New Adventures in StartuplandOctober 23rd, 2013 by Liesl received 2 Comments »
Last Friday I didn’t do something I’ve done religiously every week for years.
I didn’t submit a timesheet.
This seemingly slight change in my routine is synecdochic for a bigger shift in my career, and inspired me to post for the first time in far too long on this dusty personal blog (it’s not you, WordPress, it’s me) to put my billable boots aside for now, wrap my head around a new chapter in my career, and hang my hat in a SaaSsy new spot.
A Whole New Ballgame
So just who has me jumping service ship over to product town? Why the awesome folk at Unbounce, that’s who! More specifically, the incomparable girl geek alumna, Georgiana, who converted me with sweet talk of Conversion Rate Optimization and other music to my grizzled marketing ears.
Next thing I know, I’ve flown across the country to Vancouver for two months of hardcore brushing up before I take the biz dev show back on the road back to Montreal and the East Coast. For now my days are filled by onboarding with Gia’s team, picking up the partnerships program, getting to know my new kick-ass colleagues, making my way through the Wikiable and unWikiable things I need to learn and generally getting the hang of things at Unbounce HQ and in Vancouver.
The Lay of The Landing
In the short week I’ve been here I’ve already absorbed so much about the landing page builder and company, aptly housed in a beautiful, historic Gastown building called The Landing (suspiciously serendipitous, isn’t it? Like they knew what was up back in 1905…) The conference calls and email flurries have sprung up like they were always there, as these things do, and the projects are already piling up, hooray!
And as for company culture… With keg-side conversations (yes, keg-side: Unbounce HQ wins at beer o’clock, hands down!) about #UnHero Halloween costumes (the office dress-up theme this year), enthusiastic chats starting with steampunk and meandering to Arduino, an ever-tempting nerf gun set in the lobby, running lists of things that don’t bounce, and rediscovering a love for liberally using the prefix “un-” & the symbol “ø”… Well, let’s just say I think I’m gonna like it here!
These Are Your Lifetimes
When I catch my breath and think about this move, I often visualize this SMBC comic that made its way through the sharescape a few times over as a celebration of reinvention, the human experience and the sheer potential of potential itself. Whether or not you’re into the Gladwellian 10,000-hour rule or variations of the seven years to mastery thing, there’s something powerful about the YOLO-defying act of reinvention and rebirth that comes from shifting gears. Mitch Joel deftly downplays this as a career squiggle, as we’re doing it with greater ease and frequency as we get more agile and that’s a much less imposing way to look at lateral movement. Whatever you like to call it, it definitely keeps things interesting.
As one expects of change, plotting this somewhat squiggly startup course for myself makes the #AgencyLife road I’ve traveled for so long seem comforting by comparison, even though it certainly wasn’t while I was navigating it. Looking back, I’m extremely grateful for the many people who have made that journey so worthwhile, most recently my colleagues at w.illi.am/ in Montreal.
Looking forward, I’d like to thank the Unbounce team for this incredible opportunity to experience a new side of Canada and work with people I admire, for the many lessons the solutions space will doubtlessly bring me over time, and for the chance to tread a new path in the digital marketing world I know and love, helping marketers get better at their craft with the right tools to empower them.Career, Unbounce Unventures