Category: about

Back to Seattle!

And Now, Back to Seattle

As I’ve done for a few state-to-state moves, I’ve put together a FAQ:

1. Wait, what? Didn’t you just move to the Bay Area from Seattle?

Well, if “just” means almost two years ago, yeah.

2. Why are you doing this?

A combination of reasons, really. Here they are…

sad princess

A Broader View

I’ve spent years assuming that I was shut out of the boys’ club. That they knew so much more than I did. That they were exposed to so much more than I was.

Recently, though, I read a wonderful post by an author that made me realize that my assumption is terribly, horribly wrong.

Deception Pass

Getting Past an Impasse

You’re just trying to get to a final result, but the other party doesn’t seem to have the foggiest idea how to get there. To add insult to injury, the other party doesn’t accept your way to get there. You end up stuck and frustrated.

Is this what men feel like at work?

I am ridiculously happy with my job and my I want to be a man?

And, this morning, I realized that – until now – I’ve never worked anywhere that I could just be me. Where I’m treated with respect. Where I don’t have to reassert myself many, many times in order to be treated like a peer, and then have to tell myself many, many times that it’s ok to be considered a bitch and get ahead rather than be considered nice and stay stuck.

My colleagues respect what I say. Seek my opinion. Follow my leadership and simply expect me to follow theirs.

I don’t have to constantly prove myself in ways that men around me don’t. I don’t have to yell at meetings. I don’t have to pretend that I’m someone I’m not. I don’t have to make the choice between a bitch who goes somewhere and a fun person who doesn’t.

And then, this morning, when I was reading about the GitHub engineer who quit, I found myself wondering, “Is how I feel with my current job what men feel like at work?”

Suddenly, it makes more sense to me that men are more easily considered superstars. Because here’s what’s happening to me:

  • When I don’t have to spend my energy fighting, I spend it on ideas and execution instead.
  • When I don’t worry about how my comments come across, I express my thoughts more.
  • When I don’t get disproportionately penalized for being wrong, I take more risk.
  • When I don’t feel held to a different standard, I take care of myself and don’t get sick as often.
  • When I don’t find myself judged by my gender, I can ignore it and make better working relationships.

I realize that men have other challenges at work. I’m sure they’re challenges I can’t even imagine. And I know that no one escapes the repercussions of crappy, political, hostile environments.

But without gender pressure, I can get more done. I can be better at my job. I can be happy at work. My stress level is shockingly low, despite feeling all the stresses of a crazy seed-stage startup and the full measure of our growing pains and limited runway.

Is this what men feel like at work? It’s more powerful than I ever imagined.

How not to sell product (or why I hate Salesforce right now)

salesforce-sucksSo we’re looking for a CRM. Lots of startups are. It happens. You get to the point where you can’t track stuff in spreadsheets, the cheap stuff drives the marketing person (i.e., me) completely nuts, and you have to grow up and pay for something real.

Okay, no problem. so we’ll look at options. Oh, two of us know Salesforce really really well? Cool. Let’s look at that. Do some research. Figure out what kind of deals other companies get. Fill out a web form.  Awesome.

I naively thought that Salesforce would have its crap together with selling. After all, IT’S SALESFORCE. They wrote one of the rulebooks that I’m basing my sales process on.  Also, I thought, since I negotiated hundreds of software contracts during my 11 years in IT, that this should be a pretty easy negotiation.

And then… sigh.

I like sales reps. Even new ones. Except that the one we got had no idea whatsoever how to handle this deal. My coworkers got to the point that they could tell when I got him on the phone, because my body language and voice tone got rather amusingly annoyed.

I don’t know that I realized how badly a sales rep could screw things up with a customer who WANTS TO BUY, but this guy did. I spent the morning looking at other CRMs, and I emailed his boss a few minutes ago to ask for a different rep. I’ve gone from 100% wanting to build my business on Salesforce to just wanting this guy to go away so that I can set up my sales processes without getting stabby. Well, MORE stabby.

What did he do? So glad you asked!

  1. Kept trying to get to the “decision maker”. Key problem: I’m the decision maker, idiot. Yes, my CEO will be pulled in to make sure I’m not smoking crack (or maybe to play bad cop), but you’re an idiot if you’re selling to tiny startups as your job and you can’t figure out that “Head of Growth” might have a bit to do with making the decision.
  2. Followed the script. I said, “I want pro because of the following reasons:” He then walked me through all of the questions that got us right back to the same conclusion. Sigh.
  3. Overuse of the nuclear option. Hint: Saying, “I’m not sure that Salesforce is the right fit for your company” when ALL I ASKED FOR WAS NON-LIST PRICING on every effing call was overuse.
  4. Leaving the breakup voice mail too soon. Yeah; I do have a full time job. Sorry I didn’t get back to you that same business day. Thanks so much for breaking up with me.

Good grief. I can’t believe how hard he tried to lose this sale. Should be interesting to see if his manager can salvage the deal.