All Tech Field Day Podcast

Startups are Tech Trailblazers for the Giants

As tech giants struggle to adapt to changing business conditions, startups are quick to blaze new trails. This episode of On-Premise IT, hosted by Stephen Foskett and featuring Rose Ross, Tim Crawford, and Justin Warren, compares the tech world to an environment where small, innovative startups are advancing while larger, traditional companies fight to keep their market dominance. Companies can only flourish if they are able to understand the evolving needs of the industry, while startups can close the gap in markets they overlook. When it comes to IT products, CIOs are no longer the primary customer, necessitating a better understanding of who the target audience is and how to communicate effectively with them.

You can find out more about Tech Trailblazers and get more information on the awards by heading over to their website.

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In the fast-paced world of information technology, where the landscape is constantly evolving, small startups have emerged as the tech trailblazers, driving progress and revolutionizing the industry. The significance of these small ventures making their way in the tech world is the focus of The On-Premise IT Podcast hosted by Stephen Foskett. Joined by Rose Ross, Justin Warren, and Tim Crawford, the panel delves into the challenges faced by established companies in adapting to change and the opportunities that arise for startups to innovate.

Large, traditional companies often struggle to adapt to the rapid evolution of the tech industry, leaving them ill-prepared to meet the changing needs of consumers. On the other hand, startups thrive by identifying gaps in the market and overlooked opportunities that incumbents might have missed. This ability to innovate and offer solutions tailored to emerging customer expectations becomes the driving force behind the success of small startups.

One critical aspect that differentiates startups from established companies is their approach to understanding the customer. While larger companies may struggle to decipher the true needs of their customers, startups have the advantage of being closer to their target audience, enabling them to create products that directly address specific pain points. However, the panel notes that as startups innovate, their target audience may shift, necessitating a refined understanding of who to target and how to communicate effectively.

Startups tend to be trailblazers, envisioning and creating solutions for future problems rather than focusing solely on current issues. This forward-looking approach allows them to carve out unique spaces in the market. However, it is crucial for startups to ensure that the solutions they develop genuinely add value and fulfill the customer’s needs. Startups must avoid the trap of solving problems that may not require immediate solutions or deliver tangible benefits to their customers.

The shift towards software-dominated solutions and the leverage of open-source and cloud components have significantly reduced entry barriers for startups. Software development has become more accessible compared to hardware development, allowing startups to explore innovative ideas without significant upfront costs. Additionally, the industry’s focus on interoperability and flexibility opens doors for new companies to challenge established processes and bring fresh perspectives to existing solutions.

While startups have an advantage in being customer-centric, the panel raises concerns about the current investment model’s impact on technology innovation. Venture capitalists may prioritize investor interests over customer needs, potentially hindering genuine innovation. The Tech Trailblazers Awards recognize companies that innovate and bring value to customers, irrespective of VC funding, encouraging startups to focus on solving real-world problems.

The panel speculates on the possibility of increased collaboration among startups, where smaller ventures unite to create something more substantial collectively. This shift could redefine the perception that joint ventures are exclusively for large companies, creating new avenues for small startups to scale their impact.

Small startups have become the driving force behind the transformation and evolution of the technology industry. Their ability to innovate, understand their customers, and adapt to changing market trends sets them apart from established incumbents. As the industry continues to evolve, startups have the unique opportunity to carve out their niche and lead the way for established companies to follow suit. The podcast sheds light on the importance of nurturing the startup ecosystem, reevaluating investment models, and embracing collaborative efforts to pave the way for a thriving tech industry driven by innovation and customer-centricity.

On-Premises for Today’s Podcast:


Rose Ross

Tim Crawford

Justin Warren


Stephen Foskett

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About the author

Stephen Foskett

Stephen Foskett is an active participant in the world of enterprise information technology, currently focusing on enterprise storage, server virtualization, networking, and cloud computing. He organizes the popular Tech Field Day event series for Gestalt IT and runs Foskett Services. A long-time voice in the storage industry, Stephen has authored numerous articles for industry publications, and is a popular presenter at industry events. He can be found online at,, and on Twitter at @SFoskett.

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