My career has primarily been spent at small and medium sized businesses -and for the last several years at start ups- but today I find myself at one of the largest companies in the world. In this post, I’ll share just a few initial observations on the move, though this seems like topic I’ll revisit. As I haven’t written about this before you may not be aware that Involver, a social tech startup where where I ran the marketing group, was acquired by Oracle back in September. in short, I just went form a tiny startup to a tech giant.

To Join Or Not To Join, It’s All About The People
There are entrepreneurs out there who think of giant companies as places where their ideas go to die. As you might imagine they don’t tend stay long after the acquisition process. Of course, acquiring companies have some compensation levers to encourage folks to stick around if they think they can thrive in the new environment. As for me, I can’t say that I wasn’t a little wary of Oracle but the thing that made that feeling evaporate quickly was the people in my group. At the end of the day, the people that your are going to work with have more influence on this decision than the size of the company.

Part of the OTN team at our recent offsite. This was "crazy shirt" day.

Part of the OTN team at our recent offsite. This was “crazy shirt” day.


It’s A Different Kind Of Maze
I’ve been struggling to come up with a sensible metaphor to describer small vs big companies …. and I’m not sure this one really does it justice, but here it is. If you think of working at a company as navigating a maze than at small companies and start ups it seems like you’re often being judged on how quickly you can move through the course. You have to get very creative and work with very limited resources but you can typically find your way around challenges. Whereas at big companies a big part of what matters is how effectively you can break down the walls and establish throughways. This is more about finding ways of tapping into resources that will demolish barriers.

My New Role
My new role at Oracle includes a range of responsibilities but my primary focus will be on managing the Oracle Technical Network which is the largest developer community in the world. I am, of course, excited to implement a lot of the technology that I’ve helped build and market over the last several years. If you’re interested in learning more about OTN visit us at: One other aspect of this role that excites me is the fact that marketers will have to become more and more technical to be competitive, for this reason I’m already thinking about how to build interaction points between the technical community at Oracle and the larger community. If you have ideas, I’d love to hear them.

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One Comment to Becoming An Intrapreneur At Oracle

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great post @rsmartx.
    funny, i just referred to myself as an Intrapreneur yesterday on the phone with Nicole, so the title caught my eye immediately…
    had to laugh :-). hope you have a fun weekend in store.

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