The big difference between rockets and airplanes is that while both fly, only one has the potential to go far beyond conventional limits. Applying the logic of limitless potential to my career, I decided to join EverString – a rocket.
Over the past four years, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the brightest and most cutting-edge marketers. I’ve consulted marketing teams on various initiatives including account-based marketing (ABM), and a singular cry of anguish has risen from every marketer I’ve worked with. (I didn’t cause it, I promise.) I’ve seen it in the eyes of everyone from CEOs to salespeople and heard its dire call echoing through the halls: “Where do we find our target accounts?”
It’s something I’ve been asked by every business with an ABM initiative, from those with a hybrid approach to those that have burned the proverbial demand-gen ships. Today, I’m tapping out this article from EverString’s San Mateo headquarters because inside this building is a server that holds the answer.
People are a big part of it
At Marketo’s summit a few years back, I ran into a tall man in a suit and open collar who was eager to chat. We struck up a conversation. He was one of the first people I ran into that day who wasn’t checking his phone every few seconds. He also hadn’t used the word disruptive. Here was someone who had a great sense of balance, seemed down to earth, and yet possessed a vision of piercing clarity. Here was EverString CEO J.J. Kardwell.
J.J. implored me to think of a company that loved its data quality. I couldn’t. This, he explained, was because there has been virtually no innovation in B2B data. There are a few big players and a great number of small ones all drawing from the same poisoned well of data. Their processes are mostly the same. Even those applying AI are still starting with garbage and trying to cleanse it.
“Forget all that,” said J.J. “What if we drilled a new well?” What he proposed was an AI algorithm using machine learning and natural language processing to create and continuously improve its own data quality. An algorithm that was smart enough to go scour the entire web, ingest data from every available source – including the old poisoned well – and clean it. And what if it was also partially powered by people? EverString, J.J. explained, had already built it.
This struck a powerful chord because if this worked as promised, I had just stumbled upon the answer to the chorus of cries from the ABM crowd.
EverString’s data platform underwent a series of quiet changes over the years. Customers may not have even noticed. The result? A pristine new source of data. Something previously unseen. It’s a new generation of data technology. This struck a powerful chord because if this worked as promised, I had just stumbled upon the answer to the chorus of cries from the ABM crowd. How could they find their target accounts? Simply, with this algorithm.
Where we’re headed
I signed an offer to join EverString not long after seeing it in action. My wife asked me why I chose the company and I didn’t even know where to begin, but I smiled slightly. I’m sure I paraphrased Eric Schmidt and mumbled something to the effect of ‘When offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask which one.’ The company was also filled with old colleagues from Marketo who have had similar epiphanies and were strapped in for the journey.
I’m juiced to be here in the control room of a company that’s at the forefront of a massive transformation in how companies think about data. EverString is delivering something the world has never seen before. There are things happening here within this product team that’ll raise the hairs on the back of your neck. I can’t wait until everyone sees it.
I can tell everyone who’s clamoring for better account data that I’ve seen the answer. If I close my eyes, I can hear the humming of the engine getting ready to set this ship into motion. Okay, that’s probably just the building’s heating, but I’m thrilled to be here at EverString. Buckle up.