What’s Next? Part 3: Moving to Austin, TX!
October 4, 2011 7 Comments
I am ecstatic to announce that I’ll be joining a promising young startup in Austin, TX called BlackLocus as their President effective November 1. BL was founded at Carnegie Mellon University in 2009 by 3 incredibly smart and innovative individuals – Rodrigo, Francisco and Lukas. They’ve built technology that enables retailers who sell products online to optimize pricing at the product level in an automated way and in real-time, based on what competitors are charging, internal margin requirements, profit goals, etc. It’s clear from customer interest, even among large retailers, that they are on to something unique and valuable. The broader mission is to simplify, automate and profit maximize eCommerce. A lofty goal indeed and I love how these guys think big. The team was recently funded by VCs Silverton Partners and DFJ Mercury.
My role with the company will be to run the day to day operations and go-to-market strategy and execution, including hiring the leadership team (Analytics, Product, PR/Marketing, Recruiting/HR, Support and Sales/BD), acquire customers, generate meaningful revenue and establish the company as a thought leader in its space. I couldn’t be more excited to join Rodrigo, Francisco and Lukas to help them execute on their vision.
What a journey its been over the past 4 months. And I really do mean journey. You can read the two previous installments of this process, Part 1 and Part 2. I have actually really enjoyed the process, re-connecting with folks and meeting really interesting people in the various geographies I was pursuing. It has been refreshing to take an external view and build some meaningful relationships after being so heads down at TrueCar for the past 4 years. I’m looking forward to keeping that external focus and really getting involved in the Austin tech community.
This was a really tough decision given that there were multiple opportunities and they were all quite different – different geographies (Boulder, Austin, LA, SF), different roles (CEO, President, COO) and different stages of development (Seed, Post A-round, Pre-IPO). An oversimplification, but it came down to two primary criteria for me – 1) the quality of the idea and absolutely huge market potential and 2) the team at BL, including the investors at Silverton and DFJ.
And, it will be great to be located in Austin with my brother and his family. The Taylor caravan departs Los Angeles for Austin in just a few weeks.
Thanks to all my friends, family and others who were supportive and helpful along the way. Let the new adventure begin!