A Glimpse Into Why I Joined Zingle and How Messaging is Taking Over!
There’s no easy way to say this: I’m old.
I don’t know when it happened exactly but let’s just say I find myself outside Nielsen’s coveted demographic. The upside of being old is that I can throw out 80s references like nobody’s business. It also means I’ve had the opportunity to contribute to a number of major enterprise and cloud software businesses throughout my career.
Along the way I like to think I’ve developed some wisdom. It’s that wisdom that had me jump at the opportunity to serve Zingle as its Chief Marketing Officer. And for the record, let me tell you right now that Zingle is not a dating app for people who speak with a Germanic accent.
With that out of the way, here’s a very brief bio and my reasons for joining.
I started my cloud ☁️ journey back in 1999 when I joined Salesforce.com as a Product Manager. Marc Benioff was just envisioning how the cloud was going to blow the doors off the legacy client-service CRM software market. Of course we didn’t call it cloud yet – ever wonder who created that term? Web-based, subscription software that is continuously updated without customers having to do all the heavy lifting while also being infinitely easier to administer has transformed what we expect from software.
Later in my career I ran product and strategy for a $500m IT Management part of what was then HP Software. HP was about managing and leading a global business at scale. The experience of managing a global business was invaluable and I was able to work alongside and learn from incredible people like Ben Horowitz, David Gee, Eric Vishria, and Ramin Sayar – people who continue to transform the technology sector. Once again I witnessed a market transform from legacy to cloud, but unfortunately I found myself on the legacy side of the equation. I partnered on a start-up within HP that we code-named 48Upper to apply the lessons I had learned at Salesforce. It was a SaaS-based provider that we described as “IT Management meets Facebook”. We were going to cannibalize the business I had been running because was starting to live the same existential transformation Salesforce led in the legacy CRM space (has anyone seen Siebel lately?). Ultimately HP wasn’t equipped to make the transformation from a supplier of legacy software to a true subscription-based cloud software provider. That lead me to ServiceNow.
ServiceNow has disrupted the IT Management space with the combination of a maniacal focus on its customer’s needs combined with a cloud-based software platform that is far superior and approachable than anything any vendor has ever produced. At ServiceNow, I had a number of tremendous opportunities while working in the most demanding culture I’ve ever known. We built Product Management from the ground up. We executed the first acquisition ever for the company. We defined the technology partner strategy and launched a program that now has hundreds of members. I was also fortunate to have an opportunity to lead the launch of the ServiceNow app store business, as well as drive their efforts down market as the General Manager for their Express business Unit. My tenure there culminated in the exciting launch of ServiceNow Ventures and the CreatorCon Challenge. Most importantly, we grew the business from $100m in annual revenue to over $1.3bn in just over four years.
And Most Importantly, the Now!
As of October 1, I moved on to Zingle.🚀 So what wisdom had me make the jump from a 4500 employee juggernaut to a…well….less than 4500 employee startup? There is a new wave of creative destruction that I believe is about to hit our shores. Just as cloud has transformed software over the last decade, messaging is set to do the same over the coming decade. The explosion of smartphones has created an entire generation of people that use their phone less for talking and more as a productivity and collaboration tool. 75% of smartphone users either text or use a messaging platform like Facebook Messenger, WeChat, etc. For Millennials it’s a much higher percentage, and these folks now make up 36% of the workforce and growing! Most of the use for text and messaging is for personal purposes but studies show that 90% want to leverage these technologies for business purposes. They don’t want annoying mass marketing spam. They want two-way meaningful conversations with the businesses they frequent. With the power and simplicity of cloud software, Zingle empowers businesses to engage with their customers in meaningful two-way conversations via text and messaging. I’m convinced the future of business is personal and real-time, ideally suited for a company and product like Zingle.
There are three parts to what makes a successful business
- Part one is whether you believe in the marketing opportunity.
- Part two is whether customers value and are ready to purchase your offering.
- Part three is no less critical: Does the company have the right people in place to execute and win? I was confident in the first two before walking in the door – Ford Blakely, our CEO, as well as the investors who have backed the company showed clear vision.
While I may be getting older, and my 80’s references increasingly obsolete, I am smart enough to see the messaging wave that’s coming. As we say in San Diego, “Surf’s up!” and this wave is going to be huge!🌊
For more information on our company and how we got started, check out our story.
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Interested in learning more about allowing your customers to text your business? Contact us! We are excited to show you our platform.
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Stat Sources:Twilio Global Mobile Messaging Consumer Report 2016