In this faced-paced era, where technological evolution is a massive challenge for every business, entrepreneurship often entails significant risks. Owing to the challenges in achieving a competitive edge, it’s imperative for new-age entrepreneurs to dwell with those timid souls watching their old business models suffer slow but inevitable defeat. There is no doubt, making headway in this evolving maelstrom of business and technology transformation is tough. However, failure to act will only make tomorrow’s task more insurmountable.
Here’s a story of a craftswoman who dared to take risks and challenge the existing brands and categories. Cindy Jutras founded the technology research and advisory firm, Mint Jutras, which specializes in analyzing the business impact of enterprise applications. Combining deep and broad domain expertise, years of technology experience and fresh primary research, the company offers actionable insights on how to make software investments pay dividends.
The One who dared to be Different
Cindy started her career as a programmer/analyst working in a manufacturing company. It was the time when very few women were in the professional ranks of businesses, the time when most “professional” women back then were either teachers or nurses. After a few months of competently progressing in her role of a software expert, Cindy realized her role was overhead at the manufacturing company. Soon after, she was working for companies that produced and sold enterprise applications. She worked for those software companies for over 30 years before becoming an industry analyst.
“After 14 different acquisitions (sometimes as the acquirer, sometimes the acquired) I had done just about everything I ever wanted to do in software, from designing and writing code, to product management, marketing, pre-sales and consulting and a lot of things I never wanted to do (pricing and licensing and alliance management),” mentions Cindy.
With over 40 years of corporate experience, Cindy is now a widely recognized expert in analyzing the impact of enterprise applications on business performance. Cindy established Mint Jutras driven by her passion to produce something tangible from her efforts. She’s an entrepreneur, who derives great enjoyment and satisfaction out of producing something. In her professional life, this includes surveying, writing and speaking, as well as mentoring younger professionals. This kind of entrepreneurship thrives from moving fast and furious, since speed is a powerful asset in the competitive world.
The Inception Story & Challenges
ERP systems are often the backbone of any successful company—connecting all aspects of the enterprise and providing employees with the essential information needed to keep the business running. To streamline and automate business processes, capturing the right transactional data is an important aspect. Every analyst and analyst firm operates under a different business model. Mint Jutras is an independent research and advisory firm that specializes in analyzing the business impact of enterprise applications. It was a daring task for Cindy to overlook her well-positioned role of an industry analyst and start building from scratch. She said, “I had no supporting infrastructure – no IT team, no legal team, no one marketing me or my services, no one selling them… and no paycheck. Sounds like a nightmare but it was actually quite thrilling!” Leadership requires vision, daring, and organization, but it also requires the creation of strong communities that can withstand failure, uncertainty, and competing job offers.
Cindy proved herself in the role of a successful President at Mint Jutras thriving under competitive pressures. Instead of viewing competition as an obstacle, she perceived it as an opportunity at every turn. She maintains a competitive edge over other independent analysts, as well as the large firms like Gartner, Forrester and IDC, even as she operated under a non-compete agreement with her prior firm in the early years of Mint Jutras. Cindy is an inspiring leader who defined her own unique business model and distinguished her organization in a crowded market.
Cindy asserts, “Even though we all have (slightly) different ways we make money, the challenge is in differentiating the firm. Mint Jutras’ writing and speaking style and the insights we share, which are based on a unique combination of 40+ years of experience, backed up with real data. And we have developed some signature products that not only deliver insights, but also include a call to action.”
Unlike other analyst firms who serve the end user, Mint Jutras serves the vendor community. The company delivers actionable insights through content such as published reports, blog posts, speaking engagements and advisory services. The team writes and speaks to business decision-makers, but their customers are the solution providers of enterprise applications.
A Sagacious Leader with Vision & Perception
Over the past six years, Mint Jutras has managed to triple its annual revenue stats and has had real influence in the market. Above all, Cindy contemplates the market acceptance of Mint Jutras’ signature products of vital importance. She envisions strengthening the reputation of both Mint Jutras as a firm, and Cindy Jutras as an analyst. Her core focus is simply on continuing to deliver the kind of unique value that has become the hallmark of Mint Jutras. Her personal goal is to leave the world a better place, whether that means adding beauty as an artist, being a role model, influencing younger people to recognize and realize their full potential, or giving back to the community.
She advises the new entrants in business citing, “Clearly define your business, develop a business model and evolve with it. Be willing and able to take risks. You no longer get paid just for showing up.”
Cindy holds a Masters of Applied Science from Boston University and graduated summa cum laude with a BA from Merrimack College in mathematics, with concentration in physics and computer science. She has traveled the world speaking at executive conferences on her original supply chain concept, Virtually Vertical Manufacturing. She has also authored the book ‘ERP Optimization’ as well as numerous magazine articles and has published hundreds of benchmarks and other research reports.