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Creative Bootstrapping To A 350 Million Dollar Exit: Nimsoft CEO Gary Read (Part 3)

Posted on Friday, Jun 18th 2010

SM: So you were able to build a portfolio of skills by working as many different types of positions as you could?

GR: Yes. By 1997 I had worked for a couple of different companies and had learned how to do sales, marketing, and manage channel partners. I already had the technical and engineering aspects. That is also when I came to the United States.

SM: Did you come as part of the company you were working for?

GR: I was working for Boole & Babbage, which was headquartered in San Jose. I was the European marketing director when my manager, the VP of marketing who was based in the United States, decided to leave the company and move on. They decided to offer me his position and I accepted, which is when I moved to this country.

At the time I was single, didn’t have children, and it was an easy decision for me. It was offering me the chance to be in Silicon Valley, which was the hub of action in technology.

SM: What happened from that point on?

GR: I continued to do that job, and I really enjoyed the position. Boole & Babbage was then acquired by BMC Software. I stayed around during that acquisition. It was a large company with thousands of people, and I find that I am often more effective in smaller environments. I left BMC and became an executive at RiverSoft, which had offices in San Francisco and London.

SM: What did RiverSoft do?

GR: It was a network management company. It sold network management software to large communication providers. I ran marketing at RiverSoft for a year and then I ran sales. We IPO’d the company in December of 2000, which was an interesting experience.

The bubble had truly burst at that point, and I think we were the last software company to get out onto the public market. One of the reasons is that we IPO’d on the London stock exchange. It was actually very successful and we were oversubscribed. We did that on the London stock exchange. We sold the company to Micromuse nine months later. It was based in San Francisco but is now part of IBM.

SM: Did you end up working for Micromuse?

GR: I left the company at that point, and that is when I started my own business.

SM: What was the business and the genesis of its foundation?

GR: I worked for a number of different software companies up to that point, both large and small. I wanted to start a company where we focused much more on customer satisfaction. I felt a lot of the companies I worked for where not as customer focused as they could be. I felt there was a way to run a software company successfully and have satisfied customers at the same time.

My skills at the time were around sales and marketing. The premise on which I decided to start the company was around sales and marketing. I came up with the idea of being the U.S. arm for European companies that wanted to expand, sell, and market their products in the United States. I felt I was in a good position to do that, having worked in companies around the world and at the same time having been in Silicon Valley for several years.

This segment is part 3 in the series : Creative Bootstrapping To A 350 Million Dollar Exit: Nimsoft CEO Gary Read
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