Up Your Game – David Bradford, Executive Chairman of Hirevue

 

About David Bradford

Known for accelerating the growth and performance of game-changing organizations, David Bradford is Executive Chairman of HireVue.

Bradford is a proven business leader with nearly 30 years of experience, acknowledged by many as a significant contributor to the evolution of information technology. Until April of 2010, Bradford served as CEO of Fusion-io (NYSE: FIO), pioneer of a new storage memory platform, significantly improving performance in the world’s data centers. In this role, he sourced and brought together an S-1 ready management team, helped secure key strategic partnerships for the company, drove a massive increase in sales and saw the company named America’s Most Promising I.T. Company by the Wall Street Journal. He continues to work with Fusion as Chairman of its Strategic Advisory Board.

Previously, Bradford served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Novell, Inc. (NASDAQ: NOVL), where he helped lead the networking start-up through a series of acquisitions, public offerings and business development activities. He held responsibilities across four divisions – Legal, Government Relations, Business Development and Security – and twice served as Chairman of the Board of the Business Software Alliance, the world’s leading industry trade association.

Bradford is an advisor to a number of organizations and funds. He was on the original Advisory Board of Omniture, which recently sold to Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE), and served on the Board of Directors of Pervasive Software (NASDAQ: PVSW). He is the recipient of numerous honors and distinctions, including the 2010 Utah “Executive of the Year,” and earned a law degree and bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Brigham Young University, as well as an MBA degree from Pepperdine University.

 

Interview Transcript:

Alan
Welcome back. I’m here today with David Bradford. David is the chairman, Executive Chairman of HireVue. David, welcome to today’s show.

David
Thank you very much happy to be here.

Alan
So let’s start with first, your background, how you got to where you are today. You’ve done a couple of companies along the way. I understand that you’re also former attorney and writes, right?

David
Yeah, I’ve kind of interesting background. I mean, I graduated from law school back in 1977, long time ago, and but my core career was from 77 to 2000. As a lawyer with progressing positions, I started in a small law firm in Hollywood, but then morphed into the computer industry in 1980, which was looking back one of the greatest decisions I ever made, I became a regional legal counsel for a company called prime computer. And sometime after that, I became Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Novell, which was based in Utah. And at the time, Novell was, gosh, there were four, the world’s largest software companies, Microsoft Word, perfect lotus, and Novell. And so Novell was a great run, we took it from about, oh, 70 million in revenue to over 2 billion and grew to 7000 employees, and it was just a wonderful success. So as general counsel Novell up until 2000, and then I kind of how to change your life. I retired when I turned 50. But then I went into the business world.

Alan
So as you started into the business world, Dad, I guess you were just in time for the downturn of the dot bomb.

David
Yes. Good call. You know, one quick story on that. It’s interesting to know, we talked about the internet blow up that happened in early 2000. What really happened, in my estimation, was everybody prepared for y2k? So all the software companies from Novell to WordPerfect, to you know, Microsoft, etc, they were having banner years in 1999, because everyone who is upgrading their software, so software sales were skyrocketing toward the end of 99. Well, in 2000, then everything started to level off. And our $430 million quarter that happened at the end of 99, turned into a $350 million dollar quarter, you know, in early 2000. And so it was a software companies that really began to take a dive. And as they began to take a dive, then everybody started to question the internet companies that were being invested in. And I think that’s what drove, you know, and burst the bubble.

Alan
So when you ventured out, what are some of the companies you started into?

David
Right? Well, I started a company called linking universe in kind of mid 2000s, which was a website that was connecting business professionals very much like LinkedIn, right, linking universe, LinkedIn, etc. We decided to take our platform to Facebook. And so we were the first robust business application on Facebook. And we did that for about a year, year and a half. Facebook kept changing its API’s driving us crazy, we couldn’t get that established the way we wanted to. But along came fusion IO. And so I became CEO of fusion IO, and had a great three year run with that company, and then retired again, and then took it up again, with HireVue.

Alan
Moving in high view. You’re currently Chairman. Okay, what is the mission statement have hired you.

David
But we’re the world’s most robust digital interviewing platform. People think of Skype and ability to, you know, interview people over Skype. But HireVue takes it to a whole different place. It’s a whole interviewing platform, which allows you to rate the candidates that come in, record their interviews, share those interviews with other people. And then it’s a really secure platform, right? It’s all in the cloud, people pay an annual subscription fee, to license HireVue and to be able to host video interviews over Harvey’s platform.

Alan
That’s a new age of technology then, right?

David
You know, I joined him in late 2011, when there was a convergence of market trends, right, including things like video cameras became ubiquitous and every device, right, and then you had the internet, broadband being in Wi Fi being much more robust, etcetera. And so when you have these converging factors, HireVue was the right place at the right time.

Alan
Now, when you’re looking at Highview, I guess, you know, where are you at today? Is it? Do you measure it by the number of users coming in? Or?

David
Well, we’d like to measure by number of users using the system. So we have, oh, probably 500 to 700 corporate users, right? And you would see their names like Nike Starbucks. JP Morgan, Chase, etc. But the candidate, the job candidate would never see the higher view name, there would be a branded page that you would go to on the career site for JP Morgan Chase, and click to take a video interview. HireVue would be the underlying platform powering all of it.

Alan
Got it. So basically providing structure for their chart or their review

David
Process, right, we talked to the Vice President of talent acquisition, or the CHR o the Chief Chief Human Resources Officer, and they bring us in and utilize our platform to vet job candidates.

Alan
I visiting today with David Bradford. And, you know, David, before the break, we’re talking about, you know, Chairman of HireVue. Basically, you’re providing a platform and infrastructure for companies to recruit candidates for and people are, you know, I guess they brand their own corporate name on it, right? You’ve been around seeing companies scale to tremendous events, starting back with Novell is the social experiment, going from what it was a 70 million to 2 billion, 2 billion in sales, right? How do you get teams when you’re looking at organizations? They’re just growing? How do you get teams to work together meeting structure?

David
Well, let me just say, starting from the get go that people mean everything to any organization, right? It’s people with passion. When I talk about four principles to building a billion dollar company, I always start with the people, passionate people in an organization. And so you got to get them focused, get them, you know, the wood behind the arrow, so to speak, and really drive forward as a team. But it’s the company culture that you build around it, right. And the belief system that you engender in these individuals, that kind of makes it happen. So when they come into work, they’re, you know, excited to be there. When they go home at night, they’re still excited about the company, when they wake up in the morning. That’s what they’re thinking about. And so you’re looking for can do people, people that have a positive, you know, mental attitude that can get things done. And so when I hire people, you know, I hire really for attitude, skills you can teach attitude is more difficult, right? If you get the right people with the right attitude, you can build a great team.

Alan
In a business leadership position, how do you come to make those tough decisions?

David
You know, it’s interesting, I have a philosophy around that, which is, it’s better to make a good decision today than an excellent decision six months from now. Right? What I have seen in startups in particular, is the CEO or the founder of the company will be so tied up with doing the quote unquote, right thing, in terms of making the right strategic decision, you know, that it becomes disabling to the organization, you’ve got to make decisions. Now, one thing I like about Scott McNealy, I was thinking about him, he’s become a friend over the years. But McNeely is a decisive guy, make no mistake about it, you know, and so I’ve seen CEOs that have great decision making skills. And those are the ones that I love to emulate.

Alan
How do you decide on which projects are worth your time?

David
You know, I love to look at convergence of market trends, and so forth, what’s happening in the broader marketplace? And is there a pain point that someone is experiencing out there that someone will actually write a check for some years ago, I was in a senior’s track meet, I was running the long jump and I stepped on the board, full speed, I was going to long jump 20 feet at my age of 51. My hamstring snapped. And as I landed in that pit, I screamed out in pain, I was just miserable. I would have paid a million dollars right then and there to any physician that could have solved that pain. And so I look around for companies that have an ability with a product or service that solves a critical pain point in a corporate process.

Alan
I’m visiting here today with David Bradford. He’s executive chairman of HireVue. David, I understand that recently you you are not recently you’re going to be releasing a book in the near future. Yes. And very excited. What is that? What is that about?

David
Well, the book is entitled up your game, six timeless principles for networking your way to the top. And so to me, what matters most is individual relationships. We’ve formed a bit of a relationship here today, before we even got started, we talked about mutual connections, people that we knew, etcetera, there was a foundation of trust that formed, right. And as a result, the discussion flows a lot better trust, when everything, everything accelerates, or and trust exists. And so yeah, I’m a big believer in forming trust. And so for sale, the book emphasizes these six principles. They’re called My up principles.

Alan
Welcome back. I’m here today with David Bradford. And we’re talking about his new book now, up your game, the six timeless principles for networking your way to the top. Now the book is scheduled to be released within this next month.

David
Well, it’s May 14 2014. That was a good date by 14-14.

Alan
And what inspired you to write this book first of all,

David
You know, I grew up in a little town in Montana, at 7000 feet in altitude, the town had 2000 people, it still has 2000 People today, you know, 40 years later, and I came out of law school, probably the least connected guy in the universe. I did really well in law school. But when I was finishing law school, I did not have a job. I had three kids, family to support, etc. And I was frustrated. And I remember talking to my mom, and mom said, David, don’t you remember, I’ve always told you it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. And so I learned a lot of knowledge in law school, but I was not connected. I did not know one lawyer in the world. And so when it went out, I to get a job. All my friends, even though they were not necessarily doing well, in law school, those were the guys that had the job. It was the brother in law, it was the cousin. It was the, you know, classmate from law school that had secured a law, job, etc. It was relationships that mattered in getting those jobs. And so I determined kind of early on in my career when I was based without a job graduating from law school that I would connect and form deep and lasting relationships.

Alan
Is it possible for the ordinary person to get those relationships that can get them to the next level?

David
Well, if I can do it, anybody can because you know, I was completely disconnected from the rest of the world. And when people say, Well, I’m not a natural networker, I’m a computer programmer. I’m an accountant, you know, it’s not my thing to go out there and connect with people. I say networking is very simple. And it starts with this. It’s simply being curious. If you are curious and ask a few questions, you will connect with people, people love to talk about themselves. Where are you from? Tell me about yourself. Tell me about the biggest challenge you’ve ever had in your business career, etc, you start asking those questions, and you elicit responses, and then you form areas of commonality with the individual with whom you’re discussing it. And that forms the relationship.

Alan
You know, it’s interesting, you’re using the note number six in there and reminds me the six degrees of separation or right. You know, there’s also something on Kevin Bacon, who knows rather than bacon, right.

David
Six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.

Alan
It’s, you know, when, when, when we’re when we’re talking about these six principles, what do you consider the first principle a person needs to know?

David
Well, the first one is to start up by giving it up, if you will, the first thing that you want to do when you go to a business conference, when you go to work in the morning, etc, is how can I help the others around me succeed in what they’re doing with their lives? Right, what is the problem that they’re facing that I might be able to help them with? If your thought first thought is to give with no thought of getting, you’re going to benefit? There’s a law of reciprocity in the universe. When you give to somebody, there is an innate feeling on the other side, that somehow someday, someway, they’re going to want to give back quick story. In 2005, I was approached by a guy that wanted to be introduced to venture capitalists in the state of Utah. So I took Look a day out of my life to introduce some around the state. Three years later, he called me up and he says, I found a great company fusion IO introduce me, I became chairman of the strategic advisory board, and then CEO of the company. So but for that little nice act that I performed of introducing this guy to VCs around, I would have never known about fusion IO.

Alan
Second, the second principle is

David
To show up in life 90% of success in life is just showing up, you got to be there, you got to stand up. And in today’s world of social media, you have another ability to stand up and be seen, right? To comment to be a leader online, whatever your domain expertise is, join groups, but not just join groups, but then comment and be seen as a domain expert in your area. So show up, show up in person show up online.

Alan
We got to the third.

David
the third principle is to follow up, right. And so when I meet people, I say, within 24 hours, you follow up, you connect with them on LinkedIn, because after 72 hours, people will forget who you are, and what the connections were and what you talked about. But if you connect back in with them, within 24 hours, you will form a relationship and so forth. So follow up to me is a really lost art.

Alan
Wait, so when you when you’re outlining this about the you know, first looking at your, your network and getting started, and then you and then you you basically are are showing up and then following up, right? How does a person change their mindset? In other words, you take that programmer says, Well, this is who I am, right? Yeah. And now you want me to go and give it right, that I didn’t know how to do that. Is this something that can be learned?

David
Well, I’m telling you, I, you know, like I said, if you can ask questions, you can succeed in the world of networking, I might add that networking, or network is not a four letter word. The word work is contained right in the word networking, right? It takes time, it takes commitment every day. So I spend probably an hour every day on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google circles, etc, building, you know, and making comments, posting things to my network. And gradually, one at a time when contact at a time when card at a time, you can build and grow that network. Let’s go to the fourth principle. Okay. fourth principle is to link up. And I love to talk about linking up because when you link up, do it in a personal way. So often, you will meet somebody at a business conference. And you know, a week later, you get a little LinkedIn request, it says, hey, please connect with me on LinkedIn using their, you know, tried and true connection language. But if you come back and you say, Hey, I was the guy wearing the yellow shirt, in the third row of that conference you’re at, we talked about such and such or so and so then that connection becomes meaningful. And so you link up personally. And then when you link up with people, categorization becomes ultimately important. So for example, because you have an accounting background, when I go back and we connect, I will put you into my accounting or my finance category, right? You have a brother that you mentioned, who’s a web expert, right, he would go in my techie category. So I have about 60 categories that I’ve developed over time in my email, and people don’t know this, but you can actually categorize in Facebook.

Alan
Really? Yep, we got to learn more about this.

Alan
Welcome back and busy here today with David Bradford. We’re talking about his book up your game the sixth time, this principles for networking your way to the top, and we left off, I want to find out that fifth principle.

David
Okay, principle number five, is to stand up. So you know, we start up, we show up, we follow up, we link up and then we stand up and the stand up principle is one about credibility. People are only going to want to do business with you, if they can trust you. If you’re credible. If you’re a stand up person, right. If you’ve done anything in your life or your career that causes a tarnish to be on your name, people are going to question and whether or not they want to work with you. So standing up and being a stand up person is principle number five.

Alan
You know, and I think that’s important if something doesn’t go right, putting your firm your feet firm in place and standing up for the right reasons, right? Absolutely doing the right thing. Now, six principles is what?

David
Is to finally scale up, right. So that’s the last principle, building up your network, you’ve got it started at cetera, et cetera. But scale up takes hard work. It takes time, it takes commitment. I mentioned earlier, I set aside every time every day to do some level of networking, right, and to nurture that network. So as you scale it up to you know, I’ve got over 12,000, LinkedIn connections, I’m maxed out at 5000, Facebook, friends, etc. But it’s just one contact at a time. I’ll tell you one quick story that I love that illustrates this point about scaling up a network. Some years ago, the story is told of a pilot woman that crashed landed in the Arctic Circle. And she was, you know, there, she wasn’t injured, fortunately. But it was 600 miles to the nearest outpost. Fortunately, she had some food and a backpack and an ability to walk. And so she began to walk 600 miles across that frozen, frozen tundra. And she saved herself and got to this small outpost, they hospitalized, her reporters came around the world and they said, How in the world? Did you save your life by walking 600 miles across that frozen tundra? And she says, the answer is this. I didn’t walk 600 miles, I walked one mile 600 times the same principle is true and building the network. It’s done one card at a time, one contact at a time, et cetera. And so at the end of the day, it does take some hard work to nurture that network.

Alan
You know, when everything is said and done, you know, how will you define success in your life?

David
Well, first and foremost, it has to be around my family. I’m blessed with 16 grandchildren, four great kids, their spouses. And you know, the treasure of my life is my wife, Linda Bradford, Dr. Linda Bradford. She has a PhD in instructional technology. And she’s brilliant. And she’s built her own website called the view virtual immersive educational world, taking education into the 21st century. And so the relationships with family has to be number one, but then, you know, the personal relationships that you’ve developed over time. And the deeper those relationships are the happier person that you are.

Alan
It seems so key that happiness comes to relationships with people in life. Right now, David, when one last question, what are some of your role models in life?

David
Oh, gosh, when I look back at the CEOs that I’ve worked for Eric Schmidt has got to be at the top. Eric was our boss at Novell from 1996 to 2000. So I worked directly for Eric, and he’s been a dear friend. And he’s, you know, stayed in touch over the last 14 years since we both left Novell. And he was brilliant at, you know, execution, right? Every CEO I’ve discovered has a skill set. Bill Gates, I battled him for years, Novell versus Microsoft. The thing I always respected about Bill and why he’s a role model for me, is his ability to hire smart people. I never interacted with anyone at Microsoft that I thought, Oh, that guy doesn’t know what’s going on. He hired smart people. So look at the CEOs and what they’ve done. Ray Norda was the master of the distribution, right? So from 1985 to 2000, or 1995, he built this juggernaut this reseller channel so he really knew marketing and how to leverage channels and so forth. He was a competitor to that his core, he didn’t like to lose it anything. So those are three folks that I would cite his great role models for me.

Alan
David, thank you for being on today’s show. Okay, I’ve been visiting here today with David Bradford, currently the chairman of HireVue and also the author of the book up your game, the six timeless principles for networking your way to the top. Join us again next week right here on American Dreams.

David
Thank you

 

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This transcript was generated by software and may not accurately reflect exactly what was said.

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David Bradford on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
David Bradford

Known for accelerating the growth and performance of game-changing organizations, David Bradford is Executive Chairman of HireVue.

Bradford is a proven business leader with nearly 30 years of experience, acknowledged by many as a significant contributor to the evolution of information technology. Until April of 2010, Bradford served as CEO of Fusion-io (NYSE: FIO), pioneer of a new storage memory platform, significantly improving performance in the world’s data centers. In this role, he sourced and brought together an S-1 ready management team, helped secure key strategic partnerships for the company, drove a massive increase in sales and saw the company named America’s Most Promising I.T. Company by the Wall Street Journal. He continues to work with Fusion as Chairman of its Strategic Advisory Board.

Previously, Bradford served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Novell, Inc. (NASDAQ: NOVL), where he helped lead the networking start-up through a series of acquisitions, public offerings and business development activities. He held responsibilities across four divisions – Legal, Government Relations, Business Development and Security – and twice served as Chairman of the Board of the Business Software Alliance, the world’s leading industry trade association.

Bradford is an advisor to a number of organizations and funds. He was on the original Advisory Board of Omniture, which recently sold to Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE), and served on the Board of Directors of Pervasive Software (NASDAQ: PVSW). He is the recipient of numerous honors and distinctions, including the 2010 Utah “Executive of the Year,” and earned a law degree and bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Brigham Young University, as well as an MBA degree from Pepperdine University.

Alan Olsen on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
Alan Olsen

Alan is managing partner at Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen & Co., LLP, (GROCO) and is a respected leader in his field. He is also the radio show host to American Dreams. Alan’s CPA firm resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and serves some of the most influential Venture Capitalist in the world. GROCO’s affluent CPA core competency is advising High Net Worth individual clients in tax and financial strategies. Alan is a current member of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (S.I.E.P.R.) SIEPR’s goal is to improve long-term economic policy. Alan has more than 25 years of experience in public accounting and develops innovative financial strategies for business enterprises. Alan also serves on President Kim Clark’s BYU-Idaho Advancement council. (President Clark lead the Harvard Business School programs for 30 years prior to joining BYU-idaho. As a specialist in income tax, Alan frequently lectures and writes articles about tax issues for professional organizations and community groups. He also teaches accounting as a member of the adjunct faculty at Ohlone College.

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