Yeah, personally, its a bit hard to believe, but I'm going to work for a company again. It has been a very long time since I have actually reported to someone other than my customers! To be more specific, since my Avanade and startup days in Seattle back in 2004! So why do it now? Quite a few reasons...
#1 - David Kruglov, Jim Duncan, John Honeycutt/Jeff Gunn and the crew
I have know David for over 8 years
now. I have watched him through his ups and downs, MVP after MVP and
intimately know the details of every person that walked through his
company. Through it all, he has maintained a level of energy and
integrity that I have not seen in any other owner of a company that I
have met in our little consulting space. David works hard and plays
hard, but not as crazy as some of the other CEO's I know out there
(especially you ones from down under)! David has worked his ass off to
get to a point where he has learned how to play this game. It has
definitely not been without some missteps that he undoubtedly learned
from. He has some pretty amazing things in the pipeline and he did a
great job selling me on what he has going on. Right now, everything is going to plan and I
will be calling some of you to see how happy you are where you are
Jim Duncan is a just simply a rock star. It has truly been a pleasure watching him work for the past two weeks. He's technical, he's a great manager and leader...and he just simply does an amazing job at managing the projects. I'm looking forward to continue to work with him and hopefully automate many of the tasks that are...less than pleasurable!
John Honeycutt and Jeff Gunn are on it. It is simply amazing to watch them close deals. They have some insane close rate that even the guys and gals at IBM would be envious of! They will be keeping Jim and I busy for a few years to come!
So far, the guys are awesome. They work hard, they want to do good and they ask questions. Everything you'd want from a team. We will be bringing on two more people in the coming weeks and I'll let them announce their "move".
#2 - Envisioning My Product Ideas
It is very difficult to make time to build products that you know the world needs without other people helping you (albeit, new technologies help alleviate a lot of the time and effort that is used to take). There are several options to accomplish building your personal product idea such as:
- Hire people (contractors, employees)
- Get industry friends to help you build it combining our spare time in exchange for equity
- Sell the idea to someone so they can build it
Each of these have advantages and disadvantages:
- Taxes, Health Insurance, Disability...(although you can outsources all this admin stuff these days)
- Capital to invest
- Loss of full potential earnings
ShareSquared offers a set of people that can provide some of the extra oompfh that I need to get some of these ideas out into the wild. They also have a couple of products that have some potential with some real-world tender love and care put into them.#3 - Location, location, location
Southern California (SoCal) is my home. I love it and I hate being away from our lovely home in the "Ranch". Lidiya and I have built quite the setup in San Diego. The kids are awesome. We have super smart, successful friends such that we all feed of each other to make and drive us to do bigger and better things. Staying home or being able to hop on the train to LA, do a meeting or two and be back in my own bed the same day is priceless. A laser focus on SoCal (the 8th largest economy in the world) is enough to keep me busy for quite some time. So fret not if you live outside SoCal, but you should take notice now that we are coming after you if you are doing business in SoCal. But no matter what the consulting and product battlefield brings, your always welcome in our house!
#4 - Equity
I know my value. Let me throw some names
out there...IBM, Avanade, Microsoft, eBay, Intel, PayPal, Subway,
General Atomics. Those are big names. I rocked all of them. And that
was all in a few years. I have since had my own company for the last
10+ years working with people all over the world. I have done very well (at least, I have kept the wife happy
so that must equate to some level of success)! You will have to strive
to find a person that has been in these types of big companies, had
their own company, built products and achieved everything they have ever
put their mind too. They do exist (and you guys and gals know who you are), but you'll have a hard time getting them and keeping them without
keeping us occupied with taking over the world or justifying why we make you 100s or 1000s of thousands of dollars and we don't get a significant cut.
I have a rule that I won't work
anywhere where I don't have skin in the game with a huge payout
involved. I talked to several other companies exploring the possibility
of working for them, and the salary offers were quite large, but with no possibility of a big payout in exchange for building them something amazing.
A tip...you don't get
anywhere significant in this world by working solely for a salary.
#5 - Customers, Money & Value
I want to rule over SoCal with all my other SoCal CEO's and deliver
solutions that just rock it. I want to drive the best solutions that
focus on the equation that drives everything I do personally........
P = R - C (Profit =
Revenue - Cost).
I only enjoy talking to executives, I get
them after being one for 10+ years. I want to make
them tons of cash (and myself in the process). I want to save them
money in hard times. You may not like it, but the world we live in is
about money (<<<insert wife side remark here>>>). I'm incredibly excited about the productivity "signals" that are about to be released to the world via Office 365. You will be able to see exactly who is working and who is not. Office is all about productivity (saving money). I'm going to be focused like a hawk on value based solutions around the "C" part of the equation. I'm not going to do any projects that are simply a "Cost" line item, I'm happy to pass those on to my competitors to bloody their name instead.
#6 - Software Partnerships
ShareSquared has some incredibly strong software ISV relationships. Some of these companies I have not been that close too, but have watched from afar as they have penetrated tons of accounts and made serious money for themselves and their partners. A big part of our strategy will be to continue to focus on those partnerships. Personally I am very excited to be able to implement some of the newer partner product offerings that ShareSqaured is selling.
#7 - M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions) and Big Partnerships
Ruling SoCal will take some serious wheeling and dealing. You can't fill up the CRM database by solely making cold calls. To be able to scale and grow the company means making some big moves. I'll be involved in a lot of the growth and partnership strategy for ShareSquared and how we will make it to our "magic" number. I can't share exactly how that will be done, but I definitely have quite a few things in the pipeline that I hope will get me that much closer to making my personal goals related to ShareSquared's future.Summary
Starting a new company is not easy. Growing a company is not easy. Nothing you do in this world is easy. I'm looking forward to the challenges that ShareSquared and David Kruglov is presenting me.
I'm going to go at it just like I have everything else, hard and strong. Just like my win tonight in my soccer league...it feels great to be number one! See you on the SoCal battlefield...