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2011 Forty Under 40: Jeff Ready

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About me...
Jeff Ready
CEO
Scale Computing Inc.
36
Web sites:
Social media:
On my hip:
iPhone
Most-used apps:
TripIt
Shazam
MotionX
DoodleJump
Favorite stuff:
Miami Dolphins; Colts; Guinness; cheeseburgers; video games
 

In 1995, Jeff Ready started his first technology company as a senior at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute. He has never stopped.

His latest venture, 2-year-old Scale Computing Inc., builds data-storage gear. “We make a technology product that’s bought by technology people and used in technology places,” he said.

The company now has more than 1,200 systems in the field and more than 250 customers, Ready said. Scale already has 65 employees and expects to hire another 60 in 2011.

Perhaps as important, the company has raised $31 million, including a $2 million grant from the Indiana Economic Development Corp. that allowed Ready to establish Scale here rather than in Silicon Valley, where the money typically is found.

He hopes that starts a trend that can make Indianapolis a technology hub.

“Data storage is now the single largest market in all of computing technology,” Ready said. “It’s bigger than the server market; it’s bigger than the networking market. To have a company that I hope continues to grow at this explosive rate here in Indiana creates the opportunity to spearhead a change in the overall economy of the state. As somebody who’s from Indiana, I would love to see that happen.”

Ready’s entrepreneurial spirit extends beyond the company’s offices. He speaks at colleges and high schools around Indiana about starting companies, and Scale has created an entrepreneurship academy to teach college students and others—including its employees—how to start their own businesses.

“It may be a little counterintuitive that you would train your employees in how to go start their own company, since they might actually go do that,” Ready said. “But that’s kind of what I hope happens. I don’t want to lose my best employees, but if they are going to walk out the door, I would certainly love to hear they’re going to start their own company, much more than going to work for somebody else.”•

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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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