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Running Your Business Like a Team Sport with Mark Cranney

Episode 278
Mark Cranney learned a lot from his time playing football, and he’s found a way to take those experiences from the field to the boardroom.

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“There’s an offense, a defense, there’s a special team, and there’s an attention to detail. I really applied that when I decided to go into sales right after school. I was going to be a pro. If I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it right.”- Mark Cranney

Mark Cranney expects whatever business he’s a part of to run with the efficiency of a football team running a play they’ve done a hundred times before. He learned a lot of lessons from his time on the field when he was in high school and college, and he’s found a way to take those experiences from the field to the boardroom.

Mark currently serves as the COO of SignalFX, a SaaS-based monitoring and analytics platform for cloud-native companies to monitor their online and digital infrastructure. Prior to that, he had a seven-year stint at the renowned venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

In today’s episode, Mark and Ian sit down to discuss Mark’s background in the venture capital space, why he got out of that to join the team at SignalFX, and his approach to recruiting and developing the most talented people in any given field.

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Quotes from Mark:

17:48 – “I like the granularity of operating on a day to day basis, particularly when you can do it across the sales side, marketing, customer success, and back into to the product piece and make sure you are building great products and great experiences for your customers.”

18:40 – [On leaving venture capital to start SignalFX]- It’s more fun at the point of the spear. You know, getting shot at and shooting back is a lot more fun.”

29:51 – [Advice for young entrepreneurs] “Understand what your hiring criteria is, what it’s going to take to be successful, be able to articulate that – write it down.”


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