Flash: Groove Series A

Sales Engagement vendor Groove secured $12 million in Series A Funding.  The round was led by Level Equity and Capital One Ventures, who joined existing investors Uncork Capital and Quest Venture Partners.  The round brought total investment to $16 million.  Groove has roughly doubled its revenue each year, reinvesting its income into product and engineering.  The San Francisco-based firm was founded in 2014.

The new funds will be deployed to “drive greater awareness of our unique market position and competitive differentiation. Sales engagement platforms consistently rank as the number one most impactful sales technology investment that a company can make, and we are poised to lead the category’s expansion with a broad range of capabilities beyond the prospecting use case.”

“Groove has grown 103% year over year on average in a largely organic way and has invested deeply in product and engineering up until this point.  This funding round enables us to drive greater awareness of our unique market position and competitive differentiation. Sales engagement platforms consistently rank as the number one most impactful sales technology investment that a company can make, and we are poised to lead the category’s expansion with a broad range of capabilities beyond the prospecting use case.”

Groove CEO Chris Rothstein

Rothstein is a former Google sales manager who co-founded Groove to address the sales problems that his reps faced at Google.  Rothstein then signed Google as Groove’s first client.

“We believe that sales engagement will become a multi-billion-dollar market,” said Craig Rosenberg, chief analyst of TOPO Research.  “Until now, the sales engagement market has been concentrated in the tech industry and focused on the prospecting use case.  Other industries don’t have sales development teams dedicated solely to prospecting, but they do have thousands of sales reps trying to engage with their customers.  Successful expansion into account executives will open the enterprise market for these platforms.  We are seeing this trend accelerate post-COVID-19 as companies that have been slower to adopt remote working technologies are forced to embrace digital transformation.”

Groove describes itself as “the only sales engagement platform optimized to meet the customization and security requirements of enterprise revenue teams.”  While most Sales Engagement Platforms initially focused on the Sales Development Rep (SDR) and later expanded into other roles, Groove was built to increase productivity for Account Executives with an emphasis on “ease-of-use, advanced activity capture, and cross-team collaboration.”  Operations managers can configure the Groove platform “to meet the complex requirements of different divisions and organizations within an enterprise.”  The firm also touts its unique architecture that “ensures the highest levels of security and compliance.”

Another difference between Groove and other SEPs is its data architecture.  Other firms maintain a standalone database and sync it with Salesforce, but Groove leverages Salesforce as the system of record and runs as a managed package within SFDC.  Employing Salesforce as their system of record allows Groove to manage custom objects, deliver zero-latency data display and reporting, and reduce administrative work.  All fields are updated in real-time.  Groove emphasizes that this architecture allows firms to quickly “onboard new hires into a proven system,” which supports “deployments of any size.”

Core features include

  • Flows (i.e. cadences), including phone, email, SMS, Sendoso (swag), and LinkedIn SNAP (Connect and Send InMail) steps
  • Email templates that pull dynamic variables from all Salesforce fields.  Reps may personalize emails with the platform calculating personalization percent.
  • Email event capture, including reply, bounce, complete, import, open, and meeting booked.  Branching logic supports task creation, linked flows, stop flow, and stop all flows across the account.
  • A/B testing
  • An integrated click dialer supports local presence, call outcome logging, voicemail drops, call recording, and international dialing.  The click dialer is available within Gmail, Microsoft 365, Salesforce, Groove, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator.  
  • Call coaching features, including whisper, join, and listen
  • Inbound calls support a popup with reverse call lookup.  Calls are routed to either a softphone or a mobile device.
  • Editable, customizable account lists which update Salesforce
  • Activity capture, including custom fields and objects.  Firms can track the type of meeting, type of interaction, primary topic, and meeting outcome, helping managers understand “how much time they’re spending on demos versus support calls, or how many emails are cold prospecting emails versus answering questions about pricing.”
  • Analytics include activity reporting, account-based engagement levels, the best time of day and week for calling, and template performance.
  • A native meeting scheduler, which supports round-robin scheduling, calendar view links, and the option to offer specific times in emails.  The scheduler supports custom field display based upon the type of meeting.
  • A Chrome extension that works alongside Gmail, Microsoft 365, and Salesforce.  The sidebar is customized by role and allows users to click to related objects and search on all activities.
  • Out of Office capture with Flow pause
  • GDPR and CCPA compliance

Workspaces are a unique feature that allow users to build custom reports with flexible report selects and custom fields.  Workspaces may be shared with colleagues and support task assignments.  Groove describes the functionality as a dynamic worksheet with Salesforce data.

Groove Workspaces are configurable, top-down worksheets that support distributed reps and account managers. Users may view engagement by account, division, or individual.

Because it is native to Salesforce, Groove can integrate with over 7.5 million applications via the Salesforce AppExchange.  Additional direct partners include LinkedIn, Sendoso, Gong, Chorus, Vidyard, and HighSpot.

At some customers, Groove is deployed alongside Outreach, with Groove supporting Account Execs, Customer Success, and Business Development and Outreach deployed for SDRs.

Groove supports all revenue and customer success functions.

For a Series A funded Sales Engagement Platform, Groove provides a deep set of functionality and configurability; however, there are a few gaps.  While the service offers many of the key partners supported by other vendors, integrations are primarily available through the Salesforce AppExchange.  Groove does not provide any sales intelligence partners for lead generation or data enrichment.  A power dialer for SDRs and a mobile app are also missing, though their platform is mobile responsive.  Finally, Groove does not support AI-driven lead prioritization or next best actions, but it does have other AI-based capabilities.

Groove caught the attention of Capital One Ventures after it was successfully rolled out to Capital One field sales reps “while providing sales leadership with real-time visibility into their daily sales activities and performance.”  Other business lines subsequently adopted the platform as a result of its initial success.

“When evaluating Groove as an investment, we felt that the company was poised to be the clear category winner.  The sales engagement space is thriving right now, and Groove’s focus on supporting sophisticated AE use-cases and complex enterprise environments is setting them apart from the rest of the pack.  As enterprises in new industries continue to adopt sales engagement platforms to make their revenue teams more productive, they will quickly see the unique advantages that Groove offers in terms of internal adoption, customization, and security.”

George McCulloch, Co-CEO, Level Equity

Groove has over 450 clients, including Google, Uber, Capital One, Atlassian, BBVA, and Veola Water.  Over 50,000 sales, marketing, and customer success professionals use the Groove platform, with the average installation supporting 88 users.  Core segments include Internet Services and Software, Financial Services, Education, Media, Manufacturing, and Professional Services.  17% of Groove’s revenue is derived from international clients.

Pricing is on a per-seat basis and runs $110 per user for all applications.  Clients may also purchase seats by function with a subset of features at a lower per-seat price.

Groove was also one of 395 companies to make Inc.’s Top Places to Work list.  The firm scored 100% on employee engagement. Groove also made the 2019 Inc. 5000 list, ranking #407.

“While Groove is in the business of helping sales and customer-facing teams drive more revenue, productivity, and customer satisfaction, we are equally committed to fostering a culture where employees feel supported, challenged, and fulfilled,“ said CEO Chris Rothstein.

Groove continues to list over twenty open jobs across product development, engineering, sales, and customer support.

Sales Intelligence Vendors (and a Few Others) in the Inc. 5000 List

Inc 5000 Rank, Revenue, and CAGR Data (2014-2018 Lists)
Inc 5000 Rank, Revenue, and CAGR Data (2014-2018 Lists)

Several sales and marketing intelligence firms made the 2018 Inc. 5000 list including DiscoverOrg, Zoominfo, and FullContact.  Signaling difficulties in the predictive analytics space, no firms from that category made the Inc. 5000 list.

Inc. magazine lists the top 5,000 US firms based upon three-year revenue growth rates. Eligible firms must have at least $100,000 in 2014 revenue and $2 million by 2017.

Zoominfo made the list for the fourth consecutive year, with revenue reaching $59.4 million and a three-year CAGR of 45%.  Zoominfo grew its headcount by 50% between July 2017 and July 2018 and raised its customer base to 8,000 enterprise customers.

“The Inc. 5000 is the measuring stick for successful, high-growth, private companies,” said new Zoominfo CEO Derek Schoettle. “Since joining ZoomInfo earlier this summer, I’ve seen the tech innovation and the business demand for trustworthy customer data that makes me confident that ZoomInfo will continue to make this prestigious list for years to come.” 

Zoominfo added over 100 staff and 2,000 customers in the past year.  At their June Growth Acceleration Summit, VP of Corporate Development Phil Garlick attributed the firm’s success to hard work, teamwork, sweat, and tears. 

SalesLoft made the list for the first time as the firm caught fire after launching their sales engagement platform a few years ago.  Revenue grew at a 77% three-year CAGR to $13 million in 2017.  SalesLoft also placed seventh on the most recent North American Deloitte Fast 500.  The Atlanta-based firm recently acquired NoteNinja to integrate its meeting intelligence software into the broader set of SalesLoft sales engagement capabilities. 

CEO Kyle Porter is “excited” to “empower” his customers in delivering “a better sales experience.  Buyers around the world are recognizing the differentiated benefits of purchasing products and solutions from sellers who use SalesLoft.” 

Other first-timers were identity resolution vendor FullContact (76% three-year CAGR to $14.0 million) and data hygiene and enrichment vendor Stirista (23% three-year CAGR to 5.0 million). 

“Marketers, product professionals, and data analysts have had a lot of success using FullContact to enrich the data that exists in their CRM, marketing automation, and other databases,” said Scott Axcell, VP of Marketing at FullContact. “From audience insights to customer care, there is no shortage of use cases for accurate, enriched customer data.” 

FullContact acquired Mattermark and its company and event database last December to complement the FullContact people dataset. 

While Madison Logic once again made the list, their growth stalled with revenue declining $200,000 last year to $54.2 million.  Their three-year CAGR was 27%. 

“We achieved this honor through the strength of our team and success of our customers. Our platform, ActivateABM, helps the most innovative global companies accelerate growth by converting top prospects into customers. By integrating directly into the martech stack, we can deliver solutions that are simple, strategic and entirely ROI-focused,” said Tom O’Regan, Madison Logic’s CEO. “We are thrilled to be recognized for the sixth time and proud of the momentum we’ve achieved on our mission to make the B2B marketer the driving force for growth and change in the enterprise.” 

CreditSafe USA made the list for the second time, growing revenue to $13.3 million last year with a three-year CAGR of 52%.  However, most of the growth was in the first two years with 2017 revenue only growing $500,000.  The firm has over 100,000 subscription customers, 10,000 in the United States. 

“Our team is extremely humbled to be included in such an elite group of high-growth companies,” said Matthew Debbage, CEO of Creditsafe USA and Asia. “When we established here six years ago, there was one large entrenched player in the business credit space in the US, so we felt our success was far from a sure thing. This recognition really helps put our hard work into perspective.” 

“Being the younger, more nimble and tech-friendly player in the space has given many advantages as we strive to provide exceptional value to our customers,” continued Debbage. “We know that if are going to disrupt the industry, then we’d need to out-hustle our competition each and every day and really want to thank all those customers who’ve taken a chance on us.” 

CreditSafe primarily provides credit data in the US, although they did enter the US and UK sales intelligence market a few years ago with Sales Joe.  CreditSafe financials and filings are at the core of several European product lines including DueDil. 

CreditSafe maintains offices in eight European countries, Japan, and the United States. The company serves the credit, collections, sales, marketing, and compliance functions.

Private company profiler Pitchbook is no longer eligible for the list as they were acquired by Morningstar, but the firm disclosed a 60% CAGR since 2009.  They have grown their user base from 11,000 to 18,000 since the end of 2017.  Since the beginning of the year, Pitchbook has grown from “just over” 600 employees to 908.

Finally, Pure Incubation made the list for the fifth year in a row posting a 43% three-year CAGR on $20 million in revenue.  The Massachusetts demand generation firm offers data and marketing services for the medical and technology sectors.  Products include PureB2B (Content Syndication and Intent Marketing), PureMed (Healthcare Providers and Facilities Database), ProspectOne (B2B Intelligence and Data Services), and Demand Science (Philippines-based Back Office Marketing, HR, Seles Development and Engineering Services).

Pure Incubation’s consistent growth “is another testament that we are building a strategically relevant and innovative company in the demand generation space,” said Chairman Barry Harrigan.  “Pure Incubation’s continued placement on the list is not something we take for granted and we are going to keep pushing to appear again in 2019.”

DiscoverOrg made the list for the eighth-straight time.  I covered their achievement yesterday.

DiscoverOrg: 8 Years on the Inc. 5000

DiscoverOrg Revenue.png
DiscoverOrg continued its blistering growth.  It acquired RainKing at the end of August 2017 so only four months ($13 million est.) of RainKing revenue was included in DiscoverOrg’s 2017 revenue.  Another $26 million (est.) will show up in DiscoverOrg’s 2018 revenue.  The CAGR and revenue data was sourced from the 2014 through 2018 Inc. 5000 lists.

DiscoverOrg made the Inc 5000 list for the eighth straight year with three-year revenue growth of 184%.  The revenue was boosted by the acquisition of RainKing last August, but the firm would have made the list even without the acquisition.  Over the past six years, DiscoverOrg posted a compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 60%, growing revenue from $5.5 million in 2011 to $91.9 million in 2017.

“For 10 years, our singular focus has been on how to fuel our customers’ pipeline and revenue growth with the best B2B data available anywhere,” said Henry Schuck, DiscoverOrg CEO. “Being named to the Inc. 5000 list for the eighth consecutive year–and especially at the size and scale we are now–demonstrates our continued unwillingness to settle for anything less than excellence.”

Last year, DiscoverOrg more than doubled its database and increased its headcount by 50%.  DiscoverOrg’s Annualized Recurring Revenue (ARR) was over $130 million at the end of the year, indicating the firm was in a strong position to make the list again in 2019.  DiscoverOrg only recognized around $13 million in 2017 RainKing revenue over the final four months, so approximately $26 million in additional subscription revenue will hit their books in 2018.

2017 organic revenue growth was around $19 million.

“Out of the nearly seven million private companies moving the economy forward every day, only a tiny fraction have demonstrated such remarkably consistent high growth.  DiscoverOrg’s eighth Inc. 5000 honor truly puts the organization in rarefied company.”

  • James Ledbetter, Inc. Editor-in-chief

What is even more impressive is that DiscoverOrg passed InsideView and Avention (now D&B Hoovers) in revenue with a service that focused on the technology space while the broader sales and marketing intelligence services target the technology space, business services, professional services, and financial services.

DiscoverOrg has distinguished itself through

  • High quality data collected by its large editorial team
  • High fill rates on emails and direct dials
  • Technology and general sales triggers (Scoops)
  • Org charts at both the C-level and along functional lines
  • Biographies with technical skills and responsibilities
  • AI recommendations around both similar companies and recommended executives (AccountView)
  • OppAlerts Intent data (three-premium)
  • A broad set of CRM, MAP, Sales Engagement, and Browser connectors.

“Great data is magic,” tweeted the firm.

Or course, DiscoverOrg wasn’t the only B2B Sales Intelligence, Sales Engagement, or DaaS company to make the list.  I will cover Zoominfo, SalesLoft, and these other firms tomorrow.

Sales Intelligence Vendors in the Inc. 5000 List (2017)

Several Sales Intelligence and business data vendors made the 2017 Inc. 5000 list.
Several Sales Intelligence and business data vendors made the 2017 Inc. 5000 list.  Data from Inc. with analysis by GZ Consulting.

Inc. published its annual Inc 5000 list of fastest growing US private companies this week. Several firms covered by this newsletter made the list including Synthio, DiscoverOrg, RainKing, Zoominfo, and Pure Incubation. To qualify for the list, companies must be private and have at least $200,000 in 2013 revenue.

DiscoverOrg made the list for the seventh year in a row with 2016 revenues of $59.4 million, up $15 million. The firm is in a strong position to make the 2017 list as they closed 2016 with an ARR of $71 million. DiscoverOrg’s three-year Compound Average Growth Rate (CAGR) was 40%.

“Our mission remains focused on accelerating our customers’ pipeline and revenue growth—we can only grow when they grow,” said CEO Henry Schuck. “Since our inception 10 years ago, our customers have experienced the difference our unmatched data has on their own sales. Making the Inc. 5000 list for the seventh time is a reflection of their trust and of our mutual success.”

Along with financial growth, the company has continuously grown its editorial-based content while expanding the functional and integration capabilities of its service. While originally focused on providing company and IT executive profiles for US sales reps, the company has globalized its coverage, extended into marketing tools, and added additional job functions including sales, marketing, HR, and Product Management (TEDD) to its database. By including CRM and MAP connectors, analytical tools, and light predictive scoring, the firm has increased the value it provides to companies across a broader set of job functions (marketing, exec recruitment, strategic sales, and sales operations) and found additional ways to augment the value of each record. In so doing, they have been able to maintain a profitable, cash-flow positive growth trajectory over a decade.

“Only a tiny fraction of the nation’s companies have demonstrated such remarkably consistent high growth,” said Eric Schurenberg, President and Editor in Chief, Inc. Magazine. “This achievement truly puts DiscoverOrg in rarefied company.”

DiscoverOrg’s top competitor RainKing also made the list for the fourth consecutive year. 2016 revenue rose $6.9 million to $33.9 million. RainKing has a three-year CAGR of 29%.  Two weeks ago, DiscoverOrg acquired RainKing.

“This has been a transformational year for RainKing and this award is a recognition of the satisfaction of our customers and the accomplishments of our employees,” stated RainKing CEO John Stanfill. “We have had some significant accomplishments over the past twelve months which have helped fuel our growth, but the biggest factor in our success is our ability to help our customers grow their businesses faster.”

Among the recent content and platform enhancements were a new user interface, coverage expansion to 65,000 companies and one million executives, the launch of a Federal IT dataset, and rebranding. The firm also moved to larger office space in Bethesda, Maryland.

New York-based Madison Logic made the list for the fifth consecutive year with a three year CAGR of 43%. CEO Tom Regan said, “We’ve developed the only comprehensive account based marketing solution that unifies display advertising, lead generation and advanced measurement capabilities that enable marketers to achieve a quantifiable return on investment.”

Zoominfo, which was bought by private equity firm Great Hill Partners last week, had a three-year CAGR of 39% with 2016 revenue of $39.8 million. The firm successfully pivoted into marketing services a few years ago with contact data enrichment services, list building, web forms, segmentation analysis, and cluster analysis. The firm has over 5,000 enterprise clients.

“ZoomInfo’s positioned for staggering advancement on both the employee and technology front,” said CEO Yonatan Stern. “As we continue on this journey we are focused on creating even more value for our customers.”

Zoominfo was acquired by PE firm Great Hill Partners in August.

Other sales and marketing firms that repeated on the list were Pure Incubation (44% three-year CAGR), Synthio (111% three-year CAGR), and List Partners (27% three-year CAGR).


2016 List

Sales Intelligence Vendors in the Inc. 5000 List

Inc. magazine published the 2016 version of their Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing US private companies over the past three years.  To qualify, firms must have at least $100,000 in revenue in 2012 and $2 million in 2015.  Firms are ranked according to their three-year growth rate.

Once again, Social123 was the fastest growing company amongst the firms covered by my newsletter.  Last year, the firm grew its revenue by $400,000 to $2.8 million.  The firm has a three-year Compound Average Growth Rate (CAGR) of 123%.  Social123 provides a database of over 300 million global contacts mined from social media which they deploy for prospecting and data enrichment.

HG Data and CB Insights also posted high growth rates (three year CAGRs of 106% and 97% respectively) that placed them towards the top of the list.  HG Data has had great success licensing their semantically mined set of technology product and vendor data to sales intelligence and predictive analytics companies while CB Insights continues to grow in the PE/VC intelligence space and launched a PE/VC sales intelligence product in 2015.

US private company growth rates based upon current and historical Inc. 5000 lists.
US private company growth rates based upon current and historical Inc. 5000 lists.

DiscoverOrg posted the most impressive numbers as it made the list for the sixth consecutive year with a 48% CAGR.  According to the tech sales intelligence firm, only 320 companies have ever made the list for six consecutive years and DiscoverOrg ranked 12th in growth amongst them.  Furthermore, DiscoverOrg is on pace for $60 million in revenue this year which would easily place them on next year’s list.  Noting that the firm has grown revenue 10X over five years, CMO Katie Bullard described their feat as “a huge testament to our customers’ successes and the value they are realizing every day.”

DiscoverOrg recently accepted equity financing for strategic growth purposes, but much of their growth was self-funded as they carefully built out their database to 60,000 companies and their customer base to 2,000 clients.  The firm has doubled its company coverage over the past year and built its editorial staff out to 150 researchers.  Similarly, they have grown contact coverage by 89% while maintaining a 99% fill rate on emails and 96% on direct dial numbers.

Technology sales intelligence vendor RainKing also demonstrated strong growth with a 31% CAGR to $27 million.  Back in June, RainKing announced plans to add an additional sixty headcount to their sales, research, engineering, and client success departments.  This is the third year in a row that RainKing has made the list.

Intent data firm Madison Logic made the list for the second time with $45.1 million in revenue.  The growth was particularly impressive as Madison Logic spun off its Madison Logic Data division in April 2015 as Bombora.  “Madison Logic’s priority is to provide B2B marketers with the most comprehensive account based marketing solution and deliver real ROI of their efforts,” said Tom O’Regan, Madison Logic’s CEO. “Our growth is a result of all our teams — from engineering to sales — being aligned behind that priority. We could not have done it without our partners and customers who have selected Activate ABM to power their account based marketing programs.”

Zoominfo returned to the list last year after a seven year hiatus.  The firm appears to have found a successful growth strategy.  Over the years, Zoominfo pursued multiple markets including web mined biographies, sales intelligence, and executive recruitment tools only to be big footed by Google and LinkedIn.  A few years ago, Zoominfo began to gain traction in the data hygiene services space.  Over the past year, they launched Chrome and Eloqua connectors and refreshed their Salesforce integration.  They also rebranded and enhanced their sales and marketing platform as the Zoominfo Growth Acceleration Platform.  The new service helps sales and marketing teams “identify, connect, and engage with qualified prospects and replicate success.”

“Our mission is to help businesses accelerate their growth by using our data and tools,” said Zoominfo CEO Yonatan Stern.  “We use our own tools and have experienced accelerating growth together with significant profitability over the past five years.

Advertising sales intelligence vendor The List returned to the Inc. 5000 after a five-year hiatus.  The List has long been a respected database covering the national advertising and agency sector.  Late last year, the firm launched a new sales intelligence service for sales professionals who target agencies, media sales, marketing technology firms, and corporate sponsorships.  The Winmo service combines advertiser and agency search, agency relationships, creative portfolios, and sales recommendations along with prospecting, advertising-specific sales triggers from DailyVista, and an SFDC connector.

Pure Incubation made the list for the third year in the row with revenues of $9.5 million.  The Massachusetts firm provides lead generation and database services for the medical (MedData Group) and IT fields (PureB2B).  PureIncubation CEO Melissa Chang attributed the firm’ success to the launch of several PureB2B products including “marketing qualified leads, a unique integrated Account Based Marketing product, and our latest digital strategy  – a GuidesFor site network that utilizes intent data to identify in-market buyers and drive ready-to-purchase buyers to technology companies.”  Chang also noted that “we have made a number of operational enhancements to increase efficiencies, and set the industry standard for quality data delivery.”

Interestingly, not a single predictive analytics company made the list.  Several  firms were pre-revenue in March 2012 so would not have qualified this year.  Other firms may have chosen not to publish their revenue and growth rates.

The Universe Has a Sense of Humor

The Inc. 5000 list search for Business Products & Services placed Razor Consulting Solutions next to Occam's Paradigm.
The Inc. 5000 list search for Business Products & Services placed Razor Consulting Solutions next to Occam’s Paradigm.

Since studying French in high school, I’ve always had a sense for the absurdity of life.  How could you not when you are reading Sartre, Camus, and Ionesco (n’est-ce pas)?  Every now and then the universe reminds you of this absurdity when you aren’t expecting it.

While researching the just released 2016 Inc. 5000 list, I sorted the 2016 list by Business Products and Services and Occam’s Paradigm was next to Razor Consulting Services.  Occam’s Paradigm named its company after a philosophical statement made by William of Occam commonly called Occam’s Razor.

Here is an explanation of Occam’s Razor from the Occam’s Paradigm Facebook page:

His widely quoted principle known as Occam’s razor recommends the selection, among competing hypotheses, of the one that makes the fewest assumptions and by extension offers the simplest explanation of the effect. Occam’s razor recommends that one should always opt for an explanation in terms of the fewest possible number of causes, factors, or variables. Occam’s Razor is frequently expressed in the statement, ‘Entia non sunt mul- tiplicanda sine necessitate’ that is ‘Beings are not to be multiplied beyond necessity’. Put simply – ‘Other things being equal, a simpler explanation is better than a more complex one’. He used simplicity as a criterion of concept formation and theory construction.

So what is the simplest explanation that one can posit concerning the humorous juxtaposition of these two companies on a list?  Was the universe showing a sense of humor or simply being random?

To get a feel for the likelihood of this event, I went into Avention’s Global Business Browser and found there were 11.3 million US private independent and parent companies (I omitted subs and branches as the Inc. list is based upon overall company performance).  Of these, 688 had the word razor in their name.  Thus, the odds of Occam’s Paradigm being next to a “razor” company is

688 * 2 / 11,300,000 = .012%

or roughly 1 in 8,000.  This is basically the odds of rolling a Yahtzee of all Sixes (five dice) on the first roll (1 / 6^5)

So 1 in 8,000 seems high, but our brains are designed to spot anomalies such as

Occam NEAR Razor

Once you adjust for the fact that I was scanning through multiple filtered lists, I probably scanned thousands of potential pairs for coincidences.  Applying Occam’s Razor, the universe wasn’t winking at me, it was simply exhibiting randomness.