By 1997, ARIS had about 1,000 employees in the US and the UK and generated more than $100 million in revenues. ARIS was a high tech consulting and training company publicly traded on the NASDAQ. Leading and managing a services company is much more difficult per revenue and headcount than a non-services company. I remember working very, very hard.
At ARIS, I played various executive roles as the company grew from a basement of a house to an international public company in seven years. The whole experience was tremendous as our young executive team learned so much basically drinking out of a fire hose of growth.
By 1999, I had decided to leave for a chance at a dot com dream. I had missed the startup environment and was not having much fun helping to run such a large company with the obligations of being public. Since then, I’ve stayed in the startup arena leveraging my experience of building companies to various early-stage liquidity events.
This April my earn-out for the sale of Intrepid expires. However, I don’t believe that my work is finished yet. The social intelligence space is very dynamic and poised for another inflection point of rapid growth. We have an exciting value proposition and some new releases coming up that will help define where this industry will go in terms of delivering actionable and predictive insights from social data.
There have been five ventures since those ARIS days for me. Now at SDL, I’m rediscovering some of that drive to make impact at a larger level. Right now, this is the right company with the right CEO and executive board to keep me focused and excited about what we are doing together.