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Building a Fat SaaS Venture: Rob Hull, Founder and President of Adaptive Insights (Part 1)

Posted on Wednesday, Apr 30th 2014

If you haven’t already, please study our Bootstrapping Course and Investor Introductions page.

We continue our coverage of fat startups, how they get funded, built, and scaled in this series with Adaptive Insights. Lean startups get a lot of attention now, but I have been covering fat startups as well with stories like Adaptive Insights.

Sramana: Rob, let’s start by reviewing your background. Where do you come from? What are the roots to your entrepreneurial journey?

Rob Hull: I was born in Austin, Texas. I spent most of my early years in southern California before heading north to attend Stanford. I was an economics major but did some dabbling in computer science classes. I graduated form Stanford in 1988. I decided that since I had spent most of my life in California, it was time to live somewhere different. So, I moved to the east coast.

I took at job with Booz Allen Hamilton in DC. While I thought I would use my economic background that I had worked so hard at Stanford to build, that was not quite how things turned out. I wound up on a series of projects that were not all that exciting. I started to reshape my focus on BAH to database development and training programs around technology. I began to craft myself into a technologist.

I then began to realize that being in technology in Washington DC was probably not the right move for me, so I came back to Palo Alto. I jumped into early stage entrepreneurial companies. I worked on building custom applications in fourth dimension. I did that for a while and kept books for one of those smaller organizations before jumping to Risk Management Solutions. They were a spin out of some technology from Stanford University. I was one of the first employees there and I spent about 10 years there.

I had a pretty good knack for understanding and working with technology. I was good at communicating customer needs with technology. I joined RMS to help them set up professional services. I did a lot of work with our customer base. I spent about six years in a professional services and quasi-product role before moving into a new role as the business evolved.

I moved into finance and by 1996, I became the CFO. I spent a number of years as the CFO at RMS. I helped sell RMS to the Daily Mail. I stayed around through the sale and through the integration. I was active in what amounted to RMS acquiring and integrating the operations of another portfolio company based in Cambridge and did the financial integration as well.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Building a Fat SaaS Venture: Rob Hull, Founder and President of Adaptive Insights
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