December 6, 2023
Meet Jennifer Tejada, the secret weapon of one among Silicon Valley’s fastest-rising enterprise machine startups
PagerDuty, an eight-year-old, San Francisco-based company that sends companies information about their technology, doesn’t receive a fraction of the press that other fast-growing enterprise software companies receive. In fact, though it counts as customers heavyweight companies like Capital One, Spotify and Netflix; it employs 500 employees; and it has five offices around the world, it…

PagerDuty, an eight-one year-aged, San Francisco-primarily based totally mostly company that sends corporations info about their technology, doesn’t obtain a portion of the clicking that other quick-rising enterprise machine corporations obtain. If truth be told, even though it counts as customers heavyweight corporations adore Capital One, Spotify and Netflix; it employs 500 workers; and it has 5 offices across the sphere, it has largely operated out of the highlight.

That’s altering. For one thing, the company is now a so-known as unicorn, after elevating $90 million in a September spherical led by Wellington and T. Rowe Label that brought its total funding to $173 million and its valuation to $1.3 billion. Crowded as the unicorn club shall be this present day, that quantity, and other folks backers, makes PagerDuty a startup of curiosity to a broader circle of change watchers.

But another excuse you’re inclined to launch listening to more about PagerDuty is its CEO of three years, Jennifer Tejada, who’s uncommon within the sphere of enterprise startups on fable of her gender, but whose advertising background makes her even more of an anomaly — and an asset.

In a world that’s going digital quick, Tejada is aware of PagerDuty can enchantment to a some distance wider array of customers by promoting them a product they’ll understand.

It’s a trick she first learned at Proctor & Gamble, where she spent seven years after graduating from the University of Michigan with both a liberal arts and a metamorphosis administration degree. If truth be told, in her first tech job out of P&G, working for the bubble-generation present chain administration startup I2 Technologies (it went public and was once later obtained), Tejada says she grew to alter into “director of lifeless it down.”

Sitting in PagerDuty’s sizable 2d ground place of business arena in San Francisco — arena that the company will rapidly double by taking over the first ground — Tejada remembers performing “adore a filter for extraordinarily technical those that were very pleased with the IP they’d created” but who couldn’t repeat it to anyone with out relying on jargon. “I was once adore, ‘How will you rep any person to pay you $2 million for that?’”

Tejada came upon herself increasingly distilling the tech into horrible English, so the businesspeople who must stamp mountainous checks and “wager their careers on these investments” could well understand what they were being pitched. She’s instilling that same ethos at PagerDuty, which was once primarily based in 2009 to help businesses video display their tech stacks, arrange disruptions and alert engineers sooner than issues steal on fire but, under Tejada’s peek, is evolving into a carrier that flags opportunities for its customers, too.

As she tells it, the company’s technology doesn’t proper give customers insights into their carrier ecosystem and their groups’ health, and it doesn’t proper rep other devoted kernels, adore about which operations groups are essentially the most productive and why. PagerDuty shall be serving to its possibilities change into proactive. The thought that, she says, is that “while you glimpse traffic spiking on a web web web site, that you have to well also orchestrate a team of whine material marketers or snort hackers and rep them in that traffic creep generous then, as one more of finding out about it in a question-gen document a week later, where you’re, adore, ‘Gigantic, we totally missed that opportunity.’”

The instance is a exiguous analogous to what Tejada herself brings to the desk, which comprises stable other folks abilities (she’s very humorous) and a knack for thought what shoppers have to listen to, but also a deep thought of finance and enterprise machine.

As corny as it sounds, Tejada appears to were working in direction of her present profession her whole existence.

Now not that, adore the leisure of us, she knew precisely what she was once doing always. On the contrary, one share of her direction started when, after spending four years as the VP of world advertising for I2 — four years in which the dot-com bubble expanded wildly, then popped — Tejada stop her job, went home for the vacations and, while her baffled family seemed on, booked a spherical-fling designate to Australia to rep away and uncover about yachts.

She left the journey not simplest along with her skipper certification but in a relationship along with her now-husband of Sixteen years, an Australian with whom she settled in Sydney for roughly 12 years.

There, she worked for a deepest equity firm, then joined Telecom Contemporary Zealand as its chief advertising officer for just a few years, then landed rapidly after at an enterprise machine company that catered to asset-intensive industries, at the side of mining, as its chief strategy officer. When that deepest-equity backed company was once offered, Tejada took a breath, then was once recruited to book, for the first time, one more company: Keynote Techniques, a publicly traded web and cell cloud trying out and monitoring company that she advised to a sale to the deepest equity firm Thomas Bravo just a few years later.

The transfer gave her a chance to use time along with her now teenage daughter and husband, but she also didn’t occupy a job for the first time in a protracted time, and Tejada appears to adore work. Certainly, within one one year, after talking with merchants who’d gotten to know her over her slightly just a few roles, as successfully as fervent recruiters, Tejada —  who says she is “not a founder but a mountainous adoptive parent” — settled on the fiftieth of fifty one corporations she was once asked to take into fable becoming a member of. It was once PagerDuty.

She has been overseeing wild snort ever since. The company now counts more than half of of the Fortune 50 as its customers. It has also doubled its headcount a pair of times since she joined roughly 28 months within the past, and a superb deal of its workers (upwards of forty three percent) are in actual fact girls, as successfully as engineers from more various backgrounds than that you have to well glimpse at a conventional Silicon Valley startup.

That’s no accident. Diversity breeds diversity, in Tejada’s thought, and sort is tremendous for change.

“I wouldn’t advise we market to women,” says Tejada, explaining that diversity to her just isn’t proper about gender but also age and ethnic background and each day life desire and living and upbringing and journey.

“We’ve made a wide awake effort to originate an inclusive culture where all forms of alternative folks have to work. And you ship that message out into the market, there’s a quantity of those that hear it and beauty if it is miles going to also very successfully be generous. And then they come to a PagerDuty tournament, or they come into the place of business, and they glimpse one thing utterly different than they’ve considered sooner than. They glimpse other folks they’ll describe to.”

Why does it matter by manner of writing code? Because a mountainous share of coding is anguish-solving for one thing, says Tejada. “As soon as you’ve other folks from various backgrounds chunking by a mountainous hairy anguish together, those utterly different views will rep you to a more insightful reply.” Tejada also believes there’s too famous bias in application vogue and person journey. “There’s a quantity of gobbledygook in our app that tons of builders totally understand but that isn’t accessible to every person — men, girls, utterly different purposeful forms of users, other folks of a outlandish age. Delight in, how accessible is our cell app to any person that’s not a local-first cell person, who started out on an analog phone, moved to a mountainous desktop, then to a computer and is now using a smartphone? Or not it is notable to deem of the accessibility of your assemble in that regard, too.”

What about the assemble of PagerDuty’s funding? Ahead of parting ways, we question Tejada about the money PagerDuty raised just a few months within the past, and what it capacity for the company.

Unsurprisingly, as as to whether or not the company plans to slide public any time rapidly, her solutions are variously, “I’m proper constructing a protracted lasting company,” and, “We’re tranquil enjoying the benefits of being a deepest company.”

But Tejada also appears wide awake of not elevating some distance more money for PagerDuty than it desires to scale, even while there’s an ocean of capital surrounding it.

“Going serve to the early ’90s, in my profession I essentially occupy not considered a market where there was but again ready availability to capital, between tax reforms and sovereign money and mountainous corporates and low curiosity rates and substantial challenge funds, to not mention the increased willingness of mountainous institutional merchants to alter into LPs.” But even while the “underlying drivers and secular dispositions and leading indicators” counsel a wholesome market for SaaS technology for a essentially long time to come serve, that “doesn’t mean the labor markets are going to protect the the same. It doesn’t mean the geopolitical environments aren’t going to alter. As soon as you let the shortage anguish within the market pressure your valuation, you’re also accountable for rising into that valuation, it doesn’t matter what happens within the macro atmosphere.”

Where Tejada doesn’t necessarily have to be so measured is by manner of PagerDuty’s fetch 22 situation in its market.

And that will even be hard as the company beneficial properties more traction — and more attention.

“Must you extinguish the generous thing in your customers, and likewise you extinguish the generous thing by your workers, the total leisure will descend into fetch 22 situation,” she says. “But the minute you settle your uncover off the ball, the minute you don’t make the believe of your buyer on every single day basis, the minute you extinguish innovating in carrier of them, you’re gonna launch going backwards,” she says with a shrug.

Tejada remembers a dialog she had along with her govt team final week, at the side of with Alex Solomon, the company’s CTO and the one among three PagerDuty founders who stays actively engaged with the company. (Co-founder Andrew Miklas moved on to challenge capital final one year; Baskar Puvanathasan within the period in-between left the company in March.) “They potentially wished to murder me,” she says laughing. “I urged them I don’t deem we’re disrupting ourselves sufficient. They’re adore, ‘Jenn, let up.’ But that’s what happens to corporations. They’ve their first success and they omit that 2d wave or third wave, and the next thing you appreciate, you’re Kodak.”

PagerDuty, she says, “just isn’t going to be Kodak.”