Category: Jive

Get to geogeeking with OpenStreetMap this weekend

Portland has always had an interesting geolocation contingent here in town—companies like Platial, gatherings like WhereCampPDX, and mobile apps like Ice Condor. So what better town to help with the OpenStreetMap project?

Portland has always had an interesting geolocation contingent here in town—with companies like Platial, gatherings like WhereCampPDX, and mobile apps like Ice Condor. So what better town to help with the OpenStreetMap project?

No better place, my friend.

That’s why the OpenStreetMap folks will be hosting two events this weekend. Read More

Open Source Bridge: A peek at the hacker lounge

One of the most anticipated components of the Open Source Bridge conference—which is currently running in the convention center through Friday—was the 24-hour hacker lounge at the top of the Hilton.

The space opened yesterday afternoon and as the evening wore on, a number of developers managed to work their way up to the top floor to hack on everything from Arduino projects to using YQL to manipulate government data.

Don Park captured some video to give you a feel for the space. Read More

Who killed social media? Ask these folks

Portland-based NEMO Design, in conjunction with Group y, brought a bunch of marketing folks together to listen to a panel of social media savvy folks, including Dave Allen, Lee Crane, Matt Savarino, James Todd, and Tony Welch all moderated by Marshall Kirkpatrick.

[HTML3]Last week, Portland-based NEMO Design, in conjunction with Group y, brought a bunch of marketing folks together to listen to a panel of social media savvy folks, including Dave Allen, Lee Crane, Matt Savarino, James Todd, and Tony Welch—all moderated by Marshall Kirkpatrick.

With a great group of opinionated speakers, the lively conversation jumped from topic to topic. And even though it got a little derailed by an SEO-focused comment and perhaps a little too much “Twine, drink!” it provided a great deal of insight for the “marketing savvy but potentially social media uninitiated” folks in attendance.

So, who killed social media? Like the seemingly unanswerable “how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?” the world may never know. But here’s what folks had to say. Read More

July Lunch 2.0 hosted by Pacific Real Estate Partners

I promised you there were more lunches on tap, and here you go.

On July 15, Pacific Real Estate Partners will be hosting Lunch 2.0 at Jive Software.

You may recall that Jive has moved into and is renovating the old Federal Reserve Building on SW Stark and SW 9th. Read More

Hey Portland! How’s your whuffie? Don’t know? Tara Hunt may be able to help

And no one knows the topic better than Tara “@missrogue” Hunt, who has written the definitive book on the topic, The Whuffie Factor. What’s more she’ll be speaking on the topic in Portland twice this week.

That’s right, Portland. I asked how your whuffie was doing. Your whuffie. Your… wait a second. Let me step back.

What’s whuffie, you ask? Well according to Wikipedia, “Whuffie is the ephemeral, reputation-based currency of Cory Doctorow‘s science fiction novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.”

So what’s that got to do with you? Well, whuffie has also become a way of describing your goodwill—your social media capital, as it were—online and elsewhere in your life. What you give and what you get from your interactions with others.

And no one knows the topic better than Tara “@missrogue” Hunt, who has written the definitive book on the topic, The Whuffie Factor. What’s more she’ll be speaking on the topic in Portland twice this week. So get ready to talk whuffie. Read More

Jive executive team solidifies: Ben Kiker steps into Sam Lawrence’s old role

Even as Portland-based Jive has continued to set performance records quarter after quarter, one component of their executive team was missing: the Chief Marketing Officer role formerly held by Sam Lawrence. Today, Jive announced that that piece has now fallen into place with the hiring of Ben Kiker as the new CMO.

Kiker has an impressive past with a number of enterprise software firms—just the type of experience that Jive needs to continue taking their Social Business Software to that level. Read More

BIG Omaha: The big reason I’m sitting on the Silicon Prairie right now

Every time I’ve mentioned the trip I had planned for this week—“I’m going to Omaha”—I got the same quizzical look and a one answer response: “Why?”

Well, let me tell you. I’m sitting in Nebraska, right now, because there are a couple of guys in Omaha—Jeff Slobotski and Dusty Davidson—who write Silicon Prairie News, which is like the TechCrunch of their region. And they’re helping pull together a ton of events like they’re the Legion of Tech for the region. And they’re talking about opening a creative coworking space like they’re the Citizen Space of Omaha. Read More

Awards night in the Pacific Northwest means nods for GadgetTrak, Jive

I’m unofficially dubbing tonight “awards night” for the Pacific Northwest tech scene, given that we had two competing awards shows—Oregon Tech Awards and the Seattle 2.0 Awards—handing out statuettes to impressive tech companies all up and down the Pacific coast.

For the Oregon Tech Awards, two Silicon Florist regulars managed to walk away with top honors. Jive Software was named the Emerging Company of the Year and GadgetTrak was named Cool Product of the Year. The only downside was that Ontier—another one on whom I try to keep an eye—was also in the running for Cool Product. Read More

Forecast for Jive Social Business Software? Cloudy (and that’s a good thing)

A little over a year ago, Portland-based Jive Software announced that they were relocating to the Federal Reserve building. The decision was both a testament to their success and a signal that they were planning to continue to grow.

But for me, one of the most interesting aspects of their chosen location was their new proximity to a big Internet pipe running through the middle of Portland. Maybe, I mentioned to a few other folks, there was a reason they wanted to be sitting on that pipe. Maybe Jive is looking to deliver their product over the Web. The response? Maybe. Read More

Sequoia RIP Good Times + Jive’s quick response = Belated ink in The New York Times

Jive SoftwareLast October, Sequoia Capital‘s “RIP Good Times” was the bubble-bursting presentation heard around the startup world. And given that one of Sequoia’s portfolio companies happened to reside in our backyard—Portland-based Jive Software—we all knew full well that the bubble-bursting was going to be happening close to home.

It came in the form of layoffs for the young—and arguably successful—company.

I first heard about the Jive layoffs from Chris Kalani, one of the employees who was let go. Then, TechCrunch picked up on the Jive layoff story and things started to snowball. Unfortunately, the rapid escalation and swirling confusion seems to have precluded the real story from making it to the light of day.

Until now.

Yesterday, The New York Times brought a new perspective—and some much needed detail—to the the Sequoia and Jive story in an article entitled “Start-Up Gets Course in Survival.”

In the piece, we finally get a glimpse into what happened last October. And how those changes impacted one of the most successful startups in the Silicon Forest.

The changes Jive has made since the Sequoia meeting illustrate the ways in which young technology companies have slashed costs and narrowed their focus in an effort to stay alive. “Jive is the poster child. They nailed it,” said Jim Goetz, the Sequoia partner who is on Jive’s board. In the quarter ending in March, Jive booked higher revenue than any quarter in its history and plans to start hiring again.

We also get some insight from CEO Dave Hersh about the actual numbers of employees who were let go and why.

Seven days after the Sequoia meeting, Mr. Hersh laid off 25 of Jive’s 150 full-time employees and several contractors. They included underperforming salespeople and three executives who lacked the skills to build a company past the start-up phase, Mr. Hersh said. He scrapped an instant-messaging project and let go of the engineers on the team.

That same afternoon, he called the remaining employees to the office’s open meeting space that Jive calls “Whoville.” Mr. Hersh first put up a slide with the names of the laid-off employees. He figured the remaining employees would not look around the room wondering who was missing and would thus concentrate on what he had to say. He detailed everything the company had done wrong. He borrowed from Sequoia’s presentation and told the staff that Jive needed to conserve cash, make swift and deep cuts and invest based on results instead of ahead of them, as they had when they overhired.

Finally, the Gray Lady looks into some of the changes the company made to bring in experienced talent to help the company improve its course.

In January, Mr. Zingale brought on John McCracken, who had been his vice president of sales at Mercury. Mr. McCracken, who is known inside Jive as Johnny Mac, went to work overhauling Jive’s haphazard sales process. Jive’s strategy had always been to try to sell software to anyone who called. Mr. McCracken considered it a waste of money to chase customers who did not really want Jive, especially as the recession made software a much harder sell.

Salespeople were instead trained to grill potential customers with questions about their budgets and goals and turn away customers that did not fit. “One of the best things you can do as a business is to learn to say no,” Mr. Hersh remembers Mr. McCracken telling him.

As painful as it may have been, cutting early and cutting deep seems to be having a positive return for Jive—and their investors.

Given that Jive had the ability to lead by example when it came to Sequoia’s advice, I sincerely hope the next “lead by example” moment for the company is continued success and a clear path to bigger and better things. Because that’s an example I’d love to see all of the other startups here in the Silicon Forest follow.

(Hat tip Nino Marchetti)

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