That sounds pretty brave.
Not really. People say that’s hard to do, but it seems harder to do when you are married and have kids. I was single and just out of university. There was no risk for anyone but me.
Makes sense. Was that ReportLinker that you started?
ReportLinker is a brand run by Ubiquick. ReportLinker came out and started in 2007. I founded Ubiquick in 2001 with a friend (Ben Carpano, CEO)
What does ReportLinker do?
Basically, it solves one very important problem. The industry information published by big trusted sources, such as Ministry, Embassies or Trade Union, is widespread around the web. Until we launched our service, no one was gathering all this information in one place. So if you’re working on marketing strategy, a business plan, a market forecast, or want to know someone’s market share or what your competitors are doing, you can use our program.
So you’re not a content provider?
We are a technology company. We provide content, through an in-house semantic technology.
How big is your staff?
There are 35 people in the organization—about half are dedicated to the search technology. I co-founded the company and now run the sales and marketing. My business partner, Ben, is in charge of the operations.
Where do you do most of your business?
Half of our business is in the U.S., 30% in Europe and 20% in Asia. Deloitte had us as one of the fastest rising technology companies, number 375. It’s because we’re always giving our clients fresh data from trusted sources.
What’s your pricing model?
Most of our clients are subscribers. We have about 4,000. It’s just much simpler that way. They get full access for as long as they need it and can cancel any time. It’s a self-service system. If you’re publishing on a daily basis, or your CEO needs access to reports, you can subscribe.
It must be valuable in your field to keep up on the latest trends.
Yes. Keeping up on market trends is quite important. Technology moves really fast, so we try to always stay up to date with it. That allows us to offer more data, fresh data from more resources.
How is your information organized?
Everything is easy; we organize our content by context. We offer access to 2 million reports, filtered by industry, country or companies. I have found that people consume industry information exactly the same way they consume music. People used to buy records and CDs the way they used to buy big reports. Then it became iTunes where people could buy 1 or 2 songs, like pieces of information. Now you can get the most precise of information.
What comes next?
The next step is people will only want statistics. A CEO wants to know the numbers. He won’t listen to a market analyst because [he or she] knows the market. So we’ll provide only data, not market research reports. They’ll just want to analyse the data themselves.
Is that already happening?
Not really. Today I don’t know if they are ready for this yet. People enter the information world through info graphics and small pieces of information.
What is the biggest value you see in IIN?
It’s time to organize a Pan-European information industry network. At this time, local ones exist such as the GFII in France. IIN will help its members that want to do business across the borders.