Bill Daniel is a serial entrepreneur and the Chief Executive Officer of All Web Leads, an online provider of high quality insurance leads. Prior to joining the company in 2008, Bill was most recently the President and CEO of Surgient, a leading data-center virtualization management software company. Prior to Surgient, Bill held Senior Vice President roles at Vignette, a publicly-traded developer of content management software. Prior to Vignette, Bill founded a number of successful software companies including Wallop (acquired by IBM in 1998), Datis Corporation, and Mozart Systems. He previously held sales positions at Oracle and other Silicon Valley technology companies. Bill holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.
Sramana: Bill, let’s start with your background. What is the story that leads up to AllWebLeads?
Bill Daniel: I was born in an little town called Anderson, South Carolina. I married my wife, who I met in the 7th grade, and her maiden name also happened to be Anderson. I went to school at Dartmouth College. I joined Polaroid after college when they were the epitome of a high tech college. It was run by Dr. Edwin Land who invented the instant photography chemistry and mechanics. For someone like me who had an engineering background it was very intriguing. Within a few years I made my way out to Silicon Valley.
Sramana: What year are we talking about?
Bill Daniel: I went to California in 1980. It was very different back then. Software was a relatively small part of the story in Silicon Valley. I made my way to a little company called Relational Software Inc. Today it is known as Oracle. I was at Oracle when there were just 100 people. As everyone knows that company grew very fast and continues to grow well. That is where I learned how to create a company out of nothing. I watched Larry and his early team build the company and I have put those lessons to use for the rest of my career.
Sramana: How long were you at Oracle?
Bill Daniel: I was there for less than 5 years. I left and co-founded a company called Mozart Systems. We created a product that would be considered a client server product in today’s nomenclature. We did not have that term at that time. We called it distributed processing. Essentially we were building a front end to information map locations where the front end processing happened on an IBM PC. That was an interesting thing which was unheard of back then. Most of the connections between the PC and mainframes were really dumb terminals. We found a way to take the interface that turned a PC into a terminal and take it over programmatically. We did local processing on it back in the DOS world.