Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Sentient History

The history of Sentient Services, LP? Well I guess that has to start with my history. No, I am not “Sentient” – the company is much more and I have been lucky enough to hire smarter and more creative folks than I. However, here is how the company started. I came out of undergrad at UT Austin with dual degrees in Government and Economics and took a job with The Gallup Organization (yes, the one that does all the political polls). However, a little known fact is that the political polling is a small part of the company. They have great brand consulting, employee strengths and hiring practice, customer engagement, and a myriad of other research and consulting practices. I was lucky enough to work with an amazing team in California doing market research and brand consulting for Intel, Microsoft, Toyota, Nissan and others. Alas, Austin came calling – well actually it was the birth of our first child (my lovely daughter) and the desire to be able to own a home. So, back to Texas we came and during this time I left Gallup to join one of my research clients from Intel where he started a market research and branding company catering to the technology sector. There I worked around the globe with clients such as HP, Intel, IBM and others to develop new products and services, build and track brands and conduct just about any flavor of quantitative and qualitative market research.

At this point I knew I wanted to become a professor and get my Ph.D., so I enrolled in grad school at UT Austin in the Government department specializing in political behavior (a lot of sociology and psychology) and survey research methodology. And, we had our second child (an adorable little boy). During this time I worked as the Branding and Research Director at an advertising agency where accounts included Dell, Seagate and others. Needless to say, I was busy, too busy. So, realizing I wanted to see my children and wife and not move somewhere in the middle of nowhere to get my first teaching job (I won’t name undesirable cities at the risk of offending) I left school with my Masters and started Sentient Services, LP right as the .com bubble burst. Our (I use that term liberally, it was just me) first clients were Business Objects and working on the largest IPO ever at the time – the Freescale spinoff from Motorola. I worked around the clock doing brand tracking and consulting in 8 countries for the Freescale spinoff which turned out to be extremely successful. From there the business continued to grow – I moved out of the house into office space, hired former clients, travelled the globe and developed a list of clients that I truly consider friends and am blessed to be able to work with to this day.

Sentient today is a thriving company and we pride ourselves on our amazing employees and clients that work with integrity and respect for each other the end customers to create better products, brands and experiences. There you have it – a short history.

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