There’s a New CEO in Town
When we started Involver in 2007, Noah Horton and I knew this company would take off one day. It was my third startup, but something felt special. Something felt big about Involver.
Noah and I started Involver because we felt there had to be a better way for brands to engage customers in the social web. As avid consumers of social media, we felt traditional advertising, like banner or text ads, didn’t really fit into the experience. It was clear: social networks needed a new ad format.
Together with a small group of friends, we spent day and night taking on the challenge. We didn’t come from the advertising world, or the media world (or any world really!), we were just a bunch of guys who spent way too much time on Facebook with a relentless passion for making advertising better.
Four and a half years later, this audacious goal has turned into an explosive market category, and Involver is sitting on top of it. One tiny little room crammed with seven starving college grads has expanded to four offices across the country with seventy well-fed super-humans helping more than 500,000 companies power their social marketing campaigns.
The game has changed. We’re playing for keeps.
Today, it’s time to take Involver to the next level.
Let me say with great excitement: Involver has a new CEO, Don Beck. As of today, I’m stepping out of that role so I can concentrate on my duties as Chief Strategist (which is my passion) and my board duties as Chairman (which is my leadership interest).
As our CEO, Don is going to help Involver scale. He’s one of the top enterprise sales executives in the industry. Don will bring the sales and operating leadership our team needs to grow faster and provide a world-class experience for our customers. No doubt about it, this is one of the biggest decisions of my life, and I feel lucky Don’s accepted my offer to accelerate our business. I’ll tell you more about Don in a moment, but let me first tell you some of the amazing things we have accomplished in setting the stage for his leadership.
It’s the Wild, Wild West Out Here
Let’s face it. That’s one of the reasons we love working in social media. Fast innovation. Fierce competition. Limitless possibilities.
Since Involver changed from services to software – becoming a true Software-as-a-Service company rather than an agency like our competitors – we have rocked the market.
In the past 12 months, Involver has:
• Doubled our average deal size and
• Achieved 125%, 140%, and 157% of our quarterly revenue targets
In the last 6 months, we’ve:
• Doubled our gross margins
• Doubled our renewal rate and
• Nearly doubled our monthly recurring revenue
We expect Involver to be profitable by November (we’ll have burned less than two million dollars the whole year!). These are some great stats (I am so proud of our team for putting up these numbers through a business transition). But Involver is a special company, and we want more. Much more.
The Next Stage
Involver needs a CEO who can help us scale to the next plateau and beyond. When I met Don early this year, something clicked between the two of us – and then with the rest of the management team. I had a good feeling this could be our man.
Don is an MBA grad from Miami University and managed sales at IBM for over fifteen years (back when IBM went off the charts).
But it’s his work over the past decade-and-a-half that distinguishes him as one of the best experts at growing enterprise software and SaaS companies out there today.
• As SVP, Don helped double revenues and scale Postini to a market leader in the web security space – and sold the company to Google for $625M
• Built and led the North American sales and marketing efforts for Adobe
• Generated $79M in software revenue as VP of Channel Sales at J. D. Edwards (now Peoplesoft/Oracle)
• Re-engineered an entire organization, reducing the cost of sales by 30% and getting back to cash flow positive, as EVP of Worldwide Sales at Brio Software
All That, In Ten Years = A Superhuman Talent
And now we have him ☺
But it’s not just Don’s numbers that impress me. He truly understands the potential at Involver, and he sees all that we have worked so hard for to this point. In his own words, “Involver is on the brink of greatness.”
Don sees the raw talent we have here at Involver, and he wants to bring more people on. Time to grow. Time to hire. Our current customers will get more value, new customers will help push us to market-leader status, and more investors are going to take note of what we are doing.
Congratulations to everyone!
When we started Involver, we had the idea to make advertising better in social media. This idea has evolved a lot over the past few years, but it seems inevitable that Involver will become the leading enterprise-marketing platform. And with that comes billions in possibilities.
Welcome, Don. We are happy to have you with us on the brink of a new era at Involver. As you know, there’s no limit here in the Wild, Wild West.