Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Jay McBain leaving ChannelEyes and looking for next adventure

It was exactly 6 years ago today that I stepped down from my 16 year IBM/Lenovo career to become an entrepreneur. In that final blog, I wrote about the transformational power of cloud computing, including technologies such as mobile, social and big data.

It was an important time of change for Lenovo and I am pleased to say that my ex-colleagues rose to the challenge and became #1 globally in personal computers shortly after.

I was able to follow a dream and be a co-founder in a fast growing software-as-a-service company. ChannelEyes set out to build the channel industry's largest social network, game-changing mobile platform, as well as the first predictive analytics engine to revolutionize how channel account managers drove indirect revenue.

The startup culture lived up to its hype - sleepless nights, company saving pivots, raising money, taking out the garbage, and a million other things done to educate, evangelize and disrupt a new market. The fact that I could keep serving the channel while focusing on future technologies was an amazing experience and one that I am very thankful to Bob Godgart, Dave Geoghegan, Shari Godgart, and the entire ChannelEyes team for sharing with me.

However, it is time for me to pivot once again.

I have written extensively in the past year about changes happening in the global channel. With over 75% of world trade flowing indirectly, there is never been a more important time to be engaged deeply in this industry. From the demographic shifts already underway, to the changing of the guard in who make technology decisions at customers, to the rise of shadow channels, this is another point of inflection that I want to dig much deeper into (not unlike 6 years ago).

I believe that ChannelEyes is well positioned with it's OPTYX and CHANNELCANDY platforms and is actively looking for a new CEO to take the company into the next 5 years. I believe in the product, the team and know they will continue to make an impact.

As for me, I am working on a couple of projects, consulting for a few fast growing companies, and in my spare time, writing a book about the future of partnering.

The Harvard Business Review published an interesting article recently that compared great channel chiefs with great general managers (as opposed to great sales managers). I believe channel chiefs have one of the toughest jobs in any organization, with an increasing pressure to perform and limited resources to do so. A Channel Chief is a part-time sales leader, marketer, finance leader, operations exec, lawyer, motivator, counselor, trainer, product manager, strategist, economist, support agent and futurist. In fact, there are 75 things that a chief is responsible for.

As I am contemplating my next steps, I would love to chat. Drop me a line at jamesrmcbain@gmail.com or give me a call at 919-597-1945. Who knows where it will lead!

Stay tuned...

- Jay