There are so many admirable companies and so many admirable entrepreneurs, although it seems more and more like the relationship between the quality of a companies and the quality of entrepreneurship is not so simple. During the Silicon Valley trip, one theme that emerged was the role of luck in building a successful company. In order to not conflate success with the characteristics of success, I think the safe approach is to emulate companies and entrepreneurs separately.
The company I admire the most is Bloomberg, LP. This company has transformed an entire industry beyond recognition. They have accomplished what we hope to accomplish at Revelio Labs. Bloomberg provides an infrastructure than enabled seamless ubiquity between participants in an industry. We hope to provide the same level of ubiquity between all participants in labor market analysis. As an aside, labor markets are twice the size of capital markets (and likely have twice the complexity). Imagine a world where everyone who analyzed employment – HR managers, recruiters, employees, managers, corporate strategy groups, investors – were looking at the same information and making decisions based on a shared infrastructure. It’s hard to imagine. It was probably also hard to imagine capital markets being structure that way in the 1970s. But Mike Bloomberg imagined it and made it a reality. Today, Bloomberg has continued to evolve to make participation in financial markets easier and easier for everyone. They’ve also made a tremendous amount of money during the process. We hope to emulate their process with a different set of market participants.
The entrepreneur I admire is Rich Barton, the founder of Expedia, Zillow, and Glassdoor. The common theme between all these companies is that they deliver data to users who have never had access to it. Being well-informed is an important part of every decision process, yet many tend to underestimate the public’s capability to responsibly use data. This unfortunate tendency permeates many industries, even today (most notably medicine). Rich Barton has successfully brought power to the people and become very successful doing it.
The essence of being an entrepreneur is the dedication and sheer willpower to bring a vision into existence. Excellent examples of that can be seen through Bloomberg and Rich Barton, who’ve successfully changed the way people interact with information. It’s something that we, at Revelio Labs, think and talk a lot about. We would like to change the conversations people have around labor markets, toward higher levels of rigor and sophistication. We can learn a lot from these companies and hope to remember the right lessons as we continue down the path.