposed to be a series of books?
MM: Yes. According to the first concept I had planned "The Clouds Economy" as the main, front publication with seven supplementary books: "BookCloud" about cloud-based library, "FitCloud" about the cloud adapted to individual preferences, "CarCloud" about the cloud in the car, "BizCloud" about the business cloud, "EduCloud" about science and education in the cloud, "AppCloud" about cloud applications market and the "Directory of Suppliers”. But the time I spent on "The Clouds Economy" significantly lengthened and dampened my enthusiasm for the implementation of such a broad and ambitious project. I regret a little bit, because complete series with planned additions could be much more attractive. I had to adjust my plans just because of the duration of "The Clouds Economy", including graphic design and translation. "The Clouds Economy" was released in five languages: German, English, Spanish, Polish and Russian. It's the largest publishing project which I have realized so far. Besides, I had an already written out plan of subsequent publications associated with strategic foresight, which is my key passion and profession. So I made the decision to change the formula of a series of books toone publication, but with one exception.
“The International Atlas of Cloud Services and Tools”.
MM: The last book of series under the name "Directory of Suppliers", I added to the "The Clouds Economy" as the appendix titled "The International Atlas of Cloud Services and Tools". I thought – as I have resigned from a series of books I need to supplement "The Clouds Economy" with a practical element. In this way I avoided describing the specific services that would fairly quickly outdate in the book. Besides, I didn't want the publication to have a strictly guidebook nature. A lot of websites dedicated to clouding are playing this role. Appendix solved this problem focusing the reader's interest on a specific cloud solutions described by specific vendors. "Atlas" serves as a laboratory of cloud computing, which enables the user / reader to check tools and IT services offered by the market. In addition, I acquired and organized " special bonuses from cloud service providers for the readers of ‘The Clouds Economy”. It was supposed to be an idea of creating a specific point of contact, field of cooperation.
And hence the idea of naming "The Clouds Economy" as a project?
MM: Exactly. The whole project consist of three elements. The first is the book "The Clouds Economy", the second is the appendix, "The International Atlas of Cloud Services and Tools", the third is the online version of the "Atlas". If you accept the rhetoric of seafaring reading "The Clouds Economy" is like building a ship of knowledge. In turn the "Atlas" is your map and compass while traveling in the Ocean of Clouds. A final element is a web service, or 'port', to which the cloud service providers 'dock' they offers, and the reader / user selects interesting solutions.
Two points of the project you have realized, what about the third?
MM: It is waiting for the right time and the conditions of implementation. For now, there is an announcement of the web-service start for October 2, 2014. The biggest problem is assembling a good team for co-operation.
Perhaps thanks to this interview it will be easier and someone will report to you.
MM: I hope so. The project has great potential and it does not have to end up on one book. A well-planned and organized website might expand the initiative to engage users in clouding. I also thought about the creation of a foresight tool for the cloud computing industry. With the vast amount of information that circulate in the market, there is a need for proper selection, organization, and above all processing. I mean the horizontal scan, capture of micro-trends, weak signals, and creation of patterns of business and individual users. Ideas are waiting for the right conditions for implementation.
You worked on the book pretty long, and you did’t immediately find a publisher.
MM: Gathering materials and writing a book took me over half a year. Graphic design, translating, preparation of "Atlas", the organization of promotion took the following months. A total of one and half year. I planned the simultaneous release of all language versions of "The Clouds Economy" on October 2, 2013. It worked. Without a publishing house, without additional financial support, without the support of any company or organization. A great job, but ,at the same time, a big lesson for me. I organized a network of media and industry partners supporting the promotion of the project. Close to hundreds of cloud service providers from many countries interested in "Atlas" reported to me. Unfortunately, I was unable to fully exploit this potential of opportunities. Despite the undoubted advantages, independent work, however, has some limitations.
I looked for a publisher for quite a long time. Although the start was promising. Two large publishing companies became interested in my book, and the long analyses started. Unfortunately, ineffective. I suppose that the problem was negligible knowledge about cloud computing. To tell the truth I did not expect refusals. However, I put too much work and effort into the project to sit back and wait. So I didn't wait and sel- published "The Clouds Economy". I didn't give up the search either, and my efforts have been rewarded in cooperation with the Swedish publisher ‘Wisehouse’. I had to withdraw the book from sale (fortunately, it was only available in ebook form), and after making the necessary corrections "The Clouds Economy" in the new design appeared on the market in April 1, 2014. Wisehouse decided to focus on the English version of the publication, rightly recognizing that in the area of language lies the biggest market potential. The book in the English version was released in paperback and ebook form. The remaining language versions only in an ebook version.
What`s next with"The Clouds Economy"?
MM: I plan to release a special, limited edition of "The Clouds Economy" in the paperback version in English. I am just looking for the sponsor, thanks to whom, additional printing with a new, extended "Atlas" would be possible. The book would be distributed as a part of promotion by several industry websites. This project is my education – knowledge mission. I believe that it is worth to engage people and companies in cooperation, not only in a strictly commercial dimension, but mainly in the educationally – developmental one. It increases and strengthens the benefits for all parties. I invite all interested in the development of the project, especially cloud service providers and the media industry, for cooperation. The project is alive.
The Clouds Economy is available at Amazon.