Quotes and Mentions

Spinning off software: Hell for some, heaven for others

Austin Business Journal

"Technology industry veteran Bob Barker, managing partner of Austin-based consulting firm 20/20 Outlook LLC, said existing software competition enables users to customize applications so each user can solve any problem they need fixing. It's important that such software has a broad application to ensure wide appeal.

"The key is, how general is the solution they've come up with," he said. "They really need to dig into how common are their requirements compared with the overall market." (September 27, 2013)

Entrepreneurs blend backgrounds to create disaster-planning software

Austin Business Journal

"Such a direct sales model is viable for companies to generate feedback on a new product and to establish whether the product meets the needs of users. But it's also important that a product aimed at a broad consumer audience quickly grab market share to prevent others from copying the concept, said Bob Barker, managing partner of 20/20 Outlook LLC, an Austin-based consulting firm." (March 18, 2013)

Software startup uses Kickstarter for capital, comments

Austin Business Journal

Kickstarter is developing into a wise approach for companies seeking a small amount of startup capital quickly. More importantly, it provides startups with badly needed suggestions from early adopters with a vested interest, said Bob Barker, president of 20/20 Outlook LLC, an Austin-based consulting firm. "It's a way to ensure that you get a high level of participation in alpha and beta testing," he said. "It increases their commitment to the testing." (July 16, 2012)

Self-Fueling Partnerships

Texas CEO magazine

"Partnerships are a waste of time." It's hard to find a CEO who doesn't regret having pulled the trigger on at least one failed partnership... On the other hand, many companies have leveraged well-executed partnerships that accelerate growth, leading to levels of success otherwise impossible. The best are what I term "self-fueling"... (Apr-May 2012)

Courting Dell on a billboard?

Austin Business Journal

"I think approaching Dell this way is neither efficient nor effective," said Bob Barker, president of 20/20 Outlook LLC, an Austin-based consulting firm. "The chances of this approach developing into a serious [business relationship] it's certainly not an approach I would take." (June 15, 2012)

Dell getting closer to steadying ship

Austin Business Journal

Regardless of the factors, Dell's move into software and services is expected to lessen their affects in the future and dampen fluctuations in quarterly earnings in coming years, said tech veteran Bob Barker, president of 20/20 Outlook LLC, an Austin-based consulting firm.

"I expect they'll see less volatility in their numbers and more predictability," he said. "They're moving to a more mature model of a company." (June 1, 2012)

Kinnser: Sales in overdrive

Austin Business Journal

If the market is fragmented, the nearly $40 million should enable Kinnser to consider a merger-and-acquisition strategy as part of its growth plan, said tech veteran Bob Barker, president of 20/20 Outlook LLC, an Austin-based consulting firm. "It would be important to evaluate the trade off of organic growth versus acquisitions," he said. (March 30, 2012)

QuickDash strikes deal

Austin Business Journal

Such third-party developer arrangements with larger software vendors are typically win-win business situations. The niche products complement the use of the larger product while giving the smaller developer access to millions of prospective customers, said technology veteran Bob Barker, president of 20/20 Outlook LLC, an Austin-based consulting firm. "What Intuit gets out of it is an ecosystem that locks in their product," he said. "It makes their solution even better without costing them any money." (January 20, 2012)

Going public may get easier

Austin Business Journal

Bazaarvoice has raised $23.6 million in venture capital since its founding. Bob Barker, president of 20/20 Outlook LLC, an Austin-based consulting firm, said the company is a strong IPO candidate largely due to its experienced management team led by CEO Brett Hurt. "Brett's done a great job of building the company that continues to re-invent itself," Barker said. (January 6, 2012)

The Perry Paradox

Wall Street Journal

"Austin," says technology consultant Bob Barker while taking a visitor around the nearby hills, "may have more Ph.Ds driving taxis than any city in the country." Austin's famed population of big and small technology companies has suffered layoffs. "But," said Mr. Barker, "no one wants to leave." They stay, plugging into Austin's numerous business-support networks. In Austin you discover a primary reason beneath Texas' success: It's about competition plus collaboration. It seems everyone in Texas high-tech knows everyone, and if they can help each other, they will. (November 3, 2011)

Software Companies Expand in Weird Ways

Austin Business Journal

Technology veteran Bob Barker, president of 20/20 Outlook LLC, an Austin-based consulting firm, said it takes plenty of operational experience to identify potential acquisition targets and then integrate them with the existing business. "The challenge is the same as any merger or acquisition," he said, "getting cultures and business models to work together effectively." (October, 2011)

Follow the Leader

Texas CEO magazine

The discussion was moderated by Bob Barker, Managing Partner of 2020 Outlook. Participating in the conversation were: Stephen Reiter, Managing Director, Savings Corporation of America (SCA); Neal Harper, President, Cadence McShane Corporation; James Weaver, Owner, Total Business Solutions; Catherine Monson, Chief Executive Officer, FASTSIGNS International; Keith Moore, President & CEO, 4Front Engineered Solutions; Steven Pedigo, Chairman, OSEI Corporation, and Sean Huurman, Executive Vice President Human Resources, GENBAND. (May 22, 2011)

Austin startup vConstruct Keeping Cloud Control

Austin Business Journal

If the data migration problem that vConstruct addresses is as widespread as Dzurilla suspects, companies will be looking for such a tool, said technology veteran Bob Barker, president of 20/20 Outlook LLC, an Austin-based consulting firm. A marketing campaign using social media would make it relatively easy to attract prospective customers, he said. Also, Barker said a nascent company like vConstruct could align itself with a large enterprise company to identify channel partners who could be won over by two or three successful engagements. "Before you can capture the world, you need to capture a few" partners, he said. (April 22, 2011)

Are You Working In or On Your Business? by Bob Barker

Texas CEO magazine

Early in the life of the company most CEOs find that generating revenue and managing cash drive every decision. When revenue eventually starts to flow, it can be exhilarating. You reach breakeven, then turn slightly profitable, and at this point it's easy to believe that just turning the crank on sales is the key to success. Wrong! Of course, addressing operational issues and keeping sales humming is vital, and wise cash management will keep the doors open. But this point in the life of your business represents a critical tipping point. (January 28, 2011)

App Developers Seek Restaurant Niche

Austin Business Journal

Gaining attention for one's product in such a broad market can be difficult. So it's helpful to target a specific vertical and dominate a specialized segment, said Bob Barker, the managing partner of Austin-based 20/20 Outlook LLC and previously a marketing executive at six technology companies. "When you're in a big, undefined space like that," he said, "you can slice [the market] up and go after one piece of it." (January 7, 2011)

Suit Details Dell's MO

Austin Business Journal

Bob Barker, the managing partner of Austin-based 20/20 Outlook LLC and previously an executive at six technology companies, said for customer service to contact a collections department makes sense. Such a move would be done to gather information about the customer's account rather than to intimidate, he said." (October 10, 2010)

Website Toolmaker Facing No Snap Decision

Austin Business Journal

Technology veteran Bob Barker, president of 20/20 Outlook LLC, an Austin-based consulting firm, said SnapPages needs to either team with a channel partner with a large customer base that could be targeted for potential sales or collect a round of venture capital to fund a marketing campaign. "The presence of a well-funded competitor and other competitors indicates that [SnapPages] needs to move quickly," he said. (August 26, 2010)

Shoo Tag Expands Web Strategy

Austin Business Journal

Technology veteran Bob Barker, president of 20/20 Outlook LLC, an Austin-based consulting firm, said SnapPages needs to either team with a channel partner with a large customer base that could be targeted for potential sales or collect a round of venture capital to fund a marketing campaign. "The presence of a well-funded competitor and other competitors indicates that [SnapPages] needs to move quickly," he said. (July 29, 2010)

Austin Startup Launches Software to Virtualize Windows Installation

Austin Business Journal

Social media and online user reviews are making it easier for small technology companies to gain a measure of attention. There are strategies that such a business can use to fuel revenue growth, said veteran technology executive Bob Barker, president of Austin-based 20/20 Outlook LLC. It could find a niche need of a large enterprise company and team with that company. Also, it could investigate what mid-sized companies need but can't afford and solve those problems, he said. Since SecretWeapon is designed for Windows, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) would be a clear choice, Barker said. (April 25, 2010)