This is the latest installment of Seismic’s leadership spotlight, featuring our Head of Sales Engineering Craig Dunham!
- When did you start at Seismic, and what drew you to the company?
I’ve been with Seismic since January 2014, so just about a year and 3 months. [Seismic’s President and Co-founder] Ed and I had several conversations about Seismic, and he spoke—and still speaks—about it with so much passion that I had to take a deeper look. He connected me with several others from the executive team—that crew was really impressive. Everyone knew the goal, knew the vision and had fully committed to it. It all starts at the top and that team preaching a consistent strategy is a recipe for success.
The product itself also blew me away. It’s solving a real problem in the market, and doing so in a way that’s easy to comprehend.
- How has your background helped you in your role with Seismic?
I have past experience in financial services as an investment banking analyst. Thanks to crazy long hours and insane amounts of pressure to complete tasks, I left there with an understanding of financial markets as well as a ton of practical skills such as excel modelling.
After that I worked for a start-up (Capital IQ) that tripled in revenue over the course of a couple years. Insane growth. When I started there, our team was 2 people and grew to 75 by the time I left. I often reflect on that and how much fun it was.
To accomplish that kind of growth, it truly takes teamwork and an unwavering belief in the company culture. I brought those philosophies with me to Seismic. Work smart. Always put the client first. Work as a team. No one is above doing the small things. Give credit where it’s due, but always speak in “we’s.” If something’s been done, “we” all did it. We’re a unit. Those values are embedded in Seismic’s culture also – as we continue to hire and grow, that core foundation is going to stay in place.
- What part of your job are you the most excited for this year?
Overall, I’m just looking forward to our growth. I know, it seems like such an easy answer, but it’s true. We’ve set ourselves up for a big year and I’m excited to see it all come together. (We’re hiring!) We’re really excited about the idea of growing our small sales engineering team. We already have a fairly diverse group in terms of our work backgrounds prior to Seismic, so we’ll bring in some additional, complimentary skill sets this year.
- What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced in a start-up, and how have you overcome them?
We have and will continue to have the same challenges that a lot of start-ups face: making sure you have the right people in the right roles, making sure you keep politics out of the equation, making sure you continue to produce beyond expectations, making sure you maintain the culture that got you where you are today. Culture matters, a lot! Start-ups aren’t for everyone.
It takes a certain kind of person to welcome the pressure and challenge of building a business, the kind of person who excels in an environment where their day-to-day work directly impacts the success of the company. How cool is that? Knowing that what you do every day matters, that you’re working hard not just for yourself, but for everyone else too; working towards the greater goals set forth by our leadership—that’s a challenge we all experience and embrace at Seismic.
- What are some of the habits that have helped you in your role?
I can’t help but be who I am, and I encourage everyone else on the team to do the same. If I have an opinion, I speak it. If I have a smart question, I ask it. If I have a “dumb” question, I ask it too. We’re all here to make each other better. Our team meetings are friendly environments where no one is being judged on what they do. We feel comfortable enough to lean on each other when needed and know that we have support.
I’m also really good at shutting up. I like to listen to people. I have such great people around me, all with interesting points of view. As a leader, it’s important to listen to the team.
- Bonus fun fact?