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Director, Strategic Business Development

Your Role at Bolt

Bolt is the future of online commerce. Our mission is to make commerce instant, consistent, and trusted. We believe that every retailer will need e-commerce to power their business in the future, and to do that effectively they need Bolt.

Business Development can mean so many different things at different companies - so before you apply let me try to explain what it means here at Bolt.  Someone with the right experience for this role will know the dirty little secret that BD people know - that the hardest part of business development is not getting a partner to agree to a deal - it’s getting your own company to agree to the deal.  Most deals worth doing require your own company to make a major product or financial commitment, and the only way to make that happen is to create a compelling business plan and get your company to invest.  The agreement you get from the partner is just one part of that plan.  So this is really not so much about sales, but more about being an entrepreneur.  Your ability to build relationships will be critical, as will be your resourcefulness, your analytical skills, and your grit.

You don’t need a computer science degree, but you should be comfortable that within six months you could do partner calls without product support and get 90% of the integration related questions right, and more importantly, know which 10% you don’t know.  

You don’t need a law degree, but you do need to know your way around a contract and be a creative force in helping to advance the company’s interests in a way that partners will accept.  

You don’t need a data science degree, but you do need to be analytical enough to build your own models when needed.  I can’t emphasize this point enough.  You are the architect of the house - you may hire people to help you build it - but in the end you need to own where everything goes and how it’s all being held together.  Every deal should have a model, and you should understand every lever in that model whether you build it or not.

You don’t need to have management experience for this role, but it would probably help.  This role is an individual contributor, but you are the quarterback on your deals and you will need to have the leadership skills to get teams working together around a common purpose.

So what do you need for this role then?

You need to have the courage to say no to deals that are not aligned with our strategy.  You will not be judged by the number of deals you do, but by the quality of deals you do.  And this is not about saying no in an obnoxious way that gets you fired, but in a way that is data driven, rational, and demonstrates that you have explored the four corners of the potential partnership and there is not a way to turn a bad deal into a good deal.

You need to have the resilience to get an important deal across the finish line when everyone else is getting cold feet.  Any great deal almost falls apart in the 9th inning.  You need to have the courage of your convictions necessary to get deals across the finish line.

You evidently need to appreciate, or at least tolerate, business and mixed sports metaphors but if you’ve made it this far in the job description you probably already know that.

More importantly than anything thus far - you need to be intellectually curious.  This role is about more than just negotiation and relationships.  To be successful, you need to genuinely have empathy for our partners and the businesses they are building.  You need to ask the right questions not because it’s on a list of partner discovery questions, but because you are hungry for knowledge about how their business works for no other reason than your own intellectual curiosity.   And when you understand their business and their motivations, you will strike good deals for us, because a good deal for them is a good deal for us.  We are not looking for sharks.  This is not a zero sum game.

So what else can I tell you to either scare you off if you’re the wrong person, or persuade you to apply if you are the right person?

We used to have free lunch when offices were a thing.  We’ll probably do that again at some point.  There will be some travel when that starts happening.  We are based in San Francisco, and that would be the preferred location for where you live but New York is fine, we have a presence there, and we will consider remote as well now that we’ve all learned how to use video conferencing.  

In general what I think would set you up for success here is a mix of startup and larger organization experience.  If you have 6 startups I’ve never heard of on your resume, I’m going to be a bit suspicious.  If you’ve only ever been at one huge Fortune 500 company for 8 years, I’m going to worry that you’re going to freak out when you see the barely controlled chaos of a high growth startup.

I think you’re probably at least 10-12 years into your career to give you a sense of the sweet spot here.  

Some previous domain experience would be strongly preferred if not required - and in this case that would be experience with payments, e-commerce, or consumer fintech, roughly in that order of preference.

The evolution of this role could take many forms - but if you’re looking to quickly manage a team it’s frankly probably not the fastest path to that.  Sales is probably the right route for that, and we do have open roles there.  This role is much more strategic in nature, and there are growth paths potentially as a manager as we grow, but maybe more likely as a GM or business owner as the deals we do grow into bigger businesses.

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Benefits:

  • Comprehensive health coverage: Medical, dental and vision
  • Retirement plans
  • Flexible PTO
  • Competitive pay
  • Phone & Wifi stipend
  • Wellness stipend
  • Paid parental leave
  • Virtual team events

  • Bolt is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity or Veteran status. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records. If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation, please let us know.