Everything you need to know about Dan Pooley can be found in the two job titles he’s held during his tenure at Kounta. Or, rather, in the difference between them. Back in June, 2014, Dan was hired on as the Customer Success Lead. Now we’re in the sunset of 2015, and Dan’s current title is VP of Success and Communications. This is how effective Dan’s been since day one: “customer success” became too limiting a scope when measured against the actuality of his accomplishments. Customer success? Kounta success? Who can keep track anymore? To tell you the truth, it’s become the stuff of legend—Dan is the Chuck Norris of Success. When he gets involved success happens, but also: failure dies.
Despite his reputation as rock star at Kounta, Dan’s really just like you and me. Just like us, Dan studied classical voice at the Sydney Conservatorium and the Australian International Conservatorium of Music And just like us, Dan spent some time working in restaurants and bars before moving into a tech career. Working at Apple in the retail space, he had the perspective of his hospitality experience to see how powerful an impact the right software could make on even the smallest of businesses. It was an experience that primed him for his Customer Success role at Kounta. With a keen sense of what businesses need to be successful, and knowing what was possible with mobile technologies, Dan hit the ground running and he’s taken the rest of us along for the ride. It’s worth noting that Kounta’s customer base has grown by seven times what it was when he started. For the record, I started only a few months after Dan, so it’s really hard to say whether it’s him or me that’s responsible for this meteoric rise. But since Dan’s role is to help customers succeed, and mine is to be left alone until deadlines loom—well, the advantage has to go to Dan.
Also, at this point, “helping customers succeed” is an understatement when it comes to his daily responsibilities. He’s also got to direct the teams he manages—the success, support, and sales teams—towards greatness, and that’s just the “Success” portion of his title. We haven’t even gotten to communications yet. He’s heavily involved in content development—though I should be clear it wasn’t his idea to a post celebrating him—as well as lifecycle communications. Basically, if you’re talking with customers, or writing things that the customers will see, Dan’s got a hand in it. When not doing all this, he just another one of those approachable script writing, movie making, youtube posting, team building, performance maintaining, presentation giving, conference visiting, photo taking, process writing, questions answering, frisbee throwing, aria singing kind of guy. You know the type. It’s a lot to take on, even for a startup where everyone is expected to do everything, and he does it everyday with a smile on his face. Even stranger than that, it’s a genuine smile. Ask anybody around here and they’ll tell you his attitude is infectious, like a virus that mutates into new levels of genuine positivity with each iteration. I’ve seen it in action myself Dan dropped a last minute task on me the other day, just sort of an “Oh, by the way” situation which had to be done within 24 hours and he was so damn nice about it I ended up thanking him for the assignment. Kidding aside, though, the culture in the office would definitely take a hit without Dan’s attitude spreading cheer throughout the ranks. It’s one thing for someone to strive for his best work because he has to, because something is riding on him doing just that. It’s another thing entirely for people to want to excel—culling that desire within Kounta has been one of Dan’s greatest successes.