[Following from Cloud Revolution]

In a small office in the back of a house in Melbourne is a business taking on the big players in their own backyard. Running a photo library and acting as an intermediary between a carefully chosen group of photographers and a select genre of magazines and publications.

A new photo shoot has just been uploaded from Hungary to the hosting site and a notification email has been sent. The shoot is first quality controlled, categorised and submitted for key wording using one of the new “mechanical turk” cloud services that provide an electronic portal into large, on demand, pools of human labour.

The business of photo syndication is perfectly suited to an Internet only shop front where communication, marketing and product delivery are all electronic. Where reputation is based on service level and quality of product, success can be achieved by targeting and excelling at a very narrow vertical market.

The monthly outgoings are less than $AU150 including, hosting, CRM, campaign management, marketing, invoicing, accounting and laptop. With such low overheads it doesn’t take many sales to turn a profit. All you need is an eye for good photographers, a supply of good photo shoots and a contact list of regular customers with a need for your niche.

This is a window into the frontline of the new Software as a Service, “Pay As You Go” enabled cottage industry. Appearing to all intents as a large professional operation, leveraging the very same tools for operation, but provisioned at a smaller scale.

Unhindered by technological barriers to entry, cottage industries are finding a new resurgence on a level playing field with their much larger competitors. These new kids on the industrial block are unconcerned about size and don’t need internal economies of scale to be profitable.

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Business, Business Value
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