Marketplaces, Communities, and Tech: Why I Joined TrustRadius as Chief Product Officer
I joined TrustRadius two weeks ago and am on a mission. The global impact of the COVID pandemic has unfolded beyond what I could have imagined. Shelter-in-place and travel bans have shocked several industries and some companies are struggling to survive. Others are scrambling to stabilize their businesses and take care of their employees. There is an even greater need than before for software and technology to help transition to remote workforces, distance learning and telemedicine. And in the face of uncertainty, I’ve taken notice of how it’s brought the best of many leaders out in the tech community to help each other.
For those companies caught flat-footed, I’ve seen other tech leaders and peers offer advice as well as best practices for making the transition to a world where employees and students are now 100% remote. Several tech vendors have offered free versions and extended trials of their software including web conferencing, virtual classrooms, collaboration and telemedicine. Users with prior experience have published how-to guides and tips to help each other with employees, students and teachers making the transition for the first time. This has enabled companies to shift almost overnight from a face-to-face way of life to the new world of shelter-in-place.
Which brings me to why I joined TrustRadius. It’s my next audacious venture with a mission to build products that bring people together. TrustRadius started with a vision from Vinay Bhagat to bring the power of reviews to the world of B2B tech. The quality of the reviews driven on the platform is tremendous. Buyer traffic is growing and vendors are leveraging reviews to drive meaningful ROI for their businesses. And with an incredible team, I believe we are just scratching the surface of what can be done for the B2B tech community.
I have spent my career building online communities that enable people to make some of their most meaningful life decisions including finding a career (job boards, online recruiting and talent management) and discovering the world through travel (OTA, vacation rentals). As an executive at Expedia (Vrbo, HomeAway) my focus was on building an online marketplace for the travel community. As a product executive at several tech vendors, I had the opportunity to lead product teams to innovate and meet the needs of businesses and consumers. For B2B tech, I’ve navigated the impacts of 9/11 as well as the 2008 financial crisis which required adapting to a new world and staying close to the needs of the buyer by delivering a strong value proposition. TrustRadius allows me to combine the expertise I’ve developed in building communities with my experience as both a tech vendor and a tech buyer.
I’ve also been the economic buyer for corporate technology throughout my career and was fortunate to participate in a CTO roundtable within a global company that brought tech leaders together every quarter to discuss business opportunities and develop technology strategies. We shared experiences, approaches and best practices. I found this roundtable to be invaluable and it helped me shape strategy and make informed decisions on our tech investments. The peer-to-peer network was tremendous but often limited to the quarterly face-to-face meetings. There’s a lot more scale through an online community that brings buyers and sellers together.
Tech buyers have relied on TrustRadius to research vendors and make decisions based on data and insights including powerful user reviews. I’ve seen the tech community come together even more during the COVID pandemic and it’s my mission at TrustRadius to help serve the community so it can grow stronger through and beyond the pandemic.
In the coming months, I’m looking forward to partnering with the TrustRadius family – buyers, vendors, employees – on this mission.
If you are a tech buyer, I want to hear from you. Please connect with me on LinkedIn.