Dave Lukas Chats with Dean Guida
343: Commitment to Grit, Lessons Learned from 35+ Years of Success with Dean Guida
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Dean Guida. Dean has a storied history. Dean launched his first company Infragistics in 1989. Being a startup with just 10 people, he went head to head against Microsoft for a $300k deal with Philadelphia Conrail—and won. From there, he never looked back. The company has grown to 250 employees across 6 countries, without ever accepting outside funding. Today, the company boasts a client roster that includes 100% of the S&P 500, including Intuit, Exxon and Morgan Stanley.
One of the things Dean saw as he built his own business and observed teams at hundreds of others is the struggle they have to bring the right tools together to drive decisions and effectively use data. He started his latest company Slingshot to help solve this challenge.
Dean has a wealth of experience and knowledge, but one of the things I most want to speak with him about is how you can better use data in your business to grow and thrive.
When Dean was 15, he was saving up to buy a car, but bought an IBM PC instead. He fell in love with computers and taught himself how to program. He’d always been an entrepreneur at heart. As he grew up, he brought these two passions together and 35 years ago, started Infragistics bootstrapping it while freelance consulting for IBM on Wall Street. He would work during the day and code at night. They worked out of their apartment building their first product. After a year, they got a small office.
He learned quickly that “Sales solves all problems” and taught himself to sell to drive the company forward.
You’ve been in business 35 years. What do you credit as the biggest reasons for that?
At the 12:30 mark, I asked Dean how he went head to head with Microsoft in a true David vs. Goliath scenario and won….
Talk to us about the entrepreneur mindset – what have you learned about the mental game of entrepreneurship?
Using data to drive a business. What should entrepreneurs know about making the best use of the data that they have?
Best advice on how to get target market right and how do you use the scientific method with data to drive outcomes?
At the 27 min mark, Dean shares more about Slingshot and how it connects data points.
Any trends or data points you are seeing your work with Slingshot that businesses should be focused on to up their game?
How does AI and tools like Chat GPT fit into data and technology and business into the future?
Anything else around data or these topics that people should know?
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