A comment was submitted by a reader using a pseudonym – which does raise a red flag – being highly critical of Patrick Grady. Grady as you will recall, is the visionary behind the emerging Deem which was formerly known as Rearden Commerce, and was the subject of a recent post here on Procurement Insights.
I will not be sharing this comment with you faithful reader because there is nothing to substantiate the position being presented.
However, because you follow me and this blog based on your trust in both the thoroughness of my research and unbiased approach to controversial issues, I did contact Deem for a response. Based on what they said, I wrote them the following e-mail, which I will share with you now.
Thank you for your response to my e-mail from this morning.
As indicated, with our significant reach that is growing at such a rapid rate, there is an even greater demand and responsibility to ensure that what is written or reported is accurate.
Part of this process is to look beyond the words (or in this case comments) and to understand why they are being said. The fact that this individual did not provide his true identity automatically raises a red flag but, is not necessarily an indication that the points being presented are completely without merit.
Here is is what I discovered relative to what is now Deem’s history . . .
May 1st, 2002 – COMPANIES TO WATCH TALARIS – Making Time
March 14th, 2005 – Start-up set to tackle B2B services
August 22nd, 2013 – Quietly reinventing B2B commerce
Despite spanning a period of 12 years, there are two unique yet subtle points of consistency that run through each article. Which by the way, at least in the world of high tech, is the equivalent of several lifetimes.
The first is the consistency of Mr. Grady’s vision. This is important in that it represents the creditability of a man with a clear vision . . . a vision that was no doubt well ahead of its time. Regardless of the name changes and the problems they can cause – which I will get into momentarily – Mr. Grady’s sincerity in terms of persistently pursuing his vision over such a long period of time does demonstrate an integrity of purpose. In other words, he did not promote light bulbs in 2001 – got whatever he could out of it, and them move on to pencil sharpeners in 2002 and something else in 2005. He has persevered and stayed the course.
His opening statements in the 2013 article by Wainewright speaks to the veracity of this purpose when he said:
“I started in 2000. I was so ahead of my time and I really thought I had it figured out,” . . . “It’s taken me longer. I could have started this company in ’07 or ’08 and been in exactly the same place I am today.”
In short, this does not strike me as being the actions of an individual who one could call a “poseur and baloney artist.”
This being said, the different company names and financial vehicles associated with each can be a point of disquieting concern, simply because it can give one the wrong impression. For example, were there investors involved with the 2001 enterprise who lost money. How about those who may have invested in 2005? From this standpoint, they could now view Deem’s timely emergence into a world that has finally caught-up with Mr. Grady’s original vision has being unfair or unjust. After all, if they lost money on Mr. Grady’s idea in 2001, why should he now be able to benefit from that shift in good fortune while they are relegated to an outside looking in position?
I have to say at this point that I do not yet know the actual financial structure of each of these individual enterprises, nor is there a clear explanation for the company name changes other than an assumption on my part that it was done to reflect a fresh and more relevant branding position at that time. However, I would not be surprised if this is the basis for the negative comments being made.
After everything is said and done, my take is simply this; Grady is a man of vision and perseverance who’s present good timing is due solely to the fact that he was able to survive long enough for the market to finally catch-up with him.
There is no doubt that those who have followed my recent series of posts on SciQuest and investment bankers share a similar suspicion whenever money people and market analysts champion a company and its product. This is of course a fair and prudent approach.
In this context, we all have a responsibility to do our own homework and to base our assessment of a given situation on more than just a single source of information. This is why I have taken the time to follow-up on the original reader comment as I have today.
As far as I am concerned, and until something other than what I have read or heard is presented to indicate otherwise, I see no reason to change my original position on Deem.
Of course and as always, don’t just take my word for it . . .