Our usual guest co-host—WRAL TechWire’s Chantal Allam—joined Pete and Joe this week on The Friday Nooner sponsored by Dualboot. The trio tackled the big issues at the top: whether sending a Calendly link is rude, famous people who attended their respective high schools, and the grittiness of startups.
Our featured guest is Billy Marshall, the CEO of Durham-based ServiceTrade. ServiceTrade is a SaaS platform for commercial service companies, i.e. the tradespeople who install and service the sprinklers, alarm systems, HVAC, electrical, plumbing and other needs of commercial buildings. The ServiceTrade platform helps manage job scheduling, suggests efficient routing and provides many other tools to make their customers’ operations more efficient and profitable. (Billy was also a former Download subject.)
Here are some show highlights:
- Pete, Joe and Chantal discussed a tweet from Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur Sam Lessen about the scheduling platform Calendly. Long story short, Sam argued that sending a Calendly link is essentially telling the receiver to “get in line,” and that my other meetings are more important than my meeting with you. Chantal said that Lessen’s screed made him seem too fragile, while Joe said that the proper etiquette depended on the situation, especially which party wants the meeting more than the other.
- Billy talked about his and Joe’s friendship; they overlapped at Red Hat for a stretch in the late ’90s. He also told the story about his journey to launching ServiceTrade and how the company grew—it took almost a decade for it to become the “overnight success” that raised $85M last month. An important lesson he learned is that startups will more often die from indigestion before they die of starvation. In other words, stay focused and don’t try to be everything for everybody.
- Some say Billy is Joe’s doppelgänger. At least, that’s what they used to say 20+ years ago at Red Hat. You can judge for yourself.
- Billy also offered some career development advice for young people: look for companies that value growth and have interesting people.
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