Zoho and the Bottom of the Software Pyramid

Last week Sridhar Vembu the CEO of Adventnet, makers of the Zoho suite of software, was featured on the Economist’s Face Value. This may seem like a big deal for the CEO of $60 M company (The Indian CEO featured before Sridhar was TCS’s Ramadorai). But you have to hand it to the Economist. For a magazine that covers politics, economics and business, it has the pulse of the software industry. What Zoho is attempting to do can be game-changing for business software. Continue reading Zoho and the Bottom of the Software Pyramid

Gridstone and the Top-Down Approach to the Semantic Web

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What does Gridstone Research do? If an Equity Analyst asks this question, the answer we give is what our home page says,

Using cutting-edge technology, Gridstone assembles, analyzes and structures unstructured company information into financial data, guidance, operational data and structured text. Information that could take hours to assemble is available at your fingertips, at our website or directly in Excel.

This describes the end-user benefit. But for those who are interested in such matters, it still doesn’t answer the question of what we actually do. Continue reading Gridstone and the Top-Down Approach to the Semantic Web

Gridstone Excel Add-in

We just released a very important product – an Excel Add-in that allows Analysts to pull in our rich data directly into their spreadsheets. Excel is very central to the work flow of our users. We think that this is probably the easiest-to-use Excel Add-in in the Financial Information business.

I whipped up a Slidecast about it. Even if you are not connected to the Financial world, take a look at it. I think it is effective and I spent about a day on it and that too because I tried many different approaches until I hit my stride. Feedback is welcome. If you’re interested in the tools I used, leave a comment.

Company of One

The English word company means “A group of persons”. I would surmise then that the business entity “company” got its name because it comprised of a group of persons engaged in a common business purpose.

An individual can start and run a company all by herself. There is nothing new about that. What is however changing is just how much that company can achieve with a small team. A few individuals can create a company with millions of dollars in revenues and tens of millions of dollars of value. Continue reading Company of One

Notes from the CRV conference

Spent a couple of days last week at the Charles River Ventures conference. (CRV is the lead investor in Gridstone). The attraction of the conference to me was to meet other entrepreneurs and to meet a great roster of speakers. As it turned out, the former objective wasn’t quite fulfilled, for good reason. But the speakers made the trip more than worthwhile. Continue reading Notes from the CRV conference

Hiring in India

Our startup Gridstone Research is now about 140 strong in Mumbai. So far hiring in India has been a mixed bag. Some hard work that has paid off. And some frustration.

We have broadly two streams in India. Research and Technology. The Research Operations carry out the analysis which goes as content in our product. The software for the product is developed by Technology.
Continue reading Hiring in India