Co-founders Noam Liram and Alex Litvak started Sightfull, a next-generation Business Intelligence platform, nearly two years ago with an aim to apply modern technologies against the age-old challenge of truly understand and managing a revenue cycle. They recently launched the company out of stealth with product in the wild and customers already on board.
We talked with CEO Noam Liram about his decision to start a company with long-time friend Alex, what lessons he’s bringing to Sightfull from his experience at Adallom and Microsoft, and why tackle Business Intelligence.
WHY THIS, WHY NOW?
My co-founder Alex and I both have cybersecurity backgrounds, and that’s a space that is quick to leverage new technologies. Whether it’s graph-based data modeling or AI/ML and so on, in security, you’re using groundbreaking tech to identify problems faster and earlier. Same with DevOps.
That forward-leaning approach doesn’t exist in the business analytics space, which really hasn’t changed much in the last 10 to 15 years. There isn’t a way to get a unified look at sales, marketing, customer success – the revenue cycle as a whole.
“BI has been a buzzword for so long that there’s a lot of disillusionment around it… We want to put an end to disappointed teams.”
BI has been a buzzword for so long that there’s a lot of disillusionment around it. It was supposed to be this answer to every business challenge, but it requires a big commitment of data, money, and expertise. It hasn’t really delivered. We want to put an end to disappointed business, finance and operations teams.
The Sightfull platform uses graph databases to map all the data related to a customers’s revenue cycle in a way that couldn’t be done before with legacy BI technologies. The platform’s “autonomous analysts” that create an always-on, holistic look at a company’s revenue cycle without having to hire an entire army of data engineers.
When you think about it, not every company can employ the best analysts, but they can all buy the best product. The relational data connections we’re able to make means there can finally be that best product.
LEARNING AND INSPIRATION
I learned a lot as the first employee at Adallom. One thing is how important your team is. It takes time, effort, and intention to create the right team. I’ve carried that over to Sightfull. We were just doing a photoshoot for the launch, and it really struck me to see 20+ people in Sightfull t-shirts. These are all people that Alex and I handpicked for this opportunity to create something huge, to have a real impact on something. In return, I have the opportunity to learn from each one of them.
The Sightfull Team at Launch
“I also knew how important it is to have a co-founder you can trust completely and wouldn’t need to think twice about if they are going to do what they say will do. They also have to be someone you can laugh with. For me, that’s Alex.”
I also knew how important it is to have a co-founder that I could trust completely and wouldn’t need to think twice about if they are going to do what they say will do. They also have to be someone you can laugh with. There will be tough parts to scaling a company. What makes them bearable is that at the most serious moment, you could crack a joke and have a good time. That’s Alex and me. We’ve known each other for more than 15 years, since bootcamp. We each know how the other makes decisions and what our values are. We’re on the same wavelength.
I also learned things from being acquired by Microsoft. I experienced firsthand what it takes to scale up to support hundreds of thousands of customers. That leaves a mark on you and it’s something I leverage day in and day out.
A couple of things I’ve learned not to do is first, from my experience at Adallom, don’t ignore your customers. You don’t always know best. Luckily, we learned that lesson fast and were able to pivot to something successful, but in the first few months, we really didn’t listen.
“Don’t ignore your customers. You don’t always know best.”
Second, this is not a sprint. Building a company is not like being in the Army. It takes a healthier, more sustainable culture. If you want to build something big, you can’t just optimize for making a quick sale. Big things take time.
OFF THE CLOCK
It’s important to have balance. For me, I have two hobbies that take me outside. I ride a Onewheel for fun. And I ride a motorcycle. Going on motorcycle rides is how I clear my head.
A fun fact: I intended to go to university but it was never the right timing. Adallom was doing great, then I was at Microsoft and it just didn’t make sense to put that on pause for three or four years. Instead, I made a case where I should be admitted to an MBA program, even without a Bachelor’s degree. It’s a story of persistence. And in bending the rules.