Today I reached out to my old Friend Dennis Tran. Dennis and I met around 1990 when we both worked for a company called Excalibur and we were selling fuzzy search.

Excalibur should have been Google, but like so many companies with great technology we lacked the vision and marketing to have taken the fore front of the search market. Excalibur shelved it’s cool technology, became a me-too product, changed it’s name to Convera, was disected by Fast and eventually consumed by Microsoft. Dennis and I parted ways and I lost track of my friend.

My next adventure was Autonomy. Better product and marketing, but like the overweight sun bather, roasting on the beach and slowly losing sight of thier toes; they will not see the tide change and miss the opportunity to move.

Well… back to my original point. A few days ago Microsoft announced that it is dropping support for FAST on all Unix platforms. This made me think of Dennis and the conversations we used to have about handling objections concerning the size of our company. It never occured to me to point out that we would never just drop support of our product, and that in perspective, every customer made a big difference and was extremely important to keep and care for. Maybe Dennis and I can help some of our original believers move from keyword to advanced semantics.

It’s funny how the smaller tech companies have become the safer bet in our ever changing market and economy. And how very interesting that dissapointing decisions made by industry giants cause us to re-connect with some truly wonderful people.


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