The collection of companies offering digital tools to small businesses either directly or via resellers is better described as a collection of galaxies than as an interconnected ecosystem. Such is the conclusion of Lorren Elkins, an executive with the software company Camilyo who is his spare time has amassed an impressive database of companies serving the SMB space.

Elkins presented a peek at this collection earlier this week at Street Fight Summit West in downtown Los Angeles. He said he was motivated to create something that was easier to digest than just another sea of logos stack that creates a vivid impression of how crowded a space is, but says little about how it functions.

Why galaxies vs. ecosystem? Ecosystems and interconnected and interdependent by definition. Elkins doesn’t see the SMB space this way. Most of the companies Elkins has collected are point solutions offering DIY (do it yourself) services to SMB at relatively low price points — think email marketing tools, DIY site creators, appointment booking apps and so on.

He sees those offering DIFM (do it for me) solutions as the “asteroid” belt surrounding the galaxies, most of which offer packaged solutions offering combinations of the tools floating around in the various galaxies. Examples of companies in the asteroid belt include DexYP, GoDaddy, Web.com and ThriveHive.

Elkins’ description is reminiscent of BIA/Kelsey’s Local Commerce Universe, which saw the space through a similar metaphoric lens. Elkins however has taken things further by using the wisdom of the crowd (via social signals) to rank the relative weight of the companies inside the universe. And he is monitoring these signals to measure which companies and gaining and losing ground.

The LSA’s Tech Adoption Index tracks how small businesses are adopting cloud-based tools for everything from marketing to payroll to payments. Visit the the site to learn more about the pace at which SMBs are shifting their business operations into the cloud.

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