The rise of silicon slopes.

Author:James, Josh
Position:SILICON SLOPES
 
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I am particularly proud to be building my second cloud-based software company, Domo, in Utah. When I started Omniture in the 1990s with my friend John Pestana, technology was an insignificant part of our state's economy. A few companies such as WordPerfect and Novell had found success here but it wasn't until the internet emerged as a business platform that Utah's tech economy started to grow.

Life for entrepreneurs was different back then. Capital was hard to come by and our talent pool was small. The main interstate connecting Salt Lake City to Provo was lined with empty fields and speckled with a few industrial companies that were beginning to lose their glow to overseas competitors.

The internet, however, was a wide-open frontier for anyone who could imagine the possibilities. I was lucky to be in college at the time, with ambition and imagination to spare. We started a company that built webpages for anyone who would pay us. We eventually evolved that business into an analytics company, Omniture, that allowed those companies to understand how their websites were performing.

Omniture was part of Utah's second wave of tech that helped nurture an internet-savvy workforce. Like other companies emerging at the time, such as Ancestry.com, Overstock and Altiris, we put Utah on the map as a great place to build a successful business. We cared deeply about our customers and learned how to deliver service and technology in the cloud at an early stage.

Omniture grew to more than 5,000 customers and employed more than 1,000 people. After an IPO, we sold to Adobe for $1.8 billion, becoming the anchor of Adobe's new cloud business unit, which they kept in Utah. We wouldn't have sold it if they weren't committed to keeping the business here. Those were incredible events for anyone who helped build Omniture, but they were also critical milestones for Silicon Slopes by bringing more attention, more capital and more inspiration to the next set of entrepreneurs.

Now, in the early stages of...

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