If I Had To Pick Top Thing I Look For In People I Hire

ancient craftsmenI think a lot about hiring the right people. It is almost to the level of obsession for me to understand how each colleague I hired has become the craftsmen they are.

As technology, tools, and knowledge are becoming highly available, age isn’t much of a factor anymore. Some of us are lucky to have parents, who exposed us, to what we ended up falling in love with as our craft while others stumbled into theirs later in life. I am the one who stumbled into business operations in my early 20s, but I have colleagues who discovered themselves in their early teens.

When you meet someone, who to their essence, is in the right craft, conversations you get are very different. Where they learned, where they worked before are just not a factor.

If you built it, you would talk about it. It does not matter, if you are talking to a craftsman, who is introvert or extrovert, this person just talks about how they built something their passionate about. The level of detail they can get into, the thinking process, the joys of success and the pain of stumbles – all in captivating detail.

I want that passion, I want that knowledge, I want to be around makers.

The Hardest Skill To Master – Empathy

Empathy and EncouragementAny growing venture is hard. My last three years have been at an incredible pace with days blurring into weeks and months. It does not have to be a startup, it could be a lifestyle business, it could be a mid-size business. The faster the growth, the more extreme are the swings and tensions. It is way too easy to lose sight of what matters, end up with agenda, and kill your relationship.

So how do we survive and thrive?

It all starts with empathy. The more the person you should be supporting is different, the harder it is for you to relate and understand where the other person stands. You are ineffective without the empathy. So you must try to gain understanding about what is affecting your colleague. Maybe something in personal life is bothering them, or they are at the edge of their wits at work, or maybe there was a string of setbacks or lack of progress, etc. You have to care about their pain to be effective. There will be a day you will need their empathy.

What you may think are variables within their control, might not be the case at all. Let me use sales as an example. There are certain times in the year (usually clustered around holidays) when hitting those sales numbers might be much more challenging. Even the best seasonality models are off almost all the time. You thinking that if this person “makes the calls and will make the sales” may make sense during your typical month, but not when the school is out, or storm screwed up daycare plans, or market developed some macroeconomic fears. Understand and embrace that. Then you may end up with a much clearer view of what can this person affect and that is where your help and motivation are most valuable.

Create new options instead of poking holes. I know I sometimes really stumble on this, being extremely pragmatic. Criticizing is the easiest option with highest social cost. You can insert your opinion until your face is blue and do nothing but waste time and cause further demotivation. Likely, if this person knows their craft, they already introspected and are dealing with the issues. To be most effective, you have to create new options. Think of new concrete suggestions you can provide. Maybe this person was so in the weeds, they weren’t able to see that one additional option you noticed. Be generous with help. You may not always get the credit, but you will always gain appreciation. At the end of the day, having someone to go to, when you are stuck, is invaluable.

Dismount that “high horse”. The biggest fallacy is to assume the other person has an easy problem. Likely that is just an opinion not based on actually doing the job. And if you think the problem is easy, get off your high horse and get your hands dirty. You don’t get to say “that is an easy problem to fix,” one doing the job is the only one entitled to make the statement. Either help do the job or move along.

Look for wins other person is not seeing. If you ever read the “The Progress Principle,” you know how important it is to recognize even small milestones/wins. Recognition breeds motivation. When you are “in the weeds”, you lose sight of your wins, because survival instincts kick in.
Conflicts are not inevitable. Conflict, at times, is good between people who respect and value each other. But in the end, if you are in the same battle together, compassion goes a long way

Scalable SaaS Best Practices: The Legal Agreements Discipline

SaaS legal documents MSASaaS is a beautiful business model. Most modern companies owe their efficiency to cost savings that services provided under SaaS model bring to the table. But sometimes week or day does not pass without someone sending me back marked up MSA (master services agreement). And every time my answer is the same: “I am sorry, but all our customers are under same MSA, and we don’t allow edits”.

Look, I would love to do business like my father did – handshake agreements. But that isn’t something possible in a globalized economy. So here is why being very disciplined about using same legal agreements makes sense:

  • Few SaaS companies have in-house counsels, good law firms charge several hundred dollars per hour for their attorneys, and even if you have worked with thousands of legal docs in your career; there is no way you can keep up with changes in the laws of each jurisdiction. Costs of customizing AND compliance with custom terms not only are hard to amortize but if you did, too often you would need to increase the price of your offering many times that market would perceive competitive.
  • Which leads me to the next point: your sales team will complain about longer sales cycle and that they will lose deals. In my personal experience running operations in 4 SaaS companies, that hasn’t been the case. Not only haven’t I seen any change in sales cycles in general, but with larger customers it often speeds the process up, because you aren’t going through multiple rounds of doc review and edits. Have there been occasions where contract size shrunk from projected? Definitely, but I have enough fingers on my hand to count how many time that happened in my 11 years in SaaS. Even then, the lost revenue would have been eaten up anyway by much higher operating costs.
  • “But we just want something minor. We need a change in law/jurisdiction/venue”. That is a very common request and counsel after counsel has “beaten” into me how “little” things like that will make portions of your contracts unenforceable. Your staff is trained in specific operational practices, your product is architected to follow certain regulations, your insurance policies were underwritten based on the risk of contracts you use, and you already shelled out boatload of cash to get your legal docs done right – be disciplined, do not undermine your business.

But if you must, if you absolutely can’t say no to that humongous customer (which is dangerous, since those requests don’t slow down, and now they have huge leverage on you), amortize all those costs. If you have history of certain type of customers demanding you accept their MSA or marked up version of yours, you should:

  • #1 quote the SaaS fee 3X of what you think you need to cover your costs. Because you likely will barely break even. Large customers require large overhead. Be fair to your business and price it right.
  • Procure separate cyber liability policy just to cover the contract.
  • Fight tooth and nail to make sure your monetary liability clauses stay within exactly what was paid by the customer in the last one year and nothing more. Push for each party to be responsible for own legal fees.
  • And while you are doing the negotiations, please make sure stakeholders on your team, who will need to make sure compliance is there with the new terms, actually understand what you are getting them into and how it will affect them.

3 Questions 90% of Sales Job Candidates Fail

Sales funnelI have started my career in sales as a talent agent. Selling to college market, which is more brutal than selling enterprise SaaS, gave me an immense appreciation for the job of being the sales rep. I also had the pleasure working with some founders early on, who had the same appreciation for art and science of the sale and invested in training/professional development. I have done Sandler, Challenger, etc. Jeff Hoffman’s (SalesMBA) one is my favorite by far. A lot of reputable SaaS companies, at least in Boston, run their own “flavor” of Jeff’s methodology. Maybe because he teaches how to think and not what to think. It is a lot more empathetic style of selling.
So it is no surprise when it comes to recruiting sales reps, I have developed screening techniques based on what I have learned from Jeff.

Here are the questions I ask and context for why:

1. Why do you feel you would be successful at selling our product? 
I want to learn how well you research and sell. Unfortunately, the vast majority of times I see very generic statements in the answers and lack of any research. If you don’t invest your time in studying our product and our team, you will do same to your prospects, and your close rate will suffer.

2. If you were to prospect, who would you target? Looking for titles, types of companies, verticals, etc.
Fortunately, about half of the candidates answer this question well. What I am looking for is how you balance your approach. It is too easy and unrealistic to say you are selling to the CEO, so naming the right buyer personas just shows me your ramp up time will be shorter.

3. In your last sales role what was your quota, ACV, and quota attainment?
This question may be simple, but it makes over 90% of candidates fail. A successful rep knows their numbers cold. Everyone I had the honor working with could answer this question for every sales job they held. If you don’t care about your metrics, if you don’t obsess about improving yourself, and measuring that improvement, you won’t make it on our team. This question cripples most candidates more than it should. If you state to me, that you always beat your quota, but can’t give me specific on what it was, what was your average ACV, how many deals, what was your demo to close rate, what were your best months, what was your “ramp” to quota, etc. you are missing an opportunity to be your best.This question may be simple, but it makes over 90% of candidates fail. A successful rep knows their numbers cold. Everyone I had the honor working with could answer this question for every sales job they held. If you don’t care about your metrics, if you don’t obsess about improving yourself, and measuring that improvement, you won’t make it on our team. This question cripples most candidates more than it should. If you state to me, that you always beat your quota, but can’t give me specific on what it was, what was your average ACV, how many deals, what was your demo to close rate, what were your best months, what was your “ramp” to quota, etc. you are missing an opportunity to be your best.

Past performance is merely an indicator how well you did on your previous teams with their product. It is not uncommon for a rep with seemingly good resume fail to ramp up in their new job. Investing in your prospect (in this case company you want to work for), understanding what you will sell, and knowing you accurate performance KPIs can dramatically increase the likelihood you will be the top performer in your next sales role.

Image credit: Joe The Goat Farmer

Why Bad Mouthing Competitors Is Bad For Business And How To Handle It Better

Don't Bad Mouth CompetitorsIn the early days, your company hasn’t earned the attention, so there was no “bullseye” on your back. There was no real sellable product, so there was no competition. But then the product is seeing the daylight of the market. People are noticing you, and you are starting to notice competitors you never knew existed. And the fun part begins, because if there is no competition, there is no need for what your team has built.
The more you are out there, the more people will compare you to the competition. That is human nature. How you answer is what will distinguish you as a pro. And that is when the temptation to speak negatively of those you are being compare it is just bad for you business. But why?

As a side note for context, I am used to being the main person buying everything for the company. Signing up for services, negotiating the agreements, and dealing with vendors is my cup of tea. In any given day, I may be the one asking those questions. What I hear will often lead to quick end of communication or us becoming a customer/client.

Nobody likes negative Nelly!

We love doing business with people we like. In our daily communication, we hear negativity too often. Don’t add to it. Be the delightful part of the day in your future customer’s life. Keep it positive!

Trash talking is often a sign of weakness and fear

Consciously or subconsciously we perceive people, who talk bad about their competitors, as fearful and weak. Don’t detract from the product your team worked so hard to build. Positivity conveys confidence.

Talking bad about competitor may be insulting decision your prospect may have made

Often the prospect to is likely unhappy with what they have bought, and they want to change the situation. They may feel may be unhappy with themselves about it. Why kick someone, when they are down. Help this person feel good. Maybe your competitor’s product was the right choice for the situation your buyer thought he/she had at the time. Needs change. Be the right solution for the new need.

What are the three most common questions and how to handle them better

How does your product compare?

This is the perfect opportunity to listen and learn. Ask the prospect what they care about the most and talk about how your team chose to address those needs. Pointing out how you think competitor chose to approach it in a positive tone likely will may you look even better. The temptation to stray into negativity may be strong. Overcome it! If you listen well, you will be well equipped to help your prospect get his/her team to buy in. How many times you will end up the winner of the deal will surprise you. For the bonus, if you help them with the research, you are the one telling the story, not your competitor.

Why are you more expensive than a competitor?

Share what makes you think your product is worth what it is. Unless there are huge glaring differences (like comparing Ford to Ferrari), ignore the competitor comparison part and focus on your value. In the end, what your customer pays is/should be the reflection of what value they see in your product.

Why does your competitor have feature X, but you don’t?

Again, this is a perfect opportunity to tell the story why your team chose to approach a problem in a certain way. Share the logic, share the inspiration for it, share how you think you have taken care of it. Your competitors? They simply chose to look at the problem differently. Sometimes you are the right answer; sometimes your competitor has the one – help your customer feel you are the one with the answer they want.
In the end, even if they choose your competitor, you get to walk away with lessons learned and new information often invaluable for your product team.

Reflections on Raising Money and Fetishes of Those Watching

Raising Money Startup FetishesFor those of us in startups, opening up Twitter means seeing at least 1 or 2 funding announcements every couple hours. And the congratulations and retweets roll in, if you are any good, journalists and bloggers need a piece of you too. But the fanfare and congratulations fizzle out, and you are standing there with all that glitter and confetti on you, yet your customers don’t care. They have problems you promised you would solve yesterday. All those sales people are clogging up your phone lines trying to get at least some of your raised money just does not help.

Yes, my company, Robin Powered, closed a round of funding several months ago. I have been through angel rounds before. And some “friends & family” ones too. Here are my not so fun takeaways:

The Funding High
Look, raising money is absolute hell. Even if you have odds stacked for you, you will have to bust your behind, and it will kill heck of a lot more time than you are willing to admit. Founders will get to experience massive highs and massive lows. Rejections and grinf**kery galore. Add to that often too dragged out due diligence and legal, and what you have is exhausted founders. Thing is, the work has only just begun. That initial spike in attention you got will die off. Your investors want to get paid. Your employees are constantly being recruited by others (and if they are not, get your hiring standards up, way up). Customers want those new features. Pronto! Stat! Back to reality, back to work!

Name That Round Fetish
We have FFF (friends & family & “fools”), seed, seed extension, bridge, mezzanine, A, B, C, D… Can we please stop that madness? Things have changed drastically since my 1st bubble experience in the late 90’s. A lot of things got better, but naming of the rounds and classifying the stage your company – that is some new goofy nonsense. You sold equity to these great investors. You took in $X to grow your company. Done. No more goofy names.

Valuation Voyeurs
I, for one, hope I never have to participate in that fetish, until maybe I get to see an IPO at some point. It is useful for us internally, because a bump in valuation is good morale booster. BUT! And there is always a but. Valuation and other terms are so interconnected these days that you may get what you want with maybe littler extra, but you will pay in much longer due diligence, closing, etc.
Yes, once someone is willing to pay in at $1B valuation, by all means, a worthy topic. Go ahead shout from the rooftops, since you earned it. Anything at a fraction of that – there are are more important things.

Here is the bottom line: “I got the tuna, time to make the sushi”.

Getting VC investment is no different than a sushi chef (because you know, I love sushi) going to fishmonger and getting some top notch tuna. It is just the start and extremely exhausting one. I just want to go to making that sushi, feeding our customers, taking care of our crew, and paying back our investor. Don’t congratulate us on the trip to the fishmonger, come try our sushi, become our regular customer, help us get big that way. Now THAT is what matters.

Case For Not Taking Small Investments and Why Early Employees Are Unsung Heroes of Startups

Early Employees - Unsung Startup HeroesIt does not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me that I am not a stranger to getting into occasional passionate discussion. This weekend I made a statement which caused such discussion. Unfortunately, Twitter is the worst place to have a discussion. Arguments in 140 character format make people extremely susceptible to interpretation and overreaction to the meaning of individual words. Does not help that often people, who were never part of the original conversation, end up getting involved half way without understanding original context. Unlikely a constructive or valuable conversation.

So what the heck did I say?

“Apparently in Boston you are an angel investor if you wrote measly $10K check. If that is the case, half startup employees are super angels”

Now if reading the following makes you pissed off, well I am sorry you feel that way. Having been in the trenches and seen things many of you may not have a chance, it has to be said. Only thing I would soften or change is the word “measly”. OK that is not the correct word. Maybe “insignificant” or “not as impactful as you make it sound” is more fitting. Besides the word choice, here are my points.

  • Maybe that friend or family member giving you $10K makes you feel eternally grateful, and you should. But if this person is not accredited investor and hence does not have the net worth to absorb the loss, I don’t believe you should be taking that money.
    • #1 reason, unsophisticated investors don’t truly understand the risks and require a disproportionate amount of handholding. You end up paying the price down the road in legal and administrative expenses for taking that money.
    • Odds of seeing that money back, let alone getting any kind of return, are in single percentage points. Plus those small money seed round folks get pummeled by investors in ongoing rounds. Unaccredited investor is better of putting that money in mutual funds. You have to assume you will lose investors money, and you will ruin the relationship.
  • Most take those small checks (and yes, I stand by my statement $10K is a tiny check, considering costs to administer it) are usually taken direct without going through professional angel group or Angel List syndicate. You are desperate. You need the money. You need someone to validate you by giving you money (c’mon, be honest). What you end up with is:
    • No proxy, no single point of management for those small investments, so you have to chase them down for documents, signatures, votes. This act of “herding cats” (as one of my friends puts it) detracts you from what you should be doing – developing product and finding early paying beta customers.
    • Then in later rounds you are bound to have most of these small investors sit out the rounds and they get diluted to heck. Now they are bitter and signaling a lack of confidence in you, though really they just can’t afford to pay to play. And since they are not behind an angel group or syndicate, they often naturally will attempt to wield more influence over your decisions than the percentage of ownership they represent. Not all of them do, but you are bound to end up with Carl Icahn, except their investment isn’t significant.
    • But most important: since when doing consulting work or projects on the side is so beneath us? Since when getting courage and asking for money from your 1st customers is such and insurmountable task? At almost every startup I was part of, that is how we paid for development of our products. In 2+ years of my current team building Robin, we’ve managed to get to respectable revenues by asking even early beta customers to pay and taking on projects not related to Robin to help pay the early bills.

Yes, there are rare cases you take in this small check from folks who are extremely useful to your fledgling young venture. These are folks who have succeeded before, have the means to lose that money they gave you, and bring in actual revenue and connections. Fact is that these individuals would help you as much, even if you did not take a dollar from them.

2nd part that was missed by most arguers was my statement about early employees of the company being the real early angel investors. It is not news to most successful founders that 1st 20 people to join your team can make or break your company. Our early teams are the unsung heroes. They are rarely publicly thanked, unlike early investors. That is just not right. Our early employees take higher risk and more abuse than most early investors.

  • Every person I had a chance to recruit, who chose to take huge pay cuts, often under heavy skepticism of their spouses. They are my heroes! They took the huge risk of having a blemish on their resume.
  • “But they get paid a salary!” To add to my statement above, not only they do end up with lower total compensation over time, but also their equity if even granted, is not proportionate to risk they took versus what later folks get. I am yet to hear about one company with anti-dilution clause for down rounds being applied to employees. Even in the case of the exit happening, many will not see the return commensurate to what they have put in.
  • Early employees endure constant changes in strategy, daily uncertainty, stress, failures, mistakes. They do what it takes to make the founders successful. I can’t stress enough the weight of this point, having seen 200+ of my startup brothers and sisters throughout my career serve their companies. Just look what most startups do to the health of early employees!

Like in my own case, we sometimes believe our founders and mission of the company so much, we go to the final day with them. My 1st company out of school landed me with $50K in credit card and other debt. I had to work three jobs to pay everyone back. Never even got a “thank you” or “I am sorry” from the founder who in the end blew it. I am definitely not the only one who had the “pleasure” of personal hell after investing myself in a startup.

You don’t have to agree with me and I don’t expect you to, but I have been long enough in this game and paid my dues to have formed this view.

Male Perspective on Lack of Women in Startups and What Women Can Do About It

Diverse colorsThis article has been brewing in me for a while. I credit some of the biggest wins in my career to the most diverse and smart people around me. Best decisions are made after hearing a broad range of perspectives. You can’t do that in an echo-chamber of people who are exactly same as you and think like you.

As you have seen me tweet, post, and speak in public, I am just not OK with the low numbers of women we have in technical fields and in senior leadership ranks. Though there are more females than males graduating from colleges, browsing most “About” pages of startups, and especially tech companies, will still show you that white or Asian males dominate the teams. I admit my One Mighty Roar team is there too, and I am not OK with that. I am not willing to accept the status quo and frankly I believe I can do something to give my now 11-month old daughter more options for her career. Would not have joined One Mighty Roar team, if they didn’t feel the same.

For the last several years, I made it a point to gather information directly from two highly under-represented groups: males and female African Americans and females of any ethnicity and age group. I am still working on the 1st group, because I got to talk to maybe a handful so far. But where I feel very strongly that I am getting a very nice sample size of data and views is with the 2nd group – females. This is the collection of patterns I have noticed in hundreds of my conversations:

Lack of female role models is really hurting recruitment and retention of females in technical fields and leadership. I have long lost count of how many younger women I know who told me that they prefer to have male mentors and male bosses since many senior level females had been hostile to them. It is as if those ladies, who have made it, have no interest in helping the new generation of females. I have seen it myself first hand, and it bothers me. Battling through cultural and business norms/stereotypes is hard enough and it is beyond me why you would not want to help one who is walking down the same path you did. Fortunately, new generation of female leaders is emerging fast and they don’t seem to have same disdain for being a role models. They are not only willing to mentor, but they are setting up great organizations that teach the necessary skills.

Do not judge sentiment towards women in startups based on forums, article comments, Twitter, etc. Anonymously people always act like animals, male or female. Those most disgusting in their attitude are also those who are the biggest losers. I know of more companies, where men are huge advocates for women than those I call “sausagefests”. We got your message and you can help us build better companies that have gained undeniable strength in diversity. Join a company where founders have the maturity and foresight to hire adults (age has nothing to do with it, it is all about demeanor), and you WILL have great professional experience.

Stop accepting social norms and limitations! We, men, can’t do it for you! It really drives me up the wall, when I have a female I am mentoring, managing, or advising coming up with any excuse why she should not do something for herself. Not too long ago I was talking to a founder of a reputable company, who gave me bunch of reasons why she should not take credit for and be vocal about the success of the business. She only conceded when I asked her who would get all the blame if something massive failed. Same goes for asking for more responsibility, more help, better pay, different schedule, time off, etc.. If you don’t ask, you will not have a chance to get a yes. Speak up! Stand up! Get what you need! If you work with me, this issue will be the 1st one I will address and work to eliminate, because I want to work with an equal. Nobody should be in the business of mind reading.

Bottom line, though we have our share of misogynistic assholes in our midst, I believe the majority of us men were raised right and we want for you what we would want for our mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters – opportunity to succeed and respect.


Photo credit: Chris Metcalf

On Being a New Father and the Struggles, Biases, Lessons Learned While Building a Business

Startup DadFor the past decade and a half, I have read countless articles on how it is impossible to build a successful company and be a good parent at the same time. I call bullshit! Yes, I know, I now owe money to the swear jar, but I’m happy to pay.

Here is the TL;DR for those of you with short attention spans – being a great parent AND running/building a company are complementary to each other. The “hustle” needed to run a successful startup multiples many fold when you have a little human depending on you to win. I had NO IDEA what focus, drive, and effectiveness were until I became a new parent. When you have a little child running at you with arms stretched out and big smile on his/her face AND you have payroll to meet and your colleagues’ livelihoods in your hands, you discover something in you that you never knew existed before.

Yes, being a good parent is a hard job and building a company with all the risks and challenges involved sometimes feels incredibly hard, but here is a strategy to not only make things easier but also do a better job at both:

  1. It is about AND, not OR. Your choices between being a parent and a business builder is all about consciously deciding to build everything around the more positive “AND” choices. It can be done, it is done every day, and you can do it too. I’ve turned down my share of opportunities, because I had no confidence it was an “AND” choice. If you think it is “OR” choice – you won’t be able to make it happen. Seek “AND”!
  2. Without a strong partnership of equals between you and your life partner AND an alignment of values with your business partners, founders, executives, and team, it is a Sisyphean undertaking. When everyone is working towards the same goal at home and at work, you are unstoppable. But, if you can’t get both home and work aligned, you will probably not be successful.
  3. Forget your biases and don’t count on your experience or expertise, because every day will be filled with an endless number of lessons to learn. You will be learning as much as your child and your colleagues. Look at your child(ren) and draw inspiration from their unrivaled curiosity; mirror it and learn from it.  Overcoming the “curse of knowledge” makes you see opportunities and solutions where you thought there were none.
  4. You will make mistakes – lots of them. It will seem like there is no end to them, but just like your child had to fall on his or her bum a lot before learning to run, so will you. If you are learning and progressing, you are doing it right. Progress is the focus.
  5. Take care of yourself, treat yourself, and make sure you do “maintenance”, because it is a marathon and not a sprint. Eating properly, exercising (yes, you can find time with help of your spouse and colleagues), and making sure to take some days off are not an option, they are a prerequisite!

Lastly, remember you are not alone in this. Ever since I became a father, I have started discovering male and female founders and execs of young and rapidly growing, yet solid, companies who are also parents. Most mirrored the points I discussed above.

As a closing thought, I wish I could describe the amount of energy and drive this new journey is giving me. Even when sleep is nonexistent and I’m dealing with the almost unavoidable list of operational, financial, technical, etc work to be done in a rapidly growing business, every day is phenomenal!  I would not be able to do it without the support and understanding from my driven scientist wife AND partners at One Mighty Roar. This is the best time of my life!

New Father, New Team, New Opportunities – Boston, Watch Out!

Greta SinkeviciusNew Father, New Team, New Opportunities – Boston, Watch Out!The past few months have been the most eventful ones in my adult life. Most importantly, I became a father! I have been in startups my entire career, but this new “startup,” my beautiful daughter Greta, has tested my planning, troubleshooting, and iterating abilities while providing me with an incredible amount of “fire”, clarity, focus, and zen-like calm. So, it is probably not surprising that this huge event has also served as a strong catalyst for several other changes.  I took two months off to be new dad and supportive partner (a luxury in the US) and also decided to leave Pixability for the next venture to scale.

My exciting news is that I am joining the One Mighty Roar digital experience agency as a Managing Director and COO. Their team of truly gifted people, stunning list of household name clients, and top secret stuff I can’t talk about just yet is an absolutely irresistible combination to someone who lives and breathes scaling companies! Zach, Sam, and Brian have built the foundation of a pillar Boston company, and I look forward to not only continuing making a name for ourselves here but also opening offices in other US and international locations.

P.S. Becoming a parent, especially in a marriage of equals, is something many people building companies haven’t experienced and therefore don’t truly understand. I will never look at parental leave the same ever again and, I believe having this experience makes me for a more compassionate executive. And yes, the 2 week leave most companies give fathers is cruel and unusual punishment – a separate article on this is coming.