It’s been an exciting couple of weeks at Bazaarvoice. First, on May 21st, Bazaarvoice was named the #1 Best Place to Work in Austin. We got a great photo of our entire team, including international team members who were in town for our quarterly company offsite at the Alamo Drafthouse, in front of our massive 52-inch Sabian Chinese gong in the Austin Business Journal.
Second, just one week later, our very own Brett Hurt was named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Austin – one of four regional winners. The E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year awards recognize entrepreneurs who demonstrate extraordinary success in the areas of innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.
I can’t think of anyone who deserves this honor more than Brett. In the description above, the word that I would emphasize most in describing Brett’s motivation as an entrepreneur is community. An Austin native, Brett is very mindful of the positive, profound, and multi-generational impact that a single entrepreneur and business can have on the prosperity of a community. He sees Bazaarvoice’s success and his own as a win for all of Austin, and he sincerely hopes that Bazaarvoice’s success will bring prosperity to our community not just in terms of job and wealth creation but in the form of many future companies that our team members will one day start.
When I worked for Brett at Coremetrics, the company he founded prior to Bazaarvoice, he was expecting his first child and was in the process of shopping for a new stroller. Like many first-time parents (I recently went through this process myself), he did a ton of online research, finally landing at Amazon.com and finding an extremely long and detailed review contributed by an aerospace engineer who had methodically deconstructed and reconstructed the stroller in question, documenting the process and his observations on the stroller’s design, materials quality, and workmanship at every step. This experience had a profound effect on Brett, as he imagined the power of this content for every shopper and purchase decision if it were available for every product and website. The idea for Bazaarvoice was born a few months later. Fast forward four short years and here we are – we have served 50+ billion reviews for 525+ global brands in 36 countries and we continue to grow (and hire!) like wildfire.
Please join me in congratulating Brett for his many accomplishments as an entrepreneur (Bazaarvoice is his fifth start-up company!), for the positive impact he has had within the Austin business community, and for being a genuinely sincere and humble person. He never fails to show his appreciation for the team at Bazaarvoice, our customers and partners, and the many supporters that have helped the company and Brett personally along the way.
So far, 2009 has been a big year for us – and there’s still six months left to go!