Building The World’s Best Data Drilling Operation with Brian O’Keefe

Episode Overview

About the Guest

Brian O’Keefe is CEO of Vertical Knowledge (VK), a data products, insights, and intelligence company. VK gives data-savvy organizations across all sectors the ability to collect, refine, and apply publicly available data to solve problems, make decisions, and gain advantage.

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In this episode, Brian shares his journey of going from Sergeant Major in the Army to becoming CEO of a $40M data services company over an 18-month period.

Topics by Timestamp



0:00 Kanhai Introduces Brian
1:18 Brian Explains What Vertical Knowledge (VK) Does and Who it serves (VK)
1:56 Understanding Who is And Isn’t a VK Customer
3:56 Overview of Public Data That VK Collects
5:17 Key Success Factors in Public Data Collection
5:17 Why PE said yes to an unproven CEO
5:17 Learned the business from the ground up in 6-9 months.
5:17 Restructuring VK – Why, How, and Lessons Learned
5:17 Brian’s hindsight on addressing technical debt vs. premature optimization, using the P&L to make better decisions, and the CEO retaining accountability for results.
5:17 Strategies for scaling up, from $40M


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Resources mentioned in the episode: