Hi everyone, I’m James. I’m excited about joining the community and the opportunity to help people succeed and learn from my many, many mistakes.
I currently work for Microsoft as a Principal PM leader on the Outlook mobile engineering team. For 2 years I led the PM team and integrated the two acquired companies (Acompli and Sunrise) into the Microsoft Outlook organization while growing usage from less than a million MAU to just under 60M MAU.
For the past 2 years I have been leading multiple cross-org teams to operationally integrate product engineering teams, engineering and field organizations, and data science teams in service of growth within enterprise accounts worldwide. The goal is to increase the agility and speed across product teams, the effectiveness of the field organization to drive growth, and our speed of decision making via telemetry and data science.
I’ve been a PM leader for a couple of decades in Mobile :iphone:(Microsoft) , Cloud (Rackspace), Enterprise SaaS (startups), and embedded processors/systems (National Semiconductor).
Look forward to meeting you all in person one day - I’m based in San Francisco, but spend a lot of my time in Redmond, WA.
Reach out if you need help!
Sorry, I am not currently available for mentoring sessions.
Feb 2018 - current
Advisor to startups at UC Berkeley's Skydeck Incubator.
SkyDeck combines Silicon Valley acceleration with the massive resources of UC Berkeley. This unique ecosystem, coupled with SkyDeck’s mentorship program, gives startups the opportunity to launch and compete with industry leaders. SkyDeck is a joint venture of UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering, the Haas School of Business, and the Vice Chancellor for Research Office. SkyDeck takes teams from all industry sectors. SkyDeck accelerates technology, science, and disruptive business startups. SkyDeck startups have direct access to the massive resources of the UC Berkeley ecosystem.
Senior Director of Product Management and Product Marketing
Jul 2014 - Dec 2014
I built consensus across company and Board of Directors to synthesize 12 disparate products into a coherent single SaaS platform. To better understand compliance requirements and regulatory controls along the entire global supply chain, I engaged deeply with customers like Walmart, Nike, and a supply chain company, OAI Global. In support of multimillion-dollar contracts, I validated customer needs. I steered cross-functional teams of product managers, UX designers, front-end developers, back-end engineers, DevOp engineers, and platform architects.
► Delivering the first prototype platform to Nike and Walmart within 4 months. Working cross-functionally to institute a rapid design-sprint and agile development methodology to meet key contract negotiation milestones.
► Increasing sprint velocity by 10% in just 6 months while boosting morale. Devising new product roadmap/workflows, go-to-market (GTM) plans, and customer migration strategy for next generation platform.
► Transforming UX team with user-first philosophy; clarifying priorities with personas, completed design sprints, and detailed usability testing. Creating customer-focused branding strategy, pricing matrix, and data model. Working with sales on strategic accounts.
Rackspace, the Open Cloud Company
May 2013 - Jun 2014
While bringing order to chaos among cross-functional teams, I directed and energized 5 product managers and 30+ engineers. I created a unifying framework and a single strategy for an intelligent cloud-scaling platform to include visualization dashboards and artificial intelligence decision-making engine. I integrated cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) teams, merging roadmaps and strategic visions/missions.
► Increasing adoption by 500%+ within 6 months of launching a new freemium business model of a core product. Growing client base and penetration within each account as the first step in selling through high-value intelligent platform components.
► Cutting customer support ticket resolution time from 24 hours to 30 minutes by improving support effectiveness through increased customer data provided by the newly adopted platform.
► Accelerating product release cycles and boosting team morale by resolving operational gaps and aligning processes to goals.
Founder & CEO
Mar 2008 - May 2013
Building a revolutionary platform used by the leaders in the semiconductor industry, I pioneered automated multi-tenant hybrid-cloud SaaS platform for hosting, marketing, and licensing high-performance simulation software, which was proven to shrink the average sales cycle of Fortune 500 software vendors by 66%. I defined architecture and the platform’s user experience/interface to work effectively across AWS, OpenStack clouds, and private data centers. While doing so, I staffed and spearheaded top-performing product development, sales, marketing, and customer support teams.
► Hosting extremely popular software used by thousands of engineers, as well as 3 of the top 4 global semiconductor design simulation software companies.
► Bootstrapping the company and closing sales with top companies, such as Intel, Synopsys, Cadence, and Xilinx. Forging strategic partnerships and collaborating across engineering teams to develop platform and raise seed funding.
► Speaking at industry events/forums and to consult with executives at multibillion-dollar companies regarding cloud-computing trends, semiconductor applications, implications on business models, and economic impacts.
VP Product Marketing
Contract Vice President and Product Manager
Feb 2006 - Mar 2008
I worked with the CEOs of 4 European enterprise software startups, positioned 3 companies for acquisition, and successfully launched products in North America, Europe, and Asia.
► After rebranding/repackaging products, I cut the sales cycle in half.
Vice President of Product Marketing and Business Development
Jan 2005 - Jan 2006
I commercialized technology for a software startup which had received $8 million in venture funding and a $2.5 million NIST grant. While doing so, I successfully branded, priced, and positioned complex software and intellectual property (IP) technologies, working with the CEO to define product roadmap. I provided insight into DAFCA’s initial MVP by building an early adopter customer network. For all aspects of product strategy, I gained consensus among board members.
► Opening $5 million sales pipeline and closing the company’s first enterprise sale after accelerating product release and brand relaunch.
Director of Product
Jun 2001 - Jan 2005
To define, build, and launch multiple products around the world, I collaborated with the CEO, the CTO, Sales/Engineering VPs, and strategic customers. I productized technology, enabled the company’s first sale, and built scalable business model.
► Playing a critical role in growing annual revenues from zero to $12+ million by transforming the company from a technology-centric organization to a product/customer-focused business.