There is a general belief in Silicon Valley that the venture industry is biased against blacks and Hispanics. This week, the media is rife with commentary such as this: Tech creating black, Hispanic underclass.
Sramana: What is your geographical scope in terms of the markets served?
Alex Fuller: In terms of product software license sales, our focus is led partly by our regional presence. The US, UK, and Europe are our primary areas. We are also engaged in Australia. Additionally, we have system integrators who have partnered with us all over the world.
Sramana: How has CloudSense ramped in terms of revenue?
Alex Fuller: We hit the million dollar mark quite early; I believe it was during our first year. We have had fast growth since. We had about $5 million in revenues at the two-year point. We are now approaching our five-year mark and have crossed $15 million dollars in revenue. We are now targeting high revenues. >>>
The Online Gaming world has changed dramatically over the last five years. Business models have changed. Funding models have changed. Development models have changed. Read my interview with Trion Worlds CEO Scott Hartsman to get a grip of where things are going.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with an introduction to Trion. Let’s introduce our audience to yourself as well as to Trion.
Scott Hartsman: I’m the CEO at Trion Worlds. We bring high-quality core gaming out to the Internet, primarily on PCs. We are a very core, gamer-friendly, free-to-play company. We are in online games. We are primarily in PC games, but we also support consoles. >>>
Sramana Mitra: What do you forecast will happen to these online universities that are charging almost full price or maybe 10% less than the physical schools?
John Miller: There’s an emergence of a new model that is far more cost-effective, that I think will become pervasive. An example is an organization called StraighterLine, which is a low-cost solution set providing students with highly cost-effective distance education in the general education field. They have articulation agreements with a wide span of four-year schools.
This article on Ribbonfarm says that in order to manage the economy better, it is important to put a price on things that are considered priceless, such as life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, nature, human dignity, religious values and the welfare of children. For this week’s posts, click on the paragraph links. >>>
Sramana: Did the AppExchange or Salesforce teams generate leads for you even if you had to do the selling?
Alex Fuller: We definitely had some leads coming off of the AppExchange. Our own direct selling efforts accounted for the vast majority of our leads and closed deals. I include the leg work of staying in front of the Salesforce sales teams in the region into that bucket. We kept meeting with them and explaining product capabilities so when they ran into a customer who had requirements that could be met by our product, they would be willing to refer them our way.
Sramana: Did you focus on selling in the UK or throughout Europe? >>>
Sramana Mitra: Why do you need to filter the needs? From what you described, it sounds like the system is pretty self-correcting or self-converting?
David Barrett: It is. Most of our time is spent minimizing the number of times that you will need to reach out to us. For example, it’s possible that we can spend several hours dealing with a QuickBooks connection for some customer that will never pay us because this is just an individual person using QuickBooks. We want to make sure that we avoid getting trapped into spending a tremendous amount of time on people that will never pay us. We do all sorts of things like prioritize incoming messages that gives fast responses to people who are the biggest opportunities. It’s pretty self-optimizing. That’s why engineers are such a critical part of our model. Pretty much everything we do comes down to someone from engineering.
Sramana Mitra: Talk to me about your business of working with a thousand universities and hundred thousand students. What does that business entail?
John Miller: That business focuses on supplying the lab kits that are required for STEM courses. What our company has done is develop a multi-solution package depending upon what experience the school and the instructors want to bring to their student base. Essentially, our scientists create the experimentation and intellectual property to fulfill the learning objectives that professors and instructors have defined for their courses. What historically has been done in the four walls of a lab now can be done in the students’ homes through the solutions that we provide. >>>
Sramana: During the nine-month bootstrapping phase, how many people were focused on the services business and how many people were focused on product development? I’m also curious habout ow your business breaks down between Croatia and London?
Alex Fuller: The business breaks down 50/50 between London and Croatia. We also bring consultants from Croatia onsite with UK customers because the distance is not prohibitive. During the first year, we had 25 people. Most of them were focused on projects with clients. We had about eight people doing R&D development during that time.
Sramana: What costs did you have to cover during those nine months with the services revenue?
Alex Fuller: The principal cost was people. >>>