First of all, this was an incredibly difficult decision to make. I thought of a hundred reasons to stay, most of all the talented people – but in the end I believed it best to chart a new course (more on this below).
I was honored to be hired by Steve and Aaron as eVP of Sales during a significant transition period for MindTouch. It was a time of tremendous growth and an exciting time to be part of MindTouch.
Before I joined MindTouch, they were widely respected for their deep and profoundly innovative platform in the Enterprise 2.0 space. However, the focus was more platform and general purpose.
At the time, the debate was “are Enterprise 2.0 solutions a fad?” I can remember numerous point and counter point articles (many of which I participated) where the case was made for either side. Of course today the answer is clear. Companies like Autodesk, EMC, Booz Allen and Right Scale make the case that Enterprise 2.0/Social Business solutions deliver measurable ROI.
After joining it was exiting to take an active role in the sharpening and focusing of the product vision, messaging and positioning. We moved from general purpose to a focus on help 2.0 and product help. And as witnessed by our remarkable customer growth, the focus is resonating with many new customers that were, in many cases, developing their own custom solutions.
As such, this is an extraordinary time for the social business industry. It is still early, but large and small companies are experiencing the benefits of social business solutions from MindTouch and its competitors.
I want to thank the open source community who embraced an outsider with open arms and quickly educated me on sales and marketing best practices within their respective companies. Twenty-five of them to be exact.
I want to personally thank Larry Augustin, Lars Nordwall and Mark Hinkle, who were always willing to help no matter how mundane the question or request. They opened doors for me that I never knew existed and that seemed impossible to unlock.
I also want to thank the countless thought leaders in the Social CRM, Help 2.0 and Social Business areas who helped me become a better leader. Specifically, but certainly not limited to Scott Abel, RJ Jacquez, Rahel Bailey, Larry Hawes, Robert Lavigne, Zoli Erdos, Ellen Feaheny, Jacob Morgan, Hutch Carpenter, Tristan Bishop, Anne Gentle, Guatam Ghosh, and even Dennis Howlett. I compiled a much broader and complete list last year that is worth reviewing.
Lastly, I want to thank my direct reports and fellow executives for their support, feedback and putting up with a guy who occasionally likes to work outside of the proverbial box.
As I alluded to earlier, I have decided to take a General Manager and Sales VP position with Harmon.ie (formerly Mainsoft). I’ll cover the company in more detail in follow up posts. For now, I encourage you to check out the website and company videos.
Moving forward, Aaron and I will be working on finding a new VP of Sales for MindTouch. Once we do, I know he will look forward to introducing he or she to you. If you think you qualify, please reach out to Aaron directly.
And so, the future for MindTouch is exciting. They have not even begun to scratch the surface of the myriad opportunities that lay in front of them. Every company needs to support their customers and MindTouch has created a social solution that enables them to do it far more effectively.
As such, I remain a committed fan and investor even as I transition to a new organization.