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the Top SSD Companies - Q4 2013

27th quarterly edition - based on search metrics in Q4 2013

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - February 4, 2014

The Top SSD Companies - researched and analysed by - is a long running series (2007 to 2014) which has established a unique reputation within the SSD industry for detecting and predicting significant new business and technology transitions in the SSD market.

Notwithstanding a healthy skepticism which I would urge you to consider about the reliability of any kind of SSD market research - in the current changing state of the industry - the Top SSD Companies has nevertheless earned its place as a useful market decision support tool.

Here, without further ado then - is the list of the Top SSD Companies ranked by analyzing the search volume of hundreds of thousands of SSD readers on in the 4th quarter of 2013.
Top SSD Companies - ©

based on SSD search volume in the 4th Quarter 2013

Fusion-io - click for more info

1 - Fusion-io

Same as before.

This was Fusion-io's 20th straight quarter at the top of this list - confirming it's still regarded as an uber super leading enterprise SSD company when it comes to ideas and products.

But it remained an uncomfortable time for the company's business - as in the 2nd half of 2013 - FIO continued to report revenues significantly lower than in the year before.

Over and above the organic competitive pressures arising from the greater competencies of competitors in the growing PCIe SSD market - Fusion-io (like some other companies in this market - such as Violin and Stec) had risen high on a tide supported by too narrow a customer base.

In addition - Fusion-io had some self inflicted problems of having increased the utilization efficiency of its products for its biggest customers too much too soon - which meant they didn't need to keep buying more products. (Fusion-io was simply the first vendor to hit this rock fast - but it's a factor which will haunt and trouble all enterprise SSD vendors in various times in the future - as I discussed in my article - meet Ken - and the SSD software event horizonn.)

In this quarter - under the guidance of new CEO Shane Robison - Fusion-io looked to me like a company with 2 main missions.
  • A corrective action program - to learn how to work as a traditional business (instead of an investment hungry startup) - and - to focus on the discipline of extracting more money from a wider base of customers and thereby increasing revenue (again) - but conditioned by the new discipline (for FIO) of also aiming to be profitable - sooner rather than later.
  • An identity correction program - (which the company was still thrashing through as I wrote this - and which could take years rather than a few quarters to resolve) - based on the corporate aspiration to change from being merely regarded as the leading vendor of enterprise PCIe SSD modules and software (which is significant enough in itself) - to add the new bold ambition of also becoming regarded as a leading rackmount SSD systems company.

click for more info about LSI

2 - LSI

Up 12 places from previous quarter.

In November 2013 - LSI launched the most ambitious design of single chip SSD controller in the history of the SSD market - which I described as having the aspiration of "SSD market on a chip".

That was the origin of a huge spike in renewed interest in the company. The later news (in December 2013) that LSI had agreed to be acquired (for about $6 billion) also caused some ripples - but at much lower intensity and effect (partly due to timing within the quarter).

For LSI - being in the #2 slot in the Top SSD Companies List - is something which the company arguably had many sound reasons to anticipate - not least of which being that SandForce (acquired by LSI in January 2012) had itself been at the #2 slot itself in Q2 2011.

But apart from the obvious difference that the SSD market was smaller in those days (there were only 300 SSD companies in the market back in 2011) there's a special significance for LSI in being at #2 in the 4th quarter of 2013 - because the gap between the #1 and #2 companies in this list are much smaller than it has ever been before.

This confirms that LSI has vaulted into a new position occupying the minds of serious minded SSD market participants - and (like Fusion-io before) is now seen as another elite uber super leading SSD company. What do I mean by that? See the sidebar article on the right.

Violin Memory logo - click for more info

3 - Violin Memory

Down 1 place from previous quarter.

In this quarter - investor disillusionment with the value of Violin's shares immediately following the company's IPO in September 2013, coupled with the realization that the first quarterly results reported in November 2013 didn't resemble the scale of business which many observers had expected from earlier company pronouncements - meant there was little surprise (in December 2013) when the board announced it had terminated the employment of Don Basile - who had been CEO of the company for the previous 4-5 years.

Commenting on this news December 16, 2013 I observed that Violin had established its business thinking during a growth period when the segment of the market in which it operated was relatively "uncontested". Violin operates in too many segments within the rackmount market - many of which have their own leading specialist vendor for whom this is their main business.

On the blunt front of warrring fast SSD racks - we later learned in January 2014 - that the ghost of Violin's past hottest competitor Texas Memory Systems - while seeming quiet on the news front during its year long digestion and absorption by IBM - had in fact been eating large chunks of fast rackmount SSD market pie.

STEC logo - click for more info

4 - Stec

Down 1 place from previous quarter.

Stec had been acquired by WD just before this quarter - with the intention of merging it into HGST.

However, as has often been the case with other SSD company acquisitions, the transition to new branding and business models had barely begun to have any impact on Stec's market in the first quarter of its life as a WD owned business entity. Search volume for Stec in its own right within our qualified SSD search universe in Q4 2013 was 5x as high as that for HGST.

To understand the business case for this acquisition see these articles which predated the announcement:- adaptive flash care management & DSP IP in SSDs (explains the key technology acquired), and hostage to the fortunes of SSD (explains the strategic rationale for many of the acquistions which took place or were being considered in the SSD market in 2013).

SanDisk logo - click for more info

5 (tied) - SanDisk

Up 5 places from previous quarter.

In the preceding quarter SanDisk completed its acquisition of SMART Storage Systems which had begun sampling memory channel SSDs (DDR3 flash DIMMs) as a competitive alternative to high end PCIe SSDs. This was a significant milestone for SanDisk along the way to repositioning itself as a leading entity in the enterprise SSD market.

In December 2013's home page blog what changed in SSD year 2013? said - "The most significant new SSD form factor in the enterprise market has been the architecture designed by Diablo Technologies - which was brought to market by SMART Storage (which is now part of the enterprise SSD business at SanDisk)."

During this quarter the growing importance of leveraging and integrating SSD-aware software was one of the top editorial topics aired on the home page of

The FlashSoft product from SanDisk is one of a handful of known leaders in the SSD software platform market.

However with new companies still entering this market every week - no current position can be regarded as secure. It won't be certain who the final winners in this aspect of the SSD market will be for many years - as some anticipated permutations of SSD software, storage and server architecture haven't even been launched in the market yet.

WhipTail logo - click for  more info

5 (tied) - WhipTail

Same rank as in the quarter before.

In October 2013 - Cisco completed its acquisition WhipTail for approximately $415 million.

Some of the market background to that acquisition was a growing realization by SSD system architects that the true limits of SSD enhancement (measured in terms of efficiency, scalability etc) can only be reached by integrations at the rackmount SSD system level - and this paradigm was discussed in the article - better thinking inside the box - exciting new directions in rackmount SSDs.

The problems facing users who need to anticipate what new products will do - in the context of seeing bewildering changes in the identity and very purpose of such systems was discussed in this article - Whiptail offers clues to Users playing the enterprise SSD box riddle game.

Skyera logo - click for more info

7 - Skyera

Down 3 places from previous quarter.

In this quarter Skyera didn't make any significant product announcements.

In October 2013 - after publishing my home page blog - meet Ken - and the enterprise SSD software event horizon - which looked at the future market effects of improving SSD utilization ratios - I interviewed Skyera to get an idea of their views on this important aspect of SSD design efficiency - as I thought they were one of the leading companies driving the pace of change in thinking about this particularly in new rackmount SSD designs - even though they were having little or no impact on market share (at that time) with their first generation of products - for the obvious reasons described in the article.

OCZ logo - click for more info

8 - OCZ

Up 5 places from previous quarter.

In this quarter - OCZ announced that it would file for bankrupty and also said it had received an offer from Toshiba to acquire substantially all of its assets (which did happen in January 2014).

Less than 3 weeks before OCZ was tipped over the financial cliff by the closing of its credit lines - I initiated and interview with OCZ's CEO Ralph Schmitt and also with Alex Mei, CMO of OCZ - because I wanted to disambiguate some important working assumptions I had been making about the company's business penetration in the enterprise and role of its controller technology. What I learned suggested to me that if and when the financial brakes were ever lifted off OCZ's SSD business (and its flash memory supply chain) the company would be in a very interesting position of opportunity in some markets.

My interview was written and published on the main SSD news page of on November 21, 2013 with the title - "So - you think you already know this leading SSD company? What can I say to change your mind?" Even from the perspective of today - I think it remains an invaluable reference point from which to understand and anticipate possible trajectories of future business from the new OCZ.

Nimbus logo click for more info

9 - Nimbus Data Systems

Up 2 places from previous quarter.

At the start of this quarter in an interview with Tom Isakovich, CEO and founder of Nimbus - which was reported on the SSD news page October 1, 2013 - readers of learned that:- Nimbus was profitable, their sales had tripled in the current year and sales were expected to triple again in the following year.

Pure Storage logo - click for more info

10 - Pure Storage

Down 4 places from previous quarter.

In November 2013 EMC launched a legal suit against Pure Storage alledging that former EMC personnel had taken with them detailed customer related market information. Pure Storage responded that the complaint was without merit.

IBM logo

11 - IBM

Down 2 places from previous quarter.

In this quarter IBM didn't make any significant SSD product announcements.

But - given the date at which I'm writing this - it would be remiss of me not to mention here that IBM made some very big enterprise SSD product announcements in January 2014 - and you can read my coverage of that - which includes interviews with key product evangelists in this article - It's IBM SSD Jim - but not as we know it.

To give you an idea of the scale of that interest in the new SSD born again IBM...

If this Top SSD Companies List was based on a single month - rather than a single quarter (then while cautiously acknowledging the series-historic evidence that a quarter is a more reliable sampling period) - then I can reveal that - for the single month of January 2014 (based on data from Jan 1 to 11:00 GMT on Jan 31) - IBM would be ranked the #1 SSD company, ron Fusion-io would be #2 and LSI would be #3 - all closely packed in a trio of uber super SSD leadership - all the while with the #2 company having grown its own absolute search volume from the preceding month (December 2013) - just in case you wondered if any dips in search activity interest were involved.

While you shouldn't read too much into the significance of a single month's ranking - because these temporary news spike based re-orderings do happen from time to time - it's a pointer (along with other narratives and market analysis) that rankings at the top end of the top SSD companies list - are no longer as sticky and impregnable as they seemed to be for the past few years.

BTW that was one of my forecasts in my December 2013 article - what changed in 2013? - but unlike you - I have the advantage that I'm looking at this type of data all the time - and it's been guiding my work as a market analysts since long before I started publishing these lists.

image shows Viridentem's logo - click to go to their home page

12 - Virident Systems

Down 4 places from previous quarter.

In October 2013 - HGST began the process of ingesting the newly acquired Virident.

Micron logo - click for more info

13 - Micron

Down 1 place from previous quarter.

In the quarter ended November 28, 2013 - Micron said that about 50% of its nand flash memory bits wound up in SSDs.

Micron also reported significant growth in its server RAM business in this quarter.

However, in the next few years I think it's likely that this server DRAM business will be impacted by the growing adoption of server based flash - initially by PCIe SSDs (a market in which Micron itself participates directly) and later to a growing extent by memory channel flash SSDs in the form represented by flash DIMMs from competitor SanDisk.

The general effect of server based flash on server DRAM is to reduce the number of servers required to service like for like apps and users. (SSD-CPU equivalence)

In the past few years the RAM impact of this transition has mostly been limited to the movement of more RAM into fewer servers.

In the next few years, however, flash SSDs may also begin to replace a proportion of memory capacity which was previously done by DRAM.

Micron doesn't currently have a low latency, high capacity, flash DIMM SSD technology platform in its product line. But I think it's inevitable that Micron will - at some stage in 2014 or 2015 - have to publicly address this product gap / opportunity / threat to maintain confidence in its server customer base.

Possible ways of doing this are:-
  • ammending the Hybrid Memory Cube architecture to support internal flash controllers (a possibility I wrote about back in 2011)
  • licensing or acquiring a similar flash DIMM interface controller technology.
  • developing something similar internally
  • launching patent lawsuits to slow down competitors
Clearing the patent and IP decks in readiness for the above options for that may have been one of the factors in the December 2013 patent deal with Rambus.

In a related conference call - Satish Rishi, CFO - Rambus said "we haven't licensed the entire controller space... besides DRAM, and on that side of the industry, we're looking to have more licensees... ...Today most of our patents do not read on the interfaces for non-volatile memory... But over time, I think that's going to change and we expect that some of the novel technologies in the non-volatile space as the speeds get higher will probably adopt the type of interfaces that the DRAM industry has used. So we have a lot of upside potential." ( transcript)

My guess is that - Micron will be conflicted about investing too much, too soon in memory channel SSDs for the same reasons that hard drive vendors originally ignored SSDs.

In the present state of the SSD market - Micron may regard the short term market opportunity of memory channel SSD as - being small compared to something they already do (PCIe SSDs) and - in the long term - as damaging to their DRAM revenue if it succeeeds.

Intel logo click to see  info

14 - Intel

Up 1 place.

In a a presentation (pdf) delivered to investors in November 2013 - Diane Bryant, Senior VP & GM Data Center Group, Intel said the company estimated - it was the #1 supplier of SSDs to the datacenter - with "an SSD drive business worth around $1 billion."

Kaminario logo - clock for more info

15 - Kaminario

Up 4 places.

In this quarter Kaminario reaffirmed the legitimacy of its claims to be faster - by announcing its results in 2 audited benchmarks:-
  • SPC-2 price performance - in which the same Kaminario system (above) beat a bunch of named competitors in a cost effectiveness comparison for high end transaction processing

EMC logo - click for more info

16 - EMC

Up 8 places.

In November 2013 EMC launched a legal suit against Pure Storage alledging that former EMC personnel had taken with them detailed customer related market information.

Seagate logo - click for  more info

17 - Seagate

Up 6 places.

In this quarter Seagate didn't launch any significant SSD products and the company didn't do anything newsworthy related to the SSD market.

Despite that lack of proactive SSD market activity - Seagate was often named in speculative rumors on the internet as being involved in so called "acquisition" talks with various distressed SSD companies. As a sanity check here - I'd like to say that if even a small percentage of these rumors which have appeared in recent years (linked to Seagate) had any serious foundation - then statistically by now Seagate would be the unhappy owner of more unsynergistic SSD companies than they would know what to do with. It's sometimes laughable to see the incompatible pairings which get floated in such SSD stories on some SSD news sites.

Seagate doesn't publish data about its SSD revenue or shipments. In an earnings conference call in January 2014 - when asked specifically about the SSD market Seagate said it "sees a need for confidentiality due to competitive concerns."

Seagate also said in the same earnings call that it continues to look at organic growth and inorganic growth (acquisitions and IP licensing) in its SSD product portfolio. (Sadly that's all the excuse needed by some SSD bloggers to start new rumors on any given slow news day.)

Bitmicro logo - click for more info


Up 2 places.

BiTMICRO didn't make any significant new SSD product announcements in the 2nd half of 2013.

Tegile logo - click for more info

19 - Tegile Systems

Up 7 places.

Tegile Systems is the highest ranked vendor in this edition of the Top SSD Companies List whose primary business is hybrid SSD arrays - rather than SSD drives or SSD systems.

In this quarter Tegile continued to feed the newswires with stories about "awards" from various publications including:- The hybrid SSD storage pool market / SSD ASAP market - which began with the first auto caching appliance shipments in September 2009 - remains a business opportunity which is still largely under exploited.

One of the reasons for this is the bewildering number and nature of different types of solutions being thrown at users - mostly as opportunistic line extensions by vendors whose core products are really (at heart) something else.

In such a market - a focused and integrated vendor like Tegile - for whom this is their main product - has all the marketing communications advantages of a single superhero technology narrative. (And it doesn't hurt that this superhero is presented as helping underdogs get results which they know they can't otherwise afford - and also without having to place their trust in the theoretically predicted performance outcomes of a multi-vendor integration casino.)

Virtium logo - click for more info

20 - Virtium

Frst appearance in these lists.

In this quarter Virtium announced that Michael Nilsson (who had previously been VP of sales at Stec) had joined Virtium as senior VP of sales.

RunCore SSDs click for more info

21 - RunCore

Down 4 places.

In this quarter RunCore didn't make any significant SSD announcements.

WD logo - click for more info

22 - Western Digital

Down 1 place.

In the 2nd half of 2013 - WD was a company which was busy acquiring even more SSD companies than it had done before. Its SSD reprocessing center - for the enterprise market anyway - seemed to be HGST.

Is all this going to work?

We'll have to see in future editions of this list.

But if it doesn't - you have to give credit to WD's management that they have been putting a lot of effort into inflating the SSD life raft - in readiness for the predicted and inevitable market floods which will one day wash away the enterprise hard drive market - even if those SSD clouds still seem far away right now.

HGST logo

23 - HGST

Down 5 places.

In this quarter - you might interpret the market's downgrading of HGST in this way...

WD had confirmed (by spending all that money on other enterprise SSD acquisitions) - that the SSD assets it had gotten in acquiring HGST (a SAS SSD product and an enterprise SSD controller - which HGST had also supplied to Intel for use in PCIe SSDs) still fell a long way short of being enough to provide an adequate enterprise SSD portfolio.

Greenliant logo - click for more

24 - Greenliant

Up 1 place.

In this quarter Greenliant announced it had acheived ISO 9001:2008 Certification.

Toshiba logo - click for more

25 - Toshiba


In this quarter Toshiba agreed to acquire the SSD assets of OCZ.

This was discussed in more detail earlier in this article.

And you can see how I thought it might change things for each company by clicking on the profile pages for each company and reading the recent articles in there.

And what about all those other (575+) SSD companies not named above?

The SSD market is now big enough to enable many SSD ecosystem companies to have very viable businesses - even when they aren't 1 of the top 25 or so SSD companies.

If you work at a company which isn't in the list yet - but would like to be - here's some simple advice.
  • get better
  • work harder
  • remember to let people know when you have exited stealth mode
More from me - as usual on the SSD news page etc.

Note:- Rankings above are based on analyzing the search activity of SSD readers on who came from over 148,000 different servers which accessed our SSD content in the 3 months period ending December 31, 2013.

The rankings above are based on multiple types of search and browsing activity - and after filtering out unreliable and fake searches coming from robots and spam intended to subvert rankings for criminal or malicious reasons. Our rankings and tie breakers also use data from some other SSD related internet sources from time to time.

You can read more about the significance and track record of this methodology in predicting and observing SSD market intentions in earlier editions of this article.


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what changed in SSD year 2013?
SSD endurance - the forever war
the Top SSD Companies 2007 to 2014
about the publisher - 22 years guiding the enterprise

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"Out of all the companies which have had at least one appearance in the top 10 section of's Top SSD Companies list in the past 2 years - 7 have been acquired."
the big SSD idea changes in 2013?

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Many factors at play in enterprise SSD market behavior still don't appear as explicit assumptions in SSD product marketing plans.

One contributory cause for gaps in segmental understanding has been the continuing pace of disruptive innovation in enterprise SSD-land - which has meant there hasn't been a stable market template for vendors to follow from one seemingly chaotic year to the next as they encroach on new markets.

Smaller nuances of user behavior (which are easier to discern as patterns in a stable market) easily get lost under the noise created by headline technology changes and the market's apparent willingness to slaughter and discard once loved past industry leaders.
Decloaking hidden segments in the enterprise

what's an uber super leading SSD company?

narrowing the gap at the top

of the top SSD companies list
In 2009 - the year that Fusion-io first got to the #1 spot in the Top SSD Companies List - the difference in search volume between the #1 and #2 ranked companies in this list was more than 2x - meaning that the #1 company had 100% more search volume than the #2.

The scale of that difference was maintained for 4 years. But that all changed in 2013. I reported on this change in past editions - and you can see the significance of the changes for yourself now.

In Q2 2013 the #1 company had 45% more search volume than the #2.

In Q3 2013 the #1 company had 20% more search volume than the #2.

In Q4 2013 (the quarter this edition of the list you're reading now is based on) the #1 company had only 11% more search volume than the #2.

That's a material change.

What about the companies lower down the list?

How have those ratios changed?

The #2 company in this quarter got 2x the search volume of the #3 ranked company.

And the #1 company in this quarter got 15x the search volume of the #20 ranked company.

So the gap in visibility between companies at the top of the list and the bottom of the list has widened a bit in the past few years. But the significant thing is that the SSD market is big enough and diverse enough to recognise more than one ultimate leader.

This is something I had anticipated in market models for enterprise SSDs published several years ago.

My reasoning at that time was that technically it would be possible for vendors to be the leading companies in their own application silos at the same time as competing vendors were being leaders in other silos, or even when these other leaders were in the same silo - but doing things in a different preferred way as percieved by users. The differences between application silos for SSDs which are differentiated by technology - and which of these technical differences is worthy of analysis as a different marketing segment or not is a complex subject in its own right. I'll be covering some of that in a future article - Decloaking hidden segments in the enterprise for rackmount SSDs

Suffice it to say that in the future - when thinking about leadership in the SSD market - I think you'll get better clarity by thinking of a more than a single SSD company being #1.

This may become a duo, trinity or cluster of #1 SSD companies - which by virtue of their market position - are thought of as being super leaders - even when compared to the next 20 or so leading companies in the SSD market.

I could be wrong, however. We'll see in future news how things work out.


"I had the benefit of the brick wall of ignorance. Not knowing what couldn't be done."
Skyera's CEO, in the article - scary Skyera

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notes about recently acquired companies
In this quarter I've kept the listings for some of the companies which were acquired as separate line items.

So - for example - STEC and Virident each have their own listings - instead of these metrics being bundled into the new managing SSD entity - which is HGST. There are 2 reasons I've done this:-
  • it gives better transparency for where reader interest originated, and
  • the experience of past years shows that after a company has been acquired - the acquiring company doesn't immediately inherit the same type of reader search patterns.
In future quarters I'll reassess the way of analyzing and combining the results for these acquired companies.

It's not a new problem - because highly ranked SSD companies have been hot acquisition targets in previous years too. In most cases - within 1 to 2 years - better clarity emerges for readers about the differences between the old and new identities - and the search rankings adjust to new levels depending on the aggregated new view of the market.






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why aren't readers looking for our SSDs?
Editor:- April 1, 2014 - I got an email this morning from a marketer at an SSD company which I won't name here to avoid embarrassment..

He said he'd seen the Top SSD Companies series - and wondered what his company might have to do - in order to appear in it.

I recognized the company name.

By my pro-active research they've had a minimalistic listing here on since they entered the SSD market in 2010.

But to steer the conversation to a measured start - I looked at my incoming emails - and discovered that his company had never before today contacted me about their SSDs, and had never been mentioned in an email from an SSD reader. (Which adds up to a lot of SSD emails.)

So I guess my answer is this.

If an SSD company has never bothered to reach out in the past to millions of my SSD readers - then don't expect those same readers to make looking for your SSD products their top priority.

This is perfectly serious - and not an April fool story.

I've been geting emails like this from SSD marketers every month for the past 7 years - since 2007 - which is when the Top SSD Companies list began.

See also:- Recommended web marketing sites




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PCIe chips from PLX - click for more info
switches for leading PCIe SSD designs
ExpressLane from PLX Technology


"A critical test of whether you really understand the dynamics of a complex market like enterprise SSDs - is whether you can predict what rational buyers might do when offered new product options at the extreme limits of - for example - price."
Boundaries Analysis in SSD Market Forecasting





This market is at the stage of "we can't afford not to participate" rather than "we see clearly how to make money."
hostage to the fortunes of SSD



Many SSD marketers I talk to nowadays regard the price per gigabyte of their latest product almost as a badge of honor. But it wasn't always like that. SSD pricing used to be a taboo subject.
SSD Pricing - articles and trends




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industrial SATA SSDs
efficiently matched to embedded needs
StorFly – from Virtium








how's your own favorite SSD company doing?
Editor:- February 14, 2014 - In past editions of the Top SSD Companies - there used to be a little note at the end which said something like this...

"If your own company isn't listed above but you'd like to know approximately what its rank would be - based on the same methodology - and if you're the founder or a senior VP in the company you're asking about - then just send me an email (from your company email address) and I'll let you know."

That note got dropped / detached in recent editions (simply because the articles were already very long) but my offer of this free service is still available. And you can nowadays initiate the first contact via linkedin. But we'll move switfly from there onto regular email - because email progresses faster without all those other distractions.

Over the years I also extended the reach of this market data service in other ways:-
  • ask how your own (unranked) SSD company ranks compared to another company (maybe a competitor)
  • as well as the relative rankings - I often suggest an interpretation of why one company may be doing better or worse than the other (if I can think of an obvious reason)
  • and a great many years ago I also - informally - extended the ranking report offer to include significant institutional investors so they could compare 2 privately owned SSD companies - based on the same search metrics.
I've got a lot of data which can help decision makers in the SSD industry. Only a proportion of these insights ever make it into articles. But the more questions I get - the more insights I learn too.

These private requests are treated confidentially and I ask that you don't publish the results too.

The risk of how you interpret and act on the data is yours alone.

But it can often reveal that a company - which may be content with what it's doing - should really be aspiring to do better.

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