People Are Talking

From time to time, Guidewire Group and its analysts find themselves in the news. Fortunately, it’s rarely in the police blotter section.

Guidewire Group has been selected to join the Microsoft Startup Accelerator Program. The program connects high-potential startups committed to the Microsoft platform to an extensive support network that provides access to Microsoft people and programs, guidance on future directions, and support to accelerate their success. . .Companies are selected for the Microsoft Startup Accelerator Program from hundreds of startups evaluated each year based on their innovation, marketability, growth potential, funding, platform decision and strategic importance to Microsoft. . . “Guidewire Group’s solution offers unique tools and invaluable insights for anyone who depends on understanding the global technology market to make smart investments, acquisitions and connections and help gain a competitive edge,” said John Nogrady, Director, Emerging Business Team at Microsoft.

Applications and services will become easier to use for a wider range of people, said Chris Shipley, co-founder of San Francisco-based market researcher Guidewire Group. “A lot of products are moving simplicity and ease of use into the marketplace,” Shipley said. “These factors are coming together to create a very consumer oriented market, and a market that encourages consumption.”

Talk about cool jobs—Chris Shipley gets to try hundreds of new IT tools every year and decide which will be presented to users and investors. Shipley is executive producer of DEMO, a twice-yearly event showcasing new IT products. At DEMO, exhibitors have six minutes to demo a product in front of attendees. TiVo, Palm Pilot, and Java 1.0 debuted at earlier DEMO events, and for many companies the event offers a fitting combination of user, decision-maker, and potential financier as audience.How does Shipley select the 70 or so products that make the event? “How does a pro baseball player know what pitch to swing at? We look at 1500 or more companies a year—we see a lot of not-yet-ready-for-prime time products as well as those that are ready.”

. . . Some of the freshest new ideas in tech will be on display at DEMO, an invitation-only gathering outside Palm Springs. There, veteran tech analyst Chris Shipley stages the tech biz version of Survivor, where a closely guarded roster of innovative startups (and a few big companies) gets a few minutes to demonstrate a breakthrough new product or service . . . These are the technologies that Silicon Valley insiders often acquire or imitate, and incorporate into their own arsenals. (Intuit (INTU) a few weeks ago announced plans to buy former DEMO presenter Homestead Technologies for $170 million, and HP last year bought former DEMO presenter Bitfone for an undisclosed sum.). So DEMO might not be big, but it’s hot.

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