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Creative Bootstrapping To A 350 Million Dollar Exit: Nimsoft CEO Gary Read (Part 1)

Posted on Wednesday, Jun 16th 2010

Gary Read has been the president and CEO of Nimsoft for the past six years. He is a more than twenty-year veteran of the high-tech world, with extensive expertise in monitoring and systems management software. Prior to Nimsoft, Gary was vice president of sales and marketing at RiverSoft, a provider of advanced network management products, where he was a key member of the executive team that led the company to a successful IPO and its eventual acquisition by Micromuse. He has also been the vice president of marketing at BMC Software and has held sales and marketing leadership roles at Boole & Babbage and MAXM Systems.

SM: Let’s start at the beginning of your story, Gary. What is your background?

GR: I am originally from England. I grew up in a suburb of London. My parents were not entrepreneurs. My dad worked for the local government for many years as the treasurer. From that I learned the ethics of hard work. He worked his way up from a junior accountant to the CFO of one of the larger regions of London.

The English school system is different. I finished regular school at 16, and then I went on to do two more years of A-Levels. I elected not to go to college. One reason was that I wanted to start working and finding my way.

SM: Were your parents opposed to that?

GR: No, they were not. They were a little disappointed because I had excellent grades and I was at the top of my school in mathematics. They certainly understood my motivations for going to work. They are now very proud of everything I have achieved.

SM: What did you do instead of college?

GR: I went to work in the IT department of a credit card company. At the time, UK colleges were far behind in technology. I knew I wanted to do something with information technology, and UK colleges were way behind businesses and what they were teaching. I joined a credit card company that was the European arm of MasterCard. I spent the first six months in a training program. I learned application programming, operations of computer systems, and design and analyst work.

SM: How long did you stay in that job?

GR: The training was six months, and I finished at the top of the class. That meant I got put onto a management track. I was moved into programming on the mainframe. I stayed there for 18 months and then moved to a similar yet better paying position with one of the larger banks in the UK. I continued to progress quickly, and I was the youngest ever person to achieve the grade of appointed officer in the company history.

They tried to fast-track me through management grades and through the pay scales, but I actually only stayed there for two more years before I moved on, and I started to work for a software vendor. I had realized that while I liked the technology, my heart was really on the business side of the equation. I joined a software vendor that was making and distributing mainframe software. This was in 1989.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Creative Bootstrapping To A 350 Million Dollar Exit: Nimsoft CEO Gary Read
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Sramana
Nice series, you really captured the essence of Gary and the Nimsoft story. I was lucky enough to be part of this, in an area near and dear to your heart, positioning. See my blog for more perspective in an entry I call, "Positioning from Strength" – here – http://first-productmarketing.blogspot.com/
Cheers
Ken

Ken Rutsky Friday, June 25, 2010 at 10:45 AM PT

[…] Take a look at it on her web site here. […]

From Craigslist to CA…..the incredible Nimsoft journey….so far « Gary’s Blog Friday, July 9, 2010 at 4:24 AM PT

[…] Vinod Soman then discussed D-Logic Inc. Vinod wants to raise a significant amount of money to buy out an IP vendor that sells semiconductor interconnect IP, and offer value added services around them. The IP vendor does about $2 million to $3 million a quarter, but the market leader is EDA giant Synopsys. In my opinion, EDA is not a space that can attract investment today. The TAMs are much too small, and the M&A activity is very small. I recently wrote an article on this topic, calling all EDA entrepreneurs to build $5 million to $10 million to $20 million cash businesses that are self-financed, bootstrapped, and built organically. Read EDA Entrepreneurs: Build To Enjoy. I also advised Vinod to look at the NimSoft case study in which the entrepreneur Gary Read started off as a VAR and eventually bought the company whose product he was reselling. Read Creative Bootstrapping to a $350 Million Exit. […]

1M/1M Strategy Roundtable: Bootstrapping Comes in Many Flavors Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 3:37 PM PT

[…] In my opinion, EDA is not a space that can attract investment today. The TAMs are much too small, and the M&A activity is very small. I recently wrote an article on this topic, calling all EDA entrepreneurs to build $5 million to $10 million to $20 million cash businesses that are self-financed, bootstrapped, and built organically. Read EDA Entrepreneurs: Build To Enjoy. I also advised Vinod to look at the NimSoft case study in which the entrepreneur Gary Read started off as a VAR and eventually bought the company whose product he was reselling. Read Creative Bootstrapping to a $350 Million Exit. […]

1M/1M Strategy Roundtable: Bootstrapping Comes in Many Flavors Friday, December 10, 2010 at 9:27 AM PT