David Cummings is an Atlanta-based tech entrepreneur who has founded 10 companies employing thousands of people, including Pardot, Salesloft, Intown Golf Club, and Terminus. David is also the founder of the Atlanta Tech Village — the United States’ 4th largest tech hub — and the lead investor in Calendly, the world’s most popular scheduling app. After selling Pardot, he was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year winner and one of the 100 Most Influential Atlantans by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
David is a member of YPO Southern 7, Atlanta Rotary, on the boards of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Buckhead Coalition, and the Westminster Schools. A native of Tallahassee, Florida, David earned a bachelor of science degree in economics from Duke University and an honorary doctorate from Mercer University. David blogs regularly at DavidCummings.org and tweets at @davidcummings.
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33 thoughts on “About”
I’m impressed with the content of your blogs and success of putting together Shotput Ventures.
Your name first came up on the StartupLounge podcast discussing Shotput. (I am a sponsor of StartupLounge and good friends with Burkett and Blake.) I noticed in your interview that you went to Duke, as did I (’91).
Your comments about the Medici Center are most interesting. I have been in conversation with John Perlman (who has the building under contract) regarding another potential tenant. Medici is a great idea and I hope it works out.
Have you heard of DukeGen? I had to miss the recent meeting, but would be curious to get your thoughts.
Take care and Go Duke!
Go Duke! Love this blog. www singletracks com
Just reading about your company from the link in MarketingProf.
Wandering about company name Pardot – in Latvian language it means “to sell”. Was it intentionally or there is some other background?
Jason – thanks for the kind words. Yes, I think DukeGEN is a great iniative and I’m looking forward to being a part of it in the future.
Uldis – yes, you’re exactly right. We were looking for sales and marketing words in other languages and that’s how we came up with the name Pardot.
David, unrelated to this post, but I thought you should know that the form on the Tech Village website to signup for a tour is missing. Which BTW, I filled out several months ago but never heard from anyone. How do I best contact Karen Houghton to schedule a tour?
David, in a post some time back you mentioned a “slimmed down” version of RH OPSP. Did you ever complete that and are you willing to share ?
I’d enjoy a copy if you are.
Thanks for the spreadsheet! Very useful as we plan our 2012 marketing activities.
Hey Ed. Small world, eh?
First, congratulations on your recent exit. Really happy to see that, but not surprised given your track record. (I have been a regular reader of your blog posts for a while now)
Second, we have a venture fund that itself is kind of a startup – we invest exclusively in university spin-outs, more details at osageuniversitypartners.com – and partner closely with both Georgia Tech and Emory. In fact, we just invested in a Georgia Tech spin-out in the software space.
Given our own interest in Atlanta-based startups, I would love to connect with you over phone some time. No specific agenda, but it will be great to chat briefly. Let me know if you would be interested and available.
I just read an article on productivity that you posted a while back on your blog: https://davidcummings.org/2012/10/20/culture-fit-trumps-productivity/
I thought you might be interested in a workplace productivity infographic we just published, it’s titled ‘Hardly Working: a look into laziness in the workplace’, check it out: http://complianceandsafety.com/blog/workplace-productivity-infographic-hardly-working/
If you like it, feel free to publish it on your site.
Thanks a lot,
Director of Public Relations
C&S Safety Training Videos
Love your thoughts on being the best place to work and offering housecleaning as a work life benefit! I’m the founder of Dhyana Cleaning and we see tremendous opportunity in working with Employers of Choice and start-ups, as our service improves retention and productivity rates for these employers. I have a question regarding how such a benefit is taxed and wondering if I could send you a personal message via email? You can also reach me at email@example.com.
Keep up the great work!
David: Congrats on the Pardot Sale. I have not found a better way to reach you. I am with the Corporate Development at Versata (www.versata.com). We are a large privately owned software firm, with over 30 companies in the portfolio. The head of Corporate Development, Austin Scee, lives in Atlanta, and his office is just a mile from Pardot’s. If you could call me at (617) 528-0907 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d like to have a conversation with you, if you’re open to the opportunity.
Great blog by the way!!
Just a wonderful and insightful blog. Interested to pick your brain and receive some feedback on a new startup I recently launched. Any insights, strategies, marketing angles and a review would be very helpful at such an early stage. Email me at email@example.com. The website is http://www.startuprocketlauncher.com
Over the last 6 months I have enjoyed learning about your story and reading your blog. I’m 26 and originally from North Carolina but now consider NYC home. I work in business development for a boutique investment manager, which was founded not long after Hannon Hill in 2002. I focus a lot of my time meeting with entrepreneurs and tech start ups.
I know the last thing you need is me taking up your time but was hoping speak with you whenever it may be convenient.
Hope you had a wonderful New Year. Looking forward to a very interesting ACC regular season.
I need some guidance from you. I am 25 years old. I have started a real estate marketing company last year with 2 employees working for me. However, due to poor sales I could not generate enough profit. Now I have joined another company which is paying me well to meet the expenses of my company. Now since I cannot give my all time to my company, my employees are also not paying much attention and are just working for the sake of their salary. Please suggest me as to how should I manage both my high paying job and my company. I want to leave my job but before that I want my company to start making some real money. Please guide.
Hi David – I’m a software entrepreneur and I think you have the best blog out there on tech entrepreneurship. Really useful, practical advice day-in and day-out. Congrats on your success.
Read your post on Keeping a Google Spreadsheet of Ideas
I have been keeping my ideas in a Google spreadsheet but needed a way to capture my ideas while on the go. Editing a Google spreadsheet from a mobile device sucks, so I created a Google form which feeds the spreadsheet and to access it, I put a home screen icon on all my devices. Much easier and faster.
As a thanks for all the great ideas you’ve given us, you and your readers can download it for free at http://www.happydoglabs.com
David, I recognize you from high school… How have you been? I just got pointed to this blog as well, and I agree – so far I’m very impressed. I hope all is well with you. Would enjoy hearing about your software entrepreneurial exploits. Best Regards, R.J. Lewis
Hey David, quick question, is comments disabled from your blog? I went to leave a comment on your most recent post and perhaps it’s something to do with my own WP settings, but I couldn’t find the prompt to comment. Let me know! I’d like to join the conversation! Cheers*
David: I was honored to be asked to be added to your roll call of mentors for ATV in Jan of this year. True to my word I scheduled and participated in 2-hour on-site office hours thru April. They stopped when Erin shared that new plans were in the works to enhance mentor engagement and that open office hours were being abandoned. In the subsequent months little if anything has been shared about the new mentor program. As late as July I was told that details were still coming together. Can you shed any light on this. Like you, I firmly believe that engaged mentors can make a difference in a settings like yours. I have also come to learn that most start-ups don’t know how to use mentors and that engagement requires a strong catalyst. I really enjoy giving to the GA start-up community (mentor at Four Athens Tech Village, judge UGA Next Top Entrepreneur). I look forward to hearing back on the new plans. In the meantime, I wrote this article on mentorship programs you might find helpful. http://growthguy.blogspot.com/2014/04/4-steps-luster-to-your-mentor-program.html
I need your advice. I am the CEO of a medical compliance company which supplies emergency medical medications and other compliance solutions on a subscription basis to healthcare providers. Over the last four years we have transformed the business from subscription base that was churning at zero to negative growth to one that is growing at over 20% a year while more then doubling existing subscribers annual spend with us. The company has further developed a cloud-based quality compliance tool. Every customer who purchases gets access to the tool. It provides transparency and management capabilities to the subscriber, This has resulted in an increase of stickiness of subscribers.
Due to unrest within the ownership group it is immediately necessary for us to undertake a valuation of the company. I am desperately in need of someone who understands recurring revenue valuations as well as the SAAS business model and how they should be properly valued as it applies to our company.
Your cooperation is greatly appreciated in advance.
My name is Alex Kahn, and I am in the final stages of building of sharing platform for rental apartments called CircumRent (circumrent.com)
Basically, If you’re a current tenant and you know you’re not going to renew your lease, get paid 3% of your annual rent back when a new tenant is found for your apartment before you move out.
The result is lower vacancy rates for property managers that use our service.
I am very interested in your thoughts on the concept and would love a chance to chat and explain it in further detail.
Hope to hear from you.
Congratulations on your amazing successes and exciting portfolio of investee companies. We are an early stage technology company that would love an investor of your calibre in our upcoming seed round. We solve the daunting problem of poor technology roll-outs/low adoption/flawed execution which affects all enterprise software companies. Our company is called SwiftLaunch. Wishing you and your investee companies great success, David.
Amazing blog, thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.
I would like to hear your thoughts on entrepreneurship in the Oil and Gas industry. Recently there has been a lot of Startups in this space trying to speed up technology adoption in the industry, specially software related. Do you think this is a good area to be involved with? as an entrepreneur or investor.
Awesome blog! Are you interested in covering a UGA student who is going to launch a social media app at UGA this semester?
It is a social media app for messaging called Textr. So where Instagram is for photos and Vine is for videos, Textr is for messaging.
Send me an email to the one I provided if you are interested.
I enjoy reading your blog. I’m a student at Furman University currently working with 25-year veteran automotive engineers to transfer patented automotive grade Lithium-Ion battery systems and propulsion systems to the boating industry for a potential 10x improvement in efficiency and performance. I would really like to go into further detail with you, showing you my business plan and hearing your thoughts, when you have the availability.
I read an article about you http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/253534 and I was intreaged. This is and has been my goal for a long time, the empire creator entrepreneur. I am up and running http://www.thelightsonlab.com out here in Southern California and I have a few projects started but finding like minded entrepreneurs is harder than I thought.
Any tips or advice on finding co-founders and teams would be much appreciated!
David, when are you going to write a book? Your blog has so much useful information and advise. I wish I had this type of information in the early days. I continue to learn new things based on your exposure and insight. Keep it coming. All the best, Raj.
Raj — you’re too kind. I enjoy sharing the different lessons learned.
David, I remember at one point (and it still may be occurring) that Atlanta Tech Village was including some AWS capacity as part of the package it was offering start-ups. What do companies do when they need their own infrastructure in a colo facility, rather than the cloud?