For the past 30 plus years, I have had the privilege of participating in, and building out, some of the world’s most groundbreaking technologies in use today. I helped grow several companies to more than a $1 billion in revenue: several sold to accelerate global growth and one we open sourced that spawned breakthrough technology used globally on most of the applications or websites that you’ve likely visited today.
From my humble beginnings working with the Schwab family at D&H Distributing ushering in the PC Era to working with Marc Benioff at Salesforce where I designed, built, and scaled the world’s first and largest Cloud Partner Ecosystem (which today exceeds $1 Trillion in transactions), to helping democratize communications channels like voice, text, chat, video, and email as Chief Revenue Officer at Twilio, to partnering with Douglas Crockford at State Software to create JSON, the ubiquitous, de facto open source standard for sending data between web servers and browsers and mobile applications, to running the Worldwide Channels and Alliances organization for BEA which accounted for approximately one-third of their revenue globally, to driving the standards of the audio interface that led to the development of the standalone Sound Blaster creating the global standard for how we heard audio from a computer, I’ve been around amazing and successful disruptions my entire career.
I am passionate about revolutionizing industries, creating new models, helping companies prosper, and enabling people to live better lives. This is why I am incredibly thrilled to be joining Okera as President. Not only do I get to collaborate and work with a high caliber of impassioned colleagues, but I’m most excited to continue to help our impressive list of modern, data-driven enterprises to accelerate innovation, minimize data security risks, and demonstrate regulatory compliance. This is what really excites me about joining Nong (our CEO and Founder) as I get to play a critical role in helping to define how employees, customers, and partners will use data more responsibly, while protecting them from inappropriately accessing data that is confidential, personally identifiable, or regulated.
We are at a tipping point when it comes to leveraging the internet and engaging with customers and prospects who are becoming increasingly fed up with having their most personal information treated so carelessly. We deserve, and are demanding, that companies safeguard the sensitive and personally identifiable information (PII) data that we, as consumers, entrust them with daily.
From buying milk to purchasing a car, we look for a stamp of approval to ensure the products we purchase have been deemed safe and that the company manufacturing the product adheres to the highest standards. So, why aren’t we demanding the same of our data? Trust matters and establishing trust is what Okera is all about.
Ethan Kurzweil, Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners (who I had the pleasure of working with at Twilio and now again as an investor in Okera), knows that I am a trust disciple. I learned from Mark Benioff who learned from Pierre Omidyar (then at eBay) that the key to success is trust. In this case, trust between the buyers and sellers who make up the community and trust between the user and the company itself. eBay went to great lengths to provide users with a safe, person-to-person online trading experience and we are going to do the same with anyone who deals with sensitive consumer data.
Today, achieving secure data access and governance has become table stakes for a business to succeed and is a board-level topic that organizations must now defend. So, as we enter into the realm of Web 3.0, I look forward to tackling the trust problem and to providing organizations with the tools they need to protect consumer data and the personally identifiable information we trust them with.
If you are like me and want to be at the forefront of the trust data revolution, we need to connect. It’s an effort far greater than what I successfully tackled for BEA, Salesforce or even Twilio. Yet, together we can transform business processes by creating a foundation of trust that will become the de facto standard to ensure consumer and enterprise confidence. I look forward to helping Okera create trust throughout every business. The sky’s the limit, and I can’t wait for the ride. But the real question is why did it have to take so long?