By Deane Barker | May 28, 2009 | 1 Comment
SiCortex Meets an Untimely End: A very sad situation for everyone involved.
[…] the five venture capital firms supporting Linux cluster vendor SiCortex have pulled their funding, forcing the Massachusetts-based company to shut down its operations. As the company prepares to sell off its assets, there are said to be only a handful of employees remaining.
SiCortex was a Blend client, and a good one. We worked on their Web site in one capacity or another for four years. My first traveling gig with Blend was to visit them for three days in 2005 to help them piece together a Web strategy.
I remember interviewing all the of the stakeholders over the three days. These guys were hardcore – the type that wrote code in 1s and 0s. One of them worked at PARC back in the day. Another was almost 70-years-old and still talked about processor design with the excitement of a 22-year-old starting his dream job.
They had a great product. Their machines where fast, compact, and could plug into a 220-watt outlet. When you walked into their offices in Maynard, Mass, they had a bunch of them sitting behind glass in the lobby. If Darth Vader got into high-performance computing, this would be his machine.
We worked with some great people out there (one relationship thankfully continues on another venture). So, we’re mourning both the loss of the relationship, and the loss of the technology and vision they brought to the HPC market.
When I took over Marketing at SiCortex in August, I saw a big challenge ahead. Our website undersold the value we offered to the market, and the power of our disruptive new architecture for Linux. Beyond the messaging, it was very limited as a marketing tool.
At first I was skeptical, I must admit, about working with a company based in South Dakota. There is so much talent in Massachusetts… I kept an open mind and gave them a chance, with one eye pointed at a local firm just in case.
Blend rose to the challenge. In tight partnership with Stacy Humphrey, a SiCortex contractor-to-be-employee-later, they built a first-rate website in record time. It was no easy task – we needed to re-invent our image, re-define our content, add ecommerce capability (yes, we sold 72-processor deskside systems online – successfully). And they had to keep pace with our ever-evolving needs as we matured our marketing engine: web-to-lead integration, online end-user tools (eg, our well publicized Green Computing Performance Index (GCPI) calculator, webinars on demand, etc. The Blend team hit their commitments every time, to the demanding standards we set. The results stand for themselves – a first-rate platform for marketing that was built to continue expanding as SiCortex continued its rapid growth. Unfortunately rapid and sustained growth in this economy and investment environment is not enough – our backers ran out of money, and our costs to finish the next generation of incredibly energy efficient computers outpaced our record revenue flow.
Outstanding work Team Blend.