8 January 2024

Evan Goldberg from Oracle NetSuite: Thriving Companies Stay Positive and Strive for Prosperity Regardless of Global Circumstances

By Ronald Smith

It’s Evan Goldberg from Oracle NetSuite, and I’m here to talk about the incredible journey of fast-growing businesses. These companies have a unique mindset that keeps them moving forward, no matter what obstacles come their way.

When it comes to success, it’s all about having a positive outlook. Regardless of the challenges in the world, these thriving businesses stay optimistic. They know that with the right mindset, they can overcome any hurdles that come their way. It’s all about looking for opportunities, even in the face of adversity.

But optimism alone is not enough. These companies are laser-focused on growth. They have a clear vision of where they want to be and they work relentlessly towards that goal. Distractions and setbacks are just bumps in the road – they don’t let them hinder their progress. They have their eyes on the prize and won’t stop until they get there.

Now, you might be wondering how they manage to stay so focused and optimistic. Well, it’s all about having the right tools and strategies in place. These companies rely on innovative technologies, like Oracle NetSuite, to streamline their operations and enable them to scale efficiently. With the right systems in place, they can confidently tackle any challenges that come their way.

So, what does all this mean for you? Well, it’s simple. You too can adopt this mindset of relentless growth and eternal optimism. By staying positive, focused, and embracing the right technology, you can overcome any obstacles that stand in your path. It’s all about believing in yourself and never giving up.

Remember, the journey of success is not always smooth sailing. But with the right mindset and unwavering determination, you can achieve great things. So, stay positive and never stop reaching for your dreams!

Evan Goldberg from Oracle NetSuite: Thriving Companies Stay Positive and Strive for Prosperity Regardless of Global Circumstances

Throughout the year, I’ve been gradually reentering the world of industry conferences. It’s been quite a journey! Recently, I’ve been preparing for my upcoming adventure to Las Vegas for Oracle CloudWorld, which marks my first visit to Sin City in three years. However, there was a small setback: Hurricane Ian struck just a couple of weeks ago, preventing me from attending Oracle NetSuite’s SuiteWorld conference. Talk about bad timing!

So, there’s this conference called SuiteWorld that I’ve been to a bunch of times. It’s a cool event where I get to chat with Evan Goldberg, the founder of the company Oracle, face-to-face. But this year, because of all the craziness, we had to do it virtually again. However, I’m grateful that despite the circumstances, Evan took the time to have another chat with me on LinkedIn Live.

I really wanted to pick his brain about what he thinks of the economic uncertainties we’re facing right now. You see, Evan’s company has this awesome platform that 32,000 small and midsize enterprises use to run their businesses. So, I was really curious to know how he sees things playing out for them.

If you’re interested, I’ve edited a part of our conversation below. You can also click on the SoundCloud player to listen to the full chat.

Why integrated platforms are even more valuable in uncertain times

Brent Leary: So, here’s the thing. When you’re all caught up in economic uncertainty, with the constant threat of a big ol’ recession, and inflation that just won’t quit, it makes you wonder, right? Like, do businesses absolutely need to have this fancy integrated platform that lets you connect your front office and your back office?

Evan Goldberg: You know, that’s a really good point, and I want to share a great example with you. Have you ever wondered how productive your sales team is? Well, the key is combining sales information with financial and HR data. You need to know how much they cost, including expenses and salaries. And of course, it’s important to see how much revenue they bring in from sales. But that’s not all. You also need to understand their sales cycle and how many sales they can close in a year. And here’s the big question: what’s the return on investment (ROI) when you hire a new salesperson? Finding the right person can be challenging, and wages are on the rise, making it even more expensive. The truth is, trying to analyze all this with spreadsheets usually doesn’t work. That’s where NetSuite comes in – it’s the expert at bringing all these systems together.

Brent Leary: Tell me what customers have been telling you lately about what they’re focused on. We’re in a time of uncertainty with the economy, so I’m curious to know what’s on their minds.

Evan Goldberg: Businesses that are growing quickly always have a positive outlook. They’re constantly thinking about how to expand. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in the world. They could be facing an alien invasion and they’d still be asking, Where can I make my next sale? They might even consider selling to the aliens themselves. That’s the kind of mentality they have. They’re always wondering, How can I find more customers? How can I make sure our amazing product gets into their hands so they’ll tell others about it?

But I gotta admit, there’s a bit of worry floating around; I just need to prepare myself a little, in case a huge storm hits. I don’t want to be caught off guard. So, this is the time when you want to focus on ways to save some money.

It’s probably why we keep hearing these requests from customers; It’s hard to find talented people. They cost a lot. I don’t know what the future holds, so I need to make sure everything is running smoothly.

You can use any transportation analogy you like. But I want to make sure everyone is doing things that truly benefit the business because I don’t know how much I’ll have to limit things in the upcoming months, quarters, and years.

The rise of the all-around company

In my keynote, I talked about a special kind of company we imagined after talking to many of our 32,000 customers. This company does more than just sell products or provide services; it also offers internet and professional services.

Thankfully, at NetSuite, we didn’t limit ourselves to one type of company. We decided to cater to the needs of all businesses, whether they sell products or provide services, whether they are nonprofits or software companies. This inclusive approach is what modern companies should strive for. It’s amazing to see how young entrepreneurs, with their fresh perspectives, embrace this mindset. They don’t want to be confined to one category; they want to do it all. They understand that by doing so, they can bring their brilliant ideas to life in the best way possible. That’s why it’s so inspiring to see these organizations choose NetSuite and reap great benefits from it.

Still Passionate after All These Years

Moving Conversation with Brent Leary: Wow, from listening to you, it’s really clear how much you love what you do. When exactly did you start NetSuite? Was it in 1999 or 1998?

Evan Goldberg: Actually, it was in ’98.

Moving Conversation with Brent Leary: So, we’re talking about a whopping 24 years. You’ve been at this for quite a while, my friend. But what keeps the fire burning inside you? Why do you still have that same passion after all these years?

Let me tell you, we’re putting a lot of effort into the future of NetSuite. I want to emphasize how important our work is this year, but I can assure you that we always have exciting things coming up for NetSuite. We’re investing a great deal in technology and improving the user experience, specifically for business owners like you.

I’m excited about the world of TikTok and the amazing tools people are using for marketing and in their personal lives. They make me think, Why can’t my business systems be as effective as this? And why isn’t AI being used in my business? So, I’m really excited to bring the technological advances that people experience in their everyday lives and apply them to business. The best part is, we’re only incorporating the good stuff and not the bad stuff that people often talk about.

Reflecting on the Oracle Acquisition Five Years Later

Brent Leary: It’s been around five years since Oracle acquired NetSuite. When I look back, have there been any surprises about being part of Oracle?

Evan Goldberg: The thing that really surprised me was that Oracle, a company that wasn’t really known for prioritizing user experience, has completely changed their approach. Before, it was like they were saying, We have the best technology, so you better figure out how to use it.

And I doubt Larry Ellison would disagree with that, in case he’s watching this interview. But now, they’ve completely turned things around. They’re saying, We want our products to be the best and easiest to use for everyone. I never saw that coming. I used to make jokes about it when I met with Larry personally or went into his world. I would be like, Wow, this has the best user experience ever! Why can’t we have that in our products? And now, they’re actually doing it.

Tech still isn’t as user-friendly for businesses as it should be

Brent Leary: I’ve been working in this industry for quite some time now. Can you believe that there are still things that haven’t improved in the 24 years since NetSuite was launched? It’s astonishing to me that we are still dealing with certain challenges.

I’m Evan Goldberg. That’s a really good question, and I need some time to think about it. A lot of things have improved, but some things have been exaggerated. When the internet came along and businesses started using it, everyone thought it would solve all the world’s problems because, Look, everything is connected! Well, it turns out it’s not that simple. What I’ve noticed, and maybe this is a bit biased, is that companies still struggle with the complexity of using many different business systems and various systems. Yes, they are all on the internet, but it’s like saying, Here’s a cell phone. Before, we had landline phones, and now we have cell phones. So, yes, you can talk to someone in France, but they still speak French.

I gotta say, the promise we’re all striving for is to move everything forward together. In our own little corner, we’re doing our part to make things work better as a team. But let me tell you, there’s still a boatload of work to be done. Businesses are drowning in technology these days. And let me tell you, it ain’t getting any easier to use. In fact, in some cases, it’s getting even harder. Why, you ask? Well, it seems like everyone’s out there trying to outdo each other by cramming every fancy feature into their tech. They think that’s how they compete. But guess what? It’s only making things more and more complicated.

Now, personally, I believe this revolution in the business user experience is all about simplicity. Call it dumbing down if you want, but I prefer to think of it as going minimalist. We need to follow the 80/20 rule, where we focus on giving users what they really need. No more overwhelming them with unnecessary stuff. Let’s keep it clean and straightforward so they don’t feel like giving up.

Welcome to the One-on-One Interview series with thought leaders! I’m excited to share this transcript with you, which has been edited for publication. If you prefer to listen to an audio or watch a video interview, just click on the embedded player above, or you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.