I’m Marshall and I just started at Decent
It’s my first month at Decent — I‘ll be our Marketing Lead. Nice to meet you.
Here’s some things to know about me:
Why is improving access to health insurance important to you?
When I turned 26 I was poor.
I was working to start my first company, and we weren’t exactly flooded with cash.
I was living off of a founder’s stipend in one of the most expensive cities in the world, which afforded me the luxury of splitting a studio apartment with three other guys in similar positions.
Paying a monthly premium for health insurance when I couldn’t even afford baseline human privacy seemed completely out of the question. So I didn’t. I went about a year without health insurance. It was fine — I was young and invincible.
I imagined I always would be.
After the company didn’t work out, I wound up getting a grown-up job with some incredible health benefits, and I put that chapter behind me. But something happened a few months back that really showed me the extent of the young and dumb risk I had taken.
I was out in Michigan staying with some friends for the Fourth of July when I fell between a dock and a moored boat. While I was under the water, the boat rocked back and crushed my hand between the dock and the siding.
We wound up heading to the ER, where I was told that I had severed a tendon in my right ring finger. The brief ER stay, ensuing surgery to correct the issue, and three weekly trips to physical therapy to regain movement would have cost over $42,000 if I didn’t have health insurance.
If I was still in the position I had been in a few short years prior, I would have been faced with the decision between: A.) financial ruin and B.) conceding that at 28 years old, I was never going to use my right hand to its full capacity ever again.
Luckily, my life was a little different than it had been, and I had the option to make a decision valuing my quality of life over the contents of my wallet. Again — I was lucky, the ability to make that choice is not a given for a huge portion of this country.
44 million people in America don’t have health insurance right now, with another 38 million relying on plans they consider inadequate. In a nation where 17.9% of our GDP goes directly to health care (about $1 in every $5 spent in America), 1 out of every 5 Americans aren’t sufficiently covered — things need to change.
Why were you motivated to join Decent?
Decent is working on being that change. We’re working on systems that will not only help people who have accidents similar to mine, but also help people stay healthy in the first place.
Everyone should have access to the care they need, when they need it. Decent is working on a way to make that more affordable and accessible than ever.
It’s a strong team working on a huge problem, and I couldn’t be happier for the chance to help.
Wait, who are you and what do you do?
I maybe should have started with this…
I’m joining Decent from Gusto, where I ran the Lifecycle Marketing team and initially met Nick. We kept in touch after he left to launch Decent, and eventually following him just seemed to make too much sense to ignore.
My team ran all of Gusto’s email, chat, and lead routing, our marketing tech stack and database, and basically all conversion rates behind the initial site visits.
Before Gusto, I cofounded a real estate startup aiming to bring large scale sales and marketing operations capabilities down to individual real estate agents.
Before that, I went to Santa Clara University where I double majored in Psychology and Economics, with a particular focus on Behavioral Economics and Neuroscience.
And even before that, my first job ever was in a plastics factory, which isn’t exactly relevant, I just figured you guys could use another fun fact about me.
Describe something non-work related that you’re passionate about
I’ve been doing stand up comedy off and on for a few years now. So far I’ve made about $12 doing it, but it’s been a ton of fun.
Back when I first started, I wound up finishing in the top 10 in a newcomers competition featuring over 110 new comedians (that I accidentally wound up entering my second time doing stand up).
Writing jokes gives you an intense focus on the way your words are being received that transfers well to other areas of writing too. After all, most of the emails I write won’t get as immediate and direct feedback as you receive from a confused audience staring blankly at you after delivering a joke you were positive was going to work.
So what’s next
I can’t wait to show you what we have in mind.
Also — we’ll be hiring out more incredible people to help us bring this vision to life. If you’re curious if you’re one of those incredible people (which, of course, you are) — please reach out to me about a potential fit with the squad here.