We believe social data has unlimited value and near limitless application. We begin almost every conversation with potential customers and partners with this simple statement because it best exemplifies why we exist as a company. More importantly, this refrain helps keep us focused on our ultimate goal: to be the source of record for all public social conversation.
While the majority of the world thinks about the amazing problems that can be solved with social data and the cool stuff that can be built upon this data, Gnip’s focus is on fueling innovation by providing the most reliable and fully scalable social data set in the world. We spend our time focusing on providing full coverage of the public social conversations that matter for our customers with the highest level of data integrity possible. The service we provide isn’t sexy, but it is mission critical if the application builders of the world are going to fulfill their promise.
Part of this promise is already being realized. Disaster response organizations are turning to social data to save lives in time of need. Health researchers are using social data to better predict and track disease outbreaks. Consumer product companies are engaging with potential and existing customers to ensure the right products are being built at the right times for the right audience.
These examples are just the beginning. A recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute values the potential impact of social technologies at more that $1 trillion per year in the United States alone. The chart below shows that this value will be captured not just by technology companies, but by industries across the entire economy.
We believe social data will one day weave into the backbone of every enterprise business application. These future applications will depend upon full coverage of social data that is delivered in a consistent, accurate, scalable, fully supported, and ultra low latency manner. We are currently delivering over 100 billion social data activities per month. At that scale, the challenges are enormous. What happens when we go to a trillion per month? One thing is for sure, to continue to excel at this level we will have to remain focused.
We believe social data has unlimited value and near limitless application. We can’t wait to see what you build with this data next!
We believe that your company is ultimately defined by what you do, not what you say. People often talk about a company’s brand as if it is something that was created by the marketing team. We couldn’t disagree with this concept more. Your brand is ultimately defined by how your customers think about your products and services.
We are constantly asking our customers for feedback. “How are things going?”, “What can we do better?”, “What problems are you facing?”. When it comes to long-time customers and new customers alike, the single sound bite we hear more than any other about Gnip goes like this: “you guys do exactly what you said you do.” In other words, there are no surprises. We hear this time-and-time again and the words are almost exactly the same each time.
I’ll admit that I sometimes wish our sound bite contained more flashy content and included words like “amazing” or “brilliant”. The reality is that we aren’t a flashy company. And, the results aren’t surprising because we actually strive to do what we say we are going to do. We don’t over promise and under deliver. We just say what we do and do it.
This stuff doesn’t happen by accident. It comes with careful planning and requires some tough trade-offs. As one example, earlier this year we announced the availability of our 30-Day Historical Replay for Twitter product. The product had been in the works for almost a year. We opened the product in beta form to a handful of customers 3 months before we put the product in full production and we made no announcement at the time. What you may find surprising is that we put the product in production six weeks before we made the announcement. If you follow the software industry at all, you probably recognize how rare it is to announce a product weeks AFTER it has been released. But, if you are committed to doing what you say you do, this is one of the trade-offs you make. Saying what you are going to do before a customer can realize any benefit is not consistent with how our customers think about Gnip so we don’t do it.
There are many more examples of these types of tradeoffs. Was it tempting to announce Historical Replay sooner? Absolutely. But, we are building a company that is based upon long-term customer relationships and trust. Our customers are on the cutting edge of a very important, fast-growth industry. They are trying to solve incredibly difficult challenges while dealing with constant change and endless unknowns. The last thing customer’s need is more noise, hype, or confusion. We continue to work hard to reduce the noise and focus on the facts. When you consider that dynamic, “doing what you say you do” is a pretty flashy sound bite after all.