I had alot of choices of what to do next. I could have managed a large team of designers in New York, Boston, Washington DC or San Francisco. I could have pursued possibilities at large (yet exciting) companies like Google. I could have joined a new startup again. The Bay Area is just so awesome, I couldn’t imagine leaving.
A guy at Google was actually very helpful in this process. In talking with him, I realized that what I missed the most was making something awesome with a small group of great engineers. I had grown tired of the 900 person company communication overhead. There were just too many people involved. Plus recruiting and mentoring a team is rewarding, but just not as much as personally designing products.
I spoke with multiple venture capital leaders, but one particular startup seemed very appealing to me. Jon Miller, one of the three founders of Marketo recently started a new company called Engagio. The focus of the company is Account Based Marketing. More on this later, but the short version is that it is software for helping marketing and sales departments create and close complex enterprise deals.
Long story short, I am now the head of product management and UX at Engagio. I shortened the title to Head of Magic. Ok, to be fair, I stole the idea for the title. Anna Zeman had the idea first. However, possession is nine-tenths of the law, so the title belongs to me. The ironic thing is that Anna gave me a book called Steal Like an Artist. So I guess it serves her right. My previous title, Mayor of AwesomeTown is retired. It served me very well.
Anyway, I am employee 7, I think. The team is exceptional with energy and talent. There is alot to design. My experience at Marketo is helpful, but the details are completely different. I am excited and hopeful. My goal is to empower and delight the customers as much as I did at Marketo. It’s a tall order, but I am up to the challenge.
One last note…I am 43. Old, if you ask my kids. Yet, I feel comfortable and happy in the startup environment. Just because you have a few extra miles on the odometer, doesn’t mean you should retire to corporate comfyland. Startups are for the young at heart.
New adventures don’t come along every day. I am savoring the moment.