It has been almost three years since I joined the ranks of ExactTarget after leaving an agency I helped start in 2007. Calling my time here an adventure would be a gross understatement. Because of Scott Dorsey’s leadership (and many more people… too many to name) we witnessed the buying of two companies, an IPO and the eventual acquisition by one of the top cloud companies in the world. It has been an amazing journey and one I will more than likely… never experience again.
However, I do believe that change is necessary when trying to live a fulfilled and successful life. Your ability to anticipate change and use it to your advantage is a skill that all business professionals should hone. With that said, my official last day at Salesforce will be December 30th.
It would take a novel to write down everything I have learned (and I almost wrote one below), the people met and the friends made… however… I do think it is important to call out some of my favorite experiences and the people who have shaped my time at ExactTarget and the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
1. Meeting my wife. She booked a lunch meeting that I attended. I asked her out (stalked her) on Facebook and the rest is history.
2. Building the Content Marketing Team. Jeff Rohrs helped push for the content marketing team in October 2012 and I was lucky enough to lead it. Every single member (both past and present) have taught me a ton about leadership and building something successful. You are all the best. We built something special over the last two years. It wasn’t always easy but it was fun. A couple of my favorites > Santa Uses Salesforce Video, ExactTarget Blog, Email Swipe File and the State of Marketing report.
3. Joining the Thought-Leadership Team – Jeff Rohrs and Joel Book taught me how to actually tell a story when building a presentation. We built presentation decks that ranged from 70 to 100 slides which were then delivered in 45 minutes. We were damn good. I had the opportunity to present at over 100 conferences. You can’t pay for that type of experience.
4. Visiting over 10 Countries and the Friends Made – I wish I could list every story and person who touched my life through ExactTarget / Salesforce over the past three years. From Australia to Germany, I’ve had the opportunity to present all over the world.
5. Working with and for Salesforce. There is a reason that Salesforce is ranked one of the top companies to work for in the world. They are extremely good at what they do. I’ve learned so much over the past year after the acquisition. Lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my professional career.
Sorry for the book but it is highly unlikely that I will ever have this type of experience again. I believe that ExactTarget was originally built with the employee and customer experience at the forefront… an experience that will last a lifetime for many people lucky enough to have worked here.
So what will I be doing?
I’m pleased to announce that on January 5th I will be joining OpenView Partners, a venture capital firm in Boston, as their Head of Marketing Strategy. I’m pretty pumped.
OpenView was founded in 2006 and the executive team has decades of investing and operating experience (including ExactTarget). With just under $700 million in assets, they invest between $5-$20 million in B2B software companies that have demonstrated product market fit with clear path to $1-$15 million in annual revenue.
My favorite part about OpenView? They take a very detailed approach to helping their portfolio clients. It is not only about cash but also about recruiting and marketing strategy for each company.
This does mean that Rachel and I will be relocating to Boston this spring/summer. It is bittersweet to be leaving Indianapolis, a city that has a growing technology scene and some of my best friends in the world. However, life is made up of experiences and sometimes extreme change is the only way to grow and learn.
Please keep in touch oh… and definitely come visit Boston. The view at OpenView is pretty sweet.