Background on the Blog: I started publishing some of my letters to my then 12-year old daughter, who is at a residential treatment center in Utah for a few years. I couldn’t parent her directly, so this was my way of sharing the few bits of wisdom I’ve picked up along the way.
My Work: I’m an entrepreneur, advisor and investor, currently working on vertical SaaS and ecommerce buyouts, where we bring data / growth-engineering to stalled companies in smaller markets. I was the Founding CEO and later Chairman of Jive, where I grew the company from its inception as a small open source project with no revenue to a pre-IPO company. After that I helped early stage companies and was a Board Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Prior to Jive, I was a strategy consultant.
Longer Background: I have a long history of diverse pursuits. I grew up in Rhode Island as a Jack of all trades, passions, hobbies, interests and passing fancies; a utility player in search of the next project (which rarely had to do with academics).
After attending DePauw University, I became a management consultant focused on large company change. While not a perfect fit for my restlessness, this job was the course sandpaper I needed to clean up and be a professional. Beyond tools like strategy, analysis, collaboration and execution, I learned how to listen, which would later become my most valuable skill.
After moving to San Francisco in search of entrepreneurial bliss, I first started a consulting firm, then worked on a dot-com for a year. After the collapse, I followed my grad school-bound wife to the New York area, arriving on September 10, 2001.
With very few job options, I teamed up with some former colleagues who had built an open source project in their dorm room. They wanted to help turn it into a company. So in an apartment in the West Village, where I would sleep in a fold out couch during the week, we began Jive Software.
In total, I ran Jive for eight and a half years, five of which were bootstrapped and most of it was out of Portland, OR. After growing the company to $60M in sales, the board wanted to take it public. I was burned out and opted to be Chairman as it geared up for an IPO, which happened in December, 2011.
After that, my omni-directional focus returned – I advised, invested, sat on boards, co-founded companies and worked with nonprofits. I worked at Andreessen Horowitz as a Board Partner and then decided to start another company as CEO in 2014, which we did for a year but sold as it was too difficult to run remotely.
Now I found my love in turnarounds – taking the businesses that have lost their way and finding new purpose and growth.
I’m always on the lookout for entrepreneurs who take a unique path and have something authentic to tell the world.