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Jason Wood

Bill, thanks for the comment. As someone who dealt with the pain of the "e-procurement mania" firsthand during the bubble, I agree that indirect procurement by any other name is still the same.

For me, where Rearden makes or breaks itself lies in the claims its made vis-a-vis its platform. If the 5+ years of R&D have truly delivered on the boasts Grady makes, they've got massive potential to scale.

I've no idea whether Rearden's platform is all its cracked up to be, but can we honestly say we've got any more confidence in the platform claims of AppExchange? The hype train is in full effect on AppExchange, with lots of my fellow investors [who aren't really software guys by trade] hyping AppExchange as THE disruptive platform that's going to change enterprise computing.

Talk about unfounded bravado.

Bill Burnham

I think Reardon has an interesting product, but the level of hype coming out of that company is way over done. It's amazing to me that a company can make the kind of over-the-top statements they make with a straight face.

Let's face it: they are a moderately interesting SaaS-based spend management platform that currently has very poor coverage of total spend. In addition, I would argue that spend management is not an ideal SaaS application. Unlike many of the initial SaaS applications that are ideal for incremental "try and buy" adoption, Reardon's problem is that the very nature of spend management requires them to sell enterprise wide deals at big companies. This means that they can't generate a lot of "cheap" SMB/departmental adoption and instead have to invest in a classic top-heavy enterprise sales force that must convince the CFO to sign off on the deal. In addition, many of the best prospects for enterprise wide spend management have already purchased Ariba or one of the other n-tier plays, so Reardon often has to displace an existing vendor which is very different Saleforce.com displacing spreadsheets and whiteboards.

If I were an investor in Reardon I would love the hype machine that they have built, but I am glad I am not because there is no way they can ever live up to it.

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