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Valerie Lanard

Senior Software Engineering Manager at Salesforce

I find I am constantly being asked electronically to select which one industry my company falls into, on forms, surveys, business transactions. This drives me crazy, because my company truly spans (at least) 2 primary industries, and I identify strongly with both. I assume this is true for many of us. So how do you decide when you are asked this question and have to pick one answer?

If your product/service serves a purpose to the end customer, be it in healthcare or education or finance, whatever, but the means with which you serve this purpose is through a technological solution that you build and spend all your time working on (hardware or software or internet), how do you describe yourself with one industry? As a technology company or a healthcare/education/finance/whatever company?

Note that this is not about positioning in ads or pitches or anything consumer-facing, it's about identity, and the thought processes behind it. Obviously at the end of a day, what you put on a form may make very little material difference, but constantly being asked this question in this way makes me wonder how other founders resolve it.