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Re: NoumberFour AG :: Serious Competitor

by
dar
- 12/28/2014 21:22:27
Hi Fabien

it was probably indeed an amigo investment as Marco Börries and Andreas von Berchtholtsheim know each other from Sun Microsystems. However the investors network is quite high class, but indeed they seem to have very serious employee turnover. This might be the reason why in more than one years time they did not deliver...

Thanks to Gunnar's comment, I had a closer look at frappe (erpenext). General impression: fast and damn good.
It seems that they somehow built upon the experiences and inspiration of OpenERP and try to make things better. (They are porting Odoo-CoAs at the moment.) As far as I've got I noted the following improvements:

[comments]

As frappe is building from scratch and suposedly is marrying best concepts of various projects into their efforts, it would be smart to imitate and inspire oneself. - Let's put it like this: free and dynamic R&D. And as a sidenote on the winner-takes-it-all dynamic, as Marco Börries puts it: The first market to enter must be the biggest market, else a copycat will be the winner. I don't know the numbers, but I would say India and China figure on top of the range. Let's hope, in this respect, your ongoing marketing efforts will be able to secure the large ecosystem investments (in time and effort), and let's hope frappe will not secure large A/B series investments, as investors attention is risen to this untapped market or at least, then, spent a fraction of it on a code porting tool or buy odoo (or vice-versa).

However, as frappe might be inspired by odoo, now odoo might learn from it's offspring going forward (it's not a fork!). I'd hope to see some more Odoo-Folks among watchers, soon: https://github.com/frappe/erpnext/watchers

[1] 

[comments]
Framework: cleaner setup, transparent "responsibilities", structure easier to grasp, prototyping included as standard development workflow (for Odoo, see [1]), dynamic clientside extension (html, jinja, js) - not rigid, xml-driven view definitions with serverside-onchange-nightmares or clumsy client side onchange injection
Modules: Settings and Reprots are self contained in modules (better structure); more reference implementation - less options and micromodules (if you don't need budgeting you simply don't use it, UI solves the usability problem elegantly, or you work with Access Levels)
UserInterface: Forms are inspired by questionnaires; excellent, responsive and fast user interface (!)
Documentation: Documentation is comprehensive and provides a very quick lerning curve. Greate inline documentation on the models in editing mode. Great helptexts (no po-ups -> eases understanding of interconnections).
Partner/Revenue Model: Partner Model is more sofisticated (eg. jobs market: https://frappe.io/community/)
Overall Functionality (modules): Some long discussed odoo-headaches are solved quite elegantly, I would be able to migrate my company right off, interesting (simplified) tax concept, a lot of information is simly nested into the COA (per taxes and per partner accounts) reducing complexity, some concepts are not that over-generified which helps with understanding (cost center), unified concepts of taxes and delivery (and other) charges.

​Good introduction:
Example BackEnd-App: https://frappe.io/docs/guide
Example FrontEnd-App: https://frappe.io/docs/guide-chat

Saludos Cordiales
David Arnold

David Arnold BA HSG / Analista
315 304 13 68/ dar@devco.co

devCO - empresa de consultoría de sistemas (en fundación)
http://www.devco.co

This e-mail message may contain confidential or legally privileged information and is intended only for the use of the intended recipient(s). Any unauthorized disclosure, dissemination, distribution, copying or the taking of any action in reliance on the information herein is prohibited. E-mails are not secure and cannot be guaranteed to be error free as they can be intercepted, amended, or contain viruses. Anyone who communicates with us by e-mail is deemed to have accepted these risks. devCO is not responsible for errors or omissions in this message and denies any responsibility for any damage arising from the use of e-mail. Any opinion and other statement contained in this message and any attachment are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.


2014-12-28 10:57 GMT-05:00 Fabien Pinckaers <fp@openerp.com>:

Hi David,

NumberFour is the strangest fund raising round I have seen. One year ago, they raised $38m without a product, nor even revenues. Some investments are not rationale and I think this one is probably one of them. When I saw this news one year ago, I searched for more info and the day of the fund raising announce, I saw a comment of an employee saying that it was full of bullshit, the product was super buggy, and the best developers left the company due to bad management (they removed the comment a few hours after).

I don't think investing millions in R&D is enough to build the best product in the world. Doing something exceptional do not requires hundred of developers. You just need a few people, but the right ones. You also need to iterate a lot to get feedback, and this takes time.

Having said that, the biggest challenge of Odoo is not the competition. SMEs remain largely untapped (<20% are equipped with an integrated software) because current offers do not fit their needs.

Nobody succeeded to crack this market and solve the equation: a product that handle the whole complexity of SMEs at a low price. Current products are either too expensive/complex (Ms Dynamics, SAP BO, ...) or too simple (Salesforce, Xero...)

We are not far, but we still need a few years for Odoo to succeed.

There are already thousands of competitors and new ones will appear every week because it's a massive market. They may compete with us when selling to the 20% of companies who can afford an ERP.

But our main challenge is much bigger. We need to move forward quickly to be the first to crack the SME equation and reach the other 80% of the market. The first product that will succeed will explode and become mainstream.

In this perspective, I don't think we should be afraid of competitors. We must of course analyze competitors and copy the best ideas.

But we should be afraid of evolving too slowly. It's probably a winner-takes-all market. We are in a very good position to become the winner but the others are evolving quickly too.


Fabien

On Dec 28, 2014 6:18 AM, "David Arnold" <dar@devco.co> wrote:
Hi Guys, Hi Fabien

out of curiosity, I just spotted Berlin based NumberFour AG in german review "manager magazin" as some heavyweight competition for Odoo.

Made by the inventor of OpenOffice (Star Office), it now operates "secretly" (manager magazin, p154 -12/2014) on quite the same product going for the very same market.

The range of investors covers silicon vally heavyweights as Sun Microsystems Co-Founder Andreas von Berchtoltsheim and Klaus Hommels (Skype, Xing, Facebook, Spotify). Series A financing provided $ 38M for preparing market launch (announced on June 27th, 2013).

A look on the job page might be interesting (http://www.numberfour.eu/) a quick google tells thr rest of the story.

Odoo, I'd say, they are on your (our) heels...

Lead Investor statement:
“From a technology perspective, small businesses are the most underserved market in the world. NumberFour is the first comprehensive business platform that offers amazing technology, wrapped in apps with a stunningly simple user interface.”

Saludos Cordiales
David Arnold

David Arnold BA HSG / Analista
315 304 13 68/ dar@devco.co

devCO - empresa de consultoría de sistemas (en fundación)
http://www.devco.co

This e-mail message may contain confidential or legally privileged information and is intended only for the use of the intended recipient(s). Any unauthorized disclosure, dissemination, distribution, copying or the taking of any action in reliance on the information herein is prohibited. E-mails are not secure and cannot be guaranteed to be error free as they can be intercepted, amended, or contain viruses. Anyone who communicates with us by e-mail is deemed to have accepted these risks. devCO is not responsible for errors or omissions in this message and denies any responsibility for any damage arising from the use of e-mail. Any opinion and other statement contained in this message and any attachment are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.

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