Home Again with My Entrepreneurial Family

This spring we celebrated five years since we started G2 Crowd in my basement. Much has changed as our founding vision has rapidly come to life. And as we continue through this exciting period of growth and achievement, I couldn’t be more excited to announce my return to G2 Crowd as the Executive Chairman. In this role, I will support Tim Handorf (my co-founder and CEO) in accelerating growth and establishing G2 Crowd as the essential platform for B2B reviews. I will also help our team build relationships with tech industry leaders and evangelize our vision of bringing transparency to B2B buying.

Recently I left my role as SVP/GM at Salesforce after successfully scaling and integrating SteelBrick into Salesforce. We’re proud that SteelBrick quickly became a CPQ (configure-price-quote) cloud market leader and one of Salesforce’s most successful acquisitions.  

I’m grateful for the experience we had building a hyper-growth startup at SteelBrick, with our team growing from five to 200 members in just two years. I am equally grateful for the experience that followed – the opportunity to learn how to build a true global market leader from Salesforce’s inspirational founder/CEO Marc Benioff. We compressed 13 years of building with our first CPQ company BigMachines (acquired by Oracle) into three years at SteelBrick/Salesforce.

As I’ve been getting re-engaged at G2 Crowd, I’ve heard the same two questions over and over: “Why go back to G2 Crowd?” and “What’s the secret to your success?”

The answer to these questions is the same – it’s the power and draw of our multi-generational entrepreneurial family. We have forged an incredibly tight-knit, talented work family through 17 years of entrepreneurial struggles, learnings, and achievements.  

Together, our entrepreneurial family has created more than a thousand meaningful jobs, launched hundreds of successful tech careers, and built thousands of impactful customer and partner relationships. This has resulted in two successful exits and created nearly $1 billion in total market value – not to mention creating almost a dozen marriages and many more offspring.  Our team truly becomes our family.

I and the like-minded entrepreneurs I’ve surrounded myself with pride ourselves on building the winning companies that we want to work for. We tend to gravitate toward people with tremendous raw potential and motivation. Rather than hiring proven “rock stars,” we love hiring smart “diamonds in the rough” with something to prove.  We give them the opportunity to take their career and our company to the next level by challenging and teaching them to work hard and win as a team. Sure, we may face a lot of unknown and often difficult work problems, but we are all motivated to work through the challenges together.

We have several mantras that guide us day to day, including “Work with joy,” “Learn quickly and continuously” and “Buyers come first,” as well as the less-serious “Slap and tickle” – referring to our tendency to deliver a critique accompanied by a compliment. We push each other to be our best selves, and we enjoy spending time together at the office and outside of it. The heart and authenticity that we foster allow our talented teams to grow rapidly, flourish, and do their best work.

Thanks to the leadership of Tim and my co-founders Mark and Mike, these values have remained essential core of our company’s culture, as we aspire to “live at the peak”. I am thrilled to return to G2 Crowd and continue the journey with my beloved entrepreneurial family toward achieving our mission as a company and our dreams as individuals.