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Bootstrapping to $14M, Solving Serious Pain in IT Lead Generation: DiscoverOrg Cofounder Henry Schuck (Part 1)

Posted on Thursday, Aug 30th 2012

Henry has more than 10 years of experience managing the sales and marketing activities of fast-growing IT data companies. Prior to DiscoverOrg he managed marketing and research at Global IT Profiles, LLC and led the company en-route to a successful private equity sale. At DiscoverOrg he manages sales, marketing, and strategic development for the company. He is a cum laude graduate of the University of Nevada – Las Vegas, where he received BS degrees in hotel administration and accounting. Henry also holds a JD cum laude from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and has studied comparative law at Oxford University in England. He is a licensed attorney in the State of Nevada.

Sramana: Henry, let’s start with some context about your personal story. Where do you come from? What is the back story that leads to your entrepreneurship journey?

Henry Schuck: I grew up in Los Angeles and I did my undergrad studies at UNLV, where I studied hotel administration and accounting. During the summer of my first year, I took a job at a lead generation company in Las Vegas. I worked there from the summer of my freshman year until a year and a half after I graduated. The company I was working for was purchased by a private equity firm. After the company was purchased, I transitioned out and went to law school at Ohio State University.

Sramana: What did you do in the lead generation firm, and what did you see in that environment?

Henry Schuck: It was a very small company that provided leads to technology firms as well as reports on technologies that the company used. They would source reports from publications and put them all in one place. When I got there the company was just the owner. He had been running the business for just more than 10 years and was doing just about $300,000 in revenue. When I first got the job, I was essentially doing administrative work for him.

Since it was a one-person company, I had insight into everything. Marketing was done through direct mail. Sales were done via CD. When a client signed up for the service, we burned a CD with the information and we would send it out to the different customers. This all occurred in 2001, right after the bubble. Within the first year I had taken over the marketing function. We had taken sales from $300,000 to a million dollars in the first year I was there. We did that primarily through email marketing. The advent of email marketing and the ability to track emails that were opened as well as clicks became a key enabler for our business. Email marketing spiked interest in our company. The second year we did more than $2 million in revenue and the company continued to grow.

It was a very closely held corporation. There was not a lot of interest in building a company. It was a lifestyle business. I got to watch this business which, while growing, was thirsty for resources it had not been given. There was never an investment back into the infrastructure. We never hired a sales team; the owner always handled the sales. By the time I left, the company was doing more than $4 million in revenue with just the owner and a couple of college kids. At that point I was running marketing, research, and I was interfacing with our outside council on intellectual property protection.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Bootstrapping to $14M, Solving Serious Pain in IT Lead Generation: DiscoverOrg Cofounder Henry Schuck
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