I watched 1.5 trillion $ history transpire right in front of me.
Today, you see astronomical valuations of Seattle’s Tech King Amazon. In yesteryear, we were barely trying to hang on for dear life and eBay was giving us a run for our money. We were bleeding money. However, one thing we had was INCREDIBLE people. Here are a few:
The Best Damn Business Development Team in the World
The “God” before the “Goddess”
Before Sheryl Sandberg, it was Owen Van Natta. In recent news, Van Natta dropped $10 mill on a Santa Monica property. Owen’s had an incredible track record including Amazon, Facebook, Myspace and Zynga. He was the COO of Facebook. I remember hearing stories about how he struggled just to keep the site up on their hockey stick trajectory. They were growing too fast for their servers to handle. He was the CEO of MySpace before that to help Zuck figure out how to not Suck. He was also the EVP at Zynga and I remember him being just one of the “higher ups” in Amazon. His official title was VP of Worldwide Business and Corporate Development.
Bigger than the “God” before he became as big as he did?
For some reason, I didn’t think of Owen, but Mark Britto instead as one of our most successful former BizDev folks. Currently, he’s the EVP Chief of Product at PayPal. For some reason, I thought of Britto instead of Van Natta b/c I remember him being quite high up the chain. Officially, he was SVP, Worldwide Services and Sales at Amazon while I was there. He went onto become the CEO of Ingenio and then the CEO of Boku and now the position he has at PayPal. Quite a record, I’d say.
I’ll continue with this post later with this incredible roster:
However, I just had to start this post because I realized how amazing the group was when talking to another person who was focusing on business development.
We realize that it’s one of the most important pillars for growing a business and we’ll be executing on this (and planning this carefully in the way that Amazon did).