CloserIQ is now Formative Search Partners. Read the announcement.

A Decade of Unicorns

November 2023 Market Commentary
Jordan Wan

A decade ago, CloserIQ was hunting for unicorns. We tirelessly built 900+ GTM organizations in hopes that many of them would become wildly successful. But the majority of our customers inevitably failed.

With the countless hours we poured into each startup, we realized we were inherently making an angel investment with our time. We may as well put capital to work.

It turns out our rubric for backing or serving great founders is the same. 

From the past decade:

  • We learned from Mario Schlosser at Oscar Insurance what it takes to build a truly mission-driven startup.
  • We learned from Michael Pryor at Trello about PLG and the importance of having an incredible single-player mode before scaling B2B sales.
  • We learned from Eido Gal at Riskified, Pini Yakuel at Optimove, and the founding teams of Algolia, Datadog, Sisense, and Collibra that a high-performance culture can be exported from headquarters. But you have to lead from the front.
  • We learned from Isaac Oates at Justworks, Robert Reffkin at Compass, and Ryan Urban at Wunderkind that closing deals and closing candidates are similar superpowers. Founders who can close have competitive advantages.
  • We learned from Greg Galant at Muck Rack, and companies like Movable Ink, CB Insights, and Toptal that great companies can be built without a lot of venture capital. Capital doesn’t equate to success.

10 years later, we are still learning from our clients. Our differentiation as a boutique search firm is built on the cumulative GTM failures and successes of our customers. 

Sales is the only meritocracy in the innovation ecosystem. We are excited to serve a new era of innovation where we’re not just hunting for unicorns but also cheetahs, kangaroos, and wildebeests.


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