In this Meet the Chronosphere Team profile, we chat with Brandon Bright, located in Atlanta, Georgia and who started 2 years ago as the first member of the Chronosphere sales team. Brandon runs us through his day-to-day life as an Account Executive and also shares what inspired him to join the team, how he educates customers about outgrowing open source, why the technical sale is his jam, and the excitement of being a new Dad.
What do you do at Chronosphere?
I partner with potential customers on observability and strategy – as well as which customers would be good for Chronosphere and vice versa. I support them through pilot and production. I also spend a lot of time supporting onboarding for new sales team members.
What were some of the reasons that you decided to join Chronosphere?
I would categorize the reasons why I joined in four different buckets. The first bucket is the founders. I spent ten-plus hours with (co-founder and CEO) Martin Mao, which was very rare in the interview process. With Martin, I spent time understanding the company vision and talking about what the sales team would look like; the technology; and Uber and M3 (Prior to co-founding Chronosphere, Martin led the observability team at Uber where he and Chronosphere co-founder and CTO, Rob Skillington, created the Prometheus-compatible open source metrics engine, M3).
Martin spent a ton of time with me – I think he was partially evaluating me and also how I would strategically think about the organization. That was huge for me – just knowing that I’m going to a company where the founders are specifically motivated to find and build the right sales team. (Read the backstory about how Chronosphere came to be.)
The second bucket was the tech. It was obvious that there was a technical advantage with the M3 and Uber story. I didn’t come from (an observability) background, so I had to do a lot of research on it. But from what I found, and from speaking to Martin, Rob, and other people, there’s definitely an advantage to having leaders with their track record in observability.
The third thing that I always look for in a job is the type of customer that we sell to. I’m big on selling to technical customers. I like the highly technical sale and large-scale problems, so those are things that motivated me to join Chronosphere.
The fourth bucket was just the market in general – evaluating how much companies spend on observability. Also the fact it’s a business-critical tool and it’s something that everybody needs. So, I think those are the four reasons that made me want to join Chronosphere. (Chronosphere head of sales, Ron DeCanio, talks more about the observability market opportunity here.)
What did you do before coming to Chronosphere?
I went to school for Engineering but my first job out of college was tech sales at (semiconductor vendor) Texas Instruments. Two other people and I decided to leave TI and start our own business. We built two mobile applications and a web application for really large events. The goal was to use mesh networks to allow people to connect without service. It gave me the groundwork to do a lot of research on tech and that was helpful in understanding software.
What is the most interesting technical challenge that you think Chronosphere is solving?
Providing observability to large scale cloud-native companies is a huge challenge. A lot of the companies that we speak to, especially the big tech companies, only have two options: build it yourself with open source, or use Chronosphere. The other tools that we’ve seen in the market just don’t provide the reliability or availability on top of being cost efficient. After doing a TCO (total cost of ownership) exercise, these organizations see Chronosphere as the only SaaS offering that’s anywhere close to providing the value they need versus the investment being made. That speaks to the differentiators of M3, and the differentiation that [Chronosphere] has built on top of it in our SaaS offering.
Organizations often underestimate the hidden costs of open source. How do you educate customers about this challenge?
There is a lot to learn about:
- The cost of building the same functionality you get with Chronosphere.
- The cost of getting to a baseline with the tools you’re using that are open source.
- The cost of training the team and being able to constantly have enough resources.
We try to help explain all the potential challenges that exist with using open source for your new observability requirements.
What are you working on right now that you’re excited about?
More of a personal response, but my wife and I have been preparing for our first baby girl. A lot of my mental capacity has been preparing for that.
At work, I am building a training enablement program. With the recent funding and growth on the sales team, we’re hiring a ton of AEs (account executives), SDRs (sales development reps), SEs (sales engineers), and other sales team members. There’s a lot of work that goes into making sure new sales hires are prepared to be successful.
What’s a fun fact about you that nobody would guess?
I have never actually read a full book. I’ve tried multiple times. Didn’t do it in college. Didn’t do it in high school. Always found my way around it. Still don’t do it today. I’m usually listening to podcasts or I’ll read an article, but a full book – I just don’t have the capacity to do that.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
I would be a bird. I have this recurring dream at least once a week where I can fly. I don’t know if I was a bird in a past life – I don’t have a specific one in mind, but that would have to be it.
Who is someone that you consider a role model that has helped guide you in your life and career generally?
My Dad. He’s in sales as well. He was always around and made time for the family. He has a massive personality and always showed love for family and friends. Definitely the person that I strive to be.
What is a quote that motivates you?
I heard one recently from Eliza – a new team member on the recruiting team who said this in the interview process: “I chose this career because it gives me energy – rather than a career that takes energy away.” I’ve reflected on this a lot in my job, and while recruiting other people: figuring out what gives people energy, and what makes them excited.
More blogs in the Meet the Team series
Meet the Chronosphere team: Mary Fesenko, software engineer
Meet the Chronosphere team: Shreyas Srivatsan, Member of Technical Staff
Meet the Team: Alec Holmes, Member of Technical Staff
Meet the Chronosphere Team: Elenore Bastian, Engineering Manager
Meet the Chronosphere Team: Audrey Bastian, UX Designer
Meet the Chronosphere Team: Ting Chen, Member of Technical Staff