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50 Best Workplaces of the Year 2020

An Interview with Gary Read, Import.io Chairman and CEO: ‘We Simply Cannot Let Our Customers Down’

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“We work with our customers as a direct extension of their own team. It sounds like a lot of effort, but it is a key principle that drives our product development process and we would not be successful without this commitment that we make to all of our customers.”

Import.io extracts, analyzes, and manages web data at scale for the largest companies in the world.

The company was incorporated in 2012.

Gary Read, Import.io Chairman and CEO spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Synopsis

We believe that web data can solve the most difficult business problems and answer the most interesting questions that organizations face today. The web is the biggest data-store ever created and the potential to use web data to radically improve how business is done is only just beginning to be understood.

For our customers, web data sits at the very heart of their business. We are providing a core service that has generally been handled in house for years. This is a responsibility that we take with extreme seriousness: we simply cannot let our customers down. Companies choose to work with us because we deliver high-quality web data reliably in a secure and compliant manner – as if they were still doing it themselves.

Data quality and data transparency are core to our product. With the Import.io Data Operations Center, we provide our customers with a single, centralized location where they can supervise, monitor, and maintain all of their Web Data Integration projects with confidence. ML-based anomaly detection and active performance monitoring ensure that issues in datasets are detected and identified before they become errors in production, and everyone can sleep better at night.

Whenever we welcome a new customer, we work to ensure that we have a deep understanding of their business so that we understand exactly how web data is going to be used inside their products and organization. We work with our customers as a direct extension of their own team. It sounds like a lot of effort, but it is a key principle that drives our product development process and we would not be successful without this commitment that we make to all of our customers.

Team of Experts

We have created the largest team of web data experts in existence. It is important to us that we work with the best people regardless of location – you don’t have to be in Silicon Valley to join us! The smartest engineers like to work with other smart people, solve hard problems and learn from one another; the way that we have organized our teams to collaborate directly with customers in building the best product ensures that our work is always challenging and meaningful.

During 2020, we feel that we have grown closer to our customers and one another as a team, despite being apart. It’s the small things that count: we keep our cameras on during all video meetings (internal and external) and we make sure that we take the time to talk about things other than the work at hand in every meeting. Friday afternoons are virtual happy hours where we get to meet our colleagues’ pets and children and share our weekend plans.

Future Arrangements

Maintaining a competitive edge with original and unique datasets is getting harder for businesses to do – but it is what we were built for. Our customers’ constantly changing data objectives drive our product development and so we never stop having to devise new ways of getting data from the web. We take the attitude that if the content is legitimately available to a human on a web-enabled device, then it should be available to a machine and we will structure it into machine-readable data for you so that you can use that to build products that no-one else can.

The Leader at the Helm of Import.io

Gary Read serves as Chairman and CEO of Import.io. He has over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and an executive in the enterprise software industry. Mr. Read served as the CEO and president of Nimsoft from 2002 to 2010, leading the company to its acquisition by CA Technologies. Later, Mr. Read served as the president and CEO of Boundary from 2012 to 2015, taking the organization from a point where it was not yet shipping products to its acquisition by BMC Software.

“Whenever we welcome a new customer, we work to ensure that we have a deep understanding of their business so that we understand exactly how web data is going to be used inside their products and organization.”