A few weeks ago I noticed billboards (sorry…no pics) starting to pop up all over Utah County. They were all Carolina Blue and pointed to JoshJames.com/NewGig, which as of now redirects to Domo.com. Domo is Josh James’ new company.
Some responses to my Tweet and later conversations reminded me of the fact that Josh is being sued by Adobe. At that point I put the idea of “lightening striking twice” (reference to one of the new billboards) out of my head. Omniture was obviously a huge success, but could this guy really create another ground breaking company in the state of Utah with Adobe on his back?
Then, Josh’s new co was able to create a small buzz by offering a $10,000 giveaway to the first person that could solve this problem.
The solution eventually resulted in Josh’s cellphone number which he reported was ringing constantly for 3 days.
So I decided to check out the new company’s launch party last night. I wasn’t expecting much, but was surprised to see such a huge turnout. The seats were gone in minutes and I was left standing. My initial impression may have been more enhanced if Josh had moved forward with his idea to have random celebrities mixed in the crowd. This reminds me of the Omniture Halloween stories I’ve heard (think Josh in costume with little people and $xx,xxx department decoration budgets). He mentioned during his presentation that they looked at Spud Webb, Mike Ditka and even Angela Lansbury. Shockingly, Mrs. Lansbury requires around $100,000 for an appearance. Although no sports or television celebrities were present, there were elite business executives and politicians everywhere. Some notables included: Senator Orrin Hatch, Paul Kwan, Dave Clark, Mark Gorenberg, Todd Pedersen, Dave Bateman, Blake Modersitzki, and Matt Cohler.
Here are some of the highlights of the event:
Benchmark announced 33 million in series A along with the earlier angel investments of $10 million.
Executive reporting is 15 years behind tech. What is executive reporting? Sales, marketing, etc all in one place.
Business intelligence is broken. I know that’s been my experience as well. I’ve worked with smart BI guys, but their main job was to pull data, rather than think about what the data meant. Turn BI from cost center to a revenue department. Focus on valuable data.
My first thoughts. Aggresive? Can they pull it off? Can they tie all of the necessary APIs to their product? Josh said from stage that he didn’t want IT to be necessary for a CEO to use this new dashboard. They can’t build ties into every data set, especially proprietary databases.
Next, Stephen Dubner spoke – co-author of Freakonomics
He was interesting and shared some entertaining anecdotes, but definitely went on too long. His best comparison of the night was relating hand washing to business intelligence / company data. Everyone exagerates their own reports to make themselves look better. Self reported data is almost always inaccurate, which means almost everyone lies. In one study, only 9% of doctors washed their hands when tracked.
Then, Mark from Benchmark Capital who was one of the first employees at both LinkedIn and Facebook talked about Big Data and the potential of this new form of BI. Blah blah. Smart guy, but not an interesting speaker.
Next, Josh prepared to unveil the new brand. He talked about branding and mentioned the Law of Color. Coke is the first brand people think of when they see red. Fedex uses two colors at the opposite end of the spectrum (orange & purple) and that works well for many brands, including most sports teams.
He talked about customer focus. Putting the customer first. The customer is always right.
Finally, they unveiled the new name. Domo.
gOOgle, yahOO, facebOOk. What do they have in common? Two o’s (oo). dOmO.
Overall, the night was a success. In my opinion, everyone left the Grand American thinking that lightening will strike again, but I just can’t get Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto out of my head.
The launch party ended with this fine video.
The original, unedited version has over 11 million views, but out of the kindness of my heart I embedded the clean version here. Honey badger don’t care.