Business: Contact manager software
Location: Pacific Palisades
Percentage Growth: 324
Goldmine Software could be called the archetype entrepreneurial company.
Started in 1989 by two graduates of Cal State Northridge with only $3,000 and no bank financing, Goldmine’s product line centers on “contact software,” a business program for tracking and recording sales contacts.
Initially, the company, was known as Elan Software, but it changed its name in 1996 to match that of its software product and thus enhance its brand recognition.
The company grew slowly at first by developing relationships with consultants and sales representatives, who sold the software as part of their consulting practices. Only after years of growing this way did the principals Elan Susser and Vice President Jon Ferrera market to conventional retail outlets and distributors.
“You cannot get rich quick on software,” said Susser. “One in a million companies are successful.”
Goldmine’s patience paid off: The firm’s revenues have doubled every year for the past seven years, according to Ferrera.
Goldmine’s success comes amid significant competition in the contact software arena. Giants like Microsoft Corp. and Symantec, watching Goldmine’s rapid growth, have launched similar products in recent years.
But Goldmine’s single namesake product continues to win accolades from software critics, and the company’s rapid growth is testament to its success in the marketplace.
What distinguishes GoldMine is that the program has “always incorporated the newest technology, and in an integrated way, not just by adding bells and whistles,” said James Powell, senior technical editor for Windows magazine.
Susser and Ferrera say they are pleased that they never sought the assistance of venture capital, nor have they gone public to raise funds thus giving them a great deal of independence.
“A lot of companies that are our peers who have venture capital and other outside influences are restricted from taking the risks that we do,” Ferrera said. “Basically, we wake up in the morning with an idea, and in the afternoon we implement it, and it’s company policy.”