Last fall, the e-commerce company where I had been SVP of people ops and talent for nearly four years, had been bought by a behemoth, and I arrived at one of those career crossroads with a big decision to make: Where should I go next? Working for a large company gave me pause – I thrive in the scrappy startup environment where I can make an impact by creating structure in the midst of chaos. It was an optimal time to think about the next level of career challenges to go after.
This forced the reflection of what was important to me in my next move: strong leadership, mission, market opportunity. Chronosphere came out of nowhere – a dark horse in the running that quickly became my number one.
My first encounter with Chronosphere leadership was a meeting with its co-founder and CEO, Martin Mao. I hesitated in taking the meeting because Chronosphere was earlier-stage than I was after, but I was intrigued with Martin’s background (so grateful that I decided to take the call). As he shared about Chronosphere’s history and path for the future, I think I took six pages of notes. I listened, mesmerized by his obvious mix of high IQ and EQ- I was wowed. As someone that loves to surround myself with smart and kind people, these are key qualities that I am drawn to.
Then I met the rest of the leadership team: There was not one person I spoke with that I wasn’t absolutely excited to work with.
And it didn’t stop there. Co-founder and CTO, Rob Skillington, made the drive up from New York to Boston just to meet me face-to-face. Words cannot describe how strongly that action resonated with me. I haven’t even mentioned the thoughtful surprise that showed up on my porch after my intro with Martin. Soccer is huge in my family (Vamos Argentina!) which came up in passing during an interview with Martin … Voilà, out of the blue I received an Argentina soccer jersey. It wasn’t the jersey that bowled me over, but instead the level of intentionality and thoughtfulness that went into this.
This whole blog could probably be about how big a role leadership was in my decision to join Chronosphere.
But there is more!
Having just been through the excitement of a mega exit, I was primed to do it again! Looking at Chronosphere and where this company was going, I could see it was theirs to lose.
Here are some quick facts that show how joining Chronosphere was a no-brainer:
- The level of expertise: Prior to co-founding Chronosphere, Martin and Rob had solved the observability problem for themselves while leading observability teams at Uber.
- Off the hook fundraising: $200 million Series C round with a total of $255 million.
- Unicorn: As a privately held startup valued at over $1 billion, Chronosphere became a unicorn at only 2.5 years old!
- Head spinning footnote: Chronosphere is among the top 10 fastest B2B SaaS companies to disclose unicorn status in September 2021, according to Pitchbook.
- Record Revenue growth: Last month Chronosphere announced that it set new records, doubling the business in the past four months and overall 16x growth in the past 12 months.
- Rapid growth: The team more than doubled in 12 months, growing from a workforce of 40 to more than 140 (and going!)
- Market opportunity: Cloud-native has accelerated faster than anyone could have predicted, driving the need for a purpose-built observability solution like Chronosphere. For example, Gartner forecasted end-user spending on public cloud services will grow from about $315 billion in 2020 to an estimated $482 billion this year. Also, in a new ESG study on observability in cloud-native environments, more than 70 percent of respondents said they are concerned with observability data (metrics, logs, traces, etc.) growth.
- Customer growth: In addition to hyperscaler Doordash, Chronosphere – a startup! – counts two of the top five publicly traded fintech companies among its customers. Let that sink in.
I also wanted to join a company with a strong mission, and while Chronosphere doesn’t beat its chest re: its mission, what I saw (and continue to see) is a level of authentic care for the people that build this company. For a company that is only 2+ years old, the benefits they had in place were demonstrative of how equitability and inclusion are not just buzzwords, but an authentic part of the culture. I knew I wanted to be part of the team to shape this mission and who we want to be in the observability space.
Recently, Chronosphere’s swift and compassionate reaction to war breaking out in Ukraine is a perfect example of who we are. We’ve been setting aside time as a company to talk about how we can contribute – both as individuals and as an organization at large. We are also encouraged to set aside time for ourselves to process what’s happening, and most inspiring has been the way we have embraced our EU team.
This is less tangible than the proof points I listed above, but I could see Chronosphere was going to be an amazing ride and I was going to learn new things … if I joined. I have worked in the SaaS space before, but infrastructure was new to me and let’s be honest – the cloud-native space is white hot right now and that is exciting! In the end I found myself debating between what I thought I wanted and the opportunity in front of me – bottom line, I just imagined my life a year in the future, and when I imagined not taking the Chronosphere role, I was filled with a deep regret, and that is when I knew.
I’ve been with Chronosphere for five months now and am reminded constantly why I made the right decision in joining the team. Each day here has demonstrated that you cannot go wrong if you listen to your gut. The commitment to humans, to what we are building and in service of our customers is unmatched.
Chronosphere is growing fast, and we are looking for exceptional people to join in helping us continue building an exciting company in an exciting space. Check out our careers page to see if there’s a role for you!