First, some data on the growth of CB Insights.
- 2015 - 66 teammates
- 2016 - 104 teammates
- 2017 - 168 teammates
- 2018 - 209 teammates
- 2019 - target of 320
Over that same period, our revenue has grown 800% into the very healthy 8-figures.
What makes us different is that we’ve grown this fast without burning any money. Capital-efficient growth is atypical these days.
That’s the great news.
Now the question is how do we keep it going?
In short, we want to build a big but small company. And to do this, we’re seeking a COO.
First, how does one build a big but small company?
This, in our view, requires balancing two interrelated and sometimes incongruent forces:
- Using scale to drive performance, execution, and predictability
- Preserving an ownership mindset that fosters speed, invention, and resourcefulness
More on each of these below.
#1 - Using scale
This is about focusing on the operational details, processes, systems, and strategies necessary for us to grow intentionally today and into the future.
Specifically, this includes ownership of and driving of:
- Planning & forecasting - Managing the planning process and delivering upon aggressive targets at the organizational and group/function level.
- Capital allocation - Rigorous (yet uncomplicated) and analytical prioritization and allocation of financial and human capital to ensure investments are being made in the right places
- Scaling operational capacity - Increasing operational capacity efficiently and quickly (via opening of new offices, hiring remote talent and/or through the use of 3rd parties)
- Building systems - Leading efforts to educate and build a systems-driven culture that focuses us on what will produce results rather than exclusively the results.
- Performance management - Creating a performance-driven culture that attracts, retains and rewards phenomenal people
- M&A integration - Integrating and realizing the value of acquired companies or technologies.
#2 - Ownership mindset
When starting a company, there is a degree of urgency, resourcefulness, responsiveness, and inventiveness at every level that drives the team and the organization forward.
In this phase, sometimes magic happens.
You’re learning, building and delivering at a remarkable pace amidst uncertainty and chaos.
In this type of organization, the ownership mindset is strong.
And we believe it is critical that we maintain this.
And so we are looking for this exec to help us build an organization that is big yet small or said another way, an org that is highly scalable but still immensely entrepreneurial.
We have some ideas on how to do this which we can share as conversations proceed. And of course, we’d want an exec to bring their own experiences and ideas to drive this as well.
- 10+ years of senior leadership experience with a proven track record of driving performance in individual functions and across the organization
- Early experience in top-tier management consulting or investment banking roles is a plus but not required
- Experience at a company that has gone public (and traversed the private to public market journey) is also a plus but not required
More specifically, within your last 2 roles, you should have:
- Been part of the executive team at a technology/software company experiencing rapid growth
- Scaled a company from low hundreds to high hundreds/low thousands of teammates successfully.
- Recruited and led a high performance team of at least 10+
- Driven decisions that materially and quantifiably drove the business forward through deep understanding & analysis of financial & operating metrics
- Led business & strategy planning efforts including capital allocation (financial & human) and goal / target setting efforts (at the functional and org level) from plan development through to execution
- Built and optimized operations at the function and organization level
- Worked in companies that served enterprise clients (Global 2000)
- Successfully driven, managed and led change management efforts
Top 10 characteristics of the right COO candidate:
- Has high standards, values hard work and is immensely results-driven
- Has high clarity of thought (which manifests itself in their decision quality)
- Is deeply analytical
- Is humble as we have strong antibodies to arrogance
- Is a systems thinker
- Is a magnet for talent
- Can see the big picture but sweats and has mastery of the details
- Is highly aware of markets, competition and business models
- Is predisposed to moving fast because they understand speed is a weapon
- Is a great communicator who synthesizes info quickly and cogently and bring others along
Things worth reading:
- Amazing culture: Happy, Helpful, Humble, Hungry. Learn more here
- A newsletter that 600k people follow: Sign up here.
- Be Healthy: Health with HSA and FSA options, dental, and vision insurance along with unlimited/take what you need sick day policy
- Plan for the future: 401k with up to 4% match
- Continued Learning: $1,000 yearly continuing education stipend
- Rest and Relax: Competitive vacation and holiday plans
- Refuel: Daily lunch stipend, unlimited snacks/coffee
We know that diversity makes for the best problem-solving and creative thinking. We are dedicated to adding new perspectives to the team and encourage everyone to apply if your experience is close to what we are looking for.
Equal Opportunity Employer: CB Insights is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.