In the fall/winter of 2015 I was wrapping up a project in Boston and thinking about starting my own consulting company (again). At the time, the thought of having to do my own sales, marketing, project management, and accounting, in addition to the “actual” work gave me pause. So, I called my good buddy Andy Fisher, who I knew was running a VAR down in NYC. I told him I what I was thinking, and that I had decided it might be better to help him build a professional services practice at Myriad rather than do it all on my own from scratch
What I didn’t know at the time was that Andy and the Myriad team had already started down that path. This was right around when Myriad Tech Solutions was being folded into Myriad Supply. Rick Kenny had beat me in the door, but his greatest technical strength lay on the systems side, and so Andy said “Chris, this is amazing timing, we’ve been looking for someone just like you.” Kismet.
After a few months of negotiating, winding down, and ramping up; I started commuting from Boston to NYC a few days a week, and then quickly made the move. I had fallen in love with New York, Brooklyn, and especially Bed-Stuy. And what’s better than working with a friend to build something new? I wrote about the decision back in the summer of 2016.
My first title at Myriad was Principal Network Architect, and in that role I helped win some big deals and land some great clients. I wore out several pairs of shoes walking to meetings all over Manhattan. After a while we dropped the “network,” from that title as I helped to create and define first the four pillars (SDN, Security, Cloud, Mobility), the reference models, and then later the three selling themes (Cloud-Integrated Network, Secure and Mobile Workforce, and Multi-Cloud Infrastructure) that guided Myriad’s progress from purely transactional hardware sales to true solution selling. This new go-to-market strategy was foundational in the transformation from Myriad Supply to Myriad360. I can still perfectly remember the whiteboard in Andy’s office where we first wrote: Discover, Design, Deploy, Operate.
Other titles I held during my journey with Myriad were Director of Strategy, VP of Strategy, and VP of Client Success. None of those titles existed before I held them. This, maybe more than anything else, shows Myriad’s commitment to challenging and enabling people to do great things. It’s proof that if you work hard and smart, you will be rewarded.
Along the way I turned partner management into strategic alliances. I helped introduce Myriad to SCRUM and led our first product development projects. I assisted in the acquisition and on-boarding of Network Utility Force (NUF) – a company owned by a great group of my friends. And I hired some other really fantastic folks as well, most of whom still work at Myriad today. I ran marketing for a bit. I combined account management, order management, and returns into Client Services. I created the consulting solution architect (CSA) role and coached that team into existence. I conceived of, and eventually executed on a practice-based strategy for the engineering organization. I oversaw the conception, construction, and operation of a brand new warehouse and integration center facility. I got to sit on both the extended leadership team (XLT) and the executive leadership team (ELT). And I was able to contribute to so many quarterly, trimesterly, and annual objectives that I literally cannot remember them all.
Not everything I tried was a success, not all the experiments worked. But my original goal of helping Andy create a world class professional services organization? That is a big green check-mark!
Obviously, everything Myriad has accomplished in these past five years has been a team effort, and I can’t take the credit for any of it myself. But I am damn proud to have been a part of it. Myriad has clients today that we couldn’t have dreamed of 5 years ago. Myriad is doing more 7-figure deals each quarter than we did in a year back then. And revenue has more than doubled. The folks who have worked at Myriad as long as I have remember when we celebrated crossing the $100MM/year threshold (I have the challenge coin to prove it). And since then, Myriad has celebrated an aggregate one billion dollars in sales. Wow.
So, you can probably tell why I worked at Myriad longer than I have ever worked at any organization that I didn’t found myself. I’ve learned so much and met so many great people!
But now it is time for us to grow apart. For Andy and I to go back to just being friends. And for me to pursue that goal I had back in 2015 – to strike out totally on my own, with no safety net. While I’ve been doing consulting and content creation since I founded my first company almost 20 years ago, being 100% self-employed is an exciting new step. So, stay tuned – and of course, if you think I might be able top help you grow your business with technology, marketing or strategy; let me know!