I've found that it's rarely easy – or useful, for that matter – to place skills in well-defined buckets. In my experience, achieving complex goals, especially as a member of a lean start-up or innovation team, has required drawing on skills across many disciplines—for example, developing and designing this site.
At Intuit Quickbase, I led cross-functional initiatives to spearhead the core platform’s go-to-market strategy, refine positioning, define core messaging, articulate competitive differentiators, enable sales and marketing teams, and conduct pricing and packaging research and analysis. I also evangelized Quickbase and the company’s point-of-view at both live and virtual events targeted at C-suite IT buyers (CIOs), created and ghost wrote presentations and talking points for executive keynote speeches, and provided deal support with messaging and competitive positioning that resulted in the largest multi-million dollar deal in the product’s history. And, I created core assets for executive presentations that led to Quickbase’s purchase from Intuit by a private equity firm.
At Momba, I built a brand to differentiate our unconventional approach to vending, a highly commoditized industry in the U.S. Momba – short for "Mom (ro)bot" – was the character and voice of the Momba brand: an unwitting (but "with it") mother who wanted her "kids" to feel loved and have a good time. She engaged college students, the primary customers in Momba's first market, via social media and other touchpoints, and we included loving notes from Momba in branded packaging of everyday items. At Momba, we strove to create experiences that made our customers happier and property owners proud to have Momba machines onsite. Our work garnered attention from national, community and industry media.
Prior to Momba, I was recruited to join Bullhorn, a formerly venture-backed (acq. in 2012) B2B recruiting SaaS company, to help launch Bullhorn Reach, a social media recruitment platform, as its marketing lead. Early on, I worked closely with the executive and product team to help define new product concepts, validate them with customers and prospects, and solicit rapid market feedback. I contributed to authoring and executed on Bullhorn Reach's go-to-market plan, positioning, creative, content creation/SEO, and promotion. The team's early efforts resulted in surpassing our first annual target of 10,000 B2B users in the first four months post-launch. Bullhorn Reach is now the most widely adopted social recruiting platform in the world, with well over 250,000 users in over 150 countries.
The unifying theme of my demand generation experiences is that I've used data and research to inform my decisions over how to allocate limited resources, where to focus time-constrained efforts, and when to double-down or cut bait. I know, though, through experience that creativity and inventiveness, coupled with resourcefulness, often makes the difference in whether or not there's a breakthrough.
As head of marketing at Happie, an early stage HR and recruiting technology startup, my team and I generate 100% of new business leads, fueling our double-digit month-over-month growth rate. Marketing to both customers (B2B) and (B2C) candidates, we use a wide variety of tactics, including: email marketing, paid advertising, SEO, content marketing, social media, event-triggered in-app and email messaging, and partnering with product development to create in-house systems for "growth hacking", among others. I also recently designed, created and launched the company’s website, and have spearheaded the implementation of HubSpot as the central piece of our marketing technology stack.
As head of marketing at Wigo (now defunct), a social mobile app, I led efforts to acquire (read: "growth hack") over 65,000 users at hundreds of US universities in less than six months, architecting and leading the execution of marketing programs focused on user acquisition and retention. Among my responsibilities were designing and developing a targeted, national student ambassador program, growing the program to over 125 student representatives. I also managed and executed paid campaigns and targeted media outlets, in addition to creating and deploying scalable, cost-effective online and offline word-of-mouth campaigns. Additionally, I created and launched email campaigns and in-app touchpoints to nurture and retain users over time.
Back at Bullhorn shortly after we began selling Bullhorn Reach, we realized that there was a significant need and opportunity to develop, educate and nurture what then was a nascent market for social recruiting tools. As Bullhorn Reach's Evangelist, I led efforts to enhance both the category and product's visibility and adoption through thought leadership and community (both on- and offline) engagement. I developed webinars, multimedia sales enablement tools, video tutorials and customer training materials, in addition to speaking at a wide variety of recruiting and human resources events. I also drove adoption of Bullhorn Reach and social recruiting best practices among all of our first corporate HR clients' organizations – with sizes ranging from hundreds to tens of thousands of employees – through tailored consultation.
As the Social Media Evangelist of Bullhorn, I expanded the company's market position and reputation through similar tactics – (on- and offline) community building & engagement, public relations, sales enablement and thought leadership – across the entire company. I also conceived and led execution of all social media dimensions of marketing campaigns and customer service engagement with measurable goals, maximizing social media's impact on Bullhorn's top and bottom line.
At Intuit QuickBase, I led and executed on a wide variety of sales enablement activities, partnering closely with sales colleagues. I revamped the sales team’s pitch deck, as well as created and delivered sales training to our entire salesforce — both in-person and via e-learning — on the core platform’s messaging, positioning and competitive differentiators. Separately, as mentioned before, I supported our strategic enterprise account executives with in-deal messaging support — in one case, directly resulting in $4.5M of annual recurring revenue.
After hitting our first annual marketing target at Bullhorn Reach shortly after launch, we were quick to monetize (we launched as a free beta, and the product remains freemium). My customer development and product marketing work as Bullhorn Reach's marketing manager helped prepare me to become its first enterprise account executive. As an account executive, I closed deals with some of our first paying enterprise clients in corporate HR, a new market for Bullhorn. Among the things I learned as an account executive is that people buy solutions, not products and features. Perhaps more importantly, I also learned that most businesses – and especially SaaS businesses – live and die by a strong, well-run salesforce.
Prior to joining Bullhorn, I worked in business development and strategy at Jack Morton Worldwide, a global brand experience agency, to help generate business among current and prospective clients, which include some of the world's largest and most recognizable brands. As a member of the Jack Morton team, I was responsible for putting together more pitch decks than I care to say, and learned the nuts and bolts of prospecting, lead nurturing, pitching and account management in the world of creative agencies.
One of my many hats I've worn at Momba has been "data-driven operations manager". Through iterative analyses of our sales data I've honed in on our most successful products and product categories, identified and helped source new products, and deployed new products across machines with the help of contractor staff. The result has been a 300% lift in the average gross revenue per Momba machine since launching our first machine, with Momba machines producing 4X as much revenue as machines with similar overhead costs.
Among the other duties I handled on the operations side of Momba are retrofitting, reconfiguring, servicing and refilling Momba machines. My work on these tasks gave rise to thinking over the "systems of things" I would need to create and communicate, to ensure that other people could easily take on the work with systematized, clearly articulated training. Today many of Momba daily operations are a function of a network of third-party partners, contractors and student interns.
Beyond solving logistical challenges by finding and integrating the right partners, I'm proud of our efforts to improve our community as we've built out Momba's operations. For example, we work with Opportunity Works on Momba product packaging, warehousing our inventory, and fulfillment. Opportunity Works empowers people with disabilities with jobs in packaging and fulfillment, as well as enrichment programs. It was our great honor to be awarded Opportunity Works' 2013 Customer of the Year Award.
Beyond expertise, my ethics are an integral part of who I am, both professionally and personally. Here are some of the ethical principles that are most important to me.
Seeking the truth requires both quantitative and qualitative approaches to data and information. The truth can be counter-intuitive, so inquisitiveness, open-mindedness, and braveness – at times, flying in the face of convention – are necessary to discover it.
The oceans of knowledge beyond the pools of our personal experiences are vast. Navigating their shifting currents and surfing their ever-changing waves is one of the great adventures of life – and one that I deeply cherish. I love learning.
To “stay humbly hungry” means constantly pursuing self-improvement, while never forgetting the virtue of humility. Ernest Hemingway summed it up well: “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
The great Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca once said, "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam." I haven't tried to cross the Alps with elephants (yet), but resourcefulness, resilience and persistence are core to who I am — both personally and professionally.
Positive thinking and hoping for the best don't preclude readiness for difficulties or failure, or vice versa. Lessons learned from hardship — both first-hand and vicariously — lead to avoidance of pitfalls and, hopefully(!), attainment of success.
Herman Melville writes in Moby Dick, “I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.” Times ahead may be unpredictable, trying and filled with seemingly intractable problems, but at least we can laugh and find joy in the journey as we plough ahead.
I received my undergraduate degree from Harvard (AB '09), where I studied philosophy (concentration) & sociology (secondary field).
Certifications are no substitute for experience. They are, however, one of the many ways that I continue to learn — and to validate that I’ve retained what I’ve learned. Each certification is one of many small steps I take every day to broaden my perspective, increase my understanding, and raise my effectiveness as a professional.
Here’s a collection of my old blog posts, some of which are older than 10 years old. Both the writing style and ideas of my younger self are, at times, painfully immature. But some of the observations and reflections may be interesting, especially now that we’re living in the future (the old name of my blog!).