On GigaOM yesterday, there was an excellent article about what it takes to start and maintain a business. Om Malik accurately described the journey as
Building a business, is a process that takes, what seems like a lifetime of educated guesses, crazy bets, 100-hour weeks, timing and luck — and that is assuming that one has a product that the market actually wants.
Educated Guess #1: I started Cosential back in 1996 as a side project when the data management system I was forced to endure was bulky and inefficient.
Crazy Bets: I invested my life savings into a dream of creating a SaaS CRM solution for the Architecture, Engineering & Construction industry.
100-hour weeks: I can’t envision my life without checking my email at 3am.
Timing: Cosential was developed at the same time as Salesforce.com, one of our cloud-based competitors. Their growth has been a tremendous benefit to us in that people understand the value of a SaaS solution. Creating a vertical solution for the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (A/E/C) industry has differentiated us from the pack and helped us stand out as an innovator in the largest industry in the world.
Luck: I feel extremely lucky to have the best customers who consistently provide insightful feedback for the development and direction of Cosential. With their help, we’ve been able to create a best practice data management solution for the A/E/C industry, by the A/E/C industry.
… a product that the market actually wants: It’s not only about identifying what the market wants, but what they need. None of this could have been done without the collaborative vision of my clients and my team, guiding our development efforts.
And with 15 successful years of Cosential behind me, I’m grateful to have survived the dot com bust and flourished through the growing pains. And it’s blogs like GigaOm that give me the opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come and how inspired I am about the future of Cosential.