A relatively new tool for software development is on the market. It was pulled from funding after it failed to make it big in six years. The tool was then saved by someone who had no project management experience. Sounds like a disaster? Bob Light sounds just right for the crowded market of software.
I spoke with him about why he bought the company and why CrossPoint still has potential.
How did CrossPoint get you involved?
This is a long story, but the CrossPoint tool was developed originally by Intersect Software between 2000 and 2009. Intersect was founded by IBM in May 2007. It had just acquired the software company I worked for. The connection was made because my old software company and Intersect were on the same floor in the same building. I had also met and become friends with the Intersect CFO. Intersect needed a full-time finance person. I was fine working for IBM, but they asked me to stay. I prefer working for smaller companies. That and IBM were going to close that office and move it to one of their facilities farther away. I was able keep my commute short.
My greatest motivation is to prove that the engineers who worked so hard on the tool made a great one. However, they were ultimately defeated by a flawed sales/marketing strategy.
This sounds like a labor of love. CrossPoint is worth the effort.
Wow! This is a simple question with many complicated answers. The easiest is that I worked part-time to shut down Intersect and transfer the IP over to a new owner at end of last year. I needed a new challenge and after a conversation with the new owner, we realized that the reason Intersect failed was not the CrossPoint product. He had no plans to do so, but he offered me the chance to start a business to bring it back on the market.
Nevertheless, I believe it is worthwhile.
I have always believed that there is a market for project management tools. Intersect was shut down because I had to contact existing customers. Hearing their dissatisfaction and positive comments about the tool only reinforced my belief.
Intersect gave me the pleasure of speaking with the developers of the tool. Many of them had been working on it since its inception. Their vision and dedication to building a great product was greatly eclipsed by the unfulfilled sales/marketing promises. It is a great motivator for me to be able to validate the efforts of those people.
CrossPoint allows me the opportunity to continue learning and growing, to build a business, and to share that success with others who share my ideals. CrossPoint is a powerful tool with great flexibility. I don’t know much about project management. I’m in a position where I must learn marketing and become a salesperson. This is definitely out of my comfort zone. However, the challenge is just as exciting as it is frightening (as any new business can be).
Hmm, you admit to not knowing much about project management. This is a strange confession for someone who runs a project management software business. What have you learned about project managing since you took on this new challenge? I’m borrowing from a conversation I had with a PM consultant. I learned that project management is, like many disciplines, both a science as well as an art. While most practitioners are trained in the science, not all have the creativity to master the art. Project management is not like accounting, which has specific rules that govern actions. Each form of project management has its own unique set of rules. But, just like accounting, project management can take many forms and each form has its own variations.