Donegal based Brian O’Doherty is CEO of Netsso.com. Netsso provides a suite of important and substantial internet services, each of which offers useful benefits to a mass market of users, and all of which, together, being integrated in a certain way, offer extra benefits due to synergy, not often available from competitors. (There are no exact competitors for the total suite). An important part of our “mission” is to enable the user to do almost all his routine web work speedily, productively and with high security, after entering just one “single sign on” username/password.
You can visit Netsso here
The services are:
- bookmarking and data organisation, with password management “built in”, so the user can click-surf thousands of the web places he may wish to revisit without having to stop to remember and type in passwords or even exact urls.
- a “secure online file management ” system which provides a web link to each of the users files stored online, in major storages, including easy, optional encryption of each file as it is loaded through Netsso, and management of the files throughout Netsso and beyond, whether encrypted or not, from the links in Netsso. In effect, this provides an encrypted file management system on the internet for the user and any group, organisation or company in which he participates.(The “synergy” benefits include the ability to search for files across different online storages- especially Dropbox, Google Drive and One Drive-at the same time)
- the third major service is the ability for any member of Netsso to form Collaboration Groups in seconds, for any purpose, and invite other Netsso members to participate with him. The Groups enjoy all the features and functions which members have as individuals, and in addition they are provided end-to-end encrypted chat facilities, rich-text Notes (including text, images, video, etc.) which can also be used as discussion documents ( where instant chats are often a bit limited), and one-click -start video meetings.
Netsso now has over a million lines of code. Privacy is one of its highest priorities, both for individuals and groups (such as in remote working arrangements), and encryption, which is offered as a user option in many parts of Netsso, is both strong and very easy to use (- just clicks).
Some sketches, graphics and further documents can be found Here
What are your main priorities and goals in your role?
After fiddling around with Netsso as a development idea for some years, two years ago we decided to commit ourselves to it and then we added an important third major service, the Collaboration groups. Now we are going to market. My goal is to somehow establish it on the market, with only a bootstrap marketing budget and then, being already well over 60, step back a little, maybe to the Board and watch a bright young (er) talent turn it into a unicorn. In truth, we may need a committed angel or a good commercial partner.
What are your biggest challenges?
Finding finance for marketing. Failing that, marketing cleverness. (- suggestions invited!)
How has your business strategy been adapted in the context of the Covid-19 crisis?
When thinking about a market launch a few months ago, I was expecting to be spending time persuading prospective customers that “remote working” is a good thing. Now everybody knows it, thanks to Covid-19. Netsso is ideal for RW. The company has always been a remote working company, 100% and the products we offer are ideal for remote freelancers or employees, providing exceptional security benefits to clients or employers and exceptional, easy to use functionality for individual or group/team communications. Covid has accelerated the trend, bringing forward the age of “distributed” companies and distributed economies and societies, which will be very good for Ireland, being a peripheral economy far from the center of our EU market.
What are the challenges facing your industry going forward?
We must use the wonderful new information technologies for human progress and a better society, and not let information technology use us, as the products. I think governments and media should explain better the consequences of the invasion of individual privacy, for democracy and human welfare. Most people don’t realise how important it is. Politicians don’t even talk about it at election time or put it into government work programmes.
What new trends are emerging in your industry?
In the internet services sector, the major trends are the Cloud, the growth of SaaS and now the move to remote working/ the distributed company and community. These are part of the same continuum and are bringing about deep change in the way we live, work and play, and educate, and everything else. Banks and Department Store chains are closing branches, and informal or formal networks- like IIBN- are rising in importance as fora for everyday social intercourse. The next step for human networks will be to add the retailing function for many service and product areas, and other commercial/economic activities.
Are there any major changes you would like to see in your sector?
I’ve lived and worked for a total of 20 years between the US and Continental Europe. Among many common features, some differences are interesting. The Europeans are always improving the quality, and the Americans take care of the market. When they control the market, and the extra investment that goes with it, the Americans can work on the quality, even buy it if they want, from Europe. That’s why all the big tech companies are American, even Irish ones, who have to become American citizens to grow big and fast.
It seems to me that the Irish, and EU, policy for new industrial development is misguided, at least in the tech area. We are spending hundreds of millions of euro trying to create better technology, only to see our success cases fail to budge US companies out of their impregnable market positions.
The US tech industry has excellent, intelligent, and government-subsidised schemes which ensure that young or start up tech companies can get their new products into the market place and, if successful after round one, can get very substantial further investment to enable fast growth. Europe should emulate the US, especially in respecting the power of markets. We abandoned “state aid” restrictions in-order to fight Covid-19. Well and good. The battle to protect our position in the new information age is just as important.
Are you finding any skills gaps in the market?
In the tech areas, there are skills gaps in most Western countries, usually filled by highly trained programmers and technologists from East Europe and India or China. Remote Working will make accessing skills much easier.
How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?
I suppose you should set your goals high enough to be challengeable and interesting, but low enough to be achievable. Success probably means setting the goals correctly
What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?
Know your market in depth. Understand your customer, his needs, his options and why he chooses what he chooses.
What have been your highlights in business over the past year?
Finishing the two year job of developing the Collaboration Group part of Netsso. Netsso now has over a million lines of code, much of it written in the last two years. All the older services we offer- the bookmarking, data organisation, management of encrypted files online, etc- formerly made for personal use, can now be offered for operation in groups. And we add in chat-based messaging, video connections, discussion Notes in rich text, including images, tables, etc., even include a video in a Note and share it. All of that, together with a new web site to present it all, has been completed in the last 12 months.
What’s next for your company?
Netsso could be regarded as a type of “platform” and we could support our customers/ other developers to develop “applications” of it, such as a Netsso for lawyers, for doctors, healthcare systems, teaching/learning, etc. Alternatively, we could develop those ourselves. We haven’t thought about it. (That’s not exactly true: I have research that says that 65% of lawyers in the UK/US use Dropbox even though it has security issues. We can solve those issues.. But the solution is already provided in the present Netsso. It doesn’t have to be a new development) (It’s in an infographic Here )