2,550 days ago, I got into the world's least reliable elevator to ride up to the 6th floor of a funky building above a greasy diner, near South Station in downtown Boston, MA, for what I expected to be a one year stint at BlueConic, a tiny marketing tech company of which almost nobody had ever heard. I had defiantly left my analyst gig at Forrester, determined to sharpen my operator chops, and figured a company with fewer than 20 employees would be ideal for doing that most start-up-y of things: wear many hats. I was ready for new and different in my career, if transitional and incremental.
2,550 days ago, I walked in the door as a fiery, determined, stubborn, opinionated, relentless newcomer to a company that had founders from The Netherlands (a country I'd previously only spent 24 hours in), with customer names I couldn't pronounce, a product I didn't know how to use, in a customer data platform (CDP) category that literally didn't exist yet, to do a job I had never done but was rabidly committed to proving I could do - and do better than anyone else with a better resume or more industry experience or broader name recognition could do it.
2,550 days ago, BlueConic founder and CEO Bart Heilbron gave me a chance to be part of a journey that has spanned hundreds of new customers; nearly 100 platform releases; thousands of RFP questions; hours of fundraising due diligence; and innumerable hard choices. It's a journey of one messy middle after another; one more lego added every day; the expansion of a core rallying cry we call “Building the Dream” to resonate with hundreds of BlueCrew, past and present, to come to a place that is so unique that all of us in our differences can make an outsized impact every day. It's a journey that has taught me humility and grit, disappointment and triumph; a journey that has never had two of the same day, as it's taken me through five different titles, countless jobs, and yes - so many hats.
And on day 2,550, my BlueConic journey adds another leg as I receive the greatest vote of confidence a person can get from a founder like Bart: the chance to carry on his legacy as CEO, for as many days as I can. As we look forward, there is uncertainty ahead, but I am equally certain of two things: BlueConic has weathered storms before and not only come out of them, but come out of them stronger, smarter, and better equipped than before, which we will do again. I am also certain that even with a long track record of growth under our belts:
We are just getting started.
BlueConic has enormous potential ahead, building on the fundamentals that make our company so remarkable in the first place. As we accelerate into 2023, we're relentlessly focused on a holistic approach to success, which means that we:
Evangelize the transformative power of the BlueConic CDP for companies worldwide who seek to transform their customer relationships and unleash explosive growth.
Deliver a combination of customer experience and product value that creates advocates in record time and builds a global community of BlueConic evangelists and users.
Hire wildly talented people who bring competency over credentials and uniqueness over uniformity so that we can identify new opportunities and solve complex problems in new, different, and better ways.
Invest in being a good corporate citizen and caretaker of our employees, communities, and societies - today and for the future.
Grow BlueConic in the right ways: responsibly, inclusively, and deliberately - a commitment I make to all of BlueConic’s stakeholders - employees, customers, investors, and communities.
And while we have extraordinary ambitions, it's almost never what you do, but rather how you do it. And paramount to me is who I get to do it with. So to the BlueCrew, our customers and partners both current and future, the Board, and everyone else along for this ride, I am delighted to be on it with you.
So on day 2,550, I get to reflect, appreciate, and absorb. For better and worse, I remain the fiery, determined, stubborn, opinionated, relentless person I was back then and I find myself a newcomer all over again. But as two-time World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist Megan Rapinoe says, "It's hard to beat somebody that never gives up." At BlueConic, we never give up.
Here we go.