Onward

I’m transitioning from my day to day operations position as the Director of Business Development at the GBTC and will be joining  LocalUp Solutions as a Product Manager. I’ve been very fortunate to have the “why and how” conversation with a lot of people in the community, but I wanted to make a a more canonical, definitive post for anyone who’s interested in knowing. It’s really important to know what this means, and especially important to know what it doesn’t.

When I first came to the GBTC, I had three goals:

  1. Make the tech community more awesome,
  2. Make sure the organization was sound (to keep the community awesome,)
  3. And lastly, make sure I was in the right place at the right time for my next role.

I had no idea what I wanted to get into long term, but the GBTC gave me two pieces of priceless and universally transferable experience, hands on biz dev work, and an awesome birds eye view of the market.

The GBTC has been through quite a bit of transition, but I want to make something perfectly clear: I am not leaving due to any weakness with the organization, quite the contrary. The GBTC has meticulously put the infrastructure in place to become the platform through which Baltimore can explode (you know, in a good way.) The GBTC team is rival to any organization that I’ve been a part of, I’m especially confident in the execution and strategic abilities of our CEO, Sharon Webb (who it’s been an honor to work for!) One of the reasons I feel my departure from daily operations was acceptable is the knowledge that the organization is not just going to survive, but thrive at an accelerating pace. And its going to be a really fun process, we’ve made it though the business mechanics phase, and are now firmly into execution.

“So if things are so great, why you leavin’?”

First, a clarification – I’m not “leavin”. I have (in advance) accepted an advisory role with the GBTC, and will remain as involved as they’ll let me be, both as an individual and a startup.

When I started at the GBTC, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and didn’t even know there was this role of “Product Manager.” A goal was to be in the right place when the opportunity came along, and to do that you have to identify the characteristics of said opportunity. To do that, I thought back to my favorite unit of work: Cahoots.

Working with a killer team, coming up with new ideas, and then figuring out how to execute on them. Everything from BD to product management to creating strategy to team building, I had the chance to be involved in every facet. The only thing I didn’t figure out was how to make money (a minor oversight.) This to me indicated that I didn’t have particularly strong vision, but it showed that I really excelled in taking vision and executing on it. That’s the role of Product Manager in a nutshell, taking vision from the executive team and turning it into an executable strategy with the development, design, marketing, and sales teams.

“So you’ve decided on being a PM, why join LocalUp?”

LocalUp has two key things that have drawn me to them, team and product.

They have all the killer attributes I look for in a business: tons of vision, great sales and marketing, and awesome culture. They also didn’t have a dedicated product person, so this provides another huge asset; my role will have a large impact on the organization. Over the past few years LocalUp has grown very quickly, and have done it profitably along the way.

I was excited about LocalUp from the first time I’d heard of them, I told everyone I knew about them, introduced their employees to people I thought would be a good fit, and was thrilled when I was finally introduced to their CEO (via a friend who I had helped with an introduction earlier), and even MORE excited when we chatted about some product opportunities. I got the product right away, and was so excited I started working on wireframes about how the product could be improved, which I awkwardly presented at our next meeting.

In conclusion, I’m all around excited. The GBTC is going to charge on without me, and if anything I’m a bit bummed that after doing the hard, foundation building work that we’ve been engaged in for the past six months, I’m not going to be involved day to day with all the fun that will be happening over the next few years.  However, I’ve found my opportunity to put a dent in the universe, and could not be more thrilled to get to work with LocalUp.

More Info:
LocalUp Solutions – http://localupsolutions.com/
LocalUp Solutions Blog – http://blog.localupsolutions.com/ 

This entry was posted in Baltimore, Business. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Onward

  1. Congrats, Brian! Good luck with the new gig.

  2. The community wouldn’t be what it is without your efforts at the GBTC and with Cahoots. I know you’re gonna crush it at LocalUp.

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