I knew as soon as we started HubSpot that David was our number one draft pick. He gets marketing unlike anyone else, and he immediately understood the problem we wanted to solve. His contributions to our current level of success cannot be minimized. David is a fantastic partner if you want to build a multi-billion dollar company.
David Skok joined Matrix Partners as a General Partner in May 2001. He has a wealth of experience running companies. David started his first company in 1977 at age 22. Since then David has founded a total of four separate companies and performed one turn-around. Three of these companies went public.
David joined Matrix from SilverStream Software, which he founded in June 1996. Prior to its July 2002 acquisition by Novell, SilverStream was a public company that had reached a revenue run rate in excess of $100M, with approximately 800 employees and offices in more than 20 countries around the world.
David’s work as a value added investor is best known for helping HubSpot, JBoss, AppIQ, Tabblo, Netezza, Diligent Technologies, CloudSwitch, TribeHR, GrabCAD, OpenSpan and Enservio to successful exits. David currently serves on the boards of Atomist, CloudBees, Conductor, Digium (makers of the very popular Asterisk Open Source PBX/telephony software), Meteor, NamelyHR, Salsify, Storiant, VideoIQ and Zaius.
In addition to his broad focus on enterprise software, David is specifically focused on the areas of SaaS (software as a service), cloud, mobility, Open Source, marketing automation, virtualization, storage, and data center automation.
David writes a blog for entrepreneurs and startups on topics such as viral marketing, SaaS metrics, building a sales and marketing machine, techniques for lowering cost of customer acquisition, etc. The blog can be found here: www.forEntrepreneurs.com.
Popular posts on David’s blog include:
SaaS Metrics – A Guide to Measuring and Improving What Matters
Startup Killer: the Cost of Customer Acquisition
Lessons Learned – Viral Marketing
Designing startup metrics to drive successful behavior
Lessons from Leaders: How JBoss did it
“It is easy to be a cheerleader when things are going well. It is not as easy when things are not going well,” says David. “When I was running Watermark Software, a larger company sued us over patent issues. My other VCs backed away but Matrix Partners stood by me. The firm proved to me that it was supportive of entrepreneurs in the tough times, and long-term in its approach. When I started my next company, SilverStream Software, I didn’t need venture capital, but I invited Matrix to invest with me. Now, as a partner of the firm, it is a great honor to try to bring the same level of support to other entrepreneurs.”
David showed true leadership when he worked with us. Most VCs will try to stay 3,000 feet above the situation. David tries to really understand the situation, and he does not show a strong ego. He earned the trust of everyone on the management team so that they all felt comfortable calling him whenever things went south. He could always be counted on to help the team come to a resolution.
Sacha Labourey, Co-founder and CTO, JBoss (Sacha is now the founder and CEO of CloudBees)
Matrix Partners has been instrumental to JBoss’ success. David’s industry expertise, extensive network and continual support were vital to building our management, sales and marketing teams. He has been a mentor to me personally, and played a key role in working with our strategic partners. We relied upon David’s guidance and advice every step of the way, from creating a successful company through the M&A process. He has truly been an asset to our organization.
Marc Fleury, Co-founder and CEO, JBoss
David was actively engaged at every phase of AppIQ’s life, from its earliest days to our sale to HP, including introducing us to key hires, assisting with strategic planning at key inflection points and playing an instrumental role in the acquisition process. He was a personal coach and advisor to me, and always seemed to have a burning desire to help our team. I could be excused for forgetting that David was also an investor in our company! David is a gentleman to the core, and while his experience as a successful entrepreneur is one reason for my positive experience, I truly believe David’s motivation comes from a need to work with great people and make a difference in the industry.
Ash Ashutosh, Founder, AppIQ
I’ve had the good fortune to work with David from the early days at Netezza through IPO, and from envisioning and incubating CloudSwitch through our acquisition by Verizon. David brings an entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to “roll up his sleeves” to help his teams – from the earliest phases of a founder’s experience through the later challenges of growth and scaling. He and Matrix provide critical support for attracting top talent and building relationships with strategic partners. David makes himself available at any time to act as a sounding board and resource, and draws on his extensive experience as both an entrepreneur and investor to help you make better decisions, faster.
Ellen Rubin, Founder, CloudSwitch
When Matrix approached Digium, the company was profitable, and did not need the capital. We wanted a board member who had experience in growing companies and could take the company to the next stage. We wanted to work with a firm we could be proud of, and a partner who would do the right thing for us in the long term, rather than forcing something in the short term to get a quick return. As an entrepreneur and a person who has already been successful in open source software, David has been a valuable contributor to the strategy of the company. In addition to playing the role of chief operating officer for six months, he has made a major impact by helping to think through the right additions to make to the management team, and in recruiting and attracting the right players. He has also helped by making multiple introductions to key industry contacts, and by helping us build a systematic sales and marketing machine.
Danny Windham, CEO, Digium
David has played on the entrepreneur’s side of the field. He understands that startups are very fragile and if you overreact to setbacks, you can kill the company. When there are challenges, David does not arbitrarily react with advice to stop investing and slow down; he uses experience and fact-based analysis to evaluate causes and effects. Our first year after the product launch was very disappointing. The product had maturity and stability issues, and sales fell below expectations. David understood the sense of urgency but remained calm and focused on a solution. As a startup you will face pitfalls. When that happens, you want someone like David on your board.
Doron Kempel, Chairman and CEO, Diligent Technologies
Matrix is a partner I can trust to provide honest feedback that will lead to a better distillation of business ideas. David has proven to be diligent, supportive, trustworthy and fair. He always makes time to talk to me, no matter how busy he may be. David’s vast experience with multiple startups has proven to be very valuable. He gives real world advice which is rooted in his past as a successful entrepreneur. He understands the challenges a company goes through in all its different stages.
David Chang, Co-founder and VP of Product Management, ApplQ
Areas of Interest
Enterprise software, cloud computing, open source, SaaS, marketing automation, virtualization, storage, & data center automation
SilverStream Software: Founder and CEO
Watermark Software: Founder and CEO
Corporate Software: Founder and CEO
Skok Systems: Founder and CEO
University of Sussex, England, B.Sc., Computer Science, graduated at the top of his class
Awarded prize for best degree by IEEE