Copyright 2020 Nudge Software Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The startup creed is to “celebrate failure”. It’s a noble goal as failure is the eternal partner of risk-taking.
But in failure, “celebration” is not the main emotion that presents itself. It’s not even sadness, as you grow accustomed to the relentless highs and lows of startup life. There is sadness, to be sure, but it’s not the main emotion.
The main emotion of this dark time is thankfulness.
We feel thankful to everyone who made this journey possible. We pushed hard, we built interesting things, we wrestled with tough decisions, we fought for victories and overcame setbacks. Ultimately, we didn’t make it, but we had the opportunity to try, and for that we are deeply thankful.
To our employees, both those who are with us now, and those who were with us for part of the journey, thank you. You put your heart and soul into building a great product, connecting with potential customers, and making existing customers successful and happy. We are thankful for the chance to work with some of the smartest, most thoughtful, and most collaborative people in the tech ecosystem. It has been a true honour and a pleasure.
To our customers, thank you for taking the chance on us. Early stage innovation is never perfect, and always a bit rough around the edges. You are truly the unsung heroes of the innovation economy because without your willingness to take a chance on an unproven innovation, none of us would be able to get our innovations off the ground.
To our investors, thank you for being willing to take a bet on us with hard-earned money. It was not the outcome we were all striving for, and yet, at every turn, you’ve each been tremendously supportive with your advice, encouragement, and patience. Thank you.
We are also thankful that there is a strong technology ecosystem in Toronto. The thing I’m most proud of in the Nudge journey is the team we were surrounded by. Smart, collaborative, dedicated, hard-working, creative, and a joy to be around. It saddens me to see the team disperse, but I’m thankful knowing that each of them will find a next adventure.
While we can’t say we are “celebrating” failure today, we are thankful that the journey was possible. Although the failure itself is sad, it’s only because it is the end of a journey that was so challenging and rewarding. Every product innovation, customer win, market recognition, or challenge overcome was a step towards a goal we all were working towards.
We didn’t reach that goal, but because of everyone around us, we did have a chance to try.
And that - that chance to try - is worth celebrating.
Paul and Steve
Andrea Corey, VP Product Development: Incredibly smart, tenacious, and detailed, Andrea was the driving force behind the Nudge data engine. She’s phenomenal at solving complex data and analytics challenges with logic, machine learning, and incredibly tenacity. Andrea is also an incredible customer-centric engineering leader, and will often be the one leading the charge in getting customers to success when there are product changes that would help them.
Asra Sarfraz, Senior Visual Designer: Single-handedly responsible for a creative refresh of the Nudge brand, Asra is the type of designer who runs with a creative challenge efficiently and fast, and surpasses expectations. She took the Nudge brand from stodgy and boring to fun, modern, and fresh in a matter of weeks, to the great appreciation of the entire team.
Andrew Robinson, Chief Architect: Andrew (or AWR to anyone who knows him) is the architect behind all the high scale, high reliability systems that allowed us to process gazillions of data points reliably and quickly. Not only does he know which modern systems to bring together to tackle a challenge, he will quickly roll up his sleeves and get them built. He’s also one of those rare people who will happily tackle the not-so-fun aspects of engineering; SOC2, SRED, etc.
Brandon Bedford, Account Executive: Brandon was all in. He is exactly the type of sales person you need at an early stage startup. Determined, creative and smart. Brandon pushed the organization with direct honest feedback, and never lost sight of helping the customer. We see a long career in sales and sales leadership for him.
Chaewon Kim, Business Development Associate: Chae was a first time BDR who in the interview process told me “I won’t disappoint you”, and she didn’t. One of the hardest workers in the team, Chae was always quietly looking for ways to improve and track her own progress. She is an asset to any sales organization.
Jessica Ulrich, Customer Success Manager: Jessica is that rare type of Customer Success Manager who can elevate to strategy and business process discussions, while also getting into the deep technical elements of a solution. Customers loved her, and so did the team. We are positive one day she will lead a CS team of her own.
Marco Kam, Director of Front End Development: Marco is a magician on the front-end. He understands customers and has an intuitive sense of their needs and goals with the product. His first “rough prototype” is often better than any design one might dream up, and he has an amazing ability to quickly build interfaces that are clean and elegant both for the user and under the hood.
Menaka Raman-Wilms, Data Specialist: We’re thrilled to still have Menaka with us occasionally even as she kicks off her career as a journalist. One of our earliest data curators, she has always brought a level of diligence and thoughtfulness to her data feedback that the data science team deeply appreciates.
Michael Guissine, Director Operations: Mike (or MG) makes sure everything in the technology stack runs flawlessly. He understands how to tune almost every system from data storage to machine learning processing systems, and carefully instruments them so that their operation, or any issues, can be instantly understood and fixed by the team. If MG is on it, you can guarantee it’s running well. MG also has an incredible ability to tackle projects like SOC2 compliance, and push the project to completion quickly and effectively.
Michael Scrivo, Senior Developer: He’s the kind of guy you want on any engineering team. He gravitates to the hard, messy, intractable problems that just need to be solved. Whether it’s an underlying technology that needs to be updated, a platform port that needs to happen, or a gnarly performance challenge to solve, he’ll be the one to tackle it and solve it. Although he’s the driving force behind many product improvements, he’s also the last to take credit for it and the first to give credit to his teammates.
Michelle McLennan, Account Executive: Michelle demonstrated one of the best traits in a sales person - she is authentically interested in everything about the customer. The person, the business, their problem and making them successful. She added a ton of passion and energy to our company every single day. She will continue to be successful in sales where ever she goes next.
Nick Lawson, Customer Success Manager: Nick although a newer Nudgeon immediately jumped right into the messy excitement of Customer Success. Always willing to do what it takes for our customers, and never shy about asking the right questions to make them successful. Nick is one of those people who knows how to “learn hard”.
Sandy Fernando, Senior Front End Developer: With the intensity you’d expect from a world champion dragon boat racer, Sandy focuses on the task in front of him, and plows through all obstacles. Sandy happily tackled many of the complex and complicated areas of our front-end, and balanced the underlying complexity of the task with the customers’ need for simple and understandable.
Renee Longo, Business Development Associate: Renee joined us at a challenging time with little support for her onboarding and role. However she dove right in and started executing. Renee is someone who has the grit and determination required in this tough role, and will be successful in whatever she does next.
Pavla Bobosikova, Director of Product: Although she’s early in her career, Pavla (“Paya”) has impressive instincts for product. With a strong design background and an intuitive sense for customer psychology, she can cut through a long list of “good ideas” and identify what can and should be built to bring customers more success.
Sergey Ross, Marketing Manager: Sergey is one of those marketers who can do it all: write, design, operationalize, metricize, technologize you name it and Sergey can do it. And he will do it fast. This is what startup marketing is all about, moving with just the right amount of speed, and also testing and ensuring you are improving along the way.
Scott Hill, VP Product Development: Scott’s eye for stability and robustness in a product is unlike anyone else’s I have met. Not only does he build out robust and complicated systems such as integration data flows, but he focuses maniacally on their stability to ensure that not a single error or flaw happens even in the most complex scenarios. If Scott is responsible for a system, you know it will work exactly as intended, every time. Scott is also the first to jump on a customer call and calmly help guide a customer with a challenge towards success. He is also known to be a strong mentor to younger engineers both within the team and in the community.
Tracy Saloojee, Data Specialist: Almost every time a new data project has come up, Tracy has been the first to jump in and tackle it. Her energy and speed, on a task that can be a bit of a grind, is tremendous, and very appreciated by everyone who she works with.
Francesca Maduri, Business Development Associate: Francesca or Frankie, was the backbone of our sales team. She worked day in and day out hitting the phones, sending personalized outreach, forever determined to help drive our business. We are all excited for her as she moves on to do her MBA.
Suliman Hafed, Data Specialist: Suliman tackles data challenges with determination and focus. The real world of data can be messy and the scope of the task daunting, but Suliman focuses relentlessly, and diligently gets through every task in front of him..
Zoe Katsimitsoulia, Head of Machine Learning and Data Science: Zoe is on the cutting edge of machine learning, and is eternally driven by the latest research in the field. If a new opportunity to use machine learning to solve a problem comes up, Zoe will be the first to suggest it, prototype it, and see if the promise lives up to the hype. She's not satisfied until her machine learning systems are performing to the best of what's known to be possible in the industry, and has continually delivered amazing results with Nudge's data set.
For any leaders looking to add amazing people to their teams, we are honoured, and at the same time saddened, to tell you a little bit about each of the incredible people on our team:
Collin Sauve, Senior Architect: Collin is a deeply thoughtful architect and builder who understands not just how to build complex systems, but how to ensure high security, robust reliability, and easy maintainability. Knowing Collin was responsible for the architecture of an area of the product gives a sense of relief that it will be an area that does exactly what it’s supposed to, and does it well.