Thank you Boston

On March 15, 2011, I moved to Boston with my co-founders. Thus began a ride that we’ll never forget, full of opportunities and experiences we will always be tremendously grateful for.

From day one, the Boston community gave and gave and gave to Help Scout. People came out of the woodwork, and still do, to coach and support a first-time CEO. Without Boston, Help Scout probably wouldn’t exist. This place gave us the opportunity to build the company I’ve always dreamed of.

In August, it will be time for me to say goodbye to Boston. We’re keeping the office and still have people here, but Denny (one of my co-founders) and I are headed west to Boulder, CO (see below for why).

It wouldn’t feel right to leave without expressing my gratitude, particularly to the people that make Boston such a special place to start and run a tech company. So here goes …

First is Katie Rae, Reed Sturtevant and TechStars. Our idea wasn’t special, but they knew the bond between Denny, Jared and myself was. They took a chance and made it possible for us to move here from Nashville.

I learned a ton from everyone in our 2011 TechStars cohort, and formed relationships that I hope will last a very long time. Hardi Meybaum (GrabCad), Matt Barba (Placester), Ben Carcio (Promoboxx), Dave Bisceglia (The Tap Lab) and many others all made me a better person and CEO.

TechStars Boston Demo Day, 2011

There are a bunch of people that bet on me, and bet on Help Scout, way before most people thought it was rational to do so. I’m not a very emotional person, but I get emotional when I think about what these people did for me, and for our business:

  • Julia Austin
  • Brian Balfour
  • Dave Balter
  • David Cancel
  • Joe Caruso
  • Tony Chen
  • Michael Dornbrook
  • Preston Ford
  • Jason Henrichs
  • Maia Heymann
  • Meghan Keaney Anderson
  • Sean Lindsay
  • George Mabry
  • Michael Mark
  • Jay Meattle
  • Dharmesh Shah
  • Chris Sheehan
  • Walt Winshall

I also found “my people” in Boston — people with whom I share friendship and admiration for. They keep me accountable, they challenge me to be at my best. A few in particular come to mind:

  • Brendan Schwartz and Chris Savage at Wistia. Wow, I love you guys, and I’ve learned so much from you. Thank you for your friendship, and for your unbelievable support over the years.
  • Paul Farnell and Matt Brindley at Litmus. You guys were inspiring me years before we ever met, and it’s been a privilege getting to know you. You set a very high bar for excellence in product design, which is fun to reach for.
  • Maia Heymann and David McFarland at Converge Venture Partners. You both mean so much to me, and so much to Help Scout. Your kindness and your faith in me has changed the course of our company forever. I’m so glad to be on this ride with you.

Still, this is a small fraction of the people that have made my six years in Boston special. I could go on forever: Patrick Campbell, Sarah Hodges, Paul Blumenfeld, Brian and Patricia Kalma, Blake Bartlett, David Skok, Bob Mason, Chris Heidelberger and Diane Hadaya, Chris Keller, Dan Abdinoor, Dan Ritzenthaler, Eric Paley, Jake and Kathryn Cacciapaglia, Jeff Vincent, Jess Petersen, Jesse Bardo, Jonathan Kim, Karin Brandt, Mo Plassnig, Sonciary and Kevin Honnoll, Mary Hirtle, Rob May, Scott Haylon, Matthew Bellows, Joshua French, Mary Beth Kerrigan and the folks at MBBP. There are many more, please forgive me for leaving you out!

Last but certainly not least, my colleagues at Help Scout have all become close friends. Six years in, I still can’t wait to start work everyday. Becca, Chris, Mel, Leah, Tim, Devin, Shawna, Abigail, Michael … I’m going to miss the lunch table very much.

The best way to repay the incredible investment the community has made in us is to build the best company I can. I’m working really hard to do that! Although our team works remotely from all over the world, Boston will always be home. Thank you thank you thank you, Boston. This community is a special one, and it’s changed my life in a big way.

P.S. In case you were wondering …

Why I’m moving to Boulder

Boulder is the next chapter for Anastasia (my wife), Elvis (my dog) and I. There are two big reasons why we’ve decided it’s time to move:

  1. Stretch the Help Scout culture. We have 60 people in roughly 40 cities worldwide. Boston has always been somewhat of a hub, with 2/3 of the leadership team here. It’s important to break that up and make sure we continue to operate in a “remote first” way. Moving and living the remote culture is the best way for me to do that.
  2. 300 days of sunshine. I want to hike/bike/run every day with my dog, and I want to be able to see the stars at night. A place like Boulder gives me the fuel I need to mentally and physically be at my best.

Another bonus is that we’ll finally have a bedroom for guests, instead of an air mattress. There’s a little more space in Colorado, so come visit! :-)