Periscope Data has quietly become a significant startup, and its co-founders, Harry Glaser, and Tom O’Neill, have an inspiring journey from finding the ideal co-founder to raising substantial funding. In a span of just over six years, they transformed a side project into a thriving company with 138 employees.
They began their journey after their university years. Harry had spent time at Google as a Product Manager, while Tom worked on machine learning algorithms at Microsoft’s Bing. The driving force behind their partnership was the trust and a deep history that existed between them.
Periscope Data’s customer base expanded largely through word of mouth and the creation of technical blog posts that attracted their target audience. They discovered that writing informative, technical blog posts led to readers signing up for the product, which marked the start of their successful sales journey.
Their initial focus was on smaller companies, where early adopters were more open to trying new things. However, as the role of data analysts and data scientists grew in larger enterprises, they shifted their marketing and sales approach to cater to these large organizations.
The co-founders bootstrapped the company for about a year, followed by raising an estimated $1.5 million, which sustained their early growth. They emphasized the importance of grit, the ability to endure numerous rejections, and the need for a compelling, concise pitch to investors.
Harry’s experience also revealed the significance of proactively fostering diversity within the company culture. By intentionally recruiting individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, they transformed their culture into a more inclusive and welcoming one.
The lesson Harry values most is the necessity to adapt and change constantly as the CEO of a high-growth company. As a CEO, your role evolves every six months or so, which requires embracing change.
In terms of personal changes, Harry recommends a daily workout routine, as it helps improve mood and manage stress effectively. Looking ahead, their focus is on scaling both their product and their organization to meet the growing needs of their expanding customer base. They continuously seek new trends and opportunities to keep the business moving forward.
For aspiring entrepreneurs, Harry’s top advice is simple: “Don’t quit.”