An interview with Dave Gerhardt, the newest member of the team at Driftt. Dave will be working on the marketing team and joins us from HubSpot. Prior to HubSpot he led Account Management at Privy and worked in Product Marketing at Constant Contact.
How did you first meet Driftt?
So you interviewed 50 entrepreneurs behind the top companies in Boston. What stood out about Driftt? Why choose this startup out of 50?
There were a few reasons, but by far the number one reason was the team. Without a doubt. David and Elias are proven founders — they’ve done this before. It’s rare to get an opportunity to be a part of team like this, especially when the company is still in the very early stages.
I was familiar with David and Elias on paper — I’ve heard about them through friends, my network, the community here in Boston, the press, things they’ve written, etc. But it wasn’t until I actually met them both that I was like wow — not only is it obvious that they know their stuff, but they are super passionate, driven and they’re good guys. That is when everything clicked that this was an opportunity worth exploring.
Number two was the mission. In B2B software, the last decade was all about helping business get more customers — from Constant Contact to MailChimp to HubSpot to Salesforce. Everyone was moving toward this idea of an all-in-one marketing platform. All of those tools help businesses get customers. But what happens after that? Driftt is betting on that next big shift — an all-in-one platform to keep customers happy.
Before working at HubSpot, I ran Account Management at Privy, and the non-fancy version of my job description was something like this: keep our customers happy, make sure they renew their contracts every year, and make sure they rave about us to their friends/colleagues. That’s a hard job — think about how much people used to complain whenever Facebook made a change or think about how you usually interact with the support team for a product you use. There’s a huge opportunity to build tools that make the customer support team or account manager’s job easier, and as a result, help businesses grow faster (retention is the most underrated tool for growth.) This looks similar to what happened in the sales and marketing software space over the last decade, but this time it’s an ecosystem for product, engineering, customer success and support.
Number three — and this really could be the main reason — is that the founders are so passionate and on record as saying they want to build the next great company, the next pillar company, in Boston. I love Boston, I love the startup community here, and it’s rare that you get to be a part of a team that actually has a chance at achieving that goal. There are few other founders more qualified to deliver on that vision than David and Elias.
What are you most excited to start working on?
Getting customers! I can’t wait to help contribute on the go-to-market side of the business and build on what Katie has been doing. This is one of the reasons that I love startups — our sales and marketing goals aren’t complex or hard to understand. Our goal is to get X customers this month, next month, this quarter, etc. I can’t wait to see those numbers grow as we start to figure out what works, what doesn’t and start to scale.
A number of people came to Driftt because they were excited to learn something new. Is there anything you’re excited to dive into and learn at Driftt?
Since graduating college in 2009, I’ve done a little bit of everything on the go-to-market side of things: product marketing, content marketing, PR, account management/customer success, and I’ve even had to pinch hit in sales and close deals. I’ve made a conscious decision to jump around and do a few different things early in my career because my ultimate goal is to be a founder and start my own business. That’s the skillset I’m looking to build vs. something more specialized.
I’m most excited about what it takes to build a business – and hopefully learn about what it takes to build a pillar company here in Boston 🙂