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What Are Your Hooks At Work?

In my opinion, everyone needs to find their “hooks” in their work. When I first came here to help grow market share, revenue, profitability, brand recognition and credibility, I didn’t know a thing about DNS. Even the acronym was cloudy at best. Although I now believe it’s sexy, DNS was never the hook for me.

Before Dyn, I spent my entire career in the K-12 private education industry honing my skills, hunting down prospects, pitching them, building relationships, selling, scoping, pricing and contracting software deals. I sold to everyone. I hustled. I was a maniac. Was my hook the educational space or private schools? Not so much. My hook was the business model, the innovation and technology we offered, the niche filled with heated competition and winning!

Simply being the best at what we did, the ability to sell to all types (CEOs, Boards, Headmasters, Advancement, Teachers, Technology Directors) and the autonomy and freedom a good sales guy gets drove me. When I left WhippleHill to come to Dyn, my former CEO Travis Warren offered this advice to our CEO Jeremy Hitchcock:

“Give him an Amex and get the f#*k out of the way.”

When I recruit new talent to work in sales, marketing and support, I ask them to find their hooks. It might not be just one. It most likely won’t be DNS. I ask them to dig deep and figure out if they can be passionate and stay that way, can they live and breathe this company, hustle and be a maniac, be on call like doctors, forget about work/life balance and operate in shades of gray. I want people who can discover their hooks and become fully invested. I want people who care as much as I care. It’s that simple.

Here are my hooks:

  1. Leadership: the ability to motivate a team to rise to new heights unrealized by themselves.
  2. Corporate disposition and culture: disrupting the status quo. You can’t take the “us” out of “us.” (Thanks @37signals)
  3. Target verticals and customer base: networking and building relationships with the best Internet brands and brains in the world.
  4. Business model: SaaS, subscription-based recurring revenue. Outsourcing to consumption-based cloud computing technologies is IT’s future.
  5. Competition and winning: we’ve found where we’re best and focus on that. It helps when no one likes the industry leader. They are easy to sell against and give us a target to chase down.
  6. Technology and innovation: our niche. We truly are making DNS sexy, more relevant and cooler through new technology and solid partnerships.
  7. Money: I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be filthy rich. If you can honestly say that you’d show up everyday to work for no paycheck, I’d call you a liar.

Where do you work? What do you do? Can you relate? What gets you up and at it each day? What are your hooks? We’d love to hear from you. Please chime in.


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Kyle York
Whois: Kyle York

Kyle York is GM & VP, Business & Product Strategy, and has been a long-time executive, having joined in 2008. Over the years, he has held go-to-market leadership roles in worldwide sales, marketing, and services. In his current role, Kyle focuses on overall corporate strategy, including: positioning and evangelism, new market entry, strategic alliances and partnerships, M&A, and business development. Outside of Oracle Dyn, Kyle is an angel investor, entrepreneur, and advisor in several startups.