Two weeks ago marked the three year anniversary of the Pardot exit (see ExactTarget and Pardot Join Forces). Naturally, it’s amazing how fast the time goes by. Of course, after any major life event there are a number of takeaways. Here are a few of those from the past three years:
- Marketing automation, as a market, has proved even bigger and more important than we even thought. I remember pitching VCs back in 2009 how marketing automation was this great market, and had a hard time getting buy-in. Well, now, six years later, it’s a strong medium-sized market and still growing fast.
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), while good back then, is great now. Investors love SaaS, and fast-growing businesses, making a rocketship like Pardot incredibly valuable. While it’s easy to second guess what could have been, selling at a local maximum was the right call.
- The journey is much more fun that the destination. Selling the company was truly a life-changing event, but working with great people and building a great company was the real reward. I still marvel at all the talented people we had on the team and what we were able to accomplish. Unreal.
- Second acts are really hard to pull off and I’m glad that the Atlanta Tech Village turned out to be something much greater than a labor of love. Bringing together a passionate community and helping so many entrepreneurs has been incredibly rewarding. Now, I just need to figure out my third act…
- Seeing Pardot grow and thrive as part of the Salesforce.com family has been great. Knowing that it’s more than quadrupled in number of employees and many times that in customers makes me proud that we built something that was scalable and strong. I have no doubt that Pardot will eventually be the world’s most widely used B2B marketing automation system.
Pardot was an amazing experience and I’m thankful to have been a part of the team. Three years later the business continues to do great and shows no signs of slowing down. I’ve learned a good bit over these past three years and look forward to learning even more.
What else? What are some more takeaways three years after the Pardot exit?