Failure is a selling point.
If you don’t believe us, ask Bob Moul.
Moul’s last venture, Artisan Mobile, didn’t succeed the way he had hoped for. He was public about that. Up front, candid. Last December, he even delivered a talk dissecting what led to the failure.
By then, he had already landed his next gig: CEO of Cloudamize, a venture-backed startup that’s like Mint.com for cloud computing. It was just one of several opportunities he was mulling, including a potential CEO role at an later-stage firm from out of town (he would have tried to move the headquarters to Philadelphia, he said), and that’s because people didn’t seem to see his experience with Artisan as a mark against him. No, actually, it worked in his favor.
“It strengthened my reputation,” he said. “People are like, ‘OK, now he’s had success and failure.’ They appreciate the depth that it has given me.” (That success, among others, was leading an exit to Dell in 2010.)
Moul quietly joined Cloudamize as CEO in late November but the company just went public with the news this morning. Cofounder and former CEO Khushboo Shah will become chief evangelist, as well as the chairman of the board. She’ll continue to lead the vision for the product and oversee customer success, which Moul said is one of her strengths.
Moul’s hire, Shah said, was a way to answer the question: how do we move faster?
“With Bob’s track record, it was a no-brainer,” she wrote to us. “Not only do we complement each other’s skill set, but with combined forces, we can execute on Cloudamize’s vision much faster.”
Moul and Shah have known each other since Shah’s time with Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures in 2012, when Moul was Shah’s mentor in the accelerator. He’s continued to be an advisor since then.
Here’s another way failure impacted Moul’s search for a new gig: He “dug a lot harder into the fundamentals” of the companies he was considering joining — product-market fit, customer need. Cloudamize fit the bill, he said, and it’s a space that he’s comfortable with (Boomi, the company he sold to Dell, was also a cloud computing company).
We’d also venture a guess that Moul will go out fundraising for Cloudamize, as he’s done so in the past for other companies that he’s led. (We’ll be interested to see if and how his experience with Artisan affects that process. In his December talk, Moul noted he wasn’t able to pay back all his investors.) Moul declined to comment on fundraising at this time.
Cloudamize’s headquarters is at 1735 Market St., alongside startup Squareknot. Both are startups backed by Richard Vague’s Gabriel Investments, which also calls 1735 Market home. Cloudamize declined to share how many staffers it currently employs.