Fifteen years can seem like an eternity. In July of 1999, the first version of MSN Messenger hit the market and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was released. I was also only a couple years removed from founding TIBCO in the midst of those bubbly and wondrous years in Silicon Valley. That date, 15 years ago, also marked a monumental moment in our company’s history: we rang in our IPO on the NASDAQ.
Certain milestones can make one stop and reflect. As TIBCO rings the opening bell at the NASDAQ today to commemorate 15 years on the exchange, I can’t help but take a step back and consider how we got to where we are today: a wildly successful business that’s transforming thousands of the world’s most important companies.
Our History: From Big Data to Fast Data
I started TIBCO with the belief that if you have the right information in the right place and at the right time, you can make the world a better place. I am humbled by the thought that over the past 15 years we have had more than 4,000 customers worldwide, and we’ve installed billions of dollars in service systems.
Fifteen years ago we had about 300 employees. We now have more than 4,000, across 36 countries. In 1999, we had less than 50 products and only about 200 companies using our software. This year we have about 60 big data solutions that help our customers gain the Two-Second Advantage®—the idea that a little bit of the right information just a little beforehand is more valuable than all of the information in the world six months after the fact.
Examples of my real-time philosophy exist today as a result of TIBCO. If our company were to miraculously shut down, trades on Wall Street would cease to happen. Bank operations would immediately stop. Credit card transactions could not be completed. Airlines and other modes of transportation would be grounded. Your mail would not be delivered. Your phone calls would not connect. National security could become immediately threatened and vulnerable. Without TIBCO, it can be said that the world would come to a standstill. This is a huge responsibility and something our team takes very seriously, and will continue to do so.
TIBCO is packed with some of the smartest, most incredible humans I’ve ever met. I always say that I try to surround myself with people who are much smarter than me, but it’s true, and it’s worked for us. We may be an established, mature, public company, but we are still incredibly nimble and are constantly innovating to find better ways to provide value to our customers. This can be seen in all of our products.
TIBCO now has about 450 products that can be loosely coupled, but are tightly integrated to enable companies to harness the power of Fast Data, the next evolution of big data that’s all about taking action. In 2014 alone, our products have been recognized on nine occasions by industry analysts. And just in the past month our analytics and data discovery platform, TIBCO Spotfire, was ranked highest “Current Offering” in The Agile Business Intelligence Platforms Report by Forrester Research, and CRN Magazine named TIBCO Jaspersoft to the “Big Data 100” list in the “Big Data Business Analytics” category.
Awards are recognition of the hard work of every person at TIBCO, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to the customers. They’re the ones who really drive everything we do. We don’t develop products to meet our own needs; we do so to meet their needs in a constantly evolving and disrupted technology landscape. We work with many of the largest companies in the world, in industries like healthcare, retail, transportation, and financial services. Each has a distinct and complex need, unique to them—some want to send their loyal passengers seat upgrades, some want to help cure diseases, some want to simply make sense of all the data they’re capturing—and every day we work to help them on their missions. To do that, our goal is simple. We want to deliver outstanding software that gives organizations a competitive advantage and the ability to act in real time.
Reflection is great, but it can sometimes lead to complacency. TIBCO, however, is not a complacent company, and we all know that while we can certainly take today to celebrate, we have much more work to do. Consider this: in five years, half of our revenue will come from products we haven’t even invented yet.
We’re in the midst of a massive digital transformation; from Civilization 2.0 to Civilization 3.0 where embracing Fast Data and the speed required to deliver actionable insights will mean the difference between making the finals and hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy. TIBCO is committed 100 percent to continuing to develop the latest, greatest, and fastest solutions that help businesses make sense of it all and, more importantly, do something with their increasing troves of data.
Here’s to the past 15 years, and here’s even more to the next 15!