Mountain View, California… this is the way press releases from Avangate US will begin from now on. But to reach this goal (i.e. the Silicon Valley office) there was (and will be from now on) a tremendous work to be done.
The business development itself it’s not a complicated process; you need someone that knows the industry, has good connections and is ready to dedicate a big part of his life to his job.
The business deployment is another story. You need someone inside the company who knows the business in all its details, knows the company culture and is also willing to involve himself in this operation. And that person was me :).
I used to be the company CTO (from the business idea to the first lines of code and continuing with its first big successes on the market), part of the product development, little bit pre-sales and part of the company management board. I decided to continue my work in the business development area. The reason is very simple: Avangate e-commerce platform is mature (actually I consider it the best in the market :P) and I really love it. This is why I can promote it and sell it with my eyes closed. It’s inspiring to make money for your customers…
The next step was to move up here (back in the middle of August). I made my research and on 15th of August I landed in San Francisco. A little bit chiller than Europe at that time but full of life.
The first 2 weeks were in my experience the hardest part. The American system is very different than the European one. Here you are good customer if you have credit history (no matter how much money you have or how many customers). It was a real challenge to open an account with AT&T, get a car and even to rent the furniture for the house I got in Mountain View.
The nice part just begins. We are situated on the best location in Mountain View: El Camino Real corner with Castro Street – in the middle of the city and of the business center. Going out during the lunch hours you almost feel the software walking on the streets (not talking what companies can eat at the next table).
The team is not so big at this moment but for a start is quite OK. I am working close with our VP US Sales, Casey, which has a strong background in the software business. We managed to open so many leads (and close some contracts) in 5 weeks that the business plan must be reviewed along with the budgets (Carmen, I hope you read this :) ).
As for the conclusions, I would say I am very happy that I made this decision and I am very confident that we will manage to help many US vendors to expand their sales in Europe and Asia. What else can you wish as a business developer?