Name: Bryan Cox

Bryan Cox is an Operating Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, where he helps the companies that the firm has invested in, to scale their sales and marketing. This role is a great fit given Bryan’s experience in all aspects of sales and customer operations.

Prior to Andreessen Horowitz, Bryan was Chief Revenue Officer at Zendesk, Senior Vice President of Customer Operations at VMware, Executive Vice President of World Wide Field Operations at Pano Logic, and Vice President of Sales Operations at EqualLogic.

Bryan loves the study of nutrition, lifting weights, playing hockey, and spending time with his wife and kids.

Bryan and I got to know each other while we were both at VMware. Bryan was a leader in the field organization and I was in engineering and global services. We had the opportunity to interact a number of times across a variety of topics. Bryan was always someone who could quickly cut to the core of any topic or issue, and bring his experience, as well as that of his team, to bear in quickly and collaboratively moving things forward.

Questions Interview:

I asked Bryan three questions that were specific to him.

  1. You are now in a very new role within Andreessen Horowitz. What motivated the change from being in business to helping fund and support businesses?
  2. With all of the changes around privacy, and with more and more data being collected by companies on their customers in order to deliver personalized services, what are a couple of the biggest challenges that you see in data privacy companies?
  3. What are 2 or 3 characteristics or attributes that have made you successful in your career?

I then asked Bryan the same six questions that I ask all interviewees – in a lightning-round format.

  1. What’s the most important factor you consider when hiring someone?
  2. Who was your most effective boss, and what made him or her stand out?
  3. What was the most difficult transition that you made in your career?
  4. How do you approach helping someone with their career development or path?
  5. What tools and tricks do you use to find work-life balance?
  6. How do you go about building relationships with your peers and other leaders in the company?

As you will hear in the interview, the transition from working in technology companies to now being an executive at a venture firm has been an interesting one for Bryan. Here is a great quote that demonstrates the difference in how Bryan and his team are measured today as compared to how they were measured in the past.

“It’s a bit different because we don’t necessarily own the full process and quota… it’s much more about the number of opportunities that we create.”

During the interview, Bryan talked about his hiring philosophy and a framework that he has used to evaluate candidates. Here is a snippet from that conversation.

“We developed this framework to evaluate candidates across three different vectors. It was called KSQ – K for knowledge, S for skills and Q for qualities.

We develop the scoring hierarchy where we would score candidates from one to nine in each of those categories. And the short version of it is I would never hire a 9 9 3.

But I might hire a 3 3 9.”

I am sure that you will get a lot out of my podcast with Bryan!

Career Path:

After asking all of the questions above, I then asked Bryan to share his career path. I asked him to start at the beginning, talk us through the path that he took, and the decisions that he made that led to where he is today.

I think you will get a lot out of the journey that Bryan has taken and the lessons he has learned along the way!

See Also

How to Ensure Your Hire is Successful!

Limit Time Spent – Avoid Parkinson’s Law

Sanjay Poonen – Highly Successful Executive Balances Faith, Family and Friends