Cloudwords: Solving a Content Marketing Pain Point, One Language at a Time


If you have enterprise responsibility for your content marketing, you know well the time, and the expense, to take a great piece of content to a global and fragmented audience is daunting.  You create a great e-book on, say, marketing automation and it’s months later that it sees the light in the Philippines or China, for example.

Here comes Cloudwords to the rescue.  Cloudwords was founded five years ago by Scott Yancey (now the CEO), a former Salesforce and a neuroscientist by training, to cut those workflows down to size.  With funding from Marc Benioff and others, and a recognizable list of big brand use cases, Yancey is off and running to be the next big deal in content marketing by tackling the enormous time suck of translation services.

I caught up with Scott a while back after having been introduced by Jeff Hayzlett.  “Tom Friedman predicted eleven years ago that the world was getting flatter.  But getting your content distributed is still stuck in the stone ages,” notes Yancey. 

Cloudwords is not a translation service per se; in fact, Yancey believes that human intervention is still required for valid communication, but Cloudwords works with your existing translation bot. It also attacks the workflows with its SAAS-based solution so that you can tie all your processes together in one platform. It is so effective at reducing time and cost that one client, Hach, of the Danaher companies, when they connected Cloudwords to Marketo, took their campaigns in 26 languages and was able to create 61% more global campaigns in half the time and resources.

How big is this market?  Yancey estimates the entire translation-dependent content marketing market at $ 37B; Microsoft alone spends $ 100M on translation services. This represents an enormous opportunity, but unfortunately for Yancey, he’s pretty much out there alone at the moment.  His biggest problem is awareness of the solution.

“There’s no Gartner magic quadrant for translation services,” says Yancey, who remains focused on his product but ambitious. “I don’t see why we can’t be the next big great SAAS company – I think we could be a stand-alone public company that dominates the space.”

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On the Importance of Solving the Right Problem


Elon Musk
Elon Musk takes a long view on opportunities, and by doing so he manages to solve the problem that affects those results in the present moment. Watch this TED conversation with Chris Anderson for examples.

The most salient at minute 15:12 (emphasis mine):

That’s right. So it’s important that the rocket stages be able to come back, to be able to return to the launch site and be ready to launch again within a matter of hours.

[…] Yes. (Reusable rockets) And so what a lot of people don’t realize is, the cost of the fuel, of the propellant, is very small. It’s much like on a jet. So the cost of the propellant is about .3 percent of the cost of the rocket.

So it’s possible to achieve, let’s say, roughly 100-fold improvement in the cost of spaceflight if you can effectively reuse the rocket. That’s why it’s so important.

Every mode of transport that we use, whether it’s planes, trains, automobiles, bikes, horses, is reusable, but not rockets. So we must solve this problem in order to become a space-faring civilization.

How can we save the rocket? Solves the right problem — create opportunity for more frequent experimentation to learn more by making it more sustainable financially.

Shane Parrish [h/t] shares a remark later in the interview on why physics is a good framework for thinking boil things down to its fundamental truths and build up from that. He calls it physics and I can see the danger of labeling it so specifically. In some cultures we are a literal bunch.

Learning how to discover new things that are counter-intuitive can be done systematically through better practice. Here is Elon Musk Reddit AMA on the importance of learning to learn.


Conversation Agent – Valeria Maltoni