Hey @DaveMcClure, dave-mcclure-hat
In your Unicorns & Dinosaurs post on Medium you say that…

“for any given category, one big gorilla will run away with most all of the value.”

So what’s up with the Marketing Automation category? It doesn’t seem to fit the mold at all.

By my count, there are now 5 companies in the marketing automation space with $1B+ dollar valuations in one form or another…

Lots of VC money, lots of value created, but no gorilla (yet) running away with “most all of the value”.
I’m the founder & CEO of Net-Results which is, as far as I know, the only bootstrapped (and necessarily cash flow positive) marketing automation company (over 13,000 business users on 5 continents – we more than hold our own given our bootstrapper’s resource levels).
Sticking with the theme of your article, we’re not trying to be the “big damn gorilla”, nor do we want to be a “monkey” that’s “worth little or nothing at all”. So maybe orangutan would work for us…
Based on all this, I have a few questions for you…

  • Why isn’t the “VC Model Creates Gorilla” theme playing out in marketing automation?
  • Will consolidation ever come to marketing automation? What will trigger it if/when it does? (the acquisitions that have happened thus far have only transferred ownership from one entity to another without reducing the number of players at all)
  • What, in your opinion, is the right play for a bootstrapper with a great platform but low name recognition?

FYI – You’re on the “Bootstrapping vs. Billionaires” blog. Our growing community will absolutely love what we can learn from answers/conversation that persist here in the comments.
And please, should you find yourself reading this and realize that you are not, in fact, Dave McClure, I’d love to hear your take on the questions posed above.
I’m going to throw these questions out to a few other luminary types as well. I’ll turn the outcome into a guest post for one of my favorite tech blogs.

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Michael Ward

I'm founder & CEO @NetResults, the 1st choice of people buying marketing automation for the 2nd time.