From Minnesota to Silicon Valley

travelingAh, 2015 did not start well for me, but if I knew the possibilities it would open, I would enjoy every moment of the process.  The company where I worked for three years reorganized its marketing function in the spring, the reorganization did not make sense to me, so I left the company without a good idea of what I wanted to do next.  I just knew that it would have to be something dramatically different.  And my husband was hoping for a better weather…

Three months later, I am in California, working for Transifex, a small and very dynamic organization, inherently international and wonderfully diverse, in the industry that did not quite exist several years ago.  Yes, it is my “new job honeymoon,” and I love everything, including my notebook with the company logo, but the people, the product, and even the industry is absolutely amazing!

LogoTransifex-hires

Transifex is a localization platform; it solves the problem that I had throughout my career as a marketer: streamlining the translation of practically any web-related materials.  The most remarkable benefit (from my perspective of a person very new to the industry) is “continuous localization” – a system that allows building the localization process into a normal life cycle of any internet-related project – an agile web app development or continuous updates of marketing web sites.  And, in my sorry experience, which is probably similar to the experience of any marketer, the update of marketing sites usually needed before the translation of the first version has even been completed…

A few years into the future, localization platforms will be as ubiquitous as marketing automation platforms or content management now.  In the application development area these platforms will reside somewhere between the programming language and the database.  The future of the industry is very interesting.

One of my favorite companies, Coursera, is Transifex customer.

For me personally, 2015 might be one of the best years of this century!  🙂

palm-tree

While looking for opportunities in the Silicon Valley (this is where most interesting jobs for marketers are!), I was introduced to quite a few innovative companies with interesting business models.  Though I am certain I joined the best organization for my interests, I am delighted to become a customer, or to borrow interesting marketing ideas from some firms to which I was lucky to be exposed.

My general impression from my job search time is remarkable business savvy I was happy to discover.  Coming from large corporations, I was impressed by the clarity and transparency.  I met marketing VPs who could explain the go to market strategy, positioning and differentiation of their business in two sentences, senior marketers who had an excellent grasp of technical aspects of marketing operations, and just very smart and knowledgeable people of all ages and backgrounds.

Some of the companies I encountered are below:

malwareMalwarebytes – the most popular software you need to protect your computer.  I downloaded the free version, and promotion bar that popped up periodically on different sites disappeared!  Ah – I wanted this bar out of my computer for a while…  I think I will be a paying customer when we upgrade our computers.  The software is available for individuals and businesses, and the company’s ultimate objective is to bring humanity into malware-free future, where such services won’t be needed.

Hilarious: the company named conference rooms by the names of spaceships from Star Trek and Star Wars.  I visited “the Enterprise” conference room with a little model of the ship.  As a Star Trek fan, I was thrilled!  I was also left with the instruction that it was OK to play with the model, as long as I put it back, and Vulcan “live long and prosper” hand gesture.

riminiRinimi Street – very interesting business!  Some of the companies where I used to work would save money and struggles if they would become customers 🙂  The company is an independent provider of enterprise software support, such as Oracle, SAP, etc.  The company is happy to support not only the enterprise software itself, but also all custom code that corporations typically add to the system.  This approach allows reducing cost of software maintenance up to 50% and avoid upgrading to the new versions of enterprise software.  Knowing the dynamics of enterprise software and how it is managed by large corporations, the company will probably thrive for at least 20 years after each software package will be discontinued.

EllieEllie Mae – a company that provides all-in-one mortgage management solutions.  A typical b-to-b SaaS company in a very conservative industry…  with a very innovative and creative marketing approach.  The company approached training about new government regulations as “taming” of a scary-looking dinosaur with the name of a play on the regulation’s abbreviation.  The result – is a cute baby dinosaur, available as a soft, squishable toy (I have one too 😉  ).  It rors when squeezed, and reminds that any scary rule can be transformed into an adorable little creature with right type of knowledge.  Customers play with the toy and post amazing pictures on social media.  Wow – and this is a very conservative industry…

homeHomeAway – this is not a Silicon Valley based company, but its business is as interesting, and I think I will be a customer at one point 🙂  HomeAway is based in Austin, TX, and some people who are hiding from snowy winters work there.  HomeAway provides a global marketplace for vacation rentals.  Instead of staying in a hotel, you can rent an apartment of a large house to keep the entire family comfortable, and costs low.  And you can cook if you like… and family members will have comfortable number of TV sets  🙂  The marketplace provides method of promoting rentals for property owners, reserving the vacation accommodations, reading reviews of previous guests, and a very wide choice of options around the world.

I was fortunate to talk with companies providing different kind of software services, capitalizing on telecommunication technology breakthroughs, advancing new technology in physical and virtual world, helping teachers to learn cutting edge techniques, simplifying office management, and connecting companies around the globe to manage their surplus equipment. Above is a small fraction of the companies to which I was exposed, and I am beyond happy with the end result – finding Transifex..

Now I think 2015 knocked on my door and said: “Hey, the world outside of your little corner is interesting, wonderful.  Explore it, you will be pleased!”  I did.  And my husband and I are looking forward to our first California winter 😉

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2 thoughts on “From Minnesota to Silicon Valley

  1. Hi Vanessa! Thank you for sharing. I wish you the best in all your new career and life changes. Living in Florida now, I know exactly what you mean by “winter”! Good luck and stay in touch!!! Ron Rowan

    • Ron, I did not realize you were in Florida! I remember your were not a fan of winter 🙂 Best wishes and enjoy the weather!

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