Why I care about this
Why start my own newsletter?
Why write this now? The short answer is that I see a pain point that feels viscerally important to me, and I think I can offer some salve.
The problem is that many founders are uninterested in sales, or bad at sales, or contemptuous of sales. But they desperately need help, since they love their startup babies and revenue is the source of those babies’ much-needed nourishment. Unfortunately, their world is full of geeks and short on the kind of talent that can jump in and help.
The reason this matters to me is my own history as a founder. As a CEO, success was my target. But I was also obsessed avoiding failure due to poor execution. I understood that what we were doing was inherently risky, that there was a dice roll involved. But if we failed, I needed it to be ontological, not the result of silly mistakes. Sure, if the rigorous research we were commercializing didn’t pan out in the real world, or the most likely options for product/market fit just didn’t materialize after a few pivots, I knew I would grieve. But if we failed because of dumb choices or weak performance, it was going to be much harder to move on.
I want the same for others. Failure sucks, but as founders, the risk is part of what we sign up for. But preventable, gratuitous failure? The world doesn’t need that, and neither do you. I want you to succeed if it is at all possible to do so in a moral and legal way.
Finally, I think I can help. I have a history of knocking sales out of the park when compared to my peers. I am great at navigating complex, poorly understood new markets and segments, closing deals along the way, and building a playbook as I go. I also know how to hire excellent talent and get that talent to produce more. I am observant enough to have paid attention to what works and what does not, rigorous enough to avoid the standard voodoo cause/effect explanations offered by most businesspeople, and articulate enough to lay this out in terms respectable to most geeky folks. I’ve seen it drastically improve pitch quality of even research scientists within a few weeks.
I hope it helps you.