You will not see us in your accounts

The analyst firm The 451 Group asks technology companies “Who else do you see in your accounts?” Being “seen in the account” is perceived as a sign of market presence and ability to execute. And the opposite is true as well. Not being seen in accounts is sign of weakness and lack of market penetration. It’s also a proxy for the longevity question: “Will they even survive if they are not on anybody’s radar screen.”

My perspective is completely different. I believe that being seen in the accounts of large competitors is a sign of confusion and a complete waste of time and money. Startups are best when they disrupt existing markets, not attack them head on. Any sufficiently disruptive technology should be first deployed in a market segment that is seen as secondary or completely irrelevant by the big guys.

Established companies often compete on feature/functionality depth — delivering more features at an ever diminishing rate of value to customers to extract more money from them. Clearly not an interesting place to be for a young company.

I would like to promise here to our large competitors: You will not see Good Data in your accounts if:

  • your customers believe in a single version of truth
  • you deal with BI and data warehousing “experts” who attend TDWI seminars
  • Inmon Vs. Kimball matters to you
  • your projects are measured in months or six figure dollar numbers
  • you engage in star-versus-snowflake schema debates
  • your product offers 30 ways to format a decimal number
  • producing 1,000 different reports a day is one of your product claims

I could go on and on. Simply put – every time we read that competitor XYZ doesn’t see us in their accounts, we consider it a small victory. We don’t want to be seen in your accounts. At least not until we are ready…

Entrepreneur Country – Land of Opportunity

I spoke at the Entrepreneur Country forum at Institute Of Directors in London earlier today. The event was organized by Ariadne Capital (Disclosure: I am one of Ariadne investors). Here is the feedback from the audience via Twitter and below is my keynote:

Name of the Next Startup

One of the main advantages of starting a new company in Eastern Europe is the natural affinity of this part of the world with Web 2.0. More specifically the complete lack of vowels. While most start-ups struggle to find a catchy name, I can open some local newspaper and pick one.

I guess this is why so many entrepreneurs opt for Czech names: Dopplr (the new social network for frequent travelers) stands for “Your flight will be delayed” in Czech and wdgtbldr (Peter Yared‘s new company) translates as “JRad 3.0″ in Czech (and Polish, Slovak and Croatian).

I thought long and hard about the name for my next company and I was not sure whether to call it Datr.com or Zetr.com. But then I came up with a non-Web 2.0 name with plenty of vowels. And therefore as of today I’ve become the Founder and CEO of Good Data Corporation.

European success at last (.fm)

Look here if you want to see a successful European startup…

Does innovation matter?

Older and more experienced Radovan complains about enterprise IT that SUCKS. His point is that years of commoditization and vendor consolidation brought the costs down but it did not increase the business/IT alignment. Solution may come from a completely unexpected direction: startups. Read more about it in this Infoworld article.

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