Q: What do you do at DocuSign?
I’m the CTO, so my primary job is setting technology and architecture strategy for the company. I work with all the different teams in our product development organization to align them around the technical strategy as well as representing the company to customers and the industry at large.
Q: What do your friends and family think you do?
I think my family has a pretty clear view of what I do, because I’ve been here for nine years. I’ve watched the company grow from 30 people to 2000.
Q: What is the best thing about working at DocuSign?
DocuSign matches my magic recipe for happiness, which includes three things: 1. Do something that matters. 2. Have that thing be challenging. 3. Do that thing with people you truly enjoy. So for me, I suppose that’s the best thing about working with DocuSign — I get to do those three things.
Q: How is that team different than other teams at DocuSign? Is there anything special about your team’s dynamic?
I don’t know if it’s unique, but I certainly know what I strive for my team to be: When I built this team I built it from scratch, and we are fundamentally built on three principles. Firstly, we wanted to be very customer-focused. Secondly, we wanted to have a culture of excellence. Lastly, we wanted to be a team – to win or lose together. I feel we have strongly accomplished those things.
Q: What is the best advice you can give to somebody starting a new job in your department at DocuSign?
Take a risk. Make a difference. Take something on that’s very difficult and see it through.
Q: What traits do you most admire in your colleagues at DocuSign?
Determination. Customer empathy. Innovative problem-solving. Creative problem-solving.
Q: What traits do you think your DocuSign colleagues most admire in you?
I would hope the same. But I don’t know. I would guess determination and customer-focus.
Q: What is something most of your colleagues at DocuSign don’t know about you?
I’m an open book. I’ve been around so long I don’t know if there’s any mystery left. I don’t bite.
Maybe that I’m not scary? From time to time, I’ve heard people are afraid to bring something forward with me — but no one regrets when they do. I always help. I’m really interested in and willing to solve problems. I have pretty high expectations and don’t like to disappoint anyone.
Q: What is your favorite snack from the DocuSign kitchen?
Chocolate-covered almonds which we now have in Seattle.
Q: Where is your favorite place to work or have a meeting at DocuSign and why?
Do you want the PC or the non-PC answer?
Non-PC: The Owl & Thistle Pub. We call it “Conference room OT.” The company was more or less built in Conference Room OT. The engineering team did their best work at O & T and operations did their best work at Cherry street coffee back in the day.
Q: What is the best project you ever worked on at DocuSign and why?
My favorite project was the original forms capability. We created a forms management environment similar to the best in the industry. We originally called the release “Big Mondo” because it was massive. It’s when DocuSign moved from a flat stamping tool to a form environment, and was done to enable the original requirements of fidelity. That was the biggest change we ever made.
There’s been a lot of great projects, though — I get to work on all the fun stuff. Probably my second favorite was working with Team Rubicon on building an in-field offline signing app for their foreign aid workers to use. We built it this spring during the Hackathon, and now they’re using it in Greece to get patient waivers and treat Syrian refugees.
Q: If you were not working at DocuSign and could do anything in the world, what would you be doing/do next?
This. Same thing. I build companies. I build products. If I weren’t building this product it’d be another. I’ve spent my career finding things that could be better online than they are in the real world. It’s what I love to do.
Q: What is the secret for you to happiness?
I’m going to say the same as my original answer: Do something that’s important, challenging, and enjoy the people you do that with. Works at home, works at work. Don’t take the easy road. Don’t take the valueless road. The uphill climb is the rewarding climb.