A Conversation with Jetstack's Head of Growth

Simon, our Head of Growth, details his experience as part of the growing commercial team at Jetstack.

What are your main duties as Head of Growth at Jetstack?

‘Head of Growth’ is a relatively new title that has been more recently adopted by fast growing tech companies. It can mean different things to different people but the role is usually focused on scaling a business, product or customers. In my case, at Jetstack, I lead the business development side of the organisation which includes our Sales & Go-to-Market, Marketing and PR functions. We’ve already achieved such a fantastic engineering reputation since being founded in 2015, and my main goal is to continue revenue growth by maturing the commercial arm of the business.

team drinks

Team drinks at the Founder's Arms

What’s your career history and what made you want to work for Jetstack?

I’ve always been a technologist. I loved building overclocked watercooled PCs as a teen (sinking hours into Call of Duty and FIFA), which led me to start my career in a DevOps team at IBM. As I progressed, I moved into more customer-facing technical sales roles at companies like Cloud Sherpas and Accenture, as I enjoyed solving complex customer business challenges with technology.

I’ve been very fortunate to meet with a number of CIO/CTOs in recent years, nearly all of whom were facing challenges in turning overused buzz-terms like ‘digital transformation’ into tangible projects. They were trying to identify work streams that struck a balance between delivering value to their organisation and helping them to compete against disruptive startups.

I was introduced to Jetstack via an ex-colleague and was immediately impressed by their reputation among the cloud vendors, customers and developers in the open source community. Although I’ve previously worked for some very big companies, I was witnessing a change in how customers (both startups and enterprises alike) are becoming less likely to work with uber-broad systems integrators. In fact, I found that they had a preference to work with smaller technology specialists, who focus on really deep subject matter expertise. For Jetstack, this is Kubernetes.

When I joined Jetstack, sales operations was almost greenfield - we were using Gitlab as our CRM! It’s been one of my most enjoyable roles yet to work with the founders and talented wider team to build a Go-to-Market strategy, sales process and value proposition, whilst looking after some of our strategic new business.

working

Video Editing at Kube Con 2018

What is day-to-day life like in your role?

My role is incredibly varied and that’s what I love the most. Yesterday, for example, I spent the morning on a company-wide call reporting our booked business, and forecasting what we expect to close in Q4. I also discussed the partner news from Google NEXT 2018 in San Francisco, which I’d attended a few weeks prior. That afternoon, I met with a customer to discuss the challenges around upskilling their team on Kubernetes, Day 2 operations and a future multi-cloud strategy. I finished up the day working with some colleagues on a revamped careers section on the Jetstack website!

I also occasionally have time to to mess about with some filming/editing

In my opinion, Jetstack hits the mark on flexibility, autonomy and accountability. We still have a startup culture with a very friendly atmosphere, and there is a large amount of expertise on hand for anyone new to learn and grow personally, and professionally.

What is the most exciting part of your work at Jetstack?

Playing table tennis 5 times a day….?!

In all seriousness, the most exciting part is definitely the growth potential of the company in an industry that is exploding. In only six months at Jetstack, I’ve worked with both ‘born-in-the-cloud’ and enterprise companies alike. It’s been a very interesting process to work on often complex deals and see the fantastic achievements of both the engineers and the commercial team.

team at kube con

The Jetstack Team at Kube Con 2018

Where can people follow you on social media?

I tweet about work related topics @simonjohnparker on twitter, but make sure to follow Jestack’s accounts on instagram and twitter also. I’m always on the lookout for talented sales people as we grow - if you are interested, reach out to me at simon@jetstack.io.