A couple of months ago, I got asked at  the last moment to contribute an essay to a booklet on Small Business and Technology, with mine to focus specifically on the Cloud. I’ve put the entire booklet up on our site for download. The first essay is one of the best quantitative descriptions of small business that I’ve ever seen. The experience helped me understand what an amazing world we now live it, where the benefits of complex IT can be had without any obligation to invest in IT competence or infrastructure (think of an iPad application with a complex back end in the Cloud), In  many ways, market opportunities are now inverted: it’s easier for a small business to take advantage of new IT than it is for a larger business, because the small business has little or no existing IT investment to worry about or integrate with. For example, CloudFlare provides Web site protection and acceleration to small businesses.  When asked whether CloudFlare competes with Akamai, CEO Matthew Prince says “No” pointing out that Akamai has roughly 4,000 enterprise customers while CloudFlare has more than 120,000. Akamai’s customers all have complex specific needs; CloudFlare’s use a standard and automated product.