As a lifelong entrepreneur, one could say that Mark Cunningham’s head has always been in the clouds. Spending the last few years taking traditional Business Intelligence software into the cloud removes all doubt.
Since his startup Indicee was acquired by Dun & Bradstreet, Cunningham has spent the past year as Founder & President of the Dun & Bradstreet Cloud Innovation Center to operate business with a new rhythm. We caught up for a conversation and tour of Dun & Bradstreet’s new downtown Vancouver home.
Cunningham has lived it, and appreciates that “startup land is living life in the lean and mean world of trying to balance keeping people super motivated, compensating them well enough, and building an amazing product. It’s a really challenging thing to do. Usually what ends up happening is things like your workplace are what gets sacrificed. You can’t have it all. You can’t have every dimension of what you’d like.”
It’s one thing talking about startup life in Vancouver. On the other hand, it’s not commonplace talking with a Vancouver entrepreneur about making transition from small to big. Cunningham has seen his team grow from 15 to 60 people.
“What’s great about an acquisition is moving into an environment where first and foremost before office space the team and the product grow,” he said. “That’s still to me the number one priority. The fact that we’ve kept the team, and have grown the team is a great statement of what we’ve had going culturally. I see the new office as now being a beautiful byproduct of all of this.”
“It’s a nice fresh start from an office space perspective because I think we’re a fresh start in taking BI and analytics in a new direction,” Cunningham continued. “We’re pointing our platform now into a world and being part of an organization that owns the data versus being a platform that just uses other people’s data. It’s giving our team the sense of embarking on a new journey, which I think the new office is representative of.”
More than the cool new office, and more than adding new employment opportunities to the community, Dun & Bradstreet is adding to the community of thought, curiosity, and innovation by hosting the first #dnbtechtalks event (BetaKit is a sponsor). On July 9th, Adrian Cockcroft, the former Netflix chief architect of cloud services, founder of eBay Research Labs, and current leading technical fellow at Battery Ventures, will visit Vancouver. He’ll be sitting down with Cunningham, for a Q&A session. Cockcroft will make predictions for the cloud computing industry in 2015, and examine how cloud-native apps, continuous delivery and DevOps techniques will foster innovation.
Tickets for The Future of Cloud Innovation Event are $30, with $5 of every ticket sale going to Girls Learning Code, a nonprofit that offers coding workshops, camps and after school programs for girls from six to 17.
All photos courtesy Ema Peter Photography.