Eight years ago, I was living in the heart of Silicon Valley. Almost every day, I drove the 101 freeway along the stretch between San Francisco and San Jose that’s known around the world as the center of technology. On those drives, one thing always stood out more than anything else—the billboards.
Those giant roadside signs represented more than advertising. They served as a rite of passage for the most successful tech companies, both the industry giants and the up-and-comers.
As I drove, I toldwould tell myself that one day Celonis would stake its claim on 101. It seemed far-fetched—a billboard cost more than our marketing budget at the time—but I never gave up.
Today, the dream came true. Celonis didn’t just put up one billboard on 101, it launched a dozen along the corridor. The most prominent one was recently completed in the center of San Francisco.
What makes these billboards even more significant to me is the commitment we’re making with them. We’re challenging companies that we can find $10 million trapped in their business, or we will donate $100,000 to a nonprofit of their choice if we can’t.
The Celonis Execution Capacity Challenge is a bold proposition that fits with where we started as a company. So many companies get their shot but do not leave a mark. We want our mark to be the value we create for our customers, and we think $10 million is just the beginning.
In our earliest days, I literally went knocking on the doors of some of the largest industrial giants in Germany along with my co-founders Alex Rinke and Martin Klenk. We showed the companies what Celonis could do, but we also told them the business value we could deliver.
We would use real system data and represent the dollar amount of missed opportunities stuck in their systems and inefficient processes. It’s what sold them.
Our Execution Capacity Challenge takes that same idea to a whole new level, and we want companies everywhere to see the impact our Execution Management System can have in their operations.
The challenge and our billboards are markers of how far we’ve come as a company. I couldn’t have imagined where we’d be today back when I was driving company-to-company in Silicon Valley to introduce Celonis in the U.S.
We’ve gone from less than 100 people to more than 1,200 across 15 offices.
The U.S. is now our largest and fastest-growing market, and we have more than 2,000 customer deployments worldwide.
And in a few weeks—on April 13-15—we’re expecting more than 15,000 people to be part of Celosphere, our global conference for process mining and business execution.
The only thing left to make my dream complete: Being able to travel again so I can drive down 101 and see these billboards for myself. One day soon.