Sapient was founded on November 6, 1990. The two founders, Jerry Greenberg and Stuart Moore, met at Cambridge Technology Partners, an IT services company located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The co-founders recognized the need for a different type of mindset in the IT consulting world. Sapient chose to use a fixed-term, fixed-price model for pricing projects, rather than charging on a time and materials basis. In addition, Greenberg and Moore relied on their own resources instead of venture capital to fund the company’s operations. This allowed them to keep control of the organization and set long-term strategic goals. During this period, Sapient was also an early adopter of internet-based technology, and internet-based work grew to over 70% of total revenue by 1999. Both client satisfaction and the pioneering use of the internet led to rapid growth in the period from 1992 to 2000, with revenue growing from $950,000 in 1992 to $503 million in 2000.
After a period of contraction after the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s, Sapient looked overseas to grow a substantial portion of revenue, rising over 30% in only 3 years. This growth was driven by a strategy called “Global Distributed Delivery,” which sought to capitalize on the quickly growing tech market in India to grow Sapient’s software development capabilities. The operations in India would supplement project teams globally. As Sapient has sought to expand its business as a leader in an emerging market, the company has made several strategic acquisitions in its history. Sapient’s first high-profile acquisition was of Planning Group International (PGI) in 2006, which greatly expanded Sapient’s experiential marketing and UX capabilities. Another important acquisition was DCG group in 2008, which augmented its existing capital markets offerings. In 2009, Sapient announced its largest acquisition; the $50 mil acquisition of The Nitro Group, which added 300 employees. This acquisition also helped define three separate business units within Sapient.