Why I Joined Portal to Lead Sales
Now that I’ve been at Portal for over three months (wow time flies!), I’ve had some time to reflect on the journey that led me here.
Over the last few years, I’ve developed a system for myself to evaluate the next move in my career: the 3 Ps. For me to consider making a move, the opportunity has to meet all 3. This method hasn’t led me astray yet and I wanted to share it with you all today. I started my career at Oracle to gain great initial enterprise sales experience and training. After that, I joined Dropbox in 2015 to learn about product-led growth at a hyper-growth startup. And most recently, I was at Onna where I gained experience and knowledge about how to build a sales and revenue machine and team.
With Portal, I found a role that not only met all 3 Ps but also inspired a 4th. And no, no, I know you’re all thinking the 4th P is Portal (because I do love a good pun myself) but it’s something more than that.
The 4 Ps are People, Product, Potential, and… Purpose. Purpose is the new addition, and I think it is the most important. So let’s break down why I joined.
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Aristotle probably wasn’t referring to startups, but his words certainly apply. Through my conversations with Marlon and Neil I was blown away by what the team had accomplished with such a small number of employees (many hundreds of paying customers without a single sales, marketing, or success hire!). This left me wondering: how exactly had the team already accomplished so much? When I saw the team and culture in action, it all clicked. The culture is built on respect, autonomy, and truth-seeking.
Marlon and Neil specifically foster a culture of being able to challenge with respect. So many companies fail to grow due to a lack of challenging ideas due to fear of negative repercussions. When you have an environment like that, you might have people with great ideas, but it doesn’t matter if they can’t voice them. Marlon and Neil lead by example, seeking out negative feedback everywhere, and showing that a culture of truth-seeking is the best way to move forward.
The team is diverse and located across different parts of the world. Since I joined, everyone was super welcoming, has put up with my horrible and corny jokes, and made me feel even more motivated.
In no way, shape, or form am I a super technical person, but I know enough to be “dangerous” (as I call it). During my interview process, I created a trial environment of Portal and took the advice I had previously received in my career — “try and break the hell out of any new product”. Not only was I not able to break it but within 5 minutes I had a fully customized and set up portal that I could’ve used to run a new business.
Another piece of advice I often lean on with products is that “it should be easy enough that someone’s grandparents could use it”. My parents (who are grandparents to my two nephews) could definitely use this product. The onboarding experience was delightfully simple and it is no wonder that the reviews the product receives are remarkably positive.
I’ve always believed that in the long run, the best companies have the best products, and with Portal, this is clearly true.
I’m a self-proclaimed dreamer who likes to bend the laws of plausibility (see above… not a super technical person) and likes to think of the ridiculous possibilities a product can enable. Is this mindset potentially distracting? Sure, maybe sometimes I take it over the top. Yet, I remember that at Dropbox many of the most viral and loved features were created by teams at Hackweek (a week where Dropboxers can work on any self-created objective with their colleagues).
Since joining I have personally onboarded customers spanning incredibly diverse industries — everything from financial services companies, to telehealth startups, to martial arts organizations. Even today there are already so many use cases, verticals, and creative ideas that Portal serves. But this is just the beginning. With new API features, platform features, custom integrations, and more rolling out each week, we’re excited about the possibilities we can enable. No-code moves so many ideas from impossible to plausible for so many!
In my career, I’ve worked with so many different types of customers — DBAs and backend folks at Oracle, creatives and team leads at Dropbox, and legal and IT at Onna. Each segment has different challenges and connects you to some amazing people. At Portal I’ve connected with another segment — service business owners and entrepreneurs. Before coming here, I hadn’t worked with many SMBs or startup customers. And now I can confidently say I’ve found my new segment.
Software and automation in the service industry lets business owners better perform their services, obsess over their clients, hire more employees, etc. More than that, automation allows SMBs to best utilize their time — enabling them to have dinner with their family, pick up a new hobby, or reconnect with a friend they haven’t seen in a while. Time is the great equalizer that nobody can buy more of, so I’m particularly proud that this is an area where we can make a big difference.