April 21, 2020

Welcoming Dan Watkins and more to the Forethought Fam

I am insanely excited to welcome Dan Watkins to the Forethought family.

I first met Dan almost a year ago, by accident. Walking down 3rd Street in San Francisco, on my way to a meeting I serendipitously bumped into my good friend and angel investor, Sumeet Gajri. Sumeet was walking with Dan, and made one of the world’s shortest, but most memorable, introductions: “Deon, meet Dan, he is the best sales leader on the planet. Y’all should get to know each other.” That was it.

A few months later, I jumped at the opportunity to meet Dan and learn more about how to build a world-class sales team. Based in Utah, Dan was most recently the VP of Sales at Qualtrics (he helped lead them from their first office in a basement to SAP's $8B acquisition, the 2nd largest SaaS sale ever). He agreed to grab dinner with me when I was out in Utah visiting a customer.

Now, the most fascinating thing about Dan isn’t that he is “the best sales leader on the planet”. The most fascinating thing about Dan is the way his mind works. Over dinner, we discussed  everything from sales, recruiting, and diversity, to basketball, quantum physics, and religion. He’s unbelievably quick in his thinking, opinionated, and a delight to debate with. Quite frankly, Dan is a business savant and one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. This is an incredibly high bar, since I've had the privilege of working alongside my brilliant co-founder Sami Ghoche for the past 2.5 years. (Sami was one of eight engineers who built LinkedIn's machine learning platform.)

It was instantly clear; Dan is someone Sami and I would love to work with in any capacity. As conversations progressed in the ensuing months, we discovered Dan felt similarly. We quickly realized that together, Dan, Sami, and I, along with our amazing Forethinkers, had a unique opportunity to build something special at Forethought.

Sami and I were absolutely honored when Dan accepted the offer to join Forethought as President to lead go-to-market, talent, operations, and customer experience. Dan joined us a couple weeks ago and he’s already made a huge impact here at Forethought. He implemented the well-known Objectives and Key Results (OKR) framework to move the entire team with momentum. He transformed our sales motion, contributing to the recent doubling of our pipeline. And he already made several key hires to grow the Forethought team. I’m so excited for what the future holds for Forethought with Dan on board!

By the way, we're not done hiring! If what we're doing excites you, we want to hear from you. Find out which roles we're hiring for here.

Let’s go make everyone a genius at their job.

Deon Nicholas,
CEO & Co-Founder @ Forethought

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