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Proclivity's Prediction Software Is In Style

Proclivity Systems, which predicts trends with its e-commerce "predictive engine," is looking like a trendsetter itself. The New York startup has moved into Fifth Avenue office space, and upscale retailer Barneys New York is a reference customer. Founder and CEO Sheldon Gilbert recently took a break from selling software to be photographed for Men's Vogue.
Proclivity Systems, which predicts trends with its e-commerce "predictive engine," is looking like a trendsetter itself. The New York startup has moved into Fifth Avenue office space, and upscale retailer Barneys New York is a reference customer. Founder and CEO Sheldon Gilbert recently took a break from selling software to be photographed for Men's Vogue.Don't get me wrong -- Proclivity Systems is a serious software company. Founded in 2006, the company introduced its flagship Proclivity Mail system eight months ago. The platform analyzes Web site activity for automated e-mail marketing campaigns. Barneys New York says Proclivity produced "dramatic results," doubling the open and click-through rates of its e-mail marketing campaigns and resulting in conversion rates 30 times higher than before.

The company and its 32-year-old founder have received attention from an unusual variety of media. Men's Vogue, a style magazine, profiled Gilbert in December. In March, the New York Times'Media & Advertising section identified Proclivity as providing the back-end analysis system in a one-to-one marketing application created for Alaska Airlines. In April, Reuters did a piece on Proclivity and Barneys. In May, it was Fast Company's turn.

I met Sheldon Gilbert a few weeks ago when he came by InformationWeek's office to talk about Proclivity's predictive engine. You can see the interview below.