ThoughtSpot seeks to make BI as simple as search

ThoughtSpot CEO Sudheesh Nair wants to build a company that makes businesses intelligence as easy as a Google search.

As the president of Nutanix, Sudheesh Nair resided in the upper echelons of a company that was smart, disruptive and had made a smooth transition to the public markets. It sounds like he had a pretty cosy gig… and it turns out that that was the problem.

Nair says that toward the end of his time at the Silicon Valley enterprise cloud company he could anticipate just about every question he would be asked.

"I was getting very comfortable and I don't like being too comfortable. You have to be out of the box."

That feeling of being overly comfortable was no indictment of his former employer; it was just that he wanted to feel that thrum of hyper-growth again in another segment with a similar scale of opportunity.

"At Nutanix, we built from zero to $10bn [market cap] because we were always experimenting and never knowing what we were doing. [I wanted to find] a [new] market that connects with customers."

That search took him to a reunion a short journey away in Sunnyvale with former Nutanix colleagues Ajeet Singh and Abhishek Rai, who were among the co-founders of ThoughtSpot, an attempt to crack the code of one of the great software challenges: self-service data analysis for the non-specialist.

Of course, companies such as Qlik and Tableau have already gone a fair way to offering a business intelligence for masses but ThoughtSpot was based on the notion that there was the opportunity to create a "Google for numbers". That is, a way to get to really valuable data-derived insights as easily as running a web search.

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