The Santa Monica-based business was founded with the intent of empowering people through learning and the belief that a company’s greatest competitive advantage should be their staff. Since their inception, they have built upon their original mission to educate employees – largely through acquisitions and strategic partnerships like their purchase of small business hiring platform provider Workpop, acquisition of microlearning solutions service Grovo, and, most recently, their partnership with sales development platform provider Sandler Training in 2019.
Cornerstone OnDemand was founded by Adam Miller and Steven Seymour, they launched the company from Miller’s one-bedroom apartment back in 1999. About starting up his online training software company, Miller said: “I have always enjoyed education. I spent a lot of time in school, and I always had a strong interest technology. I wanted to bring this together, and we started…[Cornerstone] which provided corporate training and education for adults.”
The early 2000s was not an optimal time to be a fledgling IT firm but in the words of venture capitalist Fred Wilson, “nothing important has ever been built without irrational exuberance.” The company operated for the first six years under the name CyberU but changed gears – and names – in 2005. Miller and Seymour bootstrapped their business during those early years and when they were ready to seek out funding, they realized it wasn’t going to be the battle many thought it would be.
In a 2007 interview, Miller was asked how difficult it had been to attract investors. As it turns out, not very difficult at all: “…[We] are an on-demand software company, and that’s very hot now. We’re very profitable, with a significant backlog and good revenue visibility,” Miller said. “It was a low risk. It was more of a function of why would we take the money at this point, which was to capitalize on this opportunity. We had strong interest in the round, it was a competitive process, and we chose the right two firms.”
And of course these days the company is on even more solid footing and focused on future growth ahead. “Online training is a major component of a successful sales enablement strategy, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed teams,” said Josh Schwede, VP of content, Cornerstone, of their new partnership deal. “By partnering with Sandler Training, we are able to provide our clients with world-class training content that will empower them to be even more competitive and close more deals.”
Cornerstone now offers solutions that help their clients strategically manage and cultivate their workforce spanning the complete career lifecycle – including recruitment, customized learning, performance management, and HR planning. They have over 3,500 global customers and work with more than 40 million people in 43 languages every day.