How I ended up in the red light district

No, no, it was not in Amsterdam, but in London, in’s studio, recording my 60 second pitch.  Silicon’s 60 second pitch is a video feature where suppliers like Sense/Net can pitch their products to a panel of current and former heads of IT, who will then have the opportunity to ask questions before saying whether they like it or not by giving a green or red light. So this is how I ended up in the red light district, getting some reds, ouch.

The video was recorded in one shot, there are no edits. My pitch was recorded last September (2008) but was only published recently (Feb 2009). Six months have passed, and things changed since last September, I wonder what those CIOs would say now.

So when the thing was recorded, our product was called Sense/Net Portal Engine TNG, and was not yet released. When we released it on the 1st of October 2008, we renamed it Sense/Net 6.0. Since then, we have about 10000 downloads, more than 600 registered beta testers, and 6 enterprise customers, the latest is Malév, Hungarian airlines – and the software is still beta.

Interim CIO Phil Young thought it was too early. He might be right to some extent, but only a few months later, we won the tender for the mission critical sales generating portal of Malév, competing against software giants like Microsoft. I am happy that Malév did not agree with Phil.

I could not agree more with former group CIO of Deutsche Bank Mitchel Lenson when he claims it is a tough job to go from a local market to an international. But hey, this is why I love this job. It can be easy to sell anything that has a big name logo on it, but selling our stuff is hard. Still, we do it. And we win tenders. And we generate nice downloads. I hope I’ll have the opportunity to talk to Mr. Lenson in a year’s time.

Former director of technology at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities International, Graham Yellowley told me that we were too small, and companies like Google would become competitors. Well, it seems that our competition is firing hundreds of developers, while we thrive and develop.

This video proved something to me. Even the biggest experts can not predict the future. None of these gentlemen thought about the coming economical crisis, and none thought about the rise of open source along with it. So is this luck, or good strategy? Judge for yourself.

Gentlemen, thank you for the red lights. It only makes me try harder.

You can check out the video on

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