Naked Startup

About me

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I’m a pragmatic startup founder.  My goal with this blog is to provide an open, transparent view into how we’ve built Contactually over the past 4+ years.

I think advice is often preachy, and frankly not all that applicable to the reader.  Instead, I hope to discuss what we’ve learned while building a high-growth SaaS startup — and share the practices we’ve found to be successful.  Take from it what you will.

There are five things that take up the majority of my time / brain / heart / life.

Contactually

I started Contactually back in late 2011 with two of the hardest-working guys I know:  Zvi Band and Jeff Carbonella.  Both are strong developers, and I’m the “business guy” of our three-legged stool.  As COO, I’ve built and currently manage all of our business teams including sales, marketing, customer success, and support.

The Three Amigos: Zvi, me, and Jeff

The Three Amigos: Zvi, me, and Jeff

Contactually is a CRM for people in professional services.  We help you build authentic, personal relationships with the people that matter most to your business — especially potential customers and people who can send your referrals.  We work with over 10,000 Realtors, financial advisors, consultants, and other professionals, both solo practitioners and firms of all sizes.

As Contactually has grown, my role has changed dramatically (for more on that, see this great article on “letting go of your legos” by First Round).  I hope to touch on this topic in future posts.

My wife, Kate

Kate and I first met at MIT, started dating when living in the Pacific NW (she in Portland, I in Seattle), moved to DC together in 2010, and got married in 2013.  She’s a badass attorney at Oblon, an IP boutique law firm.

Kate's company photo. I'm not worthy.

Kate’s company photo. I’m not worthy.

My puppy, Tucker

We adopted Tucker from a local DC shelter when he was just 15 weeks old.  He’s a mutt of mutts; we did a doggy DNA test (yes, we’re those people) and discovered he’s a mix of wheaton terrier, whippet, bull dog, and shar pei.

Tucker aka The Chum

Tucker aka The Chum

He’s probably the most emotive dog you’ll ever meet, and basically has The Life.  He walks with me to the Contactually office every day, hangs out with his friends (two- and four-legged), and goes for days at a time having never left my side.

I joke around that’s he’s my best friend.  I’m only half-joking.

The Outdoors

I don’t really need a lot of things in life.  That said, if I go for too long without spending time in the woods, I get a little stir crazy.  I grew up in rural Michigan (the UP!) and to this day love hiking and camping.

My favorite spot on Earth is Yosemite National Park.  Seriously, I could spend weeks hiking around the park.  If you’ve never been, I highly highly recommend you add it to your bucket list.

Beer

There are a few things I’ve dedicated significant portions of my life to studying.  Beer is one of them.  I’ve easily traveled to more than 50 breweries, and constantly seek out new microbrews.

If ever you want to win me over, just share a bottle of Pliny the Elder.  It’s hands-down the best IPA you can buy.  Too bad it’s only in California.  :(

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