Forte Design Systems' Forte

Sometime companies have corporate policies against seeming to endorse products. Some may see a using product as giving them a competitive advantage and are reluctant to advertise the fact.
That's quite true in our space as well. Some of the companies who refuse to let you use their corporate logos because they have invested billions of dollars to brand it, are perfectly willing to go their friends at dinner in Japan and say we're using this product and it is going well for us. Quite frankly with one of our first customers that's exactly what happened. Our first and only customer for a while was off telling their buds. Their buddies were calling up saying we know that this guy over at xyz company is using your stuff, can you come and show us how this works. Word of mouth in Japan has been incredible for us in terms of expansion. If you look at out strategy, it is to sell to the biggest of the big. The reason is that they invest in your technology because just like processor nodes you have to make an investment to move and they are willing to do that. After we are in for a couple of million dollars of sales, expansion within those companies is a to more cost effective for us because we can just go find more design groups instead of targeting new small companies and go through the entire sale process again. It has been our strategy for the better part of 5 years. It has paid off handsomely because there a large number of design groups in those companies.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Brett: One thing that is probably the most interesting thing in my career is that for the last year and a half I have run the Customer Operation group at Forte. My job was to be basically the implementation team when software gets sold to a customer. I had a team of AEs. We went in and helped the customer get his design up and running, make sure they were successful, help them do optimization, teach them to code properly, whatever. The benefit for me was that I got to see a lot of designs firsthand, what tools customers were really using in tier design flows and what challenges they were having. The interesting thing is that when you don't have a marketing title on your business card, they are willing to tell you a lot of information. We really learned for 1 ½ years as a pseudo marketing guy. These guys exactly taught us where the next challenges were. We had been the leader back then. It gave us the roadmap and business understanding to ensure that we are going to be the leader going forward for the foreseeable future.

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