Can this predictive software free 40 percent of your day?

Entrepreneur J.J. Kardwell isn't cool with rote work. You shouldn't be either.

By Lisa Calhoun

Sitting in the pale morning sun with co-founder and President of predictive analytics startup EverString J.J. Kardwell recently, life snapped into focus. It’s short. In the past year or so, EverString has earned its stars as the largest, fastest-growing predictive marketing SaaS company. It grew revenue more than 600% last year. The team has raised almost $80 million from investors like Lightspeed, Sequoia and Lakestar.

What was their inspiration? The boring block and tackle of your everyday business.

Too much time on tedium?

We spend too much of our lives preparing information for other people and sifting through piles of useless information, J.J. says. He’s drinking water next to my luxurious latte at Red Rock Coffee and sharing how he just finished packing his three daughters’ lunches.

“In the 15 years after college and before we started EverString, I spent a lot of my time on planes.” He first worked at Walt Disney, then at a European venture capital shop, then at a $16 billion growth equity and venture capital firm where he made partner.

“Less than 20% of my professional time was spent on work that really mattered. Almost 80% of my work life was spent on rote activities. Crisscrossing the map in a plane to chase needles in haystacks and packaging insights purely for internal audiences—it isn’t the most fulfilling experience. It always felt like there should be a better path.”

His business partner Vincent Yang developed the original idea to take some of the meaningless work out of the daily business grind by automating insights around one of the biggest issues all companies face—lead gen and qualification. The predictive analytics engine EverString was born. The founders want it to free people to focus on what they’re best at—which isn’t manually processing data for other people.

Practical AI at work

“All marketers feel like they have at least one of the two following problems. They have too many prospects and they need help prioritizing. Or they have too few prospects and they need help finding more that look like their best customers. EverString addresses these two big pains, so people can focus more of their time on the important things,” he says.

For example, when Cirruspath used EverString to prioritize inbound leads, overall conversion rates increased by 30%, the number of opportunities increased by 24%, and deal sizes increased by 130%. (For more on how this works, check out their predictive marketing report.)

Less hassle, more happening

At its core, EverString intends to free people to be more themselves and less dumb-task-driven—that’s J.J.’s dream. “I thrive on that 20% of time when I am doing something that really matters. I have always wanted to figure out a way to cut down the 80% that was the tedious part.”

If J.J. and his team have their way, predictive platforms like EverString will give us a big piece of our business day back—less hassling, more actually happening. (Related: 10 Best New Marketing Technologies of 2015.)

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