Some days in life really stand out, often unexpectedly. November 8th was one of those days for me. I took my identical twin boys, now 12, deer hunting for the first time since we moved back to Texas in 2010. Hunting is a lifelong passion of mine that went unquenched the 14 years I lived in California (although surfing easily filled that void). Fortunately, my boys and I were successful which made their first hunt experience all that much better.
Time in a deer blind offers plenty of still, quiet hours which are great for reflecting on life, and that’s what happened the morning of November 8th. Since taking over the CEO role at RealMassive on May 8 there’s been no shortage of challenges and opportunities. In six short months we changed management, raised our Series A, were sued by a large competitor, brought multiple products to market, worked through a founder departure, changed some aspects of our go-to-market, and made some meaningful adjustments to the team. I’m told this is par for the course when it comes to founding a growing and disruptive company, but when you’re in the middle of taking blow after blow as you pursue opportunity after opportunity at the very same time, it can feel overwhelming.
During that time something else transpired that, I believe, will prove to be a cornerstone for RealMassive…we started building out our board of directors. And it wasn’t because we took on new investors and were forced to give them a seat as a condition of their investment (our Series A investor was already on our board). We wanted to fill a few seats. Why give up board seats now? Well, for one, I believe firmly in the old proverb “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” This is particularly true when the plan is to pursue a really big idea. Accomplishing our vision at RealMassive will no doubt take a full team of capable and experienced professionals to get the ball over the goal line, and that starts at the very top.
So, I am pleased to announce that Lynn Atchison, CFO of HomeAway and David Mather, Managing Partner at Ensys Capital join Hank Seale from Q2 Holdings and myself on RealMassive’s board of directors. Lynn helped take Hoovers, Inc. public and through its ultimate sale to Dun & Bradstreet. She also took HomeAway public in 2011 and remains a long-time champion of Austin’s thriving startup community. David is a results-driven executive with big company operational expertise at Hoovers, Inc., Unisys, and Hewlett Packard. He leaves everything on the field and brings out the best in those around him. Lynn and David saw immediate relevance to their past experience and quickly recognized our opportunity to modernize commercial real estate. They, along with Hank Seale (Chairman) and advisor Brett Hurt, collectively help me with the strategic guidance our company needs to ensure we execute on our objectives.
Lynn Atchison and David Mather
Growing a company is a team sport, which by definition guarantees no one person can do it alone. I’ve always been a team sport guy, so looking back I think that’s one of the things that attracted me to a startup to begin with. The opportunity to be part of something that’s far bigger than yourself is one of the things that makes RealMassive special, and it’s a privilege for me to be part of it. Lynn and David’s addition to the team could not have come at a better time. We have an incredibly passionate team of dedicated employees committed to a big outcome, and they now have the strategic and operational leadership team to help them get there. Our customers are expecting big things from us, and we will deliver.