Why I like Rand Schulman …

Published by Eric T. Peterson on July 16, 2007 All posts from Eric T. Peterson

Five little words: Rand don’t pull no punches.

Don’t believe me? Check out some of the commentary Rand offers up about his former employer (and mine, Visual Sciences/WebSideStory) in an interview just published with Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting. I only wish Eric would have conducted the interview in the last few days following Visual Sciences announcement that they are going to miss Q2 earnings by a few million dollars (OUCH!) and they’ve retained Goldman Sachs to help them shop the company, just to see what Rand would say.

Rand and Eric even discussed me of all people, with Rand offering up:

“Eric Peterson and I have been in two companies together. WebTrends, and WebSideStory, and we certainly worked together very closely when he was an analyst at Jupiter. We know each other pretty well. Eric and I don’t always agree on everything. I come from a pure solutions point of view, because my DNA is in marketing. I know what I want to achieve with these applicaitons, and Eric has an approach to these things more from a technology point of view. But, more and more, his point of view and mine are becoming very similar. I respect him, because he will tell you what he thinks. We’ve had our differences, but he and I are good friends, and I think it’s good to have differences. It makes the world go round. I think he is going to do really well as an independent by the way.”

While our time together at WebTrends was non-overlapping, and I would more or less describe our close work together while I was at Jupiter as, um, confrontational, I more or less agree with everything else he says in this paragraph (not the entire interview!) And yeah, we drink beer together and have funny conversations about industry folks and he has a unique sense of perspective that most people don’t have, so yeah he and I are friends.

Oh, and I appreciate his vote of confidence regarding the formation of Web Analytics Demystified.

Wait, what? You don’t know who Rand Schulman is?! You’re kidding me! Rand is an icon in the web analytics industry and, if I may say so, has one butt-kicking web site for his private venture, Rand Schulman Partners.

Anyway, thanks Rand for the nice comments and I certainly wish you and Unica all the best out there. Judah loves your stuff, that’s for sure.

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  • John Squire

    I really didn’t expect to see that Rand and Eric’s POV were starting to converge in print anywhere. I really thought that was just the late night cocktails talking. Just goes to show you how this industry has more twists and turns.

  • http://www.web-analytics.es Mike P

    Thanks Eric for constantly keeping me up-to-date with whats what and who’s who in the WA industry. Wouldn’t be half the man without it.

    But…what did you really make of Rands synopsys of Websidestory? Badly directioned or just gone bad? No offence intended, but it is your thoughts about the market and WA development that make you the most read guru out there and I think we are kind of missing that here.

  • http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com eric

    John: Indeed, but surely you’ll agree that stranger things have happened. Thanks for your comment and I look forward to catching up with you and Jane and Joe next time I’m in the Bay area.

    Mike: Ahhhh, you would have to ask me the one question I really don’t want to answer, huh? My thinking is that since I worked at Visual Sciences relatively recently it would be inappropriate to comment in public regarding the situation there. Friends still work there and I very much respect members of Jim MacIntyre’s management team.

    Why, what do you think is going on?

  • http://www.web-analytics.es Mike P

    Yes, I guess adverse publicity from Eric P could adversly affect their share price. Not a nice thing to do to your friends!

    My (fairly uneducated) view – Websidestory and Omniture are battling it out for the hearts and minds of the stock market and having to be ever more agressive with their core product marketing and development as well as kicking off market consolidation. Omniture are clearly winning the battle, have made some great acquisitions that take the business model in interesting non-web analytics directions (content and behavioral targetting through Touch Clarity acquisition, data integration through Genesis etc). Visual Sciences Inc don’t appear to have this level of vision, or the overall strategic direction to compete in the customer acquisition process (and this is what it effectively all comes down to isn’t it?).

    I was recently involved in a RFP process for a major media owner in Spain and Visual Science/Websidestory didn’t even make the final cut! Although the basic product offer looks okay, the noise and excitment surrounding the product didn’t match the competition. Omniture won the competition, based on scale and flexibility, market performance, and its ability to cater for many areas of their business in the future.

    Just my 5 cents. :)

  • http://www.webanalyticsdemystified.com eric

    Mike: My friends in Europe tell a similar story about Omniture’s momentum overseas. I know a few pretty bright WebSideStory guys who have jumped ship and I had to wonder how that is impacting the sales process (since people always have stories to tell.)

    That said, I’m vendor neutral! I saw a nice demonstration of the upcoming WebTrends product this week, I hope to get a detailed briefing from Omniture soon, and I try and stay in touch with my former co-workers as I’m able as well. My basic thesis is that it’s not the technology that makes companies successful with web analytics, or particularly the people. It’s how the people and technology are used (the process!) strategically to drive business success.

    Thanks for your comment!

  • Pingback: Web Analytics Demystified » Blog Archive » The best decision I made this year …

  • Steen

    Because Rand is a nice guy by heart. Was in the startup of Keylime with him. We had a good trip around Europe showing our 5 page print out of what we were about to do, no product only the idea’ to the Ericsson’s, Airbus, Total Oil, KMD’s. Pohjola’s and  Scottish Powers and others of this world.
    If you have contact to Rand please pass on my email address stedin@me.com to him as I have lost all his details and I would like to to reconnect. Rand knows who I am, liked the picture of him and the Saudi King.
    SR

  • rand schulman

    Hi Steen! Yeah, you were there at the very start, and I remember our time well! feel free to contact me at rand@schulmanthorogood.com

 


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