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|Articles - March 2012|
|Friday, March 02, 2012|
BY LINDA BAKER
Amazon.com makes about $19,000 a minute on product recommendations: personalized suggestions that direct customers to products they might covet in addition to what they intended to buy. Now a Portland company is democratizing product recommendation services by developing faster, cheaper solutions accessible to midsize retailers. Launched in 2009, 4-Tell (“foretell”) creates software that functions like “a really good salesperson at the store,” says CEO Ken Levy, who, along with co-founder Ken Lofgren, came up with the concept after entering a Netflix competition to improve movie rental recommendations. Existing recommendation services typically take three months to integrate into a retailer’s website, with contracts of about $50,000 annually. By contrast, 4-Tell’s software takes only a few hours to integrate, and the company bills monthly, starting at $49, says Levy. The automated service also updates constantly “based on all past behaviors of shoppers, your past behavior, and what you’re doing at this moment.” A virtual company, 4-Tell employs seven full-time workers in Portland, the Gorge and Southern California. Gross revenues clocked in just under $1 million last year, and many of the company’s 100 customers, which include Columbia Sportswear, report sales increases of 10% to 25% after using the recommendation service. “At the end of day, we’re providing value to our customers,” Levy says. “That’s what’s exhilarating.”
Software for retailers
4-Tell has raised more than $1 million from 19 angel investors, including two online marketing professors from the Wharton School of Business; Keiretsu Forum, a national angel investment network; and Bruce Davis, CEO of Beaverton-based Digimarc, where CEO Ken Levy worked as senior director of technology and market development from 2000-2004. It was awarded $120,000 from the Gorge Angel Investors Network competition and $25,000 from the Portland Seed Fund.
Levy aims to grow 4-Tell into a “major force” in five years, with $80 million in annual revenue and 150 employees. The e-commerce platform-provider market is consolidating, he says. “So it’s likely we’ll be acquired.”
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
BY JASON NORRIS, CFA | OB GUEST BLOGGER
Pets.com, GeoCities, eToys, and WorldCom … blasts-from-the-past that all signify the late 1990s Internet bubble. Yet we believe the dynamics of the market, specifically in technology stocks, are much different today than it was during the late 1990s.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Cycling to work is all the rage. But not everyone wants to arrive at the office messy, sweaty — and unfashionable.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Power lunching at the Court Street Dairy Lunch in Salem.
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY ROBERT MULLIN
A new energy-sharing agreement sparks concerns about independence and collaboration in the region's utility industry.
Saturday, February 21, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Will community banks survive the digital age? Three CEOs peer into banking's crystal ball.
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
“We thought there was room for something new.”
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR
A partnership of a grassroots environmental organization and a youth group is striving to build community and business support for carbon price legislation.
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A new report highlights how Oregon bankers are giving back to their communities.
Since 1932 Tidewater Transportation & Terminals (operating as Tidewater Barge Lines and Tidewater Terminal Company) has operated a multicommodity transportation and terminal company based in Vancouver, Washington. The friendly expression on the company’s shipping containers reflects the attitude of about 330 safety and community-conscious employees but belies how complicated the barge business really is.
The Port of The Dalles has run marine facilities since the 1930s, but they are part of a larger mission to strengthen the local economy. They focus on regional economic development with a strong bent toward adding good-paying jobs in high tech, manufacturing and other industries.
The Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University has maintained its business accreditation by AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Like the advent of the locomotive, the cloud creates business opportunities that simply weren’t possible before now. Get up to speed fast in May at an exciting cloud-empowered Portland event.
Registration is now open for Portland Business Alliance’s Annual Meeting, one of the largest business gatherings in Portland each year.