Get to know the people behind Sonar with our employee spotlight series. Next up is Jack McGlinchey, Co-founder & CPO.
Behind every great product is a fearless leader. Meet Jack McGlinchey, Sonar’s Co-founder and CPO, aka the product visionary who’s bringing our company’s mission to life. We recently chatted with Jack about what led him to solve some of the biggest problems for ops teams, his roadmap for where Sonar is heading next, and much more. Read on to learn all about Jack.
Jack, tell me about your career path.
It started in college at Georgia Tech. I studied biomedical engineering with two eventual goals: create medical devices and become an entrepreneur. Along the way, I realized that all of the FDA regulations tied to medical devices made an unfeasible pathway to entrepreneurship. So I dropped out my senior year and landed at a software startup, Insightpool.
I was employee seven, which meant I did everything from helping sales make cold calls to managing business analytics. As the company grew, I found my product niche. A product manager who previously worked at Google took me under his wing and helped me grow.
After that, I moved to another high-growth, fast-paced startup called Gather. I was essentially the only product manager while I was there, which was a really great experience. After a private equity firm acquired Gather, I moved over to the account-based marketing startup, Terminus. While there, I got much more involved with product strategy.
Throughout my time at Gather and Terminus, I knew I would start a company at some point. I was just waiting for the right opportunity and the right problem to tackle. I worked alongside Sonar’s Co-founder and CEO Brad Smith at both startups. Together, we started to dig into the problems Brad’s ops team was experiencing. As it turns out, Brad wasn’t the only one encountering these issues. We began speaking with other people in the ops community and quickly realized this was a widespread problem with no solution available to ops teams.
Tell me about your role at Sonar.
As a founder, my job is to focus on two core areas. The first is to ensure our product and engineering teams are aligned with each department to deliver results across the business. Take for example a product launch. Marketing has to get the messaging right. Customer Experience has to know how it impacts customers. And sales has to figure out how to position and sell it. My job is to help fill those gaps between each team so that every function can do its part successfully.
My other big focus is to provide perspective, giving context to everyone for what’s happening across the business right now and previously. I’ve been here since day one and seen everything that’s happened. By sharing that perspective with everyone at Sonar, the learnings we’ve had can continue to persist throughout the company as time goes on.
What’s your vision for Sonar’s product roadmap?
In five to 10 years from now, my vision is for Sonar to be a command center that brings disparate teams across a company together, giving them one place where they can drive effective change. These teams go beyond operations and go-to-market functions, extending into finance, customer success, and product.
We recently took a massive step in this direction with our launch of Sonar for Pardot, which helps marketing ops and sales ops teams break down siloes and collaborate effectively.
What does Change Intelligence mean to you?
I love the term Change Intelligence because it clarifies something that would otherwise be obfuscated by inefficiencies in the business or lack of collaboration.
Successful change management is possible today, but it’s excruciating and wildly ineffective. I think Change Intelligence turns all of that upside down, making it fast, efficient, safe, and frictionless.
What piece of advice do you have for someone who wants to work at Sonar?
It’s imperative to remain curious. If you’re not actively working to improve and grow in our fast-paced environment, you’re moving backward.
We want to bring people on board who have an innate curiosity and want to raise the bar every day they’re here.
Jack’s dog Scotch
What are 3 things people don’t typically know about you?
- I love a good rom-com
- I’m a big backpacker
- I adopted my dog, Scotch, in college
Who’s someone you admire at Sonar, and why?
I admire Danny Garcia, our Director of Sales. Danny and I shared a desk at Insightpool. It’s been amazing to watch Danny grow from an entry-level salesperson to the leader he is today. Doing so while not just being successful, but with a high level of integrity. All while starting a family and being a good father.
Who’s your favorite band, and why?
My favorite band has always been the Foo Fighters. They were my first concert. At the time, I didn’t know what an encore was. As I was leaving, someone stopped me to tell me they would come back and play more songs. It ended up being my favorite song, which was an incredible experience that has always stuck with me.
What podcasts are you listening to?
I love David Sacks’ podcast, All In, hosted on his Callin app. And I love Ben Thompson’s podcast, Exponent. He and his co-hosts do a great job of discussing technology without an agenda.
Where’s your favorite place to hang out in Atlanta?
Right now, it’s the brewery next door to our office, Sweetwater. It’s become a big part of Sonar.
If you were a beer at Sweetwater, what would you be?
I resemble High Light because of its drinkability and general happiness, which are synonymous with my lightheartedness and intensity.