Marcus Ryu, CEO of Guidewire, tells the fascinating story of how he and his five co-founders defied the odds and built a huge software business aimed at what was then viewed as a narrow vertical for software: the P&C industry.
In his telling, they overcame their lack of resources, track record and a risk averse customer base by providing the insurance industry with a solution it desperately needed - even if many carriers have still not acknowledged that need quite yet.
It would be hard to find a company that was more antithetical to the conventional venture capital wisdom about what a company should look like. Everything was wrong in that equation. What was right, however, was that we actually addressed exactly the market need at that moment. If you’re going to [start a company], recognize this that in the start you will have no assets. You’ll have nothing, except for one thing. You’re going to have one thing that is more precious potentially than all of that, and that is that you have the potential to hit the head pin of demand exactly at the right angle. You can exactly know what the market wants. If you get that right, that can solve for all the other problems.