After seven years of total obsession with the digital and mobile disruption that has taken place in local marketing, I have decided to step down from my position as Street Fight’s CEO.
As an entrepreneur, you feel a deep attachment to the company/product/ideas you birthed into the world, and I feel good about the passing of the baton to my co-founder, David Hirschman. The company is expanding rapidly under our new-ish parent company, Brandify, and I feel I’ve accomplished my personal mission now that Street Fight is in such a strong place.
Together David and I have built resonance in our brand and great trust among those we hoped to reach with our coverage and events. Creating and growing this business — and establishing its place in so many people’s lives — has been extremely rewarding, and I write this post as a huge thank-you to David, Brandify’s CEO Manish Patel, our team and, really, the entire local industry.
In my time at Street Fight, I have come to know so many extremely smart and creative people in this industry and I am thankful for the time and trust everyone has given me to share their thoughts, hopes, fears, dreams and … industry secrets. But it’s also possible that these relationships have obscured the real work that goes into the “Street Fight” that everyone experiences.
The content that you read on the site and in the newsletter every day has all been assigned and edited by David. He has been the sole programmer of our events. And we have been a true team of equals in our strategic direction over the years as we expanded the business from a couple of standard conferences to more creative gatherings such as our executive retreat in the mountains of my home state, Colorado. He is fully versed on all aspects of the business and I’m excited to see him take Street Fight into the next era.
Earlier this year, Street Fight was acquired by one of our former clients, Brandify, a leader in local digital marketing services for massive multi-location brands. Brandify has a deep appreciation for the role Street Fight plays in local, and shares the vision for its future, and has worked as a genuine partner to maintain the independence and spirit that has made our brand so vital. Together with David, they have big plans on the horizon. As I leave, Street Fight is in the process of ramping up for a new kind of conference at the end of November in Las Vegas, and has begun working with companies more intimately, providing guidance that comes with our deep understanding of local. And deepening the bench, local industry luminary Mike Boland will be joining the team as analyst-in-residence, alongside several other notable new faces about to join the team as well.
The industry that is local-tech has gone through many iterations and evolutions of its own during my time providing products and services to help it grow and expand. It’s been a thrill to be at the center of this market, as new ideas are continually introduced and old ones die off, in a sort of “street fight” for the best ideas and market share.
Yet there are so many problems unsolved. It is a story that is still unfolding, and that’s why I’m not content to fully sit on the sidelines. You can expect posts from me on a regular basis on this site, as well as my appearance at Street Fight shows.
So, I’m not disappearing. You will largely find me hiking on mountain trails for the time being, but you don’t just turn off an obsession overnight. See you on the site and at the next Street Fight event!