A big move… to a bigger opportunity

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opportunityIts been just over a quarter since I joined Yext as VP Marketing, and I’ve been having a blast.

My experience has far exceeded my (already high) expectations when I left Capital One to come here. One of the most common questions I get from friends and colleagues alike is why I joined Yext. At Capital One, I was at an enviable position having grown and built a massive outbound marketing practice with a team I respected and trusted… and I knew my next move had to be equally an enviable combination. I had also begun to crystallize the idea of moving to a smaller, nimbler environment, where I’d be flexing a much broader set of muscles.

At my position, I had the great perk of being able to see a ton of NYC tech companies up close and under the hood. Given that view, I realized that Yext was a slam dunk when I began evaluating the opportunity. Here’s what attracted me to Yext –

A stellar team & cultural fit: I got my introduction to Yext through our chairman Mike Walrath, whom I’ve known for a while and whose opinion I trust immensely. After poking around (more than a little bit), I found the Yext exec team to have an irresistible combination of:

  • An impressively consistent track record at building successful companies from scratch, and rave reviews from people I trust
  • A top notch engineering team built by Yext’s engineering heads, Sean MacIsaac and Tom Dixon – an absolute must-have for a technology company with big ambitions
  • Experience working together in various guises for more than a decade… something has to have been going right there
  • An energy level that was infectiously high
  • A love for data and a truth-seeking nature (combined with aggressive opinions, willingness to engage in intellectually robust arguments, and crass humor)

That was a fit – enough said. As I also found out later, the bench strength of talent here is amazing for a company this size, and that sets a great bar for the quality of work.

A fantastic product in a wide open market: I’d be lying if I told you that I saw all of this coming in, but there was something that caught me about Yext’s new product, PowerListings… the premise of simplifying business listings was so deeply obvious that it was surprising the problem hadn’t been solved yet. I later came to find out that there were good reasons for this – the publisher network-building and engineering feat that brought PowerListings to life is pretty awesome in its vision and back-end complexity. But this defines unassailable product-market fit to me: a simple solution to a pervasive problem that requires hard-to-replicate technology and access.

As yet unseen potential in the space: You may be solving the greatest problem in the vinyl records business, but that will likely not make for a successful long-term venture. Local marketing will continue to grow explosively for a while to come, and it is smart to ride a building wave.

That caps it. While I miss a few things about my past life at Capital One, this change has been great all around.

I’ll end all my posts with a suggestion on new music (it’s my post, and I’ll do what I want). Check out Moon Hooch, a new Brooklyn band that mixes the insatiable fire of youth with jazz, drum n’bass and house… http://moonhooch.bandcamp.com

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