It’s July and my wife Marli and I are on an Alaskan cruise finally taking our honeymoon, delayed for years because of business building mode. It’s a reprieve at sea from our successful Executive Search firm, and it’s also a turning point. Even though Alaska is cold, I’m sweating a decision.
After 8 years of growing our company, DAP Consulting Group, I’m thinking of killing
off the business as we know it because of something I can no longer deny.
Before Executive Search, I was a top sales guy. Trust me, I believed entirely that
sales people were the lifeblood of an organization, an opinion shared by most
clients that come to me.
But as I stand on the deck of the cruise ship talking to my bride, who is also my
business partner, we’re talking about our current client as a typical frustrating
scenario we’ve been seeing for years.
This client came to us needing two positions filled, a VP of Sales and a VP of
Product Management. They said both were key.
To make a long story short, we helped them
avoid a costly mis-hire and found them an
amazing VP of Sales.
At the same time though, I’m also deeply entrenched in interviewing many high
level Product Managers to fulfill their other VP “need.” But my client is dragging
their feet on making a choice on this hire, for months now.
One day, I do my regular check-in with their new VP of Sales.
“How’s it going?” I ask.
“Great,” he says. “But for the next 90 days we’re in waiting mode to make sure we have an entry level product that we can sell.”
I say, “Let me see if I have this straight. You’re a $450,000 hire, but your whole job is predicated on the VP of Product Management they still don’t have, and are dragging their feet on to hire?”
“That’s about right,” he says.
And there it was again! The same mistake I’d been seeing as a pattern for years. C-
level or E-level hires, it didn’t matter, because until my client had the right Product
Manager, their chances of survival were being crushed.
I hung up from that call frustrated and finally ready to concede that the bread is
really made in the kitchen with the Product Manager. I had over a hundred client
experiences to prove it.
Looking out over the dark blue Alaskan waters, I say to Marli, “Honey, I’m not
satisfied just making successful placements. I want to know I’m contributing a
bottom line impact to our clients. I want to specialize in only placing Product
Managers. I want to become the best in the world at helping companies win with
world-class Product Managers.”
Marli was all in and I’ll never forget how right the decision felt when we made it. It
was the most deeply aligned with my purpose and passion I’d ever felt.
That’s the day Palarino Partners was born. And this time, instead of
delaying our honeymoon for our business, we started it with
a honeymoon, which was really nice.
Founder & President
After a successful career in sales and consulting for corporate America, Dane’s vision when he launched his first Executive Search firm, DAP Consulting Group, was to focus on making sure that companies did not incur their most costly expense, a mis-hire.
With over 150 placements that generated north of $100 million in bottom line revenue for his clients within Big Data & Analytics, he recognized the most critical role was the Product Manager. His belief, based on experience and data, was that it didn’t matter how good the Sales, Engineering, or Leadership teams were, if they didn’t have a product, they didn’t have a company – period.
Realizing this, Dane shifted the focus solely to the Product Management function, and Palarino Partners was born – the premier go-to executive search firm for the Product Management needs of private software organizations.
Dane’s tenacity and relentless pursuit to deliver excellent service to his clients and candidates are the fundamental components on which Palarino Partners is comprised. Outside of work, Dane can be found reading, writing, mountain biking, working out, or enjoying his growing family – he has a beautiful wife and two young boys.
Marli runs the business side for Palarino Partners, managing the day-to-day operations to ensure a seamless outcome for both clients and candidates. She spent the earlier part of her career as a marketing manager in the luxury and fashion industries, working for Ralph Lauren, IMG Fashion (where she managed the sponsorships for some of the world’s leading brands at NY, LA and Miami Fashion Weeks) and Mouawad Fine Jewelry. She now brings her premium brand management to Palarino Partners, creating an unparalleled and luxury client and candidate experience – unseen in the traditional world of recruiting. When she’s not at the office, she can be found running, reading, spending time with her husband and their growing family!