Marketing and early business hire through 10 startups.
I’m always seeking long-term, hands-on marketing role with an innovative company serving SMB/enterprise markets and/or consumer professional services.
Can do every aspect of everything myself (content, conversion optimization, operations and automation, paid, email, social, events, PR/AR, community, negotiating with vendors, setting up technical stuff, building webpages, etc.), and I can work with, staff, and manage any teams as needed.
Extensive history leading and executing marketing and demand creation strategies for new companies in high-growth and competitive markets including healthcare diagnosis technology, big data, consumer software and web services, financial services, ecommerce, education, insurance, media, legal tech, and more. Contributed not only directly to startups, but indirectly to clients served by some of those – including Netflix, eSurance (All State), and ZipRealty.
Serial early business hire whose history includes IPOs, acquisitions, lots of chocolate, and a sense of humor. California native, graduate of California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, living in Palo Alto, California.
Thanks in advance for your consideration. If you see a fit, contact me here or via any networks noted above.
Thomas W. Krafft: Work History
- Head of Marketing, for several Y Combinator-backed B2B startups
Bannerman (physical security and technology, marketplace),
Casetext (technology for legal professionals, marketplace),
Celery (ecommerce platform for hardware startups – acquired),
Lully (medical technology),
CrowdMed (healthcare, diagnosis technology, marketplace)
November 2013 – March 2017 (4 years 8 months)
YC companies have notoriously tough standards for early hires. After connecting with the founder of CrowdMed in November 2013, I was hired and worked with the team for over 18 months, and have been highly recommended and referred to each of the YC companies I’ve joined since – now five companies in nearly as many years.
Most of my time with each startup has been initially focused on finding the shortest paths to revenue through any channels that are both scalable and repeatable — after getting all related messaging, positioning, product updates and pricing experiments established. I’ve developed and optimized my processes to where I can now get many efforts and experiments running in days or weeks. I’m also quite capable at building the “softer” channels as well, including PR (and AR), SEO, brand, social, partnership, influencer and content marketing, but first priorities have most often been top-of-funnel lead generation, sales-enablement, and conversion rate optimization.
My optimization of funnel paths, onsite messaging, and other lead-generating channels have been successful in both results and learnings: I’ve been able to achieve up to 5x TOF conversion rate improvements in weeks with just a few key changes, and often 2x-5x increases to individual campaigns like email outreach, within 48 hours of sending my first message, because of how quickly I can evaluate incoming data and metrics from each campaign and variations. I’m also both hands-on, and exceptionally capable in staffing and managing large teams.
Having worked with this unusual number of startups initially backed by top investors and VCs, I’ve had the unique opportunity to develop, apply and optimize the full range of capabilities, best practices, and “ninja” marketing skills.
- Head of Marketing, big data companies
GridGain Systems (in-memory database),
Objectivity (data technologies)
June 2008 – August 2012 (4 years 3 months)
At Objectivity, helped promote the entire category of emerging “NOSQL” and big data technologies through all marketing channels including several top industry and community events and conferences, significantly expanded sales prospects (by >5x) and revenue, while building entirely new brand awareness, for this 20-year-old private B2B/B2D software company. See co-founder’s recommendation on LinkedIn.
Then joined GridGain as employee #3. Established the early marketing foundation that eventually helped this B2B/B2D tech startup acquire Series B funding. Developed all areas including messaging, positioning, content, demand creation, search engine marketing, and product roadmap.
- Marketing, Customer Acquisition Consultant
April 2006 – June 2008 (2 years 3 months)
When not working exclusively for any company, my own marketing, web and media consulting firm provided creative and technical services, search engine marketing (SEM), SEO, communications and content development to numerous SMBs and larger clients including NASA, Veritas (acquired) and Quinstreet (IPO).
- Co-founder and CTO Trouve Media (lead generation, search engine marketing firm – acquired)
March 2005 – April 2006 (1 year 2 months)
Helped build this startup (B2B/B2C lead generation, search engine marketing) to among the top firms in this market. Led 50x revenue growth, headed all technology and operations, marketing, web and creative efforts. Clients included NetFlix, ZipRealty, eSurance (All State) and hundreds of other top-tier brands for whom we often generated a majority of their new leads.
- Digital Media, Design, and Development Consultant
January 2000 – March 2005 (5 years 3 months)
Developed online services for notable companies including Disney’s Go Network, Internet Shopping Network, and several others in new media. Design and web work have been credited with three Webby Awards and several People’s Voice Awards.
- Marketing, Editorial, Web Production Manager, Creative Director
Fatbrain.com (ecommerce, retail, B2B – IPO’d and acquired),
Intuit (consumer and SMB financial software and online services)
August 1995 – January 2000 (4 years 6 months)
As the first “webmaster” for Intuit’s entire Business Products Division, designed and developed several of Intuit’s early online commercial efforts around Intuit’s flagship QuickBooks®, Quicken®, and TurboTax® products and other new services including Quicken Loans. Contributed significantly to doubling their user base in less than two years while creating entirely new revenue streams from ecommerce.
In 1998, joined Fatbrain as one of their early hires, helping them become #1 in their target B2B market segments, achieve 20x revenue growth in less than 2 years ($100M+), IPO (FATB), and ultimately get acquired. Helped hire, manage and develop nearly every group and over 500 employees, and designed the systems that directly generated all revenues and customer acquisition (including 300 of the Fortune 500 companies).
“Thomas is a fantastic marketer, a creative thinker, and the kind of person with a diverse-enough skill set to run any type of marketing campaign. He’s also great to work with — metrics-driven, experienced, and unafraid to speak his mind.”
— Jake Heller, founder and CEO, Casetext (YC)
“Thomas is a strong marketing leader who is adept at building online marketing channels. He is great at identifying opportunities, effectively managing people, and smartly utilizing resources to achieve results. I highly recommend Thomas as a marketeer who is committed to his craft.”
— Chris Tsai, co-founder and CEO, Celery (YC)
“Thomas is a true digital marketing expert, fluent in every online marketing tactic: SEM, SEO, CRO, display ads, messaging, affiliate marketing, and more. He’s incredibly passionate and dedicated to his work, available virtually 24/7 to get things done. He’s also a pleasure to work with and a capable manager. If you need a senior and knowledgable digital marketer, he’s your person.”
— Jared Heyman, founder and CEO, CrowdMed (YC)