Today is not about looking backward. Only forward.
I can say without any hesitation that this has been one of the most interesting events of my career. In the last week I have interviewed 5 companies, considered 3 interesting offers, and turned down two jobs: one for a product that will probably be in everyone’s home in the near future and another that would have paid me over 200k a year, but also would have made me want to stab myself in the eye after a while…oh, I also had a woman scream “I want to Win Saul” from a moving car.
Never before in my career have I had such a say in where I apply my skills and I doubt I ever will again. So, as you can imagine, I didn’t want to make a rushed decision.
Nevertheless, a decision has been made and I am pretty jazzed about it.
With this move, more than anything, I want to be working on something I enjoy, believe in, and have a passion for. It was through that lens that I built my original wish list of applicants–Roots, Rolex, Porsche, Hubba, Red Bull, Disney, etc.–because they’re all brands and products I am passionate about. Rightly or wrongly, I love products and want to be doing that in a place that understands my unique skill-set and unconventional personality.
I can’t honestly say that I expected any brands on my wish list to actually take #winsaul seriously, so to hear from two of them was incredibly exciting. After speaking with them I knew one was a good fit and the other was a miss. The one that was a miss would have been my first choice (of the two) by far based on my love of the brand (and no it wasn’t Nike, I like other brands too) but luckily I controlled the interview and decision process so I felt no pressure to accept something I would regret later.
Ultimately I did choose the other on my list and as of next week I will be joining Hubba as their Director of Non-Traditional Marketing.
It would be unfair to the other companies to say that Hubba was the most attractive or the only choice. In truth I felt like it was the best fit for me coupled with an enormous opportunity.
What is Hubba?
The fancy description is that Hubba is the leading B2B product sharing and discovery platform designed for brands to share rich content with their retail and ecommerce partners, allowing product information to be accurate across all platforms. Some of the world’s largest and most innovative brands have trusted Hubba’s simple, user-centric approach to manage and share their product information.
Basically, we work with brands to get their product data accurate and in the exact format in which major retailers like Wal-mart and Target expect. Once everything is formatted for their existing retailers we then connect them to possible opportunities with additional retailers and help grow their business.
Here is why I chose them;
Ben Zifkin – I have had the opportunity to work for and learn from some pretty amazing people in my career. Mike McDerment, Russ Fujioka, Mike Lee, Nyla Ahmad and now Ben. I always want to be learning and I feel good about those possibilities here. Ben is the reason Hubba was on my list to begin with as we met a few years back while both speaking at a Queens University B-School event and later interviewed him for my podcast. Those two interactions are hardly enough to form an opinion but I did spend a few days in their office getting to know him a little better and got a great feeling about him as a CEO and a person.
The challenge – Out of all of the opportunities, this will be the hardest. Seriously, have you heard of Hubba before? Probably not. In a sadistic way I kinda like that because I will be able to build the brand and know if I am making a difference. It’s hard to get bored in that situation. Frustrated maybe, but not bored.
The team – Hubba is made up of some pretty impressive people. Johnathan Nightingale (former Head of FireFox) is the CPO, Chris Jordan is an incredible BD guy, Chris Hamoen is someone I have paid attention to in the Toronto start up scene for a while, and Howard Lis. Working with a team this strong doesn’t ensure success but it sure makes the odds a zillion times better.
The Variety – If I took a job at Roots or Porsche (not that one was offered) I would be just working with their products exclusively. With Hubba I can work with all of the companies on my wish list and 1000’s more from around the web. This includes all the big or small brands I love…Mark Parker and Jon Wye, call me. These brands may not work with Hubba currently but as time passes it will be unavoidable to ignore us and that is kinda exciting.
The disruptive factor – I like that Hubba is not a disruptive technology. The majority of the companies that applied were “disruptive”. That’s cool, but the thing with disruptive is that disruption in itself is ripe for disruption. That may be a weird thing to say but a lot of people think disrupting an industry is a rite of passage or necessary, but in reality if you really look deeply it is usually nothing more than a path to hire unregulated workers at low wages until the workforce is replaced. When that happens you become the owner and then over time establish the status quo. With Hubba, we certainly expect to watch the way people shop change 13 times in the next 5 years and know that how people purchase things will be different. But what they put in their shopping carts will always be the same, and the need for true product data isn’t going to change. I like that.
If you look at my career, I have always been in a place where I am about helping people grow their companies and Hubba keeps me in that mindset. I didn’t realize how important that was to me until I was presented with opportunities where that would be missing.
Thank you again to everyone who followed #winsaul, or my career in general. I am looking forward to my time at Hubba. Since you made it to the end of this post I will ask that if you know of any companies that sell products please send them to me at scolt [at] Hubba.com. I promise I will take care of them, promote them and maybe change their lives.