Thanks To Great Customers And Great Team Members
Internal Memo Sent November 3rd, 2015
As many of you know, we were founded almost five years ago on November 9th, 2010. In the midst of a recession, and after working at another startup that was moving from analyst firm to boutique consulting, the goal was to build something different in the market. Elaine and David were the first two team members to join. The challenge – we had no funding. We covered salary on 500,000 in personal savings. We boot strapped the organization with a loose federation of independent analysts . Today we have evolved into a full employment model with full benefits, stock options, and retirement plans. Though we are five years older, the goal hasn’t changed – unite star people under one roof, bring star clients together, and engender a community and ecosystem around stars – hence the name Constellation Research.
Many of our customers have asked why we chose purple as our color. Well, Gartner was blue. Forrester was green. IDC was yellow and blue. Ovum was red. Purple was the only real stand out color and a personal favorite. A logo was sent out to 99 designs in a contest and we came back with a few logos but eventually ended up with the 3 rings for the reasons above. The entire logo cost us $99. A trademark application, incorporation papers, and all that fun legal stuff was set up and were in business. Well, it wasn’t that simple… more on that another time.
Lessons Learned From The Early Years
Our first client to sign was Pervasive (now Actian). Alison Raffalovich, Angela Schmidt, Kim Daugherty, and Lacey La Borde were the first to sign with David and we will never forget them and all of our first year customers. We’re ultimately as good as the type of customers we attract. The first years were tough. The goal build the brand as big as you can. The second year, bring on as many people as you can. The third year, you realize that was a bad idea as you need to build the right team and you have to be organized around common goals. The fourth year was about rebuilding and we now are at a point where we can say we have critical mass at our fifth year.
More importantly, we’ve had a number of folks who’ve been big supporters and our advisors from:
- Paul Greenberg – who’s helped us in countless behind the scenes and direct interactions
- Erin Kinikin – who’s critical thinking and approach is a great resource for smart advice
- Esteban Kolsky – who’s really trying to make you all smarter analysts despite the tough love
- Dr Janice Presser – who’s kept us all together by making sure we bring on the right people
Moreover, I can’t thank Dennis, our COO, enough for keeping us all in line and making sure the trains run on time but more importantly in making sure the right things happen at the right time. We were in utter chaos prior to Dennis. Well, you all know that.
Moving To Our Next Five Years
So here’s where we are now five years old entering our sixth year. We have awesome buy side clients. These are folks that believe in innovation. They are in charge of disruption. They understand how we are different from the market. Many of them have been part of our research board. They’ve been paid clients and many have also changed many jobs in the past five years but they keep coming back. Within our network we have 1000 market leaders and fast followers we can reach out to and connect with on a consistent basis.
The conference we host every year is for these clients, our fans, our advocates, and prospects. It’s once a year and it’s in-person. This past Constellation Connected Enterprise, we had not only our best attendance to date, but some of the most insightful conversations at any conference we’ve been to. We’re hoping we can translate that hospitality we exude in person and the insights and analysis we bring to them on a daily and digital format. Watch for our new Constellation Executive Network program with CR Insights. This will be our main focus for our next 5 years.
If you are reading this, we’re excited you can be part of our constellation. There are so many opportunities ahead and we look forward to engaging with you.
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