Mello Event and Crimson Tide  Presentation  

 

I attended the Mello event yesterday where I reviewed Terry Smith’s book entitled “Investing for Growth” and Andrew Latto reviewed my book entitled “Business Perspective Investing”. He gave it a very positive review and made some suggestions for a second edition such as adding some case studies. I will ponder whether to work on another edition.

Another interesting session was a presentation by Crimson Tide (TIDE). This is a very small company even though it’s been around for a number of years – market cap only £19 million. It sells a software product called MPRO5 which claims to be a “leading mobile workforce management platform and service” on their web site. I own a very few shares in the company.

The presentation was by Luke Jeffrey, CEO, and he clearly has a technical background. He somewhat disappointed me by saying the product is a “toolkit”. It’s obviously a technology platform not an application solution. It has to be configured to meet application needs of which there seem to be a wide variety, i.e. there is no very strong focus on any business sector.

My experience of the software industry has taught me that people are looking for solutions not toolkits. Not surprisingly, he mentioned when asked about competitors that they often come up against “point solutions”.

They also seem to be extending their technology to cover IOT applications and also developing a “micro business” version. I find the idea of marketing software products to businesses such as plumbers to be a quite horrific business proposition. Selling low-cost software solutions to small businesses is rarely economic because it takes as much time and effort to sell to a small business as it does a large one while the price you can charge never reflects that. Sales, marketing and distribution in that sector is a major problem.

In summary I am not convinced that they can turn their interesting technology into a big business unless substantial changes are made. The presentation actually discouraged me from buying more shares in the company which is no doubt the opposite of what the speaker was aiming for.

Roger Lawson (Twitter: https://twitter.com/RogerWLawson  )

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