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Art Mesher: We are building Descartes Systems the old fashioned way

Descartes Systems
Descartes Systems
Mesher: “Don’t make me spend nine months making me try to sell you our product. Just try, it.”

Descartes Systems Group (Descartes System Group Stock Quote, Chart, News: TSX:DSG) is doing its best to create a company that will last for generations, says its CEO, and that means earning business through customer referrals, not with an aggressive sales staff.

Art Mesher, CEO of Descartes Systems Group presented at the M Partners Tech 13 conference this morning in Toronto.

Mesher, who famously fired the entire sales staff when he took over as Descartes CEO nearly a decade ago, says he isn’t concerned about making Descartes a household name.

“We don’t care about evangelizing,” says Mesher, pointing out that his curtness extends to his relationships with potential customers.

“Don’t make me spend nine months making me try to sell you our product. Just try it. If you don’t like it, don’t pay us.”

Mesher says he would rather acquire a customer base than spend months trying to convince someone to buy his product. “Then its not about selling it’s about activating,” he says.

Mesher adds that he isn’t interested in hardware or software markets that have short runway, but markets that he can see the company dominating for life.

“We call these “niche oligopolies”, these are markets we can enter and defend for life.” he says, pointing to Descartes businesses in freight management and ocean tariff rating.

On September 5th Descartes reported its Q2, 2014 results. The company earned (U.S.) $1.74-million on revenue of $38.2-million, which was up 25% from last year’s Q2.

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About The Author /

Nick Waddell
Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.

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