Director, Business Development - Technology Products
Who are we?
Sidewalk Labs is an Alphabet company tackling the challenges of urban growth. Our vision for cities is rooted in a cross-disciplinary approach that is reflected in our team, composed of experts from real estate, government, finance, technology, engineering and more. Since our founding in 2015, we have grown into an organization of over 100 employees based primarily in New York and Toronto.
We are currently designing a new kind of mixed-use, complete community on Toronto’s waterfront in partnership with the tripartite agency Waterfront Toronto and the local community. This joint effort, called Sidewalk Toronto, will combine forward-thinking urban design and new digital technology to create a people-centered neighborhood that achieves precedent-setting levels of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity.
We are working to achieve something unprecedented — help us build it!
What is the role?
Sidewalk Labs’ Corporate Development team defines and executes the commercial strategy that will enable the company's innovation agenda to achieve the greatest possible impact on urban life. In this role, you will advance the commercial value of our technology products, based on a deep understanding of the needs of cities and their various stakeholders, and the unique value offered by these products.
This work is fundamentally cross-cutting and collaborative. You will work most closely with our Product teams, including especially the Product Managers charged with ensuring the fit between our products and the needs of the market. You also will work closely with the Engineering teams charged with executing on the product vision, the domain experts within our so-called Pillar teams (e.g., Buildings, Mobility, Sustainability), our Development team, and many others. To a large degree, your success will be a function of your ability to marshal the best resources of Sidewalk Labs to achieve your objectives.
Day-to-day, you will work closely with these teams—especially the Product team—to:
- Assess and articulate the strategic vision for our products, in order to understand and communicate the size of the market, the competitive landscape, and the value creation opportunity. You will identify and assess different potential business models, and recommend the best course of action. Your understanding of these issues will inform a cross-functional decision of how to prioritize, including decisions to launch new or sunset existing product efforts.
- Use those commercial insights to help provide specific, constructive feedback to the Product and Engineering teams charged with developing the products, to inform their efforts and potentially suggest new directions.
- Define a thoughtful go-to-market strategy for each of the products, with aspirational but achievable milestones.
- Identify the range of partnerships that can help achieve the product and commercial roadmaps, and then go into the market to execute on those partnerships. These partnerships will range from technology procurement to signing early paying customers. It is critical that you be able to drive end-to-end execution to the highest quality standards… from identifying partners, to developing relationships, to drafting and negotiating term sheets (with legal support), to pricing. You are able to achieve this outcome no matter what type of partner - whether a small startup, a big company, a private real-estate firm, a traditional regulated utility, or a municipal government
- Prepare thoughtful internal and external communications on all of the above, including presentations for senior management
Initially, you will be a “player-coach,” meaning that you will “own” commercial responsibility for one or more products, even as you oversee the work of one or more junior resources.
What You Will Achieve
After 3 months you will
- Build a comprehensive set of internal relationships. You will know and understand the role of all of the key internal stakeholders, and they will know you, your role, and the value you can bring.
- Have a strong point of view for how you will spend your time, and an aspirational but realistic view of resources you will need to achieve your objectives. Soon, you will hire a highly capable junior resource to share your workload.
- Put “points on the board” for at least one product, whether with respect to the strategic vision or a commercial deal.
- Rewrite the 6- and 12-month objectives outlined below.
After 6 months you will
- Have organized yourself and your team member(s) to support our products.
- Have comprehensive strategies in place for at least two of our products, with work underway for the other two.
- Strike at least two commercial deals that move the needle for the product portfolio.
After 12 months you will (whether on your own or through your team)
- Have comprehensive strategies in place for five products, recognizing that the level of detail of those strategies may vary by product (depending on their stage of development).
- Strike at least one commercial deal for each of our products in a way that moves the needle.
What We Expect
This role has a unique set of deliverables that require a sharp commercial sense and expertise across multiple vectors.
- Strategic vision. You can see the big picture, and understand how our products fit within that big picture. You have enough pattern recognition from your experience to understand how our products are like or unlike other successful products, and how we should modify our approach on the basis of those learnings. You’ve read a lot of Clay Christenson.
- Data-driven: You have good instincts, but have a bias toward doing the work necessary to challenge those instincts, to prove or disprove them. You believe in the quality of analysis over the quantity of analysis, and you have enough experience to know when the numbers are lying.
- Track record of execution and impact. Although you see the necessary value of strategy, you hunger to get into the market and execute on the deals that will bring that strategy to life. You have implemented partnerships that had meaningful commercial impact. You know how hard it is, how many compromises and priorities must be made, how many stakeholders are involved, and the way that the realities can intrude on great plans. We don’t believe in shortcuts for this work.
- Exceptional collaborator. The multidisciplinary nature of our work requires extraordinary collaboration. You have managed complex projects with many internal and external stakeholders and have proven yourself as a senior leader. You’re able to think through, communicate, and develop next steps for your team and the organization.
- Keen interest in cities and urban technology. Our work is hard and our environment complicated, but that is no obstacle to you because you are motivated by a passion for cities. You eagerly follow news about the urban environment, are inquisitive about urban technology, and have several ideas that would make cities better.
- Ability to operate at two speeds. Whether or not you have experience working with government, you understand the need to balance commercial urgency with the patience necessary to achieve complex objectives in a public environment.
We anticipate that candidates that can meet the expectations above have at least eight years of experience in business development and related roles, and also satisfy the following criteria:
- Motivated by an entrepreneurial / start-up environment
- Ability to understand engineering and technology nuances
- Experience of operating within cross-functional teams (product management, implementation, legal, finance, marketing, etc.)
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
- Ability to balance competing priorities and manage several time-sensitive project/deals at once in a fast-paced environment with minimal direction
The community of the future is a place for everyone, and Sidewalk Labs is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All employment is based on merit and business need.