Many of our customers are hedge funds looking to both save time and get an intelligence advantage from the web. They are notoriously secret so we can rarely use their names – but even so they will talk with us and share how they use FirstRain.
Liz (her name has been changed at her request) is an investor relations associate at a hedge fund in Greenwich CT. This is a fund that has a long term horizon and applies private equity style investing to the public markets. She shared how she uses FirstRain with us. Her goal is to quickly and easily find intelligence which may be impacting her firm’s portfolio.
“One of my responsibilities it to generate a daily watch report for our research analysts. Each analyst has Bloomberg on their desk, and access to sell-side research, so they can easily screen for major news stories. My challenge is then to help them find the smaller local news stories that might be impacting our portfolio.
We have found that local news and blogs are helpful for our continuous understanding of industries like restaurants and retail – for example seeing a report like Burger King to close three local Plano TX franchises which might change an analyst’s model or outlook.”
In the past Liz would use Lexis Nexis but, while powerful for specific one-off research projects, it does not have the local news and blog coverage that she needs, and does not have an easy workflow to generate news reports for a set of companies every day.
Liz wanted to find a simple, efficient solution to tracking daily local news and blogs about her firm’s critical investments.
Her solution today is to use FirstRain to monitor about 50 names, looking for local stories to build her daily Watch Report from. She simply uploads the names from excel and turns on a daily email monitor setup for her filters.
She says “We found it very easy to import the tickers and generate a daily email which we use to create our Watch Report from. And FirstRain is a fraction of the cost of traditional content providers like Lexis Nexis, or financial platforms like Bloomberg. In the end it was a simple decision for us, based on ease of use and price”.
We have a fun tradition each year around the Holidays – a white elephant gift exchange and a pot luck lunch. This year we twisted it up a bit. Not only did we do the usual fun of each person opening a gift or choosing to steal another, but this time we had plenty of stealing until the iterations finally stopped and then the Surprise.
First, we voted on the worst gift – and gave out some fun FirstRain clothing as a consolation gift to Cory who had ended up with the Snuggie. Then we voted on the best gift – which was a new Apple TV – and gave Dave (who had ended up with the Apple TV) the choice of keeping that or opening a mystery gift. When he chose to keep the Apple TV the mystery gift went to the holder of the second worst gift.
Which would you have chosen? (see below for what Dave missed).
Nick modeling the “worst” gift – the camouflage SnuggieJordy doing the Vanna White for the laptop desk.Nima (not single for much longer…) picking a guy gift – binoculars.The team chilling after eating too much great food and chatting with our sales offices on Skype.
When Prashant opened the mystery gift – it was an iPad – and Dave was kicking himself!
The other kicker to the pot luck – we probably all gained 5 lbs not only from the bundt cake, dripping ginger cake, thai shrimp, ribs…etc… we also sampled David’s homemade wine and Nick’s homemade beer. Yum.
From Aparna Gupta – Director of Analytics -Reporting from the first Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in India
While most of my team in California was at Dreamforce last week, I had the pleasure of being a part of the Grace Hopper conference at India’s own silicon valley- Bangalore, in which FirstRain was a scholarship sponsor this year. I have been to one in US few years back and I have to admit the atmosphere, the participation (~600 from 79 organizations), the choice of panels was at par if not better – kudos to the team who put together this very first India edition!
I had great fun interacting with participants on wide-ranging topics like human-machine learning (and why it can never be perfect), future of social networking sites, should exposing children to two or more languages be a norm given its benefit on development of the brain and a fully solar power driven village.
Some general take-aways from the meet which I believe will be useful to all:
Excel in whatever your field is
There is nothing like plain luck- luck is when opportunity meets preparation
Trying to overcome one’s weaknesses is probably over-subscribed, one needs to be very aware of one’s strengths and capitalize
For anyone who is an introvert or shy:
o Make your voice heard
o Be ‘aware’ but not hindered
o Have confidence and believe in yourself
Keep emotions out- get impersonal during any negotiation
Do interrupt when you need to!
And for aspiring leaders:
Once a month challenge yourself, do something beyond your comfort zone- which is scary to you
Have a story to tell
Communicate and have a pulse of the corridor conversations
Separate technical from management
Do your job well AND create space
It’s exciting that the Anita Borg Institute and it’s funding partners are investing in India and I am looking forward to going again next year.
Our team is working hard at Dreamforce this week – if you are there and have not visited us yet stop by! Not only can we share the benefits of the new version of FirstRain with you, we are also giving away a tiny radio for your listening pleasure
As you can see here – the FirstRain team is having fun, collecting leads, talking to prospects and sharing their excitement about our new version which is, after all, simply the easiest, most efficient way to monitor the changes that impact markets and companies! A must for every marketing and strategic sales professional.
We’ll be at Dreamforce 2010 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco next week – the happening place for sales people and the sales ops and marketing people who support them.
We’ll be showing all the hot new capabilities in FirstRain – how to easily monitor your key customers – how to efficiently understand the changes in your market, and their market, that impact your opportunity.
Come and talk to us about how sales people use the FirstRain monitors every day and how our marketing users at major customers have integrated FirstRain into the internal portals – both customer and SFDC – so sales people always have real-time updates on the competition.
And – because we are all about staying up to date – we’re giving away radios that fit in your lapel pocket (they are small but sound great!) so come and pick one up. Booth #1105