When we first worked with Travis York, I was starstruck as I thought he was Christian Bale’s character (Alfred Borden) in The Prestige. As the head of Griffin, York & Krause, an ad agency/marketing firm, there was a certain intangible magic that Travis had to make ordinary products and services so desirable. How do you obtain that aura?
Being an engineer by background, it was easy to be skeptical about the benefits of marketing campaigns and empty promises that companies push forth as gospel. Yet back then, Dyn was embarking on a different side of its business and was beginning to take its technology to a different buyer.
So, we were engaging a professional to tell us how to unlock the gobs of customers who would fall from the sky. After working together for 3-6 months, I can easily say that we weren’t ready for it.
It took a while to realize that the client services, marketing and sales side of a company is equal parts art and science.
When you think about developing a SaaS-based product, you have the same art and science. There is hard technology, architecture and software engineering that goes into building a rock-solid, reliable and scalable system. However, these same systems are given artistic touches to make them elegant. Perhaps they are not so different.
Over the years and after adopting many of the things GYK initially pitched us, Travis and I have kept up and collaborated on a variety of company and non-company projects. The most visible is Music Meets Tech, a rocking success at SXSW last March.
Don’t be fooled by the snazzy style of dress as Travis is actually a brilliant thinker with a pretty balanced right and left brain. In addition, he’s a lot of fun to work with.
I’m looking forward to Monday’s Exec Exchange — both to expand my breadth of knowledge (dealing with a bunch of creatives all day) and to expand Dyn’s breadth (by dealing with a creative all day). The idea is like the Taking It To The Streets initiative where we tried to immerse ourselves in a different situation. When I was in NYC for that month, the goals were to take in the local tech scene, trade stories and make new friends.
I hope the Exec Exchange does the same thing.
And be sure to check out Travis’s take on the exchange.