I’ve been on three founding teams – one inside a large company and two small startups. I’ve also been VP of Marketing for fast-growth, VC and PE-backed companies. Below is my journey as a builder.
Getting the Startup Bug
It was 1996 and I was a newly married student at BYU. I vividly remember one weekend teaching myself how to build a website. By Monday, I had a Tiger Woods fan site live on Earthlink web hosting.
I took my degree in English and newfound love of the web and got a job selling an all-in-one web, email, and firewall server. This was in the early days when if you wanted a corporate website and email service, you bought a box and ran your own hosting service with a T1 line.
That company (Internet Products Inc) got me interested in startups. I bought Guy Kawasaki’s Rules for Revolutionaries and couldn’t learn enough about how companies were built.
Helping Companies and Founders Scale
I’ve spent the last 20 years growing companies in various stages of product-market fit and operational efficiency. Most at the intersection of learning and employability. Here’s the list:
- Versation – Angel-funded English language training startup (acquired by Berlitz)
- Instant Interact – My own online course software (in the market for 18 months pre Canvas & Blackboard)
- University Readers/Cognella – Bootstrapped online bookstore as a service (Still growing)
- TalentLens – Startup inside Pearson, the world’s largest learning company (Still growing globally)
- Nurse.com – Profitable online division of legacy magazine business (acquired by Relias)
- PAN – The #1 pre-hire testing & survey platform (acquired by a PE and later, PSI Services)
- jobZology – An AI career guidance survey and job app used at 80+ universities
- Talview – Series A-funded video interviewing startup
- GoGenies – Sales and marketing outsourcing company (absorbed into Hexa)
Read a more detailed version of my experiences in My Career in 5 Stories blog post.
Gen Z Recruiting Speaker
I’ve hired or managed over 100 young marketers and client-facing staff in my career – SEO experts, bloggers, web designers, product managers, account managers, SDRs, and automation experts. I’d love to speak at your next event about what I’ve learned motivates today’s “job consumer.”