Power to the customer – Interview with Matt Gorniak of G2Crowd

Disrupt

Today’s interview is with Matt Gorniak, Co-founder/COO at G2 Crowd, a new source for crowdsourced and trusted business software reviews, covering everything from CRM to accounting to content management systems to supply chain and logistics and all the way back again.

I wrote about G2 Crowd before in Choosing and comparing CRM software? – Pointers from the crowd and Matt joins me today to talk about how they are disrupt the business software buying process, the business software market and G2Crowd’s plans for the future.

This interview follows on from my recent interview: The changing world of B2B customer experience and what the future looks like – Interview with Charlie Peters of Emerson – and is number ninety-five in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, helping businesses innovate, become more social and deliver better service.

Here are the highlights of my interview with Matt:

  • Matt is the founder of G2crowd.com, which has been called ‘Yelp’ for business software.
  • Matt came from the software vendor space and through his experience came to realise the difficulty in differentiating themselves as a software vendor.
  • They had worked with traditional analyst forms like Gartner or Forrester to help differentiate themselves.
  • However, the challenge they found with working with analyst firms is that analysts don’t use, and therefore don’t know, the software from the companies they are reviewing.
  • Further, knowing how the process works and having bought software systems for their own firm, you can see that the reports form analyst firms don’t have that much in them.
  • Also, most analyst firms concentrate on the enterprise market and there is very little out there to help small and mid-market firms.
  • G2Crowd is not just crowdsourcing user product reviews but are also adding social/big data onto those reviews that speak to a vendors market performance (size, scale, share of voice, engagement etc).
  • They also have a patent-pending recommendation engine that they apply to this data that calculates product strength and vendor scale scores in real time. This helps their customers navigate their results and make better software decisions.
  • The majority of software buyers just want to know what works.
  • Their mission is to help buyers find the best software for their business.
  • All reviewers are also validated through LinkedIn thus limiting the ability for people/firms to skew or game reviews.
  • They cover 200 categories and over 2000 products and they are adding new category ideas and products all the time. Check out the categories they cover here.
  • The selection of products starts with G2Crowd ‘seeding’ the selection with the ‘ten best known products’, say, but also users can add products as can vendors themselves. It is open to everyone.
  • The reviews are comprehensive too…..as they are comprised of over 70 questions.
  • This, they believe, is a real strength as compared to a person (analyst’s) opinion.
  • In the case of the CRM category, which I wrote about in Choosing and comparing CRM software? – Pointers from the crowd, they had 1,500 reviewers. Analyst firms don’t have that sort of data.
  • Therefore, this approach becomes a ‘Voice of the customer’ type programme for many software vendors.
  • Bob Thompson wrote and interesting piece called Is G2 Crowd the Death Knell for Forrester and Gartner? over on CustomerThink that is worth checking out regarding one experts view of how G2Crowd is changing the market-place.
  • Their results are updated in real time as the review process is always open. However, G2Crowd will announce periodic standings across the different product/category areas.
  • Much of G2Crowd’s work to date is open source and free but they are seeing a huge interest in research and advice they offer based on their results and data that they have access to.
  • G2Crowd also sees a central part of its role is to give new software providers, start-ups and disruptors a platform to allow them to showcase the fact that they are deliver a great user experience and a great product.
  • G2Crowd – a consumer approach to business buying and making better decisions.
  • They also just launched a ‘Best Social Media Management’ comparison. Check it out here.

About Matt (taken from his G2Crowd bio)

Matt GorniakMatt is a seasoned high tech executive that has worked in leadership roles for global leaders GE, CAT, and EMC, as well as software start-ups such as OctetString (sold to Oracle). Most recently Matt led alliances and sales at BigMachines and grew revenue from $2 to $50 million making BigMachines one of Inc. 5000′s Fastest Growing companies for five years in a row. When not spending time with his new bride, he can be found glued to his iPad managing his stock portfolio. Matt was born in Poland, raised in Germany, and studied in the US. He is a techie deep down as he started programming and using online bulletin boards as a teen back in the 1980s.

You can check out G2Crowd at G2Crowd.com and do say Hi on Twitter too@G2Crowd. Also, you can connect with Matt on LinkedIn here and say Hi on Twitter @mgorniak.

Photo Credit: Scott Beale via Compfight cc

Comments

  1. Thanks, Adrian, for sharing this interview. Interesting concept… and I’ll definitely check out Bob Thompson’s piece, as well. This statement speaks volumes, for sure: “However, the challenge they found with working with analyst firms is that analysts don’t use, and therefore don’t know, the software from the companies they are reviewing.”

    Annette :-)

    • adrianswinscoe says:

      Hi Annette, it does speak volumes and whilst it may be true it isn’t talked about much. Maybe it should be.

      Adrian

  2. Adrian,
    I do like the idea of the business, particular;y the fact that all reviewers are validated through linked in.

    Very clever way of using social media to give credibility

    James

    • adrianswinscoe says:

      James,
      What they are doing is very clever and particularly goes a long way to prevent the ‘online reputation fixers’ from peddling their wares.

      Adrian

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