Nathan Egan, cofounder of PeopleLinx: 'Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are' - Technical.ly Philly

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Jan. 30, 2013 9:30 am

Nathan Egan, cofounder of PeopleLinx: ‘Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are’

In effort to grow our community, we want to introduce you to interesting Philadelphians you might not know. Each week, we’ll speak to someone new and have that person introduce us to someone else we should know. Last week: Andrew Newcomb, general partner at Center City investment fund Mission Operators Group. This week: Nathan Egan, cofounder of […]

In effort to grow our community, we want to introduce you to interesting Philadelphians you might not know. Each week, we’ll speak to someone new and have that person introduce us to someone else we should know. Last week: Andrew Newcomb, general partner at Center City investment fund Mission Operators Group. This week: Nathan Egan, cofounder of Center City firm PeopleLinx, which helps businesses with their LinkedIn presence.

Nathan Egan isn’t shy about saying that his business is partly driven by fear. Other corporations’ fear of LinkedIn, that is.

Egan, who cofounded Center City social business optimization firm PeopleLinx, has found that while companies are realizing the opportunity that LinkedIn presents, they’re also scared of it because they think there’s no way to leverage it.

And ignoring the social network isn’t really an option.

“The irony of LinkedIn,” Egan said, “is that corporations don’t have a choice in the matter.”

They have to use it because of the “groundswell of their employees,” he said. So PeopleLinx, whose clients include PrudentialExperian and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, helps businesses navigate the waters.

Keep reading to hear about Egan’s time at LinkedIn, the fortune that’s taped to his computer monitor and the company’s startup-esque entertainment facilities.

Taped
  1. A/S/L? 35/m/Kennett Square
  2. How long have you lived in Philly? When did you found PeopleLinx?  I’ve lived in the region since 2002, and we founded the company in early 2009, in my garage, of course.
  3. Best job pre-PeopleLinx? I was an early sales manager at LinkedIn. It was an incredible opportunity to see first-hand the inner-workings of the network as it was launching the “Corporate Solutions” suite of products. By talking with customers and prospects, I gained significant insight into the needs of the Enterprise for social business solutions.
  4. What does an average day at work look like for you? I am a selling CEO. My day revolves around engaging with our customers, prospects, and partners. When I am not learning from them, I am spending time with our product and marketing teams iterating our strategy to meet the needs of the market. When the day is over and, especially on the weekends, I love spending time with my family, I have an amazing wife and three incredible kids.
  5. If you could collaborate with anyone or any organization in the local tech scene, who/what org would it be? Definitely Curalate. They do analytics for Pinterest and photos on the web. Besides being a group of super smart people, they have been able to create considerable value for corporations.
  6. Show us your workstation, please! Egan TP Workstation VF2 Initially, I thought this was a strange request and then I realized it would actually be a pretty insightful view of my world. You probably can’t see it in the picture but there is a fortune cookie taped to the top of my monitor, right below the cut out of Steve Jobs. It says “Ambition knows no obstacles” and I really believe that.
  7. Any local tech events you look forward to? I look forward to any event where we can get in front of prospects, partners, and potential employees. Would love to see more events dedicated to social business. We just hosted our first Social Business Roundtable at the Four Seasons in December and plan on expanding that to become a full-day, annual event in Philly.
  8. Give us a feel of what it’s like to work at PeopleLinx. We like to have serious fun and we have a “work hard, play hard” mentality at the ‘Linx. While you will often find us in business suits, the office is a very colorful and creative environment. We always have music playing (currently: the “Alternative Endurance” channel running on Pandora) and extreme sports DVDs running continuous loops on the flat screen. In one corner, we have a disc golf cage, and our conference room table doubles as a ping-pong table. To that end, we are a sales-driven organization so, if we hit our first quarter number, we are getting a kegerator for the office.
  9. What’s an important lesson you’ve learned working on/at PeopleLinx? Essentially, bestow us with a little wisdom. If you are an entrepreneur, surround yourself with people who are smarter and more experienced than you are. They will safeguard you from common pitfalls, help you understand and hire around your weaknesses, and ultimately allow you to focus on the things you do well. They will also give you credibility.
  10. Can you introduce us to someone in the broad local tech scene who you think doesn’t get enough attention? You should check out Ned Moore‘s new company, Clutch [find our coverage here]. If you remember, Ned founded Portico Systems and sold it to McKesson a few years back. I can’t wait to see what he does with Clutch.

Check back next week for the next installment with Ned Moore of local startup Clutch.

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