Last week at the monthly Chicago Technology Leadership Association meeting I had the privilege of meeting and talking to Godard Abel and Matt Gorniak about their latest venture called G2 Crowd. Godard and Matt both have some experience with startups, having been involved with Big Machines back in its early days; Godard as co-founder/CEO and Matt as SVP of sales. Now the 2 of them have founded G2 Crowd. I think what they are doing is fascinating and will quite possibly change the way people go about selecting business software.
Have you ever been tasked with finding a piece of software to solve some problem at the company you worked for? Perhaps you were on a team responsible for evaluating and ultimately recommending the CRM system your company should choose. If you were lucky, you had access to Gartner or some other source of professional expertise for narrowing the field of choices and ultimately making a recommendation or a decision. However, more likely, you didn't have access to that sort of data so you were reduced to Google searches and maybe pinging a few people in your network about their experiences. From there you scraped together a bunch of disparate info, maybe compiled it all into a spreadsheet and then stared at it scratching your head trying to figure out what to do.
What if, instead, there were a readily available source of unbiased reviews for business software? What if you could, in 60 minutes, read a whole series of real world reviews of CRM systems written by the people who actually use the software? Imagine if you could download spreadsheets and even a PowerPoint presentation that summarizes what the broader population thinks about a given category of software.
That’s exactly what G2 Crowd is doing. G2 Crowd aims to be the canonical source for reviews and recommendations for software that’s used in the business world. They’re still pretty new so content and reviews are building but they already have quite a bit of momentum. The initial focus was on CRM products so info and reviews there are quite impressive. Other areas aren’t quite as heavily populated but that looks like its changing quickly.
When I think back on the effort in shear people and hours that went into some of the software evaluations I’ve participated in, I can’t imagine how G2 Crowd wouldn't be a huge time-saver for any company that finds itself shopping for business software. Also, as an independent management consultant, the value of something like this purely in terms of the time it could save me as I look to make recommendations for my clients is huge.
There’s certainly work to be done here, G2 Crowd is a new concept and it needs time to build momentum. We had a great conversation last week around ways to improve G2 Crowd in terms of attracting more reviews as well as ways to help people understand why they should trust the reviews that they find there. However, I came away from the presentation convinced that something like this is absolutely needed in the field of business software and I believe G2 Crowd has a great start on filling that need. G2 Crowd is, of course, heavily dependent on user participation so expect to see reviews from me on any piece of software on the site that I feel qualified to comment on.
Take a minute and check out G2 Crowd, I’m sure you’ll come away with the same impression.