What drew you to a role here in sales at Jellyfish?
Dan: I’ve been at a number of different startups and I think my mind just works better with startups. Someone once told me about that you can go to a company and you can build the fire, or you can go to a company and keep the fire going. Or, you can go to a company and make the fire bigger. You have the Oracles and IBM’s that are, “Just keep the fire going.” It’s a really big fire and we just got to keep it going. Jellyfish was in the category of asking, “Can we build a fire?” And I like that stage of a thing where it’s like, you really are trying to build this thing from scratch. And so that’s what drew me in.
The former CMO of Marketo once told me whenever you evaluate a company, think of the equation, E=MC2. E is the question, “is this an excellent company?” The M is, “Is this a mandatory product?” The two Cs are culture and category. Is the company the best in each? And if you’re the best in the category of a mandatory product, and it’s a really, really great place to work. That’s a recipe for success.
So when I heard about the product, I didn’t know of anyone else that was doing this, I thought that this is definitely something that people need. Is it a category yet? It definitely wasn’t at the time, and now we’re seeing that it is becoming one. And I think that we have some unique value props that make us the best in that category. It kind of checked off those boxes.
Would you mind talking about what your experiences have been here as a remote employee?
Dan: The one cool thing is I’ve been remote before, but not everyone else was remote. And that can sometimes be frustrating. But everyone being remote was kind of cool because it leveled the playing field. When you’re the only person that’s remote and everyone else isn’t, there are times where you feel like you miss out on conversation. But when everyone’s remote, I think that it forces everyone to be communicating more so on things like Slack or email. And so you don’t really get left out. I remember at my previous company there’d be like little inside jokes and stuff that I just would not know.
Now, if you want to take part in the culture, you can do that because everyone else is also remote. So that’s been really cool. I think starting any new position remote is really difficult if you’re customer-facing and you’re trying to learn about a product that you’re not familiar with. And so that part was definitely really challenging.
The other part too is that if you’re someone who isn’t good for asking for help, that’s probably going to be really tough for you if you start remote. Because people are going to be less proactive about giving you help and they’re not right there. You kind of have to be like a squeaky wheel when you first start and move past that that might be uncomfortable. I think it’s way better to be the dumbest person on your first day than the dumbest person on your last day.
You’ve been here for about a year now. What do you think have been some of the biggest changes that you’ve seen?
Dan: I can say from the product success and sales and marketing side people actually are coming to the call knowing about us. There’s like a real category that’s formed. And when people are just trying to evaluate the category, we’re one of the companies that’s part of the conversation. When I started that definitely was not a thing. I also think we’ve gotten better over time about how we onboard people. We do a really good job on the sales side of getting people ready to start crushing it. I think that’s like a huge testament to where we’ve come in terms of building on the training material. So, we’ve probably gotten better at onboarding and the market has just matured where people know about us. People understand the importance of measuring teams.
My life at Jellyfish would be so different if I didn’t have ______.
Dan: Obviously Milan. Milan’s a Swiss army knife. He’s probably 90% of the reason why I’ve been successful here. Especially during the first four or five months where I was still learning, I always felt that Milan had my back and could save the day for me, if needed. We do custom configuration for clients that used to completely go over my head and just having someone like Milan who was very technical, but also able to relate everything back to why something was important. Without a doubt, Milan.
What makes Jellyfish different than past startups that you’ve worked with?
Dan: One, I think is our CEO is just super, super nice. That should be like the gold standard, right? You should always be working for CEOs that are like that. I’ve worked for really nice CEOs, and I think that I’ve been super lucky. Sometimes it feels like he’s just taking such a real interest in what’s going on in your personal life and making sure that you’re not feeling overwhelmed. Which, given like all the circumstances of the last year, I think is really, really important. And at the same time, we’ve been growing. That’s a hard thing to balance between still growing the business, but also being cognizant of the fact that like people have a life outside of Jellyfish. So that’s been really refreshing. I’ve really appreciated that.
And I also really do appreciate that we are putting our foot on the gas. Rather than letting things come to us, I like that we’re being a little bit more aggressive, and going after the market. I’ve been at companies that did this, but I’ve been at companies that didn’t do as good of a job at this.
Where are you originally from?
Dan: I’m actually from Vermont. I grew up in a town called Grand Isle and I think the population is about 1500 people. I’ve lived in Austin for the past 5 years now.
Going back home, I’m known as like one of the few people that left. That makes me like “the city guy,” which I find kind of funny.
What are your favorite artists, bands or musicians that you particularly like?
Dan: I’m one of those people that can appreciate literally any genre of music. I think that’s what drew me into Austin was like the live music scene. But some artists that I probably frequent would be, Chris Stapleton, Tyler Childers and Leon Bridges. My dad was a huge Metallica fan, and he liked all these classic rock/metal bands, like Dio, Megadeath, Judas Priest. I love all that stuff still. So I’ll go between these blues, good country musicians. But then I’ll listen to classic rock metal and switch over to rap.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Dan: I’m super passionate about personal and financial health. And I think money is like a really uncomfortable subject for people. Because it’s very personal, and a lot of people associate it with your value as a person. And so I’m very passionate about educating people about the stock market and the different ways that you can build passive income streams. I can go off on a whole tangent about that kind of stuff.
And then I also go to this gym where there’s like a sauna and we do ice baths there. My fiance and I started a potion company that’s all about alternatives to coffee and different ways that you can boost your immune system or reduce stress. It’s based on ancient remedies that have been around for thousands of years that come from different countries. Some of it’s sourced from the Mayans and Peru. Some of it’s sourced from India or China.
Is there any cause that you’re particularly passionate about?
Dan: I’m a pretty passionate about homelessness. I haven’t really been involved lately, but I started a deodorant company a while back that like our goal was to take half the profits and donate it to helping homeless people get showers. And so there’s a couple of companies that I really like. Mobile Loaves & Fishes is a really, really cool one here in town. There’s also another company called Street Side Showers. They’re all over town and they literally like to go up and they post up in these places where there’s a ton of people experiencing homelessness and they just let them all get showers. They also give them haircuts.
So many people write homeless people off because of their appearance and it’s just incredible what these services do for someone’s self-esteem. Could you imagine living in Texas where it’s like a hundred degrees every day and just not being able to shower?
If you are interested in learning more about a role in Sales or other positions at Jellyfish, be sure to visit our Careers page. We’re growing and hiring across several departments.