I started Analytics8 in the US ten years ago when I merged the one-man shop I had just opened with a small BI consulting company from Australia. Today we’re experiencing a “growth-spurt” with about fifteen open headcount and planning a West Coast presence, among other growth plans.

It doesn’t feel like it’s been ten years, but it must be true since the LinkedIn anniversary congratulations are coming in. I started Analytics8 in the US ten years ago when I merged the one-man shop I had just opened with a small BI consulting company from Australia. Today we’re experiencing a “growth-spurt” with about fifteen open headcount and planning a West Coast presence, among other growth plans.

Ten years ago, I had recently left Business Objects.  I was doing independent contracting and had just formed an “S-Corp” with plans to grow.

I got a call that modified my plans and led to the founding of Analytics8 LLC.

Alex Brown, a good friend and colleague from both MicroStrategy and Business Objects called. He had relocated to Australia a couple years prior and had become a partner in a BI consulting company called Analytics8. By the time he called me in 2005, they were doing pretty good business and were looking to expand.  Alex asked me to join.

Alex: “Dave, I want you to move to Australia and join my company.”

Dave: “Thanks, but I’m not interested. I don’t want to move outside the US, and I just started my own BI consulting company anyway.”

Alex: “Can I buy your company?”

Dave: “Why would you want my company? I have one customer, no employees, and a box at the UPS Store.”

Alex: “How much would you sell it for?”

Dave: “One million dollars.”

Alex then said one of the smartest things anyone has said to me. “I don’t know about a million dollars, but we have a pretty good thing going here and we’d like to extend it to the states. If you think there is a possibility of making a deal, I’ll buy you a plane ticket.”

I accepted his offer and flew to Sydney where I met Alex and his two partners, Jean-Christophe, and Hedde. I was impressed with Analytics8 and the three partners. They were doing exactly what I wanted to do in the states, only they were three years ahead of me and half-way around the world.

We made a deal. The deal was that I would turn my company into the Analytics8-US branch. They would get to expand into the US, get a major piece of my fledgling company. I would get some start-up cash, and a name which I would use to convince employees to join and customers to buy.

We each talked to our lawyers. Their lawyers told them that it was a horrible idea. My lawyers told me it was a horrible idea. So we agreed that it was probably a pretty good idea.

In retrospect, it was a crazy idea that had a very high chance of failure. I was a good consultant, but I’d never run a company and the amount of startup cash was dangerously low. However, things started coming together. Within a couple of months, I hired another good friend and colleague from BOBJ (Steve Ligeza) who was a key part of our early growth. We picked up a few customers and within a year we had five employees.

The fifth was Brian Yaremych, the first employee we hired that I didn’t already personally know. Brian now runs our central region. On Brian’s first day, I decided that we needed some more customers, so I told him to get a plane ticket to Detroit for the very day, as we had some prospects there. Over a couple days, we met with six or eight prospective customers and ended up closing two deals out of it.

That’s how we used to do it at Analytics8. . .and it seems like yesterday – not ten years ago!

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