I’m excited to be able to blog publicly about my joining Socialtext today. There’s been some nice coverage in the blogosphere already about our news – my joining as CEO 2.0, our closing our C round of $9.5 million, and highlighting our great position in Gartner’s new magic quadrant on team collaboration and enterprise social software.
I’ve spent my whole career working at the intersection of people, software, and networks. I’ve always had the most fun working with really smart, enthusiastic, passionate people, going after big ideas, creating and innovating new approaches, and leading teams to deliver value to customers.
Ross Mayfield, our founding CEO, and I, met in almost the perfectly appropriate way. I had already decided that my next gig should be something in the Enterprise 2.0 space – I had caught the Web 2.0 bug in a big way, and felt that enterprise customers were being underserved while the Web 2.0 wave was focused mostly on consumer-facing public internet plays. Ross’ “CEO 2.0 post” caught my eye, and then I had breakfast with a mutual friend of ours who had seen Ross’ job posting on LinkedIn, who then put us together through an email introduction. As I was going through the process of meeting the team and learning about the company and the business, I was amazed at the level of thought leadership, intellect, passion, and commitment to the big idea that applying Web 2.0 patterns to the enterprise, through tools that don’t get in the way of users, and delivered in deployment models that are enterprise-friendly, could truly change the world. Socialtext is full of people who are smart, and who believe.
I’ve had the luxury of about a month of pre-announcement onboarding and ramp time. A couple of weeks ago we had a companywide face to face meeting at our offices in Palo Alto, which not only gave me a chance to meet almost everyone 1:1, but also for the whole company (the majority of our team is distributed) to meet face to face. People were blown away by how much the company had grown, and the buzz and energy that was generated was uplifting. Moreover the revenue traction (significant double-digit quarter over quarter growth) has been exciting, and the recent Gartner Magic Quadrant report is almost icing-on-the-cake validation of the size and growth of the market we are going after and the tremendous thought leadership and business position the team has been able to establish to date.
At our company meeting I laid out some simple priorities that are critical for a company at this stage, especially one that’s experiencing rapid growth. Customer Success is our top priority going forward – which is much more profound than simply “customer sat”. I believe that Socialtext is the best company to work with for customers who want to achieve business success with wiki technologies. Deployment patterns, organizational alignment, and the process of rolling out, training, driving successful adoption, and making wikis “thrive” in a business environment, with business results and criteria, are all things that Socialtext focuses on learning, capturing, sharing, and delivering back to customers, based on best practices from customer engagement. Making Enterprise 2.0 successful will be about much more than just technology, stacks, revenues, and support.
Socialtext has many customers, friends, partners, and supporters – and I look forward to meeting as many of them and you as possible. I crave suggestions, feedback, constructive criticism, and whacky ideas. I’ll be blogging as frequently as time permits, and I am happy to dialog over email as well at email@example.com.