Q&A with Lee Hansen, CEO, Dialectic Networks
SUB: How many customers do you currently have?
Hansen: We currently have 5-to-10 customers.
SUB: What makes Dialectic Networks different from other solutions providers that offer similar services?
Hansen: We help our customers drive down costs while increasing performance in the data center by always keeping focus on key guiding technologies shaping a new data center paradigm: leveraging open source software and portable modular data centers to drive costs down in cloud computing solutions.
SUB: What size company is your primary customer target?
Hansen: We target $50 million to Fortune 1000, depending on the type of business for compute and storage capacity needs. A company whose business model requires large compute cycles and or data storage could have $50 million in revenues but be a target customer for us—such as oil and gas, web 2.0, and the film rendering industry. As we come on line with our own cloud computing services, the small and medium market on up is our target.
SUB: What is your business model? How do you make or plan to make money?
Hansen: As we are a startup, we are running almost entirely off of seed capital. That being said, our first goal is to sell an IBM PMDC and/or IBM iDataPlex cluster to the many prospects that we are currently communicating with. Dialectic Networks is currently working with over 12 groups who have needs at these levels.
It is through sales of IBM products and services that we plan to make our initial revenue. We are also actively seeking venture capital to build our own data center in Florida. There are 3 other projects like the one in Florida that are moving forward as well. In a nutshell, our expected revenue this year is actually quite conservative.
SUB: What do you envision for the company a year from now?
Hansen: Cloud services offered from Dialectic Networks, at least 10 new customers, 20-plus employees and $10 million in EBITDA.
SUB: Considering the down economy, what challenges have you faced over the last year or so?
Hansen: Raising seed capital was a challenge at first—decision time frames were longer than expected.
SUB: Finally, what tips do you have for other technology startups that are just trying to get things off the ground?
Hansen: Have a good business plan to raise enough seed capital to make it to profitability. The IT marketplace is picking up!