- (Bad.) I was planning to cover the launch as well, in a split exclusive, but that plan was changed, costing me considerable wasted work.
- (Worse.) I wasn’t told of the change as soon as it was known. Indeed, I wasn’t told at all; I was left to infer it from the fact that I was now being asked to talk with other reporters.
- (Horrific.) I was quoted in the ClearStory launch press release, but while the sentiments were reasonably in line with my own, the quote was incorrect.*
I’m utterly disgusted with this whole mess, although after talking with her a lot I’m fine with CEO Sharmila Mulligan’s part in it, which is to say with ClearStory’s part in general.
*I avoid the term “platform” as much as possible; indeed, I still don’t really know what the “new platforms” part was supposed to refer to. The Frankenquote wound up with some odd grammar as well.
Actually, in principle I’m a pretty close adviser to ClearStory (for starters, they’re one of my stealth-mode clients). That hasn’t really ramped up yet; in particular, I haven’t had a technical deep dive. So for now I’ll just say:
1. I’m a huge Sharmila fan. I worked with her a lot at Aster, and she was that rarity — a chief marketing officer who excelled at all aspects of marketing, process management perhaps aside. (Aster marketing process management actually worked pretty well; but Steve Wooledge was there even before Sharmila, and Steve’s great at that stuff.)
Sharmila also has been a spot-on adviser to several other start-ups. I generally tell start-ups they’d do well to talk with her, and vice-versa.
2. Of ClearStory’s two techie cofounders, I interacted with John Cieslewicz a bit at Aster, and all my impressions are favorable.
3. My eyes glaze over a bit at the “cool BI UI” part of the story. I’m sure it will be wonderful, and cool business intelligence demos are really important for getting business. Even so, I think user interface is not what will make or break ClearStory. It’s also not the background of ClearStory’s founders.
4. What’s really important technically at ClearStory, I believe, will be the middleware. “Semantic layer” requirements are much more demanding than they used to be, in at least two dimensions:
- Semantics as the data arrives.
- What you do with the data after you tame it.