Sramana Mitra: Were you working with other clients? Of course, you had deep insight into the problem with your experience but did you also work with other clients at that time?
Ross Mason: The way it came about was in 2003, I decided to leave the company I was working at and go traveling through South America to Australia. Before I went, one of the partners called me and said, “I heard you just left. I know you want to go traveling, but do you want to earn some money before you go? We have a project we’d like you to do.” I had a couple of months, so I figured why not.
They essentially were building a campaign management system for charity donations. >>>
The annual Consumer Electronics Show will be held next month in Las Vegas. Hendrik Bartel, research director at Gartner shares his views on what to expect from the connected market at the show. For this week’s posts, click on the paragraph links. >>>
An end of the year view into what’s happening in the Big Data ecosystem with Eldad Farkash, a veteran of the Business Intelligence world.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with introducing our audience to yourself as well as to Sisense.
Eldad Farkash: I’m the CTO and Founder of Sisense. Sisense is a Big Data analytics company that bridges the gap between complex models and Big Data clusters with simple business users’ unique needs. The company itself is around 130 people. We have raised around $50 million. We have offices in Tel Aviv and New York. Our R&D team operates from Tel Aviv andsales and management operates in New York. We have 700 customers ranging from huge Internet web companies to government agencies and startups.
Sramana Mitra: What about target customer? Specifically, how do you segment the market and where are you focusing?
Sramana Mitra: What is your solution suite? Do you have a platform, and then you deliver applications on top of that? How do you bring your product to market?
Tom Hogan: That’s a great question. We have three paths. I’m going to share the three with you in the reverse order of a conversation I might have with a prospect or a potential client. First is, the history of the company was to assemble the broadest and the best SDLC that’s concentrated on mobile. That really has four blocks, if you will, that you can think of in chronological sequence.
Block A is to help you rapidly design the best system of engagement possible in the market. Now that you’ve designed it, you’ve got to >>>
Ross bootstrapped Mulesoft with a paycheck and also with services. Now, the company has raised over $130 million—the last round at an $800 million valuation. Very interesting story!
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your personal journey. Where are you from? Where were your born and raised?
Ross Mason: I was born in London and raised, up until about 9, in London. Then, we moved to Wales in the UK. I was in Wales with my parents who had a hotel and eventually, hotel chains. I grew up in a business. My dad himself is entrepreneurial. I got used to dealing with customers and thinking about what people need at a very young age. From there, I went to college in Bristol where I studied Computer Science. Fairly soon after that, I got into working with banks and insurance companies. My focus was always around solving difficult problems.
Sramana Mitra: Can you put a chronological framework around this? What year were you graduating from college? What year were you starting to get into the industry?
Sramana Mitra: I think that’s only partially true because the level at which valuations are going out of control right now is way beyond the kind of rational justification that you presented.
Robert Reffkin: Uber has raised $40 billion. You can say that’s a huge valuation. If a majority of cars in the country are Uber, then it’s not. All you have to believe is one thing—that using Uber for a year for all of your transportation needs would be half the cost of owning your own car. If you believe that can happen, which is a very easy argument, then Uber will dominate transportation across the world. If they dominate transportation, there’s a lot of interrelated services that they can put on top of that.
Sramana Mitra: Let me give you a counter example. We just saw a complete implosion of Fab, which raised a lot of money and had similar kinds of grandiose rationale. Obviously, it did not play out. Investors were piling money on it until they imploded.
Enterprise Mobility is a major trend. Here, we catch up with Tom Hogan, CEO of Kony, a leader in the space.
Sramana Mitra: Tell us about yourself as well as Kony.
Tom Hogan: I’ll be brief with myself. I’ve been in the industry for 33 years in all. This is the smallest organization I’ve been associated with, but arguably the most exciting from a growth and potential relevance to change the landscape of the industry. I’ve spent a little over 17 years at IBM. That was my first job out of college. I spent some time at Sybil Systems in the heyday of CRM and had the opportunity to be the CEO of Vignette, which back in the late 90s was the global leader in the whole movement from classic brick-and-mortar to the Internet. Then I spent five >>>
Sramana Mitra: Is there anything else from your strategic thought process that you want to share that has helped you achieve what you’ve achieved so far?
Terry Ryan: I would just like to touch for a moment on VCs, private equity, and growth capital, I’ve done all the above. When people talk to me about that kind of stuff, I say to those people, “I feel I’ve successfully worked with those markets.” I don’t have the story where someone came in and took over my company because something went sideways. They came and helped. Three years later, we exited and everyone was happy and I still have Christmas dinner with them every once in a while. When you’re dealing with those groups, you have to realize that maybe all of them won’t tell you that what you have isn’t good or that you’re positioned wrong. They’ll try to convince you that you’re always at the right stage for them. There’s a bunch of things that you need to do as an entrepreneur to size up the companies that you decide to >>>