Julian Hunt: Why I joined bunny.net

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We kick off our first 2024 interview with Julian Hunt, Vice President of Sales at bunny.net. Julian, a seasoned professional with a wealth of experience, has been instrumental in the success of major companies like F5 and Cloudflare. Beyond his professional expertise, Julian is a man of diverse interests: a skilled cook and former sommelier, a passionate traveler who loves exploring new cultures, and a handyman who finds joy in DIY projects and renovations. Join us as we delve into the insights and experiences of this dynamic leader and multifaceted individual.

Q: Hi, Julian, thank you for finding a timeslot for our interview today, despite your busy schedule. Could you please first introduce yourself?  What is your position at bunny.net, your background, and what drew you to a start-up company like bunny.net after your diverse and impressive career, including roles at Cloudflare and PubNub?

– Hi, I am Julian Hunt, VP of Sales at bunny.net. I joined the bunny team mainly because a friend recommended the company. I looked at the website and realized that bunny.net’s goals aligned with my past achievements at Cloudflare and I liked the product set. My current position at the time didn't really resonate with my experience so much, it wasn't using my full skill set. 

I reached out to Dejan, CEO of bunny.net, and got a response within 3 minutes. We quickly realized that bunny.net could benefit from my experience. My background isn't just CDN, my background is application delivery, which is load balancing security, availability, performance, and selling to some of the world's largest banks and legal companies. I plan to help build a robust enterprise sales team here, as I did in the past. Prior to Cloudflare, I built a team from two to forty-eight members in EMEA. This startup environment is where I thrive and see the most potential for growth.

Q: Reflecting on your rich career history, which skills or past experiences do you find most beneficial in leading the sales team at bunny.net?

– Reflecting on my time at F5, I led a team of highly experienced sales professionals, which was a significantly different experience from guiding less seasoned teams. This skill will be crucial as we plan to expand our team at bunny.net, similar to my time at Cloudflare, where the initial focus was on mid-market sales. Over time, approximately three and a half to four years, we managed to build a seasoned enterprise sales team targeting major clients like Bank of America. My experience in pivoting sales strategies and relationships to suit mid-market needs, which is bunny.net's current focus, will be beneficial as we grow and diversify our approach, integrating lessons from my past roles.

Julian Hunt with his bunny.net's sales team.
Julian with his bunny.net sales team

Q: You’ve mentioned that Dejan responded to your LinkedIn message within 3 minutes. Did interactions with bunny.net’s team shape your final decision to join us? 

– Interactions with bunny.net's team, particularly with Dejan, significantly influenced my decision to join. I found Dejan to be a great fit for me; his story and ambitions aligned well with what I believed I could achieve and contribute to the organization. Conversations with other team members also made me feel like I had found my place.

Also, I was hearing good things from competitors about the quality of bunny.net’s products, their competitive pricing, and deal-winning strategies and it reinforced my decision. 

Joining bunny.net felt like starting an exciting adventure where I could genuinely make a difference. Sure, startups have their challenges and stressful moments, but I was optimistic about our team's ability to handle whatever comes our way and grow together.

Q. If you compare the small bunny team with the company environments you experienced in the past, how would it compare?

– Comparing bunny.net to my early days at Cloudflare, there are a lot of similarities. Both have big ambitions and a great team vibe. At Cloudflare, we built something amazing, and I see that same potential here at bunny.net.

But what really stands out at bunny.net is Dejan, our CEO and founder. He's genuinely a great guy, and that makes a huge difference. Having someone like him leading us positively affects the whole team. It's about setting the right tone from the top, and with Dejan, things feel just right. Sure, we've got stuff to do and decisions to make, but having a leader like him is really valuable.

Q: How do you perceive the differences in work culture and operations between UK or US companies and a Slovenian company like ours?

– When it comes to work culture and operations, there really isn't much difference between UK or US companies and a Slovenian company like ours. The people here are fantastic, and working with them is pretty much the same experience. I've enjoyed working with Americans, but working for them can be challenging, mainly because of the time difference. I was like a satellite, eight hours away from my US colleagues. They're great, but I find it easier to work with European colleagues. The only real challenge is dealing with legal stuff and getting things done from Slovenia, which can be a bit trickier compared to the UK. But that's just part of the job, and we manage it just fine.

Q: Recently you joined the bunny.net team for a team-building event in Barcelona, Spain. Which part was a highlight for you, or what resonated with you the most?

– The team-building event in Barcelona was a blast! One of the highlights for me was, let's say, creatively hiding items during one of the games. I wouldn't call it cheating - it was more about being resourceful, you know? It made for a good laugh, especially with Dejan, who called it cheating, but probably only because he lost. (chuckles)

The best part was really getting to know my colleagues better. It's one thing to work with them, but another to meet them in person and see the faces behind the names. And then, there was this funny Bunny Award thing – I got named the “Swagger Specialist” which was a fun moment shared with Dejan and Jure. Apparently, the way I walk made them think about it. It's these little things that make you feel part of the team. 

Team-building in Spain

Q. After visiting bunny.net’s office in Slovenia, which part of the visit stuck with you the most? 

– When I first joined bunny.net, I visited our office in Slovenia during its summer opening. What stuck with me was how impressive the office was. You could tell there was a lot of time and effort put into making it a great space. It felt welcoming and well thought out.

I was even looking at the properties over there thinking they were quite cost effective, but they're not. They're the same as London.

Q: Would you ever consider hopping over the channel and settling for better weather?

– Definitely.

Q: Nice to hear that! Outside of work, what ignites your passion? What thrilling hobbies keep you on your toes?

– Outside of work, I've got a few interests that keep me busy. Renovations and DIY are right up my alley – I've always enjoyed them. Thanks to my dad being a builder, I'm pretty handy with things like kitchens and bathrooms. There's a real satisfaction in transforming something old into something amazing, and then just sitting back to admire your handiwork. It's similar to the pride I feel in building teams at places like F5, Cloudflare, and now here at bunny.net.

I'm also into fine wines, a passion that goes back to my days as a sommelier, and I used to be a chef too. Though I left that behind early on – the pay wasn't great for the hours worked. Travel is another big one for me. I love exploring new places, but not just as a tourist in a hotel. I prefer to immerse myself in the local culture and get to know the people.

Q: What is the most exotic place you have been to?

– The most exotic place I've been to? I'd say Hong Kong was an experience, especially since I was traveling solo at the time. I've visited Singapore a few times too – always a great trip. But the most memorable has to be South Africa, going on a safari with my kids. It was truly amazing.

We've also been to Rome and Athens, soaking up some history and teaching the kids about it. After returning, we even went to the House of Parliament in London to get a sense of European power structures and their contrasts. I really enjoy history and sharing these experiences with my kids; it's educational and fun for us all.

I'm quite a foodie as well. Discovering hidden gem restaurants and keeping a journal about them is something my friends and I love doing. And Tel Aviv – it's incredible. The vibe, nightlife, and food there are just off the scale.

Q: Is there any place you haven't been to yet and you want to visit? 

– There are still some places I haven't visited yet, like South or Central America. I've never set foot there, and I'm thinking maybe Argentina or Peru, but I'm not sure yet. I tend to spend more time researching my destinations than actually traveling to them – it's almost like a hobby. But I haven't really had the chance to dive deep into planning for these places. It's going to be a substantial holiday, maybe three to four weeks, so I'm probably saving that trip for when I've retired, hopefully after we've built up bunny.net to its full potential.

Q: If you had the chance to have a conversation with any individual, past or present, who would you choose, and what would you be curious to ask or discuss?

– If I could have a conversation with anyone from the past or present, I'd choose Winston Churchill. Sure, he had his faults, but his life story is incredibly interesting. I've read a lot of his books, and learning about his experiences, the people he met, and the challenges he faced has always fascinated me. It would be really interesting to get to know the man behind the books, to understand him as a person beyond what's written.