I spent the first 25 years of my career as a startup executive, running marketing, product, and sales teams. I led teams at seven successful B2B technology startups. Most of those startups were acquired (DataMirror to IBM, Janna Systems to Siebel Systems, then SAP, Watcom to Sybase via Powersoft, to name a few), and I ran big teams at IBM, Siebel, Sybase, and others. The total of those acquisitions is more than two billion dollars. Across that journey, I positioned, re-positioned, and launched 16 products.
I have a deep curiosity about what makes the difference between a winning product and a loser. Developing a systematic way of positioning technology products and companies has become my life's work. As a consultant, I have had the privilege of working with more than 100 companies, allowing me to go even deeper and broaden my positioning expertise. The bulk of my work is with early and growth-stage startups. Companies where the stakes are high - and weak positioning can mean the difference between success or failure. I also work with large global companies, helping them develop deeper positioning expertise in their product and marketing teams.
My book, Obviously Awesome, captures my ideas about positioning and a methodology for doing it that any startup can follow. It's become a best-seller and popular among entrepreneurs, product, and marketing folk. I studied Engineering in University, and if you had told me then that someday I would be an author, I would have said you were nuts. It turns out my grade 6 English teacher was wrong about the importance of grammar.
I'm at the stage of my career where I'm trying to give back as much as I can. I am a mentor and advisor to dozens of startups and folks that work in them. I am an enthusiastic board member at a handful of startups.
I live in Toronto, Canada. I have kids, a small dog, and a cabin in the woods.