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Successful Pivots: Anthony Ferry, CEO of PriceSpider (Part 1)

Posted on Wednesday, Mar 14th 2018

Anthony has navigated PriceSpider with some astute strategic moves. Read on to learn more. Strategic maneuverings of real entrepreneurs, by the way, are great learning opportunities.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background?

Anthony Ferry: I was born in Inglewood,California. I haven’t strayed very far from there. I moved down south a little bit into South Orange County in the mid-70’s all the way through high school. In college, I ventured just a little bit up north to a local state college called Cal State Fullerton where I majored in Computer Science.

I was pretty adventurous and always the first to try new things or figure out the new thing. That has played out through my entire life and career. When I graduated high school, I was interested in a lot of different things. I ended up going to community college for a couple of years.

I took all kinds of classes – art classes, design classes, computer classes. I was trying to see which one stuck. I got hooked to computers and technology. I was pretty active. I played baseball and soccer. I had a lot of sports as a kid. I gave that up in high school for computers. I turned into the stereotypical nerd. I just loved gadgets and computers.

Sramana Mitra: When did you come out of college?

Anthony Ferry: I graduated in 1993.

Sramana Mitra: What did you do after that?

Anthony Ferry: I was a good student. I thought I was going to stay in college a little bit longer than even my Bachelor’s. I had looked to transfer to ASU for Computer Science Ph.D. I was pursuing classes at the Master’s level. While taking some Master’s classes in 1993, I ended up putting my resume out there and got a few quick jobs offers that were very intriguing and interesting. Then I ended up jumping out and not completing my Master’s in Computer Science. I entered into the workforce right then.

Sramana Mitra: When did you start this company?

Anthony Ferry: This company started as a spin-off of another company that I had started in 2001. We launched it in February of 2002. That was a technology consulting company that I formed with two partners called Neudesic. PriceSpider was a spin-off of that company a few years later.

Sramana Mitra: I’m looking to understand what you did before starting this company.

Anthony Ferry: My first job out of college was as a computer programmer. I was a Software Developer for an educational software company. We wrote the administrative software for K through 12 schools. I did that for a couple of years. I got recruited out of that to work for Taco Bell Corporation writing systems for their back office to manage their labor and forecasting for their stores.

I worked at Taco Bell for a few years. During my tenure there, I was pulled on to a special project run by Pepsi, the owner of Taco Bell. They also owned KFC and Pizza Hut at that time. They were looking to build a common system for all the three restaurant divisions. I was pulled on to that project to represent Taco Bell’s interest in that project. That project is where I met my two partners. We built some great bonds through that project.

As that ramped down, I ventured out from Taco Bell into the technology consulting world, which is very enlightening and educational. I learned about how much work is done for large corporations by vendors and technology specialists who come in on a project basis to supply a specific or niche skill set.

I went to work for Quickstart Technologies. It’s a local Microsoft consulting company and I cut my teeth on that space. I then ventured into a staffing company for a little while to try my hand at creating my own division of consulting. I joined forces with Tim Marshall and Parsa Rohani who were my partners in Neudesic.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Successful Pivots: Anthony Ferry, CEO of PriceSpider
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