Monday, October 19, 2009

On Bringing the Good News While Clearing Out Fungus.

I wanted to spend a little time sharing some good news with you.  I am going to be Technical Evangelist for a relatively new company called GoodData.  As evangelism means "bringing the Good News" to the world, this is truly a match made in Heaven for yours truly, as I will now be bringing the GoodData news to the world.

Many of you will have heard about GoodData before of course.  Most people in our industry know it was founded by serial entrepreneur Roman Stanek of NetBeans and Systinet fame.  Sun acquired NetBeans circa 1999 for $10M and HP grabbed Systinet in 2006 for a mere bag of shells ($100M of them actually). 

GoodData is backed by heavy-hitting investors including Andreessen Horowitz  (Marc was also an initial angel investor) but also O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures  and General Catalyst.  It's always nice when you can point to Marc Andreessen pitching your company on CNNMoney.  GoodData also cleared another funding round last week as anyone following our industry will have heard.  This kind of news does not go unnoticed these days.

So what is GoodData about?  GoodData is an on-demand business intelligence platform for collaborative analytics (phew!).  This means the software runs in the cloud (Amazon's EC2 to be precise), so clearly the model benefits from all the usual technical, deployment, and financial benefits SaaS brings to the table.  But more importantly, and what really sold me on the concept, is the following equation (and those who follow me know my affinity for all things KISS):
gd = BI - BS

In English, this says GoodData is business intelligence without all the "bullshiitake" (term borrowed from my hero Guy Kawasaki).  So let's talk a little bit about that breed of mushroom.

  • When you need to implement a BI project but depend on IT to setup infrastructure and purchase software before you can even get started, that's bullshiitake.
  • When you need a PhD or significant training to start using a complicated overkill BI tool, that's bullshiitake.
  • When it takes you weeks or even months to analyze time-critical data for your company and show results to an impatient boss, that's bullshiitake.
  • When you can't collaborate with your peers and customers (internal or external) or integrate with outside apps while doing agile BI, that's bullshiitake.

GoodData represents a new way of thinking and acting about BI by removing these "mushrooms".  In that sense, GoodData is really re-inventing how BI consumers and producers interact, behave, grow, and produce results together.   And that, to me, goes way beyond a pure technology play.  It is a “next curve” move and an industry-shifting vision I wanted to help forge.

So in the coming weeks and months, I am going to be talking about the technical and social aspects of this industry-shifting platform. You'll be able to reach me at my new work email and I will be twitting on the @gooddata stream as well.

My pitch to BI professionals will be simple. If you seek independence, control of your environment, quick and deep results, and the flexibility to enhance your company’s bottom line, then you need to try out GoodData. We represent a fundamental new way of thinking about BI.  My role will be to show you how and why.


  1. I like the gd = BI - BS. I think you are in good hands with the leadership you have aligned with.

  2. Agreed :) Thanks for following the blog!

  3. Thanks buddy! Looks like we're both embarking on a new voyage at about the same time! :)