Ed is a superb product strategist who thrives on knowledge of the market and competitive positions. He has a particular knack for designing user experiences, and has a way of striking the perfect balance between innovation and engineering.
BUILDING SAAS PRODUCTSBEFORE IT WAS COOL
In 1999, software as a service (or, “The Cloud”) was brand new. Salesforce.com was just getting started, the first Blackberry was hitting the market, and the initial Bluetooth standard was just being released. I was just getting started as well, designing websites and graphics, mastering Photoshop version 5.5, and about to enter my 20’s.
Little did I expect that taking my first real job would lead to a long career in the SaaS space and liftime of helping businesses and business people improve their lives.
In 2000, I had the opportunity to join SamePage, a six person startup building CRM software for businesses that amounted to Access databases hosted via Citrix. As a youngster, I started out as a customer service person, answering the phone and chatting with users who had issues with the product.
Over the first few years, I grew with the company, moving from customer service to the development team to managing the MS SQL Servers to eventually running the company’s marketing efforts. At some point, we knew that our business model of customizing our software for every client would never work and we decided to pivot to an offering that was truly multi-tenant.
ExpenseWire was the result. We built a world-class expense management product for which I had the pleasure of leading the product team. I managed the design and development efforts from concept ideation to acquisition by Foster City-based Rearden Commerce.
REARDEN COMMERCE / DEEM
Once acquired by Rearden, ExpenseWire’s ~50 person team became part of a 500 person Silicon Valley company who had raised hundreds of millions in capital. I spent much of my time traveling back and forth between Ohio and California, and had a great opportunity to get to know a culture much different than my own. I got a chance to work with world class industry veterans the likes of which had built incredible products at Google, Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc. and who were happy to share their methodologies and experiences with a young product manager like myself.