Monday will be my last fulltime day in the interim VP marketing role at Xobni – then I switch to part-time advising. Xobni’s progress is definitely on the highest end of my expectations when I went into the role. I’ll miss my day-to-day interaction with the team, but will be on site a couple of afternoons per week to trade jabs.
Many people are asking me “what now?” Through fall I’ll be working with a few other startups using a more leveraged approach. I’ll help them set the overall marketing priorities and then provide ongoing assistance refining their go-to-market strategy and executing more challenging marketing projects. Each startup recently received their series A VC funding and has a smart and scrappy (but less proven) fulltime marketer.
This is a different approach than I took with Xobni, where I was exclusively focused for six months on laying the groundwork for the public launch (May 5th) and building on the post launch momentum. By focusing on only one startup during this period I’ve been able to re-tune my startup marketing skills. I now feel more prepared to effectively help multiple startups.
In classic flip/flop fashion of a politician, I’ve change my perspective on whether a part-time consulting approach will work. Back in March I wrote (http://startup-marketing.com/2008/03/01/the-startup-marketing-launch-process-is-broken.aspx) that a total immersion approach is better than a consulting approach. While this is probably still the case for the eureka moments of creating innovative customer acquisition programs, it’s less important for laying a foundation to maximize the impact of these programs and developing the overall go-to-market strategy. If a startup has the right marketing director in place, they should come up with the innovative marketing programs needed to drive growth. By limiting my time involvement, companies will be able to pay less overall compensation. And it works out better financially for me as well, especially since I’ll be able to diversify my equity.
I’ve already committed verbally to terms with three companies, but put off figuring out the contracts until I completed my fulltime role with Xobni. I also postponed meeting with other companies because it would cut into my time at Xobni. As a result, I have several meetings teed up over the next few weeks with other startups. I plan to cap my advising/consulting roles to four companies through the fall (in addition to Xobni). Once I understand my capacity I may add more.
I’m definitely in need of a vacation and excited to be heading to Thailand at the end of next week.