A Q&A with Precog co-founder, CTO and CEO John De Goes. The Boulder, Colorado–based company was founded in October of 2010 and recently raised $2 million in additional funding. Investors include RTP Ventures, Launch Capital, David Cohen and Doug Derwin.
SUB: Please describe what Precog is, and the value proposition you bring to the development process.
De Goes: Precog is a platform for the analysis of massive amounts of behavioral, historical and transactional data. Precog lets developers harness the power of big data analytics to build data-driven features like reporting, insights, predictions and recommendations inside their apps—without having to maintain any infrastructure or write any custom data analysis code.
SUB: Who are your target users?
De Goes: Our immediate users are developers, who use Precog to create analytical features in their applications.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
De Goes: Our number one competitor is build-it-yourself on top of open source. In the commercial space, Precog faces competition from Vertica, Greenplum, and other commercial analytics databases.
SUB: What differentiates Precog from the competition?
De Goes: Compared to build-it-yourself, Precog lets you launch new analytical features in weeks instead of years, with a robust, rich feature set that lets you focus on what you want to do with your data, not how to do it. Compared to commercial analytics databases, Precog is hosted in the cloud, so there’s nothing to install or maintain. Precog lets you store data any kind of data, whether normalized or de-normalized, structured or unstructured—unlike the commercial analytics databases which require you adopt the relational model and which only store structured data. Finally, Precog has first-class support for Quirrel, the ‘R for big data’ language that lets you perform very advanced analytics not possible with the commercial analytics databases.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
De Goes: The company was founded in October of 2010. It came together at a Denver Startup Weekend event.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
De Goes: Building product and hiring engineers. We are working on one of the hardest challenges faced by our generation. It’s not an easy problem to solve, and it requires an extremely rare breed of engineer who is always employed—and seldom looking for work.
SUB: You recently raised $2 million in new funding. What are your plans for the funds?
De Goes: Advance our product to the point where it’s ready for the largest enterprise accounts, and rollout aggressive marketing and business development plans that will ensure Precog maintains a market-leadership position in the data intelligence space.
SUB: Do you plan to raise more outside funding in the near future?
De Goes: We won’t turn away more funding from the right partner. It would need to be someone whose vision aligns with ours and who can add strategic value to our company. We chose to work with RTP Ventures in this round because of their deep expertise in the field of big data.
SUB: What are your goals for Precog over the next year or so?
De Goes: When someone mentions data intelligence, the first name to come up should be Precog. We’re doing something far more than just building technology here—we’re building the Force.com of data intelligence, and you’re going to see some of this DNA in the coming year. On the product side, we want to continue to develop Precog’s technology to a point where large enterprises are deploying the technology to solve massive business problems that today’s technology just can’t cope with.
Precog – www.precog.com