I recently read Larry and Graff’s posts on the origins of ni.com and it took me back. I was at NI from 2004-2014 and worked on the web team or near the web team during that entire decade. I uploaded some additional screenshots to your dropbox account of older web screenshots, but here is what I would say about the early-ish days of our site:
One of my first jobs at NI was to monitor the many Lotus Notes databases that accepted form submissions from ni.com and route the error messages to the appropriate owner. This included the webmaster database, the guestbook databases (one per each branch), the info code redirect database, and the vault documentation database. A few days into the task of forwarding error messages, I decided to figure out the root cause of the errors and just fix it at the source. Once I did that, I made my ‘job’ obsolete. I was chided by my manager (she didn’t last), but I was applauded by Brent Babin, Brent Boecking, Nick Warren, Christer Ljungdahl, and others who were a bit more engineer-minded and leading the web teams at the time. Soon, I took on all of our lead capture forms on the website and managed how they connected to our back end systems and how they were routed to sales. Between our IT department, our Business Analysts, and our Product Marketing Engineers, we did some truly innovative things that were way ahead of their time.
I remember working with a team of data scientists to create a new lead scoring model that gave each prospect a ranking based on their aggregate website behavior. We had built out a predictive model that was based on key web behaviors that people historically took before buying. When I spoke to vendors and marketing technology engineers about what we had done, they were very impressed. It couldn’t have been possible without the smart employees and the culture to innovate. We were given space to think ahead of our time and it paid off.
Regarding the website memories and the history of natinst.com and ni.com, I know my success would not have been possible without Matt Jacobs. Matt taught and mentored countless interns, new grads, transfer hires and up and coming AEs over his time on the web team. No one knows more about where that website came from as well as how it got to exactly where it is today. He has been at NI for over 30 years and he is a foundational fixture for all of us who passed through the ni.com hallways.
Thank you for giving us a platform to share memories… I cherish my time at NI and I still consider myself a part of the family.