I have been lucky enough to be involved with SugarCRM as a board member since February of 2005, just over four years now. Yesterday, I stepped into the role of interim CEO at the company. I have an immense amount of respect for the founding CEO, John Roberts. Few people have taken a company from concept to major growth the way John did at Sugar.
Like any big idea, Sugar encountered many doubters when John, Clint and Jacob first started the company. Many people were skeptical of open source at the applications level. I knew John, Clint and Jacob were on to something and have argued for years that open source made as much sense for applications as for infrastructure. John, Clint and Jacob also found some great investors in DFJ, NEA and Walden International who recognized something special in the founding team and are incredibly supportive of the company. The company proceeded to break new ground in business model (commercial open source), development (www.sugarforge.org), licensing (one of the first company’s to adopt the GPL v3) and cloud computing (see their announcement from last week on the Sugar Open Cloud).
Today SugarCRM is a thriving commercial open source business with award-winning products, a large customer base, strong financials and a thriving open source project.
My goals for the next 30 days at SugarCRM are fairly simple: get to know the team, customers and partners. I am looking forward to helping them to continue to execute and take the company to the next level.