Last week, West McDonald joined Team Tigerpaw as vice president of business development with much fanfare and obscene amounts of orange confetti. An avid fisherman, West is quite the catch himself.
He is such a legend in the managed print services industry that he's called MPS Wolverine thanks to his cosplay character. In his new role, West will continue to use his office equipment expertise as well as use his passion for convergence to create partnerships as he breaks into new industries.
Learn more about West in this special extended installment of Tiger Tales:
What has your career journey looked like? What brought you to Tigerpaw?
My career journey has started in the pioneering days of the internet and has been anything but a straight line since then! After the dotBomb, I found myself accidentally in the office equipment channel working with a company that was one of the first to offer agnostic/vendor-neutral device monitoring software. I was doing that right up until Tigerpaw. It was actually a partnership that eventually led to me joining Team Tigerpaw.
I have known for awhile that the cultural fit and the expansion into other channels was what I wanted. Fortunately, Tigerpaw wanted that too!
There's a rumor going around (that we just started) that you are so excited for your role at Tigerpaw that you got a tiger tattoo. Care to comment?
Ha! Part of the story is accurate anyway. I do have a tiger tattoo! I got it in my mid-20s, so it’s clear that I was meant to be a part of this awesome team! Manifest destiny perhaps?
We're pretty fun and quirky around here. What's your quirky?
My quirky … where do I start?! In my spare time I dress up as Wolverine and frequent a few Comic Cons every year. I don’t know what it is about Cons that I love so much, but I do. My family does them too, so I guess it’s good for keeping us tight. The family that geeks together stays together. Talking with the gang at Tigerpaw, I understand that I might be adding the Omaha Comic Con to my list!
What does business development mean exactly? Why is that a passion for you?
Business development is really kind of hard to explain. People like me help to drive a company forward in many ways, some of which are intangible and intrinsic. It’s a role that requires a lot of influencing through the use of strategic partnerships and activities. Some of those activities include speaking at events and writing useful blogs and other content.
It’s about raising the volume to 11, letting the world know that Tigerpaw means business, that we should be, if not always their first choice, their BEST choice. Business development is all about relationships and building an ecosystem of partners and customers that make a real difference in the business lives of all involved.
You're a recognized leader in managed print. What about working with customers and partners in different industries excites you?
I think I’ve done as well in my career as I have because of an insatiable desire to learn new things and to take that knowledge and apply it in new ways for the betterment of everybody I work with. That could be Tigerpaw, our customers, our partners — even people we don’t necessarily know we’re helping out.
Managed print is still exciting but there are lots of technology innovations out there set to change the world of business, and I want to be a part of that transformation or convergence, you pick the word!
Businesses often get scared when they hear the word "convergence." Why should this not be a scary idea?
Convergence isn’t a scary word at all! It’s a necessity for those that want to thrive. Doing the thing you did yesterday might be comfortable but it doesn’t lead to growth. People can take comfort in the fact that, although convergence isn’t always easy, it does come with a world of new opportunity.
Also, nobody has to do convergence in a vacuum. We’ll do our level best to help, directly and through some new ecosystem partners that care as much as we do about helping people succeed.
You recently wrote a chapter in the book "Standing O" for Scott Macgregor. What was that experience like?
I was so honored when Scott asked me to write that chapter. The hard part was trying to boil down a single influencer and mentor in my life. There are so many! I narrowed it down to a recent mentor and somebody I admire very much as an entrepreneur: John MacInnes, the guy that started and grew Print Audit.
Writing the chapter made me take inventory of just how blessed I’ve been to have so many great people in my life that have helped me to become more than I ever thought possible.
As a published author, you know a thing or two about books. What are you favorite fiction and business books?
Another tough question to boil down! My favorite books are a series by Patrick O’ Brian called the Aubrey/Maturin series. They are technically historical fiction books that take place in the golden age of sail. Russell Crowe starred in a movie made from a couple of those books.
My favorite business book right now is “Selling from the Heart” by Larry Levine. It’s a no BS guide to being genuine and loving what you do. I wish all sales professionals would read it!
Hugh Jackman is reportedly done playing Wolverine. Why or why not would you make a good replacement for the character?
Ha! I wouldn’t make a good replacement for the same reason he’s stepping down: We’re just both too damn old! That being said, if anybody reading this would be interested in me reading for any future Old Man Logan films, well, you know where to find me!
When you aren't at Tigerpaw, what are you most likely doing?
Spending time with my wife and family, doing road trips, hanging out on the beach. In the summer I spend a lot of spare time fishing on the shores of Lake Erie. Lots of fishing. Fishing a lot. Did I mention fishing?
What exactly is business convergence?
Has West piqued your interest about business convergence? Learn more by downloading this Convergence Case Study about Jeff Bendix of BENDIX Imaging, a textbook example of doing it right.