Q&A With Rich Liu, Everlaw’s New CRO
This week, we’re welcoming Rich Liu as Everlaw’s first Chief Revenue Officer. Rich joins us from a long and varied career, including building global business organizations at TripActions, MuleSoft, and Meta.
At Everlaw, Rich will lead the go-to-market organization, ensuring our sales, customer experience and business development teams are tightly aligned in building towards our mission of illuminating the truth in the practice of law. We recently sat down to talk about his approach to responsible hypergrowth, why Everlaw’s values resonate with him, and his career aspirations as a kid.
Let’s start at the beginning… As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
One of my earliest memories was wanting to be a garbage man. I loved watching the truck come by every Friday at 6 am and I was enamored with the mechanical workings of this machine. It was back-breaking work, and I had (and still have) so much respect for those folks. They did this grueling job every day and still took time to smile and wave to the kid in the window.
Later, I wanted to be a fighter pilot and a Formula One driver… Clearly, that didn’t happen!
Are there any parallels between being a Formula One driver and a CRO?
Absolutely! At a startup, our goal is to grow as quickly as possible—responsibly. We move faster than most companies and take more calculated risks. F1 drivers, compared to most drivers, do the same.
At a startup, we need to determine: Which calculated risks are we comfortable taking? How do we build the telemetry to capture data to have confidence that those are the right ones to take? Because when we are going faster, the more we can gather data and build great processes as we go, the better.
In the last decade, you’ve built global organizations, managed a large acquisition, and led growth for two IPOs. Where did you get your start?
I started my business career in financial services at Fisher Investments, making cold calls in a classical sales bullpen. As an engineer, I’ve always been curious about how to become more efficient because anything that drives success, without making another 100 calls, is pure gold.
For example, we studied call data to find out when we were most effective by area code, then restructured our shifts to maximize our effectiveness. That’s where I discovered my passion for designing and building go-to-market organizations.
How does your background as a biomedical engineer inform your approach as a business leader?
I am a first principles thinker. I don’t come into a new company and apply a set playbook, because every product, industry, and competitive landscape is different and macro trends are always changing. Instead, in each new role, I take a fresh look at how we can grow the business responsibly and achieve our mission, working with the team and the data to draw insights and build our strategy.
As an engineer, I ask questions like: What do and don’t we know? Where does the evidence point and what are our resulting hypotheses? What impacts might our actions have? Let’s try to decide the turns of the Rubik’s Cube we want to make. I’m excited to partner with AJ, the go-to-market leadership team, and all Everlawyers to find those answers together.
You’ve driven growth that fueled the Meta and MuleSoft IPOs and led TripActions through immense growth and the pandemic, to name just a few achievements. What’s your philosophy around hypergrowth and building organizations that can scale so significantly?
It’s always about the balance of building quickly while being responsible. If I want to get in shape I wouldn’t walk into a gym for the first time and simply reach for the heaviest weights. Similarly when trying to grow a startup successfully, it’s far more than hiring people as quickly as possible to fuel scale.
Instead, I start by asking questions like: What problem are we solving, and for whom? How does or should our product solve that problem? How can we best reach our users, and how should we tell them our story? How will we fine tune our approach as we go?
Finding these answers before and as we scale a business is critical. Then, we can set a strategy, build quickly, and adapt actively while balancing everyone’s needs and interests.
Tell us why Everlaw’s culture and values are such a good match for you.
I love that we’ve written down our values in more than a set of bullets. It ensures every Everlawyer—regardless of level or department—draws from the same starting point. Our culture underpins everything we do. As we grow, it will be either a force multiplier or a rate limiter. The more intentional and specific we are about defining it and bringing it to life, the better.
One of my favorite values is “do the right thing and do it the right way.” It’s important to understand the difference between those and when to lean harder into one or the other, while ultimately knowing we want to do both. I also love that we aim for process-driven growth. At a startup, it can sometimes feel like “process-driven” and “high growth” are mutually exclusive—but building a sustainable, high-growth company requires both.